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Fast Track- The Past And The Future

Fast Track- The Past And The Future

18 mins
11.1K


Fast track- the past and the future

 

In a dimly lit passage, presently being used as a laboratory stood a young lad in the midst of the corridor beside a huge workshop table. His messy jet black hair, blue eyes, an athletic and muscular build, and a sneaky look made him appear like a regular charming college going youngster. His eyes were a perfect spring sky, his mind clear and his smile warmer than the gentle sun. He had put on old fashioned natural toned denim along with an athletic letter jacket. Anyone who saw this young lad would have considered him meek, attractive and harmless. However, those who knew Silver knew better than to think of him that way.

Silver was the most intellectual prodigy the country had seen in a decade. He was a mastermind- the lord of natural sciences. As amazing as he was with nano technology, he rocked in classical mechanics and general relativity as well. There wasn’t a single bomb he couldn’t diffuse, not a single rocket he couldn’t propel nor a single research theory that he couldn’t justify. Silver could do anything that he wanted to, be it sending his foe to space or bringing out sapphires from under the ocean. Yet, this 19 year old genius was as naïve as a science mastermind could be. Silver obeyed every instruction and suggestion given to him and was as humble as an RSI award winner could be.

On his work table lay an assortment of bizarre chemicals and chemical apparatus using which Silver hoped to make the prototype of a time machine. A cold cathode gas-discharge tube stood in the center of the table. It was a sealed glass tube with a metal electrode at each end, filled with radon at low pressure. A high potential of several thousand volts was being constantly applied to the electrodes ionizing the gas in the tube. He intended to study the functioning of proton particles in cathode ray tubes in order to create the engine structure and energy source for his time machine. Carefully and patiently, Silver let in Krypton and Holmium in the discharge tube.

Boom!

The glass tube burst open. Blinding neon light filled the entire hall. Florescent gases were being visibly emitted by the tube. The gases began to form a mini whirlpool in the heart of the discharged light. To Silver’s surprise, the whirlpool formed a mouth like feature. In a hoarse voice, it spoke:

“When the dawn sheds light and the dusk shines bright, you shall stand alone in the rim of your strife. Before it would get better, the darkness would get bigger. The person you’d take a bullet for shall be behind the trigger.”

Boom!

With another blast, the entire corridor blew up and Silver got thrown out of the passage, landing on the median of the highway.

“Teenagers these days!” a few truck drivers cursed, lurching as they pushed on their brake to avoid hitting a rolling teenager on the highway.

Silver got up and brushed himself up. He dusted off his jeans and scraped off the grass on his jacket.

“Another failed attempt” he complained. He cried out to the skies “Why can’t you ever let me complete my trial of the time engine? Is it so difficult for you to see me succeed at it?”

He strode back to backyard of his blasted down laboratory to start his experiment again.

 

An year passed. Silver was 20 now. He had married an year ago and had a lovely wife, Cassandra. Right now, he stood on the entrance of the operation ward of the hospital, waiting impatiently for news. A young nurse stepped out of the ward and told him:

 

“Congratulations! It is a boy”

 

Silver’s heart filled with inexpressible joy and cheer. He felt like a dog with two tails on cloud nine. He ran into the operation ward to meet his new born child. The doctors moved aside as he hustled restlessly towards his wife. Beside Cassandra law a tiny roll of blankets with a tiny nose and beautiful eyes. His eyes were almost translucent, glossy, like the palest blue glass, too soft to be turquoise, too bright to be baby blue. They were the colour of a clear blue sky through a broken prison wall; the colour of a perfect raindrop on a blue aster; the colour of a river hurrying to join the great ocean. His tiny, flappy ears and the dimple on his cheeks seemed familiar to Silver. Silver realized that he saw the same features on the mirror every day.

“Aerostromead” Silver declared.  “Our baby shall be Aerostromead Silver. He shall be as wise as the turtle, as beautiful as the dove, as daring as the eagle and as fast as the leopard.”

 

 

 

Five years have passed.

 

Aerostromead, fondly known as Storm is a brainy pre-school going kid now. His dad, Silver has won recognition far and wide for his research and innovations. He had been honored at the Global Summit for Physics researchers and has been nominated for the Nobel Prize for Physics as well. It is only fair to say that they all live a happy and blissful life.

 

However, you can’t really have a pleasant life when you are the son of a science geek, can you?

 

One day, as Silver rushed out of his lab after receiving an urgent call, little Storm strolled into the laboratory, chuckling and chortling. He glanced around the lab, looking for something interesting to have. He spotted a flannel test tube with a florescent yellow liquid bubbling inside.

 

“Juice!” he exclaimed.

 

He dashed for the apparently bubbling juice and gobbled it up in a go.

 

Boom!

 

Storm had consumed one of his dad’s flop trials at his time machine. In a matter of a few seconds, the compound had its effect on the lad. The direction of his blood flow reversed. His nerves malfunctioned and his nerve impulses went negative. The genes of the boy altered involuntarily. His blood thickened and darkened and the colour of his eyes changed. He grew bigger and bigger until he looked about the age of a 21year old college going adult. Storm’s brain had matured, become more balanced and he now had more knowledge than any MIT professor would have ever had.  His mind went blank and wasn’t able to recall any old memory or family connections. He stormed out of the lab he presently was in and stepped into the outer world.

 

Storm was a genius- possibly, a good match for his father. Of course, Storm did not recognize any one from his past life, nor did his family recognize him, considering that it isn’t everyday that a toddler becomes a handsome young lad in a few seconds.

 

Storm was as handsome as his dad had ever been. He had close-cropped grey hair and eyes that sparkled, the light making them look alive. Their light brown color was soft, the exact shade of a latte. Then they became like ice, transparent. Shall you look through them, you could see that the ice was like frozen tears. And they looked so cold, like his stare could freeze the whole world in a moment. A ring of gold hung inside his iris. His face was kind and gentle, but stern. However, the glint in his eyes could tell you that this guy was not to be trusted with match sticks and deadly weapons.

 

Storm stormed through the roads, paving his own way for his future. His introduced himself as Aurum to the entire world. It didn’t take him long to become the most looked up to scientist in the research community. Within six months, Aurum was admitted as a member of the Global Research Scholars and had been recognized at the World Science Meet.

 

The only person Aurum despised was the world renowned scientist, Silver. Silver still held the honor of being the most innovative and novel scientist in the history of Eurasia and America. Despite his countless attempts to take over this honor, Aurum had always been unsuccessful. Aurum now held strong resentment towards this co-scientist. This story of hatred didn’t go just one way. It is fair to say that Silver held similar dislike for his most challenging competitor as well.

 

 

 

On 21st January 2020, Aurum was invited for the Global Science Summit as the Guest of Honor. As unsocial as Aurum was, he still did accept this invitation- it isn’t really wise to decline an opportunity when it is on your door. On arriving at the summit at Rio, Aurum was horrified to find that Prof. Silver was the Chief Guest of the occasion.

 

The programs began with a lot of dance, music, games, fun, laughter and most of all, science. The most promising science geeks of the decade were present in the occasion, presenting their theories, their projects, giving their views and spreading knowledge. Aurum went around the entire fair- it was huge, majestically gigantic. He came across many nascent and worthwhile projects and science experiments. However, the most stunning part of the fair was yet to come. As the audience settled for the guest speeches and lectures, the organizer of the fair, the president of RSI made a very special announcement.

 

“On behalf of the entire RSI team and all the science enthusiasts, we would like to that our extremely honorable guests for spending their valuable time here” he said. “However, we would also like an important request. Our work in the science field has not had any major breakthrough in the past few years. So, on behalf of the scientific community, I would like to make a request in order to keep up the spirit of science and research. We would like our guests, Dr. Aurum and Dr. Silver to work together on an invention they think has the ability to change the world. We believe that by combining the brains of these two masterminds, we can make a break through like never before.”

 

The two prodigies sat dumbfounded. The idea of working with their most disliked science rivals didn’t seem to have really appealed to them. They sat in their seats quietly. On hearing a few more statements by the organizer, a few questions as Aurum guessed, he randomly shook his head.

 

The entire audience stood up and began to clap. Only then did Aurum realize that he had agreed to work with Silver on a combined invention. Since it was too late to back out, the two conflicted masterminds started working together on the most supreme project the world had ever seen- a working time machine.

 

However, despite working with each other for six months, the 2 scientists could not let go of their hatred for each other which was probably fueled by their jealousy. It was after this six months of hard slog and continuous trials that the time machine was ready- a perfect result of the combination of two perfect master minds.

 

But there was more to their story than the making of this time machine. Every evening, Aurum mixed slow poison in the food of Silver. This poison shows its true colours only several months later. On the other hand, Aurum was unaware of the fact that his food was being poisoned the same way as well. This bitter rivalry had taken an extremely bitter turn. Behind their smiling and charming faces was their true nature- extreme bitterness and revengeful hatred.

 

During the inauguration and presentation of the time machine, renowned scientists from all around the globe had arrived. They admired and appreciated the full potential of Aurum and Silver and highly praised their innovation as well. When the lime light got shifted from over him, Silver got a wild idea.

 

Silver had always wanted to know what had happened to his son. One day when he had got back home from an urgent meeting, he found his son to have disappeared miraculously. Despite his million attempts, he hadn’t been able to trace Storm back. His wife, Cassandra suffered from heart attack which proved to be fatal as she wasn’t able to bear the loss of parting with her son.

 

Now, Silver got into the time machine stealthily and went back in time- five and half years ago. Familiar scenes and recognizable faces drifted before his eyes.

 

Thud!

 

When he stepped out, he found himself rushing out of his house in a hurry. The Silver from the time machine stepped into the house and witnessed his son become 21 in a few seconds. He stood still on his tracks, stunned and too shocked to move. Realization came over him.

 

“I have to stop it” he decided. “I have to save my son.”

 

 

 

He rushed back to the future time where the conference was going on. He hurried outside into the dense woods and over the phone, called Aurum there as well.

 

When he saw his son approach, he was delighted, elated to see his son one more time. But the joy did not last long. As Aurum neared Silver, he held up a gun on his head.

 

“You have to die today” Aurum announced and shot. The bullet missed its aim but the poison didn’t. Aurum fell down, dead, the poison slowly consuming him entirely.

 

Beside Aurum sat Silver, weeping uncontrollably, blaming himself for the entire loss. He witnessed the person whom he had loved the most, his son wither away before his eyes. Silver’s eyes drooped and before long, he too went into a never ending sleep.

 

A figure hovered over the two men. The hologram of a girl of about seventeen - Iris, Cassandra’s sister. The hologram paced towards the time machine and went back in time, 6 years back.

 

 

 

She found herself in the midst of a dark maze, two figures ahead of her- Silver and Cassandra, still single, six years ago.

 

“Did you really want to do this?” Cassandra asked Silver again- for the millionth time in a day.

He did not respond.

 

“I take silence for a yes” she insisted.

 

He sighed.

 

“We didn’t have a choice Cassie” he said slowly. “We had to do it.”

 

“My aunt always says” Cassandra started thoughtfully, “When god closes a door to the exit, he opens a new one. I do not believe in hell and heaven but I do know that this can’t be our only way. We can’t be so unlucky, staying stuck up here for eternity.”

 

“If there is another way, I don’t know of it yet” he paused. “And about our luck, you know how lucky we have been….” he said sadly.

 

Well, Cassandra knew what exactly he’d meant. They’d been having the worst luck in the world for over a week. She wondered how much worse their luck could get.

 

“I don’t want to know” Silver said. “At no cost.”

 

“What?” Cassandra asked rather startled.

 

“How much worse our luck can get” Silver added.

 

Cassandra wondered how Silver came to know of everything she even thought of.

His blue eyes glittered in the darkness. His eyes shined so impossibly blue that she'd spent her childhood believing he had his own sky inside of him. However, now she could feel the hopelessness, the sadness it radiated.

That was Silver, Cassandra’s closest friend. She’d known him ever since she was two. They’d grown up together. Silver knew everything about her, stuff that even she herself didn’t know.

 “Look, you know what’s been happening. We’ve been roaming around this maze with no clue where to go. We are stuck Cassie, we’re stuck. First, we met those man eating dogs. We thought that was unpleasant, unaware that they were the easiest thing we’d meet in a week. There were the hay wire super solid metallic robots that refused to be destroyed. Then came cannibals, chocolate sized flesh piercing and blood sucking genetically modified caterpillars and the worst of all, zombies. These zombies neither die, nor do they let us live. I am fed up of them.” Silver cried, irritated and exhausted.

In short, Cassandra and Silver had stepped into Reus’ maze in order to find that psychopath scientist due to Silver’s insistence. They had managed to find that nutty scientist who wished to destroy the world and destroyed every living remain of his. However, before Reus perished, he let out his suite of genetically modified deadly animals and automatons behind them and got them held up for eternity in his messy maze.

“We need to keep moving. It wouldn’t be long before the zombies retrieve again and find us” Cassandra reminded.

“Exactly. That’s what I am talking of” Silver said. “We’ve been destroying and escaping from them for over a week and ‘Boom!’. They just come alive.”

Cassandra understood how he felt. She was completely worn out herself. Tired and fed up of running- going ‘I don’t know where.’

“Get up” she gave him a hand. “We can’t afford to lose hope now- not after we have already got into this mess.”

Silver got up. He dusted his tracks. Cassandra recalled that he’d left in a white ‘I Love Robots’ t-shirt, army tracks and a black jacket. They hadn’t changed ever since they left their homes ten days ago.

“Left or right?” Cassandra asked at the crossover.

“Toss” Silver said.

“Heads- left” Cassandra declared.

She felt the coin in her hand. It was a tails.

“Right” she announced.

They strolled around the maze aimlessly, turning every once in a while, silently praying to whoever the goddess of good luck and annoying mazes was.

‘I have got to get his hopes high’ Cassandra decided. ‘Change the topic.’

“Hey Silver” she said. “I was wondering, how did your date workout last fortnight?”

Silver gave a sly smile. “Oh! It was great. The girl was knock out gorgeous. We went hand in hand all around the city after the coffee date. It felt as though there were sugar cubes in her mouth. She was so sweet. And know what, she fell flat for my rocking jokes.”

He grinned.

“Yeah right!” a shrill voice coming from somewhere nearby said “She fell flat for you, didn’t she.”

A lump of fear formed in Silvers throat.

“Yea….. Yes” he stammered.

“What’s up guys?” the voice asked.

 Iris the hologram recognized the voice. The voice belonged to Aura, Cassandra and Iris’s sister.

“Missed me di?” the new comer asked Cassandra, her sister. Aura walked up to Cassandra and hugged her while Iris from the future stood hidden behind the corner.

“Silver’s right di” Aura continued. “He was really knocked out that day, not by his girlfriend’s beauty but rather by her ex- boyfriend’s muscles. That guy was quite possessive, huh!”

They giggled.

Silver turned pale.

“And Silver roamed, or was rather dragged around the entire city after being beaten up” she completed.

“That’s quite a surprise” Cassandra commented. “The guy who knocks every mad- eye moody in the city down was beaten up himself.”

“It wasn’t that way” Silver protested. “Her ex turned up with an entire van filled with his men. Such a rascal. He did not have the guts to even get straight and combat with me.”

“Yeah right. So how did you get here Aura?” Cassandra asked.

“Oh! I am not here!” Aura exclaimed amiably.

“Yeah! You aren’t here. You are in Paris, aren’t you” Silver said sarcastically.

“Don’t you worry. I’ll be there to greet you when you get out of that damned maze but presently, this is my hologram” Aura taunted. “My 3- dimensional live projection. My hologram pass through walls and track directions as easily as you get beaten up.”

“Now instead of wasting time out here, can you lead us out of here?” Silver protested.

“Sure.” Aura bowed.

She led their way towards the exit. They came across a hall of mirrors where Silver stood staring at himself. Glancing into the mirror, he froze. Never had he ever realized just how much his eyes caught the beauty of deep oceans glittering in the light of the moon. Cut just right, even the darkest of sapphire couldn't hold light to the electric fire that burned each rim and shimmered just under his glossy gaze.

Cassandra observed that she wore a greenish-blue gown made of soft, satiny fabric, long and loose. A semicircular, high collar made of silk-like materials headed the ankle-length robe. She walked as lightly as an acrobat. A puff of wind swept through her white hair before it slipped into the woods to rustle leaves.

Then she realized that that Silver stood as still as a statue.

 “You’re looking great” she said. “Don’t worry.”

“You give good advice” Silver said.

“I know” Cassandra said.

“Maybe you should start taking it.”

Cassandra looked into his hazel eyes in deep thought as to what had sputtered out of his mouth.

“What?” she asked.

“I mean, you always call everyone beautiful and courageously mean it, but how is it that the most beautiful person doesn’t realize that you are all those things and more.”

There was silence. The air was cold. Cassandra shifted uneasily.

Silver glanced at her. He knew, in that moment and in that moment only, that the twinkle in her eyes was the most beautiful thing you could witness in your short-long lifetime.

“Hurry up” Aura called out. “We are getting late.”

They rushed towards the exit.

As she got out of the maze and walked back home, Silver jogged up to Cassandra.

“Reus stayed true to his name” he said coldly.

“Sometimes, it is not your name that defines you. Often, you define your name.”

After momentary peace, Silver broke the silence.

“Hey what’s the meaning of your name?” he asked.

Cassandra looked up. For the first time in the past few hours, she could actually meet his eyes.

“I mean your real name- Amicus. What does it really mean?” he prompted.

For a second, Cassandra thought that her reflexes would actually smack him down but then, she calmed. Her muscles flexed.

“Friend” she said. “It means friend.”

Silver’s smile broadened.

“Even you are true to your name” he appeased.

Warmth spread across the pathway. Everything seemed to be coming back to normal.

“Have you realized that you talk a bit too much when you are nervous?” Cassandra asked.

“I do? Oh cool! I didn’t know that.”

They broke into giggles. To Cassandra, it felt a really long time since she had smiled. Even her cheeks had become opposed to smiling. But now, things were back to normal.

They walked back home, hand in hand in the dark night.

“The story’s up” the stars seemed to stay. “Time to catch some sleep.”

 

Iris from the future went forward in time.

“So it will happen again right? They will get married and Storm will get bad again and there will be tragedy- tragedy?” her brain asked her heart.

“Nah! We can stop it” her heart responded.

“How?” her brain asked.

“We shall go back in time to when Storm was just four. We exchange the growth chemical with juice and ‘Boom’. Neither will Storm grow early, nor will he loathe his own father nor will bad stuff happen. They will live a happy life ever after.”

“You’re brilliant” her brain said.

“Yeah! Thanks” the heart replied.

If organs and their emotions could smile, they did because as the curtains fall, we wonder

‘Is love a crime?’


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