Tuesday, 20 May 2014

SHORT STORY COMPETITION 2014

RED IN THE HALL

(Theme: Science Fiction)
By :  Restia Mely Anugrah ( “The N” ) 6th Semester of PBI
as The Winner

“The ____ was kissing him on the lips”
“The last ____ flashed on the corner of his eyes”
“The ____ and ____ will always be my mark”
=1=
Bandung, 25 September 2178
Warfare, you say, is a big thing that seems will become a “hobby” of our beloved country, Indonesia. The feud of Freeport between Indonesia and America caused a long-term war for these two countries. Indonesia has been no longer a third-world country since 2150, that its natural resources cannot be scooped up arbitrary by other countries, not anymore. More than a century, gemstone from Indonesia dredged greedy to the center of its earth, giving an atrocious flaw on Bumi Khatulistiwa. Underground youth movement, in 2109, caviled at government to chase away whoever lay a hand on its treasures. It made Indonesia become a beast which its sleep had been disturbed. For thirty years or more, Indonesia fought for its own sake, hit back America’s army and also invaded half of its states, thus it destroyed the balance of America’s government and freed up some middle eastern countries from America’s intervention. Then since that happened, Indonesia has been called The Conqueror and also struggling to reorganize this country became the first-world county, and it is now.
Here I am, a would-be great soldier that my country will proud of. My name is Nevilleon, Nevilleon Bonaparte, named after my father’s favorite great leader from France; Napoleon Bonaparte. It also becomes my father inspiration to conquer our enemy. Some battle had been led by my father himself; he’s the highest commander and the most trusted warrior of President of Indonesia. The battle of Freeport is one of the battle that under his command. Yesterday, 24 September 2178, I was turning 16, ready to be sent to military camp, “Barrack of Gilded Troops” —as my father always want to— after learning the theory and everything about warfare for 4 years. I’m excited, also afraid... for what coming next.
Nevilleon
=2=
That night he seemed unpleasant for the thing we wouldn’t know, but in the morning he looked energetic as a young lion ready hunting its prey. Nevilleon sat on the edge of his freezing bunk, blankly stared at his e-journal; a piece of chip-set glass, so high-tech. The journal that he always typed on every incident or event now was just lying on a dust chest.
His eyes moved to stare at the e-mail he just received; an e-mail from his father who was leading the defense of Papua from Great Britain. The worried heart made his hand trembled shaking. “Are we winning the battle or we losing it?” He relaxed himself and put his left hand above the sensor table to move the pointer and to click on the e-mail. Breathed heavily, he was about to open the e-mail.
BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. The sound of siren signed that one of the soldiers had not slept yet. Nevilleon gasped shocked. He knew that sound caused by the sensor of his room that showed somebody still awake at this almost midnight. His hand tried to shut down the screen yet one of the patrolling gilded troops caught him at the screen.
“I’m sorry, sir. I’m about to sleep, sir.”
“Don’t talk when I don’t ask you, soldier. At ease!”
“Yes, sir.”
“First is warning, soldier. But the second, you’ll get the detention.”
“Yes, sir. Understood, sir.”
“Now, sleep. God always be with you. Dismiss!”
“May the God always be with you, sir.”
=3=
“It seems, based on your story, he’s everything, your father, even though he’s not always by your side. You’re lucky, Neville. I was raised at children shelter. I think my parents don’t love me, I mean my real parents. Luckily some random geek guy took me over and made a living for me; he thought I’m worth for a better life.”
“I don’t know, Sebastian. You got many friends there, I’m sure. That’s good.” Neville responded to his skinny best friend calmly to make sure he stopped complaining his miserable life.
“Hmm... Not really, you can’t sometimes call them friends.” He continued, “Hey, Neville, we got teamed up for the exam after lunch time, have you got the announcement? I can’t wait for the battle simulation. WOOHOO!” He flung a scoop of ice cream onto a plate.
“Announcement? I even haven’t read my father’s e-mail. That gilded prick caught me at late night.” He replied sharply, “He really doesn’t understand the feeling between son and father. Geez!”
They both walked fast to an empty board. Sebastian couldn’t stop talking about strategy that they would use.
“Why is the time running so slow?!” Sebastian mumbled, he looked really, really excited. “You know, Neville, most of those gears in simulation room are made and designed by my father. And I know about them as well”
“I know I can count on you, mate.” He said.
“What? I don’t get it.” Sebastian was confused by Neville’s words.
“Here, you will be my hands, my eyes, and my brain. You’ll be the strategy master. And I’ll be your cleaner.”
“What cleaner? You mean dishwasher? I know I can cover you.”
“No, Sebastian, No! The cleaner means the striker, the killer. You understand? Don’t you see? We are a perfect team! You know gear things, I know battle things. We will pass this exam.” Nevilleon suddenly seemed enthusiast, “Hahaha.”
The time finally came as they expected. The siren rumbled, echoed through the wall signed that the lunch time was over. Nevilleon and Sebastian couldn’t hide their excitement, running together to the battle hall, slapping each other as kids got new toys.
“Make perfect lines, soldiers! At ease! Good noon chaps! God always be with you.” A gilded troop opened the examination for two-month trained soldiers.
“May the God always be with you!” All young soldiers who were about to get their first test responded simultaneously.
“Today, you guys will get the first test. This test is directly scored by the high commander, Gen. Mirjalovic. And he has a little speech for you.” The gilded troop then pleased the high commander.
“Thank you, soldier.” Then he began with a loud voice, “Today is your great day. The first time you get your test in military camp. This one should be impressive, soldiers. Because I myself score you and this test also will determine what class you will take. I will read you your team mate and the number of your performance. There are twenty pairs of you; half will get the combat in this hall, and half on the field. Tomorrow half of you who get in the hall today will get another test on the field, and vise versa.”
Then the high commander read loudly the number of every team. There we knew the number of Sebastian-Nevilleon was third.
He continued speaking, “FYI, soldiers, this exam is using a high-tech hologram; that is what you will fight. The sensor when you pass the room will know what your feelings are. It can be somebody you really love, or you miss, or even your enemy. So be careful of those feelings. May the God always be with you.” The high commander smiled at Nevilleon, the smile that every soldier would respect, then left them to the surveillance room.
“He just smiled at you. Why?” Sebastian asked Neville suspiciously.
Nevilleon just responded by shrugging.
=4=
More than three hours they both waited for their turn. And finally the time had come. It would be the great time in their life. “Sebastian-Nevilleon.” A sound called their names; it meant they should enter the hall to get their turn.
Behind a curtain, they both held their breaths; it became the hardest time of their life so far. Their training uniform felt so tight that they thought it was the cause which made them hard to breathe.
“Remember, It’s... it’s just a hologram, Sebastian.” Neville tried to calm his friend, and also himself.
“You too. But this hologram is so perfect; even it enables showing us real blood, they call it Augmented Reality. How could I keep calm?”
The curtain was opened, Sebastian covered Neville; put a transparent shield cross his chest. They both walked slowly to the center of the hall, read the target movements, thought what weapon they would use.
The opposite curtain was opened as they in the center. Sebastian freezing after saw the enemy.
Nevilleon bumped to his friend’s back, “What on earth you stop with no command?!”
“That’s... your... father reflection!” He whispered. This situation made Neville’s blood more frozen, instead.
“The hologram already has rifles!” More panic attacked Neville’s brain, “What are we gonna do?!”
“TO THE LEFT SIDE OF THE HALL!” shouted Sebastian. They both ran hiding behind artificial stones. Yet they ran to different directions. “Why are you to the right side?”
“I’M PANICKED!”
The hologram walked slowly; strafed them both. It seemed the hologram didn’t fire on them correctly. Bullets stuck around the artificial stones. Some tracer bullet fired some of those fake stones. The holo-man stopped his shots. Bright red flames. Everywhere.
“THROW A KNIFE, NEVILLE!!!”
Two quick shots, none of them got stuck on this holo-man, “I CAN’T! IT’S QUITE DISTANT! COVER ME!”
“Neville, it is no glory beside us if we don’t move now.” Sebastian came closer with his mouth covered from smoke, “Any blade?”
“Yeah, enough if we get closer to him.” He showed him a row of blades.
“This isn’t enough; no glory around as if so. In old style battle, they aimed enemy with fired darts. I bring a bottle of flammable alcohol. Tear up a bit of our uniforms then set them on fire.”
Both ripped their clothes spryly, set fire on those, and one was ready to throw knives.
“Ready, Neville?”
“Seem so.”
“Move.”
They walked through fire as they could; coughing by the smoke was none of the trouble anymore. WE MUST WIN, they thought. Fire-set blades were thrown to the holo-man on the sidelines of blazing red flame. As they throwing knives, the enemy shot them right to the center of the shield. The shield then began cracking, made Sebastian’s left hand bleed pretty bad.
Nevilleon realized his friend couldn’t take this any longer. He tried to focus on his aimed; targeting the vital one to kill the enemy, at least, in two shots. Two blades remained on his hand. First shot was not a big fail; he got his enemy a large scar around his cheek’s bone. The second one is a must strike... He looked around; found the high commander watching him with no smile.
=5=
Neville and Sebastian came nearer to him, the holo-man. They wondered why the hologram still appeared front of him. Nevilleon saw blood pooled around this holo-man. He caught the shadow on his eyes; a hand signed him to get closer.
“It was a good shot, mate.” The holo said.
Nevilleon gasped. His whole body got cooled. His heart beat no more, “Da... Daddy?” On his eyelids, the tear stemmed on. He blinked, then the tears ran across his cheek’s lines. The whole time, it was my father.
“I’m sorry.. hhh... hhh... about your hand... hhh..” The father apologized to Neville’s friend.
Words stuck on his throat. His mind was chaotic. His hands clenched for holding a wrath. Yet his friend couldn’t do anything more. The atmosphere became miserable.
“You... hhh... haven’t read it... hhh... have you?” His father asked him, smiling in tears, “I... hh...hh.. am sorry... hhh.. I’ll miss you there...”
“No! Dad! FATHER!” He finally had words, yet late.
His agony now blew up his great fury; screaming out such a mad boy, thundering his voice to show them his pain. I was just killing him, my father.
Sebastian quickly handed his watch to him to see what was on e-mail his father sent him, “Here, type on your ID and password. Read your father’s letter. Wipe your tears!”
Neville just did what his friend said. His sobbing heard so hurting like a dying wolf. His tears were all gone; it was now just his pique.
My Dear Son,
We can’t win the battle. I’m sorry. Queen Elizabeth V was ousted by the rebels; it made them stronger than ever. Elizabeth loves us, we could win if there were no insider take a part as a traitor. I assume it was General Mirjalovic. He always hates me because I was the one who got trusted by the president to lead this defense. Tomorrow, I’ll be at barrack before dawn. Meet me at armory. I’ve planned your escape. Remember, he will not stop to down me.
See you tomorrow.
Love,
Father
=6=
No Where, 29 March 2178
The death was kissing him on the lips. That time, I killed him. In the almost twilight I saw it. The last horizon flashed on the corner of his eyes. The remorse and shame will always be my mark. I will never forgive myself. That time, fire and blood mixed together. Red in the hall.
Nevilleon
=7=
Soles clattered around the hall, broke the silence in there. Fire then slowly dimmed. A man came to them, clapping sarcastically. Both, Nevilleon and Sebastian looked back from the where the man came out, “Great! HAHAHA!”
“This is what you’ve planned! What a demon!” Sebastian began to take a side.
“This country has a rule, dog. ‘You win or you die.’ The president can’t send him to his death and then he sent your father to me to be executed. So this is the payment of losing in the battlefield. So the troops fear of losing.” The commander defended himself.
“You are coward! You killed my father!”
“Do you see I get my hand dirt? FOOL!”
Sebastian seemed to leave them both alone with Neville’s father’s corpse.
“Then you are a yellow coward because you sent a child to kill his father!”
“You’ll be great to put in the first troops class. You’ll be a great soldier!”
“Shut up! JUST SHUT UP!” Then Neville pretended to face his father’s corpse to pull a knife from the chest. He waited. He played fool by crying over his father’s death.
“You’ll give no mercy to our enemy, because there’s no regret more than killing your own father!”
Sebastian stopped his step. He thought it was the time to choose a side after he heard such damned words that struck his friend. He grabbed a knife near his feet, slowly turned around and stood still. He caught Neville’s eyes staring to him. Meant something.
“You’ll be my dog for the upcoming wa...!”
Sebastian ran from behind and stabbed the knife into commander’s skull; he then pulled it down, left it with a huge gape scar on the back of head while Neville slit Mirjalovic’s throat quickly to end his bitching. Then they saw another corpse lying tragic on the cold floor. He deserved it.

THE END
SHORT STORY COMPETITION 2014

TRUSOV RIDDLE

(Theme: Mystery)
By: Silva Rizky F, 2nd semester of PBI
as Participant

I took a silver necklace from my pocket and wore it. That was a necklace with a medallion that had two letters, "D" and "T". I though "D" is the first letter of my name but I didn't know about the "T". My aunt said, the necklace was from my parents before they died.
Yes, I was an orphan. My aunt told me that my parents died by an accident. I had been living with my aunt and my uncle since I was two years old. My name is Demi Hilaire, I was sixteen years old. But sometimes I felt that my name was not Demi Hilaire, I mean my true name. I thought I had another name before my parents died. I had tried to ask my aunt about it but she said that I just had one name.
"Demi!" my aunt shouted from the first floor
"yes, aunt, wait a minute" I went below to the first floor
"Demi, can you do me a favor?"
"of course"
"bring this food to your uncle in the third floor, please. He has not eaten since the morning."
"as you wish, my queen haha"
"oh by the way, you look so pretty with that necklace"
"thanks"
I knocked the door of my uncle's room, but there was no answer. I knocked it again and my uncle didn't answer it again.
"uncle? Uncle Quentin?"
I felt something bad had happened in there. I tried to open the door but it was locked.
"aunt Ellena, uncle locked his room" I was panic and run below to the first floor.
"aunt, something had happed in uncle's room"
"easy dear, what happen?"
"follow me"
My aunt tried to open the door. Fortunately, she was strong enough to broke in the door.
"Quentin!!!" my aunt screamed and cried.
I could say nothing, I just stood like a statue and stared at my uncle. He lied down on the floor, there were bruises covering his face and deep bloody cuts on his arms and body. He had gone forever. That was the most terrible view I had ever seen.
I found a letter on my uncle's desk. I thought the letter was not written by my uncle but someone else.
"aunt Ellena, I find this" I gave the letter to my aunt
She stood up and took the letter from me.
"if you don't bring me the girl, the same thing that happened to your husband will happen to you" my aunt read the letter.
"what does it mean?" I asked
"he has found us"
"he? Who is he?"
"we have to move, Demi. We have to move"
My aunt didn't answer my questions but I believed, someday I would know who wrote the letter, and what it meant.
A week had passed, my aunt and I moved to a village. We lived in a big house but we just had a few neighbours. The house was an inheritance from my parents. My aunt said that I had lived in the house when I was a baby, but I didn't remember it. I couldn't remember my past when my parents still alived. My uncle said that my parents had called me little flower. And my uncle used to sing a song before I slept, the title is "way to in" that was made by my parents.
My aunt and I never talked about my uncle's death anymore. I thought it had a lot of mystery, I indeed wanted to know but I didn't want to ask much to my aunt. Someday, I heard my aunt and a servant named Larissa Vyrubova were talking about something related with me, perhaps. They mentioned my parents, me and a secret room. I could't hear that well but I knew, as long as I lived, my aunt had been hiding an important thing from me.
I didn't like Larissa because she looked like she didn't want me and my aunt were in this village. She forbade me to enter the warehouse, forbade me to speak with stranger, and many more that made me didn't like to be here. By the way, Larissa was about fourty seven years old, she was not a friendly women, and fussy. Fortunately, I got a new friend. His name is Vladivostok Dostoyevski, but I called him Vlad. He is a Russian like Larissa. Vlad was a nice and handsome boy. I liked him, he told me a lot of stories, about this village, Russia, and many more. He was the one who made me felt comfortable, liked my new home, and ignored Larissa, of course.
Vlad told me that in my house there was a cursed thing that been hidden. The thing was a weapon to destroy a creature of the darkness. Believe it or not, in this world there are a lot of darkness creatures. Most of them want to enslaving humanity and rule the whole world. And the rest of them just want to have an endless life. But they all bother human because they need to drink human's blood. In this village there was a community of darkness creatures called The Adrik. Adrik is from Russian language that means dark. The Adrik was a community of cursed peoples that drink human's blood for their endless life. But there was a hunter of The Adrik called Adrik Hunters. In that community there were three families as the members, two came from Russia and one from America. The leader of Adrik Hunters was Alexei. He had a weapon to destroy the Adrik. Alas, Alexei died before he told anyone the key to open the secret room that hid the weapon.
Vlad and I planned to solve the mystery of the secret room. We would try to find the weapon in my house when Larissa wasn't there. I knew the secret room was located in the warehouse because I had heard it, besides, Larissa always forbade me to enter the warehouse. The only trouble was we didn't know the key to open the room. Vlad said there was a riddle to open the room and the only one who knew the riddle was the daughter of Alexei and Svetlana Trusov.
"Demi, have you ever felt that your name isn't Demi Hilaire?" asked Vlad when we were reading on the backyard of his house.
"how do you know?"
"so, have you ever felt like that?"
"yes sometimes, I think I have another name before my parents died and I think my another name had two initial, D and T"
"how do you know?" Vlad asked me impatient
"from..." I took my necklace from my pocket and showed it to him "this"
"did your parents called you little flower?"
"yes. Vlad, why do you know?"
"you are Dementieva Trusov, the daughter of Alexei Trusov"
I didn't want to believe it but there was something that made me sure about my true identity, even though I didn't kow why Vlad knew a lot about it. I was right, my aunt had been hiding something from me, but I couldn't understand why my aunt hid my true identity. I wanted to ask her but she was working in her office as usual. In addition, Vlad wanted to solve the mystery of Alexei weapon as fast as possible.
I was sure that the riddle to open the secret room was the song that used to be sung before I slept by my uncle. I still remember the lyrics
The way in
When little flower stands in front of field that never arid
She gets no hope
Face to the floors
And step on the sky
Alas, I forgot the rest of the lyrics, I tried to remember it. That was so hard, but I was sure that I could remember it if I got more good times to think and memorize.
Because vlad and I wanted to solve the mystery as fast as possible, we would use the riddle that hadn't finished yet. We thought that would work and we could find some clues, maybe.
When little flower stands in front of field that never arid
I was sure, the "little flower" in the riddle was me because my parents called me little flower and they are the owner of the weapon who made the riddle. I thought they wanted me to open the secret room. Maybe I must stood in front of a field that never arid in this village. Vlad said in this village there was only a field but it was arid. I tried to think harx and the I got an answer. The weapon was hidden in a secret room in the warehouse of my house. Maybe in the warehouse there was something related with a field that never arid, so I must tried to check it.
Vlad and I entered the warehouse when Larissa wasn't in my house. There were a lot of broken stuffs, there. My eyes were intrested to a painting of a field, on the wall. That was a big one painting. The field in that painting was so beautiful and I knew it was the cield that never arid that was mentioned in the riddle. I stepped on a floor and stood in front of the painting. The big painting moved by itself and a door appeared suddenly. I could open the door so easily without a key, but Vlad and I found nothing. There was an empty room with just one door inside.
Then I remembered the riddle said "she gets no hope". I thought it meant when i opened the door I would be disappointed because I just found an empty room, but then the riddle said "face to the floors". I didn't have to give up so easily. I must faced to the floors, there must be some clues. Yeah, I saw four floors that had different colors. Yellow, green, blue, and red. That was a puzzle, must solved it.
"and step on the sky". I was smart, I didn't have to take a long time to thought. I understood what the riddle meant. I must stepped on the blue floor.
I stepped on the blue floor and then the door opened by itself. There was a sword in a glass chest. That was the Alexei weapon to destroy the Adrik. Yes, that was real, the weapon existed, so the Adrik did.
"it seems we don't need to know the rest of the riddle" Vlad said it proudly "we've found the weapon"
"yes. Oh I can't believe this. By the way, what will you do now after finding the weapon?"
"you will see, little flower, soon" Vlad touched the glass chest and mumbling in Russian language.
He just sang and wiped the chest for a moment, and I had a bad feeling about it.
"what are you waiting for, Vlad?" I asked him suspiciously.
Suddenly, aunt Ellena came with a sad expresion on her face.
"aunt, what are you....?" I was surprising "I can't understand" I couldn't say a word for it and I couldn't understand what I felt at that time.
"I'm so sorry, Demi. It's time to you to know the truth" the tears streamed down her face."your true name is Dementieva Trusov, daughter of Alexei and Svetlana Trusov, you've known about it, right?"
I just nodded my head
"Adrik Hunters was a community of peoples who fight The Adrik, you've known about it too. Adrik Hunters had three families as its members. They are Trusov, Vyrubova, and Hilaire. Your father was the leader because he was the one who had that sword" my aunt pointed at the sword in the glass chest."the weapon to destroy The Adrik. He hid it because The Adrik wanted to destroy it so that they can be free to drink human's blood without any threat. One of The Adrik killed your parents, but befor they died, they entrusted you to my husband, Quentin Hilaire, one of the members of Adrik Hunters. Quentin always sang the way in song every night before you slept when you were a little girl. He knew the song from Svetlana because she asked him for it. Quentin and i didn't realize that the song is the key to open the secret room. Quentin hid your true identity in order that you can be safer without Trusov as your name. That worked but a week ago Vlad had found us, he paid a man to kill your uncle. I'm weak without him, too weak. I shouldn't bring you here, sweetheart, Larissa has warn me and made me go away from this village for a lot of innocent peoples safety and yours. Alas, i'm selfish enough, I don't want to die like my husband because of you. I've brought you to Vlad that means I've betrayed Alexei and Adrik Hunters."
“you’ve failed me, both of you. I thought you are my friend, Vlad. And aunt Ellena, I…I can’t believe this”
“I’m not your friend. Actually, I’m the leader of The Adrik. One night when your parents were going to visit their friend, Gregorovich and I attacked them. That was very hard even they didn’t bring their sword, but I made it. I killed your parents with a little help from Gregorovich. Alas, he was murdered after helped me. So many brothers and sisters of mine have died by your father’s sword, and now I will destroy that sword.” Vlad hit the glass chest with his hand but it wasn’t broken or cracked. He tried it again but nothing happened.
“I think I need to know the rest of the riddle now” he glared at me.
Suddenly, Larissa came and hit my aunt with a golf stick. My aunt fell and then fainted. It was a big hit.
“Larissa, you look so stupid with that stick. Where’s your sword?” Vlad mocked.
“I left it in my bedroom because I must save the girl right now before it’s late”
“will you fight me with that stick? I have this” he showed his axe “ this axe will destroy you and that sword”
“ I won’t fight you” Larissa stared at me “Dementieva, please open the chest, I know you can” asked her.
“no, this is a trapped” I refused
“ honey, please. I’m not a betrayer like Ellena.”
I was doubt but suddenly I remembered all of the lyrics. I had no choice, open the chest or not, Vlad will kill me.
there is a locked glass with a gold inside. Water will let you touch it.” I told the rest of the lyrics “we need some water”
“I’ll bring it” Larissa went out.
Not in a long time she came back with a bottle of water. I poured it to the glass chest. That was a strange view, the glass melted. Vlad took the sword and laughed satisfy.
“finally I can get it. I will destroy it now and then kill you both”
He hit his axe to the sword but it didn’t work. He tried, tried, and tried but nothing happened. Vlad looked so angry and frustrated.
“you haven’t told me the end of the part of the riddle, right?’
“you’re right”
“tell me, Dementieva Trusov”
“okay. But the gold only hates little flower. It means that little flower or me is the only one who can destroy the sword”
“I’ll make a deal with you. I won’t kill you if you want to destroy the sword”
“deal”
“take this” Vlad gave me the sword uncertainly, and I took it doubtless.
“do you think I will believe you, Vladivostok Dostoyevski? NO, I’m not a fool but you are” I grined “ actually the riddle says: the gold hates the silver little flower
“what do you mean?”
“I mean this” I stuck the sword to his chest. The leader of The Adrik died by me.
Larissa hugged me “we don’t have to destroy the sword, honey”
The sword would be broken if I wrapped my silver necklace to it. I didn’t understand how it worked but I didn’t really care, I wouldn’t destroy Alexei weapon.
After that all, I lived with Larissa and her daughter, Nadezhda. I was happier with them. Actually, I loved aunt Ellena because she was the one who had taken care of me since I was a baby, but she betrayed Adrik Hunters. I could forgive her if she promise not to did it again, but I found her lied down on the floor. Her dress was soaked with bloods, that was her own bloods. And I found a letter from her.
Dear my beloved Demi
Honey, I’m so sorry for what I had done to you. I would love to stay with you but I can’t stand this embarrassment. I think this is the best way to pay my mistake. We will never meet anymore. I do love you.

I never wanted to know about The Adrik anymore, but if The Adrik comes to my life, someday, I will be ready to fight them.
SHORT STORY COMPETITION 2014

THE VEIL OF SECRET

(Theme: Science Fiction)
By : Salwa Nurvidya, Dakwah dan Komunikasi (Jurnalistik)
as Participant 
November, 2043.
There was no other reason for me to stay in school until this late unless Mr. Hardi—the super killer astrophysicist teacher who reached legendary levels—has imposed on me the following difficult duties: to make a journal of scientific research on Andromeda with the original photo and with High Speed Photography technique. In addition, I have to record a video of Andromeda rotation. Unfortunately, those tasks must be collected in next morning at 7 o’clock at his session. Did he think it is easy to do all this in one night? It was outrageous as if he didn’t remember that I’m not a super-powered human who can work continuously without a break.
It all begins from an annoying incident in school space observatory this afternoon, because of Cory—guardian ghost of rubber tree in front of school—who appeared suddenly from the tube (contains hydrocarbon liquid from Kraken Mare[1]) while I hold it, when passing one of the glass shelves containing liquid plasma collection tubes from outer space (one that I know is plasma water from Gliese 1214b[2] planet). I was so shocked that suddenly my body loses balance and falls into the side until I hit the glass shelves. As a result, the glass shelves fall off, and all of plasma liquid tubes become cracked. So fast it all took place, the next incident was the sound of panic classmates and observatory staff officers.
“Reza!” Mr. Hardi calls with high voice. For a moment, the atmosphere changes into silence. No trace I will run out by this killer teacher’s wrath this time. I see Cory near the telescope was hovering then disappeared through the ceiling observatory. My position hasn’t changed since the fall. Dozens pairs of eyes look at me. “Oh, God! You've ruined an important asset of our school! Do you think that the school so easily to gather these space objects? You corrupted offhand damage!” said Mr. Hardi fiery as he looked at me with a glare. I know the real cause of all this is not because of me. But, I believe that Cory is a real culprit, even though Mr. Hardi certainly won’t believe in me. He exactly knew nobody named Cory in my class, let alone the real form of Cory—the ghost—he would not believe and thought I’m odd or crazy student.
“You shall be reported to principal. Now, let’s join me, so that we can find a solution to resolve this problem and know what appropriate punishment is for you.” A few minutes later I was sitting in Principal Office. About the solution of this incident, initially I was given a provision to pay compensation for the damages of observatory facility. But, that’s impossible because space plasma liquids are very expensive. But the killer teacher spoke up and said that he was also partly responsible for this incident. He offers another solution to Mr. Principal. As a result, I was decided not to be responsible to pay compensation, instead I was given crazy task which is not better than before. No biggie. For this time I want to do, tolerable to think of my parents could avoid the cost of expensive compensation. So, I'm willing to wait at the observatory of the night for hunting Andromeda.
***
This mid-November evening sky really bright, no moon or star, even none clouds tinge hanging in the sky. This is the right time for hunting Andromeda. I direct the old Spitzer[3] to the northern sky. A bit difficult to direct the telescope lens and adjusts the focus, this junk has been retired by NASA[4] since before my birth, 2009. Ironically, Indonesian government imported this telescope since six years ago. In this advanced age, Indonesia still importing foreign junks.
I’ve been ever controlling a telescope. My father taught it when I visited his office at the end of summer 2033 in Washington, when he served in NASA. Yeah, my parents are astronomers and members of the multinational space researcher team. Nowadays, they served in LAPAN[5], Jakarta since 2040.
Voila, after a long search finally I found Andromeda. From a distance of 2.5 million light years, appears blue spiral arrangement at the edges with a thin mist. I enlarge the focus of camera lens until 576 m (1.890 feet), Andromeda seems more clearly now, it structure similar alike with Milky Way. The differences, Andromeda look more densely because it has more stars and short distance of each other. My attention was fixed on the interesting object Andromeda bulge, seems like black hole, amount 26. It's exciting to be included in my scientific journal. I didn’t forget to take pictures of this galaxy with the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph. After many unsuccessful attempts, I get the perfect photo, portrait of Andromeda in a tilted position with dots of black holes in the bulge. My job was not yet finish, I must record the galaxy rotation process. Apparently not take a long time.
After finishing write a journal, print it and the photo, transfer video files from the computer, and call the school guard key holders, I immediately went home. Night like this, in and out access of the school environment that is opened only the front gate. Along the road to the front gate, I met many occupants beside school caretaker, exactly school ghosts. The sound of gamelan and philharmonic music are heard from music room when I through. Sounds of people were playing basketball at the same thunderous applause that reverberated from the indoor basketball court. At the end of the corridor that connects the laboratory space with classrooms I see pocong in the distance, right in front of me. However, this pocong is very different from the others. It doesn’t limping jump, but rolling in the vertical direction. To me. Suddenly I just glued watching that misty scene, as there's nothing hold my legs so I can’t take a step and my lips hard to make a sound. That pocong was getting close, and then his body stop rolling at the end of my shoes. Instantly, he stood up. Just a second I also stay away.
Huh, damn jerk and less work creature! I can’t believe with their behavior. What they mean to frighten humans like that? I'm curious, about the way to beat them except with prayer? Sometimes prayer wasn’t impervious to them. What about there creatures more frightening than ghosts, that can could scare the ghosts too? The main thing is, I extremely regret that they are destined to live side by side with humans.
I try to think of about what is worth being invited to work with humans to defeat the ghosts. Zombie? I guess no, because zombies actually hunt humans and their foolish creatures, may not cooperate with other creatures besides its kind. Vampires? Some of the famous vampire novels discussed the feud between vampires and ghosts. It is said that the ghost was afraid of vampires. Hmmm, it seems less convincing as well. Maybe to work with vampires instead ask for compensation in the form of fresh human bloods. It will have an impact on the number of casualties due sacrificed their blood for the vampire. And then, other alternative?
Aha! Maybe aliens. Moreover, aliens more civilized than the ghosts. Evidence of their civilization can also be described. UFO for example, until now there’s no air vehicle that compared the UFO’s speed. In science fiction movies such as Independence Day (which takes place in 1996), technology equipment shakedown result of aliens who were arrested by the air force figures in the film, much more advanced than man-made technology. That was new in the 1990s, already entered the era of 2040's today, humans haven’t been capable made of such technology like them. Aliens aren’t being less work creature like the ghosts, they are hard-working type. They used their time for sake of exploring universe to be studied or taken away its natural resources. At least in terms of jobs and activities, their goals more reasonable.
I believe in alien existence. My father told me, God created the creatures on Earth and sky. There’s a risk that without humans knowing, aliens are really exist. Once graduated from high school this year, my choice of college majors later, if not astronomical, I’ll select Ufology. It may be one day I became an UFO scientist who won the Nobel Prize for finding life beyond Earth. Then establish a cooperative relationship to promote human civilization and get rid of the ghosts. I was so engrossed with this fun imagination. I just realized that I've arrived at the front yard of the school. About ten feet, signpost SMAN 100 Jakarta has seen. Not that I was immediately able to breathe, before actually going out from school area, I had to pass through the rubber tree which is Cory’s home. Rubber tree itself actually save special memories for me. In the past, in the first day I entered this school, that's where I met that damn ghosts for the first time. Suddenly, in the north sky, a greenish light look fall to earth. Seems like fall into near of this area. It's more like a light marks of the alien arrival in movie.
***
“Hihihi… Hihihi…. Hihihi.” I heard a familiar laughter sound. Aaahhh, that’s Cory. What else would she do to me now? The sound source maker now is sitting in a tree that used to be her place. She was looking at me, swinging his legs covered by a long white dress. I’m bit unsure if she has feet. Suddenly, she stand up and hovering near me. When Cory has been up in front of me, a green light coming from beside me like an ellipse portal. After that, the portal suck up Cory just in seconds. I could hear clearly her horror shout. I can’t believe when turned my head to the portal light origin.
***
A figure aliens are busy closing a greenish glass tube. In his right hand (that only has three fingers) tucked a tool that looks like a weapon, only the shape is very different from a human-made. Hard to describe the shape of the tool, because it looks weird too. The color of his body overall dark gray, with large oval head, his eyes were as big as tennis balls rather close to each other. Under his eyes, there are two holes which seems to be the nose. Small mouth without lip. His body very short, thereabout up to 1.4 meters. His body was stocky, with thin arms and legs. His great black eyes was look at me. I feel my heart pounding, my stomach also seemed to knead when sighted him. Would he kidnapped me like what he do to Cory? Then take me out of the Earth forever? Feelings of fear began to undermine my mind. But then, what the alien do is unexpected at all. He approached, and held out his hand to me.
“Hi, don’t be afraid, I'm here not intend to terrorize you or take your life as an object of research, for that one, I've ever done it. So, I don’t need more humans.” He was speaking in English. Because so stunned, I can’t speak for a few seconds. By collecting determination, I forced myself to immediately remove the tension to be able to speak. “Hhh… Hi, I didn’t expect to see you.” I replied in English anyway. Uh forget, I’m not shake his hand. Does he often visiting Earth? Why he knows how to meet men? When my skin is in contact with him, I feel his skin surface is hard, slick, but feels chewy too if pressed.
“Anyone who saw me would be surprised, as well as the first time I saw a human. What are you doing in the night like this? Isn’t the night is the time for human’s break?”
“That’s right. Yeah, I absolutely want a break. But a task prevent me for that. I got a penalty in the form of scientific research assignment on Andromeda. This research requires the equipment space, and I don’t have that facilities at home, so I do it here. What are you doing, alien?”
“By the way, my name is Gray, please call me so. You must have a name too, right?”
“Yes, my name is Reza. You go to Earth in what order, Gray?”
“I want to take samples for research. I’m a scientist from Serpo Space Research Agency, This time the object of my research is one of the unique creatures of Earth, oddly shaped that sometimes seem sometimes not. As I've just caught. Do you know the name of this creature?” Asked him, while holding up a greenish tube to me.
“You comes from Serpo[6] apparently?” Asked me, for some reason it seems that the planet is not foreign to me. Lest this alien... He just nodded his head.
“Wow, you guys, the Serpo aliens never held a secret exchange program with a human, right?”
“Yes. I'm representing Zeta Reticuli[7] aliens to the United States government. The program was called Serpo Project[8].”
“Whoaaa, so you really Serpo aliens? Can you tell me how you, and the U.S. government can do a project like that? I would like to know more about alien life, could I? I was a great admirer of aliens. If you tell me, I'll tell you about the things that you captured earlier.”
“You seem very fond of things related to space. If you promise me for give an information about this creature, I’m willing to. Where we can discuss comfortably?”
“Yes. My father and mother were astronomers, so I've liked the world of space since childhood.” Having said that, I got the idea about convenient place to be able to discuss with Gray. What if in my house? My parents are go out of town, I don’t know when they go home.”
“Well, I agree. Now let’s go to your house now, we go there with Unisphere.” Gray said as he took a step. Hmmm, this alien is rarely mince words. Gray walked ahead of me. I struggled to match his pace. Although Gray has two legs like me, once he stepped, same as jumping about as far as seven to eight meters. I followed as he ran. Gray led me to a tree that was on the edge of a field that is in the back of the space observatory. It was the first time I saw there was a tree there, as I remembered, no one tree in this grass field.
Gray got there first, a few minutes later I caught up in the tree. Gray holds the tree trunk. Then, he pulled the tree trunk suddenly like fabric. The tree apparently is a round-shaped UFO with a diameter of about 2 meters. So, this is called Unisphere. The plane can be any object camouflaged if covered by a net, called Cloaking Camouflage. On behalf of the aircraft's open, Gray and I then enjoyed in. Gray said something in a language that I don’t understand at all, alien language. Apparently this flight is controlled by sound, fast time I don’t see any panel button everywhere. The engine is on, second then immediately drifted from the soil surface. Gray then showed a small screen on the dashboard, he says the name is Wrist-Com. It is a kind of portable computer which can show a schematic of an object or building in 3 dimensions, as well as GPS, but more sophisticated. Gray asked where my home address. Then I told him, and Gray repeat what I said to Wrist-Com in alien language. In a second, the aircraft engine was off, and the top of aircraft is open. It’s so amazing, less than a minute we’ve arrived in my house yard.
We got off the plane and enter home. Previously, Gray spread the Cloaking Camouflage to disguise his aircraft. Now, that became a tree. I noticed my surroundings. All my neighborhood was deserted. Oh, of course, my watch already exhibit numbers 10.45 p.m. When we got in my room and I relax for a while, I asked Gray to talk about his experience in Serpo Project involvement. Gray begin to tell.
“In the past, I've just finished traveling from Phobos[9]. My way back to Serpo, cross Earth's orbit. Because I was passing too close to the Earth, my plane is attracted by Earth’s gravity. My plane crashed in a place somewhere. I felt the top of my head hurts,” Gray patted the top of his head, “I was unconscious doesn’t necessarily how long. Until then I realized, I've been lying in a glass tube bed. Outside many people wandering busy with the equipment I had never seen before, but there are also similar to our technology. Then, a man who wears white clothes, which then I know his name is Professor Zelle approached me. His face was shocked when he saw me awake. He called all the people who are busy to see me. They immediately gathered around the tube. Some among them were holding something he addressed me continuously. It looks like a weapon. I got my tools don’t know where, they may take it when I fainted.”
Gray continued his story, “I heard their conversations were saying ‘alien’ while pointing at me. After that, one of them opened the locked tube. All of them were looking at me. Professor Zelle spoke something to me. I really do not understand what he was saying. Actually I have,” Gray paused for a moment, he seemed to think, “You could’ve called Communicator, various language translation tools in the entire universe. I motioned for the given tool. The Professor would not understand what I hinted at, so he invited me to come down from the bed. I looked around to find where they keep all of my gear, including the weapon. The room was later I identified as a laboratory. In a table, I find all my stuff. I also took Communicator and activate it. And, I take a pill, in human language can be called Audio Booster, if eaten, what we’re saying in our own language would sound into the other person's language. So, I communicate with them using a language called English.”
“After that, what else happened?”
“I've fully recovered at that time, so I decided to quickly return to Serpo. Before leaving, I told them that I would visit them someday. They answer would wait for me any time. I did not forget to thank those who have been taking care of me, even fix my plane. The incident occurred in 1947, time on Earth. The name of place when I fell is Roswell, New Mexico, U. S. America. You humans are unique, living in the same Earth but places name can be different.”
“As if, in your planet, Serpo, there’s no term city, state, or something like that?”
“No, the title of our residence on any side, fairly Serpo. Not like you guys. Then what is the name of this place?” Gray asked.
“Now you’re in my house, Aster Street No. 41, Rawamangun, Pulo Gadung sub-district, East Jakarta County, Special Areas of Capital Jakarta.”
“Wah, very long name place.”
“Shortly, you just call this place Indonesia. The name of this country is Indonesia. Hey, continue your story!”
“Okay, okay. In Earth 1965, I visited Roswell. There is a branch of the U.S. government's military headquarters. Before landing, I send out a signal on the radar in the lookout towers. Because some people in the military camp had met me before, my arrival wasn’t greeted with a barrage of weapons. At that time, the U.S. government is holding the project to the Moon. They’re obsessed to defeating Russia who has succeed to space, they were in a war, the Cold War. I was asked to help them design a rocket, they named Apollo. Initially, they requested me to make alien spacecraft. Because of as construction materials for our plane on Earth didn’t found, take a long time if I go back to Serpo, finally Apollo launched to the Moon just like that. The United States government is not satisfied only there. They asked my willingness to cooperate in their project, in order to know more deeply alien and exchanging secrets. One military officer asked me to take him to Serpo. From various considerations, I also brought along 12 U.S. military personnel accompanied by three doctors, three scientists, and three linguists towards Serpo. Because I only brought a small aircraft that are not able to accommodate them all, I contacted the aircraft carrier of Serpo galactic explorers who happened to be on Mars. My friends in the aircraft carrier received the vocation to land on Earth. They’re also agreed to do this project. The landing located is in Akau Island, 750 miles south-west of Honolulu, Hawaii. So, we and the representatives of Earth's creatures fly from Roswell to Serpo.”
“When the date of that event?”
“I do not understand what it is dated, but a military personnel gave me this note.” Gray touching a finger on his left arm, his skin appeared a green paper, which is July 16, 1965.
“Oh, so that's the story.” Truly amazing secret. “When does the representatives of Earth back?”
“We drove up on Earth when their home about 1978.”
***
“Hey, now my turn to ask you, Reza, you haven’t explained the information about the creature I caught.” Gray demand my promise.
“Ah, I had forgotten. Creatures that you caught named ghost. In generally, the creature as called ghosts or spirits. They are strange creatures who work to scare humans.”
“For what they frighten humans?” Asked Gray curiously.
“Hmmm, sorry about itu, Gray. I don’t really know. Maybe you should ask it to her.” But Gray doesn’t get angry and want to understand. “If you kidnap all the ghosts of the earth, human life will surely calm. You can also take advantage of them, for example, you make a slave. Their strength was generally stronger than a human. I mean, spiritual strength.”
“What you say is true. But Serpo’s nation has never had the idea. From birth, we are educated foster a sense of mutual respect for the lives of all beings throughout the galaxy. We've abducted humans, but not all, and we also didn’t hurt them because we simply need for research. We are the researcher’s nation, researching everything to create all things that help life. We would rather create technology rather than enslaving other creatures, because our nation since the first was an independent nation.” I was very amazed when hear Gray’s explanation, in facts alien has feelings too and they better than ghost. They were just like that, whereas in human history there ever a time when the rise of colonization and oppression of fellow human.
“Gray, is there any other kind of alien like your kind? Who doesn’t like to colonize other creatures?”
“Not many. Our nation is also not really know other alien nation, just a few.”
“So, is there an alien race that often colonize other planets?”
“Yes, especially races that live on the planet with little natural resources. Alien also have a different lifestyle from each other. In fact, what the man call castes also exist.” He further explained. “There Annelid nation, they are a rich nation and aliens from planet that humans call PSO J318.5-22[10]. They are clever, golden-skinned, tall body, and has the ability to change their shape. Their technology is great too. Most of them live in other planets, including Earth. Usually they disguised as resident on the planet they live. Then there was Meredin nation, originating from the planet Gliese 581d[11]. They are famous as evil explorer nation. Technology they produce most weapons, as they like to fight and colonize other planets. There’s also the Swarott alien. This nation doesn’t have a permanent home planet, they’re nomadic alien. They’re well known as an artist. Their habit is to make unique patterns and intricate that sometimes beautiful, sometimes also weird in various places that they visited.”
“Oh, on Earth there are also many patterns that you mention, we humans call it crop circles[12]. Whether there’s also in another planet?”
“Yes. One result of their work is the famous hill-shaped face in Cydonia Mensae[13], Mars. The face was actually similar to human face. You know about the appearance of Cydonia Mensae, right?”
“Yeah I know. Oh, so Cydonia Mensae is the result of an alien’s artwork too? I never thought it.” I shook my head with reflex. Suddenly, I felt my whole body ache, like there’s a thousands of needles stabbing from the inside. All of sudden I felt head ache. Shit! It’s very hurt head ache.
“Are you okay, Reza?”
“I… I’m fine. Oh, shit. Now I’m not fine. I feel pain all over my body.” I say it's the same, the pain in my body feels like a thousand swords punctured from the inside. I feel I have no energy, then everything is dark.
***
What happen? Where my? Vaguely I heard the sound of two people conversing. That's my parents, apparently they had back from out of town. Darkness that enveloped my vision began to ignite. My eyes slowly catching splash of light fade, now I'm stare to my parents. A broad smile spreading in their faces. What the hell?
“Honey, finally after we wait for long time, now you're changing. My son is getting perfect from time to time.” Said my mom proudly. It’s holy weird, what the hell?
“What are you talking about, Mom? I don’t understand what you mean. Tell me the truth.” I said impatiently. Then, my father motioned me to lift my hands to front of my face. I obeyed him. Oh, no! Why do my hands turn into like this?! I got up, and pay attention to my whole body. God! My whole body looks like an alien. My fingers and legs turn as frog legs membranes. My color skin changed to golden. I touched my head which was also changed dramatically, becomes doubled larger. My legs, hands, and body also increases how many meters in length somehow become. I looked at my parents. Not yet diminish my shock of what happened, they also had an instant change form. They intangible just like me. The three of us look like aliens. Then my father said calmly.
“It's time for you to know, Son. Actually, our family wasn’t human. From birth, you are an alien. You were born on Earth directly in the alien form. Type of aliens as we are, Annelid, indeed can change shape easily, but not for aliens who haven’t 17 years old. We’re afraid to invite human’s attention that can impact on our safety. We provide camouflage enzyme so that you become human.” What my father said was make me speechless. My mother continued, “However, the enzyme was only survive until you're 17 years old. Now you're 17 years old, your body will change back into your original form. Oh, after this you can be disguised in various forms as you want without the aid of anything else. Trust me, that's so fun!”
“By the way, you should be grateful to our old friend, Gray, who take care of you as long as you fainted.” My father noticed.
“How long I fainted? And, does Gray already know if I’m your child?”
“During six days. We’re home two days ago, and find you with him. About that, of course he remembers you, he ever visited us in America when you were a baby, Honey. Yesterday is the first time we see him again after decades ago. If there is free time, we will visit him.” Said my mom. “Uh, I forgot. Before he went away, he commended regards for you.”
My parents then are busy expressing their pride for my changes. I ignored them, because my mind was too busy with the extreme confusion. My life is strange but true. However, when the unbelievable veil of secret is revealed, I myself was an alien. Oh My God.





[1] Name of the existing lakes on Titan (Saturn’s satellite). The lake was discovered in 2007 by Cassini aircraft and renamed in 2008 from the Kraken, legendary sea monster. The lake is composed of hydrocarbons, and has the same size as the Caspian Sea.
[2] Gliese 1214b is a super outer solar planets orbiting the star GJ 1214. This planet was discovered in 2009 and is about 40 light years from Earth. GJ 1214 b is located in Ophiuchus constellation an outer solar planets that have both mass and radius smaller than giant gas in Solar System.
[3] The Spitzer Space Telescope is an infrared telescope, the fourth and last large NASA’s telescope. It name is taken from the famous space scientist in 20th century, Lyman Spitzer.
[4]  National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the U.S. space program and general aerospace research long term. This organization is responsible for space research   program for civil society, aeronautics, and aerospace programs. It head office is in Washington D. C.
[5] Lembaga Penerbangan dan Antariksa Nasional (LAPAN), is the government agency in charge of implementing Indonesian government duties in the field of aerospace research and development and utilization. It head office is in Rawamangun, DKI Jakarta.
[6] Serpo, is a planet was located in the constellation of Zeta Reticuli system and is 3.9 light years from Earth.
[7] Zeta Reticuli is a binary star system located about 39 light-years from Earth. Zeta Reticuli is located in the reticulum constellation, and can be seen with the naked eye on a very dark sky.
[8] Serpo Project is the name of a secret exchange program between the U.S. government with an Serpo aliens in 1965-1978. Over the past 30 years, the truth of whether the project ever undertaken is still mysterious.
[9] Mars satellite.
[10]   Loner planet outside the solar system, floating alone in a vacuum and not orbiting any star. Located 80 light years from Earth and has a mass six times of Jupiter. The planet is located in the Capricorn constellation.
[11]  One of the outer solar system planets orbiting the Red Dwarf Star. It is the third planet in the Red Dwarf Star system. The distance about 20 light-years of Earth.
[12]  A regular pattern that forms mysteriously in the area of ​​crop fields, often overnight. This phenomenon was first discovered in England in late 1970, with a simple circle shape pattern.
[13]   The area is located in the northern hemisphere of Mars. Cydonia region consists of several "mesa" (hills on Mars). One of them (mesa) is shaped like a human face (humanoid).