This is an excerpt of ATLAS by Gabriel Berm, enjoy!


The Great Crisis

There’s this moment in history when things can’t just hold a minute more, everything was falling since our own existence, we’ve always had the necessity of civilization, at least our last ancestors. All the world powers were getting weaker and weaker, the United Nations wasn’t taken seriously anymore. Our love for guns and violence reached the limit, governments started falling, and nobody is sure about what started all of this because it has always been in a decaying process. More than 90 nations were divided into smaller ones, civil wars were something people got used to hearing on the news. Anarchy was the law of the land, although atomic bombs were still forbidden. The governments, scared about the future, made a call for all the countries on Earth to stabilize the situation. The reunion was called “World Stabilization Summit,” after days of negotiation they all signed a treaty called “The Pacem Accords,” the “Pacem Accords” basically says that wars are forbidden and proposed ways to fix the world economy with the help of each other. The treaty kind of worked for a few decades, the stock market reappeared, and people started to feel safe enough to invest and innovate. Multiple technology companies were created, and the most powerful at the moment was “Maxwell Advanced,” with a net worth of $900B, the weaponry company controlled the 86% of the international weapons market. Because people feel safer in a country with atomic weapons, the Israeli-American corporation grew at an uncontrollable rate. Years ago, Maxwell Advanced helped the Israeli government take control over Palestine, and because of the neighbor countries, Maxwell Advanced designed the “כיפת ארס” or Ares’ Dome. The Ares’ Dome is the most advanced missile defense system in the world, capable of protecting the State of Israel from the best weapons the Arab world had to offer.

20 Years ago

The U.S Government discovered that Russia, North Korea, Iran, and Iraq have been successfully testing hydrogen bombs in ultra-secret test camps. When the president got the information, he called experts from all the U.S government departments. And NASA wasn’t involved at the very beginning, but it was just a matter of time. President Jackson called the NASA director David Gates and told him about the ultra-secret mission called the TEC. TEC stands for Titan Emergency Colonization. Titan is Saturn’s largest moon, it isn’t a viable second home, but that’s the only place we can go (apart from Mars, that during the past years, hundreds of asteroids have been hitting the surface of the planet, evaporating every single drop of water, apart from that, the surface is -because of the asteroid impacts- terribly damaged, and the planets heat increased in a 348%) Titan isn’t a paradise at all,  Titan’s gravity is 1.3 m/s2 compared to Earths 9.8 m/s2, it’s pretty different, also, Titan’s regular temperature is -179.5 C. But the reason the government considered this crazy idea was, the fuel, actually three-quarters of an average polar lake is ethane, with 10% methane, 7% propane and smaller amounts of hydrogen cyanide, butane, nitrogen, and argon. That’s hundreds of times more natural gas and other liquid hydrocarbons than all the known oil and natural gas reserves on Earth. So, a lot of fuel can power massive machines and technology that can make human life sustainable there. The water problem can be easily solved, there is water on Titan, but is frozen, so the crew onboard the first space shuttle will have to assemble a machine that liquefies and purifies Titan’s water. The project will start in two years with the design of the space shuttles and the logistics of the plan because nobody can know that the U.S knows that the world is about to enter into a nuclear war and probably no-one is going to survive.

19 Years and 6 Months ago

President Jackson suspended the missions, because of the costs and because of the crazy idea to emulate President Kennedy’s actions on the Cuban Missiles. According to the president “If America is responsible for the death of thousands of citizens again because of a nuclear bomb, we will no longer be a respectable nation but a miserable one.” The president started with Russia, he visited the Kremlin Palace in Moscow and talked to the Russian president Alexei Ivanov, Ivanov is popular for his eccentricities, he owns a couple of tigers and has a considerably longer hair than President Jackson. They talked for hours, but President Ivanov rejected Jackson’s Nuclear Neutrality Treatment. President Ivanov is actually proud of his “DT 893”, the world’s second-biggest Hydrogen Bomb, according to Alexei, is about 6 times stronger than the AN602 or “Tsar Bomba”  tested in 1961 by the Soviet Union. The Tsar Bomba created a mushroom that raised 40 miles, that’s over 7 times the height of the Mount Everest, it’s said that the explosion could be seen 1,243 miles from the event. World’s biggest hydrogen bomb (at the moment) is a property of the United States, the weapon called “HADES 1”, that according to the tests, is twice as powerful than the “DT 893”, but that could change in the coming years. While President Jackson was talking to Alexei, a specialized group of CIA agents managed to gather information from the place. When the reunion concluded, both presidents parted actually hypocritically. Onboard the Air Force 1, President Jackson received a call from Howard Neeson, CIA director, Neeson told President Jackson that the information gathered from the Kremlin Palace is jaw-dropping. Then, Neeson proceeded to list a few data. “Constant calls between Moscow and Pyongyang, emails from Sung Lee (Director of North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Program)” Neeson said, “What do the emails point at?” Jackson replied, “Well… I’m,’ I’m gonna read a fragment to you: Our latest test was successful, we experimented the DT 893, and it is outstandingly powerful! we’ll be giving you the progress report of the first cargo of bombs. -Sung Lee”, “Damn it, Damn it!, Damn it!!” Jackson said with an increasing voice tone. “You want me to read the other email, sir?” Howard said, “read it”, “…The first 23 bombs out of 40 are perfectly positioned in Wonsan (North Korean East coast) pointing East…”, “No, no, no, no, you’re telling me that these asshats are leading 23 DT 893 to the U.S?”, Jackson interrupted. Howard continued “…Pointing East, we estimate that the distance between Wonsan and San Francisco is 5,515 miles in a straight line, the impact will certainly destroy the state of California (San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego). We’re sorry to tell you that the range on the DT 893 is only capable of impacting California and maybe Seattle if we improve the launch pad probably we could be able to affect Washington soon.”. “We’re done.” , Jackson said.

“Sir, there’s still a possibility that this is a complete hoax.”, Neeson said hopeful, “It’s not…” Jackson replied hopelessly. “how many years they have been preparing this?” Jackson asked, “The first two bombs were assembled 10 years ago, they need one whole year to build one viable bomb, but maybe they doubled the production a few years ago. Data from Pyongyang suggests that the weapons are meant to be finished in 17 or 18 years.”, Neeson ended, “So, we’re on time,” Jackson said, “On time for what?” Howard replied, “On time for the TEC,” Jackson finished.

© Gabriel Berm



I See You

I see you, and I feel you
You talk and with that, I lose my breath
Your life gives me aid
The words you said
They leave traces
and now I’m scared
I did not believe
That a chance with you I had
When indeed I didn’t have
My soul cries for a kiss
For a caress or for a verse
I get lost in your gorgeous eyes
As a tiny particle
In this broad universe
Unable to express to you
How exhausted I am to love you
Each tear bursts into a thousand pieces
Alluding to what my heart feels
Your coveted heart
Worth of being stolen
Stolen by the vilest of thieves
Who has gone ahead of me
And before me, took it
Leaving mine
Quite shattered

© Gabriel Berm

The Silence

Lingering in this comfortable but lethal silence gives me enough time to think about everything we could have been if my luck had been different…

In this silence lie my thoughts and desires. This silence is equal to the silence you gave me in response to the infinite love that I gave you. Lingering in this comfortable but lethal silence gives me enough time to think about everything we could have been if my luck had been different, all the fictional situations that will never happen, all the kisses I dreamed of, this silence invokes you to torment my mind and shake my already wounded feelings. When I think about you every fragment of my body is terrified, my thoughts and body alert me of imminent danger. You carry with yourself utter grief and absence of love. My heart slows its beats to go unnoticed, so you don’t retake it. My apparent calm breathing, false facial expressions, are all I have when the tiniest memory of your existence drills into my thoughts. My tears tell me that they are about to burst into a profound and sincere lament. But just by looking into your eyes all the security protocols in my body disappear, and I fall back into your dark tentacles that drag me into the depths of a mysterious abyss loaded with terror and agony. With each fake smile of yours, my body becomes unsteady, and I begin to lose my balance. My nerves are altered and start to move incessantly, revealing my weakness to your hypnotizing and evil powers. Losing all trace of serenity when I’m in your presence. When you leave, my entire being suffers a devastating catastrophe, everything is destroyed, you have looted all the love and stored it in your impenetrable vaults. Once again I have to rebuild everything, one memory at a time.

© Gabriel Berm

Another Goodbye

Imagining that you would return to kiss me and I would feel those lips that were the closest form of perfection ever experienced.

That moment, that precise moment in which little by little our eyes start to open after the long dream of love. Only that countless times it hurts while opening them. Tho to many people it happens in a snap, to others, it is a much more tortuous process. Apparently, the grace to finally awake from the dream of love, full of arranged lies, contaminated kisses and rehearsed hugs, at the end has to hurt. At least you have to experience some pain, a little or a lot, that is irrelevant, but it must hurt. To see that person whom I believed to be perfect and in spite of seeing her entirely in a physical way, or why not, perfect in general, that pain in your chest that increases in quantity and strength with each heartbeat. To see from another point of view the stage where everything ended and to think that what I could have done while every tear slides down the cheeks as a growing pain penetrates the deepest of my feelings. Remember all those moments of joy and not be able to avoid wanting to repeat them, remember the day we met and feel how much in love you used to be. Feel like the world falls piece by piece to the compass of every minute passing away from it. Create a feeling of happiness and consolation to believe that ending it was for the best when my heart does not cease to shout for it to return and in the form of protest the eyes begin to shed tears by someone who will never return. Many wish to forget, but sometimes it is better to remember without feeling that sensation of agony that annihilates every trace of delight and happiness. To lie down in bed and remember the happiest day of the relationship and wish for it to last forever. Noticing how everyone laughs with ease and I don’t stop thinking about that person who made every day, night, week and month worth living for. Looking at the calendar and fix the look on our anniversary, without being able to avoid many other tears pour. Sleeping every day knowing that I won’t receive a “good morning” message when I wake up and get home without waiting for a call asking about my day. Listening to songs that once seemed to describe that particular person and now they are nothing but lyrics with a rhythm that burst in the heart and pierces it like thorns. To see those photographs that we took together and to know that they’re nothing but a testimony of what we used to have, that instead of provoking a smile those photos cause a persistent pain, a feeling of anguish and solitude. Imagining that you would return to kiss me and I would feel those lips that were the closest form of perfection ever experienced. Remembering those eyes that exhibit a soul that seemed to match with mine. Wanting to forget all of that to stop suffering, to exterminate all memories of her and as if nothing had happened to see how the heart starts to function in a fully natural way. To hope that our paths have never been intertwined in order prevent all this affliction, to forget every kiss, every caress, every hug and every word. But sometimes we want things, but they’re not always what actually favors us, and life will not intervene for us. Having to face the pain, the misfortune, the sadness and every tear until there comes the point where she is just someone else across the store, and there, right there, I’ll be entirely happy. Maybe eventually someone else will come into my life to whom I will have to recite all these words while my voice breaks and everything starts again.

© Gabriel Berm

Without You

You have reasons not to love me and I love them, just as I love you.

It’s a new feeling, without expecting it, I can feel like a little tear slips down my cheek, in this tear, are you. Every cubic inch of you is in this small tear. With each tear my soul begins to purify itself, it begins to cleanse all the feelings that I feel for you, one drop at a time. My sad heart beats unselfishly as my hands shake. Dilemma invades my thoughts. Wishing for what never happened, accompanied by tears composed of something more than water and glucose. Dying for a kiss, a word, a sign of affection. Within me the memories that I have with you burst, while I feel like with every minute that I am not with you, my heart desires to stop beating. You have reasons not to love me, and I love them, just as I love you. The old habit of imagining that there might be something between us. You are like a miracle, so unlikely that you begin to doubt its existence. I could ramble for a whole year hooked on those beautiful brown eyes that are just above a perfect nose, making a perfect match with the fine hair that covers your head, back, and shoulders. I placed my soul on offer, and you did not accept it. There it will stay in the windowpane of broken hearts, waiting for a buyer. Our paths crossed for nothing more than a passing friendship. My desire to have your travels by train to the heartbreak avenue. I offered you a castle, my heart that needs to be ruled by a princess will be left without a ruler. Death comes by because of the sound of sadness that my whole being screams knowing that I will never be with you. My feelings are overshadowed by your simple existence. While my eyes reveal a sense of pure sadness and indefinite love. Every time I close my eyelids, my heart speeds up because there you are. Awakening, the first image that comes to my mind is one of yours. I know I’m not enough for someone of your worth, but without you, I’m like a saint without paradise or like a ship without a captain. I am as sad as a dog abandoned for decades or as a thought derived from some possible situation that never happened. Until always, I love you.

© Gabriel Berm

My Greatest Error

Perhaps it was senseless to me to believe in what my passionate eyes told me and what my heart, drunk with love, indicated me.

Maybe my mistake was to be the best person I could’ve been, to open myself completely to you, to reveal my deepest secrets, my greatest desires, to be faithful to you, to listen to you when you needed it, to think all day about ways to make you happy and at night to dream about you, hoping that it would never end, figure a future with you, rarely thinking of doing something in which you were not included, succumb myself in your eyes and fall in love with your smile with every minute that passed, listen to ridiculous love songs and not be able to avoid thinking about you. It may be that my mistake has been to be for you when you need me, regardless of the time or day. Also, my mistake might have been the fact that at some point I actually believed you loved me as much as you told me, to think that love could be more than just a temporary illusion. Be willing to go to the end of the world for you. Now I know that losing you was not to be left with nothing but to lose it all. That my greatest nightmare was to imagine the moment when we would no longer be together. It could also be that my big mistake was to put you like the most treasured thing in my life and very foolishly believe that it would never end and that it would not hurt as much as it hurts now. To think about what we used to be and without being able to avoid it, feel like every tear makes a slow and tragic journey into loneliness, lack of love and melancholy. Trying to think of anything but you, but forget that for me you were everything and, sorrowfully, everything reminds me of you. Blindly love you as newborn loves life, thinking that you could somehow be the one. Supposing you were incapable of hurting me and especially, that something could hurt me as much that you did. Perhaps it was senseless to me to believe in what my passionate eyes told me and what my heart, drunk with love, indicated me. Dream every night about you just to feel you closer, wishing for your kisses when you were not with me, and show off the world that I was with you. The most likely significant error was to believe every lie that I swallowed without even questioning it, to believe that everything would be okay and that at the end of the tunnel there was a light, when in fact the only light was you. Getting excited with every call and with every letter I received of yours. Now that I see you more and more, but still can’t hear me, to see how with each passing day everything is forgotten and as if all began again. Starting to feel some small signs of happiness that with fear of being annihilated by someone else come out little by little and starts to multiply, when suddenly you come back to my mind, and those small signs of happiness become misery, agony, and sadness. The tears get back to work, and the heart collapses again on its own ruins, with every memory of you, my body protests and feels powerlessness, almost on the verge of grief, believe that maybe, just maybe everything could become whole again. Still, that does not reassure the incessant attacks of despair that overrun me, to know that you are happy to be without me shatters my already crushed heart. Not wanting to know anything about you and wanting with all my strength to escape from this world to make sure I never see you again, becomes more and more difficult, I don’t want to see you, I don’t want to cry, I don’t want to suffer but one thing is to want, and another very different is having the ability to actually do it, one is before the other, who knows, maybe I will, but that will not keep me from writing these words, so I do not despair and allow your presence to take over me. Maybe my mistake was to love you more, but first of all, it was to love you.

© Gabriel Berm

There She Was

I felt the heat of a thousand suns when I heard her frail voice…

And there she was, sat a few feet away from me, with those deep brown eyes and her characteristic charming smile. So close that I could swear I was able to smell her perfume. So close but incalculably far away, almost unreachable. Her beauty trapped me immediately, I was able to see in her what others couldn’t. My eyes placed over her but my mind rambled for the great and poorly explored valley of love. I was able to feel my heart beating harder and longer with every second. Being completely lost, she turned her head, and when she saw me our eyes met, I felt how my heart stopped for a few moments because I wasn’t able to handle her grace. That profound and sincere sight, that she owns is just marvelous. Every inch of my body shouted to go after her. As I was getting closer, slowly and carefully with the idea not to make a wrong impression, I’m astonished because each step I made towards her, the more beautiful she looked, I felt the heat of a thousand suns when I heard her frail voice. Now I could really smell her perfume, but even though I was just a few feet away from her, we were unimaginably far away. I could fill a book with everything that passed through my mind the moment I saw her. We were talking for few minutes, I couldn’t believe it. Marveled by her, I leave with a feeling that a lot of people say they’ve felt, but just a few really have. Simply by imagining her, instantly makes my heart beats stronger and I get lost in memories that will never happen.

© Gabriel Berm

Lost In You

Losing myself with every inch of your body and every millimeter of your existence, feeling as my soul was renewed quickly and gently.

When I look at those beautiful eyes that once looked at me too, with that innocent look of the two of us, getting lost in the beauty of your figure and the depth of your eyes. Your face, an incredible and beautiful masterpiece capable of competing with great artistic pieces by great Renaissance artists. That smile that illuminated the entire place while showing honesty in it. Holding your hands and looking into your eyes I told you how much I loved you, with that dim light that only gave the environment a feeling of incalculable purity. Seated at ground level, alone, each one of us lost in the thoughts and desires of the other, then it begins to build an atmosphere of absolute happiness, without double meaning, without hope of any kind, only the thoughts and longings of the other submerged in the waters of what is popularly known as love. Losing myself with every inch of your body and every millimeter of your existence, feeling as my soul was renewed quickly and gently. This moment was concluded with a kiss which creates a discharge of all those emotions and feeling enchanted by this, all of this creates a moment worth treasuring.

© Gabriel Berm


“Those incredibly beautiful hypnotizing eyes are as beautiful as the one who bears them.”

A wave of strangely familiar sensations overwhelms me repeatedly during the day, just when I think of you. That kiss, which was nothing else than just fun for you, it also was just for fun me at the beginning, but, it was as if a connection had been created, it’s difficult to explain, it was not supposed to affect me so much, that kiss only happened once, a little kiss lost in time. But I think of you often, most of the times without intending to do it, I only think of that moment, how I would love to have extended it longer, to have a deeper memory and preserve that moment forever. Those incredibly beautiful hypnotizing eyes are as beautiful as the one who bears them. A silky and indisputably beautiful hair. Touching your skin could send anyone into an ecstasy of happiness. Those astonishingly ordinary lips are the finest lips I’ve ever seen. A combination of inner and outer beauty, make an average but at the same time precious woman. All this being no more than a mirage, a false oasis in the middle of a hot desert, it is incredible how something could be seen so real without being it. It’s evident that for you I am nothing more than a simple grain of sand, perhaps not so simple, I am probably a grain of sand that stands out a little from the rest, but in the end, I am still a grain of sand. A bit toxic and dangerous, an overdose of yours would be, nevertheless I keep walking towards an endless abyss full of mirages, you being the most real of them all. I move, and I see you, more and more real, but increasingly far away. Grim destiny, living from the water of mirages in the middle of the desert, a desert that evaporates the water so fast that it can’t even touch the sand. Maybe you are not a mirage that I alone can see it, plausibly someone else shares this illusion with me, only that he is possibly closer, only that this depends on the Mirage itself.

© Gabriel Berm

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