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Mishiida Alexander

Stalking Shadows

“In every imperfection exists a perfection of a varying degree, and vice-versa!”

Chapter Seven: Roses for the bride

When caught in a situation, only two people have nothing to say; a coward, and a criminal. Howsoever unrelated be the cause of their predicament, the two are banded together by their frailty in the face of the aftermath. Their silence is an attempt to secure their interests on line. What however separates the two is the fact that, while a criminal’s actions have already harmed the interests of the society, a coward’s inaction thereon inflicts the same going forward. What a coward fails to realize is that the fruit of the future is borne by the seeds sown today. If the seed sown is inferior, the emerging plant and its’ fruit cannot be of any higher quality either.

The difference between the evil and the good is; while after every victory good tends to take a furlong, evil utilizes the same time to regroup, re-organize, and then re-emerge in an ever potent way. And it is the inherent nature of the evil, that it never wavers from its’ predefined path, but rather continues to grow, evolve and diversify, all at the same time. The only way to counter such evil is for the warriors of good to return the complement in the same coin; never yielding, without stopping, and ever evolving, hunting the evil right down to its’ grave. If the evil won’t stop until its’ ends are achieved, the good shouldn’t stop until the evil has been weeded out, and the resulting victory hasn’t been reinforced comprehensibly.

It’s true that the future shall never be perfect, but it is still imperative to strive for a better one. A failure to safeguard the future is akin to timing it for auto-destruction. Present is not about sitting back and enjoying past laurels, but it is about building up a stronger base for a better future. If the nefarious designs of greed go scot free, chipping away at the base of the future, a total collapse is inevitable. A bright future is the present’s moral obligation to the posterity, just like the lovely present they inherited was built upon the pyre of a past’s desires. Men like Mr Garcia never hesitate to sacrifice everybody else’s welfare to promote their personal interests, and they never stop for their greed doesn’t need to. It is up to people like Alexander, Corbett, Mishiida, Hayley and Rick to never rest, but continuously strive to protect the interests of their society. However, right now we follow every move Mr Garcia makes, for a lot of questions demand an immediate answer.

“Sorry for the slight wait gentlemen,” Mr Garcia greets the two aliens we presume to be the assassins Rick and Co are looking for.

“Our friend is not happy with the pace of the progress so far,” one of the alien replies using a software interface, much like Mishiida, “He’s been kind enough to share the most advanced armament technology in this universe with a human, and what a shame how his needs are being addressed!”

“My sincerest apologies Second Captain Draztida,” Mr Garcia replies, “But please do appreciate the fact that it is not a small project that has been entrusted to us by Commander Urzartyre. Plus we needed time to set up the initial manufacturing process itself before we could’ve started work on what the Commander seeks to procure from us. Being in the knowhow of the technology is not the same as having the capability to utilize it!”

“But how long now?” the second alien asks him this time, “We are in the middle of a war, and every earth month lost is an addition to the delay in implementing our strategy. Perhaps we made a mistake in counting upon you humans. You are lazy good for nothing aberrations of the nature. Here we are gifting you the best of all the worlds, and you don’t even have the hands to receive the gift.”

“Once again I apologise Captain Pfzarida, but please have faith in us,” Mr Garcia tries to calm him down, and continues, “I assure you, no one makes killing machines like us in this solar system. And without any intention to offend you, may I also assure you that we humans are the most peace loving of all creation. We fight only when we are forced to defend ourselves. This is your war, and as such, we humans have no more interest in this war or the weapons technology than assisting some good friends, in a hope of securing our continued safety in this universe. We are more interested in the wealth and metal we can use here on earth. The whole universe belongs to you and your friend’s kin.”

“Don’t worry about the dirty yellow metal you seek! What has been promised, shall be delivered,” Captain Pfzarida replies with a bit of indignation, “If only it were not a stealth mission where we were required to sneak behind the enemy in an undetectable vessel, we would’ve had no need to deal with you lazy sloths. You know nothing about the might of the armies that are stretched for resources in the fiercest of battles ever fought in the universe. Commander Urzartyre is fast losing his patience with you. For your own good, just ensure our requirements are met as a top priority.”

“We are working day and night on your requirements Sir,” Mr Garcia replies and then asks, “But I sincerely wish to have the honour of hosting the respected Commander at my place, and perhaps we can have a bit of the payment off his back at the same time as well. How does that sound?”

“Don’t overshoot yourself,” Captain Pfzarida rebukes him again, “Commander will see you only if he deems fit. You finish your side of business first, and then we will show you the gold before picking up our consignment. If it wasn’t for the traitor of our race, that Mishiida and her clan, who now have usurped power for the second time, none of this situation would have arisen. Now we need to punish her first, secure your world for you, and then kill the rest of her bunch and re-connect our lost tribe with the rest of us. We are grateful to the mighty Tyrenes, who have forgiven our race the injudiciousness of this treacherous brood from our kind, and dispatched the finest of their warriors to assist us in retaking our colony from their dirty hands.”

“I wish you speed and luck in your quest Captain,” Mr Garcia replies, “We would be proud to assist you with all we can. I hope my men haven’t disappointed you thus far?”

“Leave our fight to us,” Second Captain Draztida replies to him this time, “Just get our stuff ready and we will sort you out for all that you seek in return of your services.”

“Indeed Sir,” Mr Garcia bows his head respectfully as the aliens disconnect the connection from their end.

“Sir, I don’t remember you ever being so keen on metal or money before,” Mr Garcia’s assistant asks him as soon as the communication finishes.

Mr Garcia looks at his man and then walks around almost going past him, as if he hadn’t heard him, only to stop right next to him. He then raises one of his hands and puts it on his shoulder and replies, “When you don’t trust a friend, you make him trust what you are not.” And he then calmly walks away as his man looks on, perhaps not sure of what he meant.

“You father sir, he’s been very aggressive since the last couple of days,” the assistant informs him just as he is about to step out of the room. Mr Garcia turns around and looks at him. The assistant continues, "We’ve brought him here for your birthday celebration.”

“So he can ruin them!” Mr Garcia quips shaking his head, “Don’t worry, I’ll see him right away!” And perhaps we may as well follow him to check upon the issue, for his father is a very calm and composed man as far as we can judge from his public demeanour. Well, but who knows! Let us just follow Mr Garcia step in step or we’ll lose him in this maze of corridors of a skyscraper.

“Good evening Mr Garcia,” the two men standing guard outside a room greet him one after the other. Mr Garcia just nods with his head and one of them bows and opens the door to the room for him.

“There he comes, the bastard of my family,” a highly dishevelled man who resembles senior Mr Garcia faintly, a far cry from his image we see in media, yells as soon as he enters the room, “Oh I am sorry, I can’t even call him that, for that would be such an insult to my loving and pious late wife. I don’t even know what to call him.”

“Why do you have to be so rude to your own son?” Mr Garcia asks him, “Do you even remember it’s my birthday today?”

“How could I ever forget that cursed day,” Senior Mr Garcia replies, “The day a monster was born in our family! Why us, I ask of God? Oh how I wish one of these birthdays was your last day. Any day will do, and I will call it your birthday you rat!”

“Just that, just because of that you are here, caught in a mess,” Mr Garcia replies with a viciousness and picks up the TV’s remote and turns it on. “You can’t even see your own son’s rise to the top. What kind of a father are you,” Mr Garcia adds. He quickly scrolls through various news channels until he hits the one flashing current news, showing someone like Mr Garcia senior waving at the crowds. “That body double of yours is so much better than you. In fact, no one even knows that a real you exists,” Mr Garcia adds with a vengeance, “You continue with these tantrums of yours, and this is how you are going to die as well; an unknown prisoner of his own empire.” He then tosses the remote at the couch next to his father and turns around to walk away.

“The people whose lives you play with, on whose bodies your filthy empire is built upon, find a heart to have mercy on them. How much money do you need?” Mr Garcia senior asks him.

“All of it,” Mr Garcia turns around and spits venom, “All the power in the world shall be mine! Empires are not built by saints! And the people you care about so much, they were born to live like worms and die for the top carnivore of the society. The best of them is just a means to my end, for it is never we who die. We don’t need to when we have so many of them to spare. They don’t even deserve to live, for none of them is intelligent enough to see the reason, even if one of them were to rise above the files and show it to them. They will in fact go out of their way to try and bring him down, for they don’t like one of them to rise above their heads. That is why Jesus got killed right in the middle of the society he was trying to save, and they didn’t even rise in revolt. Cowards deserve no messiahs!” And he makes sure to slam the door in his father’s face as he leaves. The poor old man is left speechless, perhaps like many other times that we are unaware of.

Human nature is to look for excuses, to justify its’ indifference to a situation demanding action. Imbecility has to be supported by reasoning, so as to make it fathomable to the conscience. People look for the silliest of reasons, to question the veracity of the accounts of a man who speaks uncomfortable truths. There is always something wrong about him, or his intentions. There is always a reason to just let him die for what he believes in, than suffer discomfort thawing up the leaking roof of the society. There never is a leak when you can’t see it with a pair of closed eyes, nor feel it standing ten feet away from it, or hear it when you have ear-plugs on.

It’s been a long unpleasant evening so far. Let us just get the hell out of here and see what our darlings are doing in another part of the world. Let us start with Hayley this time, and see what she is up to, held up like a prisoner for the sake of her security. It is always hard for an active person like Hayley, to find self confined by an invisible force. But where is she, for her room in this underground facility is empty? Let us check the living area of the facility.

“Is there something I can do,” Hayley is trying to console Mishiida, sitting on a couch in the mess, just as we arrive. Alexander is sitting on the other side of Mishiida, gently massaging her back. As sad as the situation is, Mishiida does look like a pious flower in that flowing white cotton bell bottoms and fresh green high rise strapless cotton top. Her golden flats add a grace to the look. We look around and see Mr and Mrs Rai are sitting in another corner, catching up on some television, perhaps trying not to interfere in the kids’ lives. Mr Rai turns around to have a look at the trio and then turns away, confirming our thoughts.

“Do you want something Mishi,” Alex asks her softly, as he gently caresses the top and side of her head. Mishiida turns around and hugs him.

“Did she tell you why she’s so upset?” Hayley asks him.

“The only thing I know is that she cannot communicate with her kin anymore,” Alex informs Hayley, “She was supposed to talk to them today morning anyway, for her weekly communiqué, but then this crap happened.”

“So they will be worried about her now?” Hayley asks, “But that’s good, for maybe they will come around and help us sort this mess.”

“I hope so,” Alex nods in agreement as Mishiida clings on to him a bit harder, making him squeal lightly, “The real question is; when will they suspect something is wrong, for they are already over a month away from the solar system?”

At this point Mishiida gets up and wipes her tears. Alex and Hayley also get up. Alex puts his hands on the sides of her shoulders, and tries to comfort her, “Hey, why do you worry! I am here with you.” And Mishiida nods her head with a faint smile on her face as she wipes her tears with her palms. The two embrace for a few moments before Alex realizes something and steps back to speak, “Wait a minute! What happened to you? You have grown shorter. You are wearing no heals I can see, but you are now just a trifle shorter than me. And as far as I remember, that was never the case. What’s wrong?”

“Yeah, even I notice that now. She’s grown shorter,” Hayley too confirms it for all of us as we look at Mishiida surprised. Mishiida looks at her feet, then at Alexander, and in a moment her face fragments with emotions as she runs away towards her room. Alex follows suit. But what should we do? Should we wait here and see if Mishiida tells Alex anything, or go somewhere else? Given the fact that she is a woman, and it’s her own secret, there is no reason for us to expect she will declare the facts until after the cat is out of the bag and eaten a couple of birds. We might as well check up on Rick and Corbett, who will most likely be at the base, working on the case.

“Colonel Rick has gone to the Holden Hill police station,” the girl at the reception is informing a young officer standing next to her counter with a parcel in his hand, “You can leave the parcel here if you want to.”

“I am sorry Miss, but this parcel is extremely urgent and can only be delivered to the Colonel in person. I’ll wait,” the young officer turns the offer down.

“Oh, here’s the Colonel,” the receptionist points at the door just as Colonel Rick Roxon enters the place, with Corbett and US Army Lieutenant Monty following him.

“Good evening sir,” the young officer greets the Colonel, “Here’s the parcel you had requested from the high command.”

“Good evening young man,” Colonel replies in a firm tone, perhaps hinting all wasn’t well, “Is it what I asked for?”

“I wouldn’t know sir,” the officer replies, “My orders were not to tamper with the parcel in any way and protect it with my life.”

“You’ve done well Captain,” Colonel nods as he takes a quick peep inside the parcel, “You may leave now!” And the young officer salutes and marches away. Colonel then motions to his two men, “You two come to my room.” And the three of us march behind him and into his room.

“What the hell were you thinking?” Colonel shoots away at Monty as soon as they close the door behind us, “Because of you I had to listen to that policeman’s laments.”

“I am sorry sir, but my friend’s life is in danger and no one seems to be doing anything,” Monty replies.

“How dare you question the commitment of my force?” Colonel blows the lid off at his comment, “What do you think we are doing? And what do you expect us to do? Just because we are not running around haphazardly like lunatics, you think we are not doing our job? Do we have to look like an unplanned, un-organized, un-professional organization with hot headed officers and men, to show you we are worried about your friend? And what do you think you can do, especially with that children’s toy you procured from some street thug? Can you even defend yourself with that one? Do you not know what enemy we are dealing with?”

“I don’t know, and I don’t care,” Monty replies, “All I know is that my best friend’s life is in danger and I am not doing anything.”

“You don’t have to, and you cannot do anything,” Colonel yells at the top of his voice. He then pauses to take a deep breath and calm himself down. He then continues, “That’s it! You are going back to the states on the first flight.”

“But you can’t do that to me Sir,” Monty pleads, “Please! He’s my friend.”

“Army is not run on passions alone. There’s a plan working behind every decision,” Rick replies to him, “You are going back, and I will make sure you are not allowed back into Australia until further notice. Now wait outside my room. Corbett will give you the rest of the details.”

“But sir,” Monty tries to plead but the Colonel raises his hand to signal the end of the conversation. Dejected, Monty walks out.

“Sir, what are the orders for me,” Corbett asks Rick.

“Corbett, so far we have been sitting ducks for our enemies, not aware of their moves, motives or targets,” Rick replies, “We need to be in control of the events to have a crack at the situation.”

“Sir, for that we need our enemies to work as per our plans,” Corbett states the obvious.

“I know,” Colonel quips, “And the only way to do so is by giving them their targets ourselves, rather than letting them make a choice.”

“But they will suspect a trap,” Corbett has his doubts.

“They sure will if we will offer them an easy run,” Rick agrees with his assertion, but continues, “But I am not talking about giving them an easy choice.”

“Sir, I don’t understand. If we are not giving them an easy choice, then how will we trap them?” Corbett is perplexed, and so are we.

“Corbett, we will continue our work with utmost caution, something they would be expecting from us now,” Rick explains in detail, “We will secure our movements and make targeting near impossible. And then we will set up a situation which they will have reason to believe they can have a crack at, although they will be expecting us to be very diligent with our preparation for that one as well. This way we will draw them out when we want them to, rather than being caught unawares.”

“Will they fall for it?” Corbett asks.

“Their desperation will make them,” Rick comments, “Although I don’t know why they are so desperate.”

“What about Sandeep?” Corbett asks, “Having worked for you so long, I don’t think you are too worried about him. What have I missed?”

Rick leans over his table and replies, “If you think I am not worried about Sandeep, and there is something I am not telling you, what should you do?”

Corbett takes a deep breath as he pulls his head back in some sort of a realization, then replies, “What are the orders for me?”

“Go to media, tell them we are looking for an injured army officer,” Colonel replies back, “Make sure the whole world knows!”

“And what about Monty,” Corbett asks.

“Dispatch him to the airport,” Colonel tells him, “A one man escort is enough, but at least a junior commissioned officer.” He then points at the parcel lying on his table that he had just received, “Have a look inside!”

Corbett picks up the parcel and opens it to have a quick look. Damn his broad shoulders, it’s hard to have a decent look at that shiny thing in there, something that looks strangely familiar. He immediately closes the parcel and looks on at Colonel.

“Where’s your wireless set?” Rick asks him. As Corbett pulls out his handset, Rick quips, “Lambada!”

Corbett immediately adjusts the calling frequency of the handset.

“You know where to leave the parcel,” Rick quips.


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