01. The Man with the Triscythe | Somewhere From The Sky

September 7, 2020 Sujay Sarma

Let me describe the entity as a man for simplicity, holding what can only be described a “Triscythe”. More on the Triscythe itself later, but it is important to describe the events I recall. For this set the tone for my current existence, regardless of what I had thought of it at the moment. “Remember,…


Let me describe the entity as a man for simplicity, holding what can only be described a “Triscythe”. More on the Triscythe itself later, but it is important to describe the events I recall. For this set the tone for my current existence, regardless of what I had thought of it at the moment.

“Remember, it all comes back here.” He was saying.

Not to me in particular, but to an audience of a number of us. I looked around. Some of them, I had known. When I caught their gaze wander to me, I nodded. They nodded back in boredom. Some others I had met in hallways, parks and so forth. I did not know who or what they were, but we acknowledged each others’ existence. Some of them did not nod back. They did not need to. But quite a number of them, I had never seen before.

“The Prefects will now be coming around with your orientation packages.” The man continued somberly. “Read through them before you head to your pick ups stations.”

With that the audience was dismissed and the man dragged his Triscythe away with him. Its exotic metals making a rough clang-bang dragging sound over the stone cobbles he walked above, though the floor was well and richly carpeted.

Plop!

A brown envelope dropped into my lap.

Primitive Planet 3149 C” it said on the cover.

Gingerly, I peeled back its self-adhesive cover. And that is the last thing I recall. The very next thing I remember was some kind of a whirring noise and some creature thumping my body quite ferociously.

“Relax!” I tried to cry out, opening my eyes.

I was on a table of some sort and a doctor stood over me performing this barbaric act. Thankfully, she noticed that my eyes were now open and stopped in mid-air. Above her head, she had raised a scalpel of some sort and it now reflected my tiny, ugly, goo-covered body.

“Oh my!” I tried to cry out again. “I’m a baby!”

I looked around me as best as I could. This new life form I had been born as was quite so primitive in what it could do soon after birth. I could not move, or speak, or get up!

Clearly primitive.

I stiffened as I began to realize what I had read in the orientation dossier. This was not going to be fun!

“We need to talk!” I said, plonking my Serial Number Card on the desk of the Second Assistant to the Third Undersecretary of the SRD.

She glanced at my serial number and looked back to my screen.

“Not happy with 3149 C?” She asked, quizzically, looking at once through all of her thirty two spectacle lenses.

I shook my head vigorously. “Not after I have been on 8326 and 129 D.”

“Hmm” She said. “You know, I sympathize with you. But once you have been assigned, there is not much you can do unless your assignment…”

“Dies.” I completed her.

“Yes, but then you cannot.” She paused for effect. “Cannot, under any circumstances terminate your assignment prematurely. That would be bad.”

“How bad?” I wondered. I had heard rumors about what happened to Esses when they prematurely terminated. None of the tales were good.

“You haven’t been on the Factory tour, have you?” She smirked.

I shook my head again.

“You don’t want to know.” She whispered. “It is definitely not something you want happening to you.”

Glumly, I picked up the SNC from her table top and sauntered back to the transport hub. Who knows how long it would take! I sighed as I swiped the SNC against the reader pad to request transportation.

The dilapted wagon arrived. I didn’t even remember getting on it on my previous ride down to 3149 C. I was the only passenger. After waiting good-naturedly for a few moments, the driver activated his engines.

“Came to complain huh?” He asked, looking at me over the rear screen.

I held up my middle thumb in reply.

He laughed. “Oh come on. You’re hardly the first.”

Look at this pale and fragile creature. I sighed to myself. How on the planet is it going to survive life? Silently, I crossed two wisps of my fingers behind my back and wished that maybe the creature would die soon enough, freeing me from this dreary world. It, was clearly sleeping. I dared not call it “I”. I didn’t want to be it. I was free to wander around.

Floating through the corridors of what I understood to be a hospital building, I chanced up on many other acquaintances. Quite a few had been on worse assignments than this one and were fervently wishing their assignments did not terminate. I smiled in pity.

“Don’t worry, he will live to be eighty or more!” Someone was saying. I turned around a corner and spotted a bunch of their… women folk… sitting among… chairs… and talking.

“Yes, but she had such a difficult birthing.” One of them said. I remembered my dossier, this one was an aunt of my assignment. Of mine.

“Sure, but the baby okay now, didn’t you see?” Another consoled her.

Another aunt. In fact, they were all mostly my aunts. I floated near. None of them could see me. That was odd, I thought.

It was a few days later when Ancient One 2469, the man with the Triscythe, came to visit me. I did not expect it. I was busy hovering on the terrace of what turned out to be the home of my eldest aunt, and hence where my mother had grown up. I heard the metallic crunch and looked around.

“Yearning to soar again?” He asked.

I nodded, floating to him.

“Come, sit.” He said.

Quietly, I sat down next to him.

“You are one of the oldest ones.” He reminded me, caringly.

“I am aware of that.” I casually flashed my SNC at him.

My serial number was ancient. The numbers they printed out today barely fitted the card. I knew I was old. Very old. Ancient. A relic from forgotten times even.

“So you know that with your age, comes certain, responsibilities.” He said, almost a whisper. “Things you can remember, things you can do.”

“Is that true?” I looked at him.

He nodded quietly. “You are among a select few, okay, select few million or so, that continue to carry their knowledge and power across barriers.”

I listened without saying a word.

“Come and see me later. I will explain.” He stood up and handed me a small tubule that glowed a bright-dim hue of blue. “Give this to my secretary, he will know I am expecting you.”

He vanished.

For a while, I sat on the terrace, playing with that tubule. If it broke, it would be a disaster to the planet I was on. It was full of lethal plasma from a Magnetar’s core.


About the author:

Sujay Sarma is an IT industry veteran, about 43 years of age. He has spent 25 years in the IT industry and has done it all, and seen it all. Now, his passion is writing [blogs, stories, novels] and music. He has his own YouTube channel called "Sujay Sarma's Musical Adventures" where he posts his covers and originals, and a Podcast named "Interesting People Interesting Stories".
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