This is the second part of the previously published short story "The Limbo"
Friday, 22 April 2016
The Limbo 2
This is the second part of the previously published short story "The Limbo"
People began to gather at Peter's house the next morning. Manoj had immediately informed security and his superiors about the accident last night. Peter's disappearance was shocking and incomprehensible to everyone. Finally, they came to the conclusion that an immense heat from the sparks would have vaporized entire body of Peter.
Maria was crying miserably. Her relatives were trying to console her. The loss of a young son was a disaster for the family. She couldn't even get to see the dead body of her son. She had almost lost her sanity. Vishwas was sitting in the living room, staring into the distance. His face was deprived of any expression. There was so much he wanted to say to his son. He wanted to express his disappointment when his son had not attended his event. He wanted to tell how much he missed his son when he used to remain in the lab for days. He wanted to show him how much he loved and cared for him. But he could never get to do all these ever. He had to die with this regret. Tears welled up in his eyes and finally made its way out. His face was still blank.
Peter was sitting on the circular chamber floor hopelessly. He was staring at the ceiling but his mind was wandering randomly in the past.
Mr. Parallel universe, take out some time for your poor dad too. Peter remembered his father's words. He hadn't even looked at his father when he responded. I am more interested in discovering new life in Parallel universe rather than listening to the inconsequential discussion on the realms of the dead- The Limbo. How rude he was to his parents. He desperately wanted to go back and hug his father and mother. Apologize for ignoring them and hurting them. He closed his eyes in pain and regret. But he knew regret won't reverse the things. He had lost his family now.
Please help me God. Please get me back to my parents.
Human beings realize the true value of something only when they lose it. And when they lose all hope in their life, the only thing they can turn to is God! That's why despite there has been a fast paced progress in Science, people still have a firm faith on God.
People by now began to retreat. Maria was still inconsolable. Vishwas, on the other hand, had not spoken a word since morning. Manoj came from behind and put his hand on Vishwas's shoulder, 'Luck was not on Peter's side'. Manoj's voice choked with emotions. Vishwas did not pay much attention to Manoj.
Manoj continued. 'Till the last moment, he was indecisive of going ahead with the experiment or aborting it. Finally, he chose to stop the machine'.
A thought struck on Vishwas's mind as soon as he heard the last sentence Manoj had just said.
At every point of life, there are two outcomes of a situation. What outcome will exist depends upon what decision we make. What we experience is what option we chose, but there are other universes which would have born out of our universe, where the other outcomes also exist. Peter's voice echoed inside Vishwas's mind. Vishwas recalled Peter's video call discussion about Parallel Universe.
Manoj, on the other hand, continued. 'But it was his bad luck that the machine did not stop. I tried everything'.
'He chose to abort the experiment. He chose to abort the experiment', Vishwas murmured.
'Uncle?', said Manoj.
Vishwas looked at Manoj and said, 'He chose to abort the experiment. So, he shouldn't have died. The outcome of his decision should be life not death!'
Manoj feared that Peter's death had psychologically impacted his father.
'Uncle we have to be strong. I know it’s not easy. But we have to accept the truth', said Manoj worriedly.
Vishwas ignored Manoj and said, 'Peter himself had said that the moment we chose one option, a parallel universe is created were the other option also exists. If Peter had chosen to not to continue the experiment, he should have lived in this universe and another universe would have been created where the other outcome also exists which is, his death'.
'Uncle I don’t understand at all what are you saying!'. Manoj was finding it annoying now.
Vishwas stood up, 'He shouldn't have died. The moment he chose to abort the experiment, another universe would have been created. But the machine did not stop. It was not a bad luck. It was a Natural Exception!
'Natural Exception?', Manoj was absolutely confused.
'Yes. Good Luck or Bad Luck is nothing but an Exception in nature. You switched the machine off but it did not. Why? Because it was an exception created by Nature. The Natural Anomaly. Due to this anomaly, the machine continued to operate it would have opened the wormhole. Yes! The wormhole would have transported him from our universe to the Parallel universe. He would be still alive there!'
Manoj was getting anxious by now. He thought that Vishwas lost his mind completely.
'We can save him. We can save him Manoj. Take me to the lab!'
'Uncle I think we need to discuss. Peter's death has deeply impacted you..'
'TAKE ME TO THE LAB MANOJ', shouted Vishwas.
'Okay', said a frightened Manoj.
Manoj took Vishwas to the underground lab. The lab was sealed after the accident. But Manoj managed to access the lab, as he was the one who had made the lab along with Peter. Vishwas was sure that Peter had been transported to a Parallel Universe. He thought that he could still bring Peter back. And the only thing which could make it possible is Science, the same machine which was used to open the wormhole.
The machines had been broken and non-operational. Vishwas asked Manoj to restore the machines to operation. The control panel was fortunately operational. Only problem was with the machine setup inside the circular chamber. Manoj examined the machines and claws and found that it can be fixed.
'What do you exactly want to do?', asked Manoj, as he connected the wiring beneath the chamber floor to the machine.
Vishwas was helping Manoj by fixing the second machine. 'Open the wormhole so that I can travel to the Parallel universe. We have to recreate the circumstances in which Peter had disappeared'.
'Creating same circumstances means you have to continue the experiment till the explosion. If you chose to abort, the experiment will stop, the wormhole will close down. We are not sure that natural exception will occur every time. And if you chose to continue, you will die here. And if you say that you will die here but another you would live in a parallel universe, then I am not going to take that risk!'
'We don’t have to take that risk Manoj', said Vishwash, as he stood the machine upright. 'These complexities will occur only if I have to choose between two options. But I don't have two options available here. My decision is clear. Do not abort the experiment'.
'Then you will die!', Manoj left the machine and stood up.
'That’s where the Artificial exception would come into play!'
'Artificial exception?', Manoj was puzzled.
'Yes! We will create an exception. I will be waiting for the wormhole to open'.
Manoj cut Vishwas mid-sentence, 'But the very next second the machine will explode!'
'Exactly! And at that very second, you will shut down the machine and at that very second, I will plunge into the wormhole!', said Vishwas with gleaming eyes.
'Thats too dangerous!'
'I am ready to take any amount of risk to bring back my son. Let’s start!', said Vishwas, as he fixed the claw on the machine.
After the machines had been successfully assembled, Manoj took his place near the control panel while Vishwas stood in between the machines. Manoj switched the machine on and as per the procedure, increased the RPM of the claws gradually. The sparks began to produce at the centre of the claws and gradually began to lengthen. The flashes of sparks soon engulfed the chamber and machines started to shake. Manoj realized that he was nearing that moment when he had to switch the machine off.
Vishwas, inside the chamber, had his eyes fixed at the centre of the machine where the wormhole was expected to appear. The machines were trembling terribly. But he was determined to travel through the wormhole. The fixings of machine on the floor were threatening to give up. Still there was no sign of a wormhole. The machines were now almost oscillating. Suddenly, Vishwas saw a small sphere begin to appear at the centre of the two machines where he was standing. The sphere quickly grew up to his size.
'Yes!', shouted Vishwas.
The machines were about to explode when Manoj slammed the RED button on the control panel. The claws slowed down. Just at that moment, Vishwas plunged into the wormhole.
The machine stopped and calmed down. The sparks disappeared. Through the broken window, Manoj looked inside the chamber. The machines were intact but there was no Vishwas. He was not sure if Vishwas had successfully got into the wormhole. But he prayed to God for Vishwas's safety.
Vishwas saw nothing but flashes of sparks around him. The gravitational force seemed to be increased by multiple folds. He was getting pulled inside the wormhole rapidly. After a few moments, his body threw out of the wormhole and banged on a solid floor.
'Ahhh!', Vishwas groaned with pain. His spectacles had fallen off from his face. He picked up his spectacles and put it back on his face. As his vision got cleared, he realized that he was still in the circular chamber. He focused his gaze on the far end of the chamber. He saw an astonished and open-mouthed Peter at the other end.
Both stood at their respective place for a moment before they absorbed what they were seeing. Peter ran towards and Vishwas and hugged him.
'I missed you so much Dad! I missed Mom so much!', said Peter.
Vishwas hugged him back, 'I missed you too my son. I am here to take you back to our Universe. Let’s go back to our world. I can't explain what your mom is going through right now'.
Peter then showed him his dead body and also the lab which was a dead end. Vishwas was not expecting the Parallel Universe to be a dead end.
Peter said, 'You were right Dad! The Limbo exists!'
Vishwas frowned. 'But I thought it was a Parallel universe. And it is the theory of Parallel Universe, which you were explaining to your seniors, has brought me here!', said Vishwas and narrated him how, with the help of Manoj, he travelled through wormhole up to this place.
Peter's eyes widened as he realized something, 'Limbo and Parallel universe are nothing but same thing!'
'What?', Vishwas exclaimed. There was more of a surprise than question in Vishwas's "What".
'Yes! When we chose one option out of the two available options, we experience the outcome of the option we have chosen. But there would have been other option existed in a Parallel Universe. This was what I believed. And I was correct but only to an extent. The other option do exists, but only in the Limbo!'
Vishwas digested what Peter had explained and said, 'That means the outcome of the option we chose continues to exist in our universe but the other outcome has no chance of flourishing. The other outcome gets trapped in the Limbo'.
'Correct! Like in my case, the option which I had not chosen which was continuing the experiment would have leaded me to death. But I hadn't chosen that option so I lived. But the other outcome, which was my death, now exists only in the Limbo'.
'And because the wormhole had open, you got transported to The Limbo'.
'It seems so. But the question now is: How can we travel back to our world?'
Vishwas eyeballed the broken machines lying at the floor and said, 'The same way I had come here!'
'But it is not possible here. As you said, Manoj had switched the machine off just before the moment it was about to explode. We don't have anyone who can do it here!', said Peter.
Vishwas shook his head and headed towards the broken machine. He lifted the capsule and stood it upright. 'We have no other option. We have to start the machine and wait for the wormhole to open'.
'What if the explosion would occur before the wormhole opens?', said Peter, as he lifted the other capsule.
'We have to take this risk. Anyhow, I have travelled so far to take you and we would die anyway if stay here', said Vishwas, as he finished the installation which he had learnt from Manoj. Peter, on the other hand, too fixed the machine and claws.
Peter strode outside the chamber and checked the control panel. It was working. He wondered how it was working in this dead place. He then looked at his father for final approval.
'Go ahead son!'
Peter switched the machine on and rotated the knob moderately. The claws began to rotate. As the knob reached the "Max", he rushed into the chamber. Expectedly, the machines began to tremble and the sparks began to flash. Still there was no sign of the wormhole. The machines were now thundering. It seemed that this time the explosion would occur before the wormhole appears. Vishwas and Peter closed their eyes and prayed to God. A ray of hope appeared when they noticed that a minute wormhole began to form at the centre. It was growing but at a very slow pace. But the machines were giving up. Vishwas remembered this was the moment when Manoj had switched the machine off. But now, they did not have anyone to do that. If the machine continued to operate, it would explode by the time the wormhole grew big enough for them to dive into it. It seemed the end. They closed their eyes, waiting for the explosion to take their life. Suddenly, Peter noticed that the thudding of machines on the floor was slowing down. After a few seconds, he realized that the claws were now rotating slowly.
'Dad! The machine has gone off', shouted Peter.
Vishwas opened his eyes and realized it was true.
Peter held Vishwas's hand. 'C'mon Dad what are you thinking!'. Along with his father, Peter leaped into the wormhole. After a few moments, both emerged out of the wormhole and banged on the ground. Peter recollected himself and stood up clumsily. He saw a frightened Manoj staring at both of them.
'YES! We did it', shouted Peter in excitement and gave his hand to his father to help him to stand up.
The fear on Manoj's face had now replaced by the smile. He ran towards the father and son and embraced them.
'Thank God Peter. You are back!', said Manoj.
'I am here because of my Dad! He saved my life', said Peter and turned towards his father, 'However, It was our good luck that the machine had stopped by itself. Otherwise, we would have killed there at the Limbo itself'.
'Good luck or bad luck is nothing but an exception in nature', Manoj repeated Vishwas's word.
Vishwas smiled and said, 'Yes. It was a Natural Exception'.
Peter looked at the machines for a moment. Something was swirling in his mind.
‘What happened son?’, asked Vishwas.
Peter, still staring at the machines, said, 'A Natural Exception or A Divine intervention?'
Vishwas and Manoj looked at Peter questioningly.
Peter turned towards them and said, 'The crucified one sojourned in the realm of the dead prior to his resurrection. But he descended there as Saviour, proclaiming the Good News to the spirits imprisoned there!' Peter recited the words from Catholic teachings.