Image by awsloley from Pixabay 


Metal Man


Sam escaped from the prison. Police were chasing him. Hiding and running, he entered the bushy vast at the outskirts of the city. It was dense and scary. But he was a veteran and a criminal by choice not by chance. Moreover, he had spent half a decade in jail. This had made him emotionless, fearless and tough. Fear of animals in the forest was not at all frightening for him. He was searching for a place to relax as he was breathless after running continuously for hours. He was moving cautiously and suddenly fell into a pit. It took more than 10 seconds for him to hit the ground as it was deep. He became unconscious.


He entered the jewellery shop after breaking the lock. He started breaking the showcases and putting the jewellery into the bag. He had calculated the time available before the police could reach. It was all 6 to 8 minutes. He did it perfectly and was just to run away but the moment he came out of the store, he found the road covered by police vehicles and police personnel. He was not expecting this to happen, having immense confidence in his timing. Now, the guns were pointed toward him. He was calm and composed. He was ordered on the mike to put his hands behind his head and surrender. But he did something. The process started. None could imagine the things in store going to happen. He stiffened his body. He put all his energy and strength into it. It looked as if he was showcasing his body in a bodybuilding show. His nerves were almost bursting. His nerves and veins emerged on his body looking like a web of roads on a plane. His eyes were scooping out. It went on for a few seconds. Police just thought that he was angry or might be doing something to attack and escape. But he started moving casually. How could he do this with several guns pointed toward him? He was undeterred. Police warned him that if he didn’t stop, they would shoot. He didn’t listen. One policeman fired on his leg. It was just unimaginable. The bullet hit his leg and didn’t pierce through, it fell on the ground without making even a scratch on the leg. He started running. Another bullet fired. Meeting the same fate. He didn’t run. But he fired back at the policemen. It was a volcano erupting and totally unacceptable. Few of the policemen fired at him simultaneously and to their surprise, not even a single bullet could make an incision on his body. All the bullets fell on the ground and he looked like moving toward a car without any fear.


Sam could not bear the smell of onions. He slowly opened his eyes. Feeling Severe pain, he came to know of his injury on the feet. It was all dark. Somehow, he managed to stand and started grabbling the surrounding with his hands. He moved his foot to get the way to move. Guessing the way in deep darkness, he started moving cautiously. After moving for a few minutes, he found a ray of light emerging from a hole and that raised the hope. That ray brought some light and the path became a little clear. He started moving fast. Suddenly his foot got entangled in the bushes grown around and he fell. He tried to pull. But failed. He thought it would be simple but his foot got a serious caging. With a bout of anxiety, his brain failed to think sensibly and he tried to pull his foot hard by gathering all his power thinking he could tear them apart and get free. Two things happened simultaneously. One he just centralized all his strength which set him free by tearing apart the bunch of bushy branches and second, he got a push back as it was a premature and an unexpectedly early breakthrough which led him to get struck to the wall of the cave. He got amazed by what happened next. It was hard to believe. There was a sharp-edged piece of rock on the wall, to which he got struck and it was sure to kill him. But after his body hit that rock, the rock broke. He was amused.


Sinmed International was the biggest name in making sophisticated medical equipment and machines using radioactive technology. Security was the major head which always acquired a top rank while framing the modus operandi of the organization. The radioactive raw material was imported with strict sanctions from the Govt. Disposing off the radioactive waste also required an intense series of guidelines to be followed and that too very strictly. Ethics and a successful business seem to be antonyms in this world. So, Sinmed International was disposing of a portion of their radioactive waste illegally, unethically, dangerously and secretly. They were disposing of the waste which carried a substantial quantum of radiations, into an underground cave which was made to be accessed with a way made underground from the building with the lab inside to the cave one and half kilometers away. Their lab was allowed to be made on the land adjacent to the highway for safety purposes. So, they found a cave nearby. Onions have a good capacity to absorb the nuclear radiation so, they were disposing of the radioactive waste with a huge amount of onions but not at a depth prescribed as safe by the Govt. guidelines. This was the reason Sam could not bear the smell of onions when got back to his consciousness after falling into the pit. And what those radio-active radiations did to his body was it made the cell and tissues turn into metal like whenever he centralized his power in his body. His body carried an abnormal proportion of different minerals which when forced to get centralized and when it coincided with the radioactive radiations made to turn his body’s tensile strength manifold upside. Nothing could pierce his body in that stage.




It was a thunderous night but a routine Wednesday. Evan was just scrolling through his laptop and nothing exciting was there so he was just going to shut it down when something clicked to his mind. He jumped from his seat and ran towards the room inside. There was a bag lying on the table. He slid open the side pocket and took out a pen drive and came back to his laptop. He inserted the pen drive into the laptop and started exploring the content. This pen drive was one of the many things he threw into his bag in this last theft. He became excited predicting something unusual or something worth making few quick bucks. Some data or some info that could be sold. Some casual folders with some office work were scattered here and there in the device. A bit unprofessional and unorganized. He could not resist believing that there was nothing of that sort which he expected or which he wanted. The emotion died and so did the hope. He clicked on the shut down option, waited for few seconds, folded the laptop and went to sleep.


Evan received the message and it was way beyond his understanding. Only thing that made the veins and nerves stretch and throb was the one pair of words which he succeeded in decrypting. He read the message 20 times. Why? It was something really ignorable. It could be just ignored by anyone who would have received it as it carried an extra long content in some pictorial language. But he was a thief. He used to think with a fishy brain. In the second reading he clicked the idea that there is something in it. Then he read it repeatedly. He cracked the code –

(Ass-Ass-I-Nation = Assassination). He was shaken. His eyes got the shine. But that was not long lasting. He read the message innumerable times but could not find anything substantial. Then, it was an electric wave that flashed in his mind. Pen drive. He ran with lightening speed brought the pen drive, inserted and started scrolling the files. The shine in his eyes increased manifold. The files were looking quite ordinary but those files were having some watermarks so light that they were not quite easily visible. Those watermarks were some pictures. He felt like there is something in the background in the documents but ignored as the content in front was plain commercial text. But now it was a key to a treasure. All the sleep vanished and he was fresh and thrilled. He began to analyse the code in the pen drive and in the message. He cracked the code but could not relate the events. Him stealing the pen drive and receiving the message. Code was cracked and he could not believe. Tried to sleep but couldn’t despite a serious attempt. At last his senses surrendered and he slept.




It was a big hall with glass walls working as computer screens. Images flashing and reflecting the creatures with multiple locomotor organs and a totally different appearance from what the people on earth have. It was the controlling section of some other place in space or some other planet. Everything was moving smoothly and those creatures were doing different tasks in groups on various screens. Four of similarly looking creatures were in the hall monitoring everything on the screen with something ties on their forearms. It was a kind of controlling unit on which each one of them was typing something. One screen turned off. It was unexpected. It could be a small glitch. It could be anything but nothing worrisome. It was assumed that it will be sorted soon and the screen will start flashing the scenes. But then another screen started showing something that was extremely devastating. There was a large group of those inhabitants moving as if they are unable to move or paralyzed. Trying hard to walk and falling in succession. The fall began and one started falling after another. In few minutes the screen was flashing a vast area with scattered bodies completely motionless. It was a shockwave and a massacre. The cybernetic system on the planet got attacked and the mechanics started responding in a haphazard manner. The shockwave took lives of thousands of creature due to the malfunctioning of the cybernetic and it could lead to further damage that could even make the planet extinct. The fear was prevailing all over. The attempts to control the damage and to find the source of the shockwave were made.


It was a place surely not belonging to the planet earth.

The place was showing the image in which there were the bodies of innumerable uncanny creatures each having multiple locomotor organs, unlike human beings, lying scattered. They were all dead. They were aliens and it was some other planet or some place in the intergalactic space. There was a big table just below the screen and one creature with different attire from others was on the other side wearing a long rob There was a large group of creatures standing on this side of the table. It was gloomy. The sight of dead bodies brought sadness to the group and anger for the one standing on the other side of the table. He was looking like the leader. His name was Keith. He started explaining. The language was different.

He said, ”How can we accept the intrusion and interference into our living space and the massacre caused by the overambitious experiments of the habitants on the planet Earth? A big chunk of our population has died due to malfunctioning in our cybernetics. This malfunctioning was caused by the radiations sent by the Space Research Agency of some country named United States Of America on the Planet Earth.”

“We just can’t let this happen and stay undeterred. We need to answer and a befitting reply must be given”

All present in the room roared, ”Yes, we must”

”Yes, we must”

Keith ordered,” Lets get ready for the attack”


Waylon could not believe. He checked and rechecked. He wrote something on the paper. Then again he repeated the process. Again wrote something. He did this at least 20 times. With every attempt, he was feeling a larger intensity of goosebumps. He did it. He did something that was going to change the human existence on the earth. It was looking like all the problems the mankind was facing were going to vanish in the blink of an eye. He succeeded in generating energy as it happens in a nuclear reactor using the nuclear raw material. Nothing new? No. He did something revolutionary. He succeeded in generating energy from the inert gas present in the air that is argon. He broke down the composition of air and extracted the most lazy gas from it that too not by fractional distillation but by chemically processing it under certain temperature with some other compounds. Making the lazy gas, manifold reactive was a big breakthrough as it could lead to revolutionary change in the way the country generates power. Extracting it from the air which has abundance was destined to lower down the requirement of costly or imported raw material such as Uranium for the atomic power generation. This power genration will reduce the dependence on the other countries and it will increase the production in the country manifold thereby making the country a production house for the world. The industry was crying for the power for decades and production was suffering. But it was time to throw the dice with a sure shot six




CIA – Central Intelligence Agency. The most trusted, able and lethal intelligence agency in the world. CAT – Counter Assault Team – The team responsible for providing the tactical support to the Presidential Protection Division which shields the president from an attack and to evacuate the president to a place of safety. CIA and CAT work in tendem. Together they make the most deadly combination in terms of securing the lives of the most influential people on this earth. They have proven their mettle many times and ensured that the president doesn’t get even the smallest of scratches. Security breaches and threats are countered successfully. Cyber attacks, Chemical attacks or Bioligical attacks, all were dealt with stern action. The person behind all the successful operations and leading the team was John. The Man was lethal, superactive, intelligent and had the reflexes and speed that can make the leopard feel shy. He had got the most covert and most brutal training and got selected from the 20 best men on this earth to protect the US president.


American surveillance system in space is unmatched. It keeps an eye on the happenings on the globe and any threat to survival is minutely observed. Far away, something was approaching the earth at a lightning speed. The satellite had sent some signals. It was not something casually wandering in space or moving on its orbital path. It was a spaceship designed in a manner that showed the signs of it getting manufactured on some other planet. Its speed was such that it was supporting the claim of it belonging to some other planet as, this much supersonic had not been made on earth yet. American surveillance noticed it coming. The head of the surveillance team was informed and he came running towards the main screen. He asked for the numbers depicting the coordinates and the movement of the spaceship. His eyes squeezed. The speed and the coordinates shook him immensely as it was targeting the white house. He called the defence team and asked them to assess the possibility of any threatening or destructive material on the spaceship. He received a call back in 45 seconds and the info he got made him shiver. He made next call to John and told him that White house is under threat of an attack from spacial inhabitants. The spaceship was carrying some material that was multiple times more reactive and destructive than the atomic raw material such as uranium. The radiations were the reason which led to the capturing of the intent of the spaceship. This could lead to a mass destruction on earth not only impacting the USA but the whole world will be bearing the brunt. But Why White House and what next? The surveillance system predicted that the spaceship will hit the white house in next 18 minutes. The radiations traced were saying that whole of the city was going to vanish if it hit. John ordered, ”Activate the defense shield over the white house”. This defense shield is strong enough to resist a nuclear attack. The shield gets activated in 4 microseconds. The defense mechanism was finding the ways to communicate, ways to destroy it on the way or to divert its path. The warships were sent into the space instantly to destroy it. The warships attacked it but to a surprise, it faced every attack and survived. It made fun of the strongest of weapons and deadliest of defense system . But Lo! The spaceship entered the shield and it was all of 3.5 minutes required to turn the white house into debris. John decided to take the president to a safe bunker. But he knows that it would be of no avail if the warship succeeds in attacking the Whitehouse because the material it was carrying. Nothing existed on this earth which could destroy that bunker but that warship was not from earth. That made John worried.


Plan B was needed. The defense chief suggested that strong electromagnetic field must be made around the place of attack so as to disturb the mechanism of the spaceship. It looked like a saving grace. The belt was formed with electromagnetic force having the strength strong enough to beat the best. The space ship was just entering the field and it must have got stuck and stop. How could it be possible? John couldn’t believe. The space ship was still moving and it was just a span of 2 minutes left. Only 120 seconds. Was there any Plan C? No. It meant that world’s most developed nation with the strongest of defense system on the earth was going to face the biggest of attack and was going to see the assassination of its President. The Presidential Protection division was going to get the tag of a failure? No. For, it was John. He had the sharpest brain. He still had Sam and Waylon. Sam who used to turn into a metal shield when he centralized his energy and Waylon who had made Argon the most active gas under orchestrated circumstances. But what could they do?

John was someone who used to stare into the eyes of the challenges and do the unimaginable when it came to the devotion for the duty. But the problem was the time of 120 seconds available. Someone else would be doing the final prayers but John was undeterred. The plane was on standby, with Sam on it and in one room of the white house Waylon was doing something without breathing. John ordered something and Sam tested his reflexes for next one and a half minute. He initiated a process of extracting the argon from the surroundings and transforming it into a gas with a reaction quotient rising to a million times making it lethal enough to melt the hardest form of metal. The idea was to destroy the plane by making that big bubble of gas reacting with it and its functioning. But there was a risk. The Sam had to take the plane from the defense headquarter with the compound to start the reaction and further it could create an imbalance in the air composition. The Saving grace was the distance at which it was bound to happen. This could not be impacting the people on earth. Sam was chosen as he could turn his body into a metal and he had to initiate the reaction and so someone was required to bear the impact although minimal and low in intensity. The plane shot off and seconds count began. Sam had only 40 seconds to travel the distance of 1500 km into space. 8 seconds were required for the reaction to start and come into full force thereby making a big bubble of argon in an extremely reactive state. Another 40 seconds for the plane to come back. At the 60th second the spaceship was going to hit the bubble. It was estimated that 15 seconds were enough for the plane to get destroyed. Sam entered the trajectory of the spaceship. He reached where the reaction was planned to be initiated. He pressed the button. He released the compound into the space. The reaction began. Now it’s the time when Sam had to bear the pain. He had to spend 3 seconds in the bubble before he could turn back. The impact in the beginning was going to be weak but still, it was dangerous. He started feeling the burning sensation and tried to gather all his strength and to face the crisis. His heartbeat began to surrender. The plane was turning back and hopefully, he was soon going come out of the red zone. But the threat was far from getting over. The reaction began to slow down and the bubble started to show the signs of tearing. Nothing could be done. Sam was away with the plane and he got the info about this happening. Now Waylon was on the screen guiding Sam. Sam was required to move again towards the bubble. There was not a fraction of Micro second to think. He did it. But time was short and he had already got the impact. 12 seconds were all he had and the chances of survival were negligible. But he did it. He was entering the bubble. The environment was fiery. It looked like as if he was jumping into a ball of fire. The compound was again released into the environment. The bubble began to repair itself. But the plane started to melt. No way could Sam come out of the bubble. All looked Sad observing at the white house. But John had a brain with hyperactive neurotransmitters. He focused on the threat and the movement when the spaceship was destined to enter the bubble. He was to ensure the confirmation of the moment of safety. The spaceship was approaching the bubble. 6 seconds away it was. Spaceship hit the bubble. Nothing happened and it kept on moving without slightest of damage. All hopes dashed. It was time to say Goodbye. Spaceship was not showing any sign of slowing down even. Waylon checked the proportion and intensity of the reaction. Everything was fine but still the spaceship was moving at the constant speed. The pressure became nerve wrenching. All hopes lost. What's that? The spaceship reflected a crack. Life came back. Next second multiple cracks immerged. It was sheer happiness and smiles and hugs prevailed. The space ship shattered into to the pieces and those pieces were melting. White house and whole city was just few seconds away from being extinct. But Sam was lost. Waylon saved the City. The citizens didn’t know about the threat and they will never.

The Puzzle

Evan received the message and cracked it but not completely. He was caught by the CCA - Crime Control Agency and they found that message while scrutinizing his phone. It was reported to CIA as the message carried something really devastating. The files in the pen drive got the watermarks due to the system hack by the team of Keith to get the information about the planet. 

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