Waiting to Inhale


As I made my way through the bustling city peak hour traffic in my new swanky ferrous coloured rocket wagon, my audio perceptron tuned into a painful cry. What was so noticeable about it was the excruciatingly painful manner of it. I tried to make out the source of such agony, using my audio digital locator binoculars, (capable of focussing automatically on a sound source, if pointed in the general direction), and I noticed in the view panel that the usual barren and vast Geological Pathway – 8 had lush green things on its either sides.
It was an amazing sight, not having seen so much green together in a bunch my entire living period. The word ‘trees’ was flashing on the holographic panel inside my wagon. ‘Of course! That’s what they are! I must pay more attention to my primitive-history lessons’. I also noticed that the ride had become unusually bumpy. I decided to check whether the bottom panels showed any signs of rust as even the slightest fleck of dirt on the panels could hamper the smooth aerodynamics of my rocket wagon. After all it was supposed to glide on a water path. The ‘fluid amplifier’ seemed to be non-functional. As I peered down at X069, I uttered a cry of surprise for there was no water under my wagon but I was actually hovering over hard, tangible earthly surface instead of fluidic surfaces like I had always been! No wonder the air cushion wasn’t uniform. It didn’t even look algaec or slushy as a result of being under water. Rather it looked very different and sunkissed. Till now the DA322I dial was not reporting anything intelligible on a quick reconnaissance of orbital data. Slowly but surely, my audio binoculars showed me from that hovering height, where the cry had come from.

Some creatures that looked like people from some ancient epoch were standing near those things called ‘trees’. They looked pretty outdated. For one, their hair was mostly the same color – brown or black. They were also holding some outdated contraption – it looked like an electric saw of yesteryears that we had read about in our online lesson of primitive-history just the other day. They were not using any mechanism, which supplied oxygenated air to their respiratory tract. What was surprising was that the pitiful cries of the trees failed to make any impact on those outdated people I saw. I wondered if they could even hear the cries. I guessed not, since they anyway looked so primordial, it was quite probable that they had never set their eyes on the extra sensory auditory nerve chip, forget getting it embedded in their ear for that extra range of frequencies.

I pressed the button labeled ‘transparent’ and my wagon soon turned into a gust of wind, with me cocooned inside it. I could have pressed ‘smell’, ‘fire’ etc too but decided not to take the risk. After all I had to observe what was going on. My aeriform wagon now made its way to the tree that my audio binoculars had zeroed in on. The tree tried flapping its limbs in a last bid to save itself from those people but probably the last of life had seeped out of it and its massive body fell with a big thud on the pile of its already mutilated limbs. The atmosphere seemed sombre and grieving as I witnessed the murder. The looked up info had shown that the trees had life in them. So this was nothing short of cold blooded murder! The other trees seemed to be mourning the death of this mate of theirs who had stood with them through sun and storm alike for so many years. I could see them shed leaves probably the same way a human being sheds tears, all the while knowing that the next one in line could be anyone of them. I noticed some ‘X’ like red marking on the trees. It looked like blood oozing out of trees. I checked up again – ‘trees don’t have haemolymph’. Then I saw one of the people marking all the trees with the ‘Red Cross’. Ironically this Red Cross was earmarking them for impending death.

The air was becoming thick with the screams of massacre and was getting unbearable. It was worse than any cataclasm that I had ever heard. I wondered how those people could be that callous. Suddenly the rocket wagon gave a lurch (or so I thought) and I found myself toppled from the couch I was resting on. Realization dawned on me as I stared at one of the screens on the video panel, my online lesson on primitive history was showing me the text ‘Trees – now extinct’. I looked at panel XO2 displaying the outside view. I could again see the familiar Geological Pathway – 8, barren and vast. My wagon was smoothly cruising on a bed of water. As usual, I was on my way, through the bustling city peak hour traffic.

PS. Note from the writer :
Hope you liked this amateurish attempt at sci-fi. If so, another one can be read here. This was written much before the Mars rovers actually landed on Mars

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