Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Fast Design




The machine has to arrive by the afternoon. Captain Morris had been waiting impatiently for this day. Everything seems perfect now. The climate is good. The horse-driven carriage can easily bring the two men and the heavy machine here, sans a furore. The people in the valley have become suspicious of the inmates of the castle since the failed experiment a month ago, but they stay away, as a rule, from our affairs here. Money can buy anything. Even if they fear death at the cost of our mad science experiments, they will have to put up with it - as long as we keep them illiterate and poor, Morris thought. The last time we just blew a few trees and some rock formation. But there is more beauty here, he believed, than man can afford to appreciate or destroy fully.

Ever since he abandoned his life under the sea with Captain Nemo, he wanted to explore life in the outside world. He was never happy with that kind of life in the submarines pulling warships down and all that plunder in the name of a cause beyond man-made rules of justice. It was just a wild chase, he felt, with no clear end. But he tolerated it till Nemo's demise. All for the love of science that they shared so dearly. Now is the time for him to live in the land of Nemo's ancestors in Mysore, in this castle turned into a laboratory of sorts, hidden from the eyes of everyone but a few villagers who live in the valley. And they are more or less cut off from the rest of the world. They are just amused by the size and grandeur of the castle, which outdoes in opulence the few royal forts and palaces they were lucky to have seen or heard of. Morris keeps a safe distance from them, but is generous towards them when a natural calamity hits them bad. He lent a helping hand after the debacle last month as well. However, he never lets them come closer, to express gratitude or respect.

The machine might end the lives of all these people in the valley, and not to mention it, he himself will be the first to die, if things go wrong. But if the experiment is a success, he will be able to rule the whole world, putting an end to the imperialistic greed of all the powerful countries on the face of the earth. Nemo was wrong to cut himself off from the real world and to indulge in his own ideological sphere. Morris believed in changing the world, the whole world, for the better. And he believed that one man can change the world, if he had true conviction in his intelligence.

From the small window on the tower of the castle, Morris could discern the dust rising from the turning near the waterfall. The noise of the waterfall is faint from this distance, but their frothy merriment disturbed him. He found it difficult to put himself on a contrasting plane, and see the possible nemesis as originating from him. He tried to control his mind. It's all for the greater common good - he tried to console himself.

The horse carriage was seen as a spot from the distance. Now the dust took away the greenery from his eyes. The horses looked tired, as they strained to pull the heavy carriage up the granite bridge. Did their eyes sip in the nature, the water and the serenity that loomed over them? He wasn't supposed to feel ashamed. He didn't believe in any sort of emotional fascism. To hell with the sublime! He got rid of all that crap the moment he got convinced by Captain Nemo that a creation was in the waiting, but only at the cost of some destruction. No one cared for his family when his father and elder brother died deep down in the mine, suffering every moment, gasping for breath. An accident, they called it. And they turned their eyes to the colonies, from where better standards of life were to be smuggled. No time for those who worked hard all their life, and died, for the same reason!   

Morris ran downstairs, his heart beating fast. He was just hours away from flying. He saw his assistants heating the coal, and the vessels were full with steam. The wings, wheels, turbine and other parts of the flying machine were all ready to be assembled, the moment the machine arrived. His brother William has designed it at Bakel Fort, using his connections with the East India company officers. No one had a doubt about the things shaping up there at Bakel, since the fort wasn't designed for residential purposes. Only the guards were there, who could watch the enemies from various observation points in the towers, their guns and canons placed skilfully from every vantage point. Moreover, there were smaller forts near to it, which could be used for the research and supplies. No one realised the metal used for the work came from erstwhile warships, and some even from Nautilus. Several such machines were to be made, and because the last one could not be used, William had to work really hard to get things done fast enough. There were guards in all places, to ward off enemy attacks. No one cared for the relativity of the terms here. The enemies are now the rulers, and the patriots have been conveniently labelled rebels, or mutineers. No one imagined that some white-skinned men could make use of these premises for a larger purpose that will upset their regime - for a world beyond enemies and countrymen.

The two men allotted by William had to just transfer the machine, once it was finished, to the castle. They knew that it would take a whole day to get it here safely, but that was the only way. Now he can get this machine fixed to the flying machine, strap himself to the chair close to  it, and fly. And when he reached the places they have already marked, he could release himself and the machine, use the temporary wings to fly downwards, open the gold encrusted lid of the machine and let it sprinkle the poisonous potion downwards. People, trees, buildings, and even water will just burn. This could finish an entire country in one day. He could go on a weekly mission and finish all the unwanted countries in a matter of just three months. And, if everything goes well, he will be the one who controls the way history gets written. Otherwise, some idiots will write him off as an over-intelligent pervert, bloodthirsty hound, Mephistopheles incarnate, horns, tail, dark skin and all.

As the carriage neared the gate, Morris saw with horror that there was no one except the driver in that. And no machine! The driver was also soaked in blood, as if someone had just let him live in order to come here and convey a message. Morris looked skywards, in helplessness. To his ultimate horror, he saw a blinding light piercing dark clouds and falling downwards like poison, on the castle and the valley.


*****

Image Courtesy: Creative Writing Ink, writing prompt November 7th
http://creativewriting.ie/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/castle.jpg

6 comments:

  1. A real story. I wonder if it you really wrote this in a couple of days. Congratulations! Wanda

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  2. Thanks a lot Wanda - just got inspired by the picture, and felt like doing something different.

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  3. Wow, what a twist at the end, I didn't see it coming! Nice work, kept me intrigued all along :)
    - Theresa

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  4. Ow wow...the ending is powerful!!
    great story Aswin, i always like story with unpredictable ending.

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