Chapter 16, Tresspass
Chapter 16: Trespass
The memo from Dr Mendel was held on the cork Message Board with a red pushpin. It read; Date: 9/5/04. Launch date one week away. There would be one final test run in three days, and then a rest period for Thomas, as the technicians fine-tune the beam for actual use.
Dr Mendel was sitting in the study of his rustic home, before the window in his darkened room; He had dimmed all the lights, and was watching an evening thunder storm echo through the valley. The room was hardly illuminated by the low watt bulb and a dying fire in the fireplace. The grandfather clock ticked the seconds steadily and loudly. He sat relaxed, in a pensive position staring at the motion of the trees in the wind, not mindful that his daughter had entered the room. She had seen her father position himself this way in times of stress.
”Is everything all right Father?”
He glanced up at her, and them turned his gaze back out the window. He rubbed his temple and responded slowly,
”My darling daughter, I’m afraid of what lies ahead.”
”You don’t have to worry about the boy, father, he is ready and will do his part.”
”I have faith in the boy,” replied Dr Mendel, “I trust he will not let us down,” He glanced at Leah,
”Thanks to your wise counseling.” He paused,
”No, I have graver concerns”
Leah had noticed the difference in her fathers’ attitude since “Yom Kippur” the Day of Atonement, ten days before. It was for the Doctor, the holiest day of the year, a day of solemn soul searching and fasting. It fell earlier on the Hebrew calendar this year and it had deeply affected him. He seemed for the first time since the project was conceived, to show doubts and hesitation.
”Your figures and calculations have been scrutinized by the finest minds, everything is perfect, it will happen as we pray it would.” Slightly annoyed, Dr Mendel interrupted,
”I know my formulas work out, It’s something else.” He took off his eyeglasses, and rubbed his eyes, they were red.
”I feel as if I am trespassing.”
Leah quietly took in her fathers’ words. He had always been a believer in the Creator, the Maker of everything; the divine ruler of Creation. She understood how her father now felt he was usurping the sacred throne, challenging the course of things, raising the dead, and having it turn out a grim parody of itself, much like the fictional Dr. Victor Frankenstein, treading where man dare not go.
She could argue with him how man was always challenging the barriers set before him, but she sensed in him a deeper sense of dissolution.
”Oh Papa” She said, walking over to his seat,
”You are a good man and your intentions are honorable, I am sure that if the good Lord had not wanted you to proceed, he would not have allowed you your success’s” She placed her hand on his shoulder.
”Always with a wise word, my daughter,” He replied, looking up into her beautiful hazel eyes.
”Many have come to bad ends, with honorable intentions!” The room was jolted with a blast, and then brilliantly illuminated with a flash of lightning. It splintered a nearby tree limb. The bulb in the room flickered then steadied.
”You know, I’m having Thomas do something off the record,” He said,
”I’ve trained him to recite a paragraph in Arabic to the last of the hijackers in New York, and to set him free to escape.” Leah’s eyes sparkled,
”You gave him a verse from the Torah?”
”Nothing so grave,” Laughed Dr Mendel to himself,
”I told Thomas to tell him, that Allah is not happy with their actions, and wishes to inform the clerics to honor all the prophets, as is says in the Qur’an, and to live in peace with their Jewish and Christian brothers. If they do not heed the words, Allah will show his wrath and in a rage, trample them and their holy places”
”This, after Thomas makes a horrible example out of all the other hijackers?” She added. The mental image in her mind was chilling, with the realization of the carnage her words implied, yet they were also sweetly satisfying.
”You know father, the Lord blesses the peace makers.”
Dr Xavier was playing a sloppy defensive game of chess, and was sure Dr Roth knew it. On this stormy night, not even a game of chess could remove the anxieties that crossed his mind. How would things turn out?
If the mission failed, would the results be scrubbed from everyone’s eyes that witnessed it? Moreover, given the success of the mission, what would the young lad face upon returning? Would he return to a world where the institute did not exist? The building was completed after the disaster; still, the project would not have come into being if the attack never succeeded. All the formulas were open ended.
Dr Roth captured his opponent’s queen; she would never have been unguarded under usual circumstances. Dr Roth, tamped his finger into the bowl of his extinguished pipe, a rich Sobranie mix, and set it down,
”What will become of the boy?” The question was one of many unresolved queries.
”Indeed” said Dr Xavier who had grown quite fond of Thomas,
”And what shall become of us all?”
The last test was an absolute success, Thomas intercepted the planes, saved the passengers, disposed of the terrorists, and was re materialized in Washington to prevent the crash at the Pentagon. There was nothing they could do to save United flight 93, that went down outside of Pittsburgh. None the less all their expectations had been met. Thomas returned triumphant from the chamber and beamed as he was greeted with cheers from the staff with smiles and high fives all around. Thomas was ready for the big day.