“ISN, this is CYBORG. This is a distress signal sending back to earth.” The panicked, terrified Captain Eric Vasquez shaking due to fear, was speaking on the comms panel. “I…I think there is another person on this spaceship..!! He is manipulating all the necessary controls..!!!He blasted down the...the landing gears, removing all the left over fuel and all the communications are lost…!! I can’t connect back to earth! Please help me…!!!”
Almost 36,000 kms down, Chief engineer James Davidson was giving instructions to his team while driving towards Space Headquarters. “Check the previous broadcasts he had sent. Also keep checking the Radar. Establish contact with other nations who have their satellites orbiting at the same height he was orbiting at. We may use their connections to track him…”
Dr.Viktor Federov, Head of the Space Agency, was moving anxiously in his cabin. As he saw James rushing towards him, he exclaimed. “I had to call you early morning. Please use the entire tech we have and get him back on earth!”
“I am on it, Dr. We are trying our level best.” James said as he exited his cabin. He entered the communications room, and checked the progress, only to be informed that CYBORG was nowhere on the Radar. Probably the spaceship had escaped to an altitude of more 38,000 kms in the ‘Graveyard Orbit’, where all unused satellites are orbiting.
Eric Vasquez aboard CYBORG, was working desperately on the communications panel. He was fatigued, totally disturbed and was not at all in his senses. Trembling, he spoke on the panel, “This other guy has removed all the updated softwares from the computers..!! Why wasn’t I informed about him? Was this supposed to be a 2 man mission? Since I took off from earth more than 18 months back…everytime he logs in when I am asleep and uses this communications in my absence..!!! He has even taken down notes of some other things I was not supposed to do..!! He has never shown himself up till now..!!Donno why but I think he may try to harm me..! I am trying to establish network to Ground Control…but I can’t.! Please take me down from here..!!..! ” he cried as he spoke.
Back in Space Headquarters, James hurried in the Comms Room, as he got an urgent call. “This is the Mid-Eastern Space Organisation. One of our unused spacecrafts orbiting in the Graveyard Orbit has picked up a Live Radio Transmitting Signal coming from one of your space satellites named CYBORG and has transmitted it to us. We are receiving a Level -3 SOS signal from the spaceship. Looks like the astronauts aboard have lost all comms. Would you like us to establish the comms through our satellite towers? Our spacecraft can then transmit those waves back to CYBORG . ” James gladly accepted the help. It would take around 2-3 hours more to re-establish the connections.
He woke up after a small sleep .Assuming Eric asleep in the other room; he went to the comms panel, logged in and typed the security password. “I want to stay back here.” he typed. “Why should I come back? You are planning to destroy me the moment I come back on earth. That’s your idea, right? You used me for all your research and now you want to remove me out? Then listen to my plan. I’ll stay back here, and if anyone tries to find me, I’ll blast this spacecraft…!” he sent the message.
Eric woke up with a loud beeping sound. Had I blacked out? Was I asleep? He couldn’t remember. The sound was coming from the comms panel with a red light blinking. He rushed towards the controls and switched on the speakers.
“Eric? This is ISN Space Headquarters. I am James Davidson. You hear me? Is everything OK up there? How did you lost all the comms & go outside the orbit?”
Eric felt relieved as soon as he heard James’s voice. The comms had re-established, and now he could ask for help.
“Hi James.!! I am so much thankful to you..!! I can finally hear your voice..!” Eric then told him what had happened.
“Could you give us your exact location and whatever amount of fuel that you have left with you?” Eric checked the details on his display panel.
“James, I am about 37,000 kms from earth. I have almost 1% fuel still left. I was supposed to get back on earth, James. But the other person caused all the problems. Instead of projecting towards earth, he used the fuel to project CYBORG away from earth…! Do something James. I am worried badly. I need to come back to earth. I need to get away from this other guy…!!”
James could feel the anxiety and panickness in Eric’s voice. He at once came to know something’s not right.
“D’not worry, Eric. Do not panic. Just stay calm, I repeat, just stay calm. Give me some time. Let me sort out things properly.”
Disconnecting the comms, James couldn’t understand some things. Either Eric was sick, or there was really another person present in CYBORG. Considering the second possibility false, he instructed his team to run a check on Eric’s health reports before and during his tenure in space. He also needed to speak to the team of doctors who had cleared him ‘FIT’ for this mission.
“Why did the comms re-established back? I had told you TO LEAVE ME ALONE..!! I DON’T want to come back to earth..!! You used me...!! You used all of my knowledge for your benefits…and I KNOW that you’ll remove me out once I reach earth…! I D’NOT WANT TO GET BACK..!!” he typed on the network comms and sent it.
Down on earth, James, feeling aggrieved, dashed in Dr. Viktor’s Cabin.
“I need you to check the reports, Doctor..!!” James threw a set of reports on Dr’s table. “Why did you sign Eric on this mission? You KNEW he was not well! You also knew he was suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder..!!! He was kept on strict medication since the last few months..!! I’ve already spoken to all the team of doctors who approved him FIT for this mission..!! You knew each and every detail of his health. You were playing with his life…Damn it..!” Angrily, he banged his fist on Viktor’s table. With Fiery eyes , he looked straight at the Doctor “Why have you done this..? What research were you doing hiding away from all of us? What was your intention behind all of this, Doctor?”
Dr.Viktor Federov placed his glasses down and with replied with shameful expressions, “With the help of some Top People, I was working on a research of Human Mind. Eric had a bad past. I found him appropriate for our experiment. I created the DID inside him. Our purpose was clear,” he paused and dabbed the drops of sweat from his forehead. “We wanted to use the other personality to do some extra work which the main personality can’t. You see, we needed to finish a certain amount of tasks in a limited period of time. Plus sending two astronauts could have asked a lot of questions. Therefore, I spoke to a team of psychiatrists and implanted two different personalities in him. The first one was working with all of us, and the second one, only for me and for my team. Eric worked for more than 10-12 hours, doing research and collecting all the important data. We had timed his other personality to be activated at a certain time & we used him for our own research.”
He tapped fingers on his laptop and turned it towards James.
“We had to do this, as neither Eric nor anyone could ever have approved of the secret research we were doing. We were accessing other countries’ private data through radio connections in their servers. By doing this, we were getting all the private information they were sharing with each other related to businesses, trading, weaponry and most importantly, technology. We were using the other personality to give us all the information. We had triggered his mind to say that he was not exhausted, he is fresh and healthy and he can work. That’s how Eric was working for more than 18-20 hours a day. To avoid our information from leaking we used to type instead of using vocal languages.” He showed James all the chats that was a part of communication between the two.
“Initially, things were going right. But later on, Eric’s mind started thinking against us. We had planned to remove his other personality when he landed back on earth. But the other one came to know of this, probably through our messages which our team had been sharing with each other, since he could access radio transmissions on earth. That’s where things changed. Eric started suffering blackouts, shivers, fatigues everything a normal DID patient suffers. Slowly the other personality started taking over Eric’s first one, causing him mental problems” He folded his hands to James. “But believe me; I had never intended to cause any harm to him.” He exhaled out a long breath. “I am sorry for what I did.”
“You’re saying sorry, YOU FOOL..?” James screamed at him. “You were not only playing with his life, you were also intruding in other countries’ personal databases .You’re a Traitor….a TRAITOR TO US….!!”
James entered the Comms room, and was informed by his team that they had guided Eric to drive CYBORG back to earth. He had landed in in the Mid-Eastern sea, and the eastern naval base had received him and he was safe with them.
James, finally relieved sat down .He thought of a famous quote that he had read: THE HUMAN MIND IS THE MOST POWERFUL WEAPON IN THE UNIVERSE.IT HAS CREATED TECHNOLOGY,SCIENCE, INVENTIONS AND IT ALSO CREATED HATRED,WARS & WEAPONS..!