Roleplay > The Other World

River of Life : A devious secret project in Solace


The River

Chapter 1: The Beginning Of an End

Time was flowing away like waves and she was sitting there, like an ancient stone by the eternal river of life... dying with each wave passing by. A mute spectator, she was oblivious to everything,even  her own existence but the waves, sparkling, dancing and fluting a song, so sweet, so sad and lonely, as the melody of a siren was calling to her soul. There was nowhere to go... nothing to see for she had arrived here at the end of the river and now there was only one thing wait for the final darkness to fall upon her being. Then she would be immersed in the darkness liberated from the treacherous light, music and ripples of the waves…emancipated from the pain the river has been giving to her... unshackled from its enchanting lullaby.

A shadow was lurking behind this miserable soul, watching for a long time and waiting for her departure. 'Many places are there for the loonies like that to loiter around…why doesn't this creature do what it has to do. Jump in the river for Christ's sake if you have nothing to do or nowhere to go! Can he take the risk and help her in realizing her dream ...should he? One way or another, otherwise this dumb lady is going to ruin's getting too late now.'

“Hey! What's up? What are you doing here lady? Fishing in the dark? Is no-one accompanying you? “
The man crawled nearer to her in a menacing way. Startled, she looked up to the person who plucked her away from the murmuring of waves. A looming darkness with the shadow of this stranger and a faint sense of evil made her move closer to the river instinctively.
“Nothing…just reflecting by the river…Not fishing really…” She whispered gently, grabbing a stone for support...just in case.
“It’s about time really, I should leave now…” She excused herself, ready to flee.
“Yeah. Sure it is.” He was inching closer now. “Watch yourself! You could have slipped and drowned yourself!”
Terror gripped her heart and she stood there, immobile like a dead fish on the stones.
“Too many people come here for a suicide mission these days. This place seems quite in vogue.” He mocked with a whistle. One inch closer and she would dive in the river…away from all troubles…
As if he read her thoughts and leapt to catch her in time. “What the hell!! You are really a freak!” Thrashing her over the stones he fumed with hatred. Suddenly she realized the danger of being alive, the anguish it was about to lash on herself again. This brief contact was enough to flare up his desire but he was not quite in the mood for having a little fun at this time, certainly not at this place, too risky.
“Sweetheart, you took a really long time to make a decision and look, now you have no authority…no choice in fact.” With a twisted, cruel smile he began to tie her hands and legs with a nylon rope. Stricken with fear she was not able to make a sound even. Everything was like a déjà vu, a nightmare she couldn't wake up from. “Just sit here as long as you wish. I’m willing to give you company all night long.”
Within a short distance from her bruised body the stream was roaring up in rage...her blood was dripping down...flowing towards the she was trembling with cold and fear. Night spread its wings over all things and within a few moments all she could see was the darkness,which was far from comforting now. The song of the river was chilling to the bones while the cold air was piercing her limbs. Desire of death died inside her as now the death itself marched towards her. ‘I do not want to die yet. Not here... Not like this. Not by the hands of this animal!’

A huge splash drenched her as that man pushed down a big sack from the boulder hanging above her head. Shivering beyond her control now, she could hear his footsteps coming closer. As if suddenly electrocuted, she jolted away from her approaching assailant and rolled towards the river with all her strength before that hunter could reach her. Soon she rolled over the jagged stones scattered at the banks of the stream. Her body bruised and bloody but her mind was relaxed as the waves caressed her wounds. Sharp edges of the stones cut her skin as she used them to cut the rope quickly. After which she turned towards the river and took a skilled plunge, wavering like a mermaid which she was in fact. As soon as her frame hit the cold water it shapeshifted, changing to one of that mythical creature. Her red glowing eyes glared at him, her fangs bared in threat, before she posed an enchanting dive, following the stream and disappearing from his sight. He stood there in fright, crestfallen by this unforeseen change of the event as that creature evaded him. One meeting with that cursed gaze was enough to rob him of his sanity for a lifetime. The humming river mocked the hunter for he was fooled by a half dead fish. And yet he was quite fortunate as he could have lost his life…

To be continued…

Solace: River Of Life

Chapter 2: The Secret of the Ancients

She was looking out of the window oblivious to the pitter patter of the rain drops hitting incessantly at the wide glass pan which embraced the wall corners from one side to another. Her unseeing gaze was as hazy as the wet glass, while her mind was wandering far away to the distant time as if it was just a thing of yesterday, her senses dull to any outer stimulus but only a faint awareness of the hissing of the rain and the coldness of the room, both growing bitter with each second.

A light tap on the shining cherry red, heavy door awakened her from her reverie, " My apologies for disrupting your break time but Manek wishes to see you. Now." Jeane was smiling ruefully. With a sigh she turned away from the window, "Alright, let him in." The next minute a handsome man draped in a perfect suit with an equally perfect hair style and a seductive smile entered her inner meeting room lithely. "I see you are quite busy daydreaming on this fine rainy day...Erm."
He stopped abruptly coughing to hide his embarrassment as she looked at him sharply.
' Let's evade the small talk Manek and come to the point quickly.' Putting both her hands firmly on the glossy teakwood table she leaned towards him. 'Was the story dropped by the mole had some iota of truth in it? Is there really such a project being carried out in Solace? Under our unsuspecting noses!' A strong fist hit the table-top as the violent force shook it a little...along with the eavesdropping Gene,who was standing guard outside the meeting room door.
'I fear it to be true.' He replied calmly, unaffected by her temper. ' There are such leads who indicate that it could be happening here in Solace, even right at this moment.'

His calm demeanor had the desired impact, an uncomfortable silence was established in the room, only the sound of rain splashing on the glass revolting against it. She kept staring at her fisted hand on the table, a resolve slowly taking form inside her heart. Manek cleared his throat then spoke softly, ' You know how those old cronies have ruled these waters for a long time. It would not be easy to uproot their organisation which has sinked its teeth in almost every sector and they have their eyes and arms in almost every branch of the government...' He trailed off.
' Oh, please! That is nothing unexpected.
Even a child can tell this.' She breathed deeply and added with a relaxed smile,
'If they have put their cogs in this wheel, so can we…isn't it so?' Tapping his fingers on the polished hardwood, Manek whispered, bit apprehensive to cut her off again, 'But replacing these cogs may alert the enemy.'
'Who said anything about replacing the cogs? I am merely asking for a change of ownership. We can exercise the power we have over them, if the soft method doesn't work then by other means...'
'Don't you think these old dogs would only show false allegiance to us while still being loyal to their old masters, especially when they have an inkling that our government is standing on shaky grounds?'
'Why am I hearing defeat in your voice today Manek? Are you planning on surrendering while we haven't even commenced the battle yet?' Another strong thud of her restless fist echoed in the chamber.
'It's not defeat but the sound of caution which you are hearing My Dear. We should not charge ahead blindly like an angry bull.' Then he remarked playfully 'Now I know why all furniture in this room is   made of solid wood, even if it's antique, can gladly survive your abuse...just like me.' His eyes twinkling with amusement made her speechless. ' Can we please not revert back to our high school days, Manek?' She retorted then cleared her throat, trying to restrain the smile which threatened to break on her lips any moment.

'That's what I am trying to remind you President, you can't bulldoze your way through this mess.' He took out his sleek tab and pushed it on the table to show her the confidential information sent to him freshly. 'Here, I was just informed that there was a secret meeting held by the opposition leader last night. Can you guess who was present there?'

'Don't tell me that they all are already swaying to his side.' Adwaiti clenched her teeth, a cold glint in her eyes.  ' Even after we presented such a generous offer before them…'
' No. We can't be certain of that…''
The finger knocking on the polished wood stopped. 'Not yet.'

'They are just a bunch of old fools...and you tell me to go easy on them.'
She scoffed while her eyes were scanning the report rapidly.
'Oh! What the heck is your cousin brother doing there? Air chief Marshal sitting side by side with Vetta?'
' Who do you think is sending this information to me?'
'Alright. Let's hope to not get double crossed here.' A frown formed on her forehead as she looked at the next photo slides. Besides seasoned politicians from the opposition, the faces displayed on the screen included Chairperson of Bio-Quant- Brij Negi, Air Chief Marshal-Akash Mitres, Personal Secretary of Commerce minister- Rubine Sanat, Solace Labour Union head- Gulam Suri, official representatives of one popular mass media house and one homegrown multinational corporation and an unknown face which could be aesthetically striking if not marred with deep scars on the left side.
' Who is this man? Looks like a mafioso.' 
Her fingers zoomed in the profile.
' Absolutely correct. He is Xaris Klav aka Hammer, unofficial Sakra ( Sanat for King) of Panna, otherwise Chief of EverGreen, a shell company for lending and mortgage, to front his real business of drugs, extortion and arms dealing, recently he acquired a middle level media company, Shine- another shell company, Real Owner untraced, front business is acquiring and grooming talents for modeling and acting field plus generating movies and tv dramas, backdoor functions are money laundering, drug trafficking, escort services and spying.' Manek picked up a piece of chocolate almond from the snacks tray on the side and threw it in his mouth casually. 'I think I should look into their business partners more closely.'

A shadow of deep worry fell upon her face when she saw the last slide. ' Oh! So Uncle Chandra went there too…' A silver haired man who could be easily mistaken as the twin of her Father Maurya Raj if not for his brown eyes, was shaking hands with Shakat Vetta. Her father had remarkable emerald green eyes, which she inherited as well as his sharp intellect. 
Manek smiled crookedly, ' If only you would have let him be a minister in the cabinet...Obviously he is not letting it pass lying down, even if it means backstabbing his own niece.'

' What are they planning this time?' She sighed. 'How does it all connect together?'

'The main agenda of this meeting was orchestrating such events which could help them to bring a No Confidence motion in the upcoming session against our government. Fine details were not discussed but expect a nation wide labour union strike, organised riots in Azure, a surge in insurgency movements in Panna in coming months. Also a group of our HR are being lured to vote in support if no confidence motion is pushed in the House.'
 Manek paused a second before adding in a grave voice.  'But the most explosive intel was regarding the underground research project ongoing in Bio-Quant. On the surface it looks like they are made for personal collectors, but the possibilities are it might be used for other purposes too…'

' It's truly disturbing. What other possibilities are you hinting towards?' Being alarmed was natural.

'My people found the opportunity to intercept and copy the research files given to Vetta by Brij Negi. Seems they are trying to harvest some hybrid species.' With a flick of his fingers the heavy curtains covered the windows and slides started to move on the white wall. Images of a naked girl submerged in a huge glass tank appeared.
Adwaiti gasped, ' What's this...she has gills and I really seeing a mermaid..!?'
' Fish genes swapping in the human body. Project FM40097 was a huge success. The only survivor of all such experiments. Now look at the other slide.'
In the second slide was the same girl sans clothes, walking around in a room, no visible fins or gills, eyes were blue now.
'Her transformation takes place only when she is inside the water, otherwise no one can ever guess. Just keep looking ahead, there's more to come.' He gestured towards the moving pictures.

A human head transplant and spinal reattachment over another body, humans gene swapping to monkeys' brains to increase their Intelligence, a  genetically engineered legume plant which would start glowing like a neon bulb under uv rays and had the taste and structure of beef, a man with semi-transparent chest- all pink flesh was seen through, his lungs and heart pulsing, opaquely visible under the skin... something green was glowing inside his lungs and heart arteries, making a big portion of his chest area green coloured.

'Just what the hell are they doing?!! Solace does not support such unethical genetic engineering. And which bastards are funding them?' Her voice was seething with rage. ' What's the purpose of all this?'

'Obviously making money through bizarre experiments and specimens. About that plant aka Glo-Green Meat, I think many vegans would be tempted to try it in their dishes. It's not meat technically...About funding sources, an underground association of patrons called The Ancients are suspected to be behind that. However we haven't been able to trace the origin in the financial trail yet... But it does not seem like this is done only to entertain the fetishes of the Rich and fanatics.' He went on further normally, not in the least jarred by this freak-show. 'The last one was only semi successful but they have devised a method of direct oxygen supply to the lungs and the heart of a human without any side effects for a limited time period. After sustained time the side effects were grave and plenty so all but one of the 50 subjects perished. AM-5991 is that successful experiment.  Currently they are having the blueprint of a new device and planning to use this for infinite oxygen supply either via cylinders or cubes in small amounts but later with increased size the supply can be increased as well. Just imagine the vast usage of such a device…! Especially if it's inside a nuclear submarine..?'

'They wouldn't need to surface for a long time if not for the food supply…' She whispered softly.
'Just what is that damn green thing?'

' It's a special green algae found in the deep sea, needs just a minimum of light and can produce copious amounts of Oxygen.' His eyes were shining with excitement. ' They have been successful in cultivating it in the labs.'

'So in the exchange of this path breaking  technology Negi wants the permission of carrying on his other hideous 'experiments'?' An amused smile played on her lips. ' And he approached Vetta as he is too familiar with our high ethical stand…Wonderful!'

The next moment a fiery look replaced the sarcastic smile, ' Just reel him in Manek. By hook or crook, I want this man under our clutches.'

'As you wish Milady. ' Manek made a dramatic gesture and bowed to her. ' What about other issues...erm..riots, insurgency and all?'

'Not a piece of cake to handle so many fronts at once...but we will manage somehow…' The iron mask was back on her angular face which felt subconsciously comfortable to him.
She pressed the button on the intercom and spoke to Gene  ' Just set up these three meetings for tomorrow, A private meeting with the Chief police Commissioners of Panna and Azure, an official meeting with the Home Minister Mr. Dumil Purva and one separately with our defence minister, Shant Raj. I will check the related preparations myself.'

' I don't wish to pressurise you more but what about handling the possible betrayal among our certain house representatives?'
He asked while moving towards the door like a lazy panther.

' Isn't it your speciality? I wouldn't deprive you from the joy of tearing them up to the pieces…' She replied nonchalantly while picking up a file from her antique desk.

He flashed back a smile, 'My pleasure.' and disappeared through the heavy doors.

Only a few minutes later he re-appeared through the same, ' Silly me. I forgot to inform you that finally we have received a response from Heyra regarding the bilateral trade ties.'

'The one you intended to set sometime ago? Things have changed a bit since then, even your title, from Head Council to the Prime Minister.' The trademark sarcastic smile surfaced once again.

'Yes. Better late than never. Also our requirements for this trade partnership haven't changed much. ' He replied sheepishly. ' We can benefit from these ties and maybe we will develop a more cordial relationship with our neighbours also...who knows..I think you are well aware how we could use some assistance in controlling these pirates who have gained upper hand on the maritime beyond our borders due to laxity of the last government.'

' Is it so.. anyways I just don't want them to take Solace lightly. Keep this in regard. Similarly I will advise you to be strictly official and on full alert while dealing with the Chairwoman Therz. Do not try to get too personal, otherwise you will regret it heavily.'

' Am I hearing the sound of jealousy here My Dear?'

'Nop. You are hearing the words of caution Mr. Prime Minister.' Adwaiti looked at him icily. ' I hope you will be able to strike some good deals in this bilateral trade and investment negotiations.'

'But of course.'

'When will you be leaving for Heyra then, I presume the proper arrangements have been made regarding this?' She asked absent-mindedly.

'Tomorrow early morning flight. Yes, the delegation team and other crucial people have been handpicked to travel with me already. Everything has been arranged prior to informing you.'

' Great. Keep me updated on the details as the negotiations progress.' She focused back her attention to the file in her hand.

'Naturally.' He gave a charming smile but his hand offered in expectation to shake with hers before parting was ignored by her completely.
' I am being put to my place again.' He thought wryly and left in a hurry.

Adwaiti didn't look up from her files, lost in devising the plans to combat the upcoming storms.

Side notes: The experiments mentioned above are not completely fictional and many governments are running such programs openly or undercover but some literary freedom has been taken. The reference links are given below.


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