Nikita and Ryan knew that this was the most important mission in their life. They had served India in the past, on top secret missions of national importance, but this was different. This was do or die.
"ETA 2 minutes. Didi, keep your parachute ready", Ryan shouted out to Nikita, trying to make his voice heard over the noise of the helicopter blades. Nikita nodded in response, her face full of determination, despite the ice starting to condense around her eyelashes.
Since 2043, the world temperature had been fluctuating like crazy. Global warming's effects had seemed gradual at first, but there was a tipping point. The icecaps had started melting rapidly, leading to floods in several countries. Hot and cold ocean currents shifted from their set paths, leading to random temperatures around the world. Paris was burning up and turning into a desert, while Brazil and Saudi Arabia experienced heavy snowfall in summer.
After 2 years of this madness, the top countries of the world decided to take drastic measures to save the world. Top agents would travel to each part of their country in the harsh weather and stop the main contributor of global warming in that region. For India, the choice of agents was obvious. Nikita and Ryan were 'just kids', but they were brave, smart and intuitive. Being born in the Warming Generation, they could resist extreme temperatures, and their loyalty towards India was fierce.
"Mom says Mumbai was always hot and humid", said Nikita as they jumped out of the helicopter. Ryan shrugged. Below them was a white expanse of snow. They could see tops of skyscrapers peeking out of the snow, but no trace of the Gateway of India or other landmarks their mother had always told them about. The residents of Mumbai had been evacuated long back, leaving behind a quiet, pure, serene, white city. Nikita broke Ryan's silent thoughts, as always. "Which Mission should we pursue in Maharashtra?"
Their orders had been clear. They had to pursue 1 out of 6 missions in each state, based on what was the biggest contributor to Global Warming in that state. Their options were Missions Forest, Water, Energy, Smoke, Crowd or Garbage. "Let's go ahead with Mission Smoke. The air quality Index here is pretty bad". Ryan always knew what to do. He had the numbers on the tip of his finger, even knew all kinds of facts about the states. That should've been expected - he had grown up watching Discovery and Animal Planet, while Nikita stuck to cartoons despite being 5 years elder than him.
Nikita was relieved. Mission Smoke was one of the easier missions - they just had to shut down every factory that was still operating in the area, or put a filter on the exhaust. Forest fires were a big contributor to smoke in hot areas, but the sub-zero temperatures of Mumbai should make things easy to manage. "Let's split up. I'll start with South Mumbai, you go North to the Vasai Virar area", Nikita said. She hopped onto her hoverboard and zipped over to Nariman Point to start working. It seemed easy, with all her state of the art gadgets. Her Emission Submission Watch took samples of the surrounding air and scanned for pollutants, and then her Mission Transmission headset emitted electromagnetic waves that stopped the functioning of any machine around. Despite her speed, she was taking a lot of time because of the high number of factories in and around Mumbai. To pass time, she put some music on her headphones, nodding and singing along. And that's when things started to go wrong. (To be continued...)