Story Collection - Chaalbaaz

Paths to Peace

“Sir, we have finally developed it.” The secretary informed General Ibrahim as he was in conversation with Swapnil.

“Sorry Swapnil, I will have to cut short the meeting. The lightsaber has finally been developed and it will be our ultimate weapon against the Kaiju.” General Ibrahim said to Swapnil, apparently forgetting the whole conversation they were just having.

“But sir, please understand that this is still a short term solution. What I propose will win the war forever.” Swapnil pleaded as she tried to sort the design on the table to show the general.

“Umm. Yes we understand. But this is important. The next Kaiju attack is in two days and I am sure that your, err.. method will not be ready by then.” The General said as he giddily went after the secretary.

This was the third time that the meeting had been cut short. Every single time, it was a great new weapon that was invented and a Kaiju that was days or even hours away from attacking.

Swapnil now suspected that these meetings were actually being scheduled as per the Kaiju arrival.

“Sir, can I see it as well.” Swapnil requested.

“Of course, it is one of our greatest achievement till now.” The General said swelling his chest unabashedly.

— —

The lightsaber was bigger than a blue whale and was truly a magnificent weapon. The scientist was excitedly telling how there were able to solve the critical issue of crystal.

“We were looking at it all wrong. We wanted to create a small prototype before making a large weapon but were unable to achieve stability. It is because it was too small. A lightsaber will need to be at least 50 feet in size to have a large enough crystal that can be stable. With the present size, it will be very stable and completely workable.”

“And how soon can it be deployed?” The General asked with his mouth drooling at the shiny lightsaber.

“Immediately! It is in working condition and any team that is well versed in the ways of sword can use it. But mind you, some practice would help as this lightsaber can cut through anything.” The scientist said smiling.

“Wonderful. And how many can we make?”

“Around 5 such swords can be made. There is only so much crystal in our possession. But with this kind of weapon, we should not need anymore.”

“You are right Dr. Roshi. After this, we would not need any more methods of killing the Kaijus.” The General said nodding slightly towards Swapnil.

Swapnil had been listening to the whole conversation in disbelief. ‘What is with men and swords?’ she thought dejectedly. The weapon was no doubt shiny but it would need a Jaeger to come at least in 100 ft of a Kaiju. That is too close in her opinion. More importantly, it doesn’t solve the main problem — the portal from where they all are coming.

She had triangulated the location from where all the Kaijus were emerging and she had immediately proposed an attack to that place by a nuclear missile. First time, she was rejected and was told that nuclear was not an option. Such an attack would create a shockwave enough to drown almost half of Japan.

While her own calculations showed otherwise, she was not able to argue on this in their second meeting too, as the general and the president, both had immediately shut her on the matter.

Swapnil spent all her time understanding the portal and the possible reasons for its existence. Finally, maths came through for her and the solution was as simple as it was elegant.

— –

“I can’t believe it.” Swapnil said to Rehman.

“What happened? Did you find something better than nuke?” Rehman said while playing with his pencil. Since the last idea was rejected by the president himself, Rehman had given up on the research for the most part.

“I think I have. Listen to this — the portal is a singularity, right. So, it must have an energy source that must be keeping it stable. Else, it would either shut down or expand into a blackhole. Now, this energy source must be fallible. And I think I have found the way to destroy it in a manner that it shuts the portal.”

“Really. How?” Rehman asked, his interest piqued. He muted the TV where Kaiju channel was playing the latest bout between Ginjara and OPM. Ginjara was a level-4 Kaiju. These were rarely seen and everyone hoped that two level 4 never show their faces. OPM (named after One-Punch Man) was the strongest Jaeger on the human side and was named for its incredible strength. It was the only Jaeger to have never been defeated in the battle despite having been piloted by different teams at different times.

Kaiju channel had sprung soon after the second attack as a source of information for people to understand what is happening in the world around them. The channel had been of great value in keeping calm in these uncertain circumstances and was made free to air by the government due to its immense importance.

“Microwave barriers. I have calculated the exact frequencies emitted by the portal and these frequencies can be inverted by a large Microwave machine collapsing the portal.”

“Two problems. One, we don’t have this large microwave machine. Two, won’t the portal again open, especially if it is being kept open by another device.”

“We do have large microwave machines. The Jaegers we have built emit microwaves while communicating with each other and the central locations. I think 7 Jaegers should be sufficient to create the kind of microwave inverter I am talking about. We have around 11 Jaegers, more than enough. As for your second question, yes, they might but it would take us only half an hour to close a portal once it is open. There is only so many times they would open a portal if they know we can close it whenever we want. Besides, we are collapsing the portal but not shutting the machine. It would be overloaded as it tries to keep the portal open while we are closing it. No way, it can survive the load.” Swapnil said excited.

“You are basing a lot of faith in Maths.” Rehman said amused.

“Yes, and my calculations can be cross-checked before being applied. This would remove the Kaiju issue from the world forever and with almost no loss to property or people or economics. I would love to see them negate this one.” Swapnil said triumphantly.

— —

“Hello Mr. President. The girl brought some new solution to remove the Kaijus forever. I have avoided her for now but the solution seems solid and I don’t think we can avoid it for long.” The general informed the president once Swapnil had gone. She had stayed for watching the lightsaber but left immediately once she realised that general was not there.

In truth, general Ibrahim had simply hid till she left. It was not one of his finest moments but he did not want to take any action before talking to the president.

“You have to do something about that Ibrahim. The Kaijus are very important. Since the rise of Kaijus, the world is in a complete state of peace. Having a common enemy, people have stopped fighting with each other. Their absence would again bring the same wars that have hurt the world several times.

Also, Prime Ltd. are giving us a lot of revenue taxes on their Kaiju channel. It has been successful beyond measure and the kind of revenues the channel is generating is great for both the economy and my next elections. We can’t let a single girl destroy all this. Please take of the situation. Good bye.” The President said and cut the phone.

General said goodbye and remained seated pensive, planning out how next to meet Swapnil and approach this problem.