I went down the bunker in our home while my father drove in his flying car to attend the Security Committee Meeting with the Chancellor of the Planet, His Majesty Tofa Lastin, who was also billed to address the Senate within the next three hours.
Just before I entered my cabin, a domestic robot approached me.
‘Is there anything I can do for you sir?’
‘Oh, cut off the ‘sir’. My name is Shoram Son of Nuk’, I retorted.
‘Failed to understand command sir. You may wish to clarify’, said the robot.
‘I need nothing for now. I’ll call you when the need arises’.
‘Yes, sir’, The robot then strutted away.
I made a video call to Nasima. She picked it immediately, smiled sweetly and asked, ‘I hope you are not hurting. I mean your neck’.
‘Not when I’m worried about your safety’.
‘We’re safe here. My parents and siblings are all in our private bunker, so it’s fun’, she laughed.
I looked at her on the screen. A rare beauty. Her green eyes were looking into mine invitingly. Her brown skin gleamed in the surrounding light and her crown of red hair was a thrilling sight.
Then I perceived a violent explosion, which shook the bunker, causing the robot to prance around in confusion. I had to deactive it temporarily.
I tried calling Nasima again but the line was dead. I shook with panic. After some cruelly long time the line went through and I was relieved to hear her laugh, but it was a more sober one.
‘I’m okay’, she said, somewhat unconvincingly.
‘I’m happy to hear that. Take care, ok?’ I said.
‘Dont worry. We’ll be fine’, she said and hung up before I could talk further.
Just then my father’s voice came through. ‘We are being bombarded from space right now by the Kohinur. One of their missiles penetrated our planet’s force-field and hit one of our defence stations. About ten percent of Han City is on fire. There is a lot of activity now. The Confederal Government has authorised Han to use maximum force to defend herself. I can’t say more than this, Shoram. Just be careful. Dont come out of the bunker’.
‘Yes, dad’, I answered and he hung up.
Then I perceived another explosion and turned on the viewer.
The entire sky was dotted with our warships headed towards Koh. But it seemed a couple had been shot down by Kohinur missiles. What bothered me was the rising smoke everywhere. The planet was indeed under the most serious attack I have ever heard of.
An announcement came that fierce fighting was taking place midway between Koh and Hana and that several Kohinur ships had been destroyed. I was very happy to hear that and thought of calling Nasima to tell her the news but the line was dead again. I tried several times, then gave up. There was this temptation to get out of the bunker and find out whether she was okay but disobeying my father had never been part of my character, so I stayed behind.
The Kohinur gave a stiff resistance but when they realised that defeat was imminent they resorted to using the most dangerous weapon in our part of the universe. The Effacer. This wipes out of existence any material object no matter how big or tough it may be. Luckily, the weapon was intercepted and seized. A directive came from the Chancellor asking the armed forces to destroy Koh and all its inhabitants without delay. The order was carried out and in the night of the fateful day a brilliant flash was seen in the northern sky, signalling the annihilation of the barbaric civilisation of Koh.
The following morning, I opened the bunker and as I was about to come out, my father entered the house. He said nothing when I greeted him and i thought he was angry with me. His black scales were gleaming in the morning light and I realised I had also transformed all the while.
He sat down wearily on the chair in the parlour and I did the same next to him.
“Nasima has gone home’, he said softly.
‘What!’ I exclaimed. ‘What did you just say?’
‘The last missile fired by the Kohinur landed directly on the house and dug a deep crater, pushing the bunker deeper into the ground. Rescuers worked throughout the night to bring it out and succeeded but the entire family perished because their source of air supply was cut off by the impact. The engineer who built the bunker did a shoddy job. Nasima is dead, Shoram’.
It took me a full month to come to terms with Nasima’s death. After the funeral I took a walk by a lake close to her home. It was evening and the main sun had set while the two dwarf suns were rising. For days we had been on the watch for falling pieces of rock as a result of the destruction of Koh. But I cared no more. I gazed into the calm green lake as I walked. The colour reminded me of Nasima’s eyes. I wept.
Later on, when I raised my eyes to the sky I was surprised to see a moon-like object in the horizon. I heard footsteps behind me. People ran forward to look at a surviving part of Koh now caught up in our planet’s orbit. We’ve got a fifth moon.