Here’s the story I wrote for the “Creative Writing” Competition at Symphony 2014, the cultural festival of my college, KJ Somaiya College of Engineering. I wrote this story in the final round, in which each contestant was asked to create a story out of two characters, randomly selected by picking chits. I got Dexter, and Shakuntala.
“At last, my greatest invention is complete!” shouted Dexter, boy genius, not a name heard of in quite a while, his name was, shall we say, splattered with blood. “I will now rid the world of all crime! There will be no bloodshed, not anymore. And it shall begin with… who else?”
Of course the great boy genius was none too pleased with this new pretender, the “dark passenger” serial killer vigilante, his namesake Mr Morgan. The plan was simple. No, it wasn’t time travel, it was inter-dimensional travel. He wished to wipe out Mr. Morgan, using science.
The machine was ready, the vacuum tubes were primed, the the capacitors were charged, the fan blades purring softly. He stepped into the pod, dialled in the numbers, and pressed the button.
Shakuntala, the queen in exile, was distraught. Her husband had no memory of her, and there really wasn’t much she could do.
As the dimension machine was on its journey, Dexter realised something wasn’t right. He’d picked the wrong time for the mission, in his impatience. As he hurtled through space-time, celestial bodies and whole galaxies flitting by, taking grotesque shapes, he waited until he could find a good enough place to land. He waited for the machine to slow down and picked the opportune moment.
Shakuntala lay weeping by the riverside when she heard a crashing sound from somewhere in the jungle. She went to investigate. As she came to the source of the sound, she saw the dimension machine, and the boy genius crawling out of it.
The exiled queen was awestruck by this occurrence. As dexter got out of the machine and came back to his senses, he was quick to decipher where he’d ended up, and he used his super handy ultra translator to try and communicate.
After some initial hesitation and pure shock, Shakuntala finally began talking to Dexter. (Some mind calming rays may have been involved)
Dexter Morgan sat brooding, on the front porch of his house. Life hadn’t been kind to him and he sought solace in death- the death of others. He was a vigilante, a man who brought painful renegade justice to the hidden evil men lurking in the darkest corners of society, hiding in plain sight behind smiling countenances. He knew his past and he cared not of his future, but he was running out of ways to keep his bloodlust at bay.
The days were the same, and so were the nights, the seasons and the weather. But he could sense that something was not the same. He felt something otherworldly, an ungodly and unsettling force pulling him towards some unknown direction. He dismissed it as mere hallucination and delusion but he soon understood that this was not like anything he had felt before. He had visions, of being watched. Hundreds of thousands of fingers pointing and waving at him, of eyes gazing at him through some unseen windows. This was not his lust for blood speaking to him, no, it was something much more profound and inexplicable.
“We must make haste, there’s not much time!” said Dexter to the queen. He had to find a portal, a rip in the fabric of space-time that could be his way back home and back to his quest. “You seem to know much beyond anyone else of your age” the queen said, astounded. Seeing that they both had nothing but time, the both of them had talked to each other at length, about their lives, their stories and their predicament. Dexter bemoaned the cyclic nature of his life- day after day, things would come and go, all to unfold in a manner as if it were ordained by someone else. Shakuntala on the other hand was resigned to her fate, she knew not what the heavens had ordained for her. The future was a blank scroll of parchment, and the pen wasn’t in her hands.
Dexter asked her how she could be so calm in her plight. “What has happened was beyond my powers. That being said, I can’t just crumble and fall apart. I have to live not only for myself but for my son and for the hope that the future will be better still!”
Dexter being a thorough rationalist, believed in following a logical order of things. He believed that if there was a thing to be done, it could be made so, with his own free will. He made an entire laboratory full of the most wondrous technological marvels, and although his inventions were ruined many, many times, it never deterred him from making even greater things, or going on even greater adventures. The both of them were similar in that respect- their steely resolve to face the situation.
Dexter fixed the central navigation console of his dimension machine. He needed to scout the location of the time rip and get to it as fast as he could. He tuned the jog dial till he could find the resonating frequency, and after some careful calculations he triangulated the location with pin-point precision. As he found the time rip however, on the console screen he saw a face, all too familiar- the face of a brooding, silent Mr. Morgan.
As the boy genius approached the site of the time-rip, clad in his dimensional travel suit and visor, armed with his plasma pistol and the desire to right the wrong, he could feel the strengthening of the dimensional pull. The dimensional pull was a very peculiar phenomenon indeed- theorized but never seen in reality. It was a force that extended beyond the realms of space-time and dimensions, and could be felt by two people, the antitheses of each other in every way, and could lead to catastrophe if combined. Matter and antimatter, yin and yang… all romanticized illustrations of this ancient wisdom. The truth was far from it though. Humans couldn’t fully fathom or decipher this pull and the subsequent annihilation that would ensue. They separated the two aspects as that is the only way a human mind could make sense of the whole thing. It was just a whole lot of grey- an unresolvable, unfathomable pull.
And thus the boy genius and the vigilante would meet, the proverbial collision between dimensions was about to unfold.
As Dexter Morgan sat brooding on the front porch, he suddenly felt a jolt. It was as if the whole world around him was falling to pieces, melting away in a haze, he was being pulled into a deep abyss- and it all went black.
When he opened his eyes he saw the tiny frame of the boy genius looking straight into his eyes. He didn’t know where he was or how he came there, but he didn’t need to be told- it was as if his and this little boy’s minds were intertwined, in a subtle yet furious dance, a struggle for power.
Furious, he stood up to face his adversary, eyeing him from head to toe. He looked at the pistol in his opponent’s hands and then he looked into his eyes. Both of them were waiting in this standoff, when Shakuntala intervened.
“Can you not see? Do you not know?” she screamed at the both of them. “In your quest for vengeance, you will destroy yourself!”
“Myself?” said the boy genius, puzzled. And then it struck him. All his equations and theorizing had been veiled by his own quest for retribution. There was no black nor white- the grey, the grey…. it all made sense to him. Dexter wasn’t any different from Mr. Morgan- he WAS Mr. Morgan. The wisdom of the ancients though spoke of two halves, spoke of harmony, and of balance. It was now that he understood the true sense of the annihilation.
“I think I owe you an apology, Mr Morgan” , said the boy genius. And finally, Mr Morgan broke his silence.
“I think this explains what I’ve been feeling all this while” he said, knowingly.
Shakuntala looked at this other worldly exposition and said “There is much darkness in your heart, fair traveller. You have made it your own. This boy here, in childhood’s pride, wished to destroy you. He thought of himself as the light to your darkness, and thus made it his mission to destroy this darkness. Alas, he let his pride get the better of him. But God has his mysterious ways, and in bringing the two of you together, he has shown that the two of you are one and the same, and it is necessary for the both of you to exist in unison, but differently.”
The two dexters looked at the queen, and said,
“Isn’t there a king that needs remembering?”