Plan for Future

Most often than not, you would find everybody in a science lab deeply soaking up in the task handed over after project rollover. The first few hours take ages to pass by as everyone buckles down on their desk heaving on machines, systems and innumerous articles piling on each other. Richie , the latest supplement to this young potpourri, forced out a very odd sound leaning back on his chair. Gooaaak. Eyes turned to him, ofcourse it was odd for someone to break the silence into million pieces passing on a burp. Richie shrugged and bent his head low asking everyone to pardon him. ‘Fuck, I almost dropped in a bomb here’. He turned back to his desk. The fat book straightened before him fluttered without interruption as there was no one holding it together. Richie had no interest to run through the complicated formula inside the pages. He closed it and walked towards the pantry to steal a cup of coffee. 

Suddenly his cell phone started vibrating. Call from an unknown number showed up on its screen. Again, the same number. “I swear I’d whack that fellow right on his face if I’m able to find him out.”

Annie sipped her coffee and leaned back on the wall. “You must have a secret admirer trying to hide behind the curtain”. She pressed the glass on her eyes and giggled. Richie didn’t find it funny. “Oh, come on. I’m sick of my secret admirer calling me up without help. My project might never do good for me. And you find me a secret admirer”. Richie tossed his cup into a bin. “Run along “. Pointing Annie to her seat, he came back to his desk and drooped on his table again. 

It was enough for him to pluck his hair out of head when his phone beeped through the next two days. The same number was it there. By all means he tried to trace down the number the call came from, but the person stayed in hiding and did not express any intent to have a conversation.

What came upon him unexpectedly was the fact that he could not find a logic for not able to block the number. 

It was the third day when his cell phone sent out a peculiar moaning when he was sipping a hot black coffee in pantry. Not the call he would normally receive. He dragged his phone out of his pocket. 

“Hey, did you find your sweetheart there?”. Annie walked in. 

“Yeah she was wailing inside” Richie smirked. 

“Look I’ve got something here”. Richie held it before Annie. 

“My sweet admirer wants my help”. There was an SMS on its screen. “Help”. Annie frowned. 

“Huh, why would someone ask you for help? What help?” Annie snatched it away and tried to text back. 

“Hang on, where are you trying?” 

“Just texting him”. 

“Are you out of your mind? what if some terrorist is trying to drag me into some noose?” Annie drew back her hand immediately; she was about to type in her reply. For next few hours they tried to investigate the incident right from the beginning. 

“Did you notice one thing that might seem a little uncanny?” Annie joined him in his desk just before leaving the office.

“What is it?”

“Your sweetheart wants to call you only when you come to meet me.”

“To be precise when we inch close to pantry” Richie seemed to corroborate the events together.

Now as they tried to connect the dots it became clear that his phone beeped in only when they went to pantry to pick a cup of coffee.

They decided to meet at the pantry the next day.

The entire lab of Federal National Research Agency was buzzing around important projects that have been moving on. Richie, as decided, strolled inside the pantry just before the tea break; in his hand rested the latest telecommunication guide that he had collected from Peter, the telecommunication engineer from his department. Today his mind passed through unknown territories as he went after ways to find the caller. The telecommunication guide could be useful bringing out the devil in disguise. A little later Annie walked in. 

As Richie held a mug under the coffee pipe, his phone cried out loud. Richie was all set to touch the button for answering it.  No sooner Richie swiped the green symbol in his phone left to right than an ear-splitting sound travelled to every corner of the pantry; everyone inside there shielded their ear and pressed it tightly.

Annie and Richie tunnelled inside the pipe and misted into air. 

……………………

The chief from Federal National Research Agency (FNRA) called in an emergency meeting asking every department to join. With ghastly face, members hurried into the auditorium which could house 300 people inside. There had been a very unusual event in lab when two executives went missing- Richie Brown and Annie Love. No one else in the agency could find any trace of them. Police department sent away their team looking out for them. It was almost a week since they tried every method to track them, but it seemed they ran into earth. New theories fleshed out in the market that they took along confidential information and would be attempting to sell it outside.

Mr. Goblin, chief, walked up to the dais ponderously and held the mike close to him.

“Today you have been called in to share a very precarious event. I’m sure the news must have travelled into your ears that two executives from our lab have been missing almost over a week. It was initially suspected that foreign conspiracy must have led to them vanishing. But yesterday another turn of event came to our notice which compelled us change our entire view. It has been detected huge electromagnetic field inside the research lab in which they were found working before disappearing. Following it, we’ve decided to evacuate the whole area and quarantine the zone. Now we can’t rule out threat from unknown extra-terrestrial source which could pose a big risk to our planet. But again, it is an assumption which bears no testimony. You have been requested today to attend me here because we thought it could be extremely important for you to keep this theory only to yourself. Until we affirm you of this theory, do not try to work on it or spread it away for that matter. We’d put in our best effort to bring Richie and Annie back to this agency. I’d also remind you that the lab has been kept out of your reach. Please help us find Richie and Annie. Should you have any news that seem suspicious, bring it directly the agency administrator.” 

The monologue went on for half hour detailing on the measures that could be useful to FNRA. Members hustled together when they were coming out of the hall; the buzz intensified with more and more of them debating it and exchanging views.

Another week disappeared as local police department failed to work on any further lead. The news ran through the whole state; Police, Scientists, Politicians tried to disentangle the riddle that no one ever heard in history of mankind, but their effort fell on a dead end. A month later the case lost pace as there was neither any news of them nor any untoward incident took place.

……………………

The Big castle atop the mountain was covered in milky snow. Two Russian scientist, Mikhail & Eduard, hobbled down the mountain to the base; in hand they had a cell phone which had been groaning for few days. No matter how much they attempted to tame it down, it wouldn’t pursue. The phone took them for a ride and finding little alternative, they decided to put it up to the counsel.

“Ey, Wassup buddy? Easy, Must’a’be pretty lonely outthere!” The coordinator of the counsel, Alek, welcomed them with a broad grin as both of them punched in the door

“Alek, there’s something we must discuss, we’ve come here to pass on a peculiar news!”

Mikhail, slouched on the floor, panting, tired of the rough weather they had to negotiate.

“Easy peasy, did’a find a ghoul out’tre’? Get hold of t’is and drink it down”. He passed him a bottle of beer. Three empty bottles queued in his table in which also stood a big macbook. He was trying to complete a presentation on latest satellite technology; The state bulldozed them with 50 odd projects one of which is to shield their country from unwanted encroacher. The council had been not so adept to size up so many complicated projects. Naturally, pressure fell through the layers below and employees had to soak it up. Alek, the coordinator of council, had to design and draw the satellite project what seemed to be herculean task. So, he had to drown himself into ale.

“Look, I’ve got something very important to which you must mend your ear. Today my phone had a cryptic SMS which I could not decipher. I’m sure you must help me with it.” He held his phone out. “I’m sending it from another time. Please save our world. Reach me”. The phone screen lit up with this text. 

“Hahah, Someone mustabe jok’n. Getta out of you’ead”

“No don’t ignore, my phone had countless call from this number. None of it I could receive. As soon as I touched it, the call was disconnected. There must be something suspicious.”

“Hmm. Fine. I’d try to connect the telecommunication centre to trace out the number”. He seemed to come back to his senses. “I’ll put it up”. Alek dialed a number from his phone

A week later the Russian govt discovered huge electromagnetic pull inside the castle in which some secret intelligence work was carried on. The lab has been evacuated immediately after the news saw the light. International agency for extra-terrestrial objects set up a committee involving world leaders when electromagnetism webbed many cities.

……………………

Every winter the trees put on a thick blanket of snow, the city decks up with vibrant colour and shimmering aura as the days inch towards Christmas. Happiness has no bound which lives up the spirit of the entire state. Every year Richie saves to buy a beautiful gift; His mom cooks him pancakes which would taste better than any goddamn thing the world has ever invented. 

The snow pored through his skin; his eyes gleamed in sparkling neon fused with an elongated hold. He rolled his body to gauge the view before him. The neon disappeared, the light turned pale, the darkness guzzled the brightness into moist cave and the pancakes turned charcoal. As his eyes adjusted to the dark shade, a vast field laid before him lifted the curtain off his eyes. The was an infinite terrain which had not a single sign of life on it. No tree, no animal, no bird. The darkness ran chill down his spine. He got to his feet and looked around. A little away laid on the ground Annie facing the field; she was awake, but her senses lived far from her. With fluffy eyes, she looked up to look around. It seemed that she had little idea about the whole unconvincing turn of events. They walked and walked and then there was some tube stood erect in that at some distance. The air smelled putrid, there was something in the air chocking them as they walked on. The place seemed lightyears away from earth as there was nothing that any of them could connect to.

“Annie, you ok?” 

“Hey?”

“You ok?”

“Where is this place?” “What happened to us?”

“I dunno. ahh” holding his head tightly, he replied “The last thing I remember, we were trying to reconnect that call. There are some black dots in my memory afterwards. What happened to us? do you remember?”

“I have no freak’n idea.”

As they decided to reach that tube, the wind started blowing noisily around the field. Shortly as they stepped inside the corridor of that tuve, a big plastic cover folded them in a capsule.

‘Decontamination starts.’ a heavy voice beamed through the wall. ‘Decontamination ends’, the voice repeated.

They felt a lot better as they walked inside the tube. It seemed a little odd when they saw people working on some unknown gadgets.

“Hello, Richie, I’m Thomas Alley” A men with slender gait and dressed in black suit walked through the narrow tunnel which is a little far from them 

“How do you know me? Where are we? What happened to us?”

“I know you’ve questions which have no direct answer. Come with me. I’d help you seep a big unconvincing miracle through your senses. Look we’d also need your help which is why you have been ported here.” “You must be Annie”. He cocked his head to his right. “My tele-communicator conduit sent me a signal giving details of your personal information”. He pointed to a chip up his head.

“Welcome to the year 2035”

It was too much for them to digest what Thomas narrated. They have been time-ported through a device to the future. The place they have been ported in is the same place they were living. But to a different time. 

“Look, what I’m going to tell you will blow your mind. There has been a massive climatic chaos in 2028 which wiped out 90% of human population. Since then we’ve tried to restore the ecosystem but the damage too heavy for us to repair. So, we decided to create a fold in time through which we tried to communicate to people in past. You have been the only person with whom some sort of signal could be set up. Using that conduit, we have sent out help in 2019 most of which has been very successful. International agency for extra-terrestrial objects has been trying to communicate to us but the time-fold is somewhat lost now. We had almost lost hope which is when you traveled through that fold to our time. 

If we must avert the inevitable, we should send you back in your time with this message.” He took out of a jar a small twig. “The world is troubled and bled heavily over the year. We were not much bothered of the climate change, I tell you, the fire has spread beyond our control. Please save human civilization and our trees as much as you can. You must be able to conserve the ecosystem”.

Richie jolted off from his sleep. He found himself locked up in pantry of the lab. Suddenly his phone shivered in his pocket. A text lit up there. “Save us, Annie has been held in future in 2035. Should you fail, we must send our 2nd comrade.”

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Pritam Sen
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One Thought to “Plan for Future”

  1. NIRANJAN DESHPANDE

    Superb narrated Miracle.
    The twist is also brilliant.
    Keep writing!!

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