Earth To Nole: Return of the Prince

BOOK: Earth To Nole: Return of the Prince
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Earth To Nole

Return of the Prince

By

Kumar Lomash

This book is work of fiction and is a product of the Author’s imagination.

© 2016 Kumar Lomash

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof

may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever

without the express written permission of the Author.

 

1. The Prince

Early morning, Gollow rushed to Joti’s cabin. She seemed to be enjoying a nice morning and was getting ready for the day. Gollow shouted as soon as he saw her.

“Joti, two hum spacecrafts have landed behind the mountain during the night!”

“Are we under attack?”, Joti asked straightaway.

“I do not have a confirmation yet but what else are they doing here if not attacking us?”, Gollow stated the obvious.

“I don’t think they are going to attack us with just a couple of spacecrafts. We might be cavemen to them, but 2 spacecrafts against our whole fleet is still being too optimistic on their part.”, Joti said with confidence.

“Are you saying they are here to do something more specific than that?”, Gollow wondered.

“Could be. Where is Kevin?’, Joti realised that they might be here to hurt Kevin.

“You believe they are here for Kevin?”, Gollow asked.

“I don’t know, let’s find out.”, Joti said as she rushed to Kevin’s cabin. Gollow followed.

They reached Kevin’s cabin but he was not there. They both grew worried for him. Gollow took out his communication device from his pocket and asked a small party of armbots to immediately start looking for Kevin. However, the officer on the other end reported that Kevin was not on the spaceship.

He said, “The presence system on the spaceship keeps record of everyone who is on board, Sir. And it is showing that Kevin left the spaceship with Boris early this morning”.

Gollow didn’t know what it could mean. Was Kevin abducted by Boris, or did he leave voluntarily? Gollow didn’t want Joti to stress so he asked her to wait in the room and stepped outside.

“What do you mean he left with Boris?”, Gollow asked the officer on the end of the line. “Do we have any information on whether he left voluntarily or was forced?”.

“As per the records, he was granted permission to leave the spacecraft this morning. It appears that he walked out on his own.”, the officer told what he saw in the recordings.

Gollow was still trying to understand the situation when he saw four armbots walk straight towards him.

Gollow asked, “Umm, tell me officer, what are four armbots doing on level 20? I believe we have assigned only two per level, am I right?”. He slowly began walking towards the armbots with suspicion. As he came closed to them he realised that these armbots looked different than the ones he was familiar with.

The officer replied, “I don’t see four armbots deployed on level 20, sir. As per the records there should be only two. It’s strange though, because the two deployed on level 20 seem to be offline”. Gollow’s suspicions were now confirmed by the officer. He took away his comm-device and placed it in his pocket. He then reached inside his other pocket and took out his official identity card. He flashed his ID for the armbots to scan and said, “Bots, please explain your presence here on level 20.”

The armbots kept walking towards Gollow without replying. As they passed Gollow on their way to Kevin’s cabin, one of them lifted its arm and shot him. A laser beam hit Gollow on his forehead, right in the middle of his eyes. He fell on his back instantaneously. It was a sharp hit at point blank range, Gollow was dead before he touched the floor. The sound from the laser gun was not loud but Joti heard it nonetheless. She ran out of the cabin fearing the worst. She saw Gollow lying on the floor, as four armbots walked passed his body.

She was in a state of shock. At first she didn’t know what to do. She considered running towards Gollow to check why he was on the floor, but her instincts soon took over. The bots didn’t seem friendly or even familiar for that matter. She realised what this was. She turned around and started running towards her own cabin. She must have had something in her cabin to defend herself with but would she be able to outrun the armbots? One of them lifted its arm and aimed at Joti as she started running away from them. Joti was a J, the most elite of the human races but she was still, only human. One human against four armbots was far from being a fair fight. Even with a weapon in her hand, her chances of survival against four armbots was one in a million. Joti knew that she was already dead.

But what else could she do if not run? Gollow’s body lying on the floor was a testimony in itself. The armbots were here to kill. Her only chance of survival, however miniscule, was to outrun them and take cover. It was pointless standing there and trying to confront them.

She ran as hard as she could but the armbot was fast and precise. It didn’t think twice. Their orders were clear. Joti had barely begun to run when a laser cut through her. It entered her body from the back, pierced through her heart and exited from her chest. She kept running for some time though, not realising being hit. There is no thrust when a laser hits the body. It simply punctures the organs, ripping through the flesh and the tissue much as a hot knife runs through butter. Had it been a bullet hitting her on the run, she would have felt a massive punch on her back which would have thrown her off balance. But with laser the person being hit doesn’t even realise it until the burning sensation finally reaches the brain.

Joti fell eventually though. Her heart was pierced. It could no longer pump blood to her running legs, or to her brain. She turned before falling on her back. She was trying to look for Kevin one last time. The armbots finally stopped near Joti’s fallen body. They looked at each other with satisfaction and one of them said out loud, “mission accomplished”.

“No!”, Kevin shouted as he woke up from his sleep. He was lying down on his bed but his eyes were wide open. His temples, on both the sides, were wet with tears. His heart was beating fast and his shirt was wet with sweat. He felt as if his worst nightmare had come true. Seeing the only two persons whom he loved in the whole world die, was indeed one of his worst nightmares. But something haunted him even more. It was the fact that they thought he abandoned them.

He gradually realised that it was all just a dream. He kept looking up, straight towards the ceiling. But not at something specific though. Like someone who has been woken up by a nightmare, he was trying to wrap his mind around what was real and what was not. The ceiling above his bed was far up above. Estimating by the height of the ceiling, the room appeared to be large. Not at all similar to his cabin on the spaceship. He knew that such a large room would not make sense on a spaceship at all. Was he on Peele?

Of course he was. He remembered it now. He took off from Nole with Boris and reached Peele a couple of days back. He was currently staying with Boris at his house on Peele. Boris had told him that he used to live there prior to leaving for Earth but since then the place had been empty. He also recalled that according to Boris, the roco bots were not allowed to kill. Joti and Gollow dying at the hands of the roco bots could only be his own guilt disguised as a nightmare. As hard as he tried, he couldn’t help feeling guilty. He knew, his friends and his people needed him but unless he pulled off a miracle here, they would always remember him as someone who abandoned them and ran away to the other side. He could not allow that to happen. He wanted the night to end so that he could start doing what needed to be done. But it was too early to call off his sleep. He must wait for the morning light. The only thing he could do now was to prepare and wait for the opportunity to arrive. He kept looking up at the ceiling ,waiting for the morning light.

###

Everything on Peele appeared to have taken on a golden tint in the morning. Boris was in his balcony enjoying the morning view as Kevin walked out of his room. He looked at the mildly bright Ra. Its warmth was soothing. Be it Earth or Peele, watching the morning light takeover the darkness of the night inspires hope even in the most wretched hearts. Kevin walked up to the railing without saying a word. He stood there besides Boris who was watching Ra with his eyes closed, wearing a faint smile on his face. His hands were spread on the railing, opening up his body surface to the Ra light. He was soaking in every bit of the light falling on his body. It looked like a routine, a morning ritual perhaps. Kevin didn’t know what it really was. Maybe Boris was just trying to be one with his home planet after so long. Kevin stood silently besides him, he didn’t want to interrupt Boris.

Several minutes later when the Ra was higher in the sky, Boris left the railing and sat on one of the chairs kept in the balcony. Kevin turned around and saw Boris pour a liquid into one of the cups kept on the table.

“What are you drinking?”, Kevin asked Boris.

“It’s similar to green tea. We call it wake.”, Boris replied

“Wake?”, Kevin grew curious.

“Yes, It is extracted from a plant. The plant bears fruit which is sweet and thus useless but the seed is magical.”, Boris explained as he poured some wake into Kevin’s cup. He also topped up his own cup as he went on to explain how wake is made.

“The fruit, called the wake-fruit is dried and the seed extracted. Then the seed is dried some more. The dried seeds are then soaked in salt water, often for years. Usually, the seeds are used when they have been soaked for 5 years but some believe that the wake tastes much better if you let the seeds soak in for 15 to 25 years.”, Boris finished.

“25 years! It seems hums operate at a very different scale when it comes to time.”, Kevin picked up his cup with a smile.

“Why Kevin? Don’t you people make scotch or wine which is aged often as much as 50 years before it is consumed?”, Boris asked.

“Yes, We do.”, Kevin had to agree. “All good things need time.”, he said.

“But I agree with your observation. We hums have a very different perspective of the world and it is very much to do with how we experience time. I like the word that you used, ‘scale’. You will see soon enough that all the difference in how we perceive the world is because of the different scales of time that we have.”, Boris sipped his wake methodically, as he waited for Kevin to come out with his concerns.

“Any word from Nole?”, Kevin asked eventually.

“I hear Francis has finally taken the office.”, Boris answered.

“Any word of Gollow or Joti?”, Kevin asked.

“I have been assured that both Gollow and Joti are fine. Joti is mad though since you left Nole and abandoned the humans.”, Boris replied with a smile. He clearly implied that Joti was being immature.

“I don't blame her, she has her reasons.”, Kevin defended her.

“I don’t blame her either. With the understanding that she has, she has made the right calls all along. Her intentions are well placed. That is a great foundation for making right decisions. I am sure as she gathers more information and her understanding of the situation evolves, she will conclude that survival requires both hums and humans to work together.”, Boris explained.

“I know. I just hope that happens soon. I want this misunderstanding between us to go away before our next meeting.”, Kevin said. He expected to see her soon, he was already missing her.

“That can take a while, Kevin.”, Boris wanted Kevin to understand the situation. “Right now the safest place for you is Mone. Peele is a close second but going to Nole is far too dangerous. Roco is the peacekeeper on Peele and Mone, they ensure the safety of all inhabitants as per the law. But out in the space there can be no guarantees of your safety. We don’t want to give Igogo the opportunity he is looking for, do we?”, Boris argued with an apologetic tone, he knew Kevin was in a difficult situation.

“But I am just a human for roco bots, why would they prioritize my safety here? Won’t they attack me if Igogo orders them to?”, Kevin asked.

“They won’t. Killing an individual, be it hum or human, is not allowed among hums. Roco bots are incorruptible. Even the prime minister himself cannot order a killing. Moreover, you forget one very important detail. You are the prince! Igogo himself made sure that roco bots recognize you as a royal descendent. It was the only way he could send those two spacecrafts to Nole to bring you here. But he miscalculated. Now, he cannot challenge your lineage, at least not himself. Once you reach Mone, you will be under special supervision of the roco bots. They are required to protect royals at all costs. No one would be able to even see you without the permission of these bots, not even me.”, Boris assured Kevin of his safety.

“Okay, if I cannot go there then can Joti and Gollow visit me, here on Peele?”, Kevin asked.

“I am afraid not. This is a tricky situation Kevin. Although we do not consider humans a threat, the hum population has been led to believe that humans are here to cause trouble. Joti and Gollow both hold very high offices in human ranks. They cannot visit without the explicit permission from the prime-minister’s office.”, Boris explained.

“Asking for permission from Igogo for their visit might expose them to more danger.”, Kevin said cautiously.

“Exactly! Igogo might try to harm them or use them as leverage if he knew that you three were close.”, Boris agreed.

“How did Igogo convince everyone that we are here to cause trouble? You know this couldn’t be further from the truth.”, Kevin sounded frustrated

“Hums see humans as an immature civilization. Not evil, but violent nonetheless. Those like me who have met humans know better but the rest of the hums only know humans through news from earth. The wars, the mass killings and your indifference to your planet are the first things that come to our minds when we think of your civilization. Igogo had an easy job portraying humans in a violent color.”, Boris said with despair.

BOOK: Earth To Nole: Return of the Prince
12.39Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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