It was done.
The final step had been taken.
I watched as the final switch was pulled. As the final cog clicked into place. The gears kicked into motion.
I was helpless to stop it. Simply because I was one of the instigators.
I bowed my head as I remembered the incidents…each one worse than the other. The first disagreement…the futile attempts to resolve…the wasted efforts at trying to reach satisfactory solutions: each one probably worsening the situation. Even as I had realised that there was absolutely no use doing anything, the logical conclusions had been reached.
And they had led to this.
I wondered; as I watched them go about their task. Did they care? They certainly didn’t seem to. Did they realise? They probably hadn’t got a chance to.
Did it all matter?
At this stage, it probably didn’t.
I thought of all the people outside…they all knew what was happening here…and being Homo sapiens…had probably realised what this step meant. What would they be doing? What would anyone do at this stage? Especially when you realise that there was nothing you could do.
Powerlessness. Helplessness. Inability to change events.
Man’s greatest fear. And probably, his greatest motivator.
And finally, thoughts for what the next few hours would mean. The effects had never been seen before. I shuddered as the possibilities ran through my mind. Each one was equally sickening, each one was equally heart wrenching.
Each one was equally unimaginable.
Barrenness. Emptiness. Desolation. An undulating landscape: something not seen in the last couple of million years or more. The Earth would be stricken; a planet which would be incapable of harbouring life for at least the rest of eternity.
What other effect could you expect from nuclear warheads aimed from one end of the world to the other?
To imagine this started because of the squabbling of two nations over some sixty-seven thousand square miles of area located between them.
Jammu and Kashmir. India and Pakistan.
And to imagine that was going to cause the devastation of the two hundred million square miles of Earth.
Even at what was probably one of mankind’s last recorded moments of sanity, Life had thought it fit to assert its innate irony.
I looked down and offered a silent prayer.
For mankind. To whoever is our higher authority. For perpetuity.
The day after tomorrow. The end of the world.
© Satish E Viswanath 2005