Chapter 10

Written by: Hemali Ajmera

Jacques and Emily won the tough physics competition hands down for their incredible invention. Their inspiration was Uncle Frank’s brilliant drawing. They had used the principle of ‘cloaking’ to develop a foolproof instrument that the gaming industry could effectively use to ‘look through’ screens to rewire the electronic configuration of any device or gaming portal without having to open or disassemble it.  

 

Bernard was highly impressed with Jacques’ success. He expressed his desire to take Jacques under his wing and pay for his college education. Jacques was initially ecstatic over this proposal but something inside his head told him that he was headed in the wrong direction. 

 

Curiosity led Jacques to undertake some exhaustive research about Bernard on Google. A long list of inventions and patents were listed under Bernard’s name. He had also authored many papers published in prestigious scientific journals and he worked as a specialised consultant to many multinationals manufacturing scientific equipment, making him a very wealthy man. 

 

Jacques thought about his uncle - a single, lonely scientific genius who had never really cared about the commercial value of his inventions or the lure of fame. The endless feud between Jacques’ stoic father and his genial uncle had only increased Frank’s unconditional love for Jacques. Jacques was the only real family Frank had. 

 

The fact that Frank had hidden the cloak drawing in a chapter on Hades in a book on Greek mythology also intrigued Jacques. He soon uncovered information about the ‘Cap of Hades’ - an invisibility helmet given by Cyclops to Hades to help the gods battle the Titans. Could this be a forewarning from Frank regarding an adversary?

 

Jacques read some of Bernard’s papers and researched his inventions. He realised that his Uncle had often discussed the same things. Jacques knew that Frank and Bernard had been close friends. Had Bernard been involved in intellectual plagiarism by stealing and cashing in on his friend’s original ideas? This, and the mystery of Frank’s premature death in a freak accident, sent alarm bells ringing in Jacques’ head.

 

Jacques began to suspect Bernard’s motives. Why had Bernard appeared at the oddest of places to help him? Why had he insisted that Jacques participate in the physics completion? And then there was his mum; she seemed quite besotted by the crafty man, or rather his wealth.

 

***

 

Jacques rejected Bernard’s proposal, greatly upsetting him. He cajoled, begged and even threatened Jacques but the boy firmly stood his ground. Jacques warned his mum about Bernard’s intention – to use him, just as he had used Frank, to further his ambitions. His mum was incredulous and beseeched Jacques to reconsider. When Jacques’ father realised how Bernard had cheated his brother, his loathing for the man outweighed the remorse he felt for having treated his brother shabbily. 

 

***

 

Jacques began his junior year at school with a new resolve. He wanted to protect and take forward his Uncle Frank’s legacy. He wanted to build on his Uncle Frank’s legacy. This would be his mission. 

Comments

Hemali, what a fantastic chapter. A great ending to a great serial - or is it the 'beginning threads' for an even greater sequel? :)
Well done you!