In the Regeneration - the man-made messiah

Chapter April 26, 2012



Max stepped furtively out into the balmy embrace of the night.

You’re out mate, free….

Now you can step it up a bit… do something.

The bay was mirror calm and he could see shapes silhouetting the ships at anchor out there. Now there was form behind the twinkling lights, energy and life beneath that crooked slither of a moon.

He walked over to the sea wall and peered down at the rocks. The water was frothy, with a thick toxic sludge floating on the surface. As he looked closer he could pick out individual pieces of rubbish – plastic bags, bottles, even the odd article of drowned clothing lapping lazily on the rocks below.

It felt odd – something was wrong.

Max had looked at a map of India before leaving home. He knew he was on the west coast of India but could see the deep red shafts of sunrise pouring into the sky from just beneath the horizon.

How could he be facing east and looking out to sea?

He must have been on a promontory, looking back across the bay to mainland India. It was ironic – he was literally out on a limb, just as he felt.

“You have problem?”

A young man was behind him, smiling with undisguised excitement. Even in the heavily filtered light Max was startled by the blue of his eyes – one of his mates from the footy club, “Wirra”, had dark skin and blue eyes like this.

“Not really,” Max said.

The guy closed in a little.

“You look very tired.”

“Yeah well…”

It was a fact.

“You need sleep.”

This was another fact. Max reckoned he’d slept about two hours in the past forty-eight. He’d been hoping to catch up on the plane. When he came to think about it he hadn’t had a decent sleep for weeks. Leaving Melbourne had been one huge party he’d treated like it could have been his last.

“It’s not a problem.”

“My friend – no sleep – big problem!”

“Yeah yeah.”

“You no sleep, you tired getting. You tired getting – you small mistake making. Small mistake making – big problem causing!”

“Mmm,” Max agreed.