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Mishiida Alexander

Stalking Shadows



“Time may heal wounds, make-up can cover scars, vengeance might give satisfaction, but only justice will give one peace.”



Chapter Three: Falling stars

Every crime has at least one perpetrator and two victims; one direct, and one indirect. The hurt and scar of the crime are shared by the two victims in equal proportions, even if they both receive a different end of the spectrum. Direct victim obviously is the one who bears the brunt of the injury, physical or metaphorical; indirect victim is the society that victim is or was an integral part of. It is wrong to assume that the crime only affects the former in personal terms. No matter how personal the attack and the resulting injuries were, the fear emanating out of a crime adulterates the free spirit of the society too; not to mention the partial or complete loss of one talent from the society’s pool. What can happen to one individual has an equal probability of happening to anyone else in the society, albeit in circumstances altered in some way. This insecurity clouds the innocence of the society that witnesses a crime. That is why silence is not an option when a society has a wronged soul living amongst it. Justice is necessary to give peace to the mutilated soul, and re-establish a satisfying calm in the society.

Every time a society fails its’ sons and daughters when they come begging for justice, it pushes the victim to a crossroad from where every path leads to destruction. The victim cannot walk back the path left behind for it is full of pain, thus the only way has to be forward. And all the other three roads lead to none better ends; one to self destruction, one to self pity, and one to vengeance. Death is a release of the troubled soul, but the society it leaves behind is a gutless parade of cowards whose demise is confirmed the moment it fails to rectify the wrong. What happened to one will happen to the rest, sooner or later, or something different but with similar consequences. Escape however is none! Similarly, a self pitying lingering soul is a constant reminder to the society of its’ failure, as well as to the criminals as to how easy it is to escape consequences at the hands of a spineless society. Moral degradation will ultimately set in, ushering in the demise of that society at the hands of its’ own. Vengeance however is in a different league of catastrophes. If a victim has to commit a wrong to rectify the one meted out to self, it is another instance of crime; however justified it might be in the original victim’s eyes, and for that matter, even the society. What society would it be where an eye is taken out for an eye and an ear is chopped for an ear? Vengeance is satisfying to the victim, but only justice ushers in lasting peace.

There could be no bigger crime than greed of one race destroying the worlds of every other race for selfish ends. There is enough in this universe to satisfy every need of those merely a figment of the total creation, yet a handful still resort to the most disgraceful of tricks for the most measly of gains. These thoughts and many others fail to escape our minds as we concentrate on what the belle is saying.

“Now who the hell are Tyrenes?” Colonel is as perplexed as us.

At this point Mishiida gets up from the couch and walks up to the small study table along the side wall of the caravan, and picks up a lap computer.

“Watch her speak now,” Alexander quips with a raise of brows.

Mishiida takes her seat again and folds open the gadget. She presses a few buttons before we finally hear a sound, “Let me explain it to you using this voice software.”

“That’s Jenny’s voice,” Alexander informs us as if we won’t recognise the Taiwanese beauty. Colonel too nods his head in acknowledgement rather uninterestedly.

Meanwhile Mishiida continues typing in the information, and sharing it in bits and pieces, “We are the Penancthians from Penancthia world in Ashinorshe galaxy. We are the leaders and one part of the Five Worlds Alliance, founded to maintain peace and order in space, and allocate resources to the different races. Our ancestors used to visit earth frequently before a laboratory incident lead to the evolution of human race from the apes. The human race then multiplied rapidly and developed into organised human societies, thus forcing us to abandon our expansion plans to earth.”

“Laboratory incident,” Colonel exclaims as everybody else in the room looks on at Mishiida, “What do you mean?”

“We were working on what you people refer to as Deoxyribonucleic Acid in your scientific terms, derived from a type of primate species we encountered on one of the worlds in our way to the earth,” Mishiida continues bombarding us with the information we never knew we will have to hear one day, “We were intrigued by the similarities between their organics and cellular structure with your primate ancestors, and were trying to create a hybrid ape. We only wanted to see if the two primate species can be cross bread, but due to an incident, the male ape chosen for the experiment escaped the lab and ended up mating with over a dozen females before it was eventually caught. In spite of the efforts my ancestors put in, they failed to locate two females who ultimately went on to give birth to the first humanoid babies. The rest is your history.”

“But once when your people came to know of the lapse, why didn’t they try to kill the babies?” Colonel asks.

“The experiment was being conducted under the auspices of the Five Worlds Alliance, and we follow a strict policy of not interfering or destroying any species anywhere in the universe, even if the species originates as a result of a laboratory experiment,” Mishiida replies with her software assistant, “We were forced to witness a new super-intelligent specie first emerge, then bifurcate once, and then again, into a total of four varieties. Soon enough humanity began coming to terms with their environment and surroundings, and their keen learning aptitude sharply developed their understanding of the world around them. It was this alarming rise in human intelligence that the Five Worlds Alliance had to stop visiting earth, for humans had not only spotted us, but also begun to identify each one of us as separate from the others. This is how earliest human civilizations’ Gods and Goddesses appeared, along with their elaborate stories.”

“So you mean the stories about Gods and about creation were actually a result of alien intervention in our world?” Colonel asks the obvious.

“Yes indeed,” Mishiida replies in affirmative, and then continues, “The demons in most of your stories represent the Tyrenes from Tyrona, a world in Baztinita galaxy, also called Tyromegra in Tyronese.”

“Wait a minute! Are you saying the intergalactic war that Alex mentioned earlier, has been going on for centuries?” Corbett joins the conversation.

“It started off as skirmishes,” Mishiida replies, “Tyrenes were technology laggards who attained their supreme strength only recently. However, they had always been greedy. Right from the time they developed their technology to venture into space; their eyes were lit up by the prospects of space supremacy. They realized how they don’t need to use any resources available on their own home planet, but can abuse the resources available across the universe on other worlds. And were their policy not detrimental to the well being of the many intelligent races that dwell upon those worlds, even the Five Worlds Alliance was ready to accommodate their aggressive designs in lieu of peace. But the Tyrenes’ greed is insatiable, and their viciousness beyond reproach.”

“If you knew their intentions, why did you not destroy them completely before they had developed their technology?” Colonel exclaims shaking his head in disbelief.

“It is not as simple as it appears Colonel,” Mishiida replies using her gadget, and even though her replies take time as she types everything in and reviews it before it is read out aloud, the knowledge she is sharing with us is immensely important and worth every second of the wait. It’s time to be all ears again as she continues, “The Five Worlds Alliance has a strict policy of non-proliferation of technology, but we also have a standing policy of non interference in other races’ development. Just because we became powerful first does not give us the right to destroy everybody else who is or was trying to attain their pinnacle of development. Else we would be what Tyrenes are!”

“Oh yeah, you keep following your principles, and look what those you knew had black hearts eventually did to your world,” Colonel minces no words as he gives vent to his frustration.

“No Colonel,” Mishiida replies, “Tyrenes may be the strongest today, but within themselves they were never, and are not even today, strong enough to cause any serious damage to any of the Five Worlds Alliance members. We were just betrayed!”

“Betrayed by whom?” Corbett asks her.

“When the Tyrenes launched their ambitious campaign against the mighty Five Worlds Alliance, a vicious and sizeable army of the Tyrenes was lead inside our defences by one of our allies,” Mishiida answers the question, “That army destroyed our defences completely before the larger Tyrene force launched their final assault that decimated our planet, and forced us to evict our galaxy.”

“But why did your ally betray you, and how come your defences made such a massive gaffe as to let a sizeable enemy enter beyond your defences?” Colonel is as surprised as us.

“As it transpired, one of the generals of the said ally had switched loyalties to Tyrenes, in lieu of the transfer of control of their world into his hands post the war,” Mishiida’s reply puts things in perspective, “And the enemy was able to pass beyond our defences undetected because of the treason by our senior most general, something that became apparent only when he assassinated my brother’s family to take control of our escaping colony.”

“That’s true, a traitor can alter the course of history for worse, just for his personal gratification,” Colonel shakes his head in disgust, then asks, “Alexander mentioned you people had three colonies. What happened to the other two and how come the Tyrenes let you escape?”

“We lost contact with the furthermost of our colonies a long time back as it left our galaxy towards the other side of Universe,” Mishiida informs us, “And a contingent of Tyrenes is still in pursuit of our second colony. And since the traitor General was on board our Colony, and eventually seized control of it, the Tyrenes didn’t need to follow us, until now.”

“So you reckon the Tyrenes will be coming after you people again?” Colonel asks.

“We were poised to go after them actually, before the General betrayed my family, and the gun that we had developed got destroyed in the mess that followed my escape and subsequent capture on earth,” and Mishiida glares at Alexander as she mentions the ugly incident. Alexander puts his head down, and then looks at her from the edge of his brows, only to turn his eyes down again as he realizes Mishiida is still glaring at him.

“Oh, I see! It all makes sense now,” Colonel exclaims as he raises his hands and then taps his thighs, “So that’s what the gun was intended to do; destroy Tyrenes planet and vessels.”

“You have pushed us behind by at least ten Earth months,” Mishiida quips as she turns her attention to Colonel, “But we are making quick progress on the weapon again, and also setting up advanced colonies across the space, to halt the Tyrene advance in case they turn their attention towards this end of space before we are ready. And one thing I can assure you is; if we fail it is the end of humanity, for Tyrenes love flesh. They will raise you like crops!”

“That doesn’t sound so comforting,” Colonel reacts, “But what makes you think we humans will be an easy meat for Tyrenes? Didn’t we take on your kind?”

“The war you waged and won against our kind was an unplanned assault led by an in-efficient commander and his son,” Mishiida confronts Colonel’s assertion, “And since most of our commanders were not actually in line with the General and his son, but wanted me to return and take control of the community, they did not advice him well. The war was fought by our side to get the General, his son, and his close associates killed in the battle, so as to restore my lineage at the helm.”

“Are you saying we humans are not capable of stopping your race, or any other race from invading our home?” the soldier in Colonel is not ready to accept he is weaker than his adversary.

“Colonel, the space between your planet and my world stretches for a distance not adequately measurable with light,” Mishiida calmly puts the soldier in Colonel in his place, “A race whose technology travels faster than light by many times, whose weapons annihilate metals like they were piles of sand, whose crafts cannot even be destroyed by any of your weapons if properly spaced from your armies; how much chance do you honestly believe you have against us?”

Mishiida’s words leave everybody in the room speechless. Possibly for the first time in their lives Colonel and Corbett have been made to realize the human limitations, and they contemplate with their heads held down. The silence in the room might be uneasy right now, but this reality check was much needed.

And just when you think something enlightening will emerge out of the silence, Alexander decides to get up and walk to the fruit basket in the corner, and picks up an apple to munch on. As he shatters the silence with his disdainful munching, everyone in the room glares at him.

“I am hungry, aren’t you?” shame is not something Alex identifies as a state of mind. He rather enjoys it like a blissful break from monotonous life. “I’ve heard this story anyway. It’s so boring!” he goes ahead to rub it in as well, as we wonder what metal his brain is made of! He then picks up the basket and pushes it towards Colonel and Corbett, “Do you want one?” In response the two just look at his face, tight-lipped and glaringly. “What? You want it, or you don’t want it,” Alexander asks unperturbed.

“Put the damn thing down and sit down quietly,” Colonel literally roars at him.

“Hey, no need to blow the lid. If you don’t need one just say so,” Alexander quips as he puts the fruit basket down, returns to his seat, and as soon as Colonel and Corbett look back at Mishiida, starts munching at the apple in his hand. Colonel looks back at him, stopping him in the middle of his bite, glares at him hard and then turns his face away. And Alex resumes chewing as if nothing has happened, tearing through the tense silence of the room with his teeth.

“Will you stop that damn noise?” Colonel asks him with an animated expression on his face, and Alex immediately puts a finger on his lips and glups down whatever pulp is left in his mouth. Colonel shakes his head and looks away. Alexander immediately puts the apple to the side of his mouth to take another bite, his finger still on his lips. The moment he punches his teeth into the fruit, the resulting sound irritates Rick beyond his limits of tolerance. “Corbett, throw him out of the room right now,” he roars.

“Hey relax, no need to be rude,” Alex exclaims as he gets up from his seat, “I’d rather walk out on my own, with my honour intact. I’m a star people! There’s a world outside that respects me.”

“Kick him out of the door Corbett,” Rick has surely blown the fuse this time as he fires away, “And make sure he lands hard on his face.”

“Yeah, kick him in his bum,” Mishiida uses her voice assistant to add her deft touch to the situation.

“Yeah, thanks for the help bitch,” Alex complains.

“Talk to the hand,” Mishiida punches in another line into her computer, then shoves her palm at Alex’s face, and majestically turns her own face away from him.

“Damn that bloody movie,” Alex shakes his head as Corbett walks up to him and grabs him by his shoulder. “Hey relax big boy!” Alex exclaims, “Ok, ok, I’m sorry! I’ll sit quietly now.”

Corbett looks at Rick, who looks at Alex’s face, and then says, “You even breathe out aloud, and I will personally kick you out this time.”

“I’d rather asphyxiate,” Alexander quips and puts his finger back on his lips and makes his way back to his seat.

The unexpected commotion finally settled, Rick looks at Mishiida and asks her again, “You mentioned you can travel faster than the speed of light. But how fast can you people travel? I mean; the distance between stars is not just of a few light years, but millions of them, and we are talking about inter-galactic travel here, possibly from galaxies we humans don’t even know about. How do you people manage that?”

“Technology and knowledge Colonel,” Mishiida replies, “Our technology is advanced enough to take advantage of our knowledge of the space aberrations. To give you an example; my personal craft is rated Five Kanta and Two Washi, while our colony is rated Eight Kanta and Eleven Washi.”

“Wow, wow, wait a minute,” just like us even Rick has been blown away by this sudden knowledge explosion, “What are these kanta and washi things?”

“Kanta is the unit that defines half the speed of light,” Mishiida informs us, “So my craft can travel at two and a half times the speed of light, while our colony can travel up to four times the speed of light, although the recommended speed for it is only one and a half times, else it will be too unsafe with the ever changing arrangement of wandering objects in space.”

“And what is Washi?” Colonel inquires as we wait with baited breaths to know the answer.

“Washi is the unit of closest approach to a black hole that a craft can negotiate. Lower the number, closer a craft can fly past a black hole,” Mishiida explains the details.

“I see! But how can you travel at such astonishing speeds and with such power?” Colonel is as surprised at their technological advancement as much we are, “What is it about fuel and craft technology that you people know and we don’t?”

“I don’t know the finer details Colonel, for I am a soldier, not a scientist,” Mishiida sums up her technical limitations, “But I can tell you one thing; we use what you people refer to as particle acceleration technology, something still in its’ infancy amongst you humans.”

“Particle acceleration technology; how does that work? Can you give me a basic idea?” Colonel asks her.

“Well, let us take the example of fossil fuels that you use,” Mishiida decides to pick an example to explain it in simple terms, “If you burn one molecule of these fuels, the energy released will be too little to even heat up your engines. So you burn bigger lumps of fuel to get your engines working. In our particle acceleration technology, small subatomic particles can be energized and accelerated to light speeds; as in nuclear reactions involving electrons, protons and neutrons. If you use a bunch of these accelerated particles in a lossless transfer of energy to heavier atoms, without fragmenting the heavier atoms, it is possible to make those atoms fly off at speeds close to, and even many times more than the speed of radiations, or light speed that is. Using what you would classify as a nanotechnology model of particle accelerator, our crafts have walls made up of them, all synchronized to assist travel in the same direction, at the same time, and same speed. All this is powered by nuclear reactions. This is the reason why when you tore down my craft, you couldn’t reverse-engineer our technology.”

This single disclosure of information puts everything in perspective as Colonel takes a deep breath of realization, his hands automatically rising to his head as he exclaims, “That explains it all!” A true soldier, he shamelessly asks Mishiida, “Can you help us develop that technology?”

“I am sorry Colonel, but as I already mentioned, neither am I a scientist, and nor does our Five Worlds Alliance protocol allows us to transfer our technologies to other races,” Mishiida’s response however is on expected lines, but it still somehow disappoints Colonel who hangs his head down in contemplation.

“But even so with the technology you have, it still does not explain how you people can travel such huge distances in such little time,” Alexander, for a change, shows the presence of mind as he asks the most relevant question of the discussion so far.

“What? Don’t you already know it?” Corbett however rubs it in.

“I didn’t think about it earlier,” Alexander shrugs his shoulders, “But now listening to your conversation, even my brain is back in business.” And we heave a sigh of relief as well; fingers crossed and hoping the aberration will last!

“Finally,” Colonel quips shaking his head, and then looks at Mishiida for the answer.

“As I mentioned, we use our technology in collaboration with our knowledge of the space aberrations,” and Mishiida starts another round of explanations, “The space as we know, is in a constant state of pulsation, on account of the black holes scattered through all the galaxies, and many outside them. The black holes on account of their strong gravitational pull, distort the space by pulling it inwards first, and then release it, in repeat cycles, resulting in a space that is constantly throbbing. Depending upon the state of a particular section of the space, two neighbouring galaxies could be millions of light years apart, or like the edges of a paper folded together, be sitting juxtaposed, barely a few light years away from each other. It is at this point of juxtaposition, that we jump unmeasurable distances in no time using our technology. And depending upon the abilities of our crafts, how far or near from the black hole we cross over the folded space, determines the distance we cover.”

“That sounds utter nonsense,” Colonel is in disbelief, and so are we, “All my life I’ve never heard of any such thing as a black hole distorting the space to contract it. None of our astronomers have ever noticed such a phenomenon.”

“That’s because your astronomers observe images that travel in the form of light; something which travels in straight line from its’ source to the observer,” Mishiida however seems to have an answer to this puzzle too, “Light does not jump through the distorted space, rather it continues its’ journey through the contracted space, covering the same distance as it would have were the space fully extended. To understand this think of the folded paper again. While we can jump from its’ one edge to the other, the light would still travel along the sheet’s surface to reach the other end. In other words; the light that appears to be coming straight, is actually travelling a bent, curved, or folded path. It’s the same as the bending of light observed when it travels through two mediums of different densities. So the light would still take the same time to reach the observer irrespective of whether it traversed through the contracted space, or stretched space. That is why if you observe light from across the other end of the distorted space, everything would still appear normal. But the moment you were to move your point of observation from across the field of contraction to right above the field perpendicularly, it would appear that even light has got stuck in the gravitational field of a black hole, simply because it would appear to be covering so little distance in so huge time. Truth however is; light is still travelling at the same speed, and covering the same distance in straight line, only its’ field of travel is distorted.”

“So technically we will not be able to observe space distortion from the Earth,” Colonel asks.

“For most practical purposes; no,” Mishiida confirms his assertion, “Black holes are not detectable in space on their own, let alone their effect on a black space. Besides, light takes a lot more time to travel to Earth from distant objects and interactions, than human lifespan.”

And the uncomfortable silence returns to the room once again as we all contemplate the knowledge that has just exploded in front of us. The peace however is finally shattered by a phone call.

“Hello,” Colonel answers his phone, “What’s the matter Carl?” And as the knowledge from other end explodes in his ear, Colonel’s expressions immediately become grim. He literally jumps out of his seat, “What happened to whom?” And the rest of the call only increases the severity of his expression.

“What happened, Sir?” Corbett asks once Colonel disconnects his phone.

“Lieutenant Monty and Sandeep from the US army, they had arrived in the town yesterday, to pay a visit to Colonel Jerome Smith’s memorial,” Colonel shares the details with everyone, “Sandeep is now missing!”

“What?” Alex and Corbett exclaim almost in unison as Mishiida too jumps out of her seat.

Rick however gets busy with his phone once again, “Hello Mrs Rai, this is Colonel Rick Roxon. No time for pleasantries today Mrs Rai. I want you and your husband to leave your house immediately without delay. Don’t take your car or mobile with you, and don’t inform anyone. We will meet you tonight at our first meeting spot. Leave now!”

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