The Missing Piece
The Missing Piece8 mins 233 8 mins 233
Interactive Novel Contest- Branch 3- Fantasy
Guys, I need to ask you. Yes, you readers.
Am I delusional? Am I cursed? Or Am I from a different universe, of an alternate galaxy? The funny thing is that the correct answer is a collective YES to all these three questions; I am all of the above. I chuckle. I can't decide whether to laugh or cry.
Just a few months ago, the biggest dilemma in my life was to decide between eating oats and idli for breakfast. And now I am tasked with saving entire extraterrestrial races, bringing life to a lifeless planet, and carry on the legacy of an omnipotent goddess. All within a week. I know this is confusing for you, too, but it is what it is. Will you help me? Will you be my guiding light?
I need to think tight, think straight, think right. It's a matter of life and death for an entire race. Let's lay down the bare facts and attempt to find a solution, shall we? There are two alien races Mermitians-these who live on water and Zygotes-who survive on land, who once lived on a planet called Antrina. Enveloped by a dark, sinister eclipse, this planet had its inhabitants (the two races) turning into beings devoid of emotions. In a desperate bid to ensure that the inhabitants did not turn into emotionless entities, the goddess Antrina reincarnated herself as Sheryl, got the magical sword Khopesh, and used it to open a secret gateway that connected both these worlds. She invited equal members of both these races to come to earth and equip themselves with emotions they were now devoid of. Once they acquired the desired emotions needed to sustain life back on Antrina, they were to travel back via the gateway. But Alas. By a cruel twist of fate, members of both races found themselves stranded on earth after the goddess who built the secret gateway between the worlds died. Also, the mound on which the gateway was built collapsed. I know you are scratching your heads. I am too. You are meaning to ask-arent you? How the hell am I related to this intergalactic feud? Well, that goddess was supposedly reincarnated as – "you guessed it" – ME!. As in my previous birth- Sheryl, still technically me, though. HAHA. For ease of access, let me call myself Sheryl 2.0. The 2nd iteration of rebirths. I hope this clears your doubts. Writing this down, cleared mine too. See, again, I have only you to thank.
Now, here's the tricky part. The only race that can absorb emotions can go back to planet Antrina. I would need to plunge the magical sword into the corresponding mound of that race for that to happen. But how will I know? For I can't decide. And to make matters worse, both these races can transform into any shape or form. Hell, even the paper I am writing on might be a zygote or a mermitian. Yikes. I don't even know whom I am dealing with!.
As a starting point, I need to know when I am dealing with an extraterrestrial being and when I am not. Maybe that's the starting point. "Think Charu think, what's the best way to spot an abnormal entity? Maybe superhuman vision. Yes, I'm onto something here. Doesn't science teach us that whenever an entity changes state, heat gets transferred? So even an alien entity would exude heat when it's changing shape or form right? Aha! If I get hold of a device that detects heat signatures, I can spot them easily.
Bingo!!Thermal imaging goggles. Yes, I got it now. I should get hold of them somehow. In fact, I do have them!!! Dad had got them for me for my science project in tenth grade. It must still be present in my closet of old books and toys. I need to keep them handy so that we are aware and not caught off guard. It's the little things we do that will help us win the bigger battle. So that's one aspect sorted.
The other thing that's been nagging me- is the eclipse that snatched emotions from the planet Antrina. Indeed there, must be an evil entity present controlling the eclipse. Why would someone want to rob emotions, especially an alien species? I need to find its true motivation. Also, the latest revelation has frightened me to the core. Isn't Antrina's earth's smaller sister planet? So if the eclipse destroyed Antrina, it surely must be setting its eyes on bigger, meatier things, like EARTH!!! OMG, there is a bigger picture after all. If this is the case, we will need intergalactic races from planets like Antrina to help us out. Making it imperative for me to select the right race, for they will be our true allies. I must remember this. I need to ask the goddess Athena whenever I get to speak to her again. Will you remind me, in case I forget? My head feels heavy; I feel like the Olympian titan Atlas, I genuinely do, for I can feel the weight of the world on my fat squeaky shoulders. I need a drink, now! I'm sure you do too. I pass out.
The goddess Athena looked perturbed and immersed in deep thought.
"My child Charu, I feel for you. I wish I could come there and touch you, soothe your rages, your anguish, and dull out the pain. The path you have to undertake is laden with thorns, and you would need to stand atop the ashes of an entire race. The entire mass extinction of one of them is inevitable," the goddess lamented aloud.
She continued in a somber tone, introspecting for the millionth time that night.
"Both of them were like my children, like my own limbs. But alas.
I am bound by the guardians of the galaxies to let time chart its own course with minimal intervention. A brutal reality, all us gods and goddesses have to live with. I am afraid planet Antrina can have only one race alive for the grander scheme of things. The dark eclipse has a singular agenda -To exterminate all races that are self-aware and have emotions, thereby becoming the apex race of the universe. But that's a battle that needs to be waged many centuries from now. But for that to happen, planet Antrina needs to survive. The dominant race needs to live on and be preserved for the dark future ahead. That's the sole reason I built the secret gateway in the first place, to ensure my planet survives, even if I were to sacrifice an entire race. I know I have blood in my hands, and now Charu will face the same predicament. I have chosen her, for she is the very embodiment of the human spirit; she has courage, gumption, a level head, and most importantly, she is just and fair. Though I have already foreseen what will be chosen, I cannot decide on her behalf; she alone would need to take the right decision. All I can do is show her the truth, via small signs, but the actual meaning of that truth needs to be deciphered by Charu alone!"
I wake up with drool on my clothes and arms. I have a splitting headache, partly because of the alcohol and the incoherent and blurry images of zygotes,mermitans, planets, the goddess Athena, and the magical sword that seem to plague even my subconsciousness and dreams now. Did you guys spot something? An important clue, perhaps. I seem to have found something. It's a wild hunch. I need to call Yuvaan and Abhay. People who understand the madness."Yuvaan and Abhay, why don't you come over. I have a plan, a wild plan, but a plan nonetheless,” I declare excitedly. The bell rings. They are here.
Yuvaan and Abhay enter with confused, bewildered looks plastered on their faces. Never did we imagine that a constant state of cluelessness would be our permanent state of existence. I feel for them and You as well. I tell them about the chance encounter with the goddess. They listen with rapt attention, their eyes glued to the words coming from my mouth. “Guys, the thing that’s nagging me is the sword and its code. What was it again? I ask.
“MV02FK09” both reply together.
“All this while I kept racking my brain trying to decipher it, but now the information provided by the goddess has helped me unravel it. MV and FK are pretty straightforward. They stand for Mount Verghese and Fort Kochi, suggesting the location of the mound. The other part consisting of the numbers 02 and 09 respectively have to be dates!!! Don’t you get it?? " I grin at my own genius.
Let me start from the beginning. Like the goddess revealed, Planet Antrina is in danger because of the dark eclipse. Isn't that the reason why she was compelled to travel intergalactically to save her planet? I question them. And what do we know about eclipses?
As Wikipedia states “An eclipse is an astronomical event that occurs when an astronomical object or spacecraft is temporarily obscured, bypassing into the shadow of another body” However, it can also refer to such events beyond the Earth-Moon system: for example, a planet moving into the shadow cast by one of its moons, a moon passing into the shadow cast by its host planet, or a moon passing into the shadow of another moon. Eclipses are rare. They keep changing and shifting.
“So 02 09, in fact, denotes the date when the eclipse will move away for a short period from planet Antrina and move towards its neighboring planet-MARS !!!! I checked. There is an eclipse expected to occur on planet MARS on 2nd September 2021 by NASA. It won't be long before; it shall reach earth as well.
That's solely why the goddess got it engraved in the sword to suggest the opportune time to open the gateway. A time when the planet Antrina will be free from the evil gaze of the eclipse and the selected race can successfully return safely. And 2nd September is just a week from now!!”
Yuvaan and Abhay’s jaws have dropped on the floor. I need to catch both of them unaware.
I now quickly wear the hidden thermal goggles under my jacket.
I GASP. Now I know who has been the traitor all along. DID You see it too??