She was searching for one thing that she held dearly with and cursed herself for losing it. She could make herself another one. But this was precious. This was unique. The one that Talharino himself had made. The name brought a lump back to her throat. The last days on Earth.
She was doing a major in economics. But who cared about the education, when people were losing a war against the nature. Being the eldest of her two siblings, she had to do odd jobs as an apprentice in the Fermi Physics lab to make the ends meet. That’s where she met him, the celebrated physicist of that century. Talharino was deeply working on the quantum states of super fluids. He had this problem of blanking out, when he confronts a problem. So was the case with super fluids. He had been trying break open the physics behind it for some time now. His colleagues consider him to be a lucky physicist, who stumbled upon the solution for teleportation. Many even considered the idea of cutting down his entire funding, when people fighting to place a crumb of bread in their children’s plate.
She was the only one who stayed back with him, when the entire science program was shut down. The Government couldn’t take it anymore and was worried only about the situation in hand than the hope for tomorrow.
‘I am trying to provide a future to our species. But they are fighting a lost war.’ He would use to say.
She would just smile away. She was too young to understand then. She never understood what his research meant. To her the lab is a source of food and shelter for her and her sisters from the cruel clutches of nature. The colleges were closed, the shops never opened. The government stopped supplying the food capsules weeks back. Hundreds died out of hunger, while the rest left their ancestral city to army camps.
She was taking the spoiled sandwich from the cafeteria’s vending machine. Her sisters have been starving for days now.
‘Good Lord!’ She screamed ‘You scared me profes…’ Talharino was standing behind her, when she closed the door. But there was something odd on his appearance. He was much younger and all his bald spots are gone. He had this pulsating eyes that was looking straight at her.
‘Use this. And come back for me’ said coldly and handed her a vile. She examined it. To her curious eyes, the vile seemed empty.
‘Professor this vile is empty and how do I…’ before she could complete he vanished. She looked around to find only the empty vile in her hand.
She ran back to the collider screening every room on the way to find it all empty. Her thoughts ran to the younger version of Talharino whom she just met. Was the professor in any trouble? Was he just trying to prank her, which was very unlikely for a person of his demeanour. Her heart skipped a beat. Was he wearing a wig to scare her off? If so, he has succeeded. And what is this vile?
‘Professor? Professor?’ She ran to collider control room. Every system was running properly, except the data collection unit. She made a mental note to ask professor about it, after she confronts him about the small act he displayed.
The vibrant expression was now gone form his face. He looked to be in a sleep now. I could have believed it if not for all of the blood. How can so much blood come from one body? The hole in his head and the gun in his hand told a story of messy end. His body was abandoned on the cold white floor, now stained with his crimson blood.
‘The vile’ she came back to her senses. She now knew where she had kept it. Sprinting to her cupboard, which was as messy as her cabin. She took the vile breathed in the elixir and closed her eyes.
The lush green trees and the tinge of fresh air hit her senses. That’s the earth she remembered. Amongst the dancing trees and falling snow, he walked towards her.
‘Talharino’ was all she could say.
Author Notes: Review please, my first science fiction.