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Surabhi Paraki

Fantasy Thriller Action


Surabhi Paraki

Fantasy Thriller Action

A Dream Come True

A Dream Come True

12 mins 22.6K 12 mins 22.6K

Stella strode through the noisy streets of Paris, her eyes darting to her sides time and again. Her shiny, auburn brown hair which was usually let down was pulled back into a bouncy ponytail, her sparkling brown irises hidden underneath icy blue contact lenses. Having been a tomboy all her life, she felt out of place in formal skirts and blouses.

She had a long way to go, but she wouldn’t dare call a taxi, not with the world’s deadliest explosive in the confines of her knapsack, even a milligram of it let out of its canister could blow up anything within a quarter kilometre radius. She had almost five grams of it. One mistake and she could blow up 125,000 kilometres of France. The very thought of it gave her the chills. She tried to brush away the thought and think of pleasant things like the Eiffel Tower or baguettes but her mind kept going back to a destroyed France.

“Stop it!” she admonished herself loudly, ignoring the puzzled stares of the onlookers. She decided it was best to put on her jacket.

After she put it on, she unzipped the pouch at the back of her jacket to reveal a retractable hood which, like the rest of the jacket, was waterproof, fireproof and bullet-proof, an invention of her own. She smiled with the slightest hint of pride on her face. She was glad that nothing had gone wrong. Yet.

She looked at the watch which showed the time to be 4:45pm, 31st July, 2025.She pulled out a set of pocket binoculars from her pocket and looked up at the skies. Her heart nearly leapt to her mouth at the sight above. There were several drones circling around the Eiffel Tower. Those were no ordinary drones; she recognized them immediately to be the Mega-Flying Mach 15 drones, or MFM15s. Those were developed only by a secret American research lab called the American Experimental Society (AES). They were sworn enemies of CERN, European Centre for Nuclear Research, where she worked as a particle physicist. If those drones were in Paris, it meant trouble, especially for a CERN scientist.

The rivalry between AES and CERN dates back to when Sir Tim Berners-Lee declined AES’s offer to help him create the World Wide Web and accepted CERN’s offer instead. Ever since then, the competition between the two organizations has been neck to neck.

Any CERN scientist found within a ten kilometre radius of any AES artefact would be caught and imprisoned for “attempted burglary”. They don’t accept any excuses apparently. Curious as parsnips, they are. The drones were flying above her at just approximately 3000 ft above sea level, barely a kilometre. If she was caught… She couldn’t even bear to think of the terrible consequences.

 Stella’s mind was racing. She had no clue what to do. Every scientist at CERN had a badge which tracked their locations, if her badge’s GPS system was picked up by the radar of the craft, she was bound to be caught. But removing the badge would mean risking her job at CERN. Something she didn’t want to lose.

Stella had to do something, and fast. She took a turn and walked down a narrow alleyway, hoping she wouldn’t be spotted. She walked into a shack called the Alley Inn. It certainly had a rough crowd. In hopes that the brawl going on in the shack would drown her voice, she picked up her phone and speed dialled Jean Descartes, the head of CERN. It was pretty daring of her to call him, but her life was at stake. The phone kept buzzing until it reached the fake voicemail. Frustrated, she slammed the mobile down onto the table. She needed a solution. She needed it right then and there. She went through all the possibilities when it suddenly just clicked. The solution was so simple she felt silly for not thinking of it earlier.

Her brother, Jake, lived in Paris! He worked right here, in Paris!

Stella’s body flooded with relief. She immediately got up and strode out of the inn and meandered her way through alleys and small, empty lanes. But, she also kept looking up to the skies nervously, ensuring that there was no threat.

Finally, she reached a cosy lane lined with pretty little larkspur and carnation saplings. She was reminded of her visit a few months ago when she had surprised Jake and gifted him an adorable little Basset Hound pup. This time, the only thing Stella had for him was some very bad news. Not her idea of a surprise.

She walked up to a door with ornate designs carved onto it. She wrapped her fingers around the brass knocker and rapped smartly onto the door. She held her breath hoping the door would swing open. Nothing happened. She was about to knock on the door again when she heard the clicking of latches and squeaking of the hinges when the door swayed open to reveal a handsome man of twenty-five. He had the same auburn hair as Stella, cropped short. But he had inherited their mother’s hazel eyes.

Stella threw her arms around her brother who pulled her into a warm hug. It was almost a whole minute before they let go of each other, laughing. Stella almost forgot about her worries.

“Well, Stel, whatchya doing here? You sure surprised me!” Jake exclaimed, shaking her by the shoulder.

“Umm… actually it’s because I’m on a mission” Stella said quietly. All her fear was coming back to her like waves on a beach.

“Sick! Well, Ms. I’m-On-A-Secret-Mission. Tell me all about it!” Jake exclaimed, looking like as excited as a kid who got a lollipop.

“Well, It’s a long story an-” Jake cut her short and exclaimed, “I love long stories!”

“I was going to ask you to promise not to interrupt me…” Stella looked at him accusingly.

“Sorry!” Jake said sheepishly. “Go ahead!”

“Okay, no more interruptions. I was asked by CERN head Jean Descartes to give this canister-” She pulled out her canister. “-to Pope Denver the II. It has five grams of antimatter. Antimatter is almost like matter’s perfect twin which was separated from it at birth, but is opposite to matter in every way. If even a milligram of it comes in contact with matter, it will destroy anything within a quarter kilometre radius. Five grams equals almost 125,000 kilometres. This canister of antimatter was produced from nothing, giving a scientific explanation for Genesis, the formation of the Earth according to the Bible. Then, the Pope will give scientists full permission to research in the Vatican City, which means, we can unearth millions of secrets. And I need to do this alone. I came here because there were MFM15’s flying above the Eiffel Tower. They scared the living daylights out of me. You were my last and only resort”, Stella said.

Jake looked at her wide eyed “You’ve been through so much and you haven’t told anyone anything? Are you even human?” Jake demanded.

Stella couldn’t handle it anymore. She broke down, her head buried in Jake’s shoulder as he comforted her. Nobody as young as Stella should be burdened with the task of saving the whole world from war, to harmonize science and religion. There were more experienced and qualified people at CERN who could do this job better than his twenty-one-year-old sister. He was furious, furious enough to go question the Director’s decisions. Stella stopped him.

“I’ve wanted to do this all my life! Doing good for the world has always been my dream, Jake, and if I can’t do this, I’m ready to take the blame!” She said hoarsely. “Besides, I’m pretty sure that I was given this specific assignment as a punishment for failing to prove the multiverse theory last month…” she muttered.

“Oh, yeah? I don’t care what you did or didn’t do! What if that canister opens up? What if the church doesn’t accept your research? Shush!” He hissed as Stella opened her mouth after every question he asked.

“I’m not done yet, no interruptions, remember? What if you lose your job? What then Stel? What will you do?”He asked demandingly.

 He took a deep breath and calmed himself. But before Stella could say anything, he was speaking again.

“Listen, Stel, if you can’t take the burden all by yourself then you should share it. That’s why your loved ones are there, to share your burden”, he said, his eyes full of concern.

“But I don’t need help, Jake! I can do this on my own!” Stella exclaimed dramatically.

Jake sighed, “You need to rest… I’ve set up your bed. Go get some sleep and we’ll talk about this tomorrow, okay?” He asked Stella as he kissed her forehead.

 “Okay…” Stella mumbled and climbed up the stairs. She crawled into her bed, exhausted from all the action that had happened. That was when the nightmares started.

Stella was standing in a barren piece of land that looked somewhat familiar. She was armoured with nuclear bomb resistant clothing, but she was still bruised and battered. She felt as though someone had just passed her through a microwave oven. She picked herself up and looked around. Lying next to here were the remains of her canister. Her anti-matter canister. That’s when it hit her.

“No!” She exclaimed. She looked around as the true horror of her mistake settled in.

“Ohhh, what’ve I done?” she whispered throatily.

“I told you you’re not capable enough, Stella Eileen”, said a thickly accented voice from behind, filled with reproachfulness.

Stella knew this voice all too well. She turned around slowly, her heart filled with dread, only to face her worst fear. Her boss, Jean Descartes, was standing in front of her, his face expressionless.

“Mr., I mean, Monsieur Descartes, I… I have an explanation, a valid one! I can fix this!” Stella replied hastily. She racked her brain, trying to remember what had happened that caused her canister to explode.

Descartes plodded towards Stella. “Stella, we had a deal. You succeed, you get promoted. You fail, you get a life sentence in prison. I think you know what you’ll be receiving now”, he said, his voice dangerously quite.

“But… But sir, I can explain! Please, sir, plea-” Descartes cut her sentence midway.

“Explain what?” He questioned, fuming. “Your carelessness? Let me remind you Stella, you had taken an oath that you accept any punishment if you fail.”

“NO! NO! NOOOO!!”Stella screamed as she woke up with a start, cold perspiration trickling down her forehead. She looked at her watch. It was 4:00 am. She had four hours before she met the Pope. Just as she was thinking about whether she should sleep in or not, Jake burst into her room.

“I heard you shout, had to dress myself before coming up. Are you alright?” he asked and panted, clearly out of breath after running up as fast as he can.

“Yeah, just had a nightmare. Go back to sleep”, She said reassuringly.

“Alright, just don’t give me a mini heart attack again like that” Jake said groggily went back to his bedroom.

Stella slept for an hour more. She woke up at five, dressed herself and walked to Basilica of Sacré-Cœur. She stepped inside and was quite surprised by what she saw.

“Whoa!!!”  Stella exclaimed as she looked up inside the spire. She had never been inside a church. Coming from an agnostic family, she had always thought of the church as a place meant for those believed in god.

But, this church turned out to be an architect’s heaven. The grandeur, the milky marble tiles, the geometric designs, the perfect symmetry (NOT supersymmetry, that’s a completely different thing) Stella stood looking around the church in awe when she heard the sound of footsteps from behind. It was Pope Francis, the current Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. He was visiting France and would be giving a sermon later that evening in this very church.

“Aah! You must be Stella Eileen. Well, I heard you have something for me…” said the Pope, looking at her expectantly.

Stella pulled out her canister from her knapsack and handed it to him. He took it and held it up gingerly.

“And what, may I know, is this?” He asked with feigned politeness.

“Antimatter, it’s the exact opposite of matter. I suppose you do know what matter is”, Stella responded coldly, not bothering to hide her feelings.

“Yes, I certainly do. But exactly what purpose does this… ah… antimatter serve?” He asked, looking genuinely curious.

“It was created from nothing.” Stella replied flatly. She expected him to understand exactly what she was talking about.

“Would you please elaborate?” The Pope asked.

“Genesis. It was the only biblical component that science hadn’t been able to prove non-divine, until now, at least”, Stella explained with a conceited smirk on her face.

The Pope’s smile slipped off his ace like slime. He assumed a grave tone.

“What is it with scientists and atheism? Why can’t all of you accept biblical statement just like the rest of us? Without questioning them”, He said with sigh.

“Well, we were born to question. If man hadn’t questioned things, we’d probably still be in Stone Age. No, phones, no religions, no Pope”, Stella replied stressing on the last two words.

“Ridiculous, God has sent Popes down to Earth from the beginning of time!” he spat out.

“Uhhh, I don’t think so. It was, correct me if I’m wrong, Adam and Eve who came to earth first. No Popes during their time,” Stella countered, annoying the Pope a good deal.

“We are all God’s children! I know God is real! I am the messenger of God!” The Pope said hysterically.

“Yeah, and I’m Beyoncé”, Stella muttered under her breath.

The Pope was enraged. “You will be late for work!” he said, his voice changing to a gruff, strong, but kind voice.

“That’s a weird curse, Mr. Pope” Stella pointed out, slightly bemused.

“This isn’t a curse, it’s your life! Wake up!” said the Pope in the same gruff voice, as he shook her vigorously.

Stella woke up with a start to see her father peering over her face.

“Aaarrghh!” Stella screamed and hid behind the covers.

“Well, well, well, somebody’s had a weird dream last night, what say Stel?” her father asked her.

Stella took a minute to soak in everything. All of this had just been a dream. She had never done any of the things she saw in her dream. Her body flooded with relief. She got up, dressed herself in blue jeans and a black t-shirt that said “I’m Smart, Just DEAL WITH IT!”, and took the special scientist’s metro to CERN. She was halfway when she received a message from the head of CERN, Jean Descartes, who said he wanted to meet her immediately. She passed the retina scan at the entrance and walked down the aisle to his office and knocked on the ever-so-slightly opened door.

“Come in,” responded a deep and thickly accented voice.Stella walked in to see her boss pacing up and down the room. “I have an assignment for you Ms. Eileen…” he said. He inched a little to the left, gingerly stepping on a hidden button. As soon as he did so, a wooden trapdoor opened and an ornately carved table came up. On the table were a pair of formal outfits and a canister that looked all too familiar. Stella knew instantly that she was into deep trouble.

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