Story Collection - Chaalbaaz

Love a man! Really??

“Honey. Did you choose one this time?” Namrata asked Varsha softly. Namrata knew the answer her daughter was going to give but was hoping to be wrong.

“No.” Varsha said dashing Namrata’s hope. Varsha was in her thirties now and Namrata was worried now. Namrata wanted a grandchild to play with but Varsha didn’t seem to care.

“What was wrong this time?” Namrata asked. Varsha had been making excuses since the past ten years. Namrata didn’t understand but tried to be open about it initially but now, she was getting tired of Varsha’s excuses and anxious to get a grandkid.

“I don’t know.” Varsha said looking down. She really didn’t have any more excuses to offer. She hadn’t even seen them so choosing was out of the question.

‘At least she was being honest.’ Namrata thought to herself. Namrata knew that Varsha was one of those new-age career focused girls and Namrata was proud of her for that. However, Namrata was getting older and her priorities and wishes were changing accordingly.

“They are all good guys.” Namrata said kindly. Her sister had found a good repository of guys for Varsha and Namrata was confident that Varsha would definitely like one if she would just look at them.

“I didn’t see any mom. I just couldn’t do it.” Varsha spoke quickly wiping a few tears from her eyes. She knew it was stupid but she still couldn’t help but tear up. The past always brought terrible memories to her.

“Kicauph?” Namrata asked impatiently. Varsha nodded silently. She had not yet looked up at her mother.

“How long are you going to carry this Varsha? A. It wasn’t your fault. B. It was ten years ago and C. It isn’t that big a deal anyways. Let it go.” Namrata said.

“I know. I just don’t find any of them charming. Besides, Kicauph was chosen for me. I.. I.. loved him mom.” Varsha said.

Namrata was shocked to hear this. She had heard of rumors of such kind of behavior from some girls but she never thought she would have a case like that in her own house. A woman loving a man, even the thought was preposterous.

She had heard of a time when this used to happen. Women and men were similar and were considered equal. She even read a few fantasy tales where women were oppressed by men who were stronger and considered superior. However, Namrata believed that this was all wishful thinking from the writers. How can a man be as strong as a woman?

A six inch tall figure with a brain capacity no better than a dog, man served only one purpose — sperms. And they were plenty good at that. At least the ones that were kept in the market.

Each human birth had two or three offsprings — a girl and one or two boys. The boy would be around 2 inches and was immediately taken by the doctors to the farms where the boy would grow to become a man. It took the man around 5 years to grow after which the good ones were put in the market for sale to potential buyers. The bad batches were generally disposed off.

At the age of 15, she would get a boy of around 5 years as her coming of age present. She would then have to keep him secure and well for 3 years till she was 18. After that, she would mate with the boy and have an offspring of her own. As the life of each man was around 20 years, it gave the girl around fifteen years to decide on a particular man.

However, once mated, the man deteriorated quickly. On an average, once mated, a man would last around 3–4 years maximum. Thus, if a woman wanted to have multiple off-spring from the same man, they would time so that the first child is when the man is around 13–15. This was mostly due to the fondness and attachment women had for their men and their wish to let the man live a long life.

Of course, it doesn’t always happen always. Being such a fragile creature, men have to be cared for and accidental deaths were frequent. In fact, for over 40% of women, the first man doesn’t survive till the woman is 25. The average age of men was also around 15, despite the full age being around 20. Diseases, early mating and sometimes, sheer negligence caused men to die off quickly.

“Kicauph was just a man, sweety. Your aunt has sent so many options of better men. Pick one of them and forget about Kicauph.” Namrata said hearing these words not for the first time. They had had these arguments before as well. Varsha had never been this open about loving Kicauph before but Namrata had begun to suspect.

“He was my man, mom. It was my fault that he died at the age of 10. He didn’t get to live at all. All because I couldn’t listen to you.” Varsha said once again tearing up.

Namrata came beside her and stroked her hair gently. Namrata’s heart was beating fast. She didn’t know how to deal with the situation. How could Varsha love Kicauph like this and why did she feel so guilty about it.

“You were only 20 dear. And it was a split second mistake. Anyone could have made that.” Namrata said recalling the incident.

Varsha and Namrata had gone shopping after her college. Kicauph was in her purse playing with a toy Varsha had bought for her that day.

“So, have you given a thought to giving me a grand daughter?” Namrata asked.

“A few more years mom. I was thinking that if I mate when I am 25, Kicauph will get to live his whole 20 years.”

“Sheesh! You and your affection for that man. If I had you when I was 20.”

“Yeah. And you tossed your man immediately after that. Were happy with the result, were you?” Varsha said jestly.

“I had already decided to only have one kid. Keeping Bara was useless expenditure after that. I had a daughter to take care off, you know.” Namrata said with a carefree tone. She had never understood Varsha’s affection for men. They were simply tools. Why keep them after their utility is over?

Before Varsha could come up with a retort for that, she slipped on the sludge that was on the road and fell. Kicauph fell out of the open purse directly in front of the oncoming traffic.

Namrata could never forget Varsha’s scream and even she was affected by the sight. However, Varsha was shattered as if a family member had died. She cried and cried for days and went into depression. Namrata tried to cheer her up by bringing new men for her so that she could take her mind off Kicauph but nothing worked.

“But I made that mistake mom. I lost Kicauph and I don’t think I can become intimate with any other man.” Varsha said.

Namrata’s mind whirled hearing such words from her daughter.

“Give it a try. Don’t you think Kicauph would be sad thinking that you have given up happiness because of him.” Namrata said. She was feeling weird using the words thinking with a man but she could have a daughter not having a kid. If this nudges her daughter into getting a man, so be it.

“You really think so.” Varsha asked Namrata astounded. She had never thought this way.

“Of course dear. Kicauph loved you and would have wanted you to move on.” Namrata said going with the flow. Varsha thought of Kicauph as a sentient creature so Namrata would have to treat him the same.

“Maybe you are right. I will think over it. But I can’t make any promise.”

“Just look at some men. You don’t have to take any decisions right now.” Namrata said soothingly.

“Thanks mum.” Varsha said and smiled at her mother.

“Great. Then tomorrow we will go to my sister’s place. She has some good collection for her daughters. You can look at them.” Namrata said. Varsha nodded in approval and went to her room.

Namrata exhaled a sigh of relief and smiled.

Story Collection - Chaalbaaz

And Thus They Attacked

The year was 2017, July and the date was 29. That was the day when one of humanities biggest question was answered — “Are we alone in universe?”

The answer — ‘No’

We finally contacted a species that did not have its origins rooted in Earth. The Kiptch race was born on different planet billions of light-years away from our Earth. Despite this, they were quite adept at handling our climate and environment. There was no War of the Worlds — unfortunately.

I so wish that it was possible. They were more prepared than that. They were….

“Stop narrating the damn recorder and help me out here.” Shama said in the midst of an explosion.

Vishal stopped the recorder and looked sheepishly at Shama.

“Sorry! I just want future generations to understand.”

“Future generations. Ha!” Shama said as she used her Aqua-vaporiser.

She was right. Vishal thought and started moving his hands quickly. He checked his oxygen level. It was slightly higher than he had expected. Especially since he had been babbling for the past 15 minutes.

“You shouldn’t have quit. You are not made for war.” Shama said to Vishal as she pulled him towards the trench.

“I had to.” Vishal said passionately.

He heard John’s voice over the earpiece — “It’s 2100 hours, year 2018, December 15th. We have recaptured Los Angeles. I repeat. We have recaptured Los Angeles.”

Vishal heard a loud shout in the ear piece soon after. They had few victories now and each was cherished.

Vishal wanted to call it an inter-galactic war but in reality, it was an ambush. The human race was taken by surprise and what was considered a threat to future generations suddenly changed into a race for survival for the current generation itself. 2017 was the year when humans found out that aliens are real.

2017 was also the year the Kiptch celebrated their 25th anniversary on Earth, by attacking the humans.

“You think we will be able to keep it?” Vishal asked Shama shutting the others out.

“LA? No, but at least we got it for now.” Shama said bluntly. Vishal liked this about her. She was honest and yet gentle.

Los Angeles was one of the primary targets for the aliens. It was one of the first points to be attacked. Maybe the aliens thought humans would expect an attack on New York and went for LA first. LA of course, folded like a man playing against a Royal Flush.

“Why do you think we can’t hold it?” Vishal asked Shama.

“It was the first place they attacked. I expect them to have strongest fortifications around that area. Besides, LA is completely submerged and most of the buildings are destroyed. We won’t have any tactical or strategic advantages in LA. The only reasons we are still in this war is because the Kiptch have no affinity for land.”

The attack did not come from the sky. In fact, it was not even an attack by an army. It was the outcome of a plan set in motion by Kiptch as soon as they arrived on the planet. We even had a name for the attack — Global Warming!

They had a population of 5000 when they arrived on Earth. Immediately, they took shelter in the sea. The level of the sea has been increasing at a faster pace since then. The overall temperature also started to increase. Basically, we helped them get a warm climate by increasing temperature. They helped themselves to make it even more conducive for the Kiptch.

When the attack happened, the total Kiptch population on the planet was expected around 150,000,000. It seems small but they had the whole ocean behind them. The advanced technology that they had ensured that they had the upper hand. Also, we cannot attack them with out best weapon — Nuke. Too much water.

And thus, we were in an all out attack against an opponent which was technologically superior, had a higher.. err.. lower.. err.. better ground in the war and had 25 years of intel on us.

We would lose this war.

“Do you think it would have been better if we had accepted their conditions?”

“Better than this. Obviously!”

When they had first come out, it was not to fight but with a request and a threat. We did not fulfil the request and thus they executed the threat.

Being the President of the Earth, I was there when the lord of the Kiptch had made the formal request.

“Can you please stop putting all the waste in ocean? We will help you in the task. If not, we will have to clean up the ocean’s pollution and its cause ourselves.” He had said.

“If only the head of the nations would have listened to you.” Shama said and looked at Vishal with a dejected smile.

Story Collection - Chaalbaaz

Lack of Knowledge

Devdatta entered the new realm and took a whiff of the fresh air.

“All around, the air is swirling transparently. I cannot believe it.” Devdatta said taking in as much air as he could.

“Gemma. Tell me which time-line we have entered?” Devdatta asked his AI.

“It is 2016. We have reached the right spot Devdatta.” Gemma replied. While most people used OPU (Orderly Programmed Unit) AIs as they were more in control and standardised, Devdatta had created Gemma from the scratch.

There were two reasons for this. One, most OPUs were created by some company or the other and therefore lacked customizations. Second, what he had plans to do was illegal at best and catastrophic at worst. The OPUs would be of no use to him as they are all tracked.

Gemma also was more advanced and was probably ahead of the other OPUs by a decade.

‘A man who can make a time machine can surely create a good AI.’ Devdatta thought smugly.

Gemma immediately connected to the internet and tried to download as much information about the present world.

“You were right Devdatta. This is the year where they have finally developed the tools required to protect the Earth. They are also talking about climate vigorously. This year will be the turning point and if you can inform the people about the climate change, the world would change indefinitely.” Gemma replied in the voice of Devdatta’s ex-girlfriend.

He had lost a lot in his quest to save the world. His girlfriend and their daughter were the biggest loss in this. He hadn’t talked to them in two years but he hoped that once he had changed the world for the better, he would be with them again.

‘Surely Aabir would understand. She has to.’

“Okay Gemma. Tell me about the group of scientists that are most well known right now. I believe they must be the highest authority here as they are in our times.”

Most people thought that politicians ruled the world. It was as far from the truth as it could be. Devdatta found out when he was inducted in the Guards of the Earth. A group of seven scientists are chosen to make all the prime decisions. Most people thought the world was a democracy and the political system on the outside shows presidents, prime ministers and countries but go a little deeper and everything is ruled by the scientists.

“I have tracked the seven most influential scientists who can be the potential rulers of the earth.” Gemma said and started listing the names along with their addresses on Devdatta’s watch.

“Its time to amend this generation’s lack of knowledge about pollution.”

— —

Dr. Shako had never been much of a humanitarian. Yet, he was disappointed by the meeting that had just occurred. He had thought that this time, the funding would be approved for his research in renewable energy. He was so close to ensure that the world would be a cleaner place. However, it was decided that there were more important things to worry about.

“Apparently, the world can handle itself while we continue to make profits.” He murmured and started tallying his research notes with those of other scientists in the field. He still had enough funding to last a couple of years but he will have to be frugal from here on. No more field tests. This would slow down his research to a crawl but crawling is still better than no movement.

“Hello Dr. Shako.” A man said to him, making him jump.

“How the hell did you come in?” Dr. Shako asked.

“Oh, I let myself in. I needed to converse with you urgently.” The man said smiling.

Dr. Shako looked at the man up and down and frowned. He was wearing a weird combination of torn jeans and shirt made up of threads. It felt that he was trying to look younger than he was — probably trying to be hip. Dr. Shako decided.

“What do you want?” Dr. Shako huffed.

‘First the funding and now this. I should just blow up the funding and go to the Caribbean.’ Dr. Shako thought and closed his laptop to listen to the man.

— —

Devdatta was amused to look at Dr. Shako. He was an old guy with the vigor of a 20-year-old person. He was definitely a leader even if he was trying to hide the fact.

“I want to warn you.” Devdatta said, adding the dramatic effect.

“Warn me. Why?” Dr. Shako looked thoroughly confused.

“The planet is in jeopardy and no one knows about it, except me.” Devdatta said.

Dr. Shako got intrigued.

“Tell me.”

“I have come from the future and the future is grim. The oceans have covered most of the masses and we only live in either the mountains or in waterproof bunkers. Most of the energy we get from the sun is blocked due to the polluted atmosphere. Almost all the land animals are dead. So are the plants. Our carbon reserves are gone and we have rationed energy. In fact, for all our technological advancement, we only have electricity for 6 hours every day for each person. The total population has also fallen. There are only 1 billion humans left and our population is declining even further. The world has forgotten about happiness, joy or comforts.”

Dr. Shako’s face became white listening to the ordeal. He was still skeptical about the man’s honesty but why would someone play a prank on him. Few knew him and those who did, were not the prankster kind.

“I know you would not believe me. But let me show you.” Devdatta told Dr. Shako enthusiastically and poured a holographic figure on the wall from his watch.

There were graphs, sheets and videos running simultaneously on a 200-inch screen. That equipment confirmed Dr. Shako’s doubts. No current technology is as advanced.

The videos showed the pitiful state the world was in and it wrenched Dr. Shako’s heart.

“How does it happen?” Dr. Shako asked.

“Humans. The pollution keeps on increasing and no environmental steps were taken. If we would have known earlier, this would never happen. Thus, I have come to make sure that the world changes for the better.” Devdatta said passionately.

Dr. Shako looked at Devdatta incredulously. After a few seconds, he started laughing.

“I know it seems unbelievable that pollution can destroy the world, but it can.” Devdatta said realising that the people of this time period would not understand the concept of environmental destruction.

“No… Its… not… cough… cough… that…” Dr. Shako said unable to control his laughter.

Devdatta stood there confused.

“Which time period you are from?” Dr. Shako finally asked.

“Around 300 years from now.” Devdatta replied honestly, still confused.

“Ahh.. I thought you were from 50 years or so ahead telling me about some war that is around the corner.” Dr. Shako said.

“But this is several times more destructive that any war. Surely you must understand this.” Devdatta said a little exasperated. He did not know how to make Dr. Shako understand the severeness of the issue.

“Of course, it is. I know. My whole life has gone in the research of the effects of pollution.” Dr. Shako said.

“What!” Devdatta said.

“Yes. We have known about the pollution problem for over two decades now. In fact, this decade has seen several researches on the matter.” Dr. Shako said.

“But then, you mean to say, the world already knew about the effects of pollution.” Devdatta asked.

“Let me show you.” Dr. Shako said and opened a word file of his research.

“””

My calculations show that if we go at the rate we are currently going, we would destroy the planet in less than 200 years. Even our current efforts would help us stretch the time by only around 100 years or so. Thus, either we change the whole system radically, or we ensure that we learn to live underwater.

“””

“You had already calculated this. Then, why didn’t you work on this. Did the other scientists disagree with you?” Devdatta asked incredulously.

“Almost all scientists agree on this. But the governments won’t agree on this. They have corporate pressure too. Thus, we are stuck with minor changes only.”

“But scientists are the supreme leaders. How can government overrule them?” Devdatta asked.

“Your knowledge of history is a little lacking my friend. At least right now, scientists can barely order around their assistants, let alone the governments.” Dr. Shako said.

“You mean to say that everyone knows and no one is doing anything?” Devdatta finally asked.

Dr. Shako smiled and nodded.

“Why the smile?” Devdatta said ruefully. He had just realised that all his efforts have been vain. His dream of changing the world just shattered. The world didn’t want to be changed.

“At least my calculations are correct.” Dr. Shako said smiling.

Story Collection - Chaalbaaz

One-minute Massacre

It was a one-sixth chance but I got it. I was going to be the first person to travel in time.

Our lab had been doing the research for over 5 years now. Building on the work of greats like Einstein, Jacoby, Sahay and others, we had finally built a machine that could transfer particles in time-drift. That was 2 years ago. It took us two more years to get living material to get to future.

Last month, we successfully completed our final test with animals, this time a horse. The size of the animal ensured that we should be able to get a human into the future. Also, the machine had automatic lock to return back after 1 hours of stay in case manual override is not performed. This is how, we were getting our animals back. Also, we used to send them only one day in the future (24 hours) so that we could see if they actually went in the future. Needless to say, the results were successful.

Thus, I got to be the Neil Armstrong of time travel. I had been training for one-month now. The journey would be small — 24 hours in the future. Then, after a small hour of stay, I will be back.

Okay, enough talking to your recorder Kanishk. Come here.” John said in an annoyed voice. He was one of the losers.

“Alright Kanishk. It is time to go.” Sam said. She was the head of this team for the past five years. An incredible person, she was probably the smartest human being on the planet right now.

I picked up my bag and went inside the machine. It was built in a fashion similar to a pod. While most people think that temporal traveling involves only the day, date and time, the actual location is a lot more complex.

During that time, the location of the planet is changing as is the space between the galaxies. In fact, we found out that the biggest challenge was not to actually send someone in time but to actually find out the exact position where to send. Without that, temporal travel was simply not possible.

The Lee-Khan equation, named after my boss Samantha Lee and Mr. Mahmood Khan, finally defined a new parameter which helped us to calculate the new location is space-time. Did I tell you how smart Sam is?

“Time to go Kanishk. Have fun and do let us know how we look in the future.” Sam smiled and winked at me. My heart melted a little as I waved her good bye.

“Meet you guys in 24 hours.” Brian said. He was the technical genius who had balanced the energy splitting that traveling in time was causing. Probably, due to the nature of the travel, dark energy was getting created and it was essential to balance it before we could actually take the machine anywhere. He did it by creating a nuclear reactor for the machine that not only did provide the energy for the machine but could eat up the dark energy. Actually it cancelled the energy but I think eating up is the formal term.

In less then one minute, the machine was whirring to reach its destination. In another, it was there. Traveling in time was fast, really fast. I guess there is only so much time that can pass when you are traveling through it.

The top of the dome had a window with a glass-polymer that could handle almost all kinds of stress and was yet transparent. I immediately looked outside the window, eager to meet the team. I would have jumped out of the machine immediately but the protocol was made to first check in case something went wrong.

Something had gone wrong!

The whole room was empty. Just in front was lying John’s body, smeared in blood. Near it was Brian’s arm. I could see the watch he wore on it. However, the rest of the body was nowhere around.

“No no no… This is all wrong.” I shouted.

Even in panic, my training kicked in.

‘Do not open the machine in case you find any distress’ I heard Sam’s words.

Sam!

I tried to look around through the small window. Near the glass door, she was lying, half sitting with her hand above her head. Where her hand ended, there was written in blood a single word — “Sorry”.

Looking at her, I couldn’t help and opened the machine. I reached her and saw a smile on her face. That was odd.

I saw in her other hand a pendrive with my name on it. I took it from her hand and opened it on my laptop.

“Hi Kanishk. If you are listening to this, it is not a good news. So, how do I explain this to you. First of all, I am sorry for putting you in that machine. It was a dream of mine to see that machine to work and I couldn’t resist the option even though I knew that it might have the repercussions which it had.”

My mind was reeling. So, Sam knew that this would happen. What has happened? Are there other people as well who are hurt by this?

“Perhaps, I should start with the fact that I am not exactly a human being. I am not an alien if that is what you are thinking. Or perhaps I am, if you define it that way. I am from Earth, just from a different universe. When we realised that there were multiple universes, we tried to find ways to reach them, contact them in some ways.

“Most of our trips were successful. The other Earths were advanced enough for us to return back to our universe. A few Earths were still in the dinosaur age. You would have liked them. It was not difficult to go back from them either as there was no interference.

“Unfortunately, I along with my dear co-pilot, got stuck in this Earth. The wavelengths of the services like phones etc. here created hinderances for our machine. In fact, every time we tried to go back, a huge discharge was formed but we could not travel.

“It took me 5 years to realise the issue and correct it. The time machine is just a front. Don’t get me wrong, it does travel in time. We had perfected that around 200 years back. However, I created the machine with a flaw. The dark energy created through this machine can be used to create a portal to multiple dimensions. Opening the portal however was a risky venture as during that period, anything could happen. The portal is not a one-to-one gate but more like an open platform where anyone can come or go.”

I paused the video and looked around once again. There were no signs of any portal opening. Besides, Sam herself was lying there, dead. Did she fail to go back? And where is the police? Surely, they would have come here by now.

“For one minute, the portal remains open and that is the minimum time I could muster after five years of research. It was sufficient for me to travel — at a cost. I won’t be able to travel with my body. Instead, I will have to send my DNA and replicate it back on my Earth. It is not difficult, but a little unpleasant. Also, I won’t be able to control who might travel through the portal and stay on earth for one minute. But I have a hunch as to who will. The beast can slay thousands of humans in one minute.

“In fact, I think with the population density of this Earth, it might kill millions. But, I can’t stay anymore. I am ready to take that burden with me if it means going home.

“I am sorry you had to see this side of me. I liked you Kanishk. I couldn’t imagine you dying because of my attempt to go home. I could have used this machine on the first try itself but I couldn’t. I had to ensure that you survive. I initially thought of sending you away but I knew that it was not a sure way. The only way to be sure was to send you in a time-vortex. That is the safest place from the beast.

“I know I am a monster but please know this — I did come to love you. I hope that you would forgive me for this… this slaughter.”

The video stopped. I looked around and decided to go back in the machine to stop it. I may be able to convince her to stop this madness. I went back in the machine but it would not work. The machine was made for one side travel and it had stopped working as soon as it landed here.

I came out and looked at the footage of the past 24 hours. It started with me entering the pod. Then, came the carnage. Words are not enough to describe the next two minutes. A beast came, 12 feet long, it looked like a dragon. It immediately started to rip apart everything it saw, as if in a frenzy. For the next one minute, it continued to kill everyone who was in the room. We had an army of 115 professionals around the room and 25 scientists in the various rooms at that time. All lay to ground as the beast killed everyone.

Not just that, it replicated each time it killed someone. Each of the new dragon immediately left the building as if to increase the damage area. I shuddered. I didn’t even want to know how many more people had died outside.

After that one unholy minute, there was an emptiness. I skipped a few hours to see if anything changed but nothing happened. I closed the video and opened the internet. News was flooded with sightings of dragons killing people.

An article estimated the death of around 25 million people in one minute.

I sat there stunned. I was in the middle of 25 million dead bodies.

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.