The Past in the Present

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The Journey Begins

"All ready?" spoke Surya's voice through a megaphone.

"Yes" replied the rest, putting on their seat belts and keeping their things in place.

Jaya pushed a lever and entered the date: 01/01/1729 BCE. Then he pressed a button and entered a code: CC2388, which activated fifteen machines in 'Jaya' to make it move back in time.

"Why did you choose '1729'?" asked Surya.

"No idea. It just occurred to me" replied Jaya.

"Are you sure about this?" asked Surya.

"I am. Atleast, there is no fault on my part" said Jaya.

"We are a team. We are together. If one of us makes a mistake then it is everybody's fault. We must not separate ourselves at any cost" said Surya seriously.

"All right" said Jaya. "We begin our journey at this moment".

Everything seemed it was right. The machine was humming softly due to the amount of parts it had. The front engine-like part was throbbing dangerously, but Jaya dismissed that it was normal.

"I have a bad feeling about this" said Mrityu.

"There is no need. Believe in me" said Jaya.

There was a loud noise as the six witnessed their surroundings swirl around them. They could not express their fright as each of them were proud and did not want the rest to know about their fear. Jaya wanted to control the way through which they moved behind in time. He thought that they were moving back in time atleast. He sensed that something was wrong when he felt an object hitting the bottom of the machine. Time had no other ingredient. So what had hit them? While he was pondering over this, he saw a large amount of objects travelling at a great speed towards him in the interface of the machine. He maneuvered the machine to rise and saved it from imminent collision. His mind could not register what was happening. Where did those objects come from? How did they come towards 'Jaya'? And that too while travelling in time? He then saw a huge round object through his interface. Its apparent magnitude was -35. But, they were not on Earth. They were travelling through time. How can they come across a star brighter than the Sun? He did not want to voice his doubts and scare the others. They had believed in him and he could not let them down. Strangely enough, 'Jaya' was not pulled towards the star. It seemed that it had very less gravitational force. 'Jaya' slowed down. He could sense it.

"I guess that was our Earth in the Past" said Surya pointing to the body in the interface.

"No. That is, was, and never will be Earth" said Jaya.

"Then what is it?" asked Surya.

"A star. But, its gravitational force is not acting on us" replied Jaya.

"How is that possible?" asked Surya who probably knew very little about space.

"Maybe it has a low gravitational force. Thats it" replied Jaya.

"Shouldn't we go to the Past? Did you take us to space?" asked a visibly hyperventilating Surya.

"Calm down, Surya. I have made a mistake. But I do not know what it is. I do not know where we are going to" replied Jaya.

"Fine. It was our decision. Do not reveal this to the others" said Surya.

"OK. Let us hope for the best" agreed Jaya.

They crossed the large Sun-like star without any other disturbance. They then saw three objects probably planets orbiting that star. The one closest to the star was red in colour - mostly. White clouds with grey streaks revolved the planet. It was slightly smaller than Mars. The second planet looked almost like Earth which was 75% blue, and had brown, green, and red concentrated in the rest 25%. White clouds were scattered, but were mostly present around the coloured areas. The third planet was a mix of blue and gold colours. Gold was predominant in that planet. As per the machine's calculations, The first two planets had a clockwise revolution around their star. The last one had an anti-clockwise revolution around its star. The star had only three planets revolving around it. Surya asked Jaya to take 'Jaya' to the second planet which was Earth-like.

"Should we name the planets and the star?" asked Jaya.

"Not now. That second planet looks like Earth, so it could possibly be inhabited. Maybe those people might have named these planets already" replied Surya.

"Oh, all right. What if we cannot communicate with those people?" asked Jaya.

"First off, that planet should be inhabited. Second, if it has life, then those beings should be able to hear and see us. Third, if the above two are true, their needs and wants should be same as us. Fourth, they should be civilised if we want to get some knowledge from them. Lastly, they should look, behave, and think like us, if we want to extract maximum knowledge from them" answered Surya.

"You are the boss. Our team will listen to whatever you say. If you order us to our death, we will walk into the hands of death unhesitatingly" said Jaya.

"OK. Now, steer this machine towards that second planet. Land where you see flat land" ordered Surya.

"Yes sir" said Jaya.

In the meantime, Soma, Mrityu, Arka, and Aryaman were enjoying Ceylon tea made by Soma along with Aryaman-made chocolate-chip cookies."We have made the seats quite comfortable" said Arka while munching on the cookies."Yes, yes" said Mrityu shaking his head vigorously."Which year did we plan on going to?" asked Aryaman."We left the choice to Jaya" replied Soma."OK. What about your super-powered glasses Aryaman?" asked Mrityu."I have them. Jaya has to give us orders to wear it" replied Aryaman."We will wait for him to give us orders" affirmed Arka."How will it be if we lose our way and go to another universe?" asked Mrityu."I do not know. It might be good or bad" answered Aryaman."Let us determine the possibilities of such a turnaround" said Soma."OK. The command Jaya gave was: A year which is not expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways" said Arka, reading it out from a parchment which had Jaya's planning and commands."Now try to find a year which is expressible as the above" said Aryaman."1729!" exclaimed Soma."It is the only such year!" "Yes. I hope Jaya did not choose 1729" said Mrityu."Even though I have the feeling that he did so.""The cookies are absolutely delicious" said Aryaman."Thanks to you Arya" said Arka."Not Arya. It is Aryaman, my dear Arka!" said a fuming Aryaman."Alright man" replied Arka with an air of dismissal."Do not deviate from the topic" said Soma angrily."As I was saying Mrityu, what if Jaya chose 1729?" asked Arka."Instead of asking me, why don't you read the parchment?" asked Mrityu."Oh yes. Uhh......but I don't find anything against this command" replied Arka."I will ask Jaya about it to assuage our doubts" said Soma rising from his seat.

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