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Пол O'Нил. Как Фэйз потерялся.

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   КАК ФЭЙЗ ПОТЕРЯЛСЯ
  
  Paul O`Neill
  Phase In Space
  
  Пол О`Нилл
  Как Фэйз потерялся
  
  Фэйз заблудился. Сомнений быть не могло. Поначалу джунгли показались ему довольно неплохим местом, - полно интересных птиц и зверей, вокруг много деревьев для костра.
  
  Сейчас, спустя четыре дня, все деревья оказались слишком сырыми для розжига, по ночам птицы не давали спать, и не встретилось ни одного животного, которое не попыталось бы напасть. Нет, лучше так: ему только предстояло встретиться с животным, которое не попытается напасть на него.
  
  Сейчас он блуждал в безлюдных и враждебных джунглях далекой планеты некого параллельного мира. А барабанный бой сводил с ума.
  
  То, что в безлюдном лесу никто не мог барабанить, дошло до него в тот самый момент, когда его ткнуло копье, откуда-то слева, из кустов.
  
  Он очнулся, обнаружив себя сидящим на поляне в окружении полусотни молодых женщин, одетых в меховые бикини, фасон которых заставил бы Ракуэла Уэлча бросить свой бизнес.
  
  Он сделал усилие, чтобы не ущипнуть себя, на тот случай, если он спал.
  
  "Привет", - сказал он, все еще изумляясь происходящему.
  
  Несколько самых молодых девушек (им было, верно, около 18) бросились бежать через поляну к глиняным сооружениям, окружавшим ее. "Мой Бог!" - подумал Фэйз. "Так они выглядят тоже неплохо".
  
  Самая старшая (лет около 23-х) пристально разглядывала его.
  
  "Ты самец"? - спросила она.
  
  "Разве можно ошибиться"? - ответил он, пытаясь побороть дрожь в голосе.
  
  "Несколько лет назад все наши мужчины погибли в стычке с племенем Черепах. Вопросов не задавай. С тех пор мы прочесываем джунгли в поисках мужчин для решения "проблемы детей".
  
  Фэйз снова решил не щипать себя до тех пор, пока все это не кончится, на всякий случай.
  
  "Что ж, когда начинать"?
  
  "Немедленно, если хочешь", - сказала высокая брюнетка слева.
  
  Возликовав, Фэйз потер руки.
  
  "Дети - там," - указала рыжая девушка.
  
  Фэйз смутился. "Дети?"
  
  "Да", - ответила блондинка. "Первую часть проблемы мы решили. В джунглях много племен, чьи самцы с радостью помогают нам. И мы очень заняты с ними, чтобы самим воспитывать детей. А потому любые другие мужчины получают эту задачу".
  
  Первая девушка взяла его за руку. "Не беспокойся, твоя жизнь просто пролетит, если ты будешь исправно пеленать детей и не попытаешься как-нибудь ускользнуть". Она смущенно добавила: "Почему ты так странно щипаешь себя?"
  
  
  
  Paul O'Neill
  Phase in Space
  Phase was lost. There was no question about it. At first, the jungle had seemed a nice enough place - full of interesting birds and animals, and lots of smokeable looking plants growing all around.
   Now, four days later, the plants had all been too damp to light, the birds kept him awake at night and Phase had yet to encounter an animal which did not try to attack him. Scratch that. He had yet to encounter an animal which did not succeed in attacking him.
   Now he was lost in an uninhabited, alien jungle on a far away planet in a completely parallel universe and those drums were driving him insane.
   The impossibility of drumming in an unihabited jungle hit him about the same time as the spear-butt from out of the bushes to his left.
   He awoke to find himself sat in a clearing surrounded by about four dozen young women wearing the sort of fur bikini that would have made Raquel Welch give up and go home.
   He very carefully didn't pinch himself in case he was dreaming.
   "Hello," he said, still quite dazed from the attack.
   Several of the younger ones (aged around 18) took flight across the clearing towards the mud huts that surrounded it. "My God!" he thought "They look almost as good from that angle as they do from this"
   The eldest woman there (23ish) looked him up and down.
   "You are male?" She asked.
   "You can't tell?" he replied, trying to keep the tremor out of his voice.
   "All our men were killed several years ago in a bizarre accident involving a herd of Tortoise. Don't ask. We have spent the last few years searching the jungle for more men to help with the whole 'having children' thing."
   Phase quietly resolved never to pinch himself again for as long as this lasted, just in case.
   "So, when do I start?"
   "Right away, if you like," said the tall brunette to his left.
   Phase rubbed his hands with glee.
   "The children are over here." Said a redhead.
   Phase was confused. "Children?"
   "Yes," informed a blonde, "We have more than enough men for the first bit. This jungle was full of tribes whose males were only too willing to volunteer. But we're much too busy having sex to raise the children ourselves, so any other men are assigned the task of looking after them."
   The first girl took his arm. "Don't worry, the rest of your life will just fly by if you concentrate on changing nappies and not trying to escape in any way." She looked puzzled. "Why are you pinching yourself like that?"
  
  Paul O'Neill
  
  Phase in Space
  
  Phase was lost. There was no question about it. At first, the jungle had seemed a nice enough place - full of interesting birds and animals, and lots of smokeable looking plants growing all around.
   Now, four days later, the plants had all been too damp to light, the birds kept him awake at night and Phase had yet to encounter an animal which did not try to attack him. Scratch that. He had yet to encounter an animal which did not succeed in attacking him.
   Now he was lost in an uninhabited, alien jungle on a far away planet in a completely parallel universe and those drums were driving him insane.
   The impossibility of drumming in an unihabited jungle hit him about the same time as the spear-butt from out of the bushes to his left.
   He awoke to find himself sat in a clearing surrounded by about four dozen young women wearing the sort of fur bikini that would have made Raquel Welch give up and go home.
   He very carefully didn't pinch himself in case he was dreaming.
   "Hello," he said, still quite dazed from the attack.
   Several of the younger ones (aged around 18) took flight across the clearing towards the mud huts that surrounded it. "My God!" he thought "They look almost as good from that angle as they do from this"
   The eldest woman there (23ish) looked him up and down.
   "You are male?" She asked.
   "You can't tell?" he replied, trying to keep the tremor out of his voice.
   "All our men were killed several years ago in a bizarre accident involving a herd of Tortoise. Don't ask. We have spent the last few years searching the jungle for more men to help with the whole 'having children' thing."
   Phase quietly resolved never to pinch himself again for as long as this lasted, just in case.
   "So, when do I start?"
   "Right away, if you like," said the tall brunette to his left.
   Phase rubbed his hands with glee.
   "The children are over here." Said a redhead.
   Phase was confused. "Children?"
   "Yes," informed a blonde, "We have more than enough men for the first bit. This jungle was full of tribes whose males were only too willing to volunteer. But we're much too busy having sex to raise the children ourselves, so any other men are assigned the task of looking after them." The first girl took his arm. "Don't worry, the rest of your life will just fly by if you concentrate on changing nappies and not trying to escape in any way." She looked puzzled. "Why are you pinching yourself like that?"

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