The Blue Jelly
The Blue Jelly
"A second mission! That's not going to happen.” Aira shrieked. “You don't see it, “ Shibhu said, sharpening his eyes at Aira. “Oh, you know, this is the first time humans have taken up time travel and it has been so risky. Aditya does not have the answers for what we were seeking, in effect the mission has failed. Why would they come back. They are going to go back and study. Besides, you know we have put in everything to build the launcher. We don't have the resources to launch again.” Aira said. The last line hit Aditya like a jolt. “They cannot come back. They were lying that they would come back. I knew it. I better not argue with them now. I need to think of a way to hold them back here...” he thought to himself.
Shibhu half smiled and replied to Aira “Risk, Reason and Resource. I'll tell you about all three. Resource. We don't have enough resources for a second launch, they have. Reason. They originally had no reason to fund a second launch. Now that they came to know, that we too, have made a launch, and more so, got after the same person they were after, they have every reason to come back. We are the reason they will come back. Have no doubts there. Risk. Now here is where the game can change. If Rasheek and Nevin go back into our time, the Marsians will gain confidence in time travel. Knowing that we were on the same mission, is enough reason for them to take the risk again and get the resources for a second launch.
Now, let's say, Rasheek and Nevin don't go back, or rather never go back. Nobody would ever come to know that you and I have also traveled in time. The news would be that the risky time travel has engulfed Rasheek and Nevin. Chaos. They would not dream of a second launch. They will take years to study what went wrong.” Aira responded dismissingly “How can they not go. They are timed to go back. Just like us.”
Shibhu lifted his right palm and squeezed it into a fist. He then opened his palm and pressed in the center, while Aditya and Aira looked on silently. Aditya saw a round blue thing, of the size of his fingernail, emerge from the center of Shibhu’s palm. It looked volatile like a jelly. “The Anchor...” Aira muttered. Shibhu looked at Aditya and said “Aditya, we don't have the resources to launch ourselves back into your time once we go. But you, can summon us. Any time, any number of times. Please accept our anchor.” Aditya did not fully understand what that meant. He nevertheless felt moved by the gesture. Unsure how he needs to receive this blue jelly like thing, which looked as if it's alive, as it glowed, he hesitatingly raised his right hand, reaching out to touch it. Shibhu gently shook his hand with Aditya’s. Aditya withdrew as he experienced a faint pitch. He curiously looked into Shibhu’s hand, imagining what had just happened. He looked back at his palm. As he did not see the blue jelly anymore, he knew it was inside him now.