Breaking the Paradigm | Chapter 4 | The disruption
The disruption

Breaking the Paradigm

Chapter 4

The disruption

Chapter 4

The disruption

Dear Ace!

Forgive my secrecy, but the situation calls for caution. Any leak of information can cause irreparable damage to the Academy.

I want to consider my calculations as an error, and therefore, I send them to you for verification. I have checked the numbers countless times, and every time, I obtained the same result. The instruments are perfectly calibrated. My only hope is you. Please prove me wrong.

The conclusion truly scares me—the gravitational constant decreases when approaching the South Pole.

Forgive me, Saint Isaac, for these blasphemous thoughts.

P.S. All my data, calculations, and conclusions are in the attached file.

Dear Poco!

I have looked at your data, and first of all, I want to thank you for your work. I advise you to read the prayer of St. Nicholas. I will review the calculations, but I want to tell you right now that you're wrong, and your blasphemous thoughts are appalling."

“Have you completely lost your mind” The indignant Clio shot me a withering glance.

“Don't get angry,” Fia told her calmly, “this could very easily have been a planned provocation. Especially if we take into account your little revolutionary club."

Clio and I looked at each other in fear. No one should know about our activities. For three years now we have been trying step by step to create a discussion club. A place where we could talk about problems and share our opinion about the current situation in the republic. We invited only the most loyal friends to the club. Only those people whom all participants unconditionally trusted. It is because of this caution that the club has always been small.

“How funny you are when you flap your surprised eyes in the same way” Fia wholeheartedly enjoyed our surprise “did you really think that in our time, twenty-three people can be gathered and no one will be interested in this? In theory, you're right. Nobody but me was interested. Everyone is busy with global processes and the persecution of the former consul and his supporters. But it could be otherwise. Now let's get back to the letters, and we'll deal with the affairs of your revolution later.”

"You are bad" Clio pursed beautiful lips, only she could do it like that. Her huge, green eyes instantly reddened and burst into tears, this was also her super power.

“At first I really thought that Poco was trying to provoke me,” I continued as if the H-bomb hadn’t just gone off in this room, “then I thought about it and realized that Poco’s beliefs are in many ways unacceptable, and in many cases they are simply ridiculous, but one thing is for sure, he is an extremely decent person and he simply cannot betray. Please move on to the next letter.”

Dear Poco!

Please forgive me for the previous letter, I really had no right to doubt your honesty. I checked the data, I think everything is correct. In addition, I found some references in the secret archive that also confirm your calculations. However, the more information I dig, the sadder the reality emerges. The conclusions are really disturbing, we have to think carefully about everything. I have already signed the order to summon the expedition and I will wait for you in the temple tomorrow. Today I will talk to cardinal Demetrius, maybe together we can find out what is the matter.

"You really are an idiot, aren't you?" Fia said to me in astonishment, and Clio silently agreed with her. "I didn't even imagine that the Cardinal knew about Poco. Nothing was written in the complaint about that. Well, this isn't good. And Poco is in great danger."

When they told me, I finally understood the gravity of my mistake. What had possessed me to discuss all of this with the Cardinal? I don't know what possessed me to take such a sudden, foolish step. Perhaps my subconscious was resisting such profound changes, and that's why I sought to spoil things by involving the His Eminence. Or maybe I was driven by the desire to awaken the Cardinal and gain a powerful ally. I don't know the true reason behind this decision, but I do know that it was a huge mistake, and both Poco and I will likely pay a hefty price for it.

"What time does their plane arrive? We should meet them or at least warn them," Clio said.

Clio was right. Given that the Cardinal didn't mention Poco in the complaint, the situation looked dire indeed.

"I don't know when they will arrive. It's a military flight. The Cardinal has no connections with the military, so I don't think they'll be in danger until they leave the airport. The city should be safe, but I can't say the same for the temple. The Cardinal holds great power there. Perhaps it's better to meet them at the airport and find a place to hide all the members of the expedition," I suggested.

"We'll do that. I'll find out the time of arrival," Fia said and called someone on speakerphone.

"Hi, Fia. I'm sorry, turn on the TV," a stranger rudely interrupted the conversation.

All three of us had a terrible premonition. For a few seconds, we hesitated to turn on the TV, but it was not in our nature to hide from reality.

"According to the Ministry of Defense, the flight was evacuating the clergy after a successful scientific expedition," announced the news anchor in a tragic voice. "In addition to the expedition, there were also civilians on board—a total of 275 passengers and eight crew members. According to the Emergency Situations Service, rescue and search operations are underway at the crash site. Given the power of the explosion and the altitude at which it occurred, the probability of finding survivors is minimal."

The news struck us like a heavy blow. The reality of the situation sank in, and our hearts sank with it.

The gravity of the situation weighed heavily on my mind. Could it be possible that 283 innocent lives were taken just to silence Poco? Could the Cardinal give the order to kill even one person? Countless questions swirled in my head, demanding answers that seemed elusive.

Suddenly, I felt the sting of Clio's hand against my cheek. Blow after blow, her anger and frustration found their release. I neither resisted nor evaded; I understood her pain and, in some ways, felt deserving of her wrath. Fia was the first to snap out of her shock. Gently, she encircled Clio from behind and whispered, 'Enough.' As if heeding a sacred invocation, Clio's muscles relaxed and her hands fell to her sides. No longer able to support Clio's now-limp form, Fia passed her to me like a fragile keepsake. Recognizing my touch, Clio let loose a torrent of pent-up tears."

I was consumed by the agony Clio was experiencing and couldn't hold back my own tears. I couldn’t gauge how long we remained entwined in our endless sorrow, but eventually, a newfound strength filled me. Almost as suddenly as it had arrived, the pain vanished, followed closely by the fear. It wasn't until I met Clio's eyes that I understood the source of my newfound strength. In her eyes, I saw boundless resilience, unwavering resolve, love, compassion, purpose, and hope. Strikingly absent from her eyes were traces of hatred, revenge, contempt, or malice. It was this very absence that led me to realize that this was only the beginning; we would persevere. Clio sensed my revelation and hugged me even more tightly.

Then, in a defining moment, understanding dawned on Fia, as if an invisible thread of empathy had woven itself around all three of us. Clio, her arms still wrapped around me, sensed this shift. Without shedding a tear, without lifting her head that rested on my shoulder, or even loosening her embrace, she spoke—calm, resolute, and undeniably powerful.

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