Chapter 2 – The Conviction
Author’s Note : Thank you, friends and readers, for reading this far. I am going to update as frequently as possible. Any reviews or opinions privately or publicly are most welcome! If you are visiting for the first time, there are links to the earlier chapters below, you might want to read them ahead of this. And to the one who patiently reviewed the earlier chapters (and also happens to play the keyboard beautifully), Thank You.
2300 AD – Brugu Residence
Brugu couldn’t sleep that night. It was evident. His teacher had explained him what he had to do and he was duty bound to do it, for he was the chosen Uru, the next in the path to the Panchabhuta. When he was finally falling asleep, he heard noises. He got up quietly and walked to the source of the sound.
“… but Sage, why him? Why not anyone else?” Kalki was pleading.
“It has got to be him, son. I know it’s a lot to ask, but the prophecies are clear and what are we but actors in a scripted play. As the saying goes,
The ones who follows the path,
The path needed for salvation,
Gaia shall choose them herself,
And in them, there’ll be absolution.
So, calm down Kalki, for this isn’t a risk, but an investment; an investment for the future.”
Brugu heard this, his eyes filled up. He realized what his master expected of him. They needed him. Gaia needed him.
2000 AD – Uru Monastery, Nepal
Suburu looked on worriedly at his master who was lost in his thoughts. Breaking the silence he finally asked “Are you sure this is the answer, master?”
As if waking from a trance, Uru stirred visibly and looked at his disciple with eyes that reflected years of melancholy and peaceful worry and said “Yes, child. It doesn’t look like we have much of a future the way we are treating her. Gaia is gradually deteriorating. We need to save her and if drastic measures are what we need, then that is what we will do. I am sorry for making you a part of this, child.”
Suburu said, faking conviction he wasn’t feeling and masking worry almost barely, “Whatever you say master. Let us just hope this is enough.”
Sighing deeply, the sage and his apprentice stared at the dark, where the forest, seemed to talk to them.
2300 AD – Launch Zone, Neutral Region
The five nations that had called a temporary truce under the insistence of the Panchabhuta had now pitched in to build a silo for emergency dispatch. Prior to the continental remodeling, a lot of rocket spare parts and units were retired. They were brought back now to efficiently build a makeshift launch pad and transportation capsule.
The rocket plan was very simple. The famed scientists of region D had come up with the ingenious prospect.
They were building a large angular unit that would be aimed at optimally travelling the 0.05 light years to the land prescribed by the Panchabhuta. This angular unit would have 5 capsules in it forming a pentagram. This would keep the entire contraption stable and symmetric. Also, the capsule was made with hardened titanium. When the unit enters the atmosphere of the foreign land, the rocket unit would disengage leaving the five capsules to land separately with their own landing apparatus.
It was brilliant. It was simple, yet detailed. The project head Robert Stevenson was standing on the landing overlooking his aides discussing the aerodynamics of the capsules, while scratching his beard. A man to who age hadn’t been too kind; Robert knew the importance of this project. It might very well be the last thing Earth does that actually matters.
“Stanley, get me the report as soon as you have come to a conclusion.” He said to an aide.
“Yes boss”, came the reply as he rushed back to the quarters. They had just received one of the five participants scheduled to leave for the voyage. He frowned every time he thought of the early arrival.
Robert was an engineer; he disliked curious amateurs roaming around his workstation. They always made things worse rather than better. So one could imagine his displeasure at finding out that his first passenger had come two months before schedule.
As he quickly walked to the residence quarters, a female voice boomed almost tearing the silence “Where are you running to, doctor?”
Robert turned around to find the source of the sudden voice. He found a girl sitting near a tree, holding a flute. Robert hadn’t seen her before, anywhere. She was the visitor.
Robert was a man of science, he did not believe in religion or any of the premonitions. But he couldn’t tear his eyes off of this peaceful girl sitting under the tree bathed in moonlight. She seemed like she’s from Region A judging from her skin color. She had defining and sharp features, and she wore a cross on her neck.
Smiling, Jenny said “You still haven’t answered my question, Doctor”
Robert quickly went over, and said “Hello, I am Robert. I was headed to the quarters to meet you. Hope you found the accommodations satisfactory.”
“Yes, Robert. I am Jennifer, friends call me Jenny. The accommodations were more than I could have wished for. I came here early to pray to the lord in the seaside in this region. My master gave me a ritual that would assure my success. And success is after all vital” Jenny said, still smiling.
Robert was almost taken aback by the humility of this person on the shoulders of whom the world’s future laid. It made him more determined. Even if he didn’t have faith, he could trust. And Jenny didn’t seem too hard to be trusted, at least as far as first impressions go. Time will tell, probably.
Making pleasantries for a few more minutes, Robert rushed back to his workstation with renewed vigor. There was work that needed done.
2300 AD – In a forest in Region C
“Talk to me, mother Gaia. I want your guidance. I am but a teenage boy. How am I supposed to live up to these lofty tasks being given to me? I would lay down my life for you, but in this case would that be enough? I need help. I need direction, please, something, anything, mother.” Brugu said to the oldest tree in the region. This tree was often referred to as the Nature’s heart. It was believed it might even be the oldest plant form in the Earth. After Brugu had overheard his father and his master talk, he had packed his bag and left to the clearing where this great tree stood.
This place was always a place for quiet contemplation for Brugu. It was a place where he got the most clarity and felt like one with Gaia, whom he so loved.
But as always, there wasn’t any answer. Brugu tensed and sat upright as he was trying to make sense of what was expected of him.
“Woof” came a voice a few feet away from where he was sitting.
Chetak, his dog had followed him, it seems. This brought a smile to his face. He loved his dog. Dogs are closer to Gaia than any life form, his tribe believed. Most people in his village had dogs.
He looked back to greet his dog with the customary hug he reserved only for him. Except that, this time, the dog had something in his mouth. He had a red cloth hanging from his mouth. He quickly removed the cloth from his mouth.
He opened the knot within the cloth. A pouch fell out. It was made out of leaves and straw. He was intrigued. He had never seen something like that. He brought it to his nose, it smelled like Earth, almost like life.
His curiosity got the better of him; he opened the pouch and emptied its contents on the ground. Out fell a green sphere, the size of a marble. It was the most beautiful thing he had ever set his eyes on. It shone in the campfire light, almost as if reflecting the life hidden within. He tried to look inside, he couldn’t. It seemed foggy.
Looking at Chetak, he asked “Where did you find this, boy?”
Chetak looked up at his master, wagging his tail and sniffed the ground.
Almost hysterical with elation, Brugu looked at the tree that was his best friend almost as much, arguably, as his dog; wiped the tears that were forming in his eyes, he voiced “Thank you, Maa. Thank you”
With newly gained conviction, he packed his bags, doused the fire and walked back to his house.