God Of A Man
“As long as dark lasts, everything is just dark!”
Chapter Five: The same dark
Dated: 13th – 26th April, 2460
As long as there is light, colours will pervade every sphere of existence. The darkness might announce its impending arrival, by dropping ever darkening shadows on top of everything, but the colours will persist until the last ray of light has been consumed. But dark is just monotone, and as long as it lasts, everything is just that; monotone. Such overpowering is the dark, that there appears to be no end to it, whereas light exposes its extremities like it were a monk with nothing to hide. Dark is overwhelming!
It is also the biggest test of the best of the warriors, to survive a calamity from which appears no respite, to wade through a storm that keeps rising. Front after front when waves keep smashing the shores, it is logs and twigs that get washed away, and rocks that stand firm. And it is these rocks that shine anew under the fresh sun. There is always a tomorrow. The test is to survive today!
To keep moving forward even when nothing appears to be settled as left behind, is the key to weather a storm and arrive at the end of the journey. Beginning the journey is commendable, making through it laudable, and arriving at the destination sweat.
“Jenny! Jenny!” Aman’s voice reverberated through the deserted streets of the suburban block as he frantically searched house after house, for his elusive love.
“Aman!” a shocked Jenny exclaimed as soon as the first of his calls fell on her ears. She had been busy digging the orchard to plant fresh saplings all morning, for it gets too hot during the day to step out of the sheltered spaces. “Aman,” she yelled out again as she ran head over heels in the direction of the call.
“Jenny,” a jubilant cry escaped Aman’s lips as soon as the lovelorn couple’s eyes met once again. The duo rushed towards each other and it felt like two heavenly bodies had collided in space. The embrace summed up their love and desperation in a single moment of bliss.
“Oh Aman, I thought I will never see your face again,” a crying Jenny exclaimed as she broke down in his arms.
“Hey, it was meant to be,” Aman replied stroking her hair, “Else why were you pulled out of earth and put over here, and I was taken away from earth; both without our wishes? If it wasn’t meant to be, we would have perished along with Earth.”
“Yes it was meant to be, and I am so glad,” Jenny exclaimed, finally relieved, “But how did you find me?”
“Jack called me,” Aman replied.
“But how did he get your number?” a surprised Jenny asked.
“I don’t know,” Aman exclaimed.
“Wait a minute, how do you know Jack?” an even more surprised Jenny asked, but before Aman could reply, a black space tear opened up behind him, leaving Jenny speechless.
“Oh no, Jenny please hold my hand,” Aman shrieked as the space tear started pulling him in, stretching out his hand. Alas it was too late. Before Jenny could grab his hand, he was sucked in and the hole closed down.
“Aman,” a distraught Jenny shrieked out as she woke up from her nightmare. Little Jack was still asleep, unaware of her suffering, but a new dawn was breaking outside, with more questions about future staring Jenny in her face, than any of the previous days might have answered. Her tears knew no hand is going to wipe them away. So they shamelessly kept dripping off her cheeks and into her lap.
Worse than loss is the fear of loss, for fear makes the person weak; whereas loss might actually make one a stronger person.
“Sir I confirm; debris spotted, craft down,” Jake informed the Rear Admiral.
“Recover some pieces for identification,” Rear Admiral issued next set of directions, “Any first impressions?”
“Hard to determine origins Sir,” Lieutenant Reginald replied back, “Doesn’t look like one of ours.”
“Alright, back to base,” Rear Admiral replied.
More important than what is in front of you, is the purpose that what servers for you. If something is just there to occupy space, it is as much a waste of space, as much it is a waste of that something.
Loop after loop, the only thing consistent was the dark that surrounded them. Stars were still burning bright, but their light meant nothing in an atmosphere-less space. It would have been easy to lose track of what universe they were in, especially after having jumped through so many loops, yet the association of home with the one they came from, made it easier to differentiate it from that “hungry, hateful monster,” as put in by Chief Flight Officer Chris Davis. Another jump through a space tear, and another change of roster; life wasn’t moving anywhere fast.
“Is it possible for us to map this space?” the second in Command Charles Harrison asked, just as he vacated his spot for their Commander-in-Chief to resume her charge.
“Without any concrete location data to prepare a model, it is impossible,” Aslam replied as he vacated his spot for Jhiang, “If only we had some information about our objects and where they have been deposited in this space.”
“It’s a shame really, for this space is where we are almost certainly going to end up making our new home,” Anne quipped, “But without a space map, looking for remainder of the earth might be akin to searching for a needle in haystack.”
“But why would we settle in this space?” Chris wasn’t on the same page though.
“Because we are only capable of travelling along the universal front,” Margaret replied, “Which means our home universe would always be under threat no matter how far up we travel.”
“She’s right,” Jhiang added, “We need to find another planet like the one we left behind a few days back; something from our space, habitable and intact in this space.”
“Wow! Aren’t we hoping for a jackpot over here,” Chris however was overwhelmed by the odds involved, given the long list of demands to be met.
“The catch word is probability,” Aslam replied, “There is a higher rate of probability for this to happen, for there are trillions of stars, and many more planets in our space, than the universal front can eliminate.”
Hope is hard to eliminate without ending the life. Even a man dying devoid of any hope, would probably be dying with the hope of escaping his misery.
“Jenny, look what I found over here,” an excited Jack shouted out loud from near the edge of the block.
“What are you doing there?” Jenny however wasn’t as excited as she nonchalantly walked towards him, “How many times have I told you not to get too close to the edge? The side may collapse.” And perhaps Jenny might have continued on with her lecture, but what she saw left her speechless too, for a brief moment. “Is that,” words dried in her mouth.
“Cool car, isn’t it?” Jack however was hyper excited by his accidental discovery of an intact vehicle.
“That looks like our car, Aman’s car,” tears rolled down Jenny’s face as she identified the vehicle without mistake, even from a height of a couple of hundred meters.
“Let’s go and have a look at it,” Jack pulled her from her arm, and Jenny floated along. The resourceful kid wasted no time in finding a track to lead them down the block, to the sandy surface of the host planet. The car had probably been lying their all the time, gathering dust, escaping their notice as it was lying around the other side of the block.
“This is Aman’s car,” a sobbing Jenny exclaimed as her excitement started to build up, “It was there the day of our wedding, just by the side of the stage.” And she rushed to the driver side door, which was still unlocked, and keys in ignition. The wedding decorations on the car might have withered away, but their wedding stuff was still lying inside it, untouched. “Oh my luck, I can’t believe it,” an excited and crying Jenny exclaimed as Jack climbed in from the other side.
“Hey, that’s your picture, and of some guy,” Jack exclaimed as he looked at the pictures of Aman and Jenny on the dashboard.
“This is our car Jack,” Jenny exclaimed as she grabbed his face and showered it with kisses, “Thanks for finding this. Thanks for giving me hope again Jack. Oh I can’t believe, just this morning I woke up with this weird dream, and now we have found this car. Thank you, Jack!”
“Hey, no problem,” a surprised Jack quipped as he looked at the weird reactions of Jenny.
“Look, it’s still got a full tank,” Jenny exclaimed as she started the engine, “Ah, how good it feels to experience the air-conditioning again Jack!” And she put on their favourite music disk, just to relive some moments from her bright past. Jack was happy to finally see her happy. He didn’t understand what was troubling her, but he knew, today she was happy, even if just for a while.
“Twenty first April twenty four sixty; I found you. Now please come and find me my love,” Jenny happily wrote a beautiful short note on a paper napkin, using her lip liner recovered from her bag in the car. She pushed the napkin into the back pocket of the seat cover, her favourite spot to hide notes for Aman, just like the old times. “Ok, let’s go for now,” she exclaimed to Jack, having driven the car around the block, and towards where they normally access the beach.
Happiness and contentment are relative experiences. They are generally felt as in contrast to the immediate past. The overall life might still be a struggle, but few bits and pieces in there can always leave one satisfied.
“Sir, there’s some good news, we see green,” Jake radioed back from the chopper, as he and his team made their way across the dessert, inland.
“Be careful son, we don’t know the wildlife of this planet,” a concerned Rear Admiral’s voice reverberated from the other end, “Keep your chopper safe, and yourself safer. Remember, even plants can be predatory.”
“We will sir,” Jake acknowledged, “Hopefully we’ll have some good news for all of us soon.”
They were out in search of raw Uranium, with their newly designed portable equipment at hand. Their only concern was how deep they would have to dig, and their commanding officer’s only concern was the foreign craft that shot down another craft of thus far unknown origin.
The unknown can be scary for its unpredictable result, while what can be predicted might be fearsome because of a known result. The two situations might be different, but the effect felt could still be the same.
“Clear to proceed,” Anne gave the go ahead yet another time, but this time the surprise came from behind.
“What the hell is that,” Chris exclaimed as a few shots whizzed past their craft. But luckily before any damage could have been done, the space tear closed, although not before another company had joined the party.
“Who the hell is that,” Rocker exclaimed as he looked at the video footage from the outside; a smoking alien vessel, in obvious trouble, struggled a few miles behind them.
“Looks like it’s been hit,” Chris exclaimed.
“By whom, and even before that, who is it,” Anne however had some unanswered questions.
“Could be a hostile craft,” Bradley immediately cautioned them. However, it soon became apparent that the alien craft was in no position to harm anyone, but rather awaiting its own demise. “Looks like a fairly small vessel,” Bradley commented as he observed the other craft coming to a complete halt.
“What should we do?” Anne however had been caught unprepared by this sudden turn of events.
“It’s none of our business. Let it die its own death, whoever it is,” Jhiang quipped with a shrug of his shoulders.
“Negative Chief, it is our business,” Bradley however had some other suggestion to make, “We need to know who that person is, as much as we need to know who was attacking it, and why? Our own fate might hinge on the answers to these questions.”
After a brief thought Anne finally made up her mind, “Captain Connors, please prepare for spacewalk.”
The alien craft had been badly damaged and was completely immobilized now. Spaceship Maa had to be turned around and brought close to the other craft, as one of its hatches were opened for Captain Bradley Connors to spacewalk to the unannounced company. As Bradley approached the other craft, the other craft’s hatch was flung open too, but an unknown figure, heavily padded in their own version of space attire, leapt out up to their midriff, and pointed a gun straight at Bradley’s face.
“I mean no harm,” Bradley exclaimed as he raised his hands up to show he wasn’t carrying any weapons, aware that his words would probably mean nothing in the situation. Luckily for him, the other individual faded out, and their weapon floated away in space.
“What’s happening Captain Connors?” a concerned Anne asked.
“Looks like the individual has faded,” Bradley replied as he finally reached the hatch, “Looks bipedal and humanoid from outer appearance. Let me check inside the craft for anyone else.”
After making sure there was no one else in the craft, Bradley secured the unknown visitor to his body, and floated back.
Doctor Suzanne Dillon’s work was cut out. She had to first figure out who the alien was, or rather how it looked, once put out of its heavy space suit. Luckily she wasn’t alone, as Bradley, Rocker, Aslam, Charles and Christina had been tasked to be by her side as she cut open the body suit.
“It’s a woman,” a shocked Suzanne exclaimed as she finally removed the thick suit and helmet off the fainted individual.
Light coloured hair, and slightly tanned skin, she was indeed a beautiful woman. Suzanne immediately checked her pulse rate and blood pressure, both of which were abnormally high from human perspective.
“What should I give her?” Suzanne asked others as if they were the doctors in the room.
“First prick her and she what colour she bleeds,” Rocker kept it simple, and Suzanne got the idea. The blood was indeed red, but the needle prick woke up the beauty.
“Ah!” she took a heavy breath as she opened her eyes and got up. Surprised she looked around at all the faces, before finally settling her eyes on Bradley. “Oh Bradley, you poor child,” she exclaimed after a brief stare in his eyes.