God Of A Man
“An enemy not negotiating, or a negotiation not settling; strengthen your defences and prepare for a counter offensive.”
Chapter Six: Mishansa
Dated: 26th April, 2460
There are many reasons for communities to wage a war, but there always is only one reason not to settle a dispute; a desire to eliminate the enemy completely. It could be the intense hatred harboured against another, or a firm belief that in due course of time one would have the strength to achieve a complete victory, or for some the thought of settlement itself might be akin to defeat for they believe they are too strong or better than the enemy. The reasons not to negotiate, or settling a negotiation could thus be as varied as the reasons to go to war, but the end result is the same; another much more potent attack is imminent.
Peace is not everybody’s cup of tea, for some don’t even like tea! Those who seek peace are the ones who either have what they need, or have achieved what they set out to achieve, or might have realized the futility of hostilities when there is so much progress to be made in bonhomie and nothing to gain out of destruction. That is easy to see and say. But what if those seeking peace are themselves seeking time to rebuild strength to launch a fresh offensive?
The easiest way to identify intentions is to look at the terms being proposed for negotiations. If the terms imply progress for both sides together, it means peace is valued. If the terms imply a give and take, it implies peace would be appreciated. But if the terms imply too much to be sought or given, then peace would only be a mirage.
“She’s fainted again,” the queer look on the face of Rocker summed up the mood inside the cabin.
“How does she know your name?” a surprised Suzanne however was more specifically intrigued by what the new arrival had said, than what she was undergoing.
But the surprise didn’t end there, for the visitor rose up once again, but this time had a plea to make, “Please everybody; stop thinking so much. Please don’t think for a while.” And she fainted again.
“What does she mean?” Charles asked Suzanne.
“How can see even speak our language?” was Christina’s inquiry.
“Who is she?” Bradley finally had a question to add to the discussion too.
And their guest woke up again, “Please stop thinking, please I beg.” And her plea was a lot more desperate this time before fainting.
“I think we might leave her with you alone,” Charles sensed something wasn’t right with so many heads in the room, “Bradley, you please stay behind to assist.”
And the duo were left behind to deal with the alien, who woke up once again, only this time she was a bit more relaxed. “Water,” was her simple request.
Needs can sometimes be really simple, but to fulfil them might turn out to be a real struggle. The harder it is to satisfy those basics, the tougher is the life one is living, and stronger that individual.
“Why can’t we fish?” Jack asked Jenny as the duo took a morning stroll down the beach, with a careful Jenny keeping a keen eye out for any eventuality.
“Because we don’t know if the seafood of this world is good for us or not,” Jenny replied, “Meat is not always the cleanest of foods, and we don’t have a doctor, remember.”
“But mom always said that we can cook anything, as long as we cook it well,” Jack however had a reasonable reply.
“Yes, but we are not cooking on gas are we,” Jenny however reminded him of their limitations, “We have bare minimum wood supply for an odd cooked meal. Unfortunately this ocean is just a wonderful platter of food we cannot access.”
You can ration your supplies, but you cannot ration your needs. And it is the needs that determine how much success your rationing will be.
Having set up their mobile disinfectant washroom just near the edge of the forest that lay in front of them, Jake and his team laced themselves up into heavily padded scientific attire, with full body coverage. With the amount of fuel running short, Rear Admiral had only sanctioned a bare minimum supply for the chopper. The rest of the reconnaissance of the area thus had to be on foot, with Chopper use allowed only if an emergency evacuation was to be affected. The only largesse they had was what humanity had hated for nearly four centuries; bullets and grenades.
Leaving behind two snipers, Kail Gray and Lance Hayward, to assist the pilot Antonio Marks in keeping a watch and securing their exit means, Jake led four others into the unknown, first a walk, then a jog, and finally a rush into the green.
“Wow! Look at these trees; they are huge,” the biologist Michael Stephen quipped as soon as they arrived at the edge of the green, “And look at those leaves.”
“Don’t get distracted and distract others,” Jake however cautioned, “Keep an eye out for predators! The grass is thick too, and is also huge. Watch your every step carefully.” But barely had he finished his sentence, a loud bird welcome them with a not so pleasant scream.
“What the hell! Is that a bird,” exclaimed the gunner in the ranks, Marine Gale Stephens. Perhaps the height of the tree wasn’t helping his sharp eyesight, so the massive bird decided to assist him by swooping down on the group, faster than the bullets they didn’t even get a chance to fire. They ducked to avoid getting snapped up as free lunch, but the bird returned. This time the gunner was on job though, but the roar of the gun shattered the treacherously peaceful tranquillity of the surroundings. Predators generally don’t like noise, and rarely do they make any!
Stalking is at the heart of hunting. The prey shouldn’t even know who the hunter is, leave alone coming face to face until their last few moments. A stalker reveals their self, but only at the end, not the beginning.
“Who are you and how do you know us, our language?” Suzanne bombarded their guest cum captive with questions the moment she thought her to be fit and ready to answer.
“I am Mishansa, a Saberinian girl,” the visitor replied, “We are from Sabria, and my father is the head of our world.”
“Where is this world of yours’, and what are you doing here?” Bradley asked.
“Our world is many million light years away from where we are now,” Mishansa replied, “And what I know from your memories that I have read, your world has just recently experienced the same fate as ours; a victim of the new universe.”
“Wow! That’s too much of information,” Suzanne immediately threw her hands up, “What do you mean when you say you can read our memories, and what is this story about your world.”
“OK, let me first explain how I know you,” Mishansa realized what would be the best possible way to address their queries, “You see, our brains have highly developed sensors that are capable of picking up the frequency of the chemicals in other organisms brains, thus reading everything in their brain like a book.”
“What do you mean?” she had already confused Bradley.
“The scientific phenomenon that you people call resonance, where one object when brought close to another vibrating object, picks up that vibrating object’s vibrations and starts vibrating at the same frequency, is the source of our mind reading power,” Mishansa explained, “You see, all brains are made up of cells that process information and store memories in the form of chemical compounds. And all compounds are made up of various elements; their atoms, which have an inherent vibration. All brains, including yours, have a capacity to allow chemical compounds of a similar kind, to pick up the vibrations of another individual’s brain chemicals, thus reading their thoughts. This is why sometimes you can exactly guess what another person is thinking, or reciprocate their feelings even before they are expressed, or develop a liking and a good rapport with someone just by looking at their face for the very first time, or develop intense hatred for a person from their very first impression simply because their brain is full of sinister designs. Our brains just have that ability evolved many million times over as a result of our evolution.”
“So you can read everyone’s mind,” Bradley exclaimed the obvious.
“Only when they are thinking of something, for the chemical compounds need to be in an excited state to vibrate,” Mishansa added shaking her head in the affirmative, “And right from the moment you picked me up, to this cabin full of your people, you were all thinking out too loud and too much, thus overwhelming my brain with information and making me faint repeatedly.”
“And that’s how you picked up our language and names?” Doctor Dillon still had some doubts lingering in her mind.
“Yes doctor, and most of your memories,” and Mishansa replied with a naughty smile, making both Bradley and Suzanne uncomfortable. “Nah, I’m just joking,” Mishansa was really enjoying herself at the duo’s expense, “We can only read as long as you are thinking, and memories take a long time to read.”
“But why are you telling us all this?” Bradley asked confused.
“Because we don’t keep secrets from those whom we meet, who are not like us,” Mishansa replied, “Because that won’t be fair.”
“But why be so virtuous as to expose your strength to strangers?” Bradley asked even more surprised.
“Because when everyone living in your world has the same power, there are no secrets to keep,” Mishansa had the perfect answer to his question, “We never developed any vices, like the ones I can identify from your memories. And we can tell this to anyone because it won’t detract the power from us, and it won’t stop anyone else from using their brain. So it makes no difference, except ensure that the other side would be genuinely fair to us. And besides, we haven’t really come across many other intelligent and advanced communities in this universe like yours. And what I can tell from your memories, you are way behind us in technology. Perhaps your people lost too much time and talent in fighting all those wars, rather than developing your science.”
“Thanks for such patronizing talk you princess from a highly advanced world,” Bradley didn’t like her mentioning the inferior tech of humans, and took a jibe, “But what are you doing here, and what happened to your world? And who were you fighting with when we rescued you?”
“Our world suffered the same fate as yours’,” however a saddening Mishansa replied, reminiscing her people’s history, “I was born in space on this journey, about twenty years ago, by your time.”
Some journeys are treacherous for they never end, but rather lead to a new journey at every corner. The traveller is forever caught in a maze of choices, never finishing the one that he started, but ending up in a new quest at every bend. But once the traveller finishes all the quests, the entire maze collapses in a heap. The trick thus is to keep moving forward.
The forest was thick and silent, the grass knee high. Its blades were sharp, and the large tree above the head just about created a dusk like darkness in the middle of the day. Next step could be onto a trap, or into a pit; none of them knew. But they had to keep moving forward, looking forward, downwards, sideways and above, all at the same time. The progress was slow, and breathing was heavy.
“What’s that sound?” marine Jay King, the mineralogist of the team whispered as a strange hissing sound caught his attention.
“Careful,” whispered back Jake, but no sooner had he said it, a strange looking creature leapt out of the grass in front, and flung itself towards the head of the grenadier Stanley Perera. “Watch out,” was the cry from Jake as he took a shot at the weird creature. He didn’t miss, but the creature escaped back into the bush, like it had been pulled back by something that had thrown in out.
“That thing was the height of weird,” Jay exclaimed, “Head of a snake and the body of a centipede.” But barely had he finished his sentence when an entire heap of such animals leapt out of the bush.
“Oh shit,” was the cry from Gale Stephens as he opened indiscriminate firing. Stantley and Jake too joined him in action. But as soon as they started to fire at the attacking creatures, the real creature rose up from behind the thick grass, like a many armed demon, with all those weird creatures being nothing more than the numerous limbs extending out of a huge globular frame. Its’ weird shriek was chilling down to the spine.
“Fire the grenade,” was Jake’s cry and the grenadier obliged. One creature downed, only to incite hundreds of others in the bush surrounding the men, to reveal themselves. “Run,” was the intelligent choice, but if only Jake could have specified a direction.
“Which way?” was Stanley’s obvious question as he put his flame thrower into action to set the bush around them on fire, in order to stop the predators.
“Towards that hill in the middle,” pointed out the mineralogist Jay. And they all rushed head over heels in the direction, without realizing they were heading straight into the middle of a field infested with these strange creatures.
“Bravo one calling bravo two,” Jake radioed Antonio, the chopper pilot, while still on the run, “Calling for immediate evacuation; drop ropes down at the sight of flare. Do you copy?”
“Message copied,” replied Antonio, “Two minutes to site.”
The five rushed straight through the bush, two leading men taking turns in firing indiscriminately and reloading at the grass in front, to take care of any creature that might be hiding there. The remaining three men took turns in turning around to fire towards their back, to halt the advancing enemy. Bravely they made it to the hillock that was at the centre of a field full of silver black rocks. The mineralogist paused for a moment to look at the material.
“Don’t stop,” Jake yelled at him.
“Just a second,” exclaimed Jay as he took a quick look at the extent of the material around him, and grabbed a small piece of rock, before barely escaping the fangs of one predator.
The chopper was there before they hit the top, and Jake set the flare on fire to identify their position. Ropes were dropped fast and quick, but even quicker were they grabbed.
“Go, go, go,” was the all clear given by Jake as soon as the last one of them had latched on to the exit means, barely escaping hungry fangs. Antonio wasted no time in lifting the five men from the forest, and flying them out of it and straight to their makeshift washroom.
“Guess what I found guys?” exclaimed Jay as soon as they touched ground again. He pulled out the rock from his pocket and exclaimed, “Uraninite; there’s an open pit mine waiting for us to abuse it.”
“And there’s a sea of enemy waiting for us to be a feast of it,” exclaimed Gale.
Easy is not the glory, for glory is not a fortune cookie. Glory is for the masters who worship their art like a god.
“What do you mean space pirates?” a shocked Anne exclaimed as Bradley updated her about the information revealed by Mishansa.
“Well, that’s what she referred to them, for she has no other information,” Bradley quipped shaking his head, “Her people have lost thousands of ships in the attack, and they are the people who have the tech to travel at almost the speed of light.”
“But the pirates are faster than them?” Anne asked shaking her head in disbelief.
“I have no reason to doubt her,” Bradley exclaimed his position.
“So you believe that her people left their world about twenty five earth years ago, and that probably all of her kind have either been killed or lost in one or the other space because of this random act of violence by an unknown force that does not negotiate,” Anne cast her doubts into a precise statement of facts, “How do we know who is the aggressor? Maybe her kind attacked their world, to try and grab it for their own use?”
“That might be possible, I don’t doubt that,” Bradley explained his stance, “But the problem is; if she is telling the truth then we might not get a chance to verify any of the facts at all. The problem is not what we want to believe in. The problem is what might happen if we are not prepared for any and every eventuality.”
“Now let me make this very clear,” Anne however puts her foot down, “We are not going to change our route to suit her plans, or give her access to try and contact her people, for who knows what kind of people they are.”
“This she already knows,” Bradley exclaimed, “She is already in mourning.”
“So what does she want?” Anne asked surprised.
“Nothing,” Bradley replied with a shrug, “She just told us what she knew. Now it is up to us what we make of what we know.”
His words made Anne think for a few seconds. Finally she asked, “So what do you suggest?”
Bradley looked into her eyes, gathered a thought or two, and replied in a grave tone, “We need to wake up Aman.”
“What? That uncontrollable man,” Anne exclaimed shocked.
“He may be tough to handle in the state of mind that he is in,” Bradley carried on, “But if this mission ever needed him, then this is that time. And I think I just have an idea as to how to deal with him this time.”