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Mishiida Alexander

Aiszar Garrison



“The only truth about love is; it changes everything around.”



Chapter Four: Siyesta

No it’s not all sweet and strawberry with love. There is a real dark side to it too, just like any other human emotion. Just like a smile can hide anything from pain to sinister designs, anger can also be out of genuine concern, caring can also be out of selfish motives, similarly love can be a source of negative change. It is true that love can turn a sinner into a saint, but it also wields the power to turn a saint into a marauder. The only truth about love is; it can change people into what they were not before it happened.

But all this does not make love something to fear about, or something to be wary of. Love is still a sweet emotion most of the time, for it often finds a way to be reciprocated in equal measure. It is hard not to give it back more than what one is getting, unless what is being offered is a packaged deal that includes physical needs. That is when priorities might be different for the giver and the taker, and be the source of strife, and thus change.

It is really not that hard to understand love, yet individuals still mix it up with desires and passions. Love is something that exists even in bonds that don’t border physical involvement. And one can possibly live without physical requirements being met, but would probably lose their senses, were the emotional satisfaction of love to be denied. Love is needed by all!

“Elithecia is a world full of natural wonders that would make anyone who visits it, fall in love with its’ natural beauty, and equally charming people,” Jackie finally decides it is time for the kids to know his story, “Except of course, for a cold hearted businessman on a mission to subjugate the entire Universe to his empire. Yes, I was that ugly businessman when I first landed on that serene world.”

“You know, I was surprised by the liking you took to the mineral exploitation opportunity, given the fact that you were an arms manufacturer,” Corbett exclaims as he joins in the story telling, “Perhaps it was your keen involvement in your personal revenge story businesses that made you interested in other avenues.”

“Perhaps you are right,” and Jackie agrees with his assertion, “But there is no denying the fact that in a war being fought so mercilessly with some of the deadliest weapons in space, all a wounded soldier needs at the end of the day is a good cocktail of pain relievers. And Elithecia’s natural minerals outdo anything else ever created artificially by any race.”

“That’s true,” Hayley nods in agreement, “It’s only Elithecian steroids, a mix of various naturally occurring minerals on Elithecia, which can relieve the pain of Tarandil poison for people of most races.”

“But aunty, how come Tarandil poison will kill anyone in this Universe, but Elithecian steroids work only for most races, but not all, like us Penanchthians?” Zenander has a genuine question to ask.

“That’s because Tarandil poison is not a chemical or organic poison,” Alex explains it for his benefit, “It is a physical poison; nano-physical to be exact. It is micro-electronics at its best; a suspension of nano robotics in alkaline medium. It integrates into the host’s body without stimulating an immune response, then uses the host’s cellular machinery and naturally occurring minerals inside their body, to create multiple copies of itself, before a final signal triggers internal cellular breakdown of the host, leading to their demise. Now depending upon the race of people and their food requirements, it might take long or short for it to accomplish the first stage of creating copies, thus giving different life expectancy levels to different races.”

“So the only way to avoid getting killed by it is not to eat food,” Alishiida asks innocently.

“Theoretically yes, but then starvation won’t let you live too,” Hayley replies to her query, “Although the life expectancy could be improved by cutting out one or more of the elements the poison needs to build itself up, provided those mineral deficiencies are themselves not too destructive for the organism.”

“Or the other way is to get it removed electronically, before it has integrated into the cellular machinery of the host,” Jackie adds the remaining bits to the explanation, “And this process generally takes about two to three Earth days, and depending upon the race, the window to start the treatment could be barely a few hours to a few months. For humans it is a week, and for Penanchthians about a month.”

“So you went to Elithecia to get the steroids,” Zenander asks the obvious.

“Much more than that,” Jackie replies, “I wanted to dig their entire world up and convert it into an open mine, much like a field of minerals.”

“Wow! That’s destructive,” Zenander quips with a whew, and then adds, “I’m sure Elithecians wouldn’t have appreciated the thought.”

“Of course they didn’t. There was an outcry,” Jackie states the obvious conclusion, “Alas they didn’t have weapons to defend against merciless bulldozers. And with the war at a critical juncture, it didn’t take me much to sell my plans to, by then, the six world alliance. I just needed to convince them that the Elithecians have been placated. Nothing some imaginative reporting wouldn’t have achieved.”

“So you didn’t negotiate with the Elithecians,” Zenander asks.

“I did,” Jackie replies, “It’s just that their terms were not on the table.”

“What about the universal media,” Zenander is surprised the media didn’t get a whiff of it.

“I silenced them, by the order of a gun to their heads,” Jackie however always has had a unique way of running his business.

“That would have been nasty,” Zenander quips shaking his head.

“I don’t know. I never asked them,” Jackie however knows how to make a sob story sound funny.

“So did you get away with it all?” Alishiida asks, a bit of hatred now appearing to simmer in her eyes and tone.

“Almost,” something however mellows Jackie down in an instant, “And then Siyesta happened; the most beautiful Elithecian and an even more beautiful heart that I’ve ever met.”

“Really, how?” and suddenly there’s a glow in Alishiida’s eyes again.

“I was in Elithecia to negotiate a peaceful settlement with Elithecian elders, with my bulldozers ready and waiting to flatten the forest that lay in front of them,” Jackie reminisces the time again, “A small band of motivated Elithecians had been blocking their way in the most peaceful of ways ever know to any kind; by lying down in front of them. I would have run over them, don’t you worry about that, or so I would have loved to believe at least. But the men working for me were not heartless. So I decided to drop by the site and do the needful myself.”

“You were so cruel,” Alishiida comments a bit hatefully.

“Indeed I was,” Jackie’s head falls down in shame for a moment, before he continues, “So I reached the site, got on to a bulldozer, and started rolling it towards the Elithecian protestors, at full throttle. But just as the bulldozer was about to crush the first Elithecian bodies under it, an angel of a face appeared out of the woods, and came rushing in front of my machine, halting me in my stride.”

“Siyesta,” Zenander quips.

“It was her father lying in front of my bulldozer,” Jackie recalls the moment, “And I couldn’t understand a word she was saying. But I just kept listening. She then ran around the side of the bulldozer, climbed it up and opened the door, grabbed me from my wrist and tried to pull me out with her fragile strength. And all I could see were the tears rolling down her eyes.”

“How did she look like,” Zenander asks as the picture he saw of her earlier is black and white.

“Beautiful green skin and silky smooth hair, sharp features and face that looks just like us humans,” Jackie gives a detailed picture of hers, “In fact, it is just the pigment and the unique patterns of red and silver that each Elithecian develops on their face, which differentiates their genetic material from us humans. You could even consider them as another variety of Homo Sapiens; completely compatible with us.”

“Wow, and you fell in love,” Alishiida quips as she possibly tries to visualize that fateful meeting.

“That very instant,” Jackie exclaims as he pulls out his locket again, to have a look at his girl’s face, “But that was just the beginning of a journey for me. She took me to her village, to show me their world, as she explained things to me that I understood none, for she was really angry with me.”

“How was their village?” Zenander asks as we wonder how Jackie is going to explain such a magnificent way of life.

“If there is one race of intelligent people in this universe that knows how to live in peace and as one with nature, it has to be Elithecians,” Jackie begins giving him the details, “Their villages are one of the most echo friendly villages I’ve ever seen. They build their homes in natural crevices, thus utilizing the warmth of their earth to keep them cozy in the mild temperature they live in. Then they have these massive birds, as big as our eagles, who make absolutely adorable pets, much like our dogs. But the best part is, those birds like our fireflies, have glowing stomachs. Every evening they return to their homes and hang upside down with their wings spread apart, and their glowing tummies lighting up the rooms. The Elithecians have no need for electricity, and their forests are full of fruits, vegetables and fibers, to fulfill all their needs. They never had any use for technology, and their bodies are extremely immune to any ailments.”

“And that visit opened your eyes to their life,” Zenander asks.

“Much more than that,” Corbett answers it on his behalf, “It showed him how life could really be simple and yet so magnificent.”

“Siyesta changed the way I looked at things,” Jackie continues with his story, “For the first time I realized that existence is not all about making money, but about living the moment and enjoying it too. For the first time all my previous achievements, especially sporting achievements, started to mean more to me than my business accomplishments. And yes, I was in love, and luckily she reciprocated, after a few minor hiccups of course.”

“So did you marry her?” Alishiida asks.

“First in Elithecia, and then again on Earth,” Jackie exclaims proudly, “I made sure it was one of the biggest events of the century.”

“She must have been so happy,” Zenander exclaims.

“And I was so lucky,” Jackie exclaims in reply, “But something always bothered her.”

“What was that? Did she miss home?” Alishiida asks.

“No, not that,” Jackie replies and then pauses to organize the complex story into a short description, “The war was in full swing, and the casualty rate was very high, across the worlds, and this was so painful to her. She just couldn’t stand suffering of people, and living on Earth with a man actively involved in the alliance’s war effort, made sure that she wouldn’t miss a thing.”

“So did she leave you?” Zenander asks a bit concerned.

“No! No! She actually convinced me to take her to various fronts, and help her assist the wounded and the suffering,” Jackie informs him, “She literally became the Lady Nightingale of the Universe, with me in tow playing second fiddle. And the more she tired herself out, the more I fell in love with her, and the more I changed as a person. But then the most unfortunate thing happened.”

“What happened?” a really touched Alishiida asks.

“One time we were visiting this forward facility, and one of the Tyrene allies’ launched an attack on it,” Jackie’s eyes literally start burning with the flames of the war as he remembers the dastardly attack, “The entire facility went up in smoke as the defenses caved in after a spirited fight. But Siyesta wasn’t the one to give up; give up on those who were weak and infirm, caught in the fire. There was a kids unit at the corner of the facility, with hapless children caught inside, waiting to be blown to bits by one of the enemy hits. She just had to save them, no matter even if it cost her life. And I just had to be by her side, if I couldn’t have stopped her. Unfortunately I lived to tell her tale.” And for the first time we see tears roll down the cheeks of a man we have never known as weak.

“That is so terrible,” and Alishiida too starts crying, just like everyone else in here, including us.

“That thing over there, that changed you forever,” Alex comments wiping his tears, “Set up a trust to run his business and became a monk; went back to Elithecia.”

“I just couldn’t live with her memories anymore,” Jackie exclaims sobbing, “I was struggling to find peace within myself, and for the first time in my life; I hated guns. I wanted to close down my businesses, but the governments won’t let me to.”

“Let you close your business, ha, they forced me and Hayley first, and then Alex and Mishiida, to go and convince you to rejoin the war effort,” Corbett quips wiping his tears.

“And he wouldn’t buzz at no cost,” Alex adds to the story.

“Had it not been for the idiot Gazintinians, who launched an attack on Elithecia just to eliminate him, and forced him to see more innocents die in front of his eyes, he would never have,” Corbett reminisces the horrifying tragedy witnessed on Elithecia by the monk Garcia, where one of his disciples died in his arms, that triggered the second coming of Garcia, as “the Saving Monk”.

“But one thing is true,” Alex adds more details, “Even though he rejoined the war effort, he never launched an assault on anyone. He only went out of his way to save the innocents caught under a heavy attack, even saving innocent Tyrenes and Gazantinians on quite a few occasions. The only time he ever attacked was in retaliation to an assault on any caravan of innocents being escorted by him. And that’s when he was always at his merciless devastating best.”

“Towards the end of the war, his ‘Green Fleet’ became universally accepted as a symbol of peace, and neither side launched an attack on an area, once it realized the ‘Green Fleet’ is present there,” Corbett tells the kids some little known facts of the war.

But something doesn’t seem right here. What’s happening to Garcia? He doesn’t look comfortable.

“What the hell?” Hayley exclaims as she jumps out of her seat to grab a fainting Garcia from falling to the ground.

“What happened to him?” a surprised Corbett exclaims as everyone looks on while Hayley vigorously rubs his chest, trying to wake him up.

“What happened?” and Garcia finally opens his eyes.

“Yeah, you answer that now,” Hayley looks him straight in his eyes, “You are hiding something from us.”

And a tearful Garcia turns his heads down, “I stopped taking Elithecian steroids yesterday.”

“What?” a shocked cabin exclaims in unison.

“It was the Battle of Xenathra, the allies had launched a merciless assault,” and Garcia finally spills the beans, “There were a couple of thousand innocent Tyrene civilians, majority of them women and children, caught in the mess. I had the option; to save myself, for I was too far from help to get rid of the Tarandil poison. Well aware of the consequence, I chose to save them, and I am so glad that I did.”

“What, you too?” a shocked Mishiida exclaims as she breaks down and crashes into Alex’s chest.

And Garcia finally pulls out something amazing from under his jacket, “If it wasn’t for Siyesta, I would have never got this.”

“An invitation to Aiszar Garrison,” an astonished Zenander exclaims as he realizes what it is, for he’s seen two of them already, with his parents.

“They had sent me a separate ship, but I wanted to travel with you guys,” Garcia exclaims, “After all, you are my only family now, besides my grieving friend Jason Whitaker, whom I had to leave behind for I didn’t want his grief to overwhelm you guys.” He then melts down completely. “Father would have been so proud of me today,” Garcia quips as he remembers his old man, “Oh how I wish he was here today.”

“I’m sure he already died a proud man my friend,” a crying Alex tries to comfort him.

“Oh C’mon now, the three of you, how could they do this to me?” a wailing Corbett complains, “How come I haven’t received an invitation?”

“Because it’s not your time yet you idiot,” Alex quips, hitting him with a slap on his back.



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