God Of A Man
“A woman without a word and a man without a pride, are forgotten, forgiven or lost.”
Chapter Fifteen: Hope to hold on to
Dated: 21st -22nd October, 2460
Nature affects not only the way a species evolves, but also determines some of the behavioural characteristics of its individuals. Mammalian males generally have physically dominant morphologies than their female counterparts, while the female bodies have evolved to bear and raise young ones. The hormones that control their bodies are different, and the way nature has done its work, they not only control the physiological characteristics of their bodies, they also impact on their psychological patterns. A good example is the case of menopause, where female bodies stop producing female specific hormones and the psychological impact on their behaviour and feelings is drastic. The way the two sexes have evolved in nature, while males fight with other males for both territorial and sexual rights, risking personal safety, the females have evolved to cater to their personal safety foremost and then their personal needs, both of which are linked to their need to secure their offspring’s life.
Women thus have evolved over the centuries to reason their way to safety, especially given the fact that by nature males are aggressive. So while a woman may feel for the entire humanity, because her hormones make her soft by nature, yet she always only lives for her own interests, for she has to fend for her child. The only times a woman would be silent are when her guilt has made her speechless, or when everyone she cares for have forgotten her, or when she is lost in unknown terrain. She’s a woman who either seeks forgiveness, hopes for a rescue, or dreads catching attention.
Men on the other hand are boisterous, extroverts and foolhardy. A man may feel for none, for everyone is a competitor, yet a man is more likely to die for everybody, for the defence of his tribe and people is what comes naturally to him. The only man without a pride is the one humbled by life, or the one who is gutless, or the one who doesn’t know anymore what he stands for. Such a man either seeks penance, or is heading into ignominy and anonymity, or needs an anchor.
“You think he’ll come back?” Mishansa, who had been watching Aman gazing out of the sighting cabin into the deep dark unknown, finally asked.
“Of course he will! What do you mean?” a shocked and outraged Aman pounced like a wounded lion. He wanted to go with Bradley, but Bradley won’t agree to that. He wanted to stay back and wait for him in the emergency craft, but the Defence Core Committee won’t approve of that. Simmering with discontent, he had been left a mute spectator hauling Mishansa in and out of her cabin. They were no longer waiting for another eventuality to happen. All hope had already been lost, and fight yielded to fate.
“What do you think he was thinking when he said he needs to go with them?” Mishansa asked Aman.
“He could read their minds,” Aman blurted out, “He would have known if they posed a danger.” And then he realized what Bradley must have known, that Mishansa is alluding to. “Still, he is safe as long as he’s got the gun to their heads,” Aman finally retorted, “And if anything goes wrong once he is on their planet, he will know how to get out of there.” And finally he realized the improbability of Bradley’s escape. He grabbed his face in his hands and sank down into a seat. Mishansa got up from hers’, walked to his side and put a hand on his shoulder. “Well, in that case we too have no chance, for they won’t let us get away,” Aman somehow found solace in the fact that their own future was bleak, “I seriously hope he manages to convince them to help us.”
After a few seconds of comforting silence Mishansa finally quipped, “Aman, you and Bradley are the only too people who hold a belief that some of my people might still be alive, and who really think that one day you will re-unite me with them. Everybody else is just sorry!”
Sometimes sorry is not the one who inflicts, but the one who suffers. Being sorry for yourself might be comforting, but is also self pity. Those who really want to change their future, feel sorry for those who have caused them a suffering.
The alien craft finally landed on their planet, and an entire platoon of enemy was ready and waiting on the tarmac for Bradley to disembark. Bradley had already had a chat with their commanding officer while on the way in, but if he was looking for any warm reception, that was not on the menu. Carefully he disembarked, behind the two aliens that he had constantly kept under the cover of their own weapon. But this defence was no longer going to serve him anymore, what with more guns pointed to his body than the organs making it up.
But if Bradley didn’t have a word to say, or a hope to salvage the situation, he probably would have killed the two aliens back in space, and then possibly launched a single minded and manned invasion of the alien territory in their own craft. He would have been consumed by such an idiocy, but he was going to get consumed anyway.
So carefully he stepped out of the craft, but immediately broke out into a conversation with the waiting alien officer. He turned the direction of his weapon away, stepped forward and handed the gun to his visibly non-impressed host. But then he did something that surprised his host. He said something and pointed out in the direction of four snipers, all positioned far off, their weapons locked on to Bradley’s head. He probably asked the officer to let his men know that he poses no threat.
The officer, shocked as he was, turned his head sideways; his eyes still fixated on Bradley; and ordered something to his subordinate. He then said something to Bradley, to which Bradley replied shaking his helmet covered head in the negative. Immediately the guns of men surrounding him were raised, ready to blow it. The alien officer raised his hand to check his men, but persisted in what he had asked off Bradley. Left with no choice, Bradley was forced to take off his helmet, cutting off his oxygen supply.
Oxygen, a very light element compared to gold or silver, and yet more powerful than either. A man needs oxygen more than all the gold and silver in the entire universe, or for that matter, diamonds.
“Nah, not a single trace,” Doctor Harvey shook his head in negative, after analysing yet another sample of Oxygen collected by Doctor Dillon.
“How is this possibly,” a frustrated Suzanne exclaimed. While the ship was being slowly flown back towards the ghost planet, five engineers were working non-stop to fix the damaged exterior, the best they could while squeezed in between the tight outermost layers of the ship. Suzanne meanwhile had been busy collecting samples of oxygen from every nook and corner of the ship, including the reclamation plant, to provide them to Doctor Keith Harvey and Doctor Shelly Dawson for analysis. The fact that sample after sample were failing to test positive for contamination was irking Suzanne. “He’s still breathing, isn’t he?” Suzanne asked.
“He appears to be so,” Shelly replied.
“Then how come his body is not affecting oxygen when everything else is getting converted by the chemical reactions going inside his body,” a confused Suzanne asked.
“Maybe his body is not using oxygen,” Keith made a bewildering suggestion.
It is easy to make guesses about the unknown, but it takes much more to determine the truth. It takes a man!
Bradley was still alive and his hosts perplexed. Realizing the elements around him will not kill him, he had no reason to carry the burden of oxygen with him anymore, and the first thing he dumped was the pack of canisters that were merely a weight slowing him down. His host cum captors had only two choices; either to lead him to their seniors as he wished, or to restrain him for determination by their seniors. Or perhaps the only choice was to either kill him at that very instant, or to let him live. But since they were free to kill him at leisure, it was obviously not a bad choice to allow him an audience with their seniors. Now dressed in one of their suits, carefully Bradley was flown to their governmental centre, that wasn’t too far away from the port of arrival, given the speed at which their worldly craft flew. And soon he was, standing in the middle of an open court, open to curious inspection by a sea of aliens, all seated high and all physically domineering.
With grace and élan Bradley began his address. In any other space on any other day he might have moved mountains with his words, but today he was up against those who move not by words, but by their own wills. His pleadings were passionate, his requests humble, yet it appeared he was not getting the response he might have been hoping to generate.
The members of the alien council heard him patiently, then discussed amongst each other passionately, and finally came down heavily. Bradley was in a place where humanity had no place. The alien monarch finished his determination, rising up with a finger pointed at Bradley. And Bradley was immediately taken into custody. The monarch gave further orders, and another alien guard stepped forward with a sword shinier than silver and stronger than steel, ready to chop Bradley’s head. One of the three guards holding Bradley stepped forward and grabbed his head by his hair, pulling it into a position to be chopped.
Not to give up hope easily, Bradley made one last futile pitch to the alien monarch, but in vain.
The sword came down swiftly, but for someone who could read their minds, Bradley knew exactly when to pull his head back. The sword chopped not the head, but the hand holding it.
In a flash Bradley pushed himself back to his feet, while the surprised guard took another swing at his upright body. This time Bradley pulled his weight to one side, and let the alien blade feed on more tissue of their own kind. The idiot, having already incapacitated two of his own kind, swung the sword quickly back, but Bradley ducked and let him take out the last remaining guard holding him. Once free, Bradley plunged into the torso of the one wielding the sword, tackling him to the ground as a shocked court of onlookers watched in horror. Bradley wasted no time in relieving the alien of the gun that hung by his waist, leaving the sword in his hand, a sword he could no longer use having just lost his head to the brute shot of the laser.
There was no time to waste. Bradley rushed out towards the gate, his mind reading abilities giving him the power to pre-judge the entry of the enemy combatants, and their numbers. Missing the shots was neither an option, nor something that Bradley ever knew. He just kept rushing in the right direction, having already become aware of everything he needed to know about the place. The passages were no longer a puzzle, and passwords no longer secret. The doors were there just to be opened, and enemy had no choice but to pursue.
The closed confines of the building played out to Bradley’s advantage, and he made the aliens pay for their injudiciousness. But luck ran out as soon as he escaped out into the open. There was no longer a place to hide or a hurdle to duck behind. Bradley was a duck in the open, available to be shot by the first sharp shooter, and there were many of them. Bradley might have known who was going to take the first shot, but not quickly enough to beat the laser beam. The beam was so powerful, not only did it blow into bits the alien suit that had been put on him, but it tossed his body away into the distance.
A guess can sometimes not be as good as the fact, and it is the fact that is important. The fact may establish the validity of a guess, but a guess cannot validate an unknown fact until the fact has been revealed to be consistent with it.
“Are you telling me that there is no contamination in his faeces too?” a shocked Suzanne couldn’t believe what the two doctors informed her of the tests' results on Bradley’s defecated matter collected by Doctor Dillon from his reclamation unit.
“His body has definitely digested the matter, but seems like it has absorbed all its’ secretions back, and surprisingly, has absorbed nothing else out of the digested material,” Doctor Dawson replied to her query, “What has been let out is as normal as us humans, except that it has no bile elements in it, or enzymes, and it still contains all the minerals, compounds and elements that a normal human body would absorb out of the food it digests.”
“Then how is his body satisfying its’ nutritional and energy needs?” a confused Suzanne asked.
“No idea,” Doctor Harvey replied to her query this time, and added presumptuously, “Either his body is starving itself to death, or perhaps it is living off some form of radiation, like plants, but importantly, only on radiation, unlike plants.”
New knowledge is often bewildering, not because it is new, but because it is enlightening, and often challenges what someone earlier believed as truth. But new knowledge is always welcome, for it leads to improvement, if not in state, then in acceptance of it.
Like a phoenix he rose. His clothes were in tatters, but body still intact. And this time, it was glowing, in the same colour as the laser beam that had hit him, and at the same spot where it had hit him. Watching him stand up again made his suitors discharge their weapons more, and more the lasers hit him, more his body started to glow. But that was not the end of his surprise. The impact of the countless lasers flung his body further back and hard into a massive piece of rock lying in the background, destroying the rock into pieces.