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Mishiida Alexander

Stalking Shadows

“Malicious always have a plan, ahead of their times.”

Chapter Sixteen: The other answer

Grace is lazy; it’s greed which is industrious. Good people work hard to build a society, sacrifice and suffer, only to put their feet up once they have achieved what they believe is just and clean to their tastes. They expect almost to the point of blind hope, that everyone would be nice enough to share in the fruit of their toil and trouble, without an intention to usurp the delicate balance. They forget, or choose to deliberately overlook both the historical and the behavioural aspects of humanity. They eliminate the evil, but not the evil-doers, for they are too good not to forgive and reconcile. But evil seldom, if ever, forgets the taste of malice.

When no one is looking, evil is thinking; when everyone is looking evil is preaching. Evil is industrious and efficacious in its actions, as well as inactions. What stands in its’ way today, is a problem demanding a solution by tomorrow. But its’ ways of yesterday having already been unmasked, the evil’s task is even more arduous today; it has to escape detection tomorrow. Its’ plans are always a step ahead of tomorrow. They are meant to last many tomorrows after tomorrow. The only one doing catching up all the time is not the greed, but the benevolence that forgave it yesterday.

What hasn’t changed in centuries of human civilization, will it ever change its’ character, or is it beyond reasoning? For something that itself preaches everyone what it doesn’t believe in itself, will it ever respond to preaching of those whom it considers inferior in reasoning and an obstacle to be maneuvered? The answers are pretty obvious, yet the good won’t be willing to accept them as a statement of fact. And the tussle will continue, forever. Lucky is humanity but only until such time, when people like Rick, Alex and Surpavitar would still be keen and willing to rise and answer a call borne out of dire states, for once the warriors will give up on humanity, there will be no messiahs.

Today however, a messiah was needed not by the humanity, but an individual who had gotten accustomed to assuming, that he was above the shoulders of the rest. Perhaps he is now ready to be actually lifted on those shoulders, for the holes dotting the upholstery of this posh suburban house belie any hopes of finding a survivor. The empty guns have all been replenished for another round, and the five pairs of footsteps are closing in towards the mini bar that possibly secures a dead body. Murder two needs a confirmation as well!

“Quick! His back up is stationed just a block away,” one of the men leading the carnage retorts.

Bang! Bang! Bang! Almost like a miracle, Mr. Garcia springs out of a side, and takes out two of the assailants. The three remaining ones immediately engage him with fresh fire, and at the same time move sideways to take refuge behind various items of furniture. The fresh salvo forces Mr. Garcia to take cover behind the wood again. Let us have a look at how he is surviving these projectiles.

Interesting; the bullets are actually hitting his body, blowing away bits and pieces of his clothing, but he is not bleeding, except from his exposed hands that have been grazed by some stray fire. He is lying there, covering his exposed face firmly with his arms closed together in front of it, perhaps waiting for this round of fire to end.

The guns go empty once again, and the sounds of reloading are a clear indication they are getting ready for another round if needed. But wait! What’s that strange looking handgun that Garcia has pulled out now? Doesn’t look like an alien tech, but it certainly has a huge canister of a barrel.

Garcia this time jumps straight on to his feet and fires three shots from his weapon, one for each remaining enemy. The shots are mini exploding projectiles. They hit the target and explode like rocket propelled bombs. His handgun has both outwitted and out-matched his assailants’ rifles.

As Jackie strolls around and takes a look at the sight, two big cars full of men arrive outside the house. Jason hops out of the one in front, a weapon similar to Garcia’s in his hand. He pulls out his mobile and makes a quick call, “Sir, are you all right?”

“Yes I’m fine,” Garcia’s voice booms out loud and clear.

“Secure the perimeter boys,” Jason tells his men who immediately take to the task. Jason then walks into the house and gets the first glimpse of the mayhem. Jackie is now standing next to Talia’s motionless body, his own body still holding up the tattered clothing, that now clearly reveals what was underneath that saved him, what we are very familiar with already.

“It’s a shame you couldn’t have put on the gloves and helmet,” Jason quips as he inspects Garcia’s wounded hands, “If it wasn’t for the sake of securing the secret, you wouldn’t have been hurt even this much today.”

“The secret’s already out Jason,” Mr. Garcia reasons as sirens of police vehicles start growing in the background, getting louder by each passing moment, “Otherwise, how will we explain why five of my men are dead along with Talia, and how I am still alive after such a mayhem?”

“Lets’ get you out of here before they arrive,” Jason quickly tries to plan something, “We can always say these men were her for her protection and got killed along with her.”

“Too late,” Garcia shrugs off the suggestion as the first cop cars arrive outside, “This house and this neighbourhood is secured via video surveillance. We won’t be able to deny my presence now. Plus, all the bullets in her body and those lining these walls and furniture, have all come from their weapons. We are stuck in this one!”

“What do we do know?” Jason finally realizes the extent of the entrapment, “All the agencies will be there, waiting at our homes before even we would get back?”

“Relax! You remember the couple of alien vests that we had requested the US army to provide us for research,” Garcia reminds Jason of a way out, “I guess we finally have a prototype that can successfully withstand real action.”

Jason’s eyes brighten up, but he still has some concerns, “But then the US army will ask us to fulfill our commitment and supply them the ten thousand free vests that we promised them.”

“Sure they will,” Jackie quips as he lights up a cigarette, “But only when we have an actual piece ready for marketing, and not a prototype still being tested.” He then pulls out another weapon from the inside pocket of his nearly shredded coat, and this one looks exactly what a Penancthian handgun looks like, “Here, secure this. The cops shouldn’t find this one on me.”

Finding however has two distinct forms; one that refers to a discovery, and another that is a re-discovery. A search reveals something new when that something wasn’t expected, and it reveals what had been temporarily lost when the search was commenced with a definite objective in mind. While the former can be gratifying or shocking, the later is only satisfying. And satisfaction does not always translate into happiness. It can quite often be nothing more than a confirmation of an uncomfortable truth; a culmination of a quest to find an answer.

“So what do you think?” Surpavitar finally asks Alex, after observing him for a minute or two, looking intently from behind a corner at Mishiida and Zaiyeshin, two friends re-united after a long time and now having a chat.

“What?” Alex is startled as he turns around and looks at Surpavitar, who is standing there with his arms folded, clearly expecting an answer. “Nothing,” Alex finally speaks realizing he won’t get away without saying something, “Zaiyeshin was there in her life before me. If she had to be with him, she wouldn’t have been with me.”

“I am glad you can still reason when your emotional experiences are pressing,” Surpavitar commends his lad, and then continues, “Who is he anyway, and where has he been so far?”

“He is Mishiida’s childhood best friend,” Alex replies, “They grew up, studied and trained together. In fact; and this is what Mishiida had to say about him; he was the best among their batch, even better than Mishiida. But something happened a night before their final exam, something he won’t tell anyone about, due to which he couldn’t perform well in the exam, and fell behind Mishiida and their enemy’s son.”

“That’s interesting,” Surpavitar quips nodding his head, “But what was it that he gave to Mishiida, that saved her so dramatically?”

“Essential compounds,” Alex explains, “Like our body needs some essential minerals and compounds from plant or animal sources, the Penancthian bodies need similar compounds too. They used to get these naturally from the plants that grew in their world, before it was destroyed. Now they generate them synthetically, and carry them in vials with them. Once their concentration falls in their bodies, their bodies become physically weak and their immunities prone.”

“Interesting bit of information,” Surpavitar acknowledges, just like us, “But how did he know that she needed them?”

“He didn’t,” Alex replies, “He was just coming to see her after a long time. He had been assigned to another Penancthian colony, and had just returned to Mishiida’s colony after it had been overrun by the Tyrenes. The commanding officer thought it wise to let him have a bit of a break, as well as send him here to co-ordinate with us better.”

“Sorry for jumping in boys, but what is that overrunning thing that you just mentioned?” Rick, who’s just arrived at the scene, joins in their conversation.

“Zaiyeshin was under the command of the Penancthian General who was leading one of the three Penancthian colonies escaping the destruction of Penancthia,” Alex informs us all, “The Tyrenes were in hot pursuit, and the Penancthian’s had to escape out of Ashinorshe, their home galaxy. They went to Saunaretaschia galaxy to escape and rebuild, but the Tyrenes outsmarted and destroyed them.”

“How did they do that?” Colonel wants to know the complete bits and pieces, and so do we.

“The Tyrenes sent a stealth brigade behind the Penancthian positions,” Alex explains, “They contacted the Craulstians of Craulstyria, who were barely as advanced as us humans, gave them their technology to use their infrastructure and build their weapons and warships. Once their stealth brigade was fully equipped, they first destroyed the Craulstyria, killing all Craulstians, and then they attacked the Penancthians from two sides. The Penanchian colony was destroyed and many Penancthians were killed, but most managed to escape. They are now scattered all over the universe with Tyrene enemies in hot pursuit. Zaiyeshin was originally sent by his commanding officer to get help from Mishiida’s colony.”

“So they equipped themselves and then destroyed the hands that equipped them,” the concerning bit of information didn’t miss Colonel’s discerning eye.

“The Tyrenes are here, as you know,” Alex continues, “They even attacked Zaiyeshin and destroyed his craft. The vessel that he’s used to arrive here is actually a Tyrene stealth vessel.”

“How did he get a hold of one?” Colonel is immediately interested in knowing more details.

“Oh, he killed nine of them,” Alex quips, “The tenth one he left alive, and took his vessel.”

“One man against ten,” Colonel comments, “Zaiyeshin is indeed a very interesting character. I want to know more about him. What a shame you can’t understand what they are talking, you idiot good for nothing buffoon!”

“Hey, no need to be offensive,” Alex quips, “I’ve already learnt all their alphabet, and basic words, and thread bare grammar; all in three days.”

“Good! Now get even better,” Colonel pats his shoulder, “Get fluent!” He then turns to Surpavitar, “Can I talk to you for a second?”

And as the two leave, Mishiida and Zaiyeshin walk in towards Alex.

“Hey! You are taller than me again,” Alex quips surprised, making Mishiida chuckle. She strokes his hair, and then, putting her arms around him, pulls him into an embrace, and plants a big warm kiss on his lips. And as the two lovers embrace each other, as if they have met after a long time, Zaiyeshin steps back and looks away uncomfortably. Is it just us, or are his eyes really moist?

Language can take many forms; from eyes to lips, from body signs to body signals. The more adapt is one at discerning the intricacies of such a myriad of languages, the more adept they are at handling unknown personalities. Such learning is as much natural, imbibed in an individual’s persona as a consequence of evolution, as much it is a studied art.

This one is a very tragic corner of Downtown Paringa. Menzies painful shrieks bear a testimony to it. Corbett is going hammer and tongs at him, without relenting.

“Hey, stop it, have you gone crazy,” Colonel Rick finally arrives in the room to intervene, “If Andrew hadn’t informed me, you would have killed this man.”

“But that’s what I want to do,” Corbett calmly replies.

“Then why did you bring him here,” Colonel roars.

“To kill him,” Corbett is still adamant.

“But we need him,” Colonel reminds him, “We need to know what he knows.”

“He won’t tell you anything. Men like him don’t speak! Why do you want to waste your time,” Corbett retorts back, “I know he is behind the killing of Carl, and I know we will never be able to find evidence against him. So I am just going to kill him and server justice hot.”

“But you can’t kill a man in custody,” Colonel rebuffs him.

“But we haven’t arrested him,” Corbett replies, “No one knows what these guys did in that secluded place, and no one will similarly know that we picked him up from there. I still haven’t filled any paperwork. He would be as unknown in his death, as his victims are.”

“But why breach the law?” Colonel argues.

“Law doesn’t apply to me; remember,” Corbett answers, “I am not officially one of you. No one officially knows I am here. Why don’t you just go and rest awhile and let me torture him to my heart’s content. Make him feel the pain that Carl must have felt, until such time his bodily strength give up on its’ own and he perishes like morning mist under Sun. I will destroy his body and all evidence.”

“Please, save me from this demon,” Menzies finally breaks the conversation, “Lets’ talk.”

“No! I am not interested in talking to you,” Corbett roars in his face and gives him another slap.

“But I have wife and kids,” Menies replies crying.

“Oh don’t worry, we’ll put them on state benefits,” Colonel quips this time, and then looks on at Corbett, “At least ask the man how he wants to die, and then kill him the way he wants to, after you have had your sweet revenge.”

“Please, can we talk?” Menzies pleads again, “I will tell you everything I know.”

“Shut up! You know nothing,” Corbett quips, his hands on his hips.

“Try me, please, once,” Menzies cries out again.

“Well, give this man a chance,” Colonel tells Corbett, “I will be in my office. Bring me the paperwork if you prepare it, or make sure no one ever knows.”

A nock on the door breaks their conversation, and Lieutenant Andrew Gurien walks in. He salutes the officer in charge and then informs him, “Sir, you better have a look at the news.”

“It’s about Garcia, am I right?” Colonel asks, to which Andrew nods in affirmative.

Ever is a very impossible proposition, its’ strength only being limited to the life span of what’s current. Whatever exists, or has happened, no matter how well camouflaged or hidden it is, it will be noticed by someone at some point in future. The only thing material is; will it escape detection long enough to outlive those with active interest in its knowledge.

Jackie has the services of the best lawyers in the town. Police investigation is not a problem that would bother him, and he sure had an explanation for the federal agents. But he sure is beginning to feel the heat of the fire that has risen outside his office.

“Sir, we have a problem,” Jason however seems to have more bad news for him, “The bride’s here!”

“What! Already,” Mr. Garcia jumps straight on to his feet.

“Reached the palace around midnight,” Jason advices him of the factual reality.

“Damn!” Mr. Garcia quips as he lashes on his table with a heavy fist, “What’s our status? Are we ready?”

“Not for our purposes,” Jason replies, “We needed more time!”

Mr. Garcia takes a deep breath, and paces up and down the length of the room a couple of times as Jason looks on, patiently waiting for his orders. “Go to plan B,” Garcia finally makes the decision.

But who is this bride, and what is this palace and plans the two are talking about. There’s no point in fearing the worst when we can actually confirm it to be so or not. Let us make a dash to Rhea!

Nope! The Tyrenes are not here anymore.


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