God Of A Man
“None is perfect; some are just better at hiding their flaws.”
Chapter Nine: The dark of the light
Dated: 19th July, 2460
Life can be planned and controlled, but emotions will always be free. And emotions will invariably lead an individual to indiscretions. However life is also about learning, including about self. Each indiscretion is also a revelation, of both the low points a life can hit, and of the consequences it might entail. The more learning a person has had from their life, the better adept they would be in dealing with unplanned circumstances, as and when they may unfold.
No one who lives a real life, experiences real emotions, and entertains real relationships, can stay perfect. The more passionate a person, the more error prone would be their life. And to find a good leader amongst such a lot, one has to overlook some imperfections, for as much everyone is error prone, that much is everyone well versed in hiding their injudiciousness. The better a person is in hiding their dark; the brighter they appear overall.
But this does not mean the adjustment has to continue limitless, for at some stage the quality would become so diluted that it would defeat the advantage coming from all the learning of the past. Some errors can be forgiven, some are unforgiveable, but sometimes it is the accumulation of errors which renders further forgiveness a folly.
Nothing had changed much about how Captain Bradley Connors looked from the outside, except that he had now turned into a person of black descent. Nothing had changed about his body internally as well, as long as it was possible to peep inside using an X-ray machine. But now not only was his body impervious to X-rays, as much as it was immune from physical scratching, the scrapings of his dead skin cells had really puzzled the scientists on board the spaceship Maa.
“Doctor Dawson, Doctor Harvey; what are your findings,” Anne asked them the first thing as she entered their laboratory, accompanied by Aman, Bradley and Suzanne.
“It is really interesting Commander, as to what is really happening over here to our friend’s cellular chemistry,” Doctor Keith Harvey, the Chemist, started off his reply in his usual lethargic tone, “Now we already knew from our study on the specimen recovered by Doctor Suzanne Dillon, from the underground site in Middle-East, the one that our friend Captain Connors was idiot enough to mess with using his bare hands; that the atomic structures of the other universe are electrically reversed, with their nuclei being negative charged, and their outer shells carrying ultra light positive charge. But this specimen that we have now recovered from our friend’s dead cell scrapings, simply blows our mind away.” Doctor Harvey finally managed to finish his statement, and let his companion, Doctor Shelly Dawson, the physicist, pick up the thread of communication from there.
“What surprised us was, that the atomic structures making up Captain Connors cells,” Doctor Dawson continued from where her peer had left, “They have lost all their charge all together. There is no longer a charge differentiation between the atomic nuclei, and the charge clouds surrounding them.”
“Could you please explain this in English,” Aman finally couldn’t bear it any longer and interrupted.
“Like in case of nuclear energy, where atoms break up to release energy, or combine to release it,” Doctor Dawson took a deep breath and continued, only this time in not too technical terms, supposedly, “It appears the contents of Captain Connors atomic structures are releasing radiations, and losing their charge in the process. These radiations are further propagating this chain reaction, and slowly but surely, converting the entire mass making up Captain Connors, into a charge-less mass.”
“Does this mean good or bad for the rest of us,” was Anne’s simple and relevant query.
“The good thing is, and we are guessing it to be so,” Doctor Harvey qualified his positive words as soon as they escaped his lips, “That this change is happening only when atoms are involved in a chemical reaction. So technically, unless you mix Captain Connors’ fluids or tissues with the rest of us, we are all safe.”
“Tell me about that,” Anne shook her head as she reminisced the last couple of months, “It was really quick thinking on part of Doctor Dillon to inform us, and we were plain lucky that we had extra reclamation equipment and other arrangements available, to quarantine Captain Connors. This has been such a drain on our resources.”
“Sorry to interrupt Commander-in-Chief Miss De Villiers,” Aman however interjected immediately, “But Captain Connors is still serving his role efficiently, and is only using what he would have used anyway. Yes we had to use one of the spare equipment sets, but I don’t think that’s really a drain on our resources, given the wealth of experience and expertise that Captain Connors brings to this mission. The most important part of this situation is; thanks to Captain Connors, we now know exactly how interaction with the matter belonging to the other universe can actually affect us.”
“You are talking just like my idiot friend Doctor Xavier Adams,” an incensed Suzanne however confronted Captain Ahluwalia on his assertions, “Do you even realize how catastrophic it could have been for the entire mission?”
“I absolutely understand your point of view Doctor Dillon,” Aman however calmly replied, “But the problem is; Captain Connors is not responsible for Doctor Adams decision. Besides, he is carrying his weight around pretty well. You cannot castigate him for what is not his fault.”
“No one’s castigating anyone here Captain Ahluwalia,” Anne however intervened before the discussion turned argumentative, “We are only trying to find out a best possible outcome for a situation that is neither any of ours in making, nor in any of our hands.”
“Thanks Commander,” Aman replied with a nod as he stepped away to leave, “And hopefully I won’t remember this conversation about reclamation sets when I’ll drink the water next time.”
Knowledge is both found and imbibed in layers. The first impression of any new knowledge is generally a holistic picture of what is there at disposal. Finer details often miss the first glance. The second look starts the identification of distinct layers, and then each subsequent look reveals new dimensions of the same learning. Thus knowledge is both disentangled and absorbed in layers.
“I love breaking into houses,” full of childish enthusiasm, Jack quipped as he lent a hand to Jenny, in ramming a locked garage door with a thick log of wood.
“We are not breaking into houses,” Jenny however corrected him immediately, “We are only borrowing things from our neighbours, and we will return them as soon as we won’t need them anymore, or as soon as they will ask them back. Remember, we are good people; not thieves.” And Jenny gave him a light hearted glare.
“But who’ll ask for them?” innocent Jack however had a point.
“Still, we are not stealing,” Jenny however was insistent too, “We are only borrowing. There’s a difference! We need them badly, and there is no one here to give them to us.”
“But we haven’t asked anyone?” Jack however questioned her, much like he was her conscience for the moment.
“Because we can’t, and we need help,” Jenny pleaded on in defence before ending the conversation, “Never mind the labelling for the moment, and just give the log a big push.”
And the duo gave one more mighty push to the log, finally cracking the locks of the shutter. Jenny quickly lifted the shutter up, to reveal another hidden treasure.
“Look at that,” and Jenny’s eyes immediately dilated at the sight of what lay inside, “Now what kind of an idiot would stack solar panels in his garage instead of putting them on his roof? We should have done this a lot earlier.”
Opportunity presents itself so that it could be adequately availed, by anyone who has the guts to grab it. Brave decisions are made mostly on the spur of the moment, and yet their glory cherished for ages.
“How are we going with the schedule?” a concerned Rear Admiral Gurubaan Ahluwalia asked Engineer Gurio Wallace, who had been busy working day and night with his team, perfecting the new design of the ship, as well as getting the alloy ready to be cast into the shape. No single pair of hands was available to scratch the Rear Admiral’s back, for he was himself keenly involved in the physical work taking up everyone’s time, as they burned the full time oil, to upgrade their ship.
“Sir, we are running one month behind our original schedule, because of the prototype that we had to test in between,” Gurio replied, “But the good thing is; this craft will save us a day on top of a month, in travelling time. So not only will we still easily make the trip to the first space tear that we are targeting, but we will have a spare day to scavenge this planet.”
“Sir, if you don’t mind, can I ask; why are we building nukes?” Lieutenant Reginald, who was standing by his side, asked from his senior.
“We cannot carry too much unwanted weight, so we can only carry a limited amount of ammunition with us on this journey young man,” Rear Admiral replied patting him on his shoulder, “But in the light of the fate of the craft that we have reverse engineered, it is important that whatever we carry with us, it is deadly enough.”
Sometimes knowing too much could prove to be the undoing of a cause. Over cautiousness can stifle the natural flair, and thus diminish the abilities of a protagonist, thus fatally flawing the performance. Some risks are indeed worth taking!
“Feels like a flower has been stripped off its fragrance?” Bradley quipped to Mishansa, whom he was tasked to accompany, in the sighting cabin on the left side of the space ship.
“A flower detached from its plant, and captured in a glass box, is but destined to whither,” Mishansa’s pain was apparent in her words that registered more of her resignation to her fate, than a complaint about her social seclusion.
“When you can see through the thick folds of skin and bones, those who hold secrets behind them are bound to either hide their selves from you, or hide you from them,” Bradley however thought she was unhappy that Anne had severely restricted her movement in the ship, confining her sojourns between her cabin, and this sighting room, that too under constant surveillance of either Captain Ahluwalia, or Bradley.
“And isn’t it ironic, that the one who holds no evil, is not to be trusted by those who know exactly what evil really is?” Mishansa however questioned in reply.
“Maybe it’s not their knowledge of the evil, but rather sharing of that knowledge of the evil, which they strive to contain,” Bradley calmly replied.
“But such an evil would not be a collective evil, rather only an individual evil, isn’t it?” Mishansa however asked.
“And perhaps then it is an evil that better be left with the one who bears the burden, for then it cannot afflict others anyway,” Bradley reasoned.
“But what if that evil is the source of evil for others?” Mishansa asked.
“Then others will eventually find out about it anyway, won’t they?” Bradley asked in reply.
Mishansa took a deep breath, and stepped closer to the window, to peer deep down in space. Finally she commented, “Bradley, I cannot hear your thoughts anymore.”