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Mishiida Alexander

Stalking Shadows

“Future is the cancer that will wipe out the present, making it the past.”

Chapter Ten: The shadow of the future

Actions or inactions of the present are often blamed for the future that precipitates. However, this is nothing better than executing a lowly soldier who follows through the direct orders of a much higher ranking general. It is not the actions, but thoughts that determine the future. Every action or inaction is a direct precipitation of a thought process, involving many thoughts. It is the thoughts that direct a decision, and a decision that directs the actions, or inaction. The future that becomes the present is thus nothing more but posterity of the thoughts of a past. It is the thoughts that motivate discussions. Some of those discussions are meaningful and motivate actions. The affect those actions end up creating are thus a reflection of the image the originating thoughts had envisaged. It was always the thought of ruling the entire world that motivated some of the most ferocious generals in history, into launching campaigns that put wreaths atop many a civilization that lay in the paths of their marauding armies. It was a thought each that bore both the Capitalism and Socialism. Mahatma Gandhi had a thought too, and so does every human being. And it is these thoughts that will determine what each one will do tomorrow. And what each one will do tomorrow will impact what will happen, or not, the day after.

So can a future be altered? Well, how can one alter something which is still in the making? Future is like cooking a broth, the one at the mercy of many cooks. Each cook will add an ingredient or two that he or she likes, to give it a taste he or she desires. What will result in the end would be a result of a cumulative effort. How many will like it would be determined by how coordinated the cooks were, and most importantly; were there a cook or two with their own recipes in mind? Perhaps that’s why it is all the more important for the guests to inform the cooks how they would like their broth to be cooked and served. And this is where the question becomes; how will the guests decide what everybody likes? Perhaps someone or many will have to put forward a suggestion or two, one of which would be accepted by the majority of the guests, and thus conveyed to the cooks. This is where thoughts become important. A thought needs to be shared, made public, so it could be discussed meaningfully by the public, and the resulting decision conveyed to those in charge of the actions. And this is where the public has to decide whether those in charge of the actions are trustworthy, or do they need to be replaced. But the crux of the entire matter is; a thought. A thought needs to be put out in the public, for it to be in a position to alter the future. But once a thought is accepted and actions motivated, that is when there is no turning back of the results.

So once again; can a future be altered? Not after a thought has been made public and accepted by the public, for if the thought is worth half its’ salt, it will keep propagating and influencing until it culminates in the result it originally desired. Any attempts to stop this culmination will only aggravate the consequences from there onwards. Captain Pfzarida and Second Captain Draztida ignored Mr Garcia’s sound advice, and marched straight into Colonel Rick Roxon’s trap. They might have escaped, but will it stop the ageing warrior from seeking their heads until he gets it? And now that the two assassins know that their cover has been blown, will they make it any easier for the Colonel and his men? A future has been set in motion, and now it can only aggravate itself from here onwards.

Colonel Rick Roxon finally stops measuring the breadth of the meeting room with his feet, turns around and bangs the round table with his fists, “Damn! How did they get away?” Man, we always knew it was a bad idea to take a seat next to the Colonel. We better move around the table, perhaps to the other end where his spit won’t hit us in the faces.

At this point the door opens and Mishiida walks in with her communicator in her hand, followed by Nihang Mr Surpavitar Singh. Colonel gestures them to take the seats next to his; a bad idea, we frown.

“Who was he?” Colonel fires his first question even before Mishiida had pulled her chair underneath her.

“The Tyrenes are here Colonel,” Mishiida quickly types in her communicator. The silence that quickly engulfs the room is uncomfortable, but is quickly wiped out by whispering voices that fill up the entire meeting room in a flash. “They gave my people a slip, and there is no way I can inform them now,” Mishiida adds the further reality check that silence everyone once again, “You are on your own.”

“But how did they,” Colonel scratches his heads, “We never noticed any spacecraft enter out airspaces.”

“They must have left their main vessels somewhere on the way and arrived in their smaller stealth vessels,” Mishiida replies to his question.

Her replies ignites a spark in Colonel’s eyes as he asks her, “Then they are technically not in a position to launch an attack, are they?”

“Not in their stealth vessels,” Mishiida replies after a brief thought, “But they can if they manage to equip themselves over here somehow.”

“Yes of course,” Colonel Rick exclaims as he rubs his trimmed head with his hand, “But for that they would need local assistance, a manufacturer capable of providing them technical expertise for such an ambitious project.”

“If you don’t mind me putting in my two penny in the hat,” Mr. Singh seeks Rick’s attention, “They already have local assistance, even in your own backyard.” And his words get everybody thinking.

“Sir, we have traitors,” Corbett finally breaks the quiet.

“Depends if they are traitors or enemies,” Mr. Singh interrupts.

“What is the difference?” Corbett asks him.

“They are enemies if they have loyalties to another entity,” Surpavitar explains, “And traitors if they have sold their loyalty for a price.”

“What is the difference if they get paid by us, live in our society and are fed by us,” Corbett, like us, fails to understand.

“They might be enemies who have infiltrated your camp, something which generals have been vary of historically,” Mr. Singh replies, “There is nothing immoral in cheating an enemy into feeding you. In fact it is a part of war strategy. But it is immoral if you betray your own kind.”

“I still don’t see any reason to treat either of them differently,” Corbett replies, “An enemy is an enemy.”

“No my friend,” Mr. Surpavitar replies, “Irrespective of the Geneva Protocols that determine the treatment to be given to enemy combatants, there is one very good reason to treat the two differently.”

“And what is that?” Colonel asks him this time, and we are all ears.

“Make friends with an enemy if you have to, and if it serves both sides well, for peace means prosperity; and besides, you will never trust your enemy beyond a limit,” Surpavitar replies, “But never forgive a traitor for he can never be trusted, yet he will always be in a position to blind-side you, and not to mention, a bad influence over the rest.”

“Those are some really harsh comments coming from a person I have always considered a saint,” Colonel Rick quips with a smile, shaking his head in agreement.

“Don’t be surprised Colonel. Since the times of our sixth Guru, we have been both saints and soldiers,” the Singh explains.

Rick heaves a huge sigh, pauses for a few seconds as everyone in the room looks at him, then quips, “So we either have an infiltration or treason. But whoever our enemy’s friends are, they have to be located somewhere locally, for if they are not flying, then they are not driving too far to act so quickly without a fail.” His comments initiate a new round of whispering in the room.

Finally Corbett speaks, “Sir, given what’s happened today, I am sure they will be on the move.”

“Yes, but the trail they will leave behind will lead us to their local agents, and that would ultimately lead us back to them,” Colonel Rick explains.

“But Sir, how do we shortlist our area of interest,” Sandeep asks, “They could be anywhere, and Australia is one hell of a big place.”

“We start by short-listing their possible manufacturing partners,” Colonel Rick answers his query, “And then we will short-list the properties that could have a stamp of those possible manufacturing partners.”

“How will you deal with Tyrenes?” Mishiida asks.

“Just like we dealt with your traitors,” Colonel replies, albeit diplomatically, “We will let our impetuosity run wild.”

Impetuosity is a peculiar character in the mix called life. Sometimes it could lead to the wildest of joyrides, but mostly it ends in a complete rout of the proponent. Perhaps it is the probability of the various possible results, or a lack of options that influence its’ outcomes. When there are no options to choose from in a desperate scenario, an impetuous choice backed by a whole hearted effort might be all that is needed to turn the tide in the proponents favor. Similarly, if most of the results are going to fall in proponent’s favor provided a dedicated attempt is made, any choice is as good as the other. Nevertheless, it is a wild berry that could always potentially turn out to be poisonous.

Weird thoughts, but they keep us busy as we turn the warehouse upside down in search of the three absconders. But it looks like they have already changed their hide-out. Not a sign left behind! What kind of Fourth Witnesses are we who don’t even know where to find what we need to find? What are we here to witness; a koala crossing the road majestically as if we don’t even exist? What the hell! We might as well take a quip trip to one of that dude Garcia’s humble abodes. Perhaps we might get a whiff of the trio’s new location. But which one should we visit first; the one in Amsterdam, Nevada, Emirates or Tokyo? Let’s try the Nevada one this time.

“You have lost your mind,” an incensed but hapless father is having another go at his unrepentant son just as we arrive at their mansion in the middle of the desert, “You traitor! You sold our entire species’ future and lives to an enemy that we didn’t even know existed until only a few months back?”

“It’s not the entire species,” the evil incarnate replies as he takes a puff from the cigarette in his hand, and then a sip of liquor from the glass in his other. He then puts his feet on the center table as he reclines back in the couch, then continues, “There will be enough left to slave the rest of their lives.”

“Enough left! Have you gone mad?” the hapless father shouts hoarse at his devious son, “What will you get out of all this destruction?”

“I am not getting destroyed, not at all. In fact, I am going to make a lot of precious metal out of it,” Mr Garcia replies as he gets his legs off the table, putting the empty glass on it. He extinguishes the cigarette in the gold ashtray, and continues, “My Empire will be left unscathed, while those of many would be annihilated. After this war, there will only be one power group left in this world; my group!” He then gets up to walk away.

“You scoundrel, how do you even sleep at night,” the older Garcia breaks down into sobs.

“You don’t understand,” Garcia junior stops in his stride, twists around his waist and quips, “Wine and women make it really easy, every night.” And we are left with no choice but to leave a weak old man nurse his wounded soul alone, while we tag along a demon to find out where his devious company is.

“Sir, it’s all done,” his right hand man informs him, just as he steps out of his father’s room.

“Good!” he replies, “Tell them to keep low for a few days until we ensure their steps will not get traced back to us.”

“They have been informed in no uncertain terms,” the man replies, “But they weren’t too happy about it.”

Mr. Garcia stops and looks at his right hand man, then pauses to think before putting his hand by the side of his man. “You’ve done well,” he exclaims after a long delay, as if that wasn’t what he wanted to say at that moment. And perhaps there’s no use us hanging around here. It doesn’t look like we will get out any more information today. We might as well check up on our darlings back in another desert.

Heat can both burn, as well as give warmth. It all depends upon the intensity. And this is true for both physical and meta-physical forms. Warmth of relationships can very easily turn into fire of passions that can burn everything alongside. The balance has to be perfected by those who keep the flame burning. The world has a lot to learn from a mother that shares a piece of her heart with a world so unkind to every kind.

“One more, just one more,” Mrs. Rai pleads with Alex as she lovingly puts another spoon of feed in her son’s mouth.

“So what’s happened to our little princess,” Mr. Rai grudgingly rubs it in with a taunting smile.

“Don’t be rude,” Mrs. Rai gives him a glare, “His jaw is sore!”

“Why? Did Mishiida slap him too hard?” if anything, Mr. Rai knows how to make it sharp and where to point it.

“He was fighting the aliens,” Mrs. Rai replies in none too impressed tone, “Everybody’s not a couch warrior like you.”

“Oh! And did he scare them with his looks?” Mr. Rai however is in no mood to let the conversation drop to the floor.

Mrs. Rai glares at him, puts the bowl of porridge down, gets up and grabs Mr. Rai from his hands, drags him up, and shoves him out of the room, “Get out of our room! You have no business here.”

“Don’t forget to wipe his nose,” Mr. Rai makes sure he doesn’t miss the last one. And we shake our heads. Perhaps we should catch up with some sleep and continue with our jobs later. That couch in the dining hall is real comfy, isn’t it?

“So did you have a word with Alex?” Colonel Rick’s voice wakes us up as he walks past the dining room, having a chat with his friend Mr. Singh.

“I need time with him. He’s not yet ready,” Surpavitar replies.

“But I don’t understand; why him?” Colonel asks Mr. Singh, “Why not someone else, someone who is stronger both physically and mentally, someone who is made to be a soldier?”

“It’s not about physical strength Colonel, for that can be developed,” the Singh replies as we tag along behind them, overhearing their conversation to our heart’s content. “And it is not even about mental strength either, although there is no shortage of that in Alexander,” he adds further.

“Then what is it about him that makes him so special for you,” Colonel asks perplexed just as we all approach the door of the gym. From inside the gym Corbett and Alexander’s voices emanate, informing our company that they are working out together inside.

“OK! I’ll show you the reason why,” Mr. Singh replies as he pushes the gym’s door open, “Follow me!” And that’s what we are here for, aren’t we?

“Good evening Sir, and good evening Mr. Singh,” both Corbett and Alexander greet the two gentlemen.

“My friend and I were having a discussion about something,” Mr. Singh announces to them, “It appears Colonel is not too sure about my stance on a subject. Perhaps you two could help us in making the choice?”

“Of course Mr. Singh, what can we do for you?” Corbett replies without second thought.

“I have a very simple question,” Mr. Singh says to them, “What will you do if a man threatened to destroy your entire nation and kill all the people?”

“That man won’t hear his words echo,” Corbett replies, without another thought once again.

“But why would he close his ears?” Alexander however butts in.

“I will kill him you duffer,” Corbett gives him a glare.

“But without even knowing why he wants to do such a nasty thing?” Alex asks in return.

“So you reckon you will talk to a man who is a sworn enemy of your nation?” Mr. Singh asks Alexander.

“Of course a sissy like him will only talk, for he can’t fight,” Corbett retorts in angst, “But we don’t talk with enemies with our mouths. Our guns reply to them.”

“But anyone can have guns. That’s not a solution,” Alexander defends his stance, “I would rather first find out why would anyone hate us so much, for who knows there might be a solution to the whole situation which doesn’t involve killing each other.”

“Why should we talk to a person who dares challenge us? Are we not men enough to defend our honor?” Corbett blurts out with ever rising temper.

“It is not about being men enough to fight or defend,” Alexander explains further, “It is about ensuring that we haven’t inadvertently done some wrong to the man, for if we have it will also be our responsibility to fix that harm. It’s not always about who is strong and who is not. It is about what is just! If however we have done nothing wrong to him, I would be the first one to pick up a gun to defend our nation even if it were to cost me my life.”

But before the conversation could grow any further, Mr. Singh interrupts the discussion and tells them, “You are both correct!”

“How can we both be correct when our responses are complete opposite?” Corbett however asks surprised, as much as we are, with Mr. Singh’s assertion.

“You are correct because you are a soldier whose job is to defend the nation from every threat, instead of resorting to value judgments. A failure on your part can cost your nation dearly,” Surpavitar explains his reasoning, “Alex is correct for he is not a soldier but an ordinary man. His job is to ensure nobody suffers injustice at the hands of his society, for if something goes wrong with the society, it will not only end up creating animosities with outsiders, but it will also become in-conducive for its’ own people including Alexander. Above all, Alexander is a human being, and every human being owes a basic duty of compassion towards every other human being.”

Surpavitar’s reply leaves both of them shaking head in agreement. The two shake their hands, give each other a hug, and then continue with their exercise routine. We however follow the Colonel and the Singh outside.

“I still don’t understand what you are trying to say my friend,” a perplexed Colonel Rick asks him.

“Colonel, Corbett is a brilliant soldier, but not the right person for Kaal Kumari Baisno,” Surpavitar replies to him.

“But why,” Colonel asks shaking his head.

“Because Kaal Kumari Baisno is the education of war,” Surpavitar replies, “It can make a saint into a soldier, but not the other way around.” And the Singh walks away down the corridor, leaving us behind with an awe struck Colonel.


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