Story Collection - Chaalbaaz

OMD Clan

“Shit! Shit! Shit!” Prashanth screamed and threw the device in front of him across the room. The device took a journey around the room and returned to its position. Prashanth was prone to temper tantrums and most of his gadgets were self-aligning and nigh indestructible.

“I’m assuming you have some bad news.” Shrent said casually licking his food. His tongue would take slow slurps that broke down the food immediately and then he would absorb it through his tongue.

“Oh no! I have wonderful news. Earth has successfully made their bid to enter the ODM clan (Order of Distance Monitoring).”

Shrent shook vigorously, almost shuddering, which Prashanth had come to understand as laughing.

“Oh Shut up!” Prashanth said.

“So, which law did they break in doing so and what are the repercussions?” Shrent asked while continuing his eating.

“Law 36(a), subsection 5. I just talked to the representative from the planet and she informed me that the individual who discovered it is out of their reach. It’s on us now to find him and manage this whole thing.”

Shrent stopped eating at looked at Prashanth incredulously.

“Wow! I always believed that it can only be done knowingly.” Shrent said.

“So did I. But apparently, people can accidentally open the 17th dimension and screw everything for shits and giggles.” Prashanth said bitterly.

Being the head of ODM has beaten all joy out of Prashanth’s life. He had been doing it for the past 530 epitakes, where 1 epitake translated to roughly 1500 earth-years. He was already the longest serving person and was wishing to see retirement soon. And now this happens. A new species entering the ODM clan means a lot of work. The rules and laws need to be established, sharing of information, creation of legal pathways and elevation of that species while making the transition smooth are all part of ODM’s job description. Other species want to talk to this new species and many times, like in Earth’s case, the specie doesn’t know any alien life.

This would mean sensitisation of that specie as well towards alien. Lots and lots of work. And Earth has entered by breaking one of the most crucial laws. It would be insane.

“We can’t punish the specie or that individual. First entry rule absolves the species of any damage done by them in their first successful attempt at Space-travel. If we aren’t sharing out technology with them, we can’t blame them for the collateral damage that happens in their attempts.” Shrent said.

“I know.. I know.. But you really think the species which gets affected by this stupid individual will care about it. We are potentially looking at an inter-species war if some severe damage is caused by this individual.”

“Don’t worry. We’ll catch him. Honestly, I am still astonished and impressed by the fact that Earth entered ODM through the 17th dimension. This hasn’t been done since the closing of that dimension. How did it get opened?”

“I don’t have the details yet but I think he was able to open it from the inside. Our team is working on that. We can’t have that happening again. At least not accidentally.” Prashanth hissed.

“Prashanth. We think we have discovered something that might help us get a clue. The team on Earth has recovered a video footage of the first attempt by that individual. There is an alien specie that we could see in the melting metal. We have recognised that specie as a youngling of Deek from Star system 8kz83. As per reports, they did observe the 17th dimension impact but it was limited and the youngling is safe as well. The room of that child was melted but situation has been managed. We believe that the individual might have made a trip to an area close to this location.” Jitra said coming into the room.

“Alright. Send the search party. I want reports as soon as something comes out. How did the talks with Deek council go?”

“Honestly, they were quite delighted to know that another specie is joining ODM. But you know them Prashanth. Nothing can keep them down. However, their attempts to improve the onboarding system will get a lot of steam due to this.” Jitra replied.

“Bah! We can’t just hand over the space-travel technology to anyone who finds out about Krit particles.”

“But you know Prashanth how they think about the matter. If it was up to Deek, half the universe would have space-travel technology.”

Prashanth thought and shuddered. Deek were one of the most friendly species in the world. Too friendly, if someone asked Prashanth. They shared all their technologies with everyone and were often caught smuggling high technologies to primitive species. Heck! Earth’s space travel mission would have failed if not for Deek’s interference.

“And we are sure that Deek’s have nothing to do with this discovery by the individual?” Prashanth asked suddenly.

“I will have to check that. But do you really think they would do that? Scratch that. Do you really think we can do anything even if we find out that they did something?” Jitra said amusingly.

Prashanth laughed.

“You are right. Deeks are… well Deeks.”

Deeks were one of the most powerful specie in the universe and the idea that someone could actually hold them responsible for their actions was laughable. The only reason they were not ruling the whole universe was because they had no interest in doing it.

Perhaps due to this, many species, even advanced ones, believed that Deeks were probably Gods or some sort of descendants of Gods. No other known specie predates them and they are the only specie to successfully create another sentient specie.

Prashanth didn’t believe all this, but he was relieved that this individual was in Deeks territory. If they can capture him before he leaves their area, no lasting damage would happen.

“Prashanth. One more thing.” Jitra said, her tone turning sombre. Prashanth looked at her expectantly.

“We are unable to properly close the 17th Dimension. I think the opening has left some damage to our lock system.”

“Then we have to fix it.”

“Yes. I was thinking that we should involve Kanika in this.”

“Who’s Kanika?”

“She’s the life-partner of the individual who breached the 17th dimension.”

“How will she help?”

“As per the conversation with our contacts, it was she who calculated the values that enabled this travel. I think she would be a great asset to us, both right now and in long term.”

“Hmm.. Interesting take. Do one thing. Bring her on board for the 17th dimension. If her work is good, we will take this further. I will personally monitor her progress. A human with such calibre might do wonders in a few epitakes.”

“Yes, but sir. Humans have extremely short life-spans.”

“That’s alright. Shrent can manipulate her biology to change that.” Prashanth said looking at Shrent. Shrent shuddered and shook.

“That’s a damn lucky couple. The individual lands amongst the Deeks and his partner receives agelessness. That’s mighty punishment for committing biggest crime in ODM’s list.” Shrent said and continued shuddering. Jitra started to snicker and Prashanth started to smile.