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Mishiida Alexander

Stalking Shadows

“When morality defines law, law extends around it, and vice versa.”

Chapter Nineteen: A man rising

Human civilization is a complex mesh of law and morality. Life would obviously have been easier if the two had been parallel lines, or just the same one line. However, by fate or design, the two crisscross too often than one would actually appreciate. But there’s a reason behind this madness. Generally one of them makes the structural basis of a society, and the other eventually emerges out as its outgrowths. If a society formulates its’ laws based on morality, then by nature humanity would extend them to tolerate some form of behavior outside the purview of strict moral code. This is a direct consequence of the general human benevolence, as well as the understanding that none is perfect. On the other hand if law defines morality in a society, then society would generally accept some behavior outside the confines of the strict interpretation of the words, as moral, for humanity is accustomed to the benevolence of its’ own kind. Thus the two are destined to clash at some point, where the one administering law confines self to the meaning of the written word, while the society uses a yardstick made up of a different standard. But this tussle seldom results in a revolution, unless one of the two grows too big, that it squeezes the other inside self.

There will however always be individuals, who would try to extend the gap between the two, so they are able to spread themselves with ease. And generally this won’t destroy the structural integrity of the society, for the structure made of either is flexible enough to withstand ample push and pull. But worse are the societies where all a man needs to do is what is morally correct, and the structure starts falling apart. Something has definitely gone terribly wrong with such a society.

And then there would be individuals, who would jump across the limits with gay abandon, and yet return to the confines without having caused any damage. Such individuals often extend the benefits both to their selves, as well as the societies they live in. Every society needs a rebel with a cause, with an aptitude of a scholar, an attitude of a vagabond, yet a heart of a lion. Garcia fulfills these shoes without any discomfort. The contrast between him and Alex couldn’t have been greater. Alex is a hopeless romantic, with the curiosity of a child, flair of an artist, and a heart of a virgin. One is a sinner hiding a saint, the other a saint unaware!

The underground facility is a master-class of human craftsmanship. From what it appears, it used to be a mine that Garcia has got altered for his own requirements. But for the awareness of this fact, it would have completely befooled anyone as to its existence below the terrain.

“Welcome Commander Urzartyre, I’m honored to host you,” Jacky exclaims with his arms extended and a slight bow of the head, as soon as he is escorted down to the launching bay. And for the first time we have a glimpse of the huge shipment that Garcia has readied for the Tyrenes. Hundreds of craft lined up in rows, held in place by three mechanical arms firmly holding the crafts in place.

However the Tyrene commander appears to be in no mood to chat. He immediately pushes his palm forward, gesturing him to stop in his tracks. Animated he speaks something!

Pfzarida immediately types something on his communicating device, “What are the codes to release the crafts from their holds?”

“What’s the rush?” Mr. Garcia exclaims shaking his head, “This is your first time on earth. Let us celebrate tonight. You can take your crafts any day.”

Pfzarida types again, “We don’t have time.”

Mr. Garcia tries to reason but Urzartyre gestures again for him to cut the talk out. So he exclaims, “Sure! But I was hoping that your men would assist me in moving the Gold to the upper levels.”

Pfzarida types again, “Your filthy metal is there in those boxes.” He then points to about two-three hundred big crates lying in a corner. He then types, “Deal with them when you are free.”

Mr. Garcia however pretends to be really excited and overcome by his greed, and exclaims, “That’s all for me! Can I have a look?” He then rushes towards the crates, but a Tyrene steps in his way with his arm extended. “But,” Garcia exclaims as he turns around and looks at Urzartyre, who is literally bellowing from his nose now. He lets out a roaring tirade that Garcia won’t understand a word of, but he certainly would have felt the force behind them.

Pfzarida types again, “The code Garcia, for your own sake!”

“OK,” Garcia exclaims with his hands gesturing Urzartyre to calm down, “I’ll have to put it in the system myself. It is a bit complicated.”

Pfzarida types again, “We are waiting!”

Garcia, helpless, walks up to a computer suite located by the edge of the launch bay, and initiates the process to release the crafts. The mechanics of the whole level set into motion as lights lit up on each of the arms holding every craft. The arms start releasing the crafts and retracting back into the floor. As soon as the arms have retracted, the craft doors open, and the Tyrene soldiers waiting by the side of each of their craft, rush in to occupy one craft each. Urzartyre oversees the boarding, standing right where he was in the middle of the launch bay. Garcia finally walks out of the suite, and towards him.

Suddenly a loud noise is heard, and bright sunlight crashes in to the middle of the facility, almost blinding everyone. The roof has now opened to reveal the exit.

“There you are my friends, ready to roll,” Garcia exclaims as he walks up towards Urzartyre.

But the venomous Tyrene has some other plans. He wastes no moment as he pulls out a weapon and fires a laser beam straight into Garcia’s guts. The force of the hit lifts Garcia off his feet and flings him many feet high and away.

As Garcia’s motionless body falls to the ground and rolls over a few times, a confused looking Urzartyre rolls his hand on his bald head. But what is he wondering now? We may not know the answer to this one, but he certainly wants to know something. And now that he is walking towards a motionless Garcia, lets’ have a look at Garcia ourselves, shall we?

Son of a jackal! He’s alive! His clothes are no doubt in tatters, and he is panting from the hit, but his human version of Penancthian suit has saved him. But Urzartyre is almost on to him. What is he going to do now? We won’t have to wait as Garcia pulls out the belt buckle from under his trouser, and as we wonder how it all escaped the Tyrene search, he quickly punches in a code, temporarily pulling the suit back, revealing two guns underneath, the ones we saw the other day. This time however he goes for the Penancthian gun, and then quickly re-adjusts his body suit. But Urzartyre is almost on him now.

As the Tyrene Bends over to have a look at Garcia, Garcia punches one more button, and a Penancthian helmet grows over his face, surprising Urzartyre who immediately steps back. Too late though, as this time Garcia turns around and fires at him.

“I’m your daddy son,” Garcia exclaims as a dodging Urzartyre almost escapes the first volley, but does get grazed by a shot.

Taken by surprise, the two Penancthians and other Tyrenes present there, waste a split second to refocus, and that was all Garcia needed to spring on to his feet and rush away. The Penancthians and Tyrenes fire at him, but he escapes. Urzartyre immediately shouts something at them, and the two immediately launch in pursuit, joined by a handful of other Tyrenes. Garcia however, has escaped out of the launch bay for the moment.

Time, a mathematical variable whose value is perpetually additive, never returns to its’ starting point. Yet people always say it goes in circles! Perhaps its’ not the time but life, that has an affection for déjà vu.

“Oh damn! Not again,” Colonel exclaims as the first craft flies out of the opening, “C’mon boys! We are running behind schedule.” And the company charges into the facility, ready with their guns for anything waiting inside.

“Split up! Take different stairs,” Colonel yells another command as he rushes in one direction, before cautioning, “Don’t use lifts and become a sitting duck!” His wards follow his command. And we follow Corbett, Mishiida and Zaiyeshin, while Monty and Sandeep follow Colonel and Andrew.

It is often not how big the team is, but how dedicated it is that determines the success or failure of a venture. A crowd of uninterested individuals is like an ocean full of resources, heading nowhere. A well organized and dedicated team flows like a river, always heading in the direction it needs to traverse.

“You guys go down that way,” Corbett gestures to Mishiida and Zaiyeshin, who nod in agreement.

The trio split into two teams to quickly rush through the corridor to the next flight of stairs. This facility is really a maze. But then such facilities always are, on account of secrecy requirements. But who do we follow?

Oh well! Lets’ go with the underdog!

And Corbett wastes no time in flying through the corridor, as close to the speed of light as humanly possible. And flies down another flight of stairs too!

Boom! Wow! That laser fire missed Corbett’s head by the width of his hair. The Tyrenes are still here; and two of them for one Corbett. That’s not fair! But surprise is not what Corbett dislikes more than a cowardly enemy. He wastes no time in returning the fire to one in front, but the one behind him kicks him in his back. The company was too close! Perhaps it had heard him flying down the stairs. But that’s not the problem! The problem is that Corbett has lost his gun in the melee. And the Tyrenes want the job done and dusted in quick time.

The Tyrene jumps in the air, his leg raised high, with clear intentions of smashing Corbetts back and chest into one single unit. Alas, wishes are not horses that one can actually ride!

As Tyrene is about to land his hit on the intended victim, a pair of flying feet land a mighty heave in his back, sending him soaring across and into his partner. The devil is here, just when you needed him!

“Yeah, that would have been good, but,” Alex quips as he rebounds on his feet and lands another brace of kicks, one in each Tyrene’s face, without letting them balance back on their feet. Alex himself lands on their other side as Corbett watches in surprise, as well as awe.

The Tyrenes are quickly on their feet though, and charge at him, jumping high in the air, with kicks aimed at Alex’s back. But Alex, possibly expecting such a move quickly falls forward and rolls over to his back. The Tyrenes fly past him, while he quickly gets back on his feet and lunges in their back, giving them a mighty push in their shoulders, thus not allowing them to regain balance on their feet. And as the two try to hold their ground Alex lands another pair of kicks, but this time in their knees holding the balance of their body weights, thus making them fall on their back. Alex however quickly balances on his feet and then falls on to his back, hitting the two in their chests with his elbows. And as the Tyrenes curl up in pain, he lands a back hand punch each in their faces, and then quickly rolls back and away.

The Tyrenes get back on their feet and rush towards him. Alex, who is up on his feet now, rushes towards them, but lunges and spins through between their bodies.

“Uh oh, you missed me,” Alex quips as he whizzes past them. But the two Tyrenes quickly turn around to rush at him. Too bad their heads relieve their bodies of their weight, as Corbett wastes no time in finishing the job as soon as he regains possession of his gun.

“What are you doing here?” Corbett asks Alex perplexed.

“Oh! You don’t need to thank me,” Alex quips with a smile and a wink.

Who can stop a warrior from answering the call, when the call is what he’s always been trained to answer? Stop the call, don’t stop the warrior!

And we leave behind Corbett, shaking his head in disbelief as Alex flies away in search of the one he cares the most.

Doesn’t take him long in finding Mishiida and Zaiyeshin; pinned down by four Tyrenes; all six having lost their weapons, and now embroiled in a heavy fist fight. Outnumbered, the duo are definitely fighting a losing battle here as the they rise up on their feet after another fall, standing back to back in the middle of the room, as the four mighty Tyrenes launch at them. The duo wait for a second, but just when the four enemies are about to land their kicks in their rib cages, the duo jump and try to kick in retaliation, rather than defending.

Would have been a catastrophe had Alex not jumped in, grabbed them from their legs and pulled them down to the floor. As the duo fall down to the floor, the Tyrenes end up getting entangled into each other. But before the four would have fell on the trio below, Alex shouts just in time, “Roll over.”

The trio rolls away as the Tyrenes fall down with a thud. The trio gets back on their feet as Mishiida looks on at Alex, surprised as she is, but Alex however is looking at the Tyrenes. One of the Tyrene immediately spins a kick at Alex, who ducks and turns under his leg, and then spins his own kick into the Tyrenes face. Another Tyrene charges at Alex, aiming a kick at him, but Alex spins away and dodges his hit.

“Ah ha, you missed me,” Alex quips as the third Tyrene charges at him and swings a might punch at him. But Alex steps back and runs around in a circle, dodging and frustrating him.

The fourth Tyrene however decides to surprise him and kick him from his back, but Alex falls down to the ground before getting hit, rolls around and kicks him in his groin first, and his face later, one kick apiece. The first Tyrene tries to stomp him down but he rolls away and gets back on this feet. The two other Tyrenes lunges at him with flying kicks, but he jumps, spinning around in Gataka style, to move behind their back, and as they land, he lunges and hits their heads with a kick apiece. The Tyrenes lose their balance and crash into the wall in front.

“Ouch! That would have hurt,” Alex quips as he turns away and ducks to avoid the third Tyrenes kick. Quickly he kicks the Tyrene’s leg which is still up in the air, and makes him lose his balance and fall on the ground. The moment he falls down, Alex falls down on him, his elbow aimed at his neck.

“Oops!” Alex quips as he incapacitates one.

The first two Tyrenes lunge at Alex to pin him to the ground but he rolls away. The fourth Tyrene rushes to stomp on him, but Alex spins on his back and hits the Tyrene’s leg still attached to the floor, before his other food could come down. The Tyrene is thrown off balance. The first two Tyrenes however have lunged at him again in the meantime. But Alex rolls on his back, gets on his feet, then jumps and spins around to avoid their next hit, before ducking under the arm of the third Tyrene.

Too bad the Tyrenes got carried away with taking on Alex, and forgot that there were two more people in the room. They deserved to lose their heads!

Alex turns around and looks on at Mishiida, who is still in a shock. She looks up as he walks up to her.

“Did you miss me baby?” Alex quips as he puts his hand on her face. And Mishiida’s eyes fill up as she takes him in an embrace.

“Great! Don’t do the job you are here for!” Corbett quips as he arrives to witness the lovers sharing their moment, while Zaiyeshin stands in a corner, looking way uncomfortably.

Both Alex and Mishiida smile at Corbett, shaking their heads. Mishiida steps back to get moving, but Alex holds her hand, stopping her. Mishiida looks on in his eyes a bit surprised.

“Inaansha,” Alex exclaims, ever so softly.

And Mishiida breaks down into a joyful cry as she embraces him again, and then kisses him. “Inaansha,” she says, and so do we!

The three then follow Corbett, as they rush down another flight of stairs.

Panic is exacerbated by a person’s own thoughts. The situation is always unchanged. If it is deteriorating, then it is just that; deteriorating. But it is the panic which defines how it appears to the one at the receiving end of the unwanted tidings. If it appears lost, it is not the situation, but the perception that is creating the result. The real situation might just still be unchanged, or still just deteriorating.

“Don’t shoot,” Mr. Garcia yells as he rushes towards Corbett’s group, mindful of his helmet.

Pfzarida and Draztida, along with a group of Tyrenes rush behind him, their guns blazing. Corbett and company however interrupt them as a fist fight ensues.

“What happened?” Corbett asks Garcia as the two bump into each other trying to avoid the mighty hits of two Tyrenes. Meanwhile Mishiida and Zaiyeshin have engaged Pfzarida and Draztida into a Penancthian match of their own.

“I need to get back there,” Mr. Garcia exclaims as he folds his helmet back, ducks a punch and rushes away.

“You are running in the wrong direction,” Corbett yells at him as he lunges away while the Tyrene fighter tries to grab him in his arms. Alex meanwhile is in a dodge, hit and run fight of his own with two fighters.

“My mom packs more power than that,” Alex quips as he spins on one of his heels, letting the mighty Tyrene’s punch land on the wall behind. Would someone please remind him; this is a bloody fight, not a training session!

“Doesn’t matter,” Mr. Garcia meanwhile replies to Corbett as the duo rush away in a direction, with two Tyrenes in hot pursuit, “It is still going to take them some time to get all the crafts out.” The two then quickly rush into opposite rooms. The Tyrenes follow them in, but the two rush out of other exits.

“I’m going back now. Just take care of these guys,” Garcia exclaims as he rushes into another direction. The Tyrene follows him, but Corbett rushes behind the Tyrene to stop him. The other Tyrene too rushes behind Corbett. Alex, who has noticed the two in trouble, dodges the two Tyrenes he is fighting with, and rush to Corbett’s aid.

Corbett meanwhile grabs the Tyrene following Garcia from his back, to pull him away from Garcia. The Tyrene elbows him in return. He avoids the hit, but the second Tyrene grabs Corbett from his back and starts to squeeze him. Alex arrives and lands a kick in the back of one of his knees, breaking his balance and grip, as Corbett frees himself from his grasp and kicks him in his groin. The two Tyrenes chasing Alex arrive at the scene and lunge at him. Alex rushes away, jumps to a wall to give self a push, then turns around to swing a quick kick each to their faces. Corbett rushes behind the Tyrene who is following Garcia.

Mr. Garcia is about to get into the lift when the Tyrene grabs and pulls him away. Corbett arrives at the scene and kicks the Tyrene in his ribs. Alex meanwhile rushes in as well.

“You stay there and help the others,” Corbett yells to Alex.

“Don’t worry, Colonel and others have arrived there,” Alex replies as he pulls his arm in the way of the Tyrene’s swing, breaking its momentum, while Corbett rushes and grabs the Tyrene from his waist and forces him into the wall behind. The Tyrene tosses Corbett away, but Alex takes the opportunity to land a mighty kick to his face.

Meanwhile Garcia, who was busy hitting the lift buttons, rushes into an open lift.

“I’ll go with him, for back up,” Alex quips as he rushes into the second lift.

“Are you wearing the special suit?” Corbett asks Alex as he himself ducks the Tyrene’s hit.

“What special suit?” Alex asks as the lift door closes.

Too late!

There will be a time when perhaps no man would walk this earth anymore. But before that time, there is no reason why men should seize being men altogether.

With the last but one of the crafts having already left, Urzartyre decides it’s time for him to get out of the facility as well. There is possibly no reason for him to believe that the men still left behind won’ be able to fend for themselves, and use their older crafts to get out. Or perhaps they are all dispensable. There are many levels of thought process that a General leading a charge goes through. It is often hard to predict which one would be actually determinative of his choices in a particular instance.

With a slight limp in his leg, thanks to the Garcia shot that grazed his limb, Urzartyre labors into his craft. Unbeknown to him, Garcia, who has finally snuck back into the launching area, climbs in as well just as the door starts closing down and the craft starts lifting up! But he is not going to be the only intruder onboard his ship. Alex manages to squeeze in past the closing door too.

“What are you doing here?” Garcia asks him immediately.

“Do you think you can fight him and do whatever you want to do, alone?” Alex asks him in return.

His question makes Garcia pause and think. He quips, “Yep! He’ll definitely know shortly that he’s not alone. But that is not the only problem!”

“What do you mean?” Alex asks.

“I’ve only brought one parachute pack,” Garcia quips.

This time his words make Alex pause and think as the craft, with a mighty push of inertia that throws them both of their feet, flies up and out of the facility, above in the sky. A peek outside, and mayhem is all we see! The Tyrenes have already set off on their course of destruction. Whatever Garcia needs to do, he needs to do it quick!

“Oh well!” Alex quips, “We’ll think about it later. You do your work.”

Garcia gives him a thumbs up, and the two sneak further inside the craft. On approaching a control panel, Garcia pulls out a screw driver and quickly opens up the cover, revealing a mesh of wires inside, along with a computer module. Garcia immediately plugs in a pocket device he is carrying and gets on with his task. But suddenly Urzartyre roars from inside the cabin! Perhaps he’s realized he is not alone. Let us rush and see what he is doing.

Urzartyre punches a few buttons before getting up from his seat. Having set the craft on auto pilot, he sets out to find the intruders, his gun ready in his hand. But the moment he opens up the door of his cabin, Alex smashes his hand with the hard end of his waist belt, knocking the weapon of his hand. Before Urzartyre is able to react, Alex hits him on his knee hard, making him whine in pain, and then kicks his weapon away. Urzartyre immediately rushes at him. Alex tries to swing out of his way, but with limited space available for his maneuver, gets cleaned off his feet. Urzartyre immediately rushes at him and tries to kick him, but Alex rolls away in the same motion that he falls on his back. Urzartyre follows, but Alex suddenly changes his rolling direction and rolls into him, taking him by surprise, and lifts him on his feet and tosses him away.

At this point Urzartyre notices Garcia busy doing his work. He immediately charges at him and tries to smash his head with his fist. Garcia ducks to avoid his hit, but the commotion dislodges his miniature device from the socket, disrupting his work. Urzartyre sees the device and tries to crush it with his foot, but Garcia quickly pushes it away with his hand. His hand however gets crushed under his foot and Garcia is left whining in pain. Urzartyre takes full pleasure in crushing his hand, but luckily for Garcia, Alex rushes in and lunges at the Tyrene, putting his arm around his neck, and then swinging around to take him down using his body weight and inertia. It temporarily relives Garcia, who immediately sets out to retrieve the device while Alex tries to fight and keep Urzartyre distracted.

Urzartyre swings for umpteenth time, and Alex ducks and spins for the umpteenth time, but now the craft has become unstable because of the commotion inside. Garcia could have retrieved the device, but it ends up sliding further back. Urzartyre notices this and grabs Garcia by his hair, but Alex kicks him in the back of his knees again, and Garcia turns around to land a mighty hit in the Tyrene’s face. He then kicks the Tyrene hard in his chest and speeds back towards the device sliding all over the place in the craft.

Urzartyre gets back on his feet and tries to rush after him, but Alex slides and breaks his stride by sticking his leg in front of his. This makes the Tyrene tumble, and of course, enraged further. Both Alex and Tyrene get up at the same time and the Tyrene takes another swing with his fist. Alex ducks again, and spins away. Tyrene follows him, kicking and punching, but all in thin air as Alex tries his best to keep out of his reach. But in all this commotion, Alex accidentally flips the emergency exit switch, opening up the crafts door. The gushing air immediately imbalances the two.

“Are you alright?” Garcia peeps around to check on Alex.

“I’m fine,” Alex exclaims as he falls to the ground to escape a lunging Tyrene who immediately gets back on to his feet and falls back on to Alex. Alex rolls away and gets back on to his feet, trying to stay away from the open door. The Tyrene gets back on to his feet, his back facing the open door, with Alex’s back against a wall. The Tyrene lunges towards Alex with a mighty fist aimed at his torso, and a kick aimed at his guts. Alex however slips down quickly, and through his legs. He quickly gets up and grabs a turning Tyrene by his waist. Alex jumps in the air, his arms still wrapped around the Tyrene’s waist, and hits the wall with his feet to give himself a mighty push, as he tries to throw the Tyrene out of the craft. Both the Tyrene and Alex fall close to the door but still inside the craft. Alex quickly spins around on his back and hits the Tyrene’s torso with all his might, finally tossing the Tyrene out of the craft. But in one last act, the Tyrene grabs a hold of Alex’s legs, and pulls him out of the craft alongside himself.

“Aye, help!” Alex yells out to Garcia.

“What happened?” Garcia yells as he rushes to the site, only to find Alex hanging by the edge. “Hold on, I’m coming,” Garcia quips as he rushes to grab Alex’s hand.

Alex however looks down and then back, “Never mind, just finish what you need to do.”

“I will,” Garcia exclaims extending out his hand, “After I pull you in.”

But Alex looks down again, and Garcia finally notices, the Tyrene is not only holding on to Alex, but trying to climb up and back into the craft again. “You won’t be able to fight him,” Alex quips with a smile, and then lets’ go his grip on the edge.

“No,” a shocked Garcia yells out, and we are obviously speechless.


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