Fatal Urge Carefree Kiss
GOD of a man
Eternity Versus Eternity
“Truth remains consistent, perception can be altered.”
Chapter Twenty Nine: Does it hurt?
Dated: 25th December, 2459
When nothing can be perfect in this real universe, or any other like it, can perfect or absolute truth be possible? The question expectedly does not have a straight forward answer, and the variance in its’ answer is amplified by the fact that not only does it relate directly to the definition of truth itself but also, perfect and absolute truth don’t happen to be the same. Truth, in its’ most basic definition would essentially be a statement or observation of facts as they exist. It is independent of the condition of existence of those facts, whether in a perfect arrangement or as an imperfect amalgam. In fact, the imperfections or uniformity both form an integral part of the truth being observed or stated. Thus it is possible to state, even if erroneously, the imperfection of the universe is a perfect truth. But if the truth of this statement appears sketchy, then that discomfort is rooted in the fact that the statement, like every other statement of facts ever made, derives its’ strength not from the definition of truth, but rather the classification of it.
Truth, if classified, can be bracketed into either absolute truth or perfect truth. And even though the two would appear to be the same, the disparity between the two couldn’t be any wider. Perfect truth is the truth observed and stated by a neutral observer of facts, for it is save any adulterations born out of prejudice. Absolute truth on the other hand includes everything else linked with that truth but essentially hidden from the neutral observer’s view. In the above example, the statement about the imperfection of the Universe would be a statement made by an observer whose field of observation originates from within the universe and extends outwards. Absolute truth however can only be told by an observer who can observe the universe from a distance outside it, and in context to everything else that is associated with it, around it, and is outside it.
Truth, as much as its’ understanding can be altered by a simple misstatement of facts, as much it can be altered by controlling the field of observation. If a man is kept enclosed in a dark room all day right from his birth, only to be let out for a few hours every night, it is possible to make him believe that the colour of the sky in black and that Sun is just a myth. And were he to make a statement about either, it will not be a lie, for it would be based on the truth he has always known. But if he was to be shown the daylight for once, all his myths would be lost in a flash and his statement of truth will change. Now there could be many reasons to alter the field of observation, but nothing could be worse than those entrusted the task of serving and safeguarding a community, altering them for ulterior motives. New Saisho suddenly appears to be a world besieged by traitors amongst its’ own blood, and at stake is the future. And what the future from here will be is going to be determined by the quality of those who will survive the apocalypse.
The white ceiling, held aloft by white walls with feet lined in white tiles, bound the corridor that had a white cemented floor. The white furniture and lighting completed the tastelessness of the premises cooled down to below comfortable levels.
“Here change into this?” the nurse said to Jenny, tossing a loose white robe at her.
“But why am I being kept here?” Jenny almost asked in a whisper, her voice weak and a few strands of dishevelled hair covering her pale face.
“That you ask the doctor babe,” the nurse replied businesslike.
The poor girl got up and went into the toiled to change into the robes.
“Don’t lock the toilet door babe,” the nurse issued her the next set of instructions, “Otherwise we won’t know what you are up to. All kinds of weird people come into this ward, and I don’t want to find you hanging by the roof.”
“I am not going to kill myself,” Jenny blurted out in anguish.
“That’s what they all say, and the next thing you know,” the nurse had seen it all in her life, or perhaps she had always been one of the instigators in her life.
Jenny threw her hands down, raised her head in anguish and let out a grunt. She changed herself and walked out.
“Give me your clothes babe. We will keep them for safe keeping,” the nurse said as she took the clothes from Jenny’s hand and gave it to her colleague, “You need to take off that ring too babe.”
“But that is my engagement ring,” Jenny exclaimed holding her hand close to her bosom.
“We don’t care babe,” the nurse said, “Leave it on you and the next thing you know, you punch someone and tear a hole in their head with that nasty little thing. Now get that off your finger!”
“No,” Jenny cried as she shook her head in defiance.
“Now you going to give to us on your own or do you want me to call the ward boys to give you the shock,” the nurse roared, “We don’t play in New Saisho.”
The prospect of being electrocuted into submission was enough to scare the already shaken girl who reluctantly pulled the ring off her hand and gave it to the nurse.
“Good,” the nurse exclaimed as she took it from her hand, “Don’t worry! We don’t need any of your stuff, and you can have all of it back once you leave this place, if you do!”
Jenny looked on at her face, not sure if there was any woman left in the lady standing in front of her.
Evil is like the smoke emerging out of a fire; it fans out to give the fire a monstrous appearance, thus masking the source from intervention. The moment the smoke is pushed away by blowing carbon dioxide and revealing its’ point of origin, all efforts can be directed to extinguish it.
The light coming from the ventilators was barely enough to light up the huge garage, but not too faint for the dedicated soldier to carry on his job.
“Open the next car and turn its’ ignition on,” Bradley ordered the two men assisting him as he tallied the last of the vehicles’ registration number with the ones appearing in the massive log book he was carrying on his arm. He hopped into the driver seat to physically confirm the odometer reading for the vehicle, just like he had been doing all day for each and every vehicle he had inspected. Barely had he finished when his phone rang. “Captain Bradley Connors receiving Sir,” he answered the call, “Almost finished at the last of the army yards in New Saisho Sir. We are heading towards the middle of the desert right away.”
“Bradley,” Admiral Mir Abdullah could be heard from the other end, “Just came to my notice that we’ve dispatched a small team to salvage the wreckage of one of our crafts in the middle of the desert. Make sure you check that one out as well.”
“Sure Sir,” Bradley replied, “It’s already on my checklist. Since we have a Colonel rank officer overseeing the mission in person, I have decided to check up at their location the last.”
Trust is an expectation hardest to fulfil, and yet a promise easiest to break. It exists even within the weakest of bonds between the most random of strangers. And its’ origin is simply a hope born out of a humble acceptance that one is all but totally dependent upon someone else for something. However no matter how weak the bond between two people is, a broken trust hurts like an arrow through the heart. And when the trust broken affects the cherished dreams and immediate future of the one wronged, the pain is ever more swear and unrelenting.
“So you must be Miss Jenny,” the Psychiatrist said as he walked up to a shivering fragile little creature, huddled into a ball on a lonely bench in the corner, “I am your doctor and I wish to inform you that you have been admitted here for a seventy two hour strict observation.”
“But what’s wrong with me Doctor,” Jenny asked.
“That’s exactly what we want to know,” the Doctor replied, “We are not sure if your mental state is alright.”
“That is ridiculous,” Jenny exclaimed, “There is nothing wrong with me.”
“That’s what everyone who comes here says,” the doctor quipped, “The truth however always is, what I say!”
His reply left Jenny shell shocked. She thought for a second and then said, “I need to speak to a lawyer.”
“You can once you leave this place,” the doctor replied with a smile.
“You cannot hold me without my permission and deny me my rights doctor,” by now Jenny was incensed, “There is still rule of law in this land.”
“That you can discuss with your lawyer,” the doctor replied before adding, “After you leave! And you can leave only after I clear you to go.”
“But that is your opinion doctor,” Jenny reasoned, “My doctor might find me to be just alright?”
“You certainly can have a second opinion,” the Doctor replied as nonchalantly as he so far had, “But only after you leave.”
“What if you are able to find nothing in seventy two hours?” Jenny asked in defiance.
“In that case I can extend your stay here for another fourteen days if I feel the need to,” the doctor protruded his neck out to speak into Jenny’s face, “But you will leave only after I find you alright.”
“You are breaking the law doctor,” Jenny protested.
“Enough! I am not discussing this any further,” doctor made it clear he was in no mood to yield to a girl with no back-up or medico-legal understanding. He was the boss in his ward and he made it amply clear when he ordered his staff, “Take this girl to bed number thirteen in the hall and keep a strict eye on her. If she causes any trouble then let me know and I will give her the shock of her life, like we do to others like her.”
Jenny was left speechless.
Power is very easy to be abused, for it amplifies the strength of the wielder. The one mightier than the rest always tends to bully his way around and through every situation, until he comes across a resilient one, the one who may not be a figment of the mighty in strength, but who is intelligent enough to wear the mighty down to below the level of his own strength, and then take him out mercilessly. The powerful who abuse their power do finally bite the dust before their demise. This is history!
The Earth never rests but keeps trudging along its’ path around her husband, almost vindictively, as if trying to corner him for having so many wives, but always failing. The shadows had switched sides for the day and the desert couldn’t have felt any hotter. Sepoy Eighty three walked up to his vehicle and tossed his back-pack in the rear seat of the vehicle. But before closing the door he turned around in a flash, pulling his gun out at the same time, and grabbed Viper around his head.
“Don’t ever dare to sneak up behind me again, or I’ll blow your head,” he made himself clear to his puppy of the moment.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Viper struggled to speak as Eighty Three choked him hard.
“What do you want?” Sepoy asked with utter disdain for him.
“So you are going to snoop on Granger and Norman?” Viper asked with a slight cough as he had a feel of his neck that had just survived apocalypse.
In a flash Sepoy was onto him again. This time he swung his arm through and under Viper’s arm, to grab him, and before Viper could even react, Sepoy had swung his leg behind one of his knees and flung him up in the air and into the sand. Without giving him any time to react, Sepoy twisted his arm behind his neck and turned him face down. Before Viper could take another breath, a cocked gun’s muzzle was pushed right behind his head.
“How dare you spy on our conversation?” Sepoy asked as he twisted Viper’s arm to make him shriek in pain.
“No, I didn’t,” Viper pleaded with him as he tried hard to overcome the pain, “I was just guessing.”
“If you don’t stop using your brain son, I’ll blow it out of its’ castle,” Sepoy stated with a ferocity beyond measure, “Do I make myself clear?”
“I won’t! I promise I won’t,” Viper pleaded again.
“Say that again son,” Sepoy really rubbed it in.
“I understand. My apologies,” Viper exclaimed, pain writ large on his face. Finally Eighty Three let him go. Viper got up, trying hard to hide his hatred for Eighty Three. “I’ll make you pay for this,” he murmured to himself.
“What’s that big boy, I didn’t hear you?” Sepoy Eighty Three asked him authoritatively.
“Oh no, I was just cursing myself for not announcing my arrival to you,” Viper replied, carefully avoiding any further trouble.
“Do you know what you have done,” Sepoy asked him, “You have set the big-terrier behind us all.”
“I don’t understand,” Viper however couldn’t make any sense.
“Your father Captain Bradley Connors is on this case now,” Sepoy broke the news to him, “Do you know who he is?”
“Bradley Connors!” Viper gulped a big lump down his throat but tried to hide his discomfort by boasting, “So what! I am not scared of nobody. In fact I can take him out even on my worst day.”
“You will take him out,” Sepoy shook his head as he smirked tauntingly, “He will chop you into pieces and spread them all around this desert for Cactus to grow on its’ manure, and even you wouldn’t know.”
“You overestimate him,” Viper quipped.
“Even if for a moment you forget who he is,” Sepoy put him back into his place, “Always remember; a motivated patriot is a hundred thousand times more dangerous and destructive than the worst of criminals, and especially for criminals.”
Criminals have a peculiar form of short-sightedness, that which affects their brain’s analysing powers. Not only they don’t realize the future consequences of their actions, they also forget that none like them ever before has lived a life to envy.
“Mrs Downing, you don’t need to worry about this girl,” the doctor spoke in a hushed voice to his guest who had arrived there covertly, “I have a few in my staff who will fix her up for a few bucks. She is not leaving this ward with a sane verdict.”
“If you manage to do this for me doctor,” Mrs Downing replied, “I assure you, you and your family will be safe no matter what. But make sure you keep this a secret, or we all will be dead.”
“Trust me Mrs Downing,” Doctor replied, “I have already instructed the operator managing the telephone booths, we have a very serious patient in our ward today and none of her calls are to be connected to anyone. Now she cannot call anyone outside, and no one from outside can visit her until I give an all clear. I have put her here for seventy two hours, but I assure you she won’t last beyond twenty four before breaking.”
Time is never enough for there is always something else that could be squeezed into the schedule. The rush is not as much against time as much it is against self, for every person tends to take up one task more than what they can accomplish in a set time frame. Everybody is looking to save time so that they can enjoy some later. Alas that later never arrives!
The four wheel drive was whizzing past the mix of dead and green vegetation that was scattered sparsely around the highway, leaving behind a thick cloud of dust. Private Simmons was manning the wheel and Private Mathew Kline was on the look-out in the back seat. The shadows were now getting longer.
Captain Connors had been quietly scribbling on his work-sheet in the front seat when his phone rang. “Hello mom,” he replied. As he heard what Mrs Ahluwalia had to share, his expression changed from grim to incensed, “That is stupid! How can they do such a thing? Who is the case officer?”
Mrs Ahluwalia gave him all the details of Jenny’s ordeal before asking him, “Should I call Aman?”
Bradley didn’t even give it a second thought, “Hell no mom! Don’t even mention it to him, else I’m afraid there’ll be bodies one too many!” He then advised her to speak to a good lawyer friend of his, “I will give him a call right away and he will come to your place. Just give him all the details and I assure you, Jenny will be back the first thing tomorrow morning. But don’t call Aman!”
Sometimes even a few words that hold no secrets of life can be enough to steady a wavering soul. The words of comfort when they come from unexpected quarters are sweeter than the harshest jibes made by the worst enemies on a bad day. And sometimes the words may not even make a cohesive unit, but they can still give one the answer they seek, even if as an un-related hint.
The big white hall was full of lonely people, and there in a bed in the farthest corner sat a soul far whiter than the light. With her head buried in the knees folded between her arms, she sobbed without a sound. She was too tired and weak to stay awake, but her mind was too disconcerted to let her sleep. The ward was closed at either ends and minus any windows or ventilation, perfectly cocooning the handful of rooms from the rest of the hospital as well as the world. People held inside for any number of hours had no means to tell whether it was day or night, or if the world outside still existed. She finally lay down to try and sleep. Barely had she closed her eyes when the janitor came sweeping the ward, chatting loudly with the staff, unmindful of all the patients.
“Guess what I saw in the other room mopping the floor?” the janitor asked the nursing staff, and then answered their queries, “I saw a ring on the floor. One minute it was there, and the next, poof.”
“Really,” one of the nurses could be heard in the background, “What did the ring look like?”
“I couldn’t see it clearly, but I think I saw a name written on it,” the janitor replied, “Perhaps Captain or something.”
“You have gone nuts old man,” the nursing staff quipped and they all started laughing hysterically.
Tears rolled down Jenny’s eyes but she kept calm as she lay with her back towards all the commotion. But the big room felt congested. She got out of the bed to go to the toilet. The ward boy on duty in the hall asked her, “Where are you going?”
“I am just going to the toilet. Can I?” Jenny asked.
The ward boy looked at her as he saw a tear or two roll down her cheeks. “Yes you can,” he nodded.
What an irony that a smelly small toilet room felt like an escape from the big clean ward. However, as if to remind her of the reality, a nurse knocked on the door, “How long you going to be in there? Other people have to use the toilet as well.”
“I’m coming,” Jenny replied in frustration.
“Be quick,” the nurse added with as much disdain as she could.
Jenny walked out of the toilet and towards her bed. The ward boy who wasn’t sitting too far from her bed in the hall whispered to her, “Hey listen, come here!” Jenny walked up to him. He gave her possibly the best piece of advice anybody could have in those circumstances, “If you want to leave this place sane, then don’t move around too much. Don’t react at all, and not just overreact, for that is what they want you to do. These people, I tell you, they are more than happy to declare everybody in the world insane. They will try to push you to react, but you stay calm. That is the only way you can get out of it. Now go back to your bed.”
Jenny looked at him, her eyes and heart full. “Thanks,” she whispered in a weak voice and returned to her bed.
Clarity in thoughts is like a building made of glass, a slightest touch of emotions can make it smudgy. Every memory and every dream is like a hot breath that fogs it up even more. Impartial reasoning is the only scrub that can wipe it all off in a single swipe.
“So what did you decide?” Anne asked Doctor Dillon, who had been sitting in the same room Anne had left her, a bin full of tissues lying next to her feet.
“I can’t leave my mom,” Suzanne replied.
“You owe your life to New Saisho and its’ people. You cannot ditch them for your personal reasons,” Anne reasoned with her.
“But we are not going to save everybody. So what difference does it make?” Dillon asked.
“We are going to save the best,” Anne replied with a conviction, “And they will need you, for you are one of them.”
“But I want to be with my mom,” Dillon asked.
“You can be,” Anne’s response shocked Dillon who looked at her questioningly, “But only until it’s time to say goodbye.”
“But I cannot just leave her to die,” Suzanne got excited.
“So to save your mom, you are ready to sacrifice so many other lives that depend on someone like you?” Anne asked, “And mind you, you still cannot save her. Yes of course you can die along with her, and you will. But so will others whom you can save by just being an important integral part of this mission.”
Suzanne was left dumbfounded. She murmured, “I don’t know! I need some time.”
“We don’t have any,” Anne replied firmly. Then she thought for a second and added, “What if you start working on the project, help us get the job done, for you are not going anywhere anyway, and then decide it at the very end what you would like to do?”
“I can do that,” Suzanne replied, crying as she did.
“Good,” Anne commented, “And since I know you won’t be able to do this job alone, I’ve arranged for Doctor Xavier Adams to be brought in to assist you. The men will march him in once I leave. You can quickly brief him about the project and then start with the first person shortlisted; the Flight Commander of the mission Captain Chris Davis.”
Discomfort is more in thoughts than in physical existence. A hardworking man can fall asleep in a moving bus with his head resting on a hard handle bar and yet find it hard to wake up for his stop, whereas a man who sloths around is disturbed by the footsteps of people living upstairs. Emotions are difficult sometimes, but sometimes all one needs is to weigh them in comparison to the stakes involved.
The shifts had swapped inside the ward and there was a new attendant looking over the hall Jenny was in. Jenny meanwhile hadn’t been able to take a wink of sleep. Every time she closed her eyes for a minute or two there would be a commotion in the ward. The nurses and ward attendants would start chirping loudly over nonsensical things as if they just didn’t want anyone to go to sleep. And then there were patients with behavioural issues in the ward, who would take turns in throwing a tantrum or two.
Finally one lady who had been desperately crying all evening, “Please let me go! Please let me go,” broke down into a hysterical screaming. The ward attendants rushed to her bed and tried to physically force her to lie down. It was hard to say whether she was really mentally ill, or if this confinement in a closed ward over an unknown period of time had made her lose her patience with it. But whatever the reason was, the only option the ward attendants seemed to find was to give her the shocks. Now there could be a second opinion about whether the shocks were meant to help her, or scare everybody including her into submission, but they worked magically, possibly not in the lady’s best interests. The lady might have kept whining in pain for a long time after that, but once she had been silenced the only noise makers in the ward were the loud staff.
When Jenny couldn’t go to sleep, partly because of the trauma she had endured the night before, and mainly because of the far more traumatizing experience she was enduring then and there, she got out of her bed. Immediately the nurse on duty in the ward checked her, “Where are you going? Just stay in your bed or we will have to give you the shocks as well?”
Scared, poor Jenny pleaded, “I was just going to the toilet.”
“Be quick,” the nurse replied and then added, “After that, get straight back in your bed. All kind of weirdos are put up in this ward. Last year one of them attacked me and two men had to take him off me. You move too much and I assure you, you will get the shocks. Don’t mess with me.”
Jenny nodded, holding back her tears. The toilet and a trip to the water cooler were the two things that kept her alive in that ward of brutality.
Situations can be tough, are tough, and that’s life. Men need to be tougher, and only those who are, are the real men.
The grey walled room had a new visitor, the third one of the day, or perhaps the first one of the night, almost midnight. The day had been long and it showed in his eyes, that he kept rubbing every ten seconds. He had already emptied half a jug of water that lay in front of him. If he was still patient, it was as much because of his nature, as much because of his training. Finally a soldier marched in and gave him a salute. Captain Chris Davis nodded his head and then turned around to look at the door. Anne De Villiers, the Secretary to the President walked in, authority in every step of hers’. She was toed closely by Doctor Dillon and Doctor Adams.
“Good evening Miss De Villiers,” Captain Davis greeted her as he got up from his chair.
“Good evening Captain Davis. Please be seated,” Anne replied. She then pulled out Captain’s medical report from the envelop Doctor Dillon had handed her. “So it seems you have passed your medical examination convincingly. Congratulations!” Anne commended him.
“Thanks Miss De Villiers. But if you don’t mind, may I please ask you as to what is happening over here? What was this medical examination about?” Captain Davis asked.
At this point Anne took a deep breath, and then gave Captain Chris Davis the details of the mission he is expected to lead in the capacity of Flight Commander. The demand of the mission expectedly shocked him.
“You kidding me,” he immediately blew his fuse, “Are you saying that I have to either tell my wife, ‘Sorry but you have to die,’ or I have to leave my daughter, my angel, to perish? Have you lost your mind? How can you even expect a doting father, of all the people in this world, to leave his only child to die, or a loving husband to sacrifice his wife?”
“I am sorry Captain Davis, but we have no choice,” Anne calmly replied.
“How calmly can you say that?” Chris was way above his boiling point, “Are you a woman or what? Do you even have a heart? Do you even know what you are asking me to sacrifice?”
“I know it is hard to accept Captain Davis, but we just cannot save everyone,” Anne tried to reason with him.
“I don’t care about everyone. I just love my wife and my child,” Chris blurted out, “And you want me to sacrifice one of them in cold blood, without any remorse!”
“We all are sacrificing Captain,” this time Anne lost her patience and temper, “Do you think it has been any easier for me? For the past ten minutes all you have been talking about is your family and your sacrifice. Do you even know what I am sacrificing? Has anyone even asked me how I feel, what is going on through my head and heart?”
Captain Davis was left speechless as both Suzanne and Xavier looked on at Anne. Anne however went from ballistic to supernova, “Do you even know my own uncle who is like my father, my only family, the President of this world your family lives in, he himself is not going on this mission that he has himself ordered and cleared. Do you think he couldn’t have saved himself or his beloved wife?”
By this time Chris’s high shoulders had dropped. Suzanne stepped forward to put her one hand on Anne’s arm and another behind her back to comfort her. Anne however fired on, “The only person in my entire family that I can save is my little cousin. Do you think I am not sacrificing anything?” And finally Anne broke down.
“I am sorry I didn’t understand you earlier,” Suzanne exclaimed crying, as she tried to console Anne, “I am sorry I didn’t ask you earlier how much and what hurts you.”
And the two girls hugged each other and cried their hearts out. Doctor Xavier Adams couldn’t help wiping his tears as Captain Chris Davis buried his face in his palms.
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