[Evil is rampant upon this earth, then I will take birth in the family of a virtuous man, and assume a human body to restore tranquility by the extermination of all evils. I will assume an inconceivable human form for the preservation of rectitude and morality. In the Kali Age of sin, I will assume an Avatar form that is from underprivileged people. I will live among the people deprived of every human right. I as an avatar will possess great energy, great intelligence, and great powers and I’ll fight for my people.]
Breathtaking dance of the lightning is continued outside but inside is more horrible than it. The Nirbhaya looks at the girl who has just screamed, his eyes are as freighting as the lightning.
All other eyes are on her, emotionless eyes, no pity, no sympathy, nothing just blank as the blank paper on which nothing has written, not a single word. I hate all these eyes. Why they don’t have any emotion for one of their girls.
This is the true division between them and us: the reason for our name - Sunya. My people have no emotion. If the girl was of them they must have helped her, they must have raised voice for us but we don’t. This simple difference somehow makes us weak, poor and fucking emotionless Sunya, and them stronger, braver, smarter, better than us if they have no cruelty in their heart. I wish we have their courage or they have our heart but it’s just a wish – a stupid wish.
Nirbhaya advances towards her, slowly but with steady steps. His face is a scowl, having no emotion or unreadable emotions. The curved swords were dangling at his hips and a long knife was attached at his waistband, swinging with each step he takes.
Poor People! I think. It seems they are right. We are nothing but a zero.
I feel a worrying shudder in my chest as if my heart wants to escape, to flee my body. I know what he will do - all the Sunyas know it.
The girl also understands what will happen to her. She looks over the car, hoping someone will come to rescue her but none. Her eyes tire by scanning for help then they rest on the Nirbhaya stepping towards her.
She screams; each word rips her throat raw. – “don’t, please don’t.” she bags but no effect on the Nirbhaya nor on the remaining in the car.
A deathly quiet except the girls cries falls in the car as we watch her pleading.
“Please don’t throw me,” she joins her hand and begs in poor voice, tears rolling down her cheeks.
“You should die; otherwise it will risk the whole car.” I hear the Nirbhaya answering her— you should die—and instead the girl fear squeezes my chest.
I breathe aloud. ‘Do something, stop him’ I tell myself, ‘help her.’
Never before have had any Sunya raised his voice against the Nirbhayas - I doubt anyone has. They are dangerous, and powerful, even among beyond the wall, even among the folk. The rumors about them vary, but they are chilling: they can shot ten arrows in a minute, they can cut your head before you blink, they never feel fear, and this is exactly what I’m feeling, having fear into my heart, into my very brain, where there are no defenses.
I want to stop him, I want to save the girl but I can’t find my voice. I struggle to shout but nothing comes out from my throat except air.
I’m trying to fight my fear. But strong as I’m, there’s no fighting the enemy in my heart and my mind.
Tears threaten to fill my eyes, but I refuse to let them come.
The Nirbhaya unfastened the seat belt, clutches the girl from her arm and forced her out her seat. All are seeing, I too.
He starts to drag her towards the door, among her tries to escape but the Nirbhaya has more strength, enough to drag her behind him even with his single hand hold, the girl’s hand clutches a metal pipe of a seat in final try to not being dragged.
The Nirbhaya releases her hand, my eyes watching them unblinkingly, for a second I feel he will let her go but next second I see his hand reaching to his knife.
I want to save her, I want to shout ‘don’t kill her’ but I can’t find my throat. I feel my voice is gone – I’m too numb to do anything.
Girl’s eyes are filled with tears so she can’t see when the Nirbhaya takes his knife out and when it sways in the air and when it cut her throat. I see first a red line over girl’s throat and then the line grows bigger in size. As the blood gushes from her throat, nausea passes through me. I’ve never seen so much blood before, never so close.
As the blade cut her throat a piercing scream rips through the air. High and shrill, every Sunya in the car are immobile as if made of nothing but the metal surrounding them. I feel my blood turn to icy slush as I realize that the horrible sound is the girl’s death cry- it echoes in the car.
Nirbhaya gazes over the car and then his gaze falls on Girl’s body and I expect him to look repenting. Instead, his face is blank, emotionless, and so hard. That merciless killing was nothing to him. We are nothing to them.
The Nirbhaya scoops the girl in his hand and then throws her on his shoulder and goes near the door. No mercy in any of his actions as if he isn’t a human. Just some machine who follows orders. Who do what the rules say him. No matter to do so he has to kill a teenage girl. Killing isn’t something terrible for him.
He slides open the door and throws the dead girl out of the car and closes the door as if nothing has happened – he has just opened it to get some fresh air.
Girl’s body crashes into the nearby building and before it can fall down lightning cover her and take her into one of the craters in the building.
My eyes stare out the window even after that building more than ten buildings has been passed by the train.
I am scared. I feel like I’m shrunk to the size of a small rat or the smallest creature of the world, having no value.
Without saying a word, I am crying in my mind.
Many teenagers are crying. I try but no tears come. I’m too tired or too numb to cry. The only thing I feel is a desire to be somewhere else- in the wall – where I belong. So I let the train rock me into oblivion.
‘Why I feared?’ I ask myself, closing my eyes and wishing the nightmare would end.
‘Everyone fears – if you don’t fear, you aren’t a human.’ Conversant inside me answers as he has read that somewhere.
‘If that’s so then we aren’t the Sunyas we are humans we all fear.’ I argue.
‘Yes, but brainwashed. Haven’t you seen no one tried to rescue the girl, no one helped her.’ someone inside me cries.
‘Why I didn’t help her? I ask, “Am I a Sunya?”
‘No, you were feared, you were seeing that for the first time and you knew it was beyond your limit. If you have dared still you couldn’t save her. Contrary, Nirbhaya would have killed you, too.’ The conversant has an answer.
‘Why I can’t?’
‘Because you feel sympathy or mercy but this isn’t enough to save someone, you need strength.’
‘I have.’ I clench my fists so hard that my nails pierce in my palm.
‘No, you haven’t.’
‘I have.’ All my strength is in my first.
‘Yes, but not enough to fight with a Nirbhaya.’
‘Then what should I do?’ I feel the strength in my fist is gone.
‘Get more power.’
‘How?’ now, I’m conversant- wishing to know everything.
‘Make other’s like you.’
‘How?’ Sometimes I’ll start a conversation with myself, I want to stop it but I can’t and I don’t even know where it’s going.
‘It depends on you.’
‘My people won’t believe me. They won’t believe anyone who says them to break the rules. They fear Pralaya.’
The thoughts that are not mine is so strong and clear that it overpowers me. I know that this is just conversant and not me. Sucked into the hell that is the inside of my brain. But I’m he, and we are talking, we are arguing. It's so ridiculous. I can't understand. I can't see the way to stop it. I can't see conversant in me but I’m sure it is here. I want to believe I’m like my people. I’m a Sunya but the voice of conversant drowns everything else out.
‘Then show them something more frightening than Pralaya.’
I feel a strange connection with my mind. It’s the kind of connection I’ve never felt before and I think I’m definitely ready to get answers from conversant inside me.
‘What’s it?’ the conversant inside me is stronger than I’ve imagined ever and I soon find myself to trust him.
‘You have to find it.’ A surge of relief floods through me as I feel his voice.
‘I will.’ I am telling myself but I don’t know for sure what I should show my people that can wake them up and I feel I’m nervous about that.
‘You must.’ The conversant inside me says, ‘you have to take revenge for her.’
‘Am I too Sunya?’ I ask as I think why I didn’t think about revenge before the one inside me remind me.
‘I am.’ I insist.
‘Then why I didn’t help her?’ I say aloud, in my mind.
‘If you are a Sunya then why you are repenting?’ conversant inside me says, ‘if you are a Sunya then you should be sitting with a flat face like other Sunyas?’ I wonder as the voice interrupts my thoughts.
‘I can’t understand anything. Why I am repenting?’ I’m confused.
‘It’s because you are a hero.’
‘What is a hero?’ I wonder.
‘Who feels for other?’
I can’t understand us. I can name us. I sighed for the rushing knowledge. Conversant inside me has more knowledge than I’ve expected.
‘What he feels?’
There is a moment of pause before I get the answer to my question. ‘He feels all the emotions of the world and not for himself but for others.’
“It is inside everyone as though our body is the host for it but everyone can’t notice it.”
‘Why I can, no one else?’
‘You have the knowledge and because teachers have chosen you.’
‘Can all chosen boys feel what I’m feeling?’
“So they are heroes?”
“Yes,” the answer is, “if the conversant inside them overpowers.”
“And who is bad and villain?”
“If the conversant inside someone has a bad knowledge and it overpowers its host the person is bad and villain.”
“So knowledge makes both hero and villain?”
“Yes, what it makes depends on the nature of its host and nature of the knowledge inside the brain.”
‘Do you know any hero?’
‘Yes, many of them.’
‘Tell me about one.’
‘What would you like to know about him?’
‘Have anyone felt like me?’
‘Yes, all of them have felt as you are feeling now and that’s why they were heroes.’
‘What happens with a hero in the end?’
‘They are being killed mercilessly.’
‘Mostly they end up in gallops.’
‘some are hung, some are buried down in the earth – alive and some are hung to the cross, some are forced to see their people dying in front of their eyes, some are even killed by the people for whom they were fighting.’
‘So cruel. Then why should I be a hero? To die like them?’
‘No. to be remembered like them.’
‘Who remembers them?’
‘No one until the misery come.’
‘Why people remember them when misery comes?’
‘To get courage, their names have the courage. They fill the heart with courage to fight with evil.’
‘Whose name should I remember when I feel fear?’
‘You should read more and know more about them and then whom you like more, his name would give you the courage.’
‘So reading is so powerful?’
‘Yes, they have provided you axes, spades and many things which you can use as a weapon but not the books, why?’
‘Because they fear if we read we will be heroes.’
“You,” the Nirbhaya’s sound stops my conversation with the conversant inside me, “come here.”
I feel something dangerous. Something terrible. Did he read my conversant thought? He can’t I tell myself.
“Go,” my father unfastens my seat belt, “but don’t speak anything. Just do what he says and don’t look in his eyes.”
“Okay,” I say and leave the seat.
“Clear this blood,” the Nirbhaya says as I walk to him, “take this,” he hands me his water bag and a useless piece of a cloth, “clear the mess.”
“I’ll.” I try to sound firm like I’m not a Sunya but one of them, but I’m a Sunya. I feel my voice shaking. I don’t know if it will be all right if I will not be killed like that girl. I suspect that I’ will be.
As I reach near the blood – the blood of a teenage girl like me, the same age of me – a bubble rises in my chest, it increases and chokes me – I feel the same bubble in my stomach. I have to suppress hysteria if I don’t want to die like her. I’m going to clear it. I say to myself. I have to forget I’m one from her. I have to be like a Nirbhaya – merciless and emotionless.
I kneel on the floor of the car and scrub that little girl’s blood. With the water and useless piece of the old towels, I remove stains of the blood. The blood is getting at the lines in my palms and in my fingernails. I wipe my hand on the dirty towel piece to get rid of the blood at lines in my palms after clearing the blood and run one fingernail under my other fingernails to get the blood out.
“What are you waiting for?” the Nirbhaya looks at me, “throw this mess out.”
He opens the door and I throw the dirty towel out.
He takes the water bag back and slugs it just some inches up to his swords at his waistline, “Go to your seat.”
I nod and get my seat. My father buckles the belt around my body.
Next some hours I spend in trying to forget about the little girl and her blood. It’s hard no matter how hard I rub my hand on my pant or how many times I slide one fingernail under another, but I still feel like the blood is on my hands. It’ll remain with me for a lifetime. My nostrils never forget its smell and my heart never forget its horror.
I want to cry for the little girl but I can’t, at least not loudly. I’m crying but in my mind, in my heart. I don’t know why people cry for a friend or a familiar one. It makes us relax. I think.
There must be punishment for this Nirbhaya. I feel. If killing a teenage helpless girl is an act of bravery than I don’t need it. But it can’t, bravery can’t be just killing innocent people. It’ll be different.
I think – bravery means the courage that encourages one to fight for another. Then I feel a jolt and come out of the conversant-person to see the train stopping in the terminus.
The train has stopped in front of a massive building with a stone dome, turrets, pointed arches and all covered in metal and glass, covering the area more than ten farms in the wall and some part of it about to fall down. Perhaps it’s the oldest building I’ve seen ever.
“Experienced,” the Nirbhaya instructs, “time to lead newbie.”
He opens all the doors of the car.
My father unfastens his seat belt and then mine; he clutches my wrist and guides me down the open doors. In no time all the carts are empty and Nirbhaya closes doors one by one.
All Sunyas are standing on ground plastered with stone, our boots making a weird sound on the floor. All eyes on a troop of Nirbhaya gathered after closing the door.
“To the hall,” Niraj says. He is a leader.
My father grabs my hand walks me to the south, all the experienced do the same, they walk their sons or daughters to the south. I am still watching my surrounding, trying to competence it. I pass through a high door that was bigger than our hut and entered in a hall size of ten of our farms with crumbling rock walls dotted with hundreds of doors and high domed ceiling, illuminated by fluorescent lights.
Hall seems crowded when all Sunyas enter inside along with a troop of the Nirbhayas, commanding and instruction how to behave and what to do. Like me, the hall also shows a lack of interest in anything happening there or what will happen now.
“Experienced,” Niraj commands again, “lead your apprentices to the rooms, remember no sound, no noise or no commotion.”
One by one experienced leads their son or daughter whoever with them to the doors dotting the walls of the hall. My father leads me to a small room with clean white walls, a twin bed, a desk with water pot on it, sliding closets opposite the bed, and thick red carpet on the floor. The room has two small windows, transparent curtain remain drawn still allowing light of big bulbs outside rendering the heart-stopping view of outside.
Outside is nothing but light – blinding lights as if there is a day, not a night and metal and glass where ever my eyes can see.
To be continue.....
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