90 Degrees

“So, what is the status, Captain?”

Commander looked quite awesome in the true sense of the word, like awe-striking awesome. Not the usual nice, handsome, respect-demanding, but truly awesome. He had a long beard which he preferred to streak with vertical whites, making it look much like jail clothes. He had many piercings on his face, the most striking being 6 rings of varying sizes right across his left eyebrow. He sat with his right leg crossed over the left in the middle of the room, and all his followers scurried around taking control of the situation. The ‘Captain’ was looking quite proud at this moment, and spoke next.

“Sir, we have taken control of the facility, and all infidels have been ousted, killed, or have been stored to be eaten later on in the week.”

Brain, who had been leaning against the concrete wall in a corner of the room smoking his cigarette, rolled his eyes in pure mirth. He didn’t bother telling them it wasn’t nice to eat humans.

“And what is this facility that we have taken control of?” ,demanded the Commander with a pompous air.

“It is, as the sign board says on the entrance sir, a Government-owned nuclear facility.”

“Does that mean it was owned by the government?”

“I am quite certain it does sir.”

“Well then!” ,said Commander rising from his seat in jubilation,”if this facility is indeed owned by the government, and we have taken control of it, this means we are now controlling a government-owned facility! Hail Zeus! Ya Allah! Hare Ram! Athena would be proud of us, gentlemen! It is time to celebrate!”

There were loud and enthusiastic chants of Hail Zeus! Hare Krishna! By Jesus! From the whole room. A few did somersaults across the room; one played some music on his IPOD and started to dance; sounds of corks popping could be heard in the background.

Brain winced at the unnecessary loudness. It was a small room, they really didn’t need to bloody shout.

The Commander, now looking at the entire room with an air of a king who has just annexed a large kingdom, went on.

”Quiet down, boys, quiet down! All that remains now, is to find out what ‘new clear’ means, and use it against the government! Will it not be brilliant, my fellow devotees of Confucius, to use a government facility against the government itself !”

Hail Zeus! Amen! Hari Om! Someone burst a party popper.

The Captain was literally bubbling over with enthusiasm.

“It is a nuclear facility sir, which my friends tell me the government has been guarding for over a hundred years now.”

“A hundred years!”, exclaimed the Commander.

Hail Athena! Hail Ceres! Someone set fire to a hoop and jumped through it.

“Yes, sir. The reason is that this place has nuclear missiles!”

“I heard ‘missiles’  comrades! How extraordinary!”

Brain felt sure the Commander had no idea what a missile was.

Hail! Hail!

“Simmer down and listen, boys! Now, tell me, Captain, when can we meet Miss Syles?”

“Three cheers for Miss Syles!” someone shouted from the back of the room, pumping his fist in the air.

“Yes thank you, Moses, but this is a great time to learn about this place, cheer later. And listen carefully”, said Commander in a fatherly manner.

Listen! Listen! Hail! Loud “shh”s ran through the room. How dramatic, thought Brain.

“Well sir, I am sorry to let you down, it is not a woman sir, but a missile. Its a bomb we can shoot, and it will explode in a big explosion, and kill people!”

Kill! Kill! All Hail Lord Murugan!

“Why, this seems to be just what we need, even though the woman would have been nice too! Now who is it that we should kill first?”

“The government, the government!”, shouted another man from another part of the room. Brain was starting to get restless.

Commander beamed with pride. “My son, this is a most fabulous idea. We shall indeed tell Miss Syle to go and kill the government. Captain, bring Miss Syles here, and ask her to accompany young Jackie to the government and then explode. Can that be arranged Captain?

He leaned into the captain, nose-to-nose and said with great intensity: “Can I depend upon you?”

Brain had to speak up.

“Commander, if I may, one nuclear missile is not useful if you want to kill a few people. We can use a grenade for that. One nuclear missile can kill millions of people if we aim it correctly.”

Commander felt offended immediately.

“Brain! How DARE you! Firstly, you have been told to keep quiet and stay in the corner. And secondly, if you had indeed stayed in this country, and fallen in love with our people, and not gone to your stupid college to study for so long, you would have been smart enough to realize we do not kill our own countrymen! We will only kill the government and no one else, and this is indeed decided. Captain, take me to Miss Syles.”

Captain was feeling nervous, because he respected Brain a lot, but the Commander was powerful, and he dare not override his authority. After all, everyone said the Commander was the son of Asus and Nyx!

“Yes sir, the missiles are right here in this room with us.”

There was a great commotion at this, all rules of silence broken. Everyone became nervous and began to look around hurriedly. You never knew what the government could do these days. ‘Technology’ they called it. Tyrants. They began to search for this Miss Syles who was hiding amongst them. They looked under their left shoe, then their right, then searched their friends’ pockets, looked upon the ceiling, lifted the carpet and looked under it, but tricky Miss Syles was nowhere to be found!

“The first to find her shall be rewarded greatly!” shouted the Commander over all the noise and activity.

Brain spoke again. “Commander, please, the missile system is a computer-controlled mechanism. You just need to feed in the correct commands, and the computer will do the rest.”

“I do not believe you, Brain, you are a misguided soul who has not found God!” roared the Commander, and everyone came to attention again. Eyes shifted from man to man, until the meek captain spoke again.

“I apologize Commander, but Brain is right, we just need to key in the details of attack, and the nuclear missile will kill everyone we target.”

Commander’s confidence lowered a tad,”I believe in you Captain. Show me.” As these things go, his anger went up a notch.

“It is right behind you  Commander.”

The commander turned to his right. “Where?”

“Oh no sir, i said ‘behind you’ as in, in front of your back, sir.”

Now the Commander turned to look behind, facing to the left of his initial position. “Where?”

“To your left, now, Commander. Commander finally found it.

“Aha! here it is! Press Activate captain. Take His name, and press it.”

“Yes sir!”, said Captain, now very self-impressed. He activated the missiles and put them on stand-by.

Brain had to intervene.

“Commander, you need to figure out the approach and target first, this is not something to be done lightly!”

“QUIET BRAIN! I am letting you speak does not mean you try an scare me! Do not act like an infidel! I do not serve my country lightly! I do not love my people lightly! I do not take anything lightly! Not another word!”

“Commander, please, I am saying this is not a game, try and understand!”


Brain was howling all the way out. You’ll kill us all you fool! Think! Let me speak! This is madness! No one listened to Brain though, and then, he could speak no more.

Fuming and fretting, the Commander finally said, “So, Captain, what is the strategy of attack?”

“I say we be as direct as possible!”

“Yes indeed, that is perfect!” ,said Commander and slapped the diminutive Captain on the back. Smiles erupted throughout the room.

“I learnt in school sir, that the most direct approach is to be perpendicular to what you are approaching. I think the angle was 90o.”

“You have the God’s blessings son. Kill the government!”

Hail! Jesus! Zeus! Allah! Vishnu!

“Right sir. I will set the speed to as low as possible, so that the missile does creep up from behind the government, and kill them without them even getting a hint.”

“Brilliant, Captain. We will be immortalized.”

“Thank you, sir. Setting launch speed to minimum. Angle of launch… sir, are we sure we want a direct approach?”

“Yes Captain, we are no cowards, we attack with the surety and directness of Poseidon.”

“Setting angle to 90o.Ready for launch, Commander. You do the honours.”

“May this teach Brain to respect our cause, gentlemen! May the world know once and for all that the followers of God are not to be messed with! Down with the government! All Hail!”

All hail! Jai Shree Ram! Allah-o-Akbar! Amen! Jesus be with us! By Onuris!

“FIRE!”, shouted the Commander and pressed the button.

And fifteen minutes later, as the men of God danced around in jubilation inside the Nuclear Facility, and Brain pounded on the door of the room he was locked-up in…



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