Chapter 10 –Resolution
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.
18th December, 2305 AD – Noah
Robert was feeling it. He was feeling the euphoria that comes with success. He was feeling like he couldn’t be stopped. The people he was commissioned to chauffeur were ecstatic too. They were celebrating behind him. Chetak was joyously barking away in the cabin too. He could hear them. He could feel them, but his eyes weren’t on them. His eyes were on the screen. His people, who worked with him, the people who were the reason he could do what he did in time, were rejoicing. They were sharing his success. Yes, that was a good feeling.
Then it happened. The sound came first. It shook his very core; it brought him out of the stupor. Then all was quiet. His eye searched for the screen desperately – hoping it was a glitch. All the passengers were watching helplessly as the people they knew went up in smoke.
It was a shock like none other, and these were people affected by war, famine and everything mother Earth could offer them. They were choked. A sob broke the silence. Jenny was crying. Chetak was whining. Brugu and the others were silent, all joy and ecstasy forgotten.
Brugu couldn’t believe it. He racked his brain trying to imagine who could have caused this. He could not think of anyone. He was one of the people who would search in the good in any situation. That redeemed even the worst of situations for him. That being said, he could not do such a thing for this. He was lost for words or actions. Chetak licked his hand, whining into it. He sensed something had happened. He had heard the loud sound, but he couldn’t make out what the problem was, but he knew it was bad.
“Robert… Are you alright?” said Jenny suppressing her sniffing willfully, breaking the newer – more depressing silence.
Robert choked for words, “No” he managed to cough out the words.
But such was fate. He was a man of science. Such a tragedy is a part of what he does; he knew he had to move past it – towards his task. He tried to brush the reality away like he had so many times done in his past, but that wasn’t easy.
An hour of silence and reflection passed. Robert got up, called everyone to the planning room.
This room was built with post modern screens mapping out their entire path; their supplies were all inventoried and mapped out as well. The scientists who had just lost their lives had put their all in this project. It was evident – and also a cruel reminder.
Everyone filed into the room and waited for Robert to say something. He was standing with his hands on the table as if it was supporting his body. After what seemed like an eternity, he looked up and noticed them. He seemed to collect himself all of a sudden.
“We have a mission now. We have to value that doubly much now. Our target lies 3 weeks away. The time goes slower up here.” Then he looked at them expecting questions. When none came, he went on – “We are expected to hit two asteroid strips on the way. We are expected to lose track of our way a total of eight times on the way. We are expected to need landing directions once we are at our destination, and -” He stopped and carefully measuring his words, he added “we have no support. This is the worst thing that could have happened to us on an expedition such as this. Someone on Earth wanted really zestfully for us to fail. Fuck them, I refuse to fail. I refuse to let the deaths of my people be wasted. I will take you people there, in one piece. I will see this mission delivered. I swear it. You all with me?” He stopped his rant and looked at them.
The people were enraged and delighted. Enraged with what had happened with the people who had been kind to them and delighted that Robert had found purpose and had not given up. They were only too eager to accept his proposition. Yes, they had hope. They had a mission and now they had twice the purpose. Yes, they will get it done, no matter what it took – even their lives.
18th December 2305 AD – Somewhere on Earth
“Are we there yet” Cherrie asked, almost childishly. She was in her usual goofy mood. She had worn her pink skirt with the frills – her favorite. She likes to dress up identical to the dolls she owned – and she owned a lot of dolls.
“No Cherrie, just like the ten times you asked before now. We aren’t there yet and I will throw you out of the vehicle if you ask me once more” Patrick said, irritated. They were headed in the solar powered car that bore their clan’s insignia – The Realists – it was called, “For Science and Humanity’s Future” the logo read.
Cherrie cooed in the seat putting on a long face almost mockingly. Patrick sighed – “What do you think Riley will have to say today?” He asked.
“Nothing bad I am sure after what a huge success phase one was, but I am curious for the second step of the operation.” Cherrie replied.
Patrick was convinced of this too, but he had known Riley for more than nineteen years and he still had no idea what went on in his head. He was a mystery to even the ones closest to him. While he was mooning over that, they reached their destination.
They stopped and went up the stairs to the meeting room. Their organization had an open greenhouse room for a meeting room – peaceful and thought-provoking was the given reason. They reached in time to find Riley addressing the group. He looked up at them as they walked in. “And here comes the dynamic duo” he exclaimed and a roar of applause followed.
“Well done, friends. Well done on completing phase one of the operations.” Riley said.
“It was just a brainwash. Anyone could have done it” Patrick said, nonchalantly.
“Don’t get modest on me now, my man!” Riley said cheerfully.
Patrick knew very well much to his dread that, had he failed, this meeting would have gone a whole lot differently, probably to his peril even.
“Now to phase two” Riley said as he showed them to their seats.
“First their eyes, now their hearts” Riley said. “We kill the monks.”
The people in the room sat quiet, as they let this wash over them. They knew the man had a reason for everything he did. They followed him.
Was it because of admiration? Or expectation? Or much simpler… fear?