Rahul Bhandare



Rahul Bhandare


An Icy Situation

An Icy Situation

3 mins


Mrino sniffed, coughed, and sniffed again.

“Dad, how much longer do we have to stay on this planet? It’s really making me sick!”

Mrino’s father, Sebimo nodded gravely and directed her towards the spaceship.

“Child, it’s making all of us sick.”

It had been about 35 days since Sebimo X2 and his family had landed on Earth. They were on a long voyage across the universe, discovering civilisations in various stages of evolution.

They weren’t just doing it for fun. As a species of Empaths, the family needed to discover new forms of life and connections. This stabilised their vast minds and in return, they would often leave behind certain gifts for these civilisations.

But even for a life form, this evolved, there were some dangerous risks, as the X2s were discovering.

Sebimo’s wife Temis had hardly stepped out of the spaceship. His daughter Mrino seemed almost devoid of any joy or playfulness. Being Empaths on Earth during the great pandemic of the 21st century, they couldn’t stop feeling the waves of misery radiating around them.

It wasn’t just death and illness. There was something beyond that - A sense of hopelessness seemed to have set into the people of the Earth. It was killing the X2s as well.

Sebimo sighed as he paced in front of the spaceship.

He looked like any other human wrapped in layers of warm clothing. He slowly shed these and morphed them into a bi-pedal form with leaf-like offshoots.

After all, there was no need to keep the human form. Initial contact had been made a few times, across various continents. But the X2s had felt unable to connect with a species in lockdown mode both physically and emotionally.

The tree-like Sebimo now walked around the ship, checking various engine parameters.

Currently, the ship was on a distant corner of Antarctica that was as far as they could possibly be from humanity. But Sebimo sensed another glacier’s collapse and picked up neural frequencies of distressed animal and plant life forms. He knew that there was no escaping the Homo Sapiens on Earth.

To stay here would mean death, he thought. They must leave immediately.


Through the cold storm, Shiksha Sutar made her way.

Why had she chosen to work at an International Research Station in Antarctica? ‘Passion for science’ is what she would tell her seniors. But deep down she knew that this was the most convincing excuse she could give her family to just stay away from them.

And yet, life on this icy continent hadn’t brought her much solace. Sure, the work had been exciting. But as Shiksha Sutar carried the large box of data samples with her, she wondered what was the point of it all really?

The point isn’t in the doing. It’s in the being.

Shiksha almost fell into the snow. Where had that thought come from?

For a moment she gazed across the barren landscape. Finally, she shrugged and walked ahead.

Somewhere in the back of her mind Shiksha resolved to maybe call her old friends later. And maybe, just maybe, even speak to her sister. After all, she was still the only one in her family Shiksha still cared about.

Feeling strangely lighter, she found it easier to walk through the snow.


On the X2s ship, it was like darkness had been lifted.

The voice the human heard was one even the Empaths heard from time to time. Yet they were uncertain of where it came from.

Through it, a Homo Sapien had found hope.

A spark of hope brings some clarity to a human but for the Empath species, it is the most potent elixir of life. Sebimo, Temis, and Mrino felt more alive than they had in decades.

For a species so cursedly oppressed, hope and love still hold such promise, Sebimo spoke in rippling neural currents to his family.

Perhaps the hope needs more time to bloom. 

“And when it does we can talk to them?” Asked Mrino eagerly, still in her human form.

The tree-like Sebimo nodded.

Yes, at that point we can learn from them. And they, from us.


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