The country of Corolia is at the verge of extinction. Only Portia has
the fortune to reverse the dreadful fate of the country. But will she be
able to accomplish what is best for the world, keeping in view her role
as a human being


I woke up with a start. My eyes scanned a familiar white ceiling
beneath painted lilac flowers flowing in all directions like a comely
corsage, in contrast to the pale walls around. Among the several
familiar objects, a silver metal ball, as small as an apricot, placed
snugly in a golden cloth on top of a bedside drawer caught my eye. A
minute ago, the silver ball had been miles away, in the hands of a man
who was aware of the power possessed by the visibly harmless entity. A
minute ago, my bedroom, the room that I lay in was not as bright, the
lilac flowers not so pretty and the pale walls not as crisp. A minute
ago, the country of Corolia was not in chaos…
Regaining my senses, I realized that whatever needs to be done must
be done quickly. The time traveler had successfully taken the world
back to where it was a month ago and there was no scope for mindless
self indulgence. In the blink of an eye I was up and about. I did not
intend on wasting the precious gift of the time travelling gizmo which
I was fortunate enough to procure from its inventor, Ian Crawford.
“You intend to use the Cronus to prevent the mass destruction which
will soon dissolve most of the people here and I will not deny us or
any other person a chance to survive. But Portia, my dear, remember
that you have only a month. Cronus cannot be reused”, Dr. Ian had said
while he handed me the gadget, Cronus, to time travel, and inferred
that he trusted me.
Without further ado, I leaped across my bedroom in one swift motion
and drove to 111 Baskin Street, St. Petersburg, Corolia, the place
where the conspiracy surfaced. The ruins of a fifty year old abandoned
mansion, located at the end of the deserted Baskin Street, housed the
surreptitious conference of ‘The Totem’, a group established a year
ago with the motive of starting a new way of life. About forty people,
having powerful designations in distinct departments of the Corolian
government constituted The Totem. One of them was I, Portia Ivanov,
Ministry of Internal Affairs.
“Corrupt, unjust, repugnant. It’s the year 2021 and yet the Corolian
government is all those things. Remember, comrades, why we are here.
It is our duty towards our nation, our people, our family and
generations to come. Corolia needs a new and better way of life.
Increases in crime rates are drastic, living conditions are pathetic,
overpopulation has caused shortage of food supplies, citizens brawl
over petty issues and behave like animals. But unlike animals, these
people refuse to be tamed. Worst of all, our neighboring countries
seek vengeance for the wars we had waged years ago. They would rather
enjoy our annihilation than help us recover”, I heard Mr. Steve Munez
address the assembly as I entered the secret chamber.
Darting a quick glance at my apparition, he continued,”Well, Miss
Portia here has come with a solution to the problem at hand. As the
superior authorities await a miracle to change the terrible fate of
our nations, we must take the matter into our hands.” Steve opened his
palm and looked at me; cue for me to hand him the silver ball. Despite
my body trying to refrain me, I complied. Steve gave me a wry smile
and received reciprocation.
The tiny silver ball was a prototype. The Totem’s confidential lab
contained about a thousand such working models. Each ball contained
enormous amount of xerophrodite, an element that could easily
suffocate twenty thousand people to death. Using these balls filled
with xerophrodite in public places and infiltrating gas lines and
water pipes with this hazardous element, was the Totem’s master plan
to eliminate the Corolian population, save a few who would then be
responsible to build a new Corolia, an ideal nation. The process was
to begin today but xerophrodite would take nearly a month to kill a
person once it enters its system, slowly disabling all his vital
Steve finished his speech and the conference was adjourned. Soon,
xerophrodite would enter the lungs of at least two million people in a
population of 2.1 million. I observed him carefully as he walked to
the door. I knew that time was running out but suppressed the urge to
check my watch. I took a deep breath and started counting in reverse
under my breath.”Ten, nine, eight, seven…”
It was now or never. The lives of an enormous population of people were
at stake and I could save them all if I ran out the door and talked to
Steve. A horrendous nation harboring a terrible set of human beings,
but human beings nevertheless. It was not up to mere human beings to
decide the fate of fellow beings, it is up to God and God gives his
children second chances. Even Corolia could recover and restore its
lost glory. I had agreed to help the Totem, but now, I see things with
a new perspective. I have seen people dying, corpses stacked in piles
on the street, the surviving few moaning over the loss of their loved
ones. After all, I travelled back in time to prevent this.
I rushed out the door and paced towards Steve. He turned around and
shot a bewildered look at me, “What’s the matter, Portia? We are so
close to our destiny. After a month, the remaining citizens, us, will
set up a new government, a new way of life, a perfect nation where
nobody dies of hunger, they all live in sanitary conditions and help
each other, the way an ideal nation is meant to be.”
I pondered for words to reply but none escaped my mouth. My throat
dried, my heart raced and I opened my mouth to tell Munez to stop this
as it was outrageous but I did not. I wanted to tell him that this was
madness. I closed my eyes for a moment and tried to calm down.”You are
right, Steve. We will bring back happiness to our country and once we
achieve it, not a single person will remember this”, I said with a
straight face. Steve stroked my shoulder and walked away, leaving me
alone with my thoughts.
Sometimes, we cannot leave things up to God. There is a reason He has
blessed us with the ability to think and analyze. There is no good or
evil, just timing. What is good for a certain period of time may turn
evil for another period of time. Sometimes, sacrifices must be made to
pave way for a better life in the long run. I decided to sacrifice the
lives of my fellow beings in order to give their own children a better