Friday, June 23, 2006 

The Serpentine Illustion

After a brief pause of few silent minutes the hissing sound resumed back. Blinded by the darkness understanding the source of the sound was a difficult one for guesswork games. Even a probe for the source relying on the sense of touch was ruled out. The serpentine possibility and its poisonous implications could be fatal. Of the only other remaining senses were the sense of hearing and the sense of smell. The former could only point to the direction of the source. But that wasn't enough to interpret the true nature of the source. Artin smelled the surrounding air to check out any known or unknown odours that could reveal the source. Unfortunately that effort proved to be a vain attempt as the air was devoid of any suggesting smell.

The the only hope of survival left now was the faculty of logic. Time to put the source of the noise to simulating tests and then gather the data to draw the conclusion.

Is the source of the sound moving or static?
Artin concentrated on the direction of the source. It revealed the source to be standing still.

Does the source respond to vibration?
Artin thumped hard on the ground. The source seems to move back without any disruption to the hissing.

Does the source respond back to sound?
Artin let out a deep cry. The hissing paused for a moment and then the source came nearer.

Just when Artin finally got a glimpse of his predator, he felt a sudden jolt in his brain and all of his senses were switched off. Almost at the same time the hissing stopped abruptly.

"Your program seems to respond to crisis situation pretty well. Now it's time to integrate the defence logic", back at the control station the Defence Secretary congratulated the Chief Designer at the Artificial Intelligence Research Centre.

Friday, June 16, 2006 

Twist in the Tale

She hesitated for a moment or two and then pulled the trigger. There was a dull thud and the heavy body slumped on the bed. The close range shot exploded inside her victim's brain, which was partly splattered on the bed sheets forming a fractal pattern.She was feeling the nausea churning inside her. But this was not the time or place. Got to keep my cool, she thought and looked around the room. Except for the doorknob and the glass of wine, nothing else had her fingerprints on them. She pulled out a handkerchief from her purse and wiped the glass clean. The doorknob will be dealt on the way out. She was pretty confident that no one saw her coming here. And if somebody would have then she had the perfect alibi. She was still in the shower with her friend waiting in the living room. Another 10 minutes she'll be back in her apartment and out of the shower with “sorry-I'm-late” expression on her face.

Tomorrow the murder will feature in the news. The cops will come to check with her with routine questions. She had already rehearsed her role of a perfectly sad to hear him dead ex-wife. And then the lawyers would come with the will. That should take care of her finances after the miserable divorce settlement the court gave her. May be after month or two of paperwork, she will be off to some tropical beaches sipping cocktails under the cool shades of the palm trees.

She had just reached her backyard to climb inside the bathroom, when the sirens on the police cars announced their presence. One of the neighbours had heard a gunshot and called 911.When the police barged in they saw the body lying on the floor and she was standing dumb-founded. Forensics later confirmed the missing bullet in the pistol recovered from her handbag was identical to the one that went through her friend's head.

Two blocks down the street the contract killer was dialling his client to inform him that the task has been executed perfectly. His wife was shot dead and now he can claim back all the insurance money. The cell phone on the other side kept on ringing.

Monday, June 12, 2006 

Bibhuti-bhusan Stuck in the Deadlines

The post-card picture depicting a bright sunny day across the lush green valley between the snow-capped mountains reached his inbox paradoxically on a dismal dark afternoon. If it had been a happy story I should have been writing that my main protagonist leaped up in joy to spread the warmth and glow all across the ecosystem he inhabited. But since this is real life, where thorns are more common than the rose itself, he added one more entry to the ever increasing list to be fed to the alert spam guard and deleted the mail.

While he was busy keying in the figures inside the neat blocks of the spreadsheet, the dulcet tunes of the flute from his MP3 player resonating in his grey cells, unwrapped the obliterated poet in him. Recycling the deleted mail he set the picture as the desktop wallpaper. He was impassionedly contemplating the bitmap image from pixels to pixels, when his reverie was shattered by the repeating beep from his Organizer gadget. It was a reminder of the upcoming meeting scheduled 30 minutes later.

A disillusioned Apu returned back to the maze of the blocks on his spreadsheet to race against the deadlines.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006 

Re-Incarnation Re-Invented

The Director's deep-rooted fascination with the rulebook was the prime reason that she survived in this role longer than her predecessor. No one before her had served the full 5 years as the head of the Advisory Body Committee to the Supreme Council. Before submitting the proposal Riemich was himself sceptical whether she would approve of his idea of crossing the line even if the fate of the human species was at stake.

The first revelation of this crisis came from the team of physcohistorians at the Institute of Advanced Futurology. The institute head had insisted on meeting Riemich in person ruling out the possibility of tele-matrix meeting on the grounds of confidentiality. When Riemich was leaving the building after the meeting he also wanted to meet his Director in person even if that meant a disruption in the Director's well-planned future schedule. Nothing could be more important than a Seldon Crisis as the physcohistorians prefer to call it.

The debate was even more heated up than Riemich could have imagined. But since his superior was devoid of any alternate suggestions they decided to refer the matter to the Supreme Council. When the Director briefed The Council of the crisis and announced that her associate would describe the solution, all eyes were set upon a nervous Riemich who found the air-conditioning of the Council Hall insufficient. But once he started describing the solution he regained his cool composure and successfully replied back to all the questions raised except for the vital one , how to avoid The Principle of Causality.

"The only way to avoid the crisis is changing the past when it happened. Never before any of the time travellers had stepped out of the observation boundary as it might lead to disastrous consequences in the possibilities of the space-time matrix" , the senior-most council man raised his eyebrows.

"Hon. Council-Man, yes, my team has looked at that angle also. We decided that we would not use a time-traveller but someone present in that time-frame at that fated period", Riemich replied.

"But how do we ensure that person will be sufficiently knowledgeable to carry on the task? The Principle of Causality prohibits us to interact in anyway with the past", asked another Council member who was a noted physicist himself.

"We have identified a person from the past who had the correct combination of the DNA helix needed to have all the characteristics to reverse this phenomenon in past. This person will be cloned from his genome-map stored at the historical data bank ", Reimich waited for the Council to study the mappings between the DNA strands and the proposed characteristics displayed on the screen.

"We will feed the brain with the same data that the person has at that time with a single exception of the knowledge to avert the crisis. Then at the decided moment we will replace the person with our clone. So at any given time there will be only of them and the Principle of Causality would be intact.... if only you approve of the idea", Riemich was getting impatient before the Council gave its seal of approval.

Many, many years ago from then in a small village in the foothills of Himalayas, the present Dalai Llama proclaimed that this young boy had all the physical characteristics of the Buddha.

Coincidentally on that particular day the news headlines across the globe was all about the heated up debate between the block of natural fuel rich countries and their nuclear powered opponents at the United Nations meeting.
The future historians will later refer to this debate as the starting point of the course of global fuel-based politics, which eventually will lead to the World War III.

Friday, June 02, 2006 

Down came the thunder-bolt

The entire population of the village was either snoring or tossing in their beds when it started. The stray dogs suddenly broke to a vociferous snarl and even before the awakened denizens could curse the growls subsided to submissive squeeks. The next few minutes was marked with the midnight silence as everyone was rubbing their sleepy eyes to speculate a reason behind this sudden weird canine behaviour. Before the quickest of the minds could take a pick from the earthly and unearthly possibilities the ground below started shaking. The first reaction of fear was overcome by the attempt of survival that brought them out of their houses. Then as the tremors stopped they all looked up at the skies above.

First came the lights and then came the sounds. The sky seemed to be torned down bringing down the wrath of the gods to the earth.

They were still curiously looking at the skies when their bodies were annihilated by the proton rays. The first of the scout vessels landed on Earth to send a signal to the mother battleship lodged somewhere between Jupiter and Mars.