Fatal Urge Carefree Kiss
GOD of a man
Eternity Versus Eternity
“Conscience is an uncomfortable company!”
Chapter Twenty Eight: Quarantined
Dated: 25th December, 2459 onwards
Superstition is comfortable for it relieves the responsibility and shifts blame. Human beings are inherently inclined to try and escape a responsibility to act, or to shift the blame of their actions on to someone or something else. If something is wrong, it is always someone else’s job to fix it, and if something has gone wrong, it did so because of a situation or actor beyond their control. Superstition provides an easy alibi to fulfil both these scenarios. Shifting the onus to act or a blame of an act makes it easier for human beings to confront their conscience. Conscience otherwise is a very uncomfortable company!
It is true that whatever ails their society will afflict their own lives at some stage as well, but to fix it would require an effort outside the normal routines of most ordinary people. It is easier for humans when the only thing to contend with is their own life, not the troubles of the society. Thus the day humanity organized into a society, it set up institutions to take responsibility of matters of common interest. There are people entrusted with the charge of such organisations and they are paid for their work so they don’t have to worry about doing chores other ordinary people do. All that is expected of them is to work in the best interests of the society, to the best of their abilities. Human beings however are both lazy as well as corruptible. They either don’t work efficiently, or work on agendas’ not always in the better interests of the society. They rather promote the interests of a few individuals who pay them in access of their salaries, banking on their greed. And it is not that the society is not intelligent enough to see through their deeds. It’s just that it is easier for the society to pretend it is not competent in matters of social interest, hence not sure what is wrong, who is wrong, and how to fix it. Ignorance removes the blame of laziness on part of the society, and shifts the responsibility of rectifying the wrong on to the replacements. And even if society is aware of the credibility of replacements themselves, the feigned ignorance saves them the effort or responsibility to be the replacement themselves. Ignorance helps people fool their conscience.
A similar story can be written about faith. Faith, the refined and politically correct name of superstition, in an instant, shifts the blame of the bad choices onto an unknown entity known to punish humans for their past mistakes, thus helping elevate pain of their current suffering. Faith also shifts the responsibility of the future itself, as well as the outcome of their current choices and actions on that same unknown entity, thus giving humans an easy escape from the stress that accompanies the long wait for the results. Faith thus relieves responsibility of choices and actions from the individuals, something for which they are answerable to their conscience. Seldom does humanity realize; without accepting the responsibility for their actions, and making conscious choices based on impartial assessment of variables involved and probable results, it is hard not to make a mistake. New Saisho is at the cusp of a situation where only rational choices made by its’ sons and daughters can save the future.
The night had been trudging along towards its’ darkest part slowly and slowly. It had been over two hours since Jenny had passed out, afraid and exhausted. She finally came out of her un-consciousness and tried to get up. Loose sand and gravel rolled down the side of the pile and on to her face as she rolled her hand around the side of the pit, to get a grip of the surface and push her exhausted body into an upright position. She could hear faint voices coming from the other side of the pile. She mustered all her strength and climbed out of the pit. She managed to get onto her feet, only to tumble to the ground again. She raised her hand and cried out for help in a faint voice. However the constabulary that was scavenging the area for evidence was a bit further away for her location. So she dragged herself along, crawling at times and staggering on her feet at others, and finally managed to get to the group.
“Help, please help!” she exclaimed with all her strength as the startled policemen looked on, “There’s another body over there.” And she passed out again.
It is strange how strength can sometimes be derived from the weakest of sources. Perhaps it is not the strength of the source that matters, but rather the willingness to share it. Strength is sometimes multiplied not by the actual amount added by another source, but the amount amplified in the original source by the mere presence of another source. This is how love works, when the presence of the beloved lights up the gloomy skies of the lover.
“Oh well, look at the two cuckoos,” Doctor Xavier Adams quipped teasingly as he entered Doctor Suzanne’s room, where she was checking up on Captain Bradley Connors. “Can I be the fly on the wall?” Xavier asked, baiting his eyelashes.
“Fly? You are a monster bug,” Suzanne joked back, “Will you leave if I refuse?”
“Certainly,” Xavier replied before adding a deliberate pause, “Not!”
“Can we get some work done here,” Bradley however was obviously concerned as he removed the bandage from his thumb and pushed his hand forward for Suzanne to inspect. Suzanne picked up a magnifying glass to have a look as Xavier walked around behind her to have a peek as well.
“That looks something serious,” Suzanne replied, “I am ordering some tests on you right away.”
“Does that mean it is bad?” Bradley asked.
“It possibly is,” Suzanne replied.
“Well, I would be concerned for sure,” Xavier added his opinion, “But I would wait for the results of the test before I make my comment. It could be good too, for you would be the first experimental specimen to be tested with the supposedly other universal creation.”
“What? Am I a guinea pig?” Bradley asked shaking his head.
“Do you have a choice?” Xavier asked back.
“So what does that mean?” Bradley asked.
“You are quarantined,” both Xavier and Suzanne replied in unison.
Their reaction stunned Bradley for a moment before he blabbered back, “But I am working on a very serious case at the moment, and I can’t leave that. You cannot quarantine me.”
“Yes we can, unfortunately,” Suzanne replied, her face full of concern as she picked up her phone to call the ward assistants, “I am calling the ward staff that will take you to a secluded chamber in the hospital now. And you will have to stay there until either myself or Doctor Xavier gave you an all clear.”
“You can’t be serious,” Bradley shook his head. Before he could say anything further, or someone could reply, his mobile phone rang. You could tell it was from his senior as he stood up to answer it. The expression of his face changed quickly enough to hint the matter was serious. “Yes sir, I am heading there straight away,” his reply confirmed the urgency of the issue involved. “I am sorry, but I have to leave,” he told Suzanne and Xavier, “Senior Investigator Elle, working on the case I am assisting New Saisho Police with, was found dead in the early hours of the morning, and my brother’s girlfriend is in the hospital.”
“You have a brother?” Xavier asked surprised.
Bradley took a heavy breath as he replied, “It is a complicated story. I have a kid sister too.”
“But wait, you can’t leave,” Suzanne interrupted, “You have been quarantined and are not allowed to leave these premises without my permission, or Doctor Xavier’s.”
“Doctor Xavier gave me the permission,” Bradley quipped with a smile as he walked out of her office.
Suzanne looked sternly at Doctor Xavier who immediately made his sides clear, “Oh no, I didn’t!”
By that time Bradley had walked out of her office and was marching down the corridor as two huge ward boys appeared at the other end.
“You cannot leave like this,” Suzanne was incensed, “I am your doctor and I order you to stop now.” But when Bradley didn’t pay a heed, she ordered the ward boys, “Stop this patient from leaving the premises.”
The ward boys immediately crossed their arms and stood firm in front of the door. As Bradley tried to walk through them, the two nudged him back with their chests. “You heard what the doctor said. You can’t leave,” one of them said with a firm demeanour.
A couple of punches later they had both changed their opinion. As the two lay on the floor with Bradley twisting their arms behind their neck, one of them said pulling out his car keys with his other hand, “Please take my car. I insist!”
“Good boy,” Bradley said, gently tapping his cheek, “But I got my own.” And he walked out of the hospital as Suzanne looked on. Xavier carefully slipped out of the scene.
It is wrong to generalize; stronger a person, dumber they are. It’s just that strength makes it so easy to manipulate things that the first reaction of a strong person to any resistant situation is to power their way through it. Cranial matter is only put to use as a last resort when strength has failed to break the deadlock. The only problem with this approach is, by that time a lot more damage has been caused.
From a distance the sand rolling above the surface of the burning desert can give it a burning appearance, as if steam is rising out of it. The heated surroundings and a burning sun complete the effect of being in a furnace. The huge air-conditioned cabin behind the truck however provided a comfortable escape from the nature. But Viper could still feel his collar burning his neck, and his throat drying, as he waited with bated breath, for his master to say the first words about the debacle.
“But there was nothing I could have done,” Viper tried to justify himself again when he couldn’t bear the silence anymore, “Had I waited there any longer our cover would have been blown, and had I not destroyed the jeep it would have led them straight to us.”
Colonel was still silent, trying to fathom the fact that the best amongst his squad of hit-men have failed in a simple task of eliminating a weakling.
“And the girl, she doesn’t know me,” Viper exclaimed, “In fact, I don’t think she’s even seen my face.”
“Why else do you think you are still alive,” Sepoy Eighty Three quipped as he stepped forward and in front of him from the rear of the cabin.
Viper glared at him, and then at the Colonel who was still sitting with his back towards him, “Just give me a couple of days and I will eliminate that bitch right in the hospital where she is.”
“So you think it’s going to be a walk in the park now,” Sepoy quipped, “You’ve killed an officer.”
“What else was I supposed to do,” Viper exclaimed.
“You should have jumped into that hole along with the jeep,” Sepoy replied, “That would have saved us the agony of seeing your face.”
“Where’s slipknot,” Colonel finally broke his silence, his back still towards Viper and Sepoy.
“I don’t know,” Viper replied, “All I know is that no one has been captured.”
There was silence in the chamber. Colonel finally said, “Fall back with the rest of the team and get on with the official task. Let us first see how things move from here.”
“Yes sir,” Viper replied. Colonel raised his hand and gestured for him to leave. “Thank you sir,” Viper replied and marched out.
As soon as Viper had left, Sepoy asked Colonel, “What about Granger and Norman? That bitch is not going to stay quite.”
“Stalk them like a shadow of the dead body, till they are blamed,” Colonel replied, and then turned around, “Then make them disappear before the vultures get to them, in a way such that their pursuit is never given up!”
Two things always follow a person to their grave; bad reputation and loved ones. An enemy might dispatch one to their box, but will rarely follow the final procession to see their face one final time. Loved ones however stay at the grave long after everybody has left, and will return again every year for a few years, to leave a flower or two. Reputation if good can be lost forever when it sours, but bad reputation shows its’ ugly head even after a complete rebirth of an individual. It flashes like a glimpse of a living past. While its’ the good reputation an individual always worries about, it is the loved ones who always worry about them.
“Mom, when can we speak to Jenny,” Rosie asked Mrs Ahluwalia.
“Very soon my love,” Mrs Ahluwalia comforted her, trying to put a brave face as she waited patiently outside the room where Jenny was lying unconscious, two officers on guard outside the door.
After a long agonising wait of many hours, Jenny finally woke up just after mid-day. “Mrs Ahluwalia,” the attendant came rushing out, “She is awake now.”
“Yeah, I want to speak to her,” Rosie jumped out of Mrs Ahluwalia’s lap and rushed towards the room where the attendant stopped her by holding her from her arm.
“I am sorry however, you cannot see her until the doctor permits you to,” she said, “I am going to inform him now.”
Mrs Ahluwalia nodded as she wiped a teardrop. “Come here sweetie,” she said to Rosie as they both sat down on the couch in the lobby again.
A few minutes later the doctor arrived but not alone. There was an officer with him.
“Mrs Ahluwalia,” the officer addressed her, “I am afraid you won’t be able to see Miss Jenny today.”
“Why is that?” Mrs Ahluwalia asked surprised.
“We are taking her into custody,” the officer replied.
“What? Are you kidding?” Mrs Ahluwalia was shocked.
“An officer is dead, and another dead body has been recovered from the site where only Miss Jenny was found alive,” the officer replied, “We are arresting her on suspicions of murder. You will need a lawyer from here on.”
Mrs Ahluwalia was left shell shocked. She barely muttered, “You cannot do this.”
But the officer didn’t bother answering her. He instead turned around to the doctor and said, “We are concerned about the suspect’s mental health, and want the hospital to do a thorough check on her. Here are the court orders.”
“That’s fine officer,” the doctor replied taking the orders from the officer’s hand and handing them to his assistant, “We will finish the paper work in my office. Let me instruct my staff to transfer Miss Jenny into the Psychiatry ward once her physical health has been assessed.”
“Well then,” the officer replied, “I leave it to you from here. I am waiting for you in the office.”
As the officer walked away, the doctor turned towards Mrs Ahluwalia and said, “I am sorry Mrs Ahluwalia, but I am afraid you cannot stay here any longer. You will have to leave.”
“But I just want to see her once,” Mrs Ahluwalia pleaded, “Can you give me just a couple of minutes?”
“I am sorry Mrs Ahluwalia, but you will need court’s permission for that,” Doctor replied, “Perhaps you should consult a good lawyer at the earliest.”
“But the poor child has just survived a matter of life and death,” Mrs Ahluwalia reasoned, “She must still be traumatised, and what she needs right now is a loved one next to her, to help her cope with the trauma. She needs to know she is not alone. She will die!”
“I assure you Mrs Ahluwalia, we will take good care of her,” the doctor firmly refused her, “Now if you will please excuse me. I have a lot to do.”
While career is about choices one makes, job is about duties one is to fulfil. A person can decide what they want to be, but they cannot determine what they need to do to be that. Every aim has a set number of ways with which it could be achieved. The choice ends at the decision as to the final outcome desired, the path to achievement is beyond any choices.
“Good afternoon Doctor Dillon,” Miss Anne De Villiers greeted Suzanne as she entered the room where Suzanne had been sitting every since she had been brought to the secured complex, on a special order from the President’s office. An officer had been standing in company all the time, but without a word exchanged inside the metal grey walls.
“Good afternoon Miss De Villiers,” Suzanne replied, “Must be something very important the way I have been brought in here.”
“Indeed it is,” Anne replied as she placed a file folder on the large desk in front of Doctor Suzanne, “Your life is about to be changed forever irrespective of what you decide today.”
“What do you mean?” Suzanne asked as she pulled the file folder closer and was about to open it.
“Before you open that file folder, there is something very important I want you to know,” Anne quipped, stopping her from opening the file folder physically by putting her hand on top of her, “Once you know what this is about, you cannot tell about it to anyone, or even leave this facility from this moment onwards. If you do tell anyone, you as well as the other person will be eliminated.”
“What?” Suzanne’s jaw dropped.
“I am not finished,” Anne replied, “Even if you do not open this file, leave alone refusing to accept this project, you still cannot leave this facility, for we don’t want you to even mention anything about being mentioned such a project, to anyone.”
“What does that suppose to mean?” Doctor Suzanne was perplexed, “I am a free citizen of a democratic society. You cannot hold me without my permission and without any reason. There is still rule of law in this land.”
“Doctor Suzanne, we don’t have time to beat around the bush,” Anne replied, “This world is about to end in under three months from now, and we will only be able to save a handful. The rest are not to know until those that we can, are safely out of it.”
“What?” Suzanne was shocked beyond belief and didn’t know what to say.
“Your record as a doctor is impeccable and your expertise unquestionably the best,” Anne added, “And you are young. That is why I have decided you to head the medical panel for the very young group amongst the entire humanity that we are going to salvage.”
Suzanne however had been lost by that time as she murmured to herself, “Only a few will be saved, that too very young!” She finally asked Anne, “What about the rest, our families?”
“You know the answer Suzanne,” Anne quipped, and then continued, “However each member chosen to be rescued can bring along one family member, provided the family member is under a certain age, and medically fit. You are the first one to be informed of this mission, and your first job is to examine the list of probable candidates for their physical and psychological fitness.”
“Only one family member under a certain age,” Suzanne continued talking to self, and then asked Anne, “What about my mother?”
“Once again you know the answer,” Anne replied, “However, is there someone you love?”
Anne’s nonchalance irritated Suzanne. “You are such a bitch, how could you be so heartless?” Suzanne was finding it hard to control her emotions.
Anne took a deep breath before replying, “Your reaction is on expected lines, so I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that. But I do suggest you be more judicious with your choice of words in future, for we will be working together for forever now.” She then pointed to the file lying in front of Suzanne, “Now if you are ready you can have a look at the contents of the file folder, and familiarize yourself with people we have shortlisted for examination.”
Suzanne opened the file but flipped over the pages, “That is a lot of work. I cannot do it alone. I will need help. Maybe you should call in Doctor Xavier Adams too.”
“Doctor Xavier Adams hasn’t been selected for this mission,” Anne replied, “However that doesn’t mean you cannot pick him up as the family member you want to take along with self. He is right age, and appears to be medically fit too.”
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