Sonchis Series – Signs by Author Ceyhun Kuyumcu
Signs, by Author Ceyhun Kuyumcu, is a science fiction novel that raises thought-provoking questions about recognizing the signs of an impending change. In the preface, the author contemplates the historical moments that deviate from the expected patterns and wonders if it’s too late to act on those insights.
Actually, some of us were seeing the signs and feeling that something was going awry. Within the flowing pages of history, there were some points that didn’t conform to the patterns of time. If we had turned our attention in that direction, we could have been better prepared for what’s to come. Is it too late now?
“In the year 1898 AD, the Pacific Ocean, 12,000 meters below the surface.
“Silence,” the clerk said.
The judge was entering the courtroom. Such a case had not been seen for the past 20 years. It was a mass rebellion trial, and the judge was a notorious figure for the sentences he handed down. It was hard to be optimistic within the context of this case.
After taking his seat, Judge Aeron asked, “Has the jury reached a verdict?”
“Yes, Your Honor,” the representative replied, and added, “They have found them guilty.”
Judge Aeron, upon hearing the guilty verdict, cleared his throat and prepared to read the sentence. “I have considered the matter and made my decision,” he said.
“I sentence Skullz and the other five individuals involved in the rebellion to exile.”
The room fell into a hushed murmur. In the back, two individuals sitting in separate corners exchanged glances. If someone had seen them, they might have been able to tell that they had supported the rebellion. Throughout the trial, Skullz, who had maintained his silence, thought to himself, “They will send us to the surface, just like they did to Donatus.” For the crime he had in mind, this punishment was not too severe.
A faint movement of the judge’s lips was seen on Judge Aeron’s face after reading the verdict. Those who did not know him would not understand, but his close friends would recognize that he was smiling. He patiently waited for the murmurs to subside.
After a few hammer strikes, he said, “I am sending you to Prop1. You will spend the rest of your lives there.”
“No!” the defendants shouted in unison, as if singing.
Crime was increasing in Atlantis. There was not enough space for a prison. Human technology had advanced, and they could now monitor activities far beneath the ocean’s surface. The Prop1 project had been implemented a few years ago. Instead of sending them to the surface, those convicted of serious crimes had their memories wiped, and they spent the rest of their years in this area. Considering that the average lifespan of an Atlantean was around 380 years, this was a cruel punishment.
This time, Judge Aeron struck the gavel with more force. “My decision is final. You can now remove the criminals to serve their sentences.”
Colonel Skullz and his soldiers were led out of the courtroom with their hands bound behind their backs. They had no idea what would happen to them in the days to come.
They stayed in individual cells in the detention center. Skullz couldn’t sleep. He couldn’t help but think, “Is there a way to escape?” Once inside Prop1, there was no turning back.
The lights suddenly went out, and when they came back on a few seconds later, there was a piece of paper on the floor. Skullz was exhausted. He briefly wondered if his mind was playing tricks on him. He got up and started reading the paper.
“Be ready! We will rescue you tomorrow,” the paper read, with Zeus’s lightning bolt symbol at the bottom. It was the symbol of the rebellion.
“I need to get some sleep,” he thought. “I must gather my strength for tomorrow.” In his minutes of contemplation, he drifted off to sleep. He never slept deeply due to military discipline.
In Atlantis, the concept of day and night had been artificially constructed. There was no light meters below the ocean’s surface. Despite the centuries of living in this environment, people still clung to their habits of day and night on the surface.
Morning came, and a red light on the wall signaled that it was time for a check. After a while, the red light turned green and then went off. The room had been checked.
Skullz got up and began his routine 10-minute morning exercise. After finishing his exercises, he pressed a button next to his bed to have his breakfast. The smell of hot food filled the room. He thought the appearance wasn’t bad. It couldn’t taste worse than military rations.
After finishing breakfast, he thought about his team. Had they received the same message? After some consideration, he decided not to risk messaging multiple people in a high-security detention center.
“It’s time to go. Turn toward the wall and put your hands on it,” a mechanical voice said.
One of the guards entering the room had his hand on the trigger of his weapon. After the other guard handcuffed Skullz’s hands and feet, he attached a special belt to his waist. If Skullz attempted to escape, the belt would detonate before he got too far.
They started walking through silent hallways. The only light came from the yellow warning lights on the walls. The door labeled C16, one of the rear entrances to the port, opened. A group of specially trained soldiers stood on both sides. The back door of one of the two side-by-side vehicles was open. Skullz examined the vehicle and decided that it had an extra security shield. It was specially prepared for them.
He moved inside the vehicle. Two burly special forces soldiers were already there. He sat where he was directed. His team members were also brought inside. “Good morning, Colonel,” said one of the officers. His voice trembled, and it was the first time Skullz had seen him with a trembling voice. When the entire team was inside, the person responsible for security closed the door and sat beside them.
“We will be moving shortly. Absolutely no talking,” he said. “I don’t think I need to explain what will happen if you do.”
Two vehicles started moving simultaneously. Skullz was concerned about the presence of another team with them. The simultaneous operation of hybrid motors filled the room with noise.
After a while, Skullz started snapping his fingers. It hadn’t caught the attention of the person responsible for security. After all, he wasn’t talking.
He had been with his team for a long time. They had developed their own special language. Snapping their fingers three times in a row meant starting a conversation. There were short and long snaps. It resembled the Morse code that people referred to.
After a while, his snapping ceased. His team’s expressions had changed. He had sent a short message: “Get ready. We’re escaping.”
As they sped through the water, there was suddenly an explosion from the rear. Those planning to abduct them had intended to disable and then conduct an operation on the vehicle. Their plan did not involve the motors exploding.
The vehicle began to spin rapidly. If the people inside the vehicle could see, they would realize they were caught between those trying to rescue them and the fire from the escort vehicle. The escort vehicle’s shockwave had already made the situation unstable. The rescuers had sealed their fate. The two vehicles collided, causing a massive explosion due to the pressure.
Skullz’s vision darkened, and he passed out.
He had no idea that he was the only survivor among those in the vehicle. He was extremely lucky. He had survived the explosion, and the mechanism on his belt had been disabled by the shockwave.
When he opened his eyes, he was above the water. There were a few vehicle parts that had survived the explosion around him. He lay on his back and gazed at the sky.
He had surfaced a few times throughout his life, even blending among humans. He didn’t like people, but he believed in knowing one’s enemy up close.
He had lost a lot of blood. While he was glad to be alive, he knew that if he couldn’t stop the bleeding, his chances of survival were slim. As he contemplated that he might become shark bait, he noticed a dark shape on the horizon.
He couldn’t make out what it was. It was difficult for a ship to be on this route. The shape drew closer and closer. When they finally reached him, he realized it was a Japanese whaling ship.
They loved to hunt at this time of year. It was quite ironic that the people he detested the most were the ones rescuing him. Life continued to play tricks on him.
A small boat was lowered into the water. He could barely hold on to life. When he was taken aboard the boat and then onto the ship, he could hardly keep his eyes open. They immediately took him to a warm room.
No one on the ship had any idea that it wasn’t just his fate at stake but the fate of millions of people around the world…
Read more at : sonchis.substack.com/p/sonchis-series-signs-chapter-one