Code Name Cobra
by Deep Bora
The warm summer night seemed to drag on as if mesmerized in the grasp of a twilight with no end in sight even at the horizon points. An absolute and complete stillness indicated the absence of night birds on prowl in the moor-like vegetation. Such silence would pacify no human at this hour, and even the sky appeared devoid of the moon or its satellite.
Yet... He wondered, “How?!”
His muscular figure swelled up as his well-built legs carried him smoothly across unknown plains, an area between two cities located comfortably away from highways and major roads.
His leg muscles had become almost mechanical in operation as he continued a quick run across low vegetated plains, drawing in a breath every once in a while. He noted carefully that he did not perspire even though the distance covered by now may have exceeded eleven miles since earth-ground impact in 3665 C.E.; at approximately the same coordinates on Earth that he may have occupied in 2001 C.E.
He applied his mind frantically to clearing all major jigsaw puzzles preoccupying him as he ran faster, covering greater distances in what seemed to be a cross-country run. He was aware by now that his muscles were straining at the approaching sixteenth mile.
He looked to the left, spotting few colored lights in the distance, located twenty-five feet high on average. The colour sequence determined no fixed relative position. He made a mental calculation frantically, finally judging the source of those strange overhead lights to be approach signals to a highway. Evidently, vehicles plied in excess of 600 kilometers on such highways, interconnecting cities and sub-cities of the year 3665 C.E..
He finally reconfirmed the position of the speed highway at his left, deciding to continue at a forty-five degree angle away from the 650-foot wide road. He made quick progress into a sparsely vegetated plain, keen to reach the second city.
Standing at average height, he was confident that Earth’s population in 3665 C.E. had not progressed farther than the usual time variations. Almost sixty percent of all that he had encountered during the past hour fitted with a varied jigsaw puzzle. Yet, he had not met a single human in his by now 15-mile run from the impact point beside the speed highway, beginning some 50 minutes ago.
Perhaps there had been serious miscalculations! Or maybe it all would all prove to be an unknown schedule for a calculated landing! For now, he was unsure which possibility to accept as a form of self-consolation. Nevertheless, the narrow stretch of highway just outside of and bordering the speed highway measured 250 feet in width. It was also devoid of traffic immediately during his entry phases, and he wasted no precious time in making a predetermined escape.
Out and away into starlit darkness immediately upon landing on uncharted territory.
The machine, back in 2001 C.E. in their own time zone, did display all futuristic happenings both to him and his colleagues and of course, the professor!
They had dedicatedly spent sixteen years of their precious lives engrossed in time travel. And in ventures that defied rational explanation, not to mention the clairvoyant machines; living farthest away from towns and cities, engulfed in matters of science and technology, immersed in another world where stars were discovered and radio waves traced to their points of origin; inside huge, towering halls and very high ceilinged rooms near the observatories of Earth.
Those observatories recorded every minute particle of data transmitted from interplanetary spy satellites located thousands of miles away from the Earth’s stratosphere and ionosphere. In outer space, much farther away from actual geostationary satellites functioning continuously all of 30 hours a day, each day, constantly recording and transmitting every inference drawn from Earth. All activities were preconditioned for recording including the most common of all: the weather conditions and disturbances.
Absence of atmospheric disturbances proved advantageous in transmitting data from interplanetary satellites to deep-space satellites. Such data — sent from deep space and travelling in form of combined radio light waves — hit Earth’s atmosphere with higher velocities, breaking paths to reception dishes placed at every vantage point upon earth. These were further transmitted swiftly to the observatories of Earth. Particularly to Earth-Forward space research laboratory priority one.
“Such a process is faster,” scientists on earth claimed. “Rather than direct satellite transmission to earth, as was the case roughly fifteen hundred years ago.”
* * *
Yet, how could this calculation — or miscalculation for that matter — have occurred? Solutions defied scientific gravity.
The smoothly-contoured, steel time machine now located in a hall adjacent to an equally big hall protecting the clairvoyant intelligent computer was an achievement that none within the parameters of science did ever disbelieve or even choose to criticize.
The regalia knew; the Presidents of all sixteen worlds were aware, both of them! Even the country governors, all of one dozen countries now comprising their world, sanctioned immense funds to advanced studies, researches and investigations into higher realms of interacting machines and computers. There was no dearth of anything. The matter was accorded interplanetary status priority one within their 16-planet solar system and its moons and satellites.
Yet, he could now gather no further information on how unknown matters overtook even the most thorough and precise plans ever dealt with in the history of the world.
It was a top-secret classified project, which involved inventing clairvoyant machines; building and structuring these machines into intelligent, electronic brains; every single one of those machines. A hitherto vastly unrecognized venture into study of uncharted realms; attempting to create something out of nothing perhaps.
Yet it invited no iota of sarcasm either from colleagues or from the inside people who knew and were acutely aware of certain classified going-on within certain observatories of Earth.
Again... the parallel project of developing time machines facilitating time travel for humans at any instance and time into the future... or the past. Any era, any time or year at BCE or C.E. status for that matter.
Yet, the unfounded had happened. It was happening now. He didn’t know where he was! Sure, he had landed somewhere in time but at which year and age? He didn’t know.
Interplanetary star-field armies of the world covered them from every conceivable position, in uniform and in plain clothes. The secret and security agencies of the dozen countries maintained dossiers containing each of their likings and dislikings. They were considered one hundred percent safe and were even declared thus.
Intelligensia from Pluto and Mars space stations were deployed by the dozens to see into their welfare. Jupiter stations recorded their health categories round the clock.
* * *
Their visits to the city — a large metropolis — measuring a 20-mile drive from Earth-Forward Space Research Observatory One — were totally covered. Even the janitor in the subway lavatory belonged to THE interplanetary star-fields intelligence network; the cigarette vendor in an almost unnoticed corner shop was perhaps from star-fields counterintelligence; and the external duty and the lift operator; or the chef or waiter in one of the costliest restaurants was an Earth-Venusian secret service operator. That was at level one.
Vehicles were parked casually amidst hundreds of other vehicles, alongside predetermined routes. These nondescript cars and vans contained all manners of ambulances or getaway cars as needed. Other vehicles of every standard model and make were also parked casually at safe and ‘termed unsafe’ intersections, thus creating further easy passages into non-predetermined routes.
Nothing could go wrong. There were no chances to take, no risks to make.
Holidays to other countries abroad, in hill stations, or beaches and river valleys for that matter, followed similar procedures; for the entire group of students, researchers and scientists and of course, the professor, who inevitably assumed a nonchalant attitude of superiority on all such trips. Even during internal holidays within their own country
Every care was taken nonetheless, to ensure that they did not move about in huddled groups. Even when necessitated by reasons of practicality to holiday together, they were made to appear as discreet as one could possibly be, assisted by those special interplanetary special operatives responsible for their well-being.
Everything was at stake. Even the future of the worlds. All the sixteen planets.
* * *
He came to an abrupt halt over uneven grounds smelling a fresh tinge of green grass underneath his feet. The quick running had forced his feet to swell up as arteries and veins expanded and his body strained to adjust with the summer air and atmosphere, a very different climate wherein he did not perspire.
Far ahead his eyes determined certain lights, engulfed in twilight intermingling with indeterminable lights and large green colored bulbs. It described an almost neat curve, covering the horizon in a semicircle.
Could it be that droplets of moisture suspended in the air and on the ground reflected Earth lights hundreds of miles across? Could it therefore be true that the entire Earth was lit up casually in such a manner during the nights of 3665 C.E.?
He brought up the right hand forward, peering slightly in opaque darkness. A moon reflector equipment located at his right wrist calculated an absence of the moon and its satellites. From east to west and from north to south horizon levels.
“I can correctly deduct that the moon has been thrust away from outer gravitational positions of the earth, and out through the Solar System as was theorized roughly fifteen hundred years ago.”
His voice was captured immediately into a macro voice recorder located into the waist belt. He cleared his eyes once, blinking slightly and thereby increasing personal night vision.
He wondered for an umpteenth time how in heavens could such an eventuality could occur.
He had memorized every longitude of the earth, every latitude! Additionally, all climatic conditions and derivations were recorded into macro chips embedded inside the computer belt tied securely around his hips; even the buckle grips and strap lock were part of computer applications. They had prepared him well in advance for this landing into the future, in 3165 C.E.
He had assumed personal responsibility for the ‘reconstruction’ of all tasks related to development, maintenance, construction and invention of the Clairvoyant Intelligent Computer Machine and the Time Machine facilitating time travel. In Earth Advanced Space Research Laboratory One and Lab Two respectively. He was appreciated for his zeal in such matters and sometimes he even had to forgo a good night’s sleep simply to achieve a thorough thirty hours’ work.
The professor would almost inevitably be found beside him guiding his movements, discussing and deliberating, adding enthusiasm at final electronic routes. They had electromagnetically conjoined the last bundle of triodes into connecting multiproton backed files simultaneously; while the rest, comprising an interplanetary advanced scientific group watched, huddled around as usual.
Days passed when they forgot to keep note of time on nuclear-backed wall clocks These machines were capable of keeping precise seconds for hundreds of years. At least that is how it was then.
He bent down to loosen the laces of those well-fitting shoes, thereby allowing blood to flow freely along his feet at comfortable levels. Then stood upright again.
His nose again detected the smell of green grass and ferns, and he felt relaxed while his mind raced.
Copyright © 2005 by Deep Bora
[For more information about “Code Name Cobra,” see Deep Bora’s bio sketch and his website. — Ed.]