The Last Day – Part I
“Come on hurry up, we’re close.”
“How about you give me a moment? I’ll go back in time, find all about Pokemon and may be then I’ll understand the fever?”
“We’re at the Nehru Museum. The woman said it was just a few steps behind the building. Oh wait, I see it I see it I see it. Ssshhh…you’ll scare it.”
Hir watched as Simar made a few swift movements on his smartphone. Seconds later, his face was a picture of contentment. This ability of this species to completely shut itself off everything else and allow themselves to be fully absorbed by a single purpose, however trivial or impossible, always amazed Hir. But the funk-monster had been caught and trapped in the metal device now, and they could talk about what Hir had come to find in this time.
“Simar, I did not leave billions of people staring in the face of death to come here and watch you play a stupid game.”
“Wow! I understand that this doesn’t interest you, but I’m sure trivializing my interests isn’t the best way to go about asking my help.”
“There are more important things at stake.”
“Yes, I do absolutely believe you when you say you can travel in time. Listen, I don’t even care. May be you can travel in time. You want to talk to me? Fine, why don’t you hold my hand and transport me into my room so I can get a glass of water?”
Hir didn’t like demonstrations. But this was no time for pride. Hir touched Simar’s finger and in less than a nanosecond they were standing in his bedroom. For a moment Simar couldn’t utter a word, he just stared at the small creature dressed in what looked like a huge bright red scarf. It was a few minutes before he regained composure. As if to convince the room that he was in control, he took three big strides, opened the refrigerator and pulled out an ice-tray. There was a pop and soon two of the cubes found their way inside his mouth.
“Stop staring” he said, before he looked up, “There’s no escaping the yellow paint”.
Earthlings have an unusual fascination with metaphors, Hir thought to hirself though this one was hard to miss; there was no hiding from the truth that rebounded off the purple walls.Everybody has their yellow paint. What was Roshanara’s escape then? What did she seek solace in?
“Okay, why me? Why can’t you seek help from NASA if you’re looking to save a planet?”
Hir looked at Simar as he settled on his bed and rearranged the pillows beneath his pits. Guilt struck strong at every nerve inside Hir’s body for what Hir was about to do to this apparently carefree spirit.
“Alright, I’ll tell you the whole story, but I need to ask you something first. Do you remember your mother?”
“Very little. I was only six when she abandoned me. I really don’t like the direction this conversation is taking.”
Hir knew that. Hir had known that all this while. It was the reason Hir had allowed hirself to be led around the city in search of a Pokemon instead of directly seeking Simar’s help.
“Your mother, Simar, is important to the story. When you were four, she had discovered an equation that she still didn’t know the significance of. In fact, no one would find any real use of that equation for a long time to come. That equation would become the key to solving an impasse in instant collective space-travel. For 900 years after the discovery of instant travel on Earth, the human race was only able to apply it for one person at a time.”
“Okay, my mother was a genius and I would have hampered her research if she kept me around. Noted. What’s the point?”
It was clear that Simar wanted to avoid talking about his mother, it pained Hir that there was no way around it.
“Simar, I have been to this planet more than 5,000 million years into the future, and there I had heard stories about a mega-planet that travelled at such an impossible super-speed that when it was finally spotted, it was already too late. Earth had 15 seconds for mass evacuation from the solar system, and you know how they survived?”
“Let me take a wild guess. My mother’s equation saved the day?” came the dry rejoinder from the agitated son.
“It did. Earth was the first planet that discovered such a planet-scale instantaneous space travel.”
“So what’s the problem? Why have you come back to torment me then?”
“Because from the point of time I’m coming from right now, the comet is seven seconds away from the planet, and nobody has heard of your mother’s equation in their life.”
“What do you mean? Didn’t the equation save them?”
“It did. It looks like somebody travelled back in time and changed the sequence of events.”
Hir waited while Simar processed the information. Hir couldn’t blame the boy. The planet had barely begun to crawl, and Simar was only 24. Hir was surprised that he had managed to maintain his cool.
“So travel forward then and get the formula from the future. What’s the holdup?”
Hir threw up hir hands in the air and exclaimed,
“You’re not paying attention! There is no equation. This is the end. No future is possible. I can’t travel to a place that no longer exists.”
To be continued…