Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Sicons of the Moon



Two Hundred Years back, Inside the Biome of the Moon:

Mayan was cursing and screaming in just about all the languages that he knew. That bitch...He thought angrily. He was going to kill her. He was really going to kill her. The scanners on the moon were searching for the woman. And it was not helped by the fact that the woman had switched off the radio. She had disobeyed a direct order and gone off outside the Biome, on her own.

He had let her work on the Moon Base as a favour to Siddarth Miran, the Chief of the Institute and he had been warned all about her. And he thought he had been careful. And yet she had done it.

Mayan fumed angrily.

He was going to kill Sidarth Miran too.

"Sir! Strange readings on the Scanners." one of the workers of the Nuclear Reactor on the Moon, Aarush Saxena, said.

"Have you found her?" Mayan snapped angrily.

"No sir! As we were tracking the path she could have taken, we have encountered something else." Aarush continued typing on the keyboard furiously.

"Put it on screen." Mayan fumed angrily. Dammit. He just wanted to run a nuclear reactor station. That was all. And he was good at that. Which was why he was given the job of running the most important nuclear reactor station. This particular one which was set up on the Moon was very powerful. And it was important, for the very simple reason that the nuclear reactor powered the entire shield of Earth. The shield without which life on Earth would cease to exist. Because ever since the disintegration of the ozone layer around the planet, ten years back, the transparent shield surrounding the planet was vital. And the nuclear reactor on the Moon powered this Shield.

The disintegration of the ozone layer was completely out of the blue and no one even expected it. Even now, ten years later, the scientists could not determine how it had happened. But it had happened and in order to save the lives of the people, the shield had been devised. A transparent shield which could keep out the harmful radiation. Without the shield, life on earth was not possible. The people on Earth, hailed the shield and welcomed it and the scientists went on to deal with the next problem – the very high tidal waves affecting the planet.....

Mayan was thinking all these things, as he stared at the screen in front of him and was wondering what it was that he was seeing and swore angrily again.

He had a runaway from his Biome and at this time, the scanners were acting up. Mayan swore again. If that woman was in anyway responsible for this, she was finished...Completely and totally finished. He was going to make sure of that.

Mayan's attention was however drawn to the image on the screen.

And that was when suddenly the dials in the system started cranking up. Mayan yelled as smoke suddenly came out from the machines.

"EMERGENCY SHUT DOWN!" Mayan yelled as he pulled the key from the chain slung on his neck and ran to the mainframe computer in the left of the lab. The mainframe there seemed to be working furiously...computing data at a furious pace..and Mayan inserted his key inside the machine and punched in his codes as the machines suddenly went offline. Right now, only the biological support systems and the core nuclear reactors were online.

Mayan was breathing heavily, sighing, as he realized that the others in the lab were already out of the lab. Following protocols.

Mayan was breathing in deeply trying to calm himself.

And in that silence and darkness of the space station that Mayan heard it.

Wild shrieking and howling, the likes of which he had never heard in his five years of working on the moon station.

That stupid woman...Mayan thought angrily. She was stupid and she brought in black luck wherever she went. Just like back on earth, she was making impossibly tall claims here too.... Mayan was really glad that he had not listened to the stupid woman, when she was talking to him twelve hours back.

Twelve Hours Back, Inside the Biome.

"I am telling you, this is impossible." Suhani yelled angrily as she was clutching the scanner in her hands.

"Ms. Sudarshan," Mayan said taking a deep breath, already reaching the limits of his patience. "I am in charge of running this nuclear power reactor here, on the moon. It is important that I focus on my job. I cannot waste my time and resources to investigate something which you "think" is important." And Suhani missed none of the veiled barb. She had been facing this for three years now.

Suhani was taking a deep breath trying to control herself. THIS WAS NOT ABOUT THAT. She wanted to yell. But Suhani controlled herself. It was not going to help. None of it was going to help her. In the eyes of everyone she was a joke...That was all. No one was ever going to take her seriously. Not after 2190.

"Please." Suhani said hoping she did not gag on her words. "We have the scanners outside the Biome. Please use them to scan the surroundings of the Biome. We will know whether I am right or wrong."

"I don't need the scanners to know that you are wrong, Ms. Sudarshan." Mayan said with a silky voice. "Rest assured..." Mayan said, jeering at the woman in front of him. "You are not going to find any aliens here on the Moon. I have been working here for five years one and never seen anything with green aliens...."

Mayan staggered as the punch was really powerful. And it nearly broke his jaw and Suhani was watching him furiously, panting hard, her hand pulled back in another punch.

"Consider this my resignation, you bastard!" She yelled walking away from there.

"You are not to step out of the Biome, until the next shuttle comes and picks you up, taking you back to earth!" Mayan yelled, watching her furiously as he vigorously rubbed his cheeks.

Suhani's return shuttle was to depart in six hours.

**********

Suhani was in her quarters watching the door angrily. She was sure she was going to explode. In hatred. In anger...In...Suhani took another deep breath to control herself as she realized that her life was nothing, but a waste. She was pretending doing so many important things and in the end...it was all nothing....All for nothing.

She furiously rubbed her tears, trying not to think....

Year 2187 – Suhani Sudarshan – The youngest graduate from the best Institute in planet Earth. She had graduated with honours.

Year 2188 – She had joined the very Institute in the Interstellar Study Centre – a post which had remained unoccupied for almost two years, because no one could live up to the research which was conducted by the previous Head of the Department – Dr. Lavinia Tark. The very year that Dr. Lavinia Tark had become a renowned Council Member of the Unified Earth.

Year 2190 – Suhani was ousted from the Department. No inquiry. Nothing. The only reason given was that she was wasting too much of the resources of the Institute in her "false" beliefs.

That was her life, in a nut shell, Suhani thought, as she sniffed trying to control her tears. This was stupid. This was worse than stupid. The only thing she had guilty of, was being curious. And she had tried to find answers. Because during her tenure in the Interplanetary Study Centre, Suhani had discovered some strange signals being beamed from outer space. These signals were beamed to the waters oceans and there was a pattern in it. She did not know what to make of it.

And since the disintegration of the ozone layer, the waves had become more pronounced. She dismissed the possibilities of the signal being an anomaly in space or some interference. The magnitude of the waves were being altered regularly. It was when she was researching the origin of the waves further, that the Institute had shut down her research. Unceremoniously. The only reason given was that she was wasting too much of the Institutes's money, trying to find "aliens" in the ocean.

Suhani had tried explaining that she was not doing anything. But no one listened.

She had become the laughing stock both among academic circles and otherwise.

It was to escape that, that Suhani had transferred to the Moon Base - For the very simple reason that people were becoming impossible to deal with. Where ever she went, people always taunted her.

Suhani felt that in the Moon Base, there were very few people and honestly that was all, Suhani wanted.

She was given a completely worthless job of scanning the surface of the Moon for any anomalies, in the name of space research. And Suhani did not mind it. And now on her second day here, Suhani had found that some of the readings from the scans outside the Biome showing the craters to be moving. That seemed impossible. At least there was no explanation for it. Which was what Suhani had reported.

And obviously, she was being called delusional for pointing that out.

Suhani was panting angrily. This was just not...fair.

Suhani was finding it difficult to breathe as she ran out of her quarters.

She was finding it claustrophobic as she ran...Ran and ran and suddenly found herself in the Hangar Area....

**********

Suhani slumped and fell down hard on the rocky surface of the moon, sorely wondering whether Mayan could do anything more than dismiss her from duty.

She had disobeyed a direct order and now she was wearing her space suit and she was outside the Biome, investigating the "moving craters".

A brief panic filled her as she thought that she had to go back to earth and she had endure the looks of other humans...jeering her and calling her a lunatic...

She might as well make the best of it, Suhani thought angrily, as she pushed herself up and slowly walked towards the crater...It was fifty meters ahead of her, her space suit scanners told her. She had disabled all radio for the simple reason she knew that Mayan would first order her back to the Biome.

That she was not going to do, Suhani thought stubbornly. Not without finding out what it was...

Suhani blinked as she was studying the scans in front of her.

It did not make sense.

And that was when Suhani saw the scanners reporting that something was approaching her. Huge...Something huge.

Gasping and cursing, Suhani pushed herself back, as she activated her rocket boosters. Mayan would know where she was...But to hell with that. This was...

Suhani fell back hard as the thing surrounded her completely.

Welcome human of earth.

Suhani wondered about from where she was hearing the sound. Her radio was off. It was impossible to hear anything. And Suhani was afraid. Genuinely afraid. Probably all the people on earth were right...She was delusional...

Suhani felt a tear fall from her cheeks, as she was trembling.

You are not delusional, human of earth.The voice said again.

Suhani pushed herself back, wondering how she was going to find her way back to the Biome. She had to get herself committed. She was seeing and hearing things. Things which were not possible. Mayan was right. All of them were right. She was mad. Certifiably mad. And the realization made Suhani weep.

We are here to help, human of earth.

The voice continued as Suhani was running blindly away from the place. She did not know what had prompted this madness in her. But she was right now in danger. And she could hurt people. If anything happened to the reactor at the Moon because of her carelessness, millions of life would be lost on earth.

The oxygen content in her space helmet was good for another hour but Suhani was gasping for breath.

And that was when Suhani saw something before her. The scanners in her shield shut down as she could see the surface of the moon.

And Suhani saw her father. Her dead father, who had died in her second year in the Institute. Suhani screamed as she tried running from the place....

**************

Two hundred Years Later,

Even now, two hundred years later, the colony on the Moon has the statue of a woman of earth, outside its colony. The statue was a strange one. It showed a woman of earth looking straight ahead, with a very strange expression – the expression on the face of the statue showed strong fear and still no one who had looked at the statue could ever say that the woman was afraid.

And below the statue were captions carved in the Ancient Sicon language.

Suhani Sudarshan

She believed so she could.

The Sicons of the Moon were known for their simplistic and uncomplicated speech patterns and they felt that this was all they could say for the woman.

For the Sicons and the humans of Earth, the woman – Suhani Sudarshan was a hero. Because despite her personal fear, the woman had managed to discover the Sicons of Moon. The Sicons who were a silicon based life form and who could communicate only through mind patterns. The Sicons who were responsible for the disintegration of the ozone layer of the earth. The very species which had been trying to communicate with the humans, for ten years before the woman landed on the moon as the Sicons were trying to tell the humans that they had developed a means of repairing the ozone shield of Earth.

It was because Suhani Sudarshan had been able to communicate with the species that all that had been possible and the humans ventured out deeper into space, trying to explore more species.

All because of one woman, who believed that she could...

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