Einstein is my most ambitious project I am working on since last three years. It tells a story of a family torn apart by a thin wall of time and the only person who has the key to both the generations is having a bad time. Will the eighty year torn family be united in the nick of time? Or do we have to pay the price for trying to tame the time? Only time can tell...If you missed the first post, you can go through it here. Although I had planned on releasing only one more chapter, but seeing the enthusiasm of you, my friend, am posting the next three chapters. Yes they are lengthly and may feel disconnected with the previous chapters, but remember the book runs on many separate timelines and the fusion of the time lines is what is important in the book.
The distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.
For the last time Ragini Prajapati convinced herself everything was fine. The safety belt tightly gripped her stomach gave her an uneasy feeling.
‘Everything had gone wrong,’ she thought closing her eyes. She murmured the chant of Aum under her breath, hoping at least God will hear her.
Ragini Prajapati was a middle aged woman working for ISRO, Indian Space Research Organization. Her colleagues jokingly said about her that, ‘She was pretty much interested in little green men from mars, than handsome hunk male on earth.’
She had specifically told at the office not to disturb her for the weekend. The past week was a circus, as the first prototype of inter-orbitary satellite system, code name: Sanjay was launched.
‘Sanjay’ was named after the messenger ‘Sanjay’ who relayed the whole Mahabharata to blind king Dashrath.
As the former Sanjay, code name: ‘Sanjay’ would also relay the exact position of all global nuclear weapons. It kept the note of all the exact co-ordinates of the missiles, the trajectory and the position. Every week, it was programmed to relay the data in an encrypted format to its home station. After years of research, months of sleepless nights, access use of coffee machine, finally it was night of celebration.
‘Sanjay’ was in place and was working absolutely as it was supposed to work. The data would start in 48 hrs.
Ragini was the programmer of the whole sub-system. She was the leader of team of five geeks who mastered the complexities of computer programming. Her work was done, now the silicon chip embedded in the system will automatically charge itself by absorbing solar energy.
‘Can’t a woman get a good night’s well deserving rest?’ she muttered under her breath as her peaceful well deserving sleep was broken and she was given a ten second notice to board a private jet that will put her directly on the field.
The last conversation she had on the phone robbed her of the peace of her warm bed.
“What,” she barked on the phone.
“Whoa, sweetheart, you sound like you will kill someone tonight,” the sweet voice was familiar. It was the famous flirt fellow scientist Dr. Nagarajan Swami Kutti.
“Not someone, I’ll kill you,” she barked, “what is it?”
“Whoa, I just called to pass on the message from the director. There is an error on the system,” he said.
“Error?” she was suddenly silent, “Where is Aryan? I mean…” she fumbled, “where is the director?”
She felt it was not an ideal time to disclose her affair with her married boss.
“The director is getting his ass fried, sweetheart,” he said, she sweared under her breath, “he has asked you to check your email for the snapshot.”
Dizzily she walked across her lap top machine and switched it on.
“Another night wasted,” she sighed waiting for the machine to warm up, “and all I wanted was rest.”
A quick cup of instant coffee started boiling in the microwave and she threw her hair behind her back and straightened her blouse in front of her computer.
‘You have 11 new messages’ the email program blinked.
She sighed; the problem must be a large one. Barely half an hour ago, she had checked her email and ensured all messages were read.
Six messages were from a familiar address and remaining five were just garbage.
The email ‘dir.aryan’ was familiar to her. The message was brief.
‘Sorry dear for disturbing you at night, we are knee deep into problem here. Sending the snapshot of the data we received from Sanjay. Please tell me you know something about this. It is nightmare’
She skipped few messages, and glanced at the most recent one,
‘Its circus, we do not know what you comprehend from this. Please for once you say that you goofed in your programming and it is not what I think it is,’
‘Goofed in my programming? Bullshit,’ she murmured downloading the screen shot.
The screen shot was right what it was supposed to be. The radiation of the sun had made a permanent mark on the film. Something below in the corner made her uneasy.
“Ready to land in 10 minutes” the pilots announced.
Old memories played on her eye like a retro film.
It was final exam and she was busy studying on a paper, when every night her mum would pour her some coffee.
“Mamma, you go to sleep,” she said.
“I can’t my baby, how can I sleep when you are awake?” her mother would answer.
Her mother was the sweetest person she ever met. Unlike others her mother did not consider her as a weak girl. At age two her legs parted from her in a polio epidemic. Now only two metal rods supported them and kept her standing.
Unfortunately her father was never a part of her life for a long time. He was busy with his own glorious life. His medals, his papers, his trophies kept him too busy to notice a cripple in the house. He had only one part in her life, and that was his brain. It was no doubt that the girl had inherited her father’s brain, she hated that.
He closed her eyes and tried to imagine that she was somewhere else, somewhere, and anywhere… away from space, away from the globe, away from being a nuclear scientist… away. Sadly she knew, she could not go away.
Her brisk brown hair shielded her face and her enormous brain… the brain, just as powerful as her rocket scientist father. When she was in her teens, she was on top charts of every examination she ever had. Her project received global acclamation; big multinational companies offered her bigger jobs. But she rejected all them.
She wanted something close to her mum, close to her land. Dr. Aryan Mehta, was the then field agent of an ISRO project. He chose her on his team.
“Please fasten your seat belts,” the pilot announced.
The plan landed in the private hangar of Master Control Facility (MCF) of ISRO in Hassan, Karnataka.
The Master Control Facility (MCF) is a facility set up by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in the city of Hassan in the Indian state of Karnataka. Established in 1982, this facility is oldest one responsible for monitoring and controlling the satellites launched by ISRO. Until 2005 this was the only MCF facility in India.
She glanced at her mobile screen. No signal. One of the important features of the facility of Hassan was that it was noise free and encountered less external terrestrial transmission. The 17.2 hectares of land haunted her as it picked up signals from the sky above.
She slowly unbuckled the seat belt picked her laptop case and stepped outside in the chilling breeze.
‘There goes nothing,’ she sighed.
“C’mon,” Vikraal watched the black screen with a nervous glance.
Something was wrong, Vikraal sensed instantly. It took merely seconds for his new program to crack any AES 128 bit firewall, but his program was running, Two hours, three hours… no output.
A second terminal beeped to life. The email snooping program he had installed on port 995 of the ISRO mainframe. The secure sockets layer (SSL) connection was no longer secure, thanks to his new prototype Code name: Jasoos, namely the spy in Hindi.
The program had snooped yet another email. He cautiously opened the file that was downloaded from the server.
As the program was still in the development stage, usually called the beta stage, it was not actually functional. Yes, it did snoop the email, but not complete. The email packets send and received were copied by his program and relayed to his machine, but it took just a fraction of a nano second to send the email, hence only part of the email was received by him.
He glanced nervously at the file.
‘Its circus, we do not know what you comprehend from this. Please for once you say that you goofed in your programming and it is not what I think it is’
Vikraal was nervous, what if they realized his presence? What if they knew he was there?
We do not know what you comprehend from this?
The director for project Sanjay has email this to the lead programmer. He thinks he hit a bug, but it can be me?
Dark shadows started closing him. He realized he was doomed. What started it all?
It was few months ago when Vikraal was writing a new email snooping program. He had tested it on all secure email servers… Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail etc were no longer vulnerable from him. Then he started testing it for government sites.
He managed to switch to government accounts, but unfortunately he received nothing. The defense email was masked properly, heavy encryption. The parliament used no email for communication.
Only once he did manage to hit the bull’s eye. He knew it was jackpot instantly. The Indian Space Research Organization was busy developing a series of satellite to track the enemy moment. The more he watched the more he learned. He managed to decode the codes written on the satellite system, he even received the classified data.
He collected everything with him. After having a heap of information his plan was to sell the technology to the highest bidder, earn some million and vanish for the lifetime.
Pakistan would be happy to receive it.
Red China will pay the largest.
Saudi and Israel will gift him an oil well for that.
US? US can make him a lifetime hero. He can vanish in US forever.
But all this was a dream. As the seconds beeped in minutes, minutes into hours, he sensed something was wrong. He was no longer anonymous. They had traced him. There can be emergency tactic team on the way with guns, or maybe some encounter specialist was trailing him? There can be a sniper waiting for him outside to kill with a headshot. They know it and they will stop at nothing to prevent it.
The more he thought about it, the more he felt the chill spreading in his body. Something was to be done, something before it was too late.
Instantly he burned the program into four Digital Video Discs (DVDs) and formatted his hard drive.
The four discs were his insurance from the Government of India, but if the team was to find him, they will search his house, his bank account and his lockers.
The golden words ‘The Dosa Planet,’ embossed on his green work dress suddenly gave a last idea of survival.
The heater in the fax machine started warming up. The A4 laser print from the fax machine had one photo id, one work description and one important note. ‘Arrest Immediately: National Threat.’
Sub inspector Raghunath Kadam glanced at the picture of Vikrant Malik. The boy was in his twenties. Not older then his own son. What made him the national threat? What made him go wrong against the law? Shaking his head to clear of all thoughts, he loaded his service revolver.
‘God forbid if I have to use this today,’ he thought.
In his twenty years of service, Raghunath Kadam always followed the book. He shot from the service revolver only once in defense shot on the leg of the culprit. Everyday on duty he prayed he would never have to use it. Now aged 54, Raghunath had his retirement due in few years. He had a clean record, which kept him away from the promotions. People who were junior to him were promoted faster than him.
Vikrant Malik: aged 25, national threat. The words echoed in his mind as he drove in the service jeep to the given address. The fax was received from the Intelligence Bureau (IB); he realized that black tuxedoed men would soon enter his police station to take custody of the man.
As they drove to the apartment his personal phone rang.
“Sub inspector Raghunath Kadam?” a gruff voice greeted him online.
“Yes,” Raghunath Kadam said.
“This is agent Aktar Khan from the IB. The person you will arrest today, Vikrant Malik,”
“Yes, we are reaching there,” Raghunath Kadam said.
“Do not make an entry in the book,” Aktar Khan said.
“What?” Raghunath Kadam exclaimed. The IB wanted to eliminate a national threat and wanted to break a dozen laws doing so?
“Excuse me, sir, but I have always followed a strict procedure in my lifetime and I will not arrest anyone without lodging an FIR against him,” Raghunath Kadam said.
“I presumed that, you case history is on my table as we speak. The person you are going to arrest possesses some big national secrets. There will be diplomatic ties broken if those secrets are out, soon the man hunt will begin and there will be half the world’s secret agents looking for our man. If they find a trace in your books, they find your life, your family, your only daughter and your job in jeopardy,” agent Aktar said.
“What…” Raghunath Kadam shook. His family? His only daughter will be in jeopardy? His wife and son were already not taking to him, his only hope for living in jeopardy?
“I knew you would co-operate,” agent Aktar said, “We are coming to collect our package in twenty minutes.”
The line was dead.
Raghunath Kadam closed his eyes and took a deep breath. One law is to be broken today first time in his life.
Slowly and cautiously the team made their way on the fifth floor of the apartment. The door was locked.
“Do we have the arrest warrant?” Raghunath Kadam breathed heavily. Sadly he had guessed the answer.
“No,” the constable said.
He had feared that, “Break open the door,” he ordered.
The constable glanced at him back, waiting for him to speak something else.
“Do it,” Raghunath Kadam huffed.
‘God knows how many more laws I have to break tonight,’ he thought.
Sadly even God had no idea.
There ends the preview. The book is on the verge of getting completed, I am looking for a publisher and distributor for the book. If anyone knows any, please let me know.
I apologize to my friends who came back again and again for the next part, idiot that I am, I scheduled it for 1 P.M. instead of A.M. and kept wondering why it isn't published.
I hope you are enjoying and excited as what will happen next? Obviously as you can see, the pace of the novel is very fast and exciting since beginning, I can assure you the speed gets worse as you turn the pages, right from the feminine powepuff girl Ragini, to the master hacker Vikrant.
If you wish to publish this book, you can get back to me.