The Truth

(This story is dedicated to the crew of the Columbia Space shuttle.)

“Houston, the satellite is transmitting its coordinates again; we will forward it to you as soon as we receive it.”
“SQ125, Houston here, Affirmative.”
“Houston, the coordinates are here………. Oh my God! Houston, We have a Problem. ”


New York.

“What? He gets to interview an ex-terrorist and I get to interview the ‘madman’.” She said pointing at Alan. But her question had a quick well planned reply “You don’t understand Nicole. You get this story and I promise you a front page article. Just find out why he whacked is family and you will be the talk of the town.” The conversation had ended there. She knew what she had to do.

The ‘madman’ was Dr. Eddie Franco. He had killed his wife and his only child and had pleaded insanity and was now in a high security mental institute.

The process of entering a mental institute had to scare a young journalist. But her determination could be seen in her eyes. Unfortunately her blue eyes also showed the fear in her. She had no idea how to approach the ‘madman’. He had never given an interview and the best had tried. Some hand even promised him freedom and he had just laughed the thought away.

She sat down where the attendant pointed and waited. There was a glass window with a small metal device in between the two rooms. It provided a medium through which the two people could talk. Every second of the wait was physically draining her. She took deeper breaths as every second passed by. She tried to play with the pencil in her hand but she was too nervous. And then, he was brought in.

Her first impression was obvious. ‘Could this guy have killed his family?’ He looked around the room and then stared into her eyes. The stare was there for over 5 minutes. No one said a word. She felt him looking into her soul.

He broke the ice. “What is beautiful girl like you doing is such a place?” She tried but could not speak. “Isn’t it important that in your field of work that you should talk”. Her lips moved. But so little that he hardly noticed.
“Ok, then I am going to do your job as well. Your first question: Why did I kill my family? Answer: I love to shoot. Congratulations you have nailed the answer. You win the prize, thank you for being here.” She had this unbelievable look in her eyes and she replied before he could leave “I was at your home and it was lovely. So was your family.” He kept moving towards the door “And the way it was done. I am no expert but I would guess you could have never done that.”

He turned around, surprised, “why did you think so?”
“I have seen many dead bodies and this was like no other. (She paused) I ruled out you as the killer knowing your past. But what I could not figure out is, who could have set you up?”
“Are you sure you want to know.”
“Ok then, tell me your name”
“Nicole, Nicole Hunt”
“Nicole ….., mind if I call you Nicole”
“Nicole, I hope you have brought a book. This is going to be long.”

He started as she grabbed a book and started making notes.

Madman: Five years ago, I was the chief satellite designer in NASA. We had a mission the first of its kind, a mission to put a man made object outside the solar system. We have landed and had bases on every planet but this was a step beyond.

The first satellite was controlled by our space station SQ125. This shuttle had all its home work done, but then the unthinkable happened. The satellite vanished. There was no trace of the satellite or any other object that might have crashed into it.

Life is ironic, I found out after over a year’s research and 5 destroyed satellites, which you will not find in any records of NASA, thanks to a friend, I found that the satellite had crashed into a glass wall. Oh yes a glass wall (he said with a little chuckle). I was first surprised on how a glass wall got there, but then (he paused, looked at her and with a sly smile added) I realized that it was there all the time.

Without giving the report to NASA I made a satellite which was programmed to collect a sample of this wall. The satellite stopped within 5 feet of the wall, it used a laser to cut a small cube from the wall. This confirmed that the wall existed but the material was unknown to us.

I continued research on the ‘wall’ without informing the authorities. I wanted a Nobel Prize. (He paused and added) What did I know that it was going to end my life.

I was near the end of my research when he arrived.

Nicole: He! Who?

MM: I was at first shocked to find him inside my office as I had the only key. But his explanation was good enough to answer all my questions.

He never gave me his name, the first thing he gave me was a collection of my most intimate secrets some of which unknown to my wife. I kept protesting but he kept adding to the facts. I asked him how he knew all this, he said that he ‘created’ me.

I was of course scared, I ran out brought the security guard in. There was no one there. I requested for the security video of the passage outside my door. There was no stranger in the security video. I assumed all was a bad dream and continued to work through out the night. A few hours later he came back. This time I have no idea why, but I expected him. He sat in front of me and said “I won’t beat around the bush. I need you to do something for me. I want you to throw away your entire research about this wall and never utter a word about it to any one.”
“Why? Why should I throw my most important project, just coz you told me to?”
“This is far beyond you.”
“Maybe that is not just good enough an excuse.”
“Ok, tell me what you want. You want to be a politician, movie star, entrepreneur. Tell me and I shall make your dreams come true.”
“What if I say, I want to know the truth?”
“Truth, are you sure you can handle the truth.”
“Humor me.”
He put up a devilish smile and said “What I am going to tell you today was never meant to be told to you. Consider your self lucky. Twenty five years ago, Dr. Newman Grey changed the world as we knew it. He found something smaller than an electron.”
“That’s impossible.”
“Interruptions are not welcome. Just listen. He called his discovery ‘nano-e’. After a year of research we found that this nano-e was not just 10-9 of an electron it was the order of around 10-100 of an electron. After around 15 years we had mastered the idea of clones. I wanted to combine the two concepts and create a miniature human being. The government did not like it. Those fools! But who needs the government’s approval. In about a years time I found success. But the success was short lived. I had no power to control the metabolism of my creation. I took me another year before I could realize that I could never control the ‘thing’ physically.”

He took a deep breath and continued “I thought about it long and hard. Very soon I had a theory, think of a room with just 1 door. You always assume that the person who built the room knew you would go there. Now think of a room with hundreds of doors. No one knows where you will go. But what if all doors are locked except one. The illusion of a choice is good enough as a choice. Take our entire history, every thing happens because of choice. It was your choice to stay back today, think about it.”

He stared into my eyes and added “I no longer wanted a nano human, I wanted an entire nano-world. It took me 5 years to design my first world, it had everything a planet and living organisms. I was destroyed in over 2 hours. After about 100 attempts I realized that the world required an solar system. It took me 50,000 tries before I got a world where humans lived. I could control the metabolisms or in simple lay man’s terms time in my world. I could not make it run back but I had the ability to slow it down or speed it up when ever I wanted. 2 world years and the world had no humans. It is unbelievable how we have survived all that and have come so far (he grinned). I used my ‘multiple doors and 1 key concept’ to control the world. You have no idea how easy it is control the world when I could control climate. (He paused) Then it hit me, if I could control everything I could replicate the 2000 odd years of human history.”

At around 2 o clock in the night I tried my best to understand what he was saying, most of my senses were dormant at that time. I could not believe what he was saying. “The worlds were all the size of a capsule. I decided to count them depending on their upgrades. The world 50,217 marked the first. Your world is number 92727. Your world has been so perfect that we could not improve it in any way. All attempts to improve have failed. That brings me to my request ‘Don’t ruin this world for me’. It does not hurt if one person knows about the truth but if the entire world knew, it won’t be the same any more.”

Then he disappeared. I thought long and hard about how to approach this issue. I knew that the world had to know. I wrote a letter to the head of the NASA and sent a similar copy to the press. I gave the two letters to my assistant and instructed him to quickly deliver the letters. I headed towards home to tell my wife and son.

I never got the chance. I went home and found him there. He looked at me and said “When we kill mosquitoes which irritate us, we fail to realize how a soul could have been packed into such a small body. But it sure is. Killing a mosquito and killing a human is exactly the same.” He looked pleased and added “Your assistant has met an unfortunate accident, those darn green lights turn to red before we know it. Your letters were washed out by the rain. I am sorry. The cops will be here any second, just say you did it and no questions will be asked, the officer has had a tough day also. If you try to tell the truth they will term you as insane. Do your self a favor plead insanity and I will try my best to get you out as soon as possible.” The sirens of the cop cars echoed into the night, they got me before I could see my family for the last time.

Well that is my story. I hope I did not bore you. The thought of this being in the papers is almost impossible to think of. Try your best and he will try his best to keep the truth a secret.

Saying that, he walked out of the room. She tried to stop him but he did not respond. She walked out of the room and then looked back at the door, she had learnt more things in that room than any other room in her life. She walked towards the exit when she heard someone calling her. It was the attendant he said “The doctor wants to see you.”

The doctor’s office was smaller than expected. The doctor looked very busy but acknowledged her entrance. He then said “I hope you got the story you wanted. No one has ever spoken to him as long as this. I hope before you consider writing the story that, he is insane. We have medical records to prove it. We have evidence to consider him highly dangerous. I don’t want to know your name as I know you will never come back here. But please consider the lives and the people you are going to effect by your story. Before you write, ‘Please think about it’.”