Ray, I have never doubted your judgement. But, I am begging to differ today. Religion is an important part of human life. You cannot just obliterate it from the new world!”

“Prof. Rhel, I understand your concern but, believe me, it is for the greater good. Look, how religion has brought this world on the brink of destruction. Three fourth of the population nuked away. The maps are unrecognizable and let’s not discuss the plight of the living one-fourth mass.”

“It’s not a religion, Ray, it’s the hunger for power that has led to this catastrophe. You also know that.”

“Fuelled by religion. Intrinsic human nature is good, religion spoils it. My designed world won’t have this flaw. There will be only one religion, the Religion of Science.”

“Oh, okay, but, what about arts? How come all the database regarding music, poetries, stories are being deleted before transferring to the mother computer?”

“That’s just a waste of time.  Storage cannot be overloaded with such nonsense thing.” Then, with a pause added, “Also, these arts will bear timestamp of religion, which is not  acceptable to me.”

“Ray, please understand, people need Arts, people strive on arts.”

“Not, when they will be disciplined enough to use their time more judiciously. There is no future for arts, Professor.”

Dejected, Prof. Rhel looked outside. The sky was its usual dark, just after the occasional shower of radioactive black rain. The civilisation on this world was on the verge of extinction. An escapade to a safer refuge was the need of the hour.

And the wealthy futurist Ray volunteered to help in designing the modern Noah’s arc and shift to the next habitable planet, discovered three decades back.  The current wealthiest person on the planet, Ray offered his help on one condition that no politician or spiritual leader be accommodated in his designed space shuttle.

Once Ray left the room, Prof. Rhel sat silently for some time, then dialed an intercom number.  The screen flashed 3570- Database Chief.

“Hello, Cheryl, I need your help.”

Cheryl is working as an assistant in his team comprising of ten people on designing an artificial intelligence system which can support the homo sapiens on the Azure. It’s the planet discovered in 2018 exactly three decades back from now.

She called Prof. Rhel as soon as she heard his  voice message though she was having fear that he might reprimanded her for the delay in hacking the password of the main software, but as she heard ‘hello’ from his side she got a complete shock as she never heard him sound so low since the day she joined his team.

The helplessness was evident from his voice but before she could gather the courage to ask him about it. He shoot a string of questions towards her

“Cheryl tell me about your progress in decrypting the password. Do you know this is the only option to save the database consisting of art in all its forms? Can’t you realise that day after tomorrow the maiden spaceship will leave from here and before leaving Ray will delete all the database of arts.”

“Prof, I am trying my best in fulfilling your command and I will do it, but this is not a cake walk it will take some more time.”

“I don’t need any explanation and excuses I am paying you for getting my work done. Your duty is to complete the assigned work in designated time.”

“But…Sir, I need to tell you something about it before that if I am allowed can I ask you one thing.”

“Ok fine, ask what you want except an increase in the deadline.”

“Sir, I am working with you for more than a decade and can easily understand what you are going through just by hearing your voice. I am feeling a fear in your voice. What is the thing that bothering you this much?” (Cheryl is in love with him from the day she joined his team but is unable to confess in front of him as he likes complete discipline at work and no relations within the team is his policy.)

“Oh really, you can sense the fear but why can’t you understand the reason behind it. The delay in getting that password is killing me from inside. Humanity can’t survive without arts and its in your hands to save it.

If you can provide me that password I will be indebted to you for my whole life.”

“Are you sure, Sir? What if I ask you something that you don’t agree upon?”

“First bring the password then ask such questions. I wish to see you in the office tomorrow with password. Good luck.”

Cheryl is over the moon on hearing Prof. Rhel’s words because she knew that he always stands true to his words and started thinking in her mind that while giving password to him, she will propose him.

She went to the workshop adjoining their office where the whole team is working and the master computer is placed in the strong room. Mr. Ray has put on a fingerprint scanner at the door of the strong room and only he has the access to it.

Cheryl knew about the fact that Mr. Ray is not an easy nut to crack. She decided to use his affection towards her in her favour.

She went towards him while wearing her self-designed gloves having multiple nano scanners attached to it in intricate patterns so that no one can see them. For the very first time while greeting him she shook her hand with him.

Ray and all her team members went home, but she stayed back on the pretext of finishing some tests on the AI system. She went to her cabin and from her gloves traced the fingerprints of Rhel on a prosthetic hand. She first reprogrammed the CCTV cameras so as to pause them from recording meanwhile telecasting the images from lunch time on Ray’s computer, so that she can easily access the string room without getting caught by Ray. Only during lunch time everyone leaves the workshop.

She successfully open the strong room using Ray’s fingerprint, without wasting any time she unlocked the main computer, but the computer has plethora of files. Luckily, after searching a lot she found the file contains password.

As soon she got the password, she logged in to the database and copied all the folders of various art forms in a minuscule chip. She came out and licked the strong room, reprogrammed the CCTV cameras to record normally.

She went straight away to Prof. Rhel’s apartment and told him about all the events that had happened after their telephonic conversation.

Rhel in his excitement and happiness in saving the humanity’s most treasured resource of life hugged Cheryl. She found solace in his arms as this was the thing that worked as a fuel to her mission to crack the password.

Her happiness knew no bounds as age is in the arms of the man whom she love beyond any limits. Even Rhel was feeling warmth while embracing her, the fragrance of her perfume is making him fall for her. For the first time being so close to her, he realised that her aura is the thing that was missing from his life.

“Prof., Do you remember your words that you will be indebted for me for your whole life if I can provide you the password?”, she whispered in his ears.

“Yes, Cheryl ask what you want.”, said Prof. Rhel while releasing her from the clutches of his arms.

Cheryl kneeling down on her knees and holding a ring in her hands said, “Since the day I first met you I am head over heels in love with you. Can I have the privilege of landing as Mrs. Rhel on Azure?”

Prof. Rhel bent down on his knees and gave a peck on Cheryl’s forehead accepting her proposal.

Cheryl put the ring on his left-hand ring finger and told him that beneath the diamond in the ring is the chip having all the database of art.

Mr. Ray called them and informed them to reach office immediately as he wants to have a final meeting with the team. Cheryl and Rhel became panic thinking that they might get caught.

At the office, everyone was waiting for their arrival so that the meeting an began. As soon they reached Mr. Ray starts the meeting. He highlighted the achievements of the team and thanked them for their efforts in making the voyage to Azure a success.


“Rachel, don’t forget to complete your painting after reciting poem to your dad.”, said Cheryl.

Rhel coming out from his condominium at Azure after offering prayer to his deity took Rachel in his arms and asked her to recite poem.

Rachel, his and Cheryl’s eight year old daughter who loves to pen her thoughts through the medium of poems.

She started reciting

“Humanity is my religion,

Science is my inspiration,

Mum dad are my idols,

Truth,honesty are my mottos,

Love prevails everything.”

Rhel and Cheryl while looking at her got nostalgic reminiscing about their time on Earth.

“I wish Mr..Ray would have been alive to see your point of view of balancing science and religion. The way you have discarded inequality in all its forms and still allow people to practice their religion at their abode. As a president at Azure you did wonders in preserving art in all its forms beside banning all the evils like extremism, riots,honour killing et al.”,said Cheryl.

“But it’s your support that helped me in doing my best to save the humans from his idea of society without arts.” said Rhel.


A decade ago when the spaceships were about to transport humans from deteriorating Earth to the Azure, everything happened as per Mr.Ray’s plan except the fact that he was unaware of the chip in Rhel’s ring.

After reaching Azure, Ray soon realised that to guide mankind to live proper life along with science they also need religion to strive. But, he regretted his decision of destroying the database before boarding the spaceship and shared all the dilemma in his mind with Cheryl and Rhel. That was the time when he came to know about the chip, he accepted his mistake of underestimating the importance of religion and allowed Rhel to transfer the database to everyone do that people can again get in touch with arts.

After a year Ray died peacefully listening to the recorded songs by his mother.


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Madhu Sudan is an engineer and writing is an inevitable part of her life.
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