A Science fiction thriller story
The time was twenty minutes past ten. The press conference was scheduled for 10:00 AM. But Dr. Robinson was sitting in his car still, very nervous and disturbed. His secretary Maria too was getting nervous. Will Dr. Robinson call off the meeting? If he does so, she will be in great trouble. She had secretly auctioned through the internet about one fifths of the total invitations to the conference and made some good money without the knowledge of Robinson. She will be in trouble if he cancels the conference.
"Doctor; we are already late" she reminded Robinson. Dr. Robinson proffered the printout of an e-mail that he was reading so far, to her. "This has come from my son Kelvin. He is dead against my research, you know". Maria read the e-mail:
I came to know about the success of your research and the press conference you have called to report the matter to the public.. Your research has every potential of dangerous consequences to the humanity. Right from my childhood, I have seen you being obsessed with it. In your mad pursuit, you ignored your wife, us children and our family welfare . Our mother sacrificed her entire life to bring us up without your support. Only we know the pains she underwent. You are a heartless crook.
Do you know what I felt when I came to know of your success in your research? I wished that a bomb should explode in your laboratory and destroy everything you have invented. I would be the happiest person if such a thing really happens!
(Principal In-charge, Holy Mary School of mentally retarded children, Cincinnati)"
Dr Robinson wiped his face with his kerchief. "I am afraid Kelvin is right. I am becoming increasingly doubtful of the very repercussions of my invention. I am not sure..."
Maria spent the next ten minutes in consoling and cheering up Robinson and finally succeeded in bringing him in to the auditorium to face the gathering. She felt relieved. She had so many vicious plans to make a huge fortune for herself at the back of the maverick Dr Robinson; she just can not afford to permit him to back track from his invention.
"Friends and fellow Scientists! This is a historical moment and a break-through in my research on Biological Zipping. See this" Dr Robinson placed a little glass bottle under a focus light.
Every body watched with abated breath. "What is this?" he asked. "Seems to be an ant" said a young reporter from the first row.
"Now zoom your video camera and project it on the screen" Robinson asked the official Cameraman covering the program.
"Wow! Unbelievable!" shouted every body. There was a big round of applause. What they saw on the screen when the camera zoomed in was actually a rat! A rat shrunk to the size of an ant!
An excited question and answer session followed. Dr Robinson gave additional information on his research project:
- He has successfully invented the methodology and the bio-chemicals needed for biologically shrinking animals to about one-tenth of the original size. He is confident that the experiment will work on human-beings too.
- He is in a very advanced stage of success in unzipping the shrunk ones to the original size. There are some hitches still, which he is confident of over coming.
- The duration of keeping the beings in shrunk stage could be for about 2 days beyond which there is the risk of their not growing up to original size. He is continuing his research to improve upon this.
- Unzipping causes hyper activity in the functioning of the brain, blood circulation and other biological functions and presently there is a danger that the beings may face death in this process. There is also a possibility that their growth stops half way. His research is nearing break-through to over come these problems.
- One of the application areas that the Doctor foresees for his invention is in mass transport. With this invention, it is now possible to transport a train-load of passengers in a small plane. It may become possible to transport hundreds of scientists to moon or mars to conduct researches there. Deployment of large posse of troupes into the enemy land can be secretively and economically done.
The conference hall was full of excitement. Many news channels were covering the program live. A couple of visitors who had purchased invitation from Mrs.Maria cornered her for more insider-information. "Get me in touch privately. I can give you more specific details. One thing I strongly suspect is that Dr Robinson has completely finished all his research work and already tied up loose ends. He thinks he is keeping certain things out of my eye; but I know - he has completed his research on human-beings too successfully!" Mrs. Maria was at her best in reeling out her guesswork and hooking the eager-beavers to reward her financially for whatever information she can pass on secretively.
The next few days were hectic for Dr Robinson. He had top level meetings with the officials of NASA, Defense Department and also with senior executives of Boing Corporation. He had been flooded with offers; It was an extremely difficult task to choose which one was the best.
* * * *
"Good Morning Dr. Robinson; Do you remember me?"
The tall, bespectacled young man in his thirties greeted Dr Robinson at his office at his appointed time. He had been allowed to meet Robinson after a thorough security check by the special Security Force provided by the Government at his office and laboratory.
"You? Phillip? Is that you? Have you changed your name just to meet me? I don't want to talk to you. Get lost from here"
"Doctor, please! Please ! Be patient. I admit I made the mistake of absconding from your lab two years ago without informing you. I know you also suspected me of stealing the extremely costly chemicals that you had stored in the deep freezer. I can prove that I never stole anything; it is your lab attendant Lewis who was the culprit. I know, I know You will not accept whatever I say about Lewis; You blindly believe his loyalty. Any way, I am here with a request to take me back as your assistant"
Dr Robinson intervened impatiently; he didn't want to have anything to do with Phillip. But Phillip was adamant. There was a heated argument between them. Mrs Maria who was sitting outside the cabin became curious and she opened the cabin door slightly to eavesdrop the conversation. Her face grew pale on what she heard.
Three days went by. Mrs. Maria had to take leave on Wednesday. On Thursday and Friday she could not find Dr Robinson in the lab. He had not left any message nor was he traceable over his cell phone. Lewis, the lab assistant too did not turn up. She inquired the Office Security Personnel. She was told that on Wednesday Dr Robinson was seen at the office in the morning. Lewis left the lab in the after noon carrying a parcel to be carried by him personally to Cincinnati. As per the security records, the parcel was addressed to "Principal In charge, Holy Mary School of mentally retarded children, Cincinnati ".
The worried Mrs. Maria filed a complaint to police stating that Dr Robinson was missing.
By the time the police team arrived at the Laboratory for an investigation, there was a huge explosion in the lab and everything in it was consumed by the flames within an hour. The Media was abuzz with the speculation that Dr Robinson had been kidnapped by a terrorist outfit and the lab had been bombarded by some enemies' of Robinson.
Mrs. Maria informed the police about Phillip's heated conversations with Robinson. She had overheard that Phillips was a representative of a terrorist organization and he had reportedly offered huge money to Robinson to part with the technology or face death.
Police could not trace Lewis, the lab assistant. Mrs. Maria furnished another evidence - the printout of e-mail that Robinson had given her earlier, received from his son Kelvin, Cincinnati. A team of police was dispatched to Cincinnati to inquire Kelvin.
I am pausing the story temporarily at this stage. I have my own end to this story which I want to reveal at the bottom (below the comments section). In the meanwhile, if you like this story and you want to guess how the story is going to end, You are welcome to post (but don't see below the comments section to know my end!)
The ending of the story...
"I was expecting you, Officer!" Mr. Kelwin received the police team casually. "I have lots of things to explain; but I can do it only in front of the highest officials of the Ministry connected with defense and internal security. My father is very much alive and his security is a highly sensitive issue" he said. The meeting was arranged.
Mr. Kelvin produced his father, Dr Robinson in front of the elite gathering. In fact, Kelvin was carrying his father in his hand like a baby! Robinson looked hale and healthy but hardly 3 feet tall. He could talk in a shrill, childish voice:
"Sorry to have troubled you, gentlemen!
"My son Kelvin, who was dead against my research was right after all. Apart from Government agencies and private businessmen, I was under tremendous pressure from a terrorist organization to part with my invention to them. It was made clear to me that I can not continue to live, should I deny my invention to the terrorist outfit.
"The threat made me realize that my invention can not be of any benefit to the civilized society in its totality. But one positive idea struck to me. I took the critical decision to escape from every one. I applied the chemicals on myself and I shrunk myself to the size of a Barbie doll. My loyal servant Lewis packed me with life sustaining devices as per my instructions and couriered me as a parcel to my son. I had set up detonators at my laboratory and Lewis triggered them using remote radio control from his hide out. I have rewarded him very handsomely for his loyal service to me over these years.
"I knew very well that my research in bringing me back to my original size has not yet become fruitful. My son Kelvin gave me the medicines as per my instructions. I am presently in a hyperactive state and I may perhaps live for another two years in this little body.
"But my inventions so far in hyper-activating the brain and other biological systems are now going to be useful to the society. At last I am going to spend my remaining two years of my life in perfecting these medicines; These medicines can be applied to mentally retarded children to get physical and mental agility similar to normal human beings. I hope God will give me the strength to come out successfully in my research aimed at contributing positively for the benefit of humanity".
There was deafening silence for a while followed by a thunderous applause.