It was a cold night with the wind howling through the trees and rattling the windows. Adrik sat in his office, flustered. He knew he was close ~ very close to finding it, but the results from the last test weren’t the answers he was looking for. The radiation gauge was off. It was as if that mysterious radioactive element he spent five years looking for, was somewhere between the last two locations the investigations pointed at. But where? His men had searched every inch between the two points, but with no results.
The rattling windows of his secret laboratory, hidden cleverly in the heart of a boreal forest in Minsk, did not help Adrik’s train of thought. He got up from his chair and walked out of the laboratory. He waved off the guards that hurried to follow their principal. He needed peace. He needed to think.
The moonlit forest suddenly took Adrik’s mind off into the past. He remembered the night his grant for the search of the radioactive element C3-008 was rescinded by the Soviet government. He remembered how commander Mikhail threatened to kill him if he was to not obey the order. Him, who had sacrificed everything for the Soviet union!
The soft chuckle that left his mouth, when he remembered his escape was lost in the howl of the wind. Oh! what a crude escape that was. The simple, yet deadly nerve agent he administered to the water supply of the military base he was held captive in, killed all of Commander Mikhail’s henchmen. Adrik let out a laugh. Mikhail knew that he has always had a predilection for nerve agents. If only he could have seen the look on Mikhail’s face, he thought.
This short trip to the past was the catharsis he was looking for. Suddenly he felt his neurons firing up. A chill, which had nothing to do with the wind or the cold, crept up his spine.
Swiftly, he took out the electromagnetometer he carried in his pocket. The possibility he was now entertaining was absurd, but evidence from the last series of experiments pointed exactly at this. What if the radiation coming off was from a parallel universe?
Adrik tried dismissing it as a banal idea but the nagging curiosity that made him such a powerful scientist got the better of him. He fired up the electromagnetic wave generator and focused it right at the spot where both the electromagnetic and radiation readings were maximal. Adrik took a deep breath. He was either on the brink of something great or he was being delirious from exhaustion. With one last look around the cold Minsk air, Adrik stepped into the focus of the invisible electromagnetic beams and closed his eyes.
In a distant parallel universe, inhabited by creatures whose physical abilities extend beyond human capabilities were humanoid robots. They called themselves Cyborgs. Like any ordinary civilization, they had a leader – Zahroh Crypto. True to his name, he was a mystery waiting to be unraveled. His face, even though appeared humanlike, had lost its ability to show sentiments. He often said nothing, void of emotion. His face, dark and always clouded
with heavy thoughts. Despite being the leader, Zahroh felt as though he had no authority and value.
Every waking hour; Zahroh found himself staring at his C-leg system – which now replaces his human leg. He rekindles the memories of the council leaders staring at his prosthetic leg in abhorrence. Such insubordinate behavior cannot be tolerated, he thinks to himself. But never manages to say it out loud.
As a 13 year old Cyborg, he had accidently stepped on an explosive device that was concealed deep under the ground. This fatal misadventure cost his father’s life – for which Zahroh still claims responsibility.
In contrast to his emotionless face and mechanical heart, he always cared for his people – the cyborgs.
The unimpeachable characteristic in Zahroh was the vastness in knowledge he possessed. He was the one keen in understanding restorative technologies, transhumanism and effective use of built-in weaponry. He was the one who always gathered his cyborgs to discuss ideas. He often motioned the possibility of an attack from an outer alien or even from within the ranks of Cyborgs. But the council leaders – much older than him, never seem to believe its likelihood.
He lays a loud sigh, wondering who would replace his cursed throne after his death. Is there anyone in his kingdom that uses both the logical and intuitive mind? Answers never seem to come his way.
Ever since his father’s demise, sleepless nights were a recurrent theme in Zahroh’s life. Zahroh hallucinates his father. He often finds his father questioning, “Why did you kill me?”
“I did not know!” screams Zahroh in delirium. The agony he felt ran across every metallic wire, amping several artificial connections and finally bursting through his living room. The thoughts quickly vanquished into thin air. He remembered those words, He is a leader – He should not have emotion.
These constant delusions led to an altercation in his mind. He was fighting against his mantic human brain sending through 1000 connections per minute and a digitized heart that opposed every choice he made. He knew what to prioritize, it was the cyborgs before anything else.
Adrik opened his eyes. The cold Minsk air had disappeared. He was standing somewhere warmer. A dazzling light hit him and he heard the sounds of scuffling feet. The sound had a metallic ring to it; he registered before he opened his eyes. What Adrik saw, had him mesmerized. The sounds belonged to a few dozen humanoid robots. Their part mechanical and part humanoid arms were pointed at him – as if it could kill him in an instant. Then the truth dawned on him, fueling his ego like a wind fueling a conflagration. He had crossed between two worlds. The idea he almost dismissed as banal was the truth! “State your name
and purpose”, a deep robotic voice woke Adrik from his reverie. Adrik’s devious mind processed his surroundings within a fraction of a second. “I’m a representative from the parallel dimension, take me to your leader” he said. He knew exactly what to do. Infraction was not the first option.
“I’m Adrik Petrov, I come from a universe like no other” as he says, Adrik scans the room trying to find something that can be used as leverage.
Restrained. Blank. Cold.
Zahroh stood unscathed by the foreign man that stood before him. He may have expected this before, but now he couldn’t believe it unfolding before his eyes.
“Why are you here?” Zahroh manages to mumble, hoping Adrik would say he was lost.
A ripple of smothered laughter circled the room. It was Adrik. He waves his electromagnetic generator at Zahroh. And says what he has been longing to hear. The radioactive element I’ve been looking for, has been found. It’s here. I’ve finally found it!
Zahroh looked at Adrik in speculation. He did not know of this element. Reluctant to appear inferior, he asked “Well, what do you hope to do with it?”
“Only the best thing you could wish for. It’s to make the lives of my humans much better” Adrik was prudent and cautious in what he said. He didn’t want to give away anything.
Those words sparked a wave of sentiment. He’s just like me! He cares for his people the same way I do.
Zahroh’s blind moment of oblivion and strange space for sentimentalism had paved an opening for Adrik to conquer his stance. Adrik had already figured what would lure Zahroh.
‘You can send a delegate of yours to my universe, ‘ Adrik says.
Keen to understand the functioning of a parallel universe and the use of his material, Zahroh caves. He sends one of his cyborgs. The ones he considers his own on a voyage towards the unknown.
Several days passed, but there is no sign of return.
Zahroh now furious for having trusted Adrik paces back and forth trying to think of the reason. How could he have blindly believed someone he didn’t know? He didn’t want the council leaders to lecture him about it.
A surge of guilt was overtaking his thoughts.
I must do something. I must go there myself! That’s the only way to protect my cyborgs and my leadership.
Zahroh was questioning himself on what options were left with him to proceed on. His mind was restless even during this recess which actually he should shut all his thoughts synchronized with electrical impulses down. Actually he could work with an extraordinarily efficiency for a much longer time, but their long time evolved habitual patterns sometimes overrides the advancements.
The era of Technisium started several centuries ago, stepping up their civilization and culture to the next level. They began with simple semiconductor circuits and skyrocketed themselves to incorporate their mind and thoughts to intricate hardware. They dumped their old fashioned binary system for a multi ranged number system so that they could produce finely tuned intelligent non living companions. With the assistance of this new community of their civilization Cyborgs opened a new chapter in their fate~ travelling through time and manipulating space as they wish.
Zahroh came up with an answer. But he had to recall the whole procedure. He knew that even in such an advanced state, it is an esoteric privilege and a single error may lead to a complete devastation that he even did not know. When he entered the data and his identity to the computer manually, he felt the nervousness in his mind. And the next moment, he was travelling back to the time when his delegate was with Adrik.
He was looking at the eye catching light beams passing on either side. He had this experience twice before and there was nothing much to wonder. He looked at his watch, apparently a modern version of accessories that was used in the past. It took a moment to figure out that something is going terribly wrong, his watch was in such a disarray. Usually it adjusts itself finely when he travels through time. In a moment, he was left alone in a mysterious dimension. It was too late. He was lost, completely.
Meanwhile Adrik invaded the whole planet, knowing that his simple but logical commands ran across the computer and could lead Zahroh to a mysterious end. Adrik throned himself and Cyborgs were forced to obey since their leader was missing. Adulations of his new followers made Adrik arrogant than ever. He infused fear and destruction to Cyborgs using the same energy that they used to create miracles of technology, science and extraterrestrial culture.
Zahroh was like an insect entangled in space time cobweb. His visage was changed with confusion. Once he tried to escape, he was tightened more and more. He had been changed by the exposure to unknown varieties of harmful energies but still he was alive. He educated himself. He was experiencing in real time,the flamboyant theories they developed through the ages. One day it dawned that he was an insect in a cobweb. And he came up with the answer he was searching for. If he can’t go across the web, then he must escape it by penetrating it. A WORMHOLE!
In such a situation there is no place for disdain.He had to do what he could, to escape this menace. With limited capabilities and deficient capacities, Zahroh managed to rescue himself. And he stepped to his home which turned out to be a complete pandemonium as
opposed to what used to be his home! He was caught by the guardsmen and he felt an unfamiliar energetic wave passing through him and the guardsmen completely ruined to dust. He realized that he occupies a new induced mutation, a new power.
He smirked, realizing the reason for the complete contrast in his body and his home – Adrik. He was to decide Adrik’s fate. Those calm but ruthless feelings before a murder started to fill up his mind for the first time. He destroyed everything on his way. Finally he reached Adrik. “Forgive me.” That was the only statement he allowed Adrik to make. He lost his magnanimous thoughts he used to have, when he was the leader in a world without Adrik. He found joy in observing a decaying man who ruined everything that the Cyborgs had built for thousands of years. Finally peace has arrived to the Cyborgs. Zahroh had saved his people. His father would be proud.
He was curious about the power he got. He played the recordings in Adrik’s camera in hyper slow motion. He saw how Adrik grew old little by little, how his hair turned grey, his skin wrinkled, he grew thin and then he died. His skin, muscles and soft tissues decayed, his bones remained and finally the bones also turned into dust.He understood his unknown power. He realised that he was the master of Time, he caused the aging. A Fascinating but dangerous dream had come true.
After Zahroh had wiped Adrik and removed any trace of his existence. Zahroh identified the dangerous, harmful and abnormal situation that he was in. In addition, he could also inveigle others. He realized that this capricious behaviour is harmful to others including his own cyborgs. He wanted a life absent of prevarication and deception. He knew his journey to the past caused this dilemma and the only way he could cancel out the effect is by travelling to the future and returning. So he used the time machine and travelled to the future.
When he returned, his abnormality had cancelled off as he wished.
Zahroh had returned home.