Why do things around us happen this way?
Srikanth RamakrishnanSymbiosis Institute of Media and Communication (SIMC)Published on 6 Aug, 2014

My alarm rang at midnight and I snuck out silently from my house to meet Napoleon. We intended to venture into Null, a place no one I know ever visited. It didn’t take us very long to realise that we had entered Null. It was like any other city block, save for the fact that it was completely devoid of any life.

“Wicked! This place is a ghost town.” Napoleon said before he broke into a fit of sneezing due to the layers of dust that had settled down everywhere around us.

“I think we should head back, we have no clue what’s in store ahead” I said

“No way! We just got here”, he looked at one of the buildings. “Let’s check that building there”.

We were about to walk to this tall building that stood out in the darkness when all of a sudden, there was a siren and a series of flashing lights. Two police officers walked out and stood in front of us. One of the officers pulled out his arm and held his watch at our faces. “It’s very late for two ten year old boys to be roaming around, we’ll have to escort the two of you back to your homes”, he said. We were huddled into the Police car and taken back home. The officers had a word with our fathers as they left. I don’t know what they were talking about but I distinctly heard them say the words ‘leak’ and danger’. Our parents were angry with us, we were not allowed to leave the house except to go to school for the next month.

It had been two weeks after we had gone to Null. We were walking back from school when a government truck came around announcing that it was an emergency situation and that all of us had to go indoors immediately. Napoleon and I ran into the nearest house and hid there.

We were asked to get in and take cover, but I hid in a gap between the wall and a bed. There was a window above my head through which I peeked out to see what was happening. The streets were empty, the government trucks were gone and everything in sight was deserted. I stared into the emptiness ahead when in the distance I could make out something fall. It was a large, black object, the size of a minivan that was falling out of the sky.

The object hit the ground at someplace. We all knew that. The ground shook as it hit and the next thing I saw was a fiery explosion engulf everything in its vicinity. I wanted to know what was going on and I ran out. Napoleon saw me and he too ran behind me, only he wanted me to come back. I ran to where I had seen the object fall only to be shocked by what I saw.

I saw people, but they were not normal.They were walking out of their burning homes. They were scary looking, you could see their bones. It was not a nice sight. All of a sudden I heard sirens, and I saw vans of the Emergency Service pull up. Two men in black suits grabbed us and whisked us away into a car. As we drove away, we saw men in uniform, fire their weapons at those scary people. We saw two of them fall down.

We turned into an alleyway where the car stopped and the officers asked us to step out.  We were taken into a van where a man in a white lab coat took our blood. We asked why but we never got any answer. Once they finished taking our blood, the two officers escorted us out again. We were about to get into the car when all of a sudden, one of the scary looking people I had earlier seen at where the flying object crashed suddenly came. “Help me, please, help me”, he cried, but the officer pulled out his gun. “You two, get into the car, right now”, he said, before shooting the man. He got into the car and we drove back on to the streets when we saw a whole group of them heading towards us. The officer drove towards them at high speed, pulled out his gun and shooting them indiscriminately.  

We were taken home and left there. My father had returned and he was visibly furious with the two of us. “How many times? How many times will the two of you break every law that has been made for your own safety?” he thundered. I asked why we were not allowed to go to the site or to Null, but the only answer I got was the word Nuclear.

The next day, we went to the site where the object had crashed. It was empty, desolate as if nobody had been there for years. There were no people around. It looked abandoned, nothing like the buzzing commercial activity of the past.

I wondered what had happened. I asked myself “Do we have laws to protect ourselves?”