The Pilot Testing The Pilot Project

Written by:

Banin Abrar, Class XI, Orange.

The horizon lit up with an unfamiliar glow, but not very unlike the prospect of a rising sun. In a matter of seconds, the untamed glow had lit up the entire vicinity with a vile revelation, bestowed by ingenious men of their generation.

High atop the landscape, the pilot perceived of what was once a tiny box, giving off a dense, over-sized cloud, that was now forming the familiar shape of a mushroom, but indeed very horrific to look upon.  The glowing ripple was extending its base at a staggering rate, and the cloud right at the center of it climbed higher, curling inwards, punching through atmospheric layers, and forming rings which seemed like the halo of an angel.

The pilot had come to know the bitter truth; he was only a pawn in a game of chess played by others. And now, no matter how hard he pushed on the throttle, the catastrophe would engulf him and his aircraft indiscriminately.

“A positron with a Y boson down quark, disintegrates into two daughter quarks and emits a gamma ray of 511 kilo-electron volts.”

And with that complex theory the professor put an end to his intricate lecture which had managed to baffle even the brightest mind present at the advanced research facility.

Gently professor Bourden slide into his battered old brown overcoat, and with a flick of his skilful fingers adjusted his thick-framed spectacles to a comfortable angle.  Checking his wristwatch rather tentatively, he retired onto his desk, and withdrawing from his cupboard a folder with extreme caution, and after checking his immediate vicinity within an interval of every few seconds, he finally proceeded to put the folder down on his hand polished plywood desk. Beads of perspiration hung loosely on to the wrinkles of his forehead as he ran his fingers through the confidential files. His eyes were all over the paper. And he was at a loss for words.

Suppressed excitement followed along with a tinge of  anxiety, like a thief all alone in a museum surrounded by priceless antiques. At once his eyes rolled over to the corner of the page, reading out the names of Albert Einstein, Nicholas Flamel, and many others. The headline read, ‘Project Manhattan’.

“It is a hit and run. You drop it and try cover a distance of at least a 2 kilometer radius. For confidential reasons, I cannot elaborate on the purpose of this mission and the package which is to be dropped. All I can say is this: It will end the war. Good luck sergeant Dashner, God be with you.”

The flight commander ended his ended his long speech in his own fashion, and in a few long strides he entered the control room. For sergeant Dasher it seemed that his job was simple, or so he thought.

“Drop in drop out.” he kept reassuring himself. Soon enough he would be flying over the hostile Japanese territory of Hiroshima. It was necessary for him to make full use of his aircraft maneuvers in order to avoid being shot down. If successful he would drop a lead box, the contents of which he knew nothing about.

Quite unfortunately, he did not even begin to suspect that he would have to find out the ultimate truth in such a dismal manner during the last few seconds of his tormented existence.

Reyner reluctantly turned over the pages of his Eighth grade history book; Quite clearly he had a knack for science rather than the arts and Literature, nevertheless, something from the contents of the book had hit him. Upon reaching the chapter ‘World War II’ he began piecing together his scattered attention. The casualty list read over 1 million; it also read how a patriot pilot named James Dashner sacrificed his own life to win the war.

Upon flipping the page there was a little name, ‘Project Manhattan’, and farther down below it were the names of various scientists who were recruited by the project directors. (Somewhere down in the list lay a name- Dan Bourden.  Further ahead in the last few pages a quote from British President Winston Churchill went on to defend the decision of the nuclear strike)

“We all agreed it was too late to do anything about it. It was inevitable for a peaceful world”

The Lesser Evil Is Not The Greater Good

Written by:

Aaida Nawar Arpa, Class XI

I watched as the sun, our sole beacon of hope, rose above the horizon to illuminate the world with its glorious light. In this place, with each daybreak comes a promise- for peace, calm and serenity. Along with the slow, gentle tide of the ocean, the momentary gushes of sea- sprayed wind, and the warm glow of the sun, we cannot imagine this place to be any sweeter than it already was. Nevertheless, it always felt as if the intensity of happiness and tranquility we were experiencing increased day by day.

A seagull squawked overhead as I stared into the distance. many might think that standing in the same position for hours on end is quite monotonous. However, captivated by the gentle lapping of the waves, it felt as if every sore wound from the treacherous nights were being slowly being healed. The world seemed silent, now that all the gunfire and explosions of the war had ended. But all that mattered to me was that my family was safe and well-protected.

I was not alone on the beach. The ecstatic laughter of small children rang all across to the harbour where a few fishermen were hauling up their magnificent catches. Mostly, I saw elderly people with the same grin of happiness spread across their faces as I had on mine. At only rare moments would encounter teenagers like me, wandering around, skipping rocks, or just contemplating deeply, soaking in the breathtaking aura of the environment. And how could they not? Just being here could wash away all the distress from one’s mind.

Just when I had fully accepted the fact that life could actually run smoothly here, I noticed the sun slowly making its way down towards the horizon. “No not again…”, I thought to myself as my heart started beating faster. All of my survival instincts perked up, but I knew that there was no running from this. It was inevitable.

Time seemed to have quickened its pace since the sky already turned dark-red. For a while, everything remained still as a cold jolt of wind went up my spine. All of a sudden, someone screamed triggering all the others to feel a soul screeching shout and answer a frantic call for help. But I could not move- not when my body felt as if it had been run over by a hundred-ton tractor. Even though I desperately wanted to scream like the rest, something was preventing  me from that freedom of expressing the pain. Without warning, the ground gave away and I fell down into an endless pitch black pit, only to hit the ground again with a sickening crunch. My ears erupt as the throbbing of the blood engulfs my senses, sending jolts of pain to my head now and then. Slowly and steadily the throbbing sensation flows down my body, dead centre on my chest- to the point I was shot.

A piercing white hot flame shocks me where the bullet was still embedded into my skin, making me double over in agony. Against my will, my limbs twist, deforming me while the fire continued to burn inside of me. The pain. The unbearable pain. It was too much for me, but there was no escape from this. The place that had seemed hopeful before, now was bleak. “Murder!”- unrecognizable voices whispered. Warm tears ran down my face as I tried hanging on to my consciousness, hoping this torment would end soon.

They say there are two places we can go when our life has ended- heaven or hell. I now realize why they had merged into one. A person is rarely completely good or bad. But they have to be punished and awarded accordingly. I am probably let off easy since the only crime I believe I have done was to kill people in the war. If this is what I deserved for my paltry sins then I shudder to think what the real criminals were going through.

I forgot how many days and nights I have been here, nor do I want to think about it. The daylight rewarding enough for my life on Earth.

As I surrendered to slow lingering torture of the flames, I await the sun to rise again and bathe us in its forgiving light, denoting our release from hell for it is to be repeated all over again.