Friendly Hills, Bell Gardens
DX felt very happy to return to his home. It gives peace from a hectic world outside. His home was beautiful and simple. Its outside was made out of teak wood. Daffodils bloomed at the path in front of home.
A direction indicator on top showed the direction of wind. A neon clock by the side showed the time to be 10:00 pm.
“Finally back home DX” K2 said leading him.
His mother Cherry Loise opened the door and came out with anticipation in her eyes. She looked very pale. On seeing DX, her face turned jubiliant. She went and hugged him. There were tears in her eyes. DX felt his mom’s love after 5 years of painful separation.
“I missed you mom” he said calmly
“I missed you too” she said “This stupid electronic mail never really got you close to me” she said in a stern way
“Come in. I made special arrangements for you today. I got German chocolates” she said brightly going in.
DX looked at Mr. Guldvog’s house in the neighborhood. It looked much abandoned. He realized how wrong he was when Mrs. Guldvog stepped out. DX for a while wanted to call her but seeing her quite ill and disturbed decided to do so later.
DX entered the house. It seems much more decorated though it might have been done only recently due to his arrival.
His mom and dad were on the sofa discussing.
“Dear… why did you have to hide him even from me for five years?” she asked in a self-pitying tone
“I understand dear. But it was strict government order. What can I do?” K2 said sadly
“But you both are legally my parents. You could have fought back the decision with law” DX interrupted
“Government controls law DX” K2 said sighing.
“By the way… what happened to Tormod Guldvog?” DX asked remembering his best friend
“He is fine… w-what could have happened?” K2 asked in an evasive tone
“Their house looks dull. Tormod used to decorate it with many Halloween toys.
“Oh… Er… he went to India… for… vacations” K2 said blankly
“Dad… Where is Tormod?” DX asked confident that he was lying.
“He has become a global terrorist” K2 said gloomily after a pause
DX received the shock of his life. So much could not have changed in five years.
“W-What? You mean he joined the Mystiques?” DX asked unable to believe what he just heard
“Yes” his mom said holding his hands
“Why would he do that? I- I mean… I mean… he was such a nice friend” DX said unable to recover from the shock.
“I would call it youth adrenaline” said K2 moving towards his desk “You know… college students are brainwashed “
“How do they brainwash students? They definitely can’t come into campus” DX asked revoltingly
K2 took a pamphlet from his book and gave it to DX.
World Rescue Order
Work for Mystiques… work for self pleasure
“Menna; the super addictive drug. In bars and pubs these pamphlets are commonly found. Pity even some police are falling prey to this horrible game of the Mystiques” K2 said
“Is Tormod addicted to Menna?” DX asked expecting the answer to be no
“Yes… unfortunately he is. He wouldn’t mind killing you or me if the Mystiques offer him Menna to do that” K2 replied
DX felt very unhappy. Missing Tormod for more days seemed too bad. Now it was worse as he has to fight against him. He went to his room feeling very tired. All items were quite disorganized. DX remembered how his mom used to scold him for not keeping his room clean. He smiled feeling that good old days are back again. For some reason, life seemed a cycle to him.
He saw the photos he stuck in his room. Most of them were of his and Tormod’s. DX remembered himself as a kid. He looked bubblier then. Five years in a solitary palace might have made him dull.
K2 entered the room.
“Remembering the past?” he smirked
“Dad… how did all these happen with Tormod? And When?” he asked
“Almost two and a half years back”
“Oh… why didn’t you tell me?” DX asked frantically
“Hmm… I didn’t want to disturb your five years of training in anyway DX. If anything disturbed you, I would have been held responsible” K2 responded calmly.
“What happened then?” DX asked realizing that past can’t be changed
“He started behaving very oddly. He stopped talking much, just talked a word or two and that too if the other person started a conversation… and then one day, he shot certain classmates and ran off. His troubled father got a call late night that day … when… he abused them and told them that he has left them forever”
“How did you know he joined the Mystiques?” DX asked
“Who else could have given him the weapons… and what about the packets of Menna found piled up in his room secretly?” K2 reasoned “Instinct always kills reason DX. Tormod however good, had instinct reign supreme… and the Mystiques are the ones to blame”
They went to the balcony and sat around a table
“Why do they do all this?” DX asked with a puzzled look.
“It’s simple logic DX. When people become powerless, prone to virus and drugs, they are the only ones left. And then, they plan to take over the world”
DX felt very angry against the Mystiques. Over the past few years, human suffering has more than trebled. Later that night, he was alone in his room. He fond certain magazines scattered below his table. He took one of them. It was a playboy magazine showing Maria Mala nude. Obviously his bedroom was used as a place of ecstasy by his parents.
DX’s mobile rang. He attended it
Anonymous Caller: Hello DX. It’s me Tormod
DX: Tormod! Oh…
Tormod: How are you?
DX: Me… I am fine
Tormod: I heard that you reached home today
DX: How did you know that?
Tormod: Never mind. Hey I joined the Mystiques
DX: Why… are u nuts? Surrender to the police
Tormod: DX… no, Mystiques are good people… not terrorists
DX: Oh yeah. They seem good to you because you get Menna. But look at what they are doing to people by spreading the virus
Tormod: Listen we need to meet. I can’t explain you all in telephone
DX didn’t know what to answer. Reason told him to trace his number and arrest him. Instinct told him to meet him and try to help him out. Instinct killed reason
DX: All right. When shall we meet?
Tormod: The Proving Grounds, in an hour
DX: The… what?
Tormod: Proving Grounds, located 10 miles from our home near the old base station. Ask anyone there and they would tell you
Tormod: Bye. And make sure you come alone… unarmed
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