Fatal Urge Carefree Kiss
GOD of a man
Eternity Versus Eternity
“The strongest, mightiest and cruellest leave behind a history, but intelligent, adaptive and foresighted leave behind a legacy.”
Chapter Twenty Three: Fast currents
Dated: 22nd December, 2459
Birth is not just the beginning of a life, but also the indoctrination of an unadulterated mind with all the superstition prevalent in the society at that particular time. The unbiased neutrality is lost forever. Or perhaps it never existed! There is a certain unknown that has created everything, and those who question this belief are under the influence of another mythical unknown, the adversary. One is forced to believe in the former for fear of repercussions and social dissociation if one chose the other; or if one chose not to believe either, for those who promote the former will make one look like the advocate of the other. The choice only exists hypothetically. One’s mind is always in control of those who source the indoctrination, hiding behind myths created by human beings that once dwelled the earth when science was hitherto an unknown black art, and technology non-existent. They don’t need to challenge what gives them the unquestionable hold over the masses. Freedom exists only in word, for everybody is a slave to the same thought!
People living on earth look towards the sky, trying to figure out which planets, stars and constellations govern their destiny and decide which person, thing or event is going to do them good and which is going to do them bad. Nobody ever thinks of stepping away from the earth and its’ family, and looking from a distance, where the perceived associated play of heavenly bodies in an interconnected field, appears nothing more than a disorderly spread of small balls spinning around in circles of their own destinies. From a distance where a planet the size of Jupiter can look tiny compared to the distance that lies between the Earth and itself, all the big talk about a mighty star or planet affecting the destinies of unnoticeable humanity, appear no more than over-imaginative tales of a creative mind and dishonest intentions.
But what harm can a simple superstition which is meant to promote orderly moral behaviour in society, can do to an individual? A one word answer is; grave. When superstition is given a mathematical base, it is no more a hypothetical thought, but it rather becomes a scientific tool. A newly born unadulterated mind can grow and develop in any possible positive or negative direction. But once the same mind has been adulterated with the knowledge, or rather fear, of a future predicted as a matter of fact, the mind is already set in a direction directed by a superstitious thought, than the talents or ingenious. Such predictions subconsciously control and direct choices all through the remainder of a human’s life, either hindering its’ free development, or giving it a push not earned by virtue of talents and efforts; depending upon the negativity or positivity associated with the prediction. The mind loses its’ free choice for every observation it makes is forever adulterated by the knowledge of a future yet to come. Superstition destroys individual freedom as one set of formulas starts directing the future of every individual, based solely upon an inconsequential set of figures like date, time and place of birth, neither of which existed in nature; for the clock, calendar and atlas are all manmade.
However, future cannot be left a hostage of superstition. Future has to be given a direction humanity intends it to take. One should be brave enough to challenge the norms, intelligent enough to question the beliefs and answer the doubts, motivated enough to stretch personal limits, and foresighted enough to predetermine consequences so as to adapt accordingly. It is not strength, intellect, and cold-bloodedness, but motivation, foresight and commitment, that create future. History is just incidental. New Saisho needs answers as well as foresight, but most importantly, it needs to avoid getting trapped in a web of superstition that invariably accompanies the unknown.
When intellect flows out of many brains at the same time, when passions have been stirred in every direction, when the day has been long but answers have still not revealed themselves, even the biggest of rooms can feel like pressure cookers. Every out of place silence, that intermittently interrupts the procession of thoughts, appears like a precursor to the final whistle. After one such inadvertent pause, the President finally asked the scientific brains in the room, “Is there any possible way we can get around this catastrophe in waiting?”
After a long pause Jhiang finally replied, “Sir, within the constraints of our current technology, the best, and possibly the only choice we have is,” and the pause forced everybody forward in their seats, in a dreaded anticipation none of them had wanted to ever entertain in their lives, “We save as many of us as we can, and leave Earth forever.”
“Leave earth forever,” Mrs Gabriella Downing exclaimed in horrified astonishment, “But where will we go? And how far can we go?”
“I cannot answer either of the two questions respected Member of the House,” Jhiang replied, his head held down as if it were his personal fault, “We will just have to keep travelling until we find a new and safer home, on either side of the tears.”
“I am sorry, but did I hear you correctly?” Mrs Downing exclaimed shaking her head in disbelief, “Did you just say on either side of the tears?”
“Yes Mrs Downing,” Jhiang replied, “We need pilots, possibly four to six, to fly the space craft through and across the big enough space tears, continuously without a stop. And that is our only way of travelling quickly enough through the vast space, and end up at a planet not hostile to life, and still far enough from a major impact, to give our future generations a chance to develop their technology enough, to survive this natural phenomenon without the need for this assisted travel.”
“So you are saying we will have to keep travelling in space, possibly for generations,” Mrs Downing asked, shaking her head in disbelief.
Jhiang reluctantly nodded, “I am afraid so!” His reply left everybody in a speechless stupor. He however continued, “But that is not my main concern at the moment.”
“Is there something still left,” Mrs Downing asked ironically.
“We will not be able to map our position in the Universe at any particular time by any means, for we neither have a complete map of the Universe, nor we know where we will end up in space once we go through our very first space tear. Besides, we will have no technological assistance to track our travels,” Jhiang put the situation in perspective, “In fact, our only way to spot the space tears themselves would be a manual observation, both by the pilots, as well as astronomers assisting with navigating the craft.”
“You mean we cannot incorporate any of our current technologies, or develop a new technology for space navigation,” Admiral Mir Abdullah asked.
“I am afraid we don’t have the time for that,” Jhiang replied, “In fact, I don’t think we can develop our nuclear technology any further either.” He laid special emphasis on the last part of his statement, “I think we need to get a craft ready now, with whatever technology we have.”
“You are joking right?” Charles Diamond, Head of Planning Commission asked a redundant question.
Jhiang didn’t have to answer that for the President asked him a much more relevant question, “How many of us can be saved?”
Safety is merely a state of perception. Just because an organism considers itself safe in an environment doesn’t necessarily mean it actually is. It only means that the organism hasn’t identified anything that could jeopardise its’ physical or psychological existence yet. The state of safety can alter in a blink of an eye!
As the waters started getting darker, and the currents began rising steeper, Captain Aman Ahluwalia instructed his men, “We finish the day in another fifteen minutes boys. I am sure by that time you would have retrieved the last remaining nuke as well.”
“Dispatching the last of the treasured items now sir,” Lieutenant James Michigan replied on the radio and sought one final set of instructions, “Would you like me and my men to have a look at the launch tubes too?”
“Well, I think we have got more than enough already,” Aman replied after a brief contemplation, “However I leave the final call to your discretion. If you want to have a final look inside the submarine, it is your call.”
“Thank you sir, over and out,” Lieutenant Michigan replied as he and his two men moved over to inspect the missile launch tubes. One by one they checked seven launch tubes until the eighth one offered them the last bit of treasure they were seeking. “Sir I found the last remaining nuke on the submarine,” Lieutenant Michigan triumphantly informed his senior.
“Good work Lieutenant,” Aman commended a job well done. But before he could issue any further instructions, Lieutenant Thomas Schneider, who had been inspecting the hand written diary of Captain Ajay Chauhan, retrieved from ‘INS Ranjit Singh’, brought an urgent discovery to his notice, “Sir, you better read this last entry in Captain Chauhan’s diary.”
“What does it say?” Aman asked taking the diary from Lieutenant’s hand as Anne looked over his shoulder to have a look as well. Aman read out the entry loud, “We are surrounded by enemy on all sides. Under direct instructions from the high command, that at no costs the vessel should be surrendered to the enemy, I order immediate detonation of a warhead. May Mother India accept my men’s supreme sacrifice, as we perish taking our enemies down with us. Glory to India!”
“That’s strange,” Anne quipped, “Hadn’t the war ended a long time before the date of this note.”
“His brain must have been severely affected by the constant exposure to radiations by that time,” Aman replied, “This is dated well beyond the war time, and must have been close towards his demise.”
“So will this be the eleventh nuke that Lieutenant Michigan has just discovered?” Anne asked.
Her question stunned everybody in the control room, but Aman immediately ordered his men in the control room, “Thirty nine degrees north-west, full throttle, quick,” before he quickly grabbed the radio set and called out his man Michigan, “Alpha one to bravo one, Lieutenant Michigan, you are advised not to touch the warhead you have just discovered. I repeat; do not touch it. Do you copy?”
“Message copied sir,” Lieutenant replied, “But we have already pulled it out of the launch tube, and it looks perfectly alright to me.”
“Lieutenant, we have just discovered a piece of information in the late Captain’s diary, which suggests the warhead might have been deployed for a detonation,” Aman informed his man, “But somehow it either didn’t detonate, or for some reason its’ intended action terminated before completion.”
Lieutenant was about to say something, but as soon as he put the wireless next to his mouth, a surprise development shook him. “What the hell!” he exclaimed, and he informed his Captain, “Sir, the weapon’s control panel has just switched itself on, and is beeping crazily.” A fast beeping sound could be heard in the background, and Lieutenant Michigan added, “And there’s a timer on its’ screen now.”
“That weapon is armed Lieutenant,” Aman shrieked out loud, “Leave the weapon as it is and get out of there as fast as you can. How much time have you got?”
“It is counting down from twenty five minutes,” Lieutenant replied before asking, “But sir, why is the missile not shooting towards a target?”
“The weapon was set in an auto destruction mode, perhaps that’s why it is not seeking any target,” Aman replied, “Just get yourself and your team out of there quickly and try to get as far as you can and you might possibly survive. The vessel was built strong enough to survive a major impact by conventional warheads. It will help contain the force of detonation. And Alpha one to bravo two, Corporal James Michigan, are you receiving?”
“Receiving loud and clear sir,” Corporal Michigan replied.
“You and your entire team are ordered to vacate the area and return to ‘NSS - The Mighty’ immediately,” Aman instructed him, before turning his attention to his men in control room, “Set the control room timer to countdown twenty four minutes. And update me about our distance from the site every minute.”
Corporal Michigan knew a motor boat would be a quicker escape than the underwater submersible, but tried not to offend his senior’s judgement, as he discreetly asked, “Sir, would you like me to wait here in my motor boat?”
“I realize your motor boat will be a speedier escape Corporal Michigan, but if I ask you to wait for Lieutenant Michigan and his team I will be putting another life in a spot,” Aman replied, “So you are ordered to return to the ship immediately. His team will have enough time to escape in his submersible.”
“Yes sir,” Corporal Michigan obeyed the command.
The only difference between a prediction and an expectation is, while the former is stated as a fact, the latter only expressed as a hope. Beyond this truth, the two are practically the same in their existence. They both hypothesize a reality that may never be.
Corporal Michigan had barely started his journey towards the expected safety aboard ‘NSS – The Might’, when Lieutenant Michigan made his distress call, “Bravo one to alpha one, Sir, we are stuck inside the submarine. The hatch has locked itself and the electronic controls operating it have died down and won’t start again.”
There was no response from the other end so Lieutenant Michigan tried to contact again, “Bravo one to alpha one.”
This time Aman replied, “I heard you the first time Lieutenant.” And then there was a complete silence. Lieutenant Michigan and his team realized their predicament. Lieutenant Michigan replied again, “Sir, can we record one last message each for our families?”
Before Aman could reply Corporal Michigan called on his wireless, “Bravo two to bravo one, hold on Lieutenant, I will be right there in a minute to open the hatch from the outside.”
“Corporal Michigan, you do not have the permission to go back to the submarine,” Aman immediately ordered his man on the wireless, “Return to the ship now!”
But there was no reply from the other end, so Aman called again, “Corporal Michigan, copy the orders!”
Still there was silence on the radio. Finally someone from Corporal’s team called back, “Bravo three to alpha one, Sir we saw Corporal’s wireless drop out of his hand and into water just as he finished his sentence. Perhaps the suddenness of the event popped it out of his hand.”
“Don’t you dare give me excuses,” Aman roared back, “Just get back to the ship, and GOD forbid, Corporal might as well perish at sea than return to the ship to face me.”
It is easy to face up to your worst enemies, but impossible to size up to a conscience defied. A moment of cowardice lasts a lifetime. Those who weigh their actions against their conscience however, never falter.
The agonisingly long wait of a couple of minutes of radio silence was finally broken by a cheerful cry from Lieutenant Michigan, “Bravo one to alpha one, sir, we are free! Bravo two has responded and performed the trick.”
“Good work Bravo two and one,” Aman replied pumping his fist in the air, and amidst roars of joy in the control room, “Return towards the ship, quick. We are thirteen minutes away from the site, and you still have nineteen minutes.”
Joy however lives only as long as the next reality arrives at the door. Lieutenant Michigan and his team had barely boarded Corporal Michigan’s motorboat when its’ engine died, and refused to start again. It had run out of fuel at the wrong time.
“Bravo two to alpha one,” Corporal Michigan contacted his Captain one more time, to relay the bad news, “We are out of fuel!”
“Damn it,” Aman banged the radio set to the floor in frustration, scaring Anne for a moment, before quickly regaining his composure, “How far are we from their location?”
“About ten minutes sir,” Lieutenant Schneider replied.
“There’s no time,” Aman quipped as he stood up, “Here’s your verbal orders Lieutenant Schneider; you are the Captain of ‘NSS The Mighty’ till I return. If I fail to return then the standing orders are; return the ship to New Saisho shores, along with all the material recovered from the submarine, as soon as possible.”
“Sir,” Schneider was taken by surprise, and so was Anne.
“What? Don’t tell me you are going to get them,” Anne asked, mortified at the thoughts that accompanied her question.
“They are my men! They are my responsibility,” Aman replied back, “I’ll try my best to save them.”
“But you all will certainly die,” Anne nearly burst into tears, “There is just not enough time.”
“I’ll check my watch after I return,” Aman calmly replied as he ordered his men on the deck, “Lower my motor boat.”
“But you are still not able to walk properly,” Anne reasoned, tears rolling down her eyes, reminding him of his still fresh injury, but before she could say anything more, an unexpected call was received on the ship’s radio.
“The mighty lightening of the skies, the greatest cuckoo of all times, the sweet little homing ‘Humming Bird’ calling ‘NSS – The Mighty’; we seek permission to arrive with your special delivery,” a jolly Captain Chris Davis, flying another trip to the ship announced his arrival.
“What is he doing here?” Aman asked before quickly grabbing the wireless and asking, “What brings you here Captain?”
“Oh no! Nothing brings me here,” Captain Chris Davis was unaware of the scenario that had just unfolded at the seas, and continued in his light hearted vein, “It is the guest I have for you who brings me here, the chief reporter of The Daily Times.”
“Chief reporter of ‘The Daily Times’, just what we needed, press!” the surprise arrival shocked Aman, who quipped to his equally surprised men, “Who allowed him here?”
“Actually I had asked a press representative to be sent in here,” a reluctant Anne, fearful of Aman’s reaction, admitted.
“What?” Aman was immediately on to guns, “Have you gone mad? Why?”
Anne was taken by surprise, “What else was I supposed to do? Your accident had been highly publicised in New Saisho, and city was getting restless on account of the floating rumours. I had to ask for a press representative to be sent here so that we could show the people everything is alright.”
“Oh great,” Aman was sarcastic and scathing at the same time, “And now what are we going to show the public, shaved backs?”
“What else was I supposed to do? Try to think it from my position,” Anne reasoned, “Public was getting uneasy and we had to do something to calm them down.”
“But you should have asked me first,” Aman replied, “Or at least informed me.”
“I was going to inform you,” Anne replied.
“When,” Aman asked, “Next year?”
“Look, I was just doing my job,” a shocked Anne replied, before retaliating, “Besides I don’t need to ask you anything. I am not working under you.”
“I know you are the secretary to the President, but this is my ship,” Aman replied, his tone very strict.
“Yes, I am the secretary to the President, and what I need to get done, I can get it done by asking your Admiral,” Anne took her best shot.
“Then next time, talk to the Admiral first, and then let Admiral inform me first,” Aman replied with vengeance.
“Don’t tell me how I should do my job,” Anne was fierce too.
“Exactly,” Aman replied, “Don’t tell me how I should do my job.” He then turned around and staggered out of the room as quick as he can.
“Sir please let me go instead,” Lieutenant Schneider volunteered.
“Now Lieutenant Thomas Schneider, this is my job, and I will do it,” Aman replied.
“Aman,” Anne, who had run out of the control room behind Aman held out her hand pleadingly. Aman turned around and gave her a hard glare. A tear rolled down her eye as she turned her face down. Aman turned around and quickly climbed down into his waiting speedboat to shoot away in a jiffy. Anne looked up, and kept looking far behind him. Schneider, who was standing next to her, saw something in her eyes. When she turned around and noticed him staring at her, he quickly turned his eyes away. Perhaps he had noticed what she herself didn’t know yet.
Heart is a strange organ. It keeps you alive, and yet sometimes, it won’t let you live. Life would have been so much easier had heart been just a pulsating bob. But heart has a mind of its’ own, that works independent of the other mind an individual has, and controls it as well.
Far from the tragedy in waiting at sea, Krystal, Corporal James Michigan’s wife was playing with their only child. Motherly love was overflowing, but it was somehow adulterated with the longings of a lonely wife.
“Say papa come home, say papa,” she was playing with her infant as she rocked his cradle. Her motherly affection continued to pour. “Where is Papa? In the navy,” she was asking and answering her own questions. A blissful mother was enjoying some cherished moments with the cynosure of her eyes. “You know when people ask your papa, that you have seen all the world, which place is the best, do you know what he says?” she continued, “He says ‘New Saisho’. And then when they ask him why, do you know what he says?” The cute innocent child looked around, happy to be with his mother, the only parent he was used to seeing around him all the time. She continued, “He says, ‘New Saisho is the only place which has got my wife and my son. No other place in the world has my wife and my son. So isn’t it the best place in the world?’ And ain’t he right my little sugar pie.” And the mother teased her little baby who chuckled.
Their moment of bliss may have never ended in another better world, but the phone had to ring in this one. “That must be papa,” she quipped, “Let mama talk to your papa! Will you talk to your papa?” And she picked her baby up in her arms and walked towards the phone which was ringing non-stop, as if there was nothing more urgent in the world at that time, but that phone call.
“Hello,” she answered in her sweetest voice, expecting to hear her loving husband at the other end. Who else would have called her anyway at that hour?
“Hello, Krystal, hello,” a highly upset Lisa, Lieutenant Michigan’s girlfriend could be heard crying at the other end, “Krystal, is that you.”
“Oh well, well, girl, hold on, what happened?” Krystal realized who it was, “Take a deep breath and then speak.”
“Krystal, help,” Lisa however wasn’t listening, just crying.
“Now look here girl, either you cry first, or you talk. Otherwise I can make no head or tail of what you are saying,” Krystal said to her.
“Turn on the television,” Lisa replied, “Just turn on the television.”
“Oh wow girl, now you are freaking me out; and I don’t like myself when I freak out,” Krystal replied, “Just hold on and let me turn this damn thing on.” And Krystal picked up her television’s remote control, and turned it on. The news that greeted her, left her speechless, and the ground beneath her feet suddenly slipped away. She sunk into the couch behind her, just in time to avoid the fall. She was stunned!
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