Tuesday 1 September 2009

ShortStory 2009 FeaturedWriter Shaunak Bangale

Bang!! The World was shaking... People living near the sea-shores from every part of the earth were stunned by the ever-biggest earthquake… It was different from other earthquakes in the sense it only happened near sea-shores. It lasted just for few moments, but the intensity was just stunning. It caused the coastal people to re-think their entire lives. Though it had caused the heartbeats to run faster, it had made a favour by not taking heartbeats away from people.

But Odona had something different in her mind. She was thinking about this event as more than a mere earthquake. Since she saw the crystal ball turning black after the earthquake was over, her concern for the future of the world was obvious. She had never seen it turning black in last 30 years. Her mother had gifted it to her before dying. Her last words were punching Odona’s mind again and again, “Just take care of the crystal ball. If it turns black, it means something bad is going to happen in near future.“ She was confused because it had turned black after the earthquake. So she had become more. To investigate, she asked her son.

Nick to get a team of 5 world class scientists from different continents to think upon it who could understand the present problem and its consequences. Nick made no delay in following up mother’s order, rather advice.. Nick was the lead scientist in path-breaking Geological Research Institute (GRI) located near the west coast of south America. Next day, he was ready with the talented team of geo-scientists; two of them were the physics Nobel Prize winners. Odona welcomed all of them and came to the point without making any further late. She asked openly, “All of you know the problem world is facing today.”

Veda, another young scientist interrupted her, “yes, it’s the earthquake and the people living on sea-shores have no option except migrating.”Xander spoke, “It was a mystery that such a powerful earthquake didn’t take any lives. We are lucky.”
Odona listened to them quietly and said,” Yes, you right because the real problem starts now.” “How?”Mendis questioned. Odona started narrating the story.

25 years ago:
Odona was living a happy life with her husband Lenbo who was the chief scientist at GRI. That was the time the world was running out of coal and research was going on to find out the solution to the problem. One day Lenbo got an idea. He thought, “Why shouldn’t we try to find it on any other planet?” He spent around 10 years in finding any planet with the coal content. Lenbo was very intelligent and had very strong belief in whatever he did. His efforts were not wasted. He found out that there exists one such planet named CORUS in a star system which was 3 light years far from the earth.

Previously he had created the space ship which was able to travel at a speed 1/5th of light. So it would take 15 years just to reach the planet and another 15 years to come back. So going there to bring coal was not the practical solution of the problem. Lenbo contacted the planet through his universal telepathic machine. He could find out that there are people who are made of coal and the whole planet is full of coal content. They are called kryobuts. Their average life span was 300 years. Lenbo was amazed.

After further coded conversation Lenbo could find out that they need salty sand every 30 years to expand their life span. But amount of salty sand was insufficient to sustain the increasing population on the planet. Kryobuts were so advanced that they had space ships which can travel at the speed of the light. So they could reach earth within 3 years of journey. So calling them to earth was only the way to get the coal. Lenbo was wise enough to make the deal only for 1 year. Kryobuts also accepted the deal happily. It was decided that they will live on earth for 1 year to use salty sand and provide coal to the earth.

So the things happened as agreed. Men on earth were happy to get more than enough coal. Kryobuts were enjoying their happiest life. They had started exploring the world. The different lands, weathers and cultures fascinated them. They were more powerful than men. So, they started dominating over men and created living hell for humanity. They refused to go back to Corus and decided to live on earth forever. People all over started blaming Lenbo and insisted he be held accountable.

While thinking for different options, Lenbo got a solution. He found that though they are powerful they are not as intelligent as men. So he felt he could use a Brain Hold Sensor to control their minds and make them enter a cave which was on the west coast of south America, He lured them with high quality sand there on the sea shore which was at the other end of the cave. The na├»ve kryobuts played into his hands, and Lenbo’s brain hold sensor had such effect on them that entered the cave without much opposition. When he could manage all of them to enter the cave, only thing remaining was to close the cave. Their master had found out that the cave is closed at the other end and they were cheated and locked. As he was smarter than his colleagues his mind wasn’t much affected by the Lenbo’s controls. But he was also under Lenbo’s will. Lenbo called Odona to close the big cave with the magical power she had got from her mother. 

But while Odona did it, master tried to come out. Suddenly, he caught Lenbo and dragged him into the cave. Odona was helpless as she only knew how to close the cave and not to open it.
Meanwhile her mother also died.
And Odona cried in memories of her husband and her mother.
“So how does it relate to the present situation? I mean what can we do now?”, asked Calinden, impatiently.

Odona continued,”As my mother told the cave can get a crack if any big thing like earthquake happens in the area. I strongly believe that Kryobuts can come out of the cave through the crack. So task for you is to save Lenbo and simultaneously control the kryobuts using the brain hold sensor technique. So first you will have to analyse the old machine which is outdated now and create a new machine for the present. Just be alert. Any mistake will lead to danger.”

Odona’s wasn’t wrong. Soon they heard the news that nearby village was attacked by kryobuts. Odona herself with Nick went to the village to see the situation. He found out that there was one kryobut among them named Corag who was helping people rather than troubling them. He was allowing the weaponless people to escape. He wanted to fight with only the people who were equivalent to him. He was more powerful than his colleagues and so dominated over them. But another kryobut, Imperious always tried to kill people mercilessly.

So Corag always contradicted Imperious. But Imperious had a team of 10 other kryobuts. Meanwhile there was an announcement made by the governments. According to the news, ‘The recent earthquake has caused the rock layers under sea to displace which may be harmful. So the people near the sea shores are requested to move towards the inner part of the respective countries.’
Nick was able to create the brain hold sensor machine but kryobuts now knew how to counter-attack. Master was inside the cave in the form of a black hole. 

One day, Imperious succeeded in kidnapping Odona and the 5 scientists. He took them to master. Master was draining Odona’s magical power and helpless scientists’ knowledge. Corag could no longer bear this injustice. He attacked the master. So master changed his target and attacked Corag. As soon as he attacked Corag, Corag got converted into Lenbo. 14 years back, master had transformed Lenbo into a kryobut. Master acquired his brain hold sensor technique and used it against Lenbo. But master didn’t want to kill Lenbo because he was the only source of information for them. He changed Lenbo so that other kryobuts could not recognize him and didn’t kill him. He also named him Corag. He always had an eye on Corag’s activities.

He also knew one day this is going to happen. Odona saw Corag getting converted into Lenbo and she didn’t know how to express these mixed feelings. Nick was also amazed by seeing his father in such condition. Lenbo was still trying to fight back but in vain as he was a normal human being now.
 Just then, Veda got an alert from his another scientist, “We have found that there are great chances of Tsunami to happen on the sea-shores and nearby regions will be destroyed completely. You need to escape from there immediately.” Veda whispered this to Lenbo and Nick. 

Odona, Lenbo, Nick along with rest of the scientist escaped the place somehow. Master underestimated them thinking they were accepting the defeat. Just as they left, a huge Tsunami came and engulfed the entire place.

Before they could even bat an eyelid, the tsunami swept them all off to their collective doom. As they saw the ruin it left in its wake… the very ruin because of which they survived, Odona remarked, ”As you sow so shall you reap. We made a mistake by calling kryobuts on earth and they turned against us all. Nature had to intervene against the kryobut menace and solved it by Tsunami. Whoever creates the problem has to find the solution. But whatever happens, know one thing –
You are not God to play dice with this world…”

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