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Daneya (progress' victims)

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  Boris Mir
  
  Daneya
  (The progress' victims)
  
  Novel-dystopia
  
  The translation from Russian
  By the author
  
  
  In spite of the great importance we attach to the achievements of science and human prowess, it is obvious that only humanity that is striving for ethical ends can benefit in full measure from material progress and can overcome the dangers that accompany it....
  Albert Schweitzer
  
  
  
  
  Table of contents
  
  Part I
  The FLINT and the STEEL
  Part II
  The HYPERTRANSFERS
  Part III
  The VERY START
  Part IV
  The RETURN
  Part V
  Before DAWN
  Part VI
  IF NOT NOW
  Part VII
  On the EVE
  Part VIII
  The BATTLE
  Part IX
  The FINISH?
  
  
  Part I
  
  The FLINT and the STEEL
  
  1
  
  At first, Dan seemed to Lal exactly the same as all the major scientists of his age: absorbed in his work so much that he saw or perceived almost nothing else. But immediately, Lal didn't expect anything different, when preparing for interview with the scientist of such a caliber. Dan was for him, a journalist and a historian of the contemporary epoch, of great interest, and he has for a long time sought to meet him.
  Dan started brilliantly: just at 23 succeeded in solving a very difficult problem of increasing energy storage density, he became a doctor. But then he immediately switched to the problem of the world field-space-time, in what was able at first to get quickly quite encouraging results. Thanks to them, he obtained a coordination permission to carry out highly complex and power-consuming experiments and a large fund-time of supercomputers' using. Occasionally, he published some partial results of his research, valuable for practical use: he gave generously them out to his disciples, but he himself was almost never engaged in their further development - and then he fell silent for a long time. Except scientific job, he conducted teaching and created a course of some sections of fundamental physics; many prominent scientists were his former graduate students.
  He was now almost 150 years old. Like many people of his age, he was dressed warmly - in the free large knitted wool sweater, likely home-made. Unadorned absolutely. His head was entirely gray, but his eyes were young, lively, and his gait was elastic. While talking, he walked by even measured steps through the alley. Answered Lal's questions pretty willingly.
  'Even then, for me, not my practical results, for which I have obtained a doctoral degree, were principal: there were a number of secondary moments, obviously related to the fundamental properties of space. Then I was engaged in it all for all my lifetime. And for the present, to not avail.'
  Lal tried to oppose him. Listed published work of him and his students. Really, many, very. And what about the result of their practical use?!
  Dan's look became warmer. He as if first had seen himself and his work from the outside, with the eyes of this nice young journalist. But still, he said gently but firmly:
  'That's not it.' He paused and retreated within himself. Lal, also in silence, was waiting patiently.
  'Not it,' - just what we are eager to discover. It's heard almost always and of almost everyone. Just the leitmotif of the contemporary epoch that is seen as a universal deep crisis. Small steps forward are at the incredible price of labor with too little number of tangible results: there are almost no major fundamental discoveries. Now the main things are - refinement, updating and rigorous editing theories. And the rest - the improvement, lapping, polishing, super finish. A huge hard work - certainly necessary, but too little happy on the background of past discoveries, creating old theories: like lumps, unfinished in the details, not polished - but giant, furthering the science at once far. And convulsive efforts of the contemporary humanity to overcome, to get out of this state, that determines the whole style of life and many social institutions.
  'You know, sometimes some vague gleam flashed suddenly. It seems that here you grabbed the tip of the thread,' Dan began to speak as if he had wakened up. 'But then again nothing occurred. The thread breaks, the thought escapes. It remain only secondary results, but what you're looking for,' he looked into the eyes of Lal.
  'The great discoveries were made, when it was possible to overcome the power of existing theories, sometimes the most fundamental, seemed quite obvious and immutable. It's so long been known, but nevertheless... We are in the captivity of our ideas, our great knowledge.'
  'The inertia of thinking, yes! The gravity of knowledge oppresses pinning down our thought. It is no wonder that the fundamental discoveries were made by young people.'
  Apparently, that thought tormented him. And Lal had nothing to say - he tried to turn the conversation to another direction.
  Dan listened with interest. A young journalist, whose name was already known to all because of his polemical articles and books, struck him by the breadth of his knowledge. There do are people who are able to take in virtually everything! And Dan himself asked countless questions that Lal was never tired to answer.
  It was quite dark, stars covered the sky.
  'So much of everything has been lost?'
  'Unfortunately. Perished during the war, fires, natural disasters; destroyed on purpose or accidentally. But much was not clear, even preserved in ancient documents where there is a lot of such, that again becomes clear only after re-discovering, and before that was regarded as an allegory. And something else is waiting for its discovering, buried in the recesses.'
  'These findings, I think, are incredibly interesting.'
  'Yes, almost always.'
  'Tell me about some of them. The night is warm, and I like to listen to you.'
  'I'm glad of it. I'll tell you willingly about the very recent discovery - especially as it may be of interest to you as a mathematician.
  When laying the viaduct pipe, several notebooks - stacks of stapled sheets of paper - and also a rolled long sheet of paper with orthogonal grid of 10-3 meters and charts drawn on it were found. After the old numbers and letters had been replaced by modern, they have found that this was a series of differences of prime natural numbers up to 6000, in what the repeating groups, depicted as the same graphic shapes, arrested attention. In one of the notebooks full selection, classification, identification and names of these groups were given .
  There were two letters. In one of them - there were names 'Mikhayloh' and 'Odnokamushkin'; another one addressed to 'the great Vladimir Neyeshpapa' whom the author also called 'Odnokamushkin' periodically. The letters have been written by different handwritings. The language was Russian; the time does the twentieth century. The second letter was not over and apparently sent. Its content is interesting.'
  Lal opened a fan-screen and sent from his radio-bracelet a command to replay the card-index of his personal archive located in the memory unit at his home. Found the name of the document, he clicked it, and a sheet of paper ruled with orthogonal grid covered with rather sloppy written words appeared on the screen. The letters - later Cyrillic. Near the translation glowed:
  '... Being jealous of your glory of an unrecognized genius, the author of the stunning hypothesis of the gravitational 'constant' dependence on the fourth power of the absolute temperatures of the interacting bodies, I also decided to make the humanity happy by something similar.
  I tried, a tiny bit, between times, to investigate prime numbers a long time ago; but, in general, not serious. All the time there were some reasons: not having time, the reluctance; absence of a table of prime numbers, and where to get it - a dog knows. Obtained myself a small number of primes using the 'sieve of Eratosthenes' and tried to do something to them. And for some reason, almost immediately I was drawn to compare the difference between them.
  Recently at the bookstore a textbook of arithmetic with a table of primes up to 6000 turned up - I bought it immediately. Drew charts of gaps between adjacent primes on graph paper, which I dragged from work. Like just continuous chaos. Then I scrutinized: in the chaos there is lots of repeating or, at least, some symmetrical groups. However, I couldn't identify the pattern of recurrence, so for present I had not moved from what I have discovered, though dreamed briskly of getting formulas for calculating prime numbers.
  I think further to try just this: is it possible to connect these groups with elementary particles? There are similar groups, which graphic shapes are symmetrical in the vertical and horizontal directions or only in the horizontal, if a group itself is symmetrical. An analogy to the elementary particles of the same mass arose: the positively and negatively charged and the corresponding antiparticles in the first case and in the second neutrally charged ones and their antiparticles. It may be rather interesting that some groups may include other one or even more than one at once. Besides, it seems to me, since everything in the nature is interrelated, there must not be such mathematical regularities that do not manifest themselves in some physical phenomena. And because of that, I want to try to find the periodic law for elementary particles using these groups.
  However, I do not know whether I'll succeed in this. But, I desire so much! To be able, to get!
  Eager to meet and talk with you, because' the letter came abruptly to an end.
  'What can you say?'
  'Very interesting. Show the charts.'
  They were one above the other: the linear chart and the histogram. Groups, identical or symmetrical, were visible at once - even without standing over them colored marks.
  
  
  
  'Lal, I'd like to have this information.'
  'Do you need its address in the Central Archive?'
  'No. Allow to copy from your archive. Right now.'
  Lal smiled understandingly. The usual method: many people rewrite into their personal archives vast amount of information to use it in days off - from Thursday to Monday, when the connection of the Central Archive is disabled. That was one of the little effective efforts to prevent people from working in these days. Dan gave him a chip with his personal code, and Lal, bringing it to his radio-bracelet, turned on rewriting.
  When finished, he held out the chip back, but Dan deflected his hand:
  'Let you have it.' This meant a lot: a recognition Lal as a friend - having brought the chip to his radio-bracelet he can establish a direct connection with Dan, at any time, even when the external communication it is turned off, and the image of Lal immediately appears on the Dan bracelet screen. Lal was flattered.
  'Thank you, father of mine!'
  'I will be glad always to see and talk to you.' Dan took the held out in response Lal's chip. 'But now I have to go: it's getting late, and I am tired.'
  That was not the very reason, but that he wanted to confess to neither himself nor Lal. He sat in a self-propelled chair rolled after his call; Lal pulled out of thick soles rolls with a motor and rolled next. Both were silent.
  'Let's say good-bye, Odnokamushkin,' Dan said next a transport well, smiling slyly. 'By the way: does it mean something?'
  'Yes. It does Einstein: a playful free translation into Russian - their language.'
  'Well then, they were also funny people.'
  A cabin jumped out of the well and rolled aside; the lid leaned back. Dan had sat down. But he was slow, prolonging the last moments of their meeting, continuing to look at Lal kindly.
  High, 230 cm growth, well built, fitted close to a silver-gray overalls, with the only decoration in the form of a headband with rosette on the forehead, which a camera and a microphone - his reporter tools - are built in, such Dan has remembered him at their first meeting.
  'Is someone waiting for you?'
  'Yes.'
  'A woman?'
  Even a friend may not ask such a question, and Lal could not answer, but somehow it did not jar him.
  'Yes, a woman.'
  'Then, happily!' he touched Lal's shoulder. 'Where's your cabin?'
  'It's close.'
  'Then take my chair. See you!' He lay down into the cabin. Lal raised his hand in a gesture of farewell; the lid covered the cabin, and it disappeared into the hole. Lal sat down in the chair and rolled to the edge of the park, where open-work carcasses with multiple tiers of blocks-homes rose.
  It was good: Dan seemed a man, able to understand many things; with whom he will be able, finally, to impart doubts tormenting him; who will be able to understand him and maybe to help with something. Since, like many of his contemporaries, despite the large number of contacts, he felt too often surprisingly lonely. Because absorbed by their work, their own thoughts, people had little ability to impart the thoughts and feelings of others, and alike benevolent to all, were rarely intimate with each other.
  
  2
  
  The cabin sped through the underground tunnel, one of many going as a network under the city; almost all passenger traffic was carried out in them. Pipes of tunnels were dug through the ground by moles, which melted it at the end creating a firm and waterproof shell. Cabins had an autonomous drive and moved automatically after destination addresses were entered into them. All underground traffic in the city was controlled by the central transport computer, which, receiving and processing instantly all the information about the moving cabins, defined in a specific combined situation the optimal route of each of them, ensuring that it quickly comes to the destination. Thanks to it and a huge number of sensors in tunnels, cabins were able to move very quickly in the total absence of collisions. The man in the cabin, reclining in a chair, could look at the screen on the cover a program of news and announcements - a 'newspaper'.
  Not only transport was hidden under the ground. There were there absolutely all the plants, which production was fully automated and operated by computers. Their underground location had cleared the surface of the Earth for people lives and rest and, in addition, ensured the normal environmental conditions and safety in case of accidents, which, really, had been an exceptional rarity long ago.
  And over the ground people walked or rolled not very quickly on something. Everywhere grew greenery: trees and shrubs, grass and flowers. Even carcasses, which residential units were installed on, were almost entirely entwined with plants.
  ... The cabin with Dan rose through a tubular prop of the carcass to his residential block, located in one of the last tiers. Everyone had such an own block with an outdoor terrace-garden planted with small trees and shrubs; in winter and in bad weather it was covered with sliding transparent walls and roof. Mounted on the carcasses of several tens of tiers, blocks were arranged so that they shaded minimally each other. They were different versions of size and shape; it was possible easily to install and replace them.
  Their walls and ceiling were made of a material that was able to become wholly or in part transparent or opaque, to gleam itself, to change its color and pattern, to serve TV screen. The sliding partitions were rearranged and removed easily, changing instantly the entire layout of the home.
  Furniture and other household items was in the blocks a bit because all necessary things were stored in underground chambers under the house and, only in case of need, quickly delivered and then removed by a robot. Only a memory unit and a stationary computer were in it constantly. And more items made by his own plan or even with his own hands, serving as decoration and creating an individual look of each block - like plants, planted according to an own taste on the terrace. A robot made regular cleaning of the block.
  In blocks people worked, slept and rested alone; they listened to music, watched shows and movies, read. Except the one living in them, none usually came there, but people of the other gender.
  
  Here he is at home. Now... No: he must first supper - the more he is hungry. And he orders from bracelet milk with a rye flat cake.
  In the meantime, he approaches the aquarium, illuminating the room with weak light. Behind the thick glass there is an underwater landscape created by him: artfully stacked stones - gray with sparkles of pyrite, red, transparent quartz; long stems of cabomba with delicate feathery leaves are twisting. From the hills a stream of air bubbles is rising. Two luxury voile angelfishes with silver stripes on a dark background are slowly moving. Five swordfishes: the little green male; two fork-tailed males - one with black fins, another - whole bright, purely red - and two large females of the same assortment. And two pearl-gray gouramis, stirring by pectoral fins-mustaches.
  The robot rolled to him with milk and the flat cake. No changing clothes, Dan took a cup and made a big sip. But to chew slowly, carefully he wasn't able: there was no patience!
  About time too: he did the last sip - and opened the charts. On the wall. Glared eagerly at them. Groups, the amazing groups: islands of patterns in seemingly total chaos!
  In notebook the author has given a complete list of them: let's see it again. Names given them are interesting: the ladder - with the same difference between adjacent gaps - in the histogram are really similar to a ladder; the symmetriads! The groups have grouped further: selected symmetrical to each other; indicated the intervals and the first prime numbers at the beginning of each group; specified number of repetitions of the group and their symbols, which the author used before classifying - only selecting them yet.
  It was clearly the work of amateur, though, at the same time, done thoroughly. But maybe it's good that he was an amateur - and therefore did not repeat anything that was well known to all mathematicians concerned with prime numbers. The results are, of course, interesting.
  Suddenly, he was really right? 'Since everything in the nature is interrelated, there must not be such mathematical regularities that do not manifest themselves in some physical phenomena', so he thought. This idea has not been formulated publicly and proved or disproved by anyone. If he was right, it may be methodologically very fruitful.
  Just why elementary particles? However, it was his first suggestion. But it is necessary to try to verify it: it seems he has deserved that. Despite the confidence with which he got down to this task, he was clearly not a physicist. Nevertheless: the analogy of single symmetriads with a neutral charged and a double mutual symmetry of asymmetric groups with oppositely charged particles and antiparticles noticed by them correctly.
  Since the twentieth century particle physics has undergone several times a number of fundamental changes, but the periodic law has not yet been created, the criterion of its construction has never found. And characteristics of each elementary particle is indeed associated with a set of several numbers that they have tried to learn how to calculate using a very complex formulas, who gave approximate results. To try using prime numbers has come never to mind.
  Thus ... But elementary particles were still outside the Dan's works, and there are in his archive none needed materials. How annoying! Now he must wait until next Monday for four days on end until they turn on a common foreign link with the Central Archive. If only a day earlier: on weekdays, from 6:00 on Monday to 22:00 on Wednesday of local time, it can be used freely! Housed in vast underground facilities, it has completely replaced libraries - the storage of large quantities of books printed on paper, which each copy of simultaneously one person only can use. It was from there one can get a picture of the text of the old book, of any document, article, movie, even fresh results of produced experiments.
  But however... Exactly! In one of his works, the experiment was based on a number of the properties of elementary particles, and related characteristic numbers were cited. This work, as far as he remembers, to the Central Archive was not transferred; it has remained in draft form in his personal archive. But it - can be used at any time. And, Dan input into the computer the search object with all the elements necessary for its acceleration.
  Computer has started the search, and now he have to wait. And for a long time: it will have to produce a complete search of all draft records for many years, an incredibly huge part of his archive. But it can't be helped! And Dan is sitting and looking at the charts on the wall.
  Maybe go to bed? The signal will wake him if the computer will succeed to find something. However, it is useless: he won't fall asleep on his own. But he escapes until now to use artificial means. And the dawn is not far, too. It highlights time on the screen of his radio-bracelet, and then turns to the orchestrion simulated a vintage organ: music will help, as always.
  The muffled sounds of Adagio of Toccata in C Major by Bach float as a conversation with himself, and with them waves of replacing each other colors cover the wall, staining just not cancelled charts.
  
  The signal came before the dawn. Taking a rolled into a tube the flat screen, Dan quickly unfolded and turned it on.
  Just one particle with the required numerical characteristics. Only one! That work he has apparently, after all, edited and transferred to the Central Archive.
  Okay! Let the computer continue searching, and he will see what can be done with this particle.
  So: the arrangement of the numbers - perhaps may be not random. Really! The histogram of them is asymmetric. The particle - charged positively.
  Using this histogram as a template, Dan let it go slowly along the chart on the wall. Amazing! There is, no doubt: there is a similarity, though not direct - some remote.
  But even if to try the numerical characteristics logarithmically for a beginning? Oho! Now better: there is an obvious similarity here with this group. If to change the base of the logarithm, the figures could be the same. We will do so - produce a proportional reduction; the logarithm base we'll calculate later. Now let scroll down and...
  They have coincided!!! The figure of the chart and a histogram of the particle. After performing very simple operations.
  Dan even for a moment closed his eyes: he could not believe that so - suddenly, at once!
  So ... No, it still does not mean anything, one of the dozens of known particles. But still!
  If he could find more data on the particles! And Dan was waiting, looking expectantly at the computer. But further search ended in nothing. It's a pity! Now it is for sure - to endure until the next Monday.
  ... Dan went to the garden-terrace and sat in a chair under the small apple tree. The sun had already risen and started to warm. It was very quiet, and everything seemed clear and fresh. He was a little dizzy after a sleepless night. All right: he will have a sleep in the day-time at the baths.
  Yes, very, very interesting! While the 1: 0 in favor of Mikhayloh. It is necessary to check all of the particles: there does be a probability of correctness of his assumption! Even if we manage to trace the partial manifestation of laws, not for all of the particles, this will be not a little, too.
  And what then? What can be concealed in the communication of the elementary particles and the primes? Dan grinned: it is too early to put such a question! This coincidence is one and only - it may be accidental. And there is none connection. Let see!
  It will be soon six o'clock: the cry of a cock will resound from speakers. The sun lights up brighter and brighter the garden placed on the terrace of the block, of size 7 by 7 meters, planted with two dwarf apple trees, bushes of roses and lilacs. There are bush of wormwood and marigolds, too: Dan loves to knead with his fingers marigold flowers and leaves of wormwood - to smell their bitterish-spicy flavor.
  
  'Cook-a-doodle-doo!' Dressed in sports tights, Dan goes down. First he is walking, then jogging through a path between the props of carcasses. So the morning begins always.
  He ran to the sports complex and went into an area fenced with bushes. Today, he is the first. Thursday, the first day off of the week - a day of a morning baths, daily entertainment and evening banquets. Not everyone will come there: many people pass exercises that day. Only when finished exercising, having washed and changed his clothes, he went out, going to lunch, others people began to appear welcoming him. And he is alone in the dining room, no one else.
  The long room of a single-storey building standing on the ground is lit brightly by the morning sun through the translucent wall. After a sleepless night, Dan is hungry. Quickly turning on his card-file, he found almost immediately the cottage cheese and plain yogurt and sent an order command. And a few minutes later he pulled them out from the opening between the upper and lower table tops.
  Here, everyone eats according to an own taste of each one. In any personal archive there was a big set of cooking programs - it was necessary only to click the name of the desired dish and its variant: the program would be transferred to the memory of one of the many kitchen machines, which immediately would give the order for the necessary products and quickly, using high-frequency current, cooked it.
  In general, everyday food was not too complicated: the main attention was paid to the fact that it was healthy and well-balanced - regarding peculiarities of the organism. Any ration included definitely raw vegetables and greens, fruits, nuts and honey. Besides, it was not abundant because everyone usually ate at the same time. And, except for a light supper, everybody ate in canteens.
  Dan is breakfasting alone - it is unusual. After eating, he became a little drowsy and started to doze, and so began to get angry when someone entered the dining room, began to talk and waked him. But this was group of young people, and he loved to look at them. Like many people.
  Students of some institute. Noisy and merry, they casted lots, and the one to whom it fell sent a general order. They all together chew buttered fresh lavash , wrapping in it a piece of cheese and drinking a little tart acorn coffee. And continuously chattered: none solidity - but it was able only to envy their cheerfulness. They hold together, valuing obviously their belonging each to other. Even dressed in exactly the same - both the boys and girls: in short dresses with one shoulder open, with all kinds of color change from bright yellow to dark brown, as in Dan's favorite colors of marigold flowers; in open sandals with straps to the knees.
  In this age they are still taught together. Later, occupied with postgraduate studying by individual programs, they will see each other less and less. Even at night, even in the days off. Everyone will be absorbed with his or her work and thoughts. This is a natural process in a world where communications are numerous, but fragile.
  It is still nicer to look at children. During their trips to science centers.
  ... Children lived separately from adults, in the best places on the Earth, designated specially for them, where teachers raised and educated them.
  Pediatricians are engaged, using minders, in nursing babies. Incapable of intellectual work women, whom physicians implanted artificially fertilized ovules of other women gave birth. Because of this, women-scientists had possibility not interrupt their work, not waste time and energy on bringing forth and caring children.
  The role of 'parents' in the genetic sense was reduced exclusively to duties at a young age to do their contribution to the gene pool stored in sealed ampoules. Using a vast amount of information about it and a supercomputer, optimal selection of couples for artificial insemination was performed. To eliminate the possibility of irreparable loss of any qualities, part of the couples was made by random selection and, a tiny part, by homogeneous racial signs - not to loose them. It was just the area of an activity of geneticists exclusively, who have entirely taken human reproduction in their own hands; they also regulated its numbers.
  Once this has led to a number of major social changes: the 'parents' have become free in full from any worries about their children - and the family, getting unnecessary, disappeared completely. People have acquired fully freedom in personal life, the complete absence of any restrictions in it. Nothing bind partners but a mutual lust - neither children nor their common household nor material concerns, on which the progress freed them long ago; they lived separately, each in its own block. Like other connections, too, intimate ones easily both appeared and broke without any consequences. This considered something secondary; it was a purely private matter and interested and concerned absolutely no one else.
  Basically, everything came to the simple satisfaction of their physical needs. As exceptions there were long connections, too, some of them even for life. But in them an intercourse of one partner with someone else was not considered something offensive to the other one: it doesn't at all interfere with one person talking to others what he talks not only with him.
  But, children were in the hands of professionals, ensuring the most proper care and education. Their life is divided into a number of successive stages, during each of which they live in a certain children's institution, and then move to another that, with a totally other children. To stabilize the homogeneity of the society, to avoid appearing of closed cohesive groups of people that grew together from an early age.
  The first three stages - a nursery, a kindergarten and an elementary school. A small part of children with very low capabilities, who are not suitable to engage in the intense intellectual work in the future, are gradually separated at these stages from the rest of the children, after what they do not get a proper education. But capable enough children continue to study: in gymnasium, lyceum, college and university, going after each stage to another institution, the composition of which is completed with students of similar capability levels, depending on what the period of studying on this stage is determined.
  As they progress through the stages their lifestyle changes. At gymnasium and lyceum they are, like at school, continue to deal with teachers in classrooms and special offices, but since lyceum sleep not in dormitories, but in private rooms. At college they study mainly yourself, but with regular checking by teachers; at university - only on their own.
  The teaching was conducted with the help of special computer programs. The role of the teacher was reduced primarily to the methodical management of educational process and to identify in which areas can the ability of the student reveal itself most fully.
  In addition to studying science, children acquire the necessary skills: of working on computers, handling instruments, conducting laboratory work, doing manual work and with not automated machines. Great attention was paid to their physical training under constant medical supervision by physical training instructors.
  And no less to aesthetic development: playing orchestrion, singing, dancing, drawing, modeling. It were guided often tours in research centers, factories, museums, to historical and architectural monuments - in a variety of places on the planet and, at an older age, even beyond.
  A person graduated from any university was considered adult: he chose on his own his future profession and comes to a faculty of a specialized training institute in one of the research centers. In addition to his studies, he was involved in the implementation of research, during which he began to communicate with scientists working in his chosen field. He lived already in a separate block.
  At post-graduate studentship they studied according to individual programs and performed independent scientific works in the presence of supervisors. The final stage was the doctorate, where a person did completely independently rather large work, and then became a doctor - a scientist. It was the general rule - regardless of any specialty. Then, it was possible in the course of life - if desired or necessary - to study again, either according to the general program of faculty of an institute or to an individual of a post-graduate student.
  So everyone grew and learned. At full charge of the society. Not knowing their parents. Common children of all the mankind.
  From the old days remained the words: father, mother; son, daughter; sister, brother - but now these are only a tender treatment. More often each other called 'colleague', affectionately 'friend' or respectfully 'senior' in its original meaning - 'elder'. But the most honorific address was 'teacher': the relationship of teachers and students was the closest of existing relations of different generation's people.
  Most people saw children negligibly: not always they were where children came - often worked at home, using telecommunications. These rare meeting with children were always a pleasure, and conversations with them, strangely enough, turned out to be very useful at times. Questions of them, stumped sometimes, often allowed to see suddenly many things in a quite unexpected way.
  ... The students continued to argue loudly, often interrupting the lively chatter by loud laughter. Dan smiled many times their jokes and started thinking to join their conversation. But they, having put dirty dishes between countertops, disappeared as quickly as they had appeared.
  It was nothing more to do in the dining room, and he got up - it's time to go to the baths.
  
  Today in the morning, all the people are in baths - huge, magnificent. The best architects have built them, finishing with stone and a natural wood: there is everything your heart desires to rapidly wash away the fatigue, and the best way to look at the banquet. Wet and dry steam rooms, finished with resinous pine planks; soap rooms with stone baths; huge swimming pools with a cool, icy, seawater; shallow pools for lying. High relaxing halls with a babbling fountain; a shady garden protected from the wind in a courtyard. There is in each of steam room a separate bath company that steamed on special.
  Dan is enjoying, climbed on a shelf. Hot steam makes the body light; birch twigs pass from hand to hand - in the steam room there is not robots: they whip each other themselves, add more steam, splashing water on the hot stones. Everything, like by ancestors.
  Dan is now steamed relatively short time: because of his age. He soon moved to the soap compartment and climbed into the pink-gray marble bath filled with fragrant foam. Soaped his hair with shampoo, he plunged into it up to his chin. The cleaning solution boiled, nipping pleasantly his skin.
  A few minutes later he was in the shower, massaging the body gushing jets from all directions. Then he began to luxuriate in a shallow basin with cool bubbling water colored with some salts.
  After resting, he climbed back into the steam room and this time sweated to his heart's content; having run out, jumped in the pool with cold water. The steamed out skin does not feel the cold: it seems that he swims in the air, not feeling the water temperature. Just an amazing lightness and vigor, as if you are still young, like you isn't hundred years old yet.
  Throwing the sheet, he settled down on a wide couch near a fountain.
  Many people get plenty of rest before a new entering into the steam room, sipping light beer, the best of all quenching thirst. But for Dan it was enough: he immediately began to drink green tea, pouring it into a bowl. All of his steam company having exchanged with him a few words goes to steam further.
  He's drinking in small sips. Light, pleasant perspiration covers the body; from the fountain breathes refreshing coolness. No desire to sleep at all.
  It is necessary to contact Lal, to inform him about the detected, although only yet, coincidence. With that thought, he suddenly falls instantly asleep.
  People come to rest, and then go to steam and splash. Someone hid carefully Dan with a sheet.
  ... In the afternoon most people, dressed in the clothes called from home, have gone out - to stadia, theaters, concert halls. The Thursday shows and concerts are daily exclusively: end no later than 16 hours. But the most inveterate fans of the baths remained; they indulged, too: lay on the couch and even in small pools with unrolled sight screens and sound receivers in their ears.
  And in the garden-courtyard before a huge screen lovers of rolling - the hockey on self-propelled roller skates - settled. With this game in tempo and intensity could not be compared none existed ever that, so it was the most popular. Players like lightning are rushing on the field, chasing with sticks small bright ball. The game always comes with a big score and causes turbulent emotions of viewers. Although the sound receivers in their ears, they themselves are so noisy that can wake anyone.
  But not Dan, he slept like a log.
  
  At16:00 a loud alarm woke him: it was the time to get dressed for the evening banquet. He did not want to go home: he turned on the card index of the wardrobe, carefully selected clothes for the banquet, sent a command to bring them to the baths, and meanwhile dipped into a pool of aromatic water.
  Where to go, to what restaurant - Dan, as always, did not remember. Arg did always the choice: every time he writes its name in his memory. For Dan it is, in general, not so important where they will banquet: he's a small gourmet and not too merry. The main thing is to spend the evening with a very familiar people: some of his disciples, whom he banquets together every Thursday for years with.
  But he is dressed for a banquet always appropriately. Today he's in a long white dress of thin soft wool and a wide cape with a long fringe of twisted silk atop, on the left shoulder cleaved with a gold buckle with a head of a beast. His white hair and beard hung by long vertical ringlets; a wide ribbon running across the forehead tied the head, the ends of it hung down from his left temple to the shoulder. Today he is obviously dressed better than in the previous Thursdays: certainly because of its mood after last night.
  A cabin conveyed him to the entrance hall of the restaurant. The whole group was waiting for him there: without him they never sat down at the table.
  A master chef, as a cordial host, met at the entrance their guests. Here he is - the main person. He only chooses all banquet dishes: here nobody can on his own order according to his program - for this canteens exist.
  People do not always use the ready-made programs - many people like to invent themselves a new dish or cook already known on special and then to treat them in a canteen, copying for all the interested his program of production. Sometimes, indeed, it turns out well, but, nevertheless, it is - a pure amateurism.
  The genuine, high art was represented by culinary professionals: they were regarded composers of taste. Each of them appeared on Thursdays at his restaurant with the program of the banquet, composed of carefully selected dishes and drinks created by him and borrowed from modern or numerous ancient national cuisines. Slightly modifying and changing, the program lasted until everyone desired have visited it; and at this time the master chef was preparing the new program.
  With him in the preparation it an artist participated - to create presentation of meals, dinner services and covers for each of their shift, an interior of the hall and its elements: furniture, tablecloths, and draperies. Every Thursday the latter decorated the restaurant with fresh flowers.
  But the chef was not the main person during the actual banquet - his role came only to managing the change of dishes in the most suitable for this moment. A jester reigned in the hall - he organized the fun: was the director of the concert, which all the guests, without exception, had to be the participants of. Only a gifted actor who has great charisma and an inexhaustible wit could become a jester. He led the table: seated guests, proclaimed toasts and led the singing drinking songs.
  ... Wine is sparkling. In high crystal glasses, horns decorated with metal, flat phials. Light grape wine that the guests drink by a drop, which intoxicates a little bit only; or non-alcoholic one - invigorating.
  The jester raises his phial, stretches it forward. Everything falls silent.
  'Let's we all be together, together,
  And let a joy on our faces shines!
  Let's be all together! Let's be all together!
  And let's all drink some wine!'
  What is this song? The jester stumbled across on the record of its performance in the collection of the bygone epoch's songs. Stricken by the song and its performance, he decided to resurrect it: translated its text and reserved for the next program, without changing anything both of its melody and of its performance way - unaccompanied.
  Everyone has in one hand wine, in the other - open fan-screen with a text and notes. The guests begin to join the jester in singing - his voice sounds on the chorus; common coherent singing expands and becomes a powerful.
  The jester comes to Dan, his hands stretches out to his phial:
  '... And let joy on the face of Dan shines!'
  Dan is today the oldest at the banquet; he holds out his glass with nonalcoholic wine towards: by the ancient custom, they clink their glasses.
  The jester goes further, approaches the most honored guests, earned this honor today by their success, sings toast them. In the end - toasts to hosts of the banquet - the master chef and the artist. After this he become silent - guests' chorus proclaims a toast to him.
  Bowls ring; tablemates clink their glasses. All guests pay a tribute to the dishes - fruits of the culinary creativity.
  After the third change of dishes a fun began. The singing came again - almost everyone is singing. And almost everyone is dancing, too. These people know how to have fun: they are properly taught to do this - they know a lot of songs, both modern and ancient, the text of which has been translated into a contemporary language; they know how to dance the incredible number of dances. The jester kindles fun, starting a dance the first, compelling the guests to perform solo in turn.
  ... To go out of the hall for a long time is not supposed, but many still try to for a while to the lobby to talk about the work: in the hall such conversations are not considered appropriate. As always, they begin immediately talking about it, discussing their problems and arguing. There and then others appear, too, and start to do the same. Such they are - these contemporary people.
  Dan did this today the first, and the next one after the other in the lobby Arg and the rest of their group appeared. Dan began immediately talking about the material obtained from Lal, about the coincidence found by him.
  'I need to have the entire set of characteristic numbers for elementary particles. Otherwise I'll have to wait for three days. Entire three days!'
  'Mates, what you have of needed for our teacher?' Arg asked.
  'For three particles I must have,' Leah says. But it is all: none of them had any need to keep such a material in his archive.
  'Let's try to find who may have,' Arg, the most practical person of the group, suggested.
  'What? We'll have to talk about work in the hall, you know. It isn't proper somehow...' one of them tried to argue him.
  But the others - did not hesitate: Dan infected them with his impatience. To wait until Monday?! Well: it is necessary to carry out as discreetly as possible exploration in the hall and, having discovered the necessary, to take slowly its owner away in the lobby. As if it is doing for the first time! They returned hurriedly to the hall: before the change of new dishes to go from table to table, from group to group, to spread with friends a couple of words.
  They moved along the chain: first to their own friends, then with them - to their friends. But the difficulty was that nobody at the physical center in Starstown was engaged directly in elementary particles: these stood somewhat aside of main themes of the work here.
  ... Dan was sitting in his high-backed chair, looking at the dancers. No one guessed that impatience is gnawing him.
  The jester led a round dance: two huge rings, men and women, were moving, coiling in a dance. For those who did not dance it's hard to tear off from them their look.
  Especially beautiful were young, sparkling with nakedness of their perfect bodies: if you are beautiful - the clothes are not needed. Absolutely. Or let it be transparent. It is a shame to expose just what has already ceased to be fine.
  A dance - now fast, ecstatic; now slow, filled with a hidden passion. Those who like each other, try to find them closer. And if your outstretched hand meets a touch given in replay, and fingers tightly entwined with yours those - so you both will be this night together.
  Gai, a graduate student by Leah, is dancing with a girl dressed in a transparent kimono. It is very suited her, she is a purely Japanese style, of those few whose 'parents' are chosen on racial grounds. Perfect are her body and beautiful face. And her eyes are tenderly looking at Gai, who is like ancient bronze statue, dressed in a loincloth of leopard skin, with golden ribbons on his torso and head.
  They already know that his name is Gai, and her one - Yukee, in accordance with her Japanese appearance. He is a graduate-student in physics. And what about her?
  'I'm also post-graduate student. Deal with general problems of systems. Or rather, just begin.'
  'From what?'
  'I rewrite all sorts of systems in my archive. And try to compare them.'
  'And how about the elementary particles? With them did you deal?'
  'Yes, I did. Not long ago.'
  'Really?! Then I beg you, very much: let's go out!'
  'What's the matter with you, darling? You want to talk about work, don't you? I don't want to right now: the passion for you obscures my head - I desire to dance with you!'
  'It's very, very necessary, Yukee. I beg you, my sister!' he begged. His supervisor, Leah, and Arg have turned to him for help after searching among their peers came to naught. They asked him to find out something from the young: doctoral students, graduate-students; flattered by their confidence, Gai has promised to do everything possible. And even during the dance with the girl, with whom he has already managed to weave his fingers, did not forget about that.
  He told her excitedly about the series of prime numbers differences, the striking result of comparing it with the available set of characteristic numbers of an only elementary particle.
  'If it could be possible to find more material, lest to wait until the next Monday! So far we found only three particles in the archive of my head. That's all.'
  'Then I have exactly what you need: I tried to handle their complete system.'
  'Yeah?!' A such good luck, and even so soon, Gai did not expect.
  ... 'My teacher, this is Yukee: in her archive there is a complete set of elementary particles!' he said to Leah excitedly.
  'My teacher, the full set is available!' in her turn, she hurried to Dan.
  For them, the rest of the banquet turned into an oppressive expectation of the end. They would have left immediately if it was not the same as the insult the hosts of the banquet. But they have not touched the dessert, did not participate in singing and dancing; even the two young graduate-students joined the group. More often than others they left the hall and took counsel distributing work among them.
  But the banquet lasted further, and the fun did not subside. And when it finally came to an end, they immediately went home. With cabins. They only.
  The rest of people, as usual, go home on foot. They walked slowly, with singing and laughing. And many of them went in couples to complete the banquet suitably.
  
  3
  
  Lal did just not receive radio paging from Dan on the Thursday: if Dan was afraid in the morning to prevent his date and then fell asleep, then in the evening searching for information and the discovered opportunity of continuing the work took him so much that he forgot about Lal.
  Lal waited. In questions of Dan it guessed a nature not only extremely talented, but also - the most important for Lal - endowed with the ability to treat with interest and attention to things quite far from his work. The ability to listen and understand the other was added to this. It would be possible to tell him everything. If Dan even would not agree with him, his attention will be just a great service. Till now, all timid attempts to speak out his mind met a complete misunderstanding and indifference and even caused a pent-up irritation. But wandering in mind, his thoughts and doubts burned him; he wanted to free himself from their oppression, causing an excruciating feeling of loneliness.
  That evening he did not want to part with Dan, did not want to rush to the woman waited for him. And when she, sated by him, was lying, naked and beautiful, alongside him and sleeping on his shoulder, he did not think about her but was full of impressions of the meeting with Dan, felt his friendly touch, saw the gentle, thoughtful look.
  In the morning, he left her early in order no one could interrupted their conversation in case if Dan call him. He felt by yesterday reviving of Dan, that the material was very interesting for him. For such scholars, it is very like to work at that immediately, without any delay. And the night stops them never. If Dan finds anything, he will certainly call him to report. But Dan did not call, and he felt shy to do it.
  This Thursday was as usual. After the baths, Lal went to a theater, after it managed to get on a racetrack: he loved animals, especially horses and dogs. Then it was the evening banquet. The restaurant he left home with a woman.
  Not that one, which he was the night before with. With another one. Because women liked him, and rarely his outstretched hand did not meet the response to his touch; more often it was enough just to stretch his hand in response. And also because he did not care: that one or the other - all are beautiful, all are clever; no one he will be bored with - and hardly even any of them will want to listen to him, if he dares to talk about his very innermost thoughts.
  ... After Thursday with his intense cascade of entertainment, giving weary people effective shake, there were three days off else. Most people preferred to spend them among natural surroundings, go for any tourist trips to all places of the Earth: hiking, skiing, boating ones. They hunted and fished, picked mushrooms, nuts, berries and wild fruits in the forests, where in these days robots-collectors stopped their work, and at the same time flowers, leaves, branches and roots which decorate their homes with. Others went to admire the architecture of bygone epochs, visited museums, to see the originals of the great masterpieces of art.
  A huge army of people served them, organizing and providing a multitude of activities, involving in them, making fully relax. This service was considered very important and staffed by talented people, who were armed with great erudition and excellent knowledge of psychology. Made under their guidance, group excursions broadened the range of interests, at the same time giving the necessary mental relaxation.
  Many people spent this time on amateur art occupations. And there were a very great number of those staying at home to continue working.
  ... Lal left by air for fishing - mainly to think in private again over a number of things. By a rocket plane, and then by an air car he got a well familiar to him taiga river. The places around were far from cities and not very popular with tourists. There is nobody: only animals and rare robots-collectors of berries, herbs and dry twigs.
  He enjoyed breathing taiga air, smelling of a warmed resin. Made a throw from the shore, and sat down to wait for bites. The sun was warm, the wind blew a little, and he drove carefully thoughts, afraid to miss a bite.
  Then the sky got cloudy. But before that he had caught a couple of fishes - enough for soup and to fry: a robot would cook quickly.
  Lal drank some dark, infused with herbs according of his special recipe, vodka, ate hot soup and well fried fish. He was nodding off. Wind was becoming stronger; the tops of cedar pines and larches were rustling. Lal got into the tent and lay down; covering with electric blanket, he fell asleep almost instantly.
  ... An hour later, he was awakened by the sound of rain. He folded back the window curtain: the darkness, the sight a most dreary. Lal drank hot tea and lay down again, lit up a pipe. Smoking liquid in his pipe, droplets of which, passing through the heater powered by micro battery, come out in the form of vapor, creating a taste in the mouth - and absolutely harmless.
  How uncomfortable he feels. Both wind noise and damp, with air entering the tent, oppressed him. The sky there, out, is sullen, leaden. Feeling melancholy that you firmly cut off from everyone. Maybe call an air car to fly away from here? Somewhere, where the sun is shining?
  Ah! None sense. And there it will also be: the same uncomfortable he felt at home and at the banquet. Because he is now, really, cut off firmly from everyone. With his terrible discovery made recently. For the present, only for himself: none wanted to listen to and understand him.
  The painful feeling became a little weaker only the day before, during the conversation with Dan, when hope for the possibility of understanding appeared. But Dan is silent - Lal won't dare call him first at all.
  It is time to think, chew his thoughts.
  
  In the greatest ancient book - the Bible, in its part Ecclesiastes by name, otherwise the Preacher, he once read:
  'The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, 'See, this is new'? It hath been already of old time, which was before us. There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after'.
  These words, attributed to the ancient sage, the king Solomon, struck him then. And they also were repeated much later.
  For all this was a truism, for him - not only. It was that using this thesis, he by comparing of bygone epochs to the current that, stumbled across a number of unpleasant analogies. The first time such happened, when he was doing his doctoral dissertation, and it aroused his interest in the historical analysis of the existing reality. The most valuable material for this could be given by the journalism occupation, and he began then in addition to study at the Literature Institute.
  History. It can a lot tell and suggest who loves it and is able to store many facts in his memory. Since childhood, it had been his principal. He devoured historic books and movies, absorbing and remembering a huge amount of facts, names and dates. History was his very passion. While in other subjects, he also did well thanks to his ability to feel in all just the main thing: it was conductive, too, to a better understand history, and he applied this standard to it.
  The topic of his doctoral dissertation was entitled 'The humanism of the modern epoch'. Critique of the main social principles there did not exist at all: they seemed, like to everyone, to be undoubted - but nevertheless some aspects of reality were noted as seamy side.
  It attracted the attention to him: a few days after his defending he received an invitation to work in the 'The News'. Marc, an editor whom he was to work with had noted in his dissertation a number of valuable qualities for a journalist: the ability to expound clearly in conjunction with a great information saturation, to see the most important things and analyze dynamically. But the main thing was a somewhat unusual approach the today reality as the next stage of historical development, being a direct continuation of previous epochs, with which it was compared.
  'Great! The interest in history is now negligible. In my opinion, it sometimes prevents from a correct understanding of phenomena. Your approach will be very useful.'
  And Lal started for beginning to work on reporting. Become absorbed in life, he acquainted with an incredibly large quantity of phenomena, with a huge number of people. He published his first sketches, essays, and finally, the book. Many knew him already, what assisted with the work, which as a result of he accumulated valuable material.
  And then again doubts, associated with some aspects of the life of the contemporary human society, came.
  
  By that time, the mankind has been integrated long ago.
  All nations and races have disappeared, and only a few of racially pure groups, very small, were maintained artificially by geneticists; but they differed from the others only in appearance.
  The progress of science and technology has freed people not only from material concerns, but also from non-intellectual labor. Most people were scientists, and the goals of scientific progress were principal - people have become more and more obsessed with them and regarded as essential to sacrifice absolutely anything for them. Especially...
  Especially, the previous epoch was a period of great scientific discoveries, among them one of the most remarkable - overcoming completely immune incompatibility . The principal even then a science became, that left in the development far behind production, not keeping pace with it.
  When its progress slowed down, that was the beginning of the contemporary epoch, the level of production and everything connected with it, began to catch up with the achieved level of science and became almost equal to it by present. The saturation by cybernetic technique achieved maximum. It was absolutely everywhere, freeing time and energy of people for creative occupations solely.
  Enormous resources of power plants provided the work of the huge complex of production. They worked mainly on thermonuclear fuel of terrestrial origin and being brought by special rockets from other planets. Like other plants, these ones were placed in the underground. The energy was given additionally by other types of stations: wind-powered, tidal, geothermal. The bulk of the energy was received in ultra-compact batteries; in the same way it was obtained from other planets, too.
  A huge resource of energy allowed, regardless of the low efficiency, to mechanize and automate all agricultural work entirely. Combined with the agricultural technology and selection, this provided a high intensity of producing food and agricultural raw materials. It has been cultivated many new species of plants and animals. The army of robot-collectors added to agricultural products also wild ones.
  But to ensure abundance by only increasing the intensity was impossible. They used the second reserve, extensity , by irrigation of deserts and clearing the Amazon jungle, within acceptable limits for the ecology of the planet; by moving north, covering the ground with greenhouses; by using the surface and depths of the oceans and seas.
  They have done much more of the important: they have realized a number of things and taken the necessary measures to improve the conditions of existence. Fighting for the purity of air, the people refused to produce energy by burning fuel - it was used exclusively as a chemical feedstock. Long before the modern epoch, internal combustion engines have ceased to exist; now the old methods of obtaining metals from ores disappeared completely also due to the abundance of electricity. There were no hydroelectric power plants deteriorating environmental regimes in regions.
  People treated very frugally the main source of oxygen regeneration - plants, the abundance of which they considered mandatory element of their existence. Because of this, paper almost disappeared from use: existing methods of machine micro recording eliminated the need for it as a writing material, which would require an incredible amount of, and thus forests saved from cutting out. Special robots monitored continuously trees, removing and collecting dry branches and twigs, used then as a raw material in the chemical industry and the production of synthetic fibers: it facilitated rehabilitation and improvement of the forests' appearance.
  
  A week comprised three working days, six hours each. Officially. It was only the time of network - in experiments, operations, meetings and consultations. For other jobs, people could work at home: it was more convenient and done most often - but during working hours a radio-communication must be available.
  The rest of the time they spent at their own discretion. Much of it was meant for the rest and entertainment: four days off a week and two month of an annual leave. Providing the rest was powerful - so that people could actively work in a relatively short time allowed for the mandatory work.
  But most people were scientists, the principal work was going on in the brain, and at none time stopped completely. The work was their main interest, sense and enjoyment in life. And they continued to work anytime and anywhere. These people were talking and debating, discussing their problems, wherever possible. Often during night did not leave the computer, tossed and turned in bed without sleep, bringing them frequently to acute overwork, nervous and mental exhaustion.
  They were able to think about their work even during a sports game. Dawned with a suddenly flashed decision to which they went long and hard, they were experiencing a such enthusiasm, that nothing could hold their vigor: a ball and a puck got accurately into the goal, basket, net; a billiard ball went confidently in the hole, and figures on the board broke through the defense of a partner - there was no greater joy than when the creative success.
  
  They all were outwardly very different from their ancestors: tall, shapely, with a beautiful muscular body, excellent posture. Because since childhood until death, they devoted much attention to sports and various physical exercises, especially in the ancient system 'Hatha Yoga'. Doctors-instructors watched constantly them assigning periodically a new set of exercises, the routine and the composition of a diet. Thanks to these means they had the necessary physical endurance for intensive intellectual work. It also contributed to the increase in life duration to 200 years with maintaining health and capacity for work almost to the end, and sexual potency to a very late age.
  
  But, of course, not only because of the exercises and sports: medicine did a lot, especially surgery. The full overcoming immune incompatibility had made possible transplants of any organs and body part. In this way the body repair and correction appearance defects were carried out. Therefore, all were beautiful. Therefore, no one wore glasses - besides protecting from the sun those. The pinnacle of achievement transplant surgery was transplantation a head on another body - the young that, thanks to what the greatest scientists of the Earth had the opportunity to live another life.
  In their appearance have contributed also the abundance of fabrics made from natural and synthetic fibers, natural and synthetic furs and leather, metals, plastics, artificial stone not inferior to natural ones, and all sorts of fabulous colors. Easy readjustments of universal machines, manufacturing clothes, shoes and jewelry, had almost abolished fashion: each person dressed according to his own taste. Professionals at dressmaking establishments provided consultations and suggested cuts, using huge collections of samples and their own researches and developments. Then a cyber, having ran with a ray the body of a person making necessary movements, created on selected styles programs of manufacturing and delivered them into the personal memory. These programs provided the ability of manufacturing quickly at any time, so no one consider necessary to have any extra things.
  
  All of humanity spoke for long time the same language, created artificially by linguists on the principle of Esperanto construction - based on existed languages, of which they took the most common in the world roots of words; with the same easy, simple and logically coherent grammar not allowing any exceptions to the rule. Almost all the languages of the Earth had served as a base of it: absorbed the most valuable from them, it was extraordinarily beautiful, sonorous and expressive.
  The completely new outline of letters, the adopted anew the ancient order of changing of writing texts, boustrophedon - from left to right in odd lines and right to left in even ones - and multicolored text provided high speed of reading.
  
  Perfect technology of communications promoted the full implementation of democratic governance: issues relating to all the people of the Earth were bringing to the public debate and a vote. The regular transmission them to all personal archives went on through a special channel of the open always communication: familiarizing themselves with them was mandatory for all. They gave the complete information needed to determine by each an own opinion, which was transmitted in the acceptable form to a single center processing a full amount of the views received. The results were reported in the following programs, and the options arising from the decisions were put to the vote, which all members of society participated in - those graduated from university. According to voting results people made a final decision. Universal high intellectual level provided the necessary competence to decide issues.
  Special coordinators approved in the election procedure managed current affairs. The main coordinating body was the Central Border of Coordination - purely collegial, having none a chairman.
  There were none violence agencies and courts. Legislation covered just a range of mandatory for all measures to ensure safety under enormous technical abilities. Appointed special people carried out checks. If necessary, group of competent persons analyzed violations and conducted the appropriate measures against the offender, since the explanatory conversations and warnings. If the offender did not agree with the opinion of the group judged him, the proceedings could be conducted by a wide range of people - up to the submission to a global discussion. But this order was not defined precisely - because of the rarity of such occurrences.
  The only exceptional case of capital punishment application - the physical destruction of a few people used secretly drugs, including ethanol in large doses, and returned after the treatment to this vice, came after a turbulent campaign in approving by the overwhelming majority of the mankind.
  A few cases where people have been accused of plagiarism or a deliberate misinformation on the basis of ambition, according also to the general decision, resulted in the use of severe punishment - a long boycott. Condemned to a boycott was deprived of radio communications, could not use a personal archive, a computer, and an underground storage; he was forbidden to appear in public. It was delivered promptly to the residential unit of a convict food in sufficient quantities - but without any involvement of himself in the dishes order. He received toiletries and clean clothes, which color and style pointed to people when he appeared that he may not communicate with anyone. He could not work, read or watch and listen to any programs: he was closed in himself, despite the fact that he was not guarded - it was incredibly scary for a modern person.
  
  But some of the people were excluded from the society in early childhood. They were who could not because of the lack of capability be engaged in the intense intellectual work - and thus be proper for it members of the contemporary mankind. The selection took place up to 10 years, based on careful observation by teachers, and then the future of a child was determined definitively.
  'Proper' children received the necessary education; not proper, 'inadequate', ones were after having been rejected trained most primitively: only to rules of hygiene, games and simple work to maintain health. Thanks to the machines, nobody needed in their work, and at the beginning of the epoch they were considered a burden of the society.
  But then, the application of them was found. They constituted, first, the biofund of the humanity, served as a source of borrowing of internal organs and parts of the body for surgical transplants to propers, whose body was worn out by the intensive work. Secondly, their brains were used in biocybers. Thirdly, they served for various experiments on them. Fourth, inadequate women bore children of proper women and served as nurses and child-minders. And finally, fifth, they served also to comply with a 'proper' people sexual lust: these were called 'houris'. On this basis, they were divided into specialized groups, after the distribution into which took additional training related to their fixed purpose.
  The current epoch was that had created the inadequates separation. When the scientific progress slowed down, people, not wanting to put up with that, began to increase maximally the intensity of their work, deepening the chasm that separated them from those who were not capable for it. In an effort to overcome the crisis, they are trying to use all possible means, and everything seemed to them allowed and justified.
  But time passed, just nothing changed. The brilliant successes of science in the previous epoch were a reproach of their impotence. It was the drama of all people. The vast majority was seized with disappointment; it felt something like a universal depression. And this mood they could not be overcome with the help of sensational entertainment, that they had a lot more than the people of the previous epoch.
  Those had fewer holidays, a simpler food and clothing; there was moderation in everything, in spite of the available opportunities. But they were happier in the knowledge that they sacrificed these benefits to give time, work, energy and materials to tangible success of science. Bypassed only with the necessary only, but were contemporaries and participants of the greatest discoveries: they were full of pride in his success, belief in themselves and the future.
  
  Trees are creaking. The ropes drew to the limit, not giving the wind to tear off, to carry away the tent. It's night. Lal did not sleep, adsorbed in his thoughts, from time to time including the heater of the smoking pipe and drawing vapor.
  ... One of the qualities, of course, positive, reached in the current epoch an unusually high degree. The frugality. Despite the abundance. It was not stinginess - just the modern people could not understand the barbaric treatment of raw materials in the previous epochs. Why once people preferred to mine an increasing amount of ore instead of full use of all waste products and reuse repeatedly an existing metal? Instead of collecting all worthless and unnecessary metal objects and details; rather than to protect the metal from corrosion?
  The consequence of this was the maximal utilization of any waste products. They subjected any used object by cybers to the scrutiny to identify possibility of restoration of its original quality. If this was impossible or impractical, then all the materials, from which it was made, they recycled.
  And at processing raw materials or products, they have sought to use everything - to the last drop. And what it was impossible to do they collected to keep: because of knowing that was no good today may be tomorrow a valuable raw material. They collected absolutely everything: food waste; clothes that were no longer going to wear; even human feces and urine. Each a dwelling section had a salvage collector of a residential waste: it made an analysis, separation, preparation for transportation and shipment. He also made a full recuperation of water from sewerage: that relieved an external water-supply system, through which only refund the difference between the amounts of consumed and returned water.
  People used in full also corpses. Mainly to supplement the surgical biofund; partly as an industrial raw material. The corpses meat of inadequates, who did not died a natural death, was in use as food for animals on fur farms and other inadequates. It has even come to the point that propers began to eat such meat, also: there were biologists, asserting that it was the most easily absorbed by the human body, and therefore was the most valuable kind of meat - it should first include in the diet of children and patients. This was one of the extremes of total utilization.
  In his doctoral dissertation, Lal pointed it as the second of the dark sides of contemporary reality. As the first that, he pointed the lack of sufficient amount intimate ties of every person on the background of a large number of them - it worried him at that time most of all and was worked out by analyzing the literature of different epochs in detail. To the second side pointed by him - eating meat of inadequates - Lal returned when he became a journalist.
  The style of the interview, which he used almost from the beginning, was different from the style of most of the journalists: during it he told a lot on his own, causing numerous questions and answering them. It helped acquaint with people closer and learn about them much more than what he was interested in at that moment immediately.
  So he had the opportunity to make sure that not he only detested eating human flesh: many others did not oppose that themselves, but had never eaten it. Lal received immediately support when he came out against cannibalism in 'The News'.
  Cannibalism was a return to savagery, he argued in a series of his articles. It existed only in the most backward tribes - none of civilized nations recognize it. This phenomenon, which is unacceptable from the point of view of ethics: the brutality, totally unworthy of rational beings.
  In response to his fiery articles with an abundance of quotations of ancient philosophers and various ethical teachings, his opponents hit him from the left. To be consistent, then slaughter and meat-eating animals were immoral in the same way. They also beat with quotations, in particular - of Tolstoy and Gandhi. Answering them, he first expressed the position that the slaughter of animals was not contrary to the laws under which they existed: the biological laws aimed only at preserving the species as a whole - the individual value of a single animal did not exist.
  The controversy, which his articles had been served as the seed, was very stormy; a lot of people participated in it. In the heat of debate some of the Lal's opponents talked to the point that the inadequates might not be considered very human beings. He remembered that.
  His opponents turned out to be in the minority. Due to the fact that the use of the meat of inadequates was pretty short and had not taken root firmly. The global poll forbade this; it became to be allowed to feed with the inadequates' meat animals and other inadequates only. This suited everyone, including himself, too.
  
  Pretty soon this victory was won. She brought him fame: many began to seek meetings him.
  One of them was the impetus to new doubts. It happened on one of the islands, equipped for younger age children. Several teachers attended the meeting. There he heard words so shook him:
  'What a grief is for us it - the rejection! Like to doom children to death!'
  'It is our common misfortune - all teachers experience it is very hard.'
  'Although we understand its necessity.'
  At the same time, he first met the inadequates. Women giving birth, wet-nurses and child-minders. The same as those one of whom had given birth to, the second one had breast-fed, and the third nursed him. He did not remember the first two, only about a third a vague, shaky memory remained.
  Not having occupied with the inadequates till then, he, like most of his contemporaries, did not come into contact with the first four of their groups. On the fifth that, houris, he dealt only in his early youth; then this was no need: his success with women was big enough. So he knew about the inadequates no more than others, that was, for his profession, too little. And Lal began to collect material about them.
  As the correspondent of 'The News' he visited also places, little known by most people. Material had accumulated significant, containing a large number of striking facts.
  But the publication of the material the editor, Marc, opposed categorically:
  'Do not understand me wrong, colleague. We live in a hard and stressful time. We must leave the crisis by all means. People do not have mercy on both themselves and others. We may generate a discussion, which will divert power and affect negatively the overall rhythm of the work.'
  'But it all does be the truth!'
  'This is one of the types of payments for progress. We have no right to interfere now.'
  He has succeeded to persuade Lal. Especially because Lal argued not so much with Marc as with himself - with that half of his consciousness, which was used to consider since his childhood extremely perfect and infallibly correct the existing social structure of the society, which the inadequates could not be included in because of their low mental faculties. The human beings by birth only.
  But he could not stop: the inadequates became gradually the focus of his attention. Continuing to collect intensively related to them material, he had thoroughly studied the history of the issue and everything of the other areas, related to them. He tried then to analyze this phenomenon as historical one, but faced with great difficulties.
  There was nothing similar at any of the previous epochs. There were none direct historical analogies. Except for one thing: their totally powerless position. And the complete deprivation of an individual value of each of them. The donor died under the surgeon's knife to give means to restore health and extend lives of the propers. The houris, women and men, must without any question about their consent give themselves to the propers. As the concubines.
  But the concubines were slaves. Perhaps this is that where there was the possibility to find some analogy: the inadequates' position might be compared remotely with the position of the slaves. But this analogy is too incomplete: no one exploits the inadequates work. But nevertheless!
  And gradually he began to see the fact that the inadequates are not something unrelated to the human society because of what seemed just a misfortune, against which there were no means yet. They are - just a very social group, an organic part of the society! And a logically inevitable conclusion followed: the presence of it determined the existing social system - different from existed in the previous epoch.
  It was a terrible discovery for him, the very son of his time. History for him and his contemporaries was a history of scientific and technological process only: public relations seemed to have something rock-solid stability, and the inadequates - existing outside them, having no relation to them.
  Not at all! They did have. And their emergence as a social group was a step in the socio-historical process that was going never to stop. In Lal's opinion, it was a step backwards. The retreat to social inequality and injustice. Their economic incentives had vanished, but they appeared again on a completely different basis. A dialectical turn.
  
  But who cares now about the inadequates? The propers, intellectuals, do not see anything but their problems. The principal of these is to leave the general crisis. Even those who came up for prohibition of eating human flesh, thought least of all about the inadequates then. And he, by the way - too.
  The lack of understanding by which he has encountered was terrible as a boycott. He retired into himself, returning to the same thoughts endlessly, circling around them as chained.
  The chef, Marc, seems worried. But he did not try again to persuade Lal. Instead, he proposed a business trip to the Near Space. He wants Lal to change temporarily the situation.
  Lal agreed immediately. The cosmonauts were a very interesting category having attracted him for long. These people, who lived for a long time in a small world separated from all, managed to get used and become attached to each other. And on the Earth, they tried to stick together. Their care about each other, attention, readiness at any moment to help with anything, the warm-heartedness of their relationship - it all singled out and separated them from the others: they did not feel very comfortable among other people.
  To learn properly and take up with them, Lal needs to spend a year on ships and space stations in the cosmos and on planets. At that time, his communication will be limited only by people located near to and exchanging radiograms with the Earth. Marc does count on this: it is unknown what can happen in this period - maybe, there will appear Lal's interest in other, less unpleasant problems?
  
  The thoughts about space have distracted Lal a little. He didn't fall asleep again and try long to do.
  The night was almost over. Behind the folded curtain, it begins to turn gray. It's fine, that the wind has died down, that the rain has stopped. He has waited for a full dawn and got out of the tent.
  A fresh moist air chilled his face. He made several movements stretching. Decided to swim.
  He undressed and ran into the water. It was cold, but it's something he liked and now: cheerfulness appeared. Like everyone, he has perfectly seasoned since his childhood.
  But, at the moment when he decided to return to the bank, he felt that this was impossible: the river swelled with the heavy rain, and he was not able to cope with its flow. It's imperative to call an air car - as urgently as possible! But until its arrival, he had to hold out - as possible only! He strained all his will, trying to breathe regularly.
  For a moment, he dived headlong, succeeding to send a call underwater with his radio-bracelet for an air car. Just it would now come before his muscles, which begun to get numbed, stiffen: it will be possible to cling to the rope ladder. To hold out!
  It's impossible to overcome the flow - just he may turn tired. And he stopped struggling with it - began instead to use where possible itself to draw even a little closer to the bank. And when the air car appeared finally in the sky, Lal succeeded already to find himself very close to the bank. One more tug, the latest - and a moment later he felt the bottom under his feet.
  Lal got out to the bank and, standing on all fours, breathing convulsively, rested a few minutes. Then he forced himself to his feet and walked along the bank toward the place where his tent was located; the air car flew behind him. As soon as he could, he began to accelerate the pace, and then ran. When Lal reached the tent, steam poured in full from him.
  Having rubbed himself to redness with a dry towel, he has drunk a few sips of the life-giving vodka, ate a piece of hot fish. Sprawling blissfully on a mattress next to the tent, he was resting. It seemed about just to fall asleep, but he knew too well: he would slumber gently, just for ten minutes - and immediately came vigorous clarity.
  It was exactly so. And then the thoughts, got obsessive, came again. For a moment, he remembered his swimming - and for some reason then only felt fear. He could be drowned! And he would to, for sure, if he continued to try to overcome the flow by force. No way: how it pushes!
  The thought of the flow connected with ones of the inadequates. It is impossible to win by force the flow of history, too! He must try also to use it self by finding those jets which will bring to the desired bank. In the current situation, such way is that by which only he will succeed also to achieve the goal.
  What that? The injustice does exist. This is a real fact - although Lal still wanted someone to prove that he is wrong. But he has not believed, almost at all, it is possible. He must one time more, the last one, to investigate thoroughly the terrible conclusion. To restore justice.
  It's imperative! The highly intellectual mankind must not tolerate the inhumane treatment of similar to itself, though inferior in the level of abilities. People have not to be intellectual beasts.
  The path to the end will be unlikely easy. It is necessary to reserve composure and patience. Much bigger ones than it took today. And do not let indifference like cold to fetter you. To find those tendencies of historical processes, phenomena and events that will help. Like the jets carrying slowly to the bank. And do not hope for quick success. He has to believe firmly and not to loose his heart. It is imperative, imperative, imperative!
  The first time in recent days Lal felt that he began to settle down. It is necessary to walk through the forest, for long enough for falling then asleep because of the physical fatigue. He can take with him a bow and arrows: for hunting.
  
  4
  
  When the physician told Dan that Lal wanted to see him, he said indifferently:
  'Let him come.'
  The physician called immediately Lal:
  'It is desirable, even right now. He did not let anyone visit him. Maybe his meeting with you will be able to affect him somehow beneficially.'
  ... More than a year Lal spent in the Near Cosmos; this was a reason sufficient enough to call Dan after coming back. But he did not receive the response. It became straight away like his heart sank: what happened to him? Lal made immediately a request to the computer - and learned about Dan's disease.
  About what his disease was, the computer did not report, but when Lal saw Dan, he identified immediately it: depression, profound. It was impossible to say that Dan became glad of meeting him. He remained the same sullen, depressed. But Lal knew that he's not able at all to enjoy anything. And questioning carefully, he has got that Dan began to talk a little bit.
  'Have you got my radiogram?'
  'Yes. By the Pluto.'
  By short radiogram Dan informed Lal of the confirmation of Mikhayloh's assumptions and of the creation of the periodic law of the elementary particles. There were no details in the radiogram.
  About this theme, Dan talked willingly. He told about the first coincidence, then about their looking for the necessary material.
  'I could quickly help you to get it.' Dan had then an occasion to contact him, and he - was waiting.
  'I didn't guess,' Dan said absolutely indifferently.
  ... Until that Monday they had something done. Everybody's computers ran uninterruptedly. Even of young graduate-students, Gai and Yukee, who gave the necessary material; they also went home, forgetting about their passion.
  Most of the particles gave coincidences with groups of the chart. Over some of them they had to take trouble, and Dan instructed, not lingering on them, to move on to other particles. They worked day and night. Forgot fatigue because their work was successful.
  On Monday Dan sent a preliminary report to the Academy and the Central Border of Coordination. It was involved in this work a large number of mathematicians and specialists in nuclear particles. Gave an almost unlimited fund of time of using supercomputers with the right of extraordinary service.
  Everything went on extremely quickly. Some difficulties there were only because of particles, the characteristic numbers of which did not give way to process by general methods: they took the most time. For some of them, deviations were found from the basic principle of determining characteristic numbers, after what they were corrected and gave coincidence. Others did not respond to this processing, too, and were rechecked experimentally. Fortunately, such particles there were very few. The recheck in all cases discovered errors or helped to give more accurate correction for measurement error.
  But even before completion of rechecking, the construction of just the particles' system began based on the repeating groups of differences between adjacent gaps between prime numbers. Some numbers of places in it were not filled: therefore it had to be undiscovered yet particles. If the principle was true, of course. A set of specific numbers of each of the hypothetical particles gave possibility to predict quite closely their properties and according to that to do experiments. The search of them succeeded. They were opened even before processing last 'difficult' particles was completed.
  This convinced Dan finally: his flair told him already that the law was true. And he, without waiting for the end of the work on the periodic system of particles, began to move away from direct involvement in it. He returned to his main theme, armed with this law, and was surprised to find how many of his works, in which he used to reach a deadlock, suddenly worked out, constituted a coherent chain of conclusions, giving an explanation of a great number of accumulated facts.
  He was trying to understand what was concealed inside them - the prime numbers. What a mystery of nature? And what opportunities its solution could give to the mankind?
  From work on the particles Dan eliminated completely, was only interested in new results. He worked intensively on his own problem, using the entire given him previously fund of time of the use of a supercomputer performing sorting data and most complex calculations. With their help he hoped to stumble across something that would help him.
  But like formerly, he began gradually to realize that this would come to nothing. The point was not just in the mathematical difficulties. It was imperative to understand some fundamental things. But what ones?
  When it flashed first the idea about some higher structures, to which must be attributed the constant, like the light speed, not one only, but several, he tried immediately to discard it as obviously absurd. As then it is necessary also to assume the coexistence of several different spaces, besides not four, but multidimensional ones having different geometries and time. Plus to this, the complex curvature and heterogeneity of space and a very unstable conception of continuity and infinity. Nonsense, absurd!
  But going through one by one coming to mind variants, he stopped again on this hypothesis and decided to check it. For no particular reason, being confident of its fallibility. But he hadn't found internal contradictoriness of it. In spite of the principle's madness, the precise mathematical relationships gave very convincing results. Some discrepancies with experimental data were easily explained by their whereabouts within probable errors.
  So, it did correctly reflect the reality? No, a thousand times - no!!! All rebelled in him. To accept this hypothesis, it is imperative to break everything. All the world-outlook, all the representations. No - and never, no!!!
  Circling like an exhausted along the endless circle, he tried again and again to find a way out of this in another variant, a different explanation. Thought feverishly and sought. But nothing came.
  Dan stopped sleeping almost completely. He tired extremely himself out. With great difficulty hid his condition during regular medical examinations. Everything began to annoy and oppress him, food disgusted; it became difficult to focus, dizzy and hard to breathe. He lost faith in himself; the life and everything around seemed meaningless and disgusting. From somewhere appeared unconscious fear and an inexplicable feeling of guilt for everything.
  In order not to be alone at sleepless nights, Dan called recently out every evening a houri. One and the same. And released her only in the morning, when it had quite dawned. A few days ago, having broken the aquarium, he attempted to commit suicide by a shard of glass. The houri prevented from it; having returned from him, she reported this accident. So he found himself here.
  ... Dan told inconsistently, chaotically, jumping and repeating. About suicide attempt he spoke very briefly, reluctantly, but hopelessness of his gaze inspired an apprehension that he had not parted with this idea.
  'It is possible that your hypothesis is true, father of mine.'
  'Ah! That cannot be. I just have gone mad and therefore hit upon that.'
  'But the theories of relativity, too, at first seemed insane.'
  'Einstein wasn't sick: he did not go crazy.'
  'I read that he was treated for severe depression. The source, however, isn't completely authentic - but it's possible to believe. This is a payment for overstrain when trying to move beyond the level of your time. Both in his and your case.'
  'To compare me with Einstein!'
  'Exactly! Do you believe me?'
  'You - yes, I do. You know so much.'
  'Then listen to me. It seems to me that it does be true.'
  'No!!! No!!!' Dan shouted, shaking his fists. Immediately ran a medical student:
  'Go away, please. Faster!'
  
  Lal went away, full of conflicting emotions. He was incredibly upset by Dan's condition. And at the same time, excited happily: the stupendous hypothesis by Dan - it seemed to Lal really that it had to be true, even though Dan himself did not want, or rather, could not recognize it. Lal was not a physicist, but he understood quite enough what Dan had said: a modern historian should know very, very much, and Lal, perhaps more than anyone, thanks to his incredible memory and the ability to grasp quickly the essentials, had this quality. And besides, who waits and hopes that before others begins to believe.
  If everything is correct, it is difficult to overrate the discovery by Dan. By its caliber, it will not be inferior to the greatest discoveries of the previous epoch - it will be a real revolution in physics. So...
  So, it will mark the end of the current epoch - the epoch without outstanding scientific discoveries, the epoch of unbelief and despondency. The epoch of the crisis, which way out of is a universal goal. And then a lot may change. Dan's discovery can become just a stream that will carry to the bank.
  The inadequates! Nothing has changed in Lal opinion during his absence on the Earth. And there he saw the inadequates - those whom are experimented on: there are there no different ones at all. He worked less than on the Earth, he had enough time - so he had the opportunity to consider all in details again. And he came back, convinced firmly of the rightness of his opinions of the current social structure.
  Dan's hypothesis is like a flash in the darkness. It is necessary to believe that it won't go out. It is imperative, oh how much, that Dan can recover! As soon as possible.
  
  The next day, Dan asked himself the doctor to call Lal. His first question was:
  'Have you told anyone about this damned hypothesis?'
  Lal glanced at him in surprise:
  'Not, of course: you have not given me your permission.'
  'Oh, okay. Do not tell anyone. But even better - forget it completely.'
  'No. I know, you will recover soon - and you come back to it again.'
  'Hardly.'
  'It will be sure. Everything will be all right: they'll cure you soon - trust me.'
  But Dan was too worn out to believe in something. With hatred he met each day. Do not be, do not speak, do not think, do not exist - was the most intense his desire.
  Fortunately, due the medicines that the physician gave him, he slept most of the time. In the dream, the body was released from the accumulated toxins. And the sharpness of despair was leaving, although nothing still pleased him.
  
  But one day Dan woke up and felt again vigor, tranquility and joy of existence. The sun was shining; the leaves of the trees outside the window were fluttering by breeze. There are again clarity of mind, strength and confidence of the muscles. With smile he met Lal's coming at the usual hour.
  ... They walked a lot in the clinic park, silent or speaking. Went together for fishing in the pond. And Dan's thoughts began slowly to return to work.
  He felt that he could accept his hypothesis of matter hyper structures. Little by little he started to work on that. And now, when he had accepted the strange conclusions as inevitable, everything had finally cleared and began to fit a coherent system.
  For want of something other, he made his first records with a twig on a sand of the pond's bank.
  'Sonny, please, take their picture, yet intact,' with a sly smile he turned to Lal, whom he was waiting that morning impatiently for. And Lal rushed to fulfill his request: fortunately, the wind had not managed to damage Dan's recording.
  On the same day, Lal decided to talk to his physician.
  'Now he can not be stopped. A possibility absence to use his archive and computer at his work will not stop him - he will do without any means, in his brain. This will give nothing but brains overstrain.'
  'Unfortunately, I know this well. To discharge him from the hospital has to be, but won't he break his health without constant supervision?'
  'I will be with him every day, when possible - will ensure he won't to again.'
  'Fine. I will myself watch him every three days. But you, if you notice something, report immediately. Agreed?'
  He explained to Dan in great detail the routine of his work, changing occupations, rest and dosing.
  'Calculate strictly your strengths. As in the long run. If you start to force it prematurely, you may break your health again.
  But after all, the physician told Lal finally after Dan left his office:
  'Can you succeed to persuade him somehow postpone the work? At least for half a year?'
  'You did not know Dan. But we will carry out your instructions.'
  
  5
  
  Dan took about a year only to complete everything. Surprisingly fast.
  'If not count the previous one hundred and thirty years,' he said thoughtfully to Lal, when completed the work.
  Lal was near all this time. It had got that he began to appear in his block. Occasionally at the beginning, when the weather was so awful, that they could not, as always, go for a walk together. Then more and more often. Dan worked, and Lal settled on the terrace and also worked, wrote.
  ... The first report on the hypothesis of hyperstructures Dan did in the narrow circle - the group of people working on the creation of the periodic system of the elementary particles. These people were most prepared, and his position of their teachers demanded that. And then, the next day, he did the official report to the Academy.
  As Lal, who was present at both of them, anticipated, the hypothesis of Dan turned out to be too unexpected for modern physicists. It caused a sharp rejection by most of them. But others, struck with the courage of Dan's conclusions no less than those, expressed vigorously their agreement with the hypothesis; they pointed out a number of additional phenomena which can be finally explained without contradictoriness.
  The most important thing was what struck: using paradoxical properties of hyperspace, opportunity to overcome incredibly fast super long distances appeared. Possibility to be unprecedented, incredible, enormous: a breakthrough by people but not cyborgs into the Far Cosmos.
  Until now, ships with people furrowing the Near Cosmos have not gone beyond the Minerva - the twelfth planet of the Solar system. Into the Galaxy went only scouts-cyborgs, controlled by the human brain, enclosed in a special chamber, where it was supplied with a liquid, saturated with oxygen and nutrients, and toxins removed. The brain was connected with thousands of joints with sensors, computer and controls of a ship. Moving with tremendous speeds in the Far Cosmos, the scouts came back - not all - in the tens and hundreds of years after their departure and brought invaluable information about the depths of the Galaxy, stars, planets. The main aim of their search was a planet suitable for settlement and the discovery of extraterrestrial brothers on reason. But until now no one scout has brought good news.
  And because of this possibility, despite the fact that the proponents of the Dan's theory amounted to an insignificant minority, he was able to make a global report.
  No one remained indifferent. The hypothesis was discussed everywhere and by everyone; people debated endlessly, fiercely. It was hard to accept - it was impossible to disprove it. It could mean an unprecedented scientific take-off, a new level of human power, expanding the boundaries of domination over the nature. Or another disappointment in their power - even more bitter. And everything was seething.
  
  To achieve its overall recognition had needed not one only year. Its opponents had forced to retreat: because there was a significant enough number of facts explained with it - there was also a case of practical use. During this time, Dan, first alone and then as the head of the powerful design office, prepared a fundamental decision of a design of a hyperexpress-spaceship.
  When the issue of its manufacturing was put to the global vote, no one voted against - even numerous yet opponents of the theory. The need for several years to manage with a modest food and clothing, to give up a lot of fun, slow down their own work had stopped no one. To create the miracle of their epoch - the interstellar spaceship-express.
  The length of its openwork structure, forming an orthogonal system of second-order surfaces - ellipsoids and hyperboloids, had to be about a hundred kilometers, and the diameter - thirty those. It had to be mounted outside the Solar system, far beyond the orbit of the last planet - the Minerva. The manager of its construction was Arg, the best Dan's disciple.
  Like the scouts who went into the Far Cosmos, the express has to be at the first flight a ship-cyborg, controlled by the brain of the outstanding astronomer, Tupac, transplanted two hundred years ago in the scout-ship. He flew in the Galaxy, bringing to the Earth an information about the nearest to the Sun stars. Tupac excelled in incredible courage, audacity and ingenuity.
  Learned after his last arrival of the possibilities offered by hyperstructures' theory, he has almost required charging him to lead the first express-spaceship. On the warning about a high probability of deviation of hypertransfer endpoint from the calculated one, he radioed:
  'Well, two deaths will not happen, but one - is inevitable,' - this perspective did not stop him. He believed - he was still lucky very much.
  If successful, he will send a signal that in fifteen years will reach the receiving stations in the Solar system. Then he will fly to a few stars else and explore them and, in case of detection, planets with the help of automates-scouts, and then come back.
  Spinning on his ship around the Sun, he was negotiating with the Academy, Dan and Arg.
  
  Years after the departure of the hyperexpress Dan dedicated exclusively to teaching. He has created and taught courses of hyperstructures' theory for universities and institutes and introduction to this theory for schools and colleges.
  All, who was at first did not agree with his theory, ceased gradually arguing. Its appearance as a powerful impulse caused immediately a great number of important discoveries. It seemed the epoch of scientific depression had ended, and humanity moved with joy along the path of scientific progress. And nobody doubted the success of the Tupac's flight but just Dan himself.
  He was the most popular person on the Earth. The global ballot elected him an academician: this gave him a second life - his head will be shortly before his death transplanted onto the body of a donor. But Dan thought little about it. Though nobody was able outwardly see this, he expected impatiently the Tupac's signal.
  
   And the signal came. It was interrupted absolutely all broadcastings for a news flash by the Academy.
  People apparently lost their heads: a stormy jubilation seized all of them. No one stayed at home. People thronged squares and alleys, shouting, singing and dancing.
  They wanted to see Dan. But he, in response to the endless paging, appeared for just a few minutes on the screen, congratulated people, thanked everyone and said he wanted to be alone. They did not dare to disturb him. But the eye of the receiver was being alight recording continuously received radio messages going on.
  Only when Lal appeared after a call signal on the screen of his radio-bracelet, he said:
  'Come to me: I am eager you to come.'
  Lal found him in the garden, sitting in a chair - with the expression of a complete impotence and indifference to everything. He thanked indifferently for congratulations, for flowers brought by Lal.
  Lal opened a bottle of a light wine.
  'It has been given me once by some winemaker: there is in it an old wine with a marvelous bouquet. He told me to keep this wine till a special case which can only be a once in a lifetime. Today, it is just like that. Let's drink for victory, father of mine!' - Lal's lips were trembling, and his eyes filled with tears.
  They clinked glasses. Dan took a few sips. He was too tired: he began to get drunk immediately. Greedily he drained his glass. And suddenly began to sob.
  Lal did not reassure him: let the tears will help him to relax. Gradually Dan calmed down and began to fall asleep, sobbing occasionally yet.
  A robot made the bed. Dan was already asleep. Lal himself picked him up to move to it and felt with surprise and dismay how he had become light. Carefully, he laid Dan.
  How much he had aged, shriveled. Like a squeezed lemon. The hero - exhausted fully!
  Lal turned off completely the light and went away, leaving Dan sleeping heavily and deeply.
  
  He walked through the alleys, lit brightly and filled with people. The night was approaching, but no one thought about sleeping. People were walking embracing, being exultant, drunk with happiness. And Lal felt that today he is alone as never before. For them it is - a victory, the end of the epoch of the crisis. For him - only the end of the first stage of its finishing.
  Perhaps, of the most important. Therefore, all these years of struggle for the assertion of the theory by Dan the propaganda was the principal affair and meaning of his, Lal, life. He believed in the importance of this theory from the very beginning: it had to put an end to the epoch of the decline. Before that no one would listen to him. Even Dan.
  Dan! How many times it seemed that, looking into his eyes, Dan guessed that he's always concealed something, told not all completely. But Dan's thoughts were concentrated just on one. He gave himself to this entirely - an utmost strained clot of thought, energy, will. And there was already no place nearby for anything else. Otherwise was impossible: Lal understood that too clearly. And did not dare interfere. He waited patiently.
  But after the departure of the ship Dan continued to think about just the same. He needed no longer Lal's help; they began to see a little less. Lal plunged fully into the literary work, created several book-movies. He continued his journalistic work only in order to have access to information about the inadequates.
  The injustice of the existing social structure for him has for long time been evident. The examples of history called for its destruction. But the concrete way to this he has not seen.
  Cautious attempts to speak out have yielded as before no results. Today the hope to tell Dan everything collapsed, too: Dan has absolutely no power - he has spent himself in full, having budged the mountain. Nobody is entitled to load on him now new problems. Moreover, he - the closest friend of his. Dan has to be spared: unfortunately, it is clear - it starts his fading. It left him to live a little if ... If the revival surgery won't be a success. But more likely it will. And then - then will be a different matter. But for now... For now Lal will tell him nothing.
  Lal continued to walk through the alleys, responding to many greetings and congratulations, and no one knew or could guess what thoughts tormented him. Mechanically, he came to the cafe, which he visited most often lately. Today, it is noisy here, despite the very late time. Before many glasses of wine stay, like at the banquet.
  Already at the door, he has heard the words to make him turn immediately his head:
  'If will really remain everything now as it was? After all, it must do disappear someday, the rejection - the very curse of ours! Who will now need it to be - I don't understand!' a young woman said.
  At her table about ten people sat. Lal told his name and asked to join them. They shifted willingly, giving him a place.
  The woman's name was Eve. Lal and she found quickly a common language and, feeling that their conversation is of little interest to the rest, left soon the cafe. They walked long until they came to be outside the city.
  Lal thought that he became finally lucky. They talked for the rest of the night: both were tortured by related problems.
  Eve, teacher, was worried mainly by the rejection. Much of what she said, he heard before, more than once.
  ... How painful is to withdraw by their own hands from human society a child who you busies yourself with - and which you are used to! Even if it is not capable. The rejection is a curse, poisoning the lives of all teachers and physicians, bringing up children of early ages.
  All of them, including her, understand the importance of and the need for it at the maximum strain of forces to overcome the crisis. But it seems the crisis has come to an end. So, whether is it necessary to continue this very rejection? Of course, the use of the inadequates gives a lot to humanity, and unlikely they will turn down it. But, maybe, is it possible to find something else? Let one try oneself to participate in this nightmarish rejection!
   You know, the children, that you are used, are dear of yours - all of them: both capable ones, whom you are proud of, and those slow, whom you feel sorry for. Children are the best, the most wonderful thing in the world, especially small ones. The women of bygone epochs, who gave themselves birth to their children and breast-fed with their own milk, were probably happier than contemporary ones. She would like to find herself on place of formers...
  Lal became to have a premonition of she was bringing him to some unraveling.
  'And if your child would have a lack of capability?' he asked her a question.
  'Would busy myself with it while I'm alive. Even with adult it. It, all the same, would have been dearer of mine than all others.'
  'And if they tried to reject it?'
  'Well then! I wouldn't do let!'
  'You wouldn't do let, would you?'
  'Never! At any cost.'
  'Well ... But what if all women were giving birth and nursing their children?'
  'Then no one already could do anything bad to all the children. I wouldn't envy the one who tried to!'
  'And how about the men?'
  'The same: if they knew that it was his child, they would help to arise it and become used to it - and also would yield nothing bad to do with it.'
  She just was right!!! Lal did know the history of the emergence of the inadequates: they had become a social group after the transition to the birth of children exclusively with special birth givers, who became also a part of the inadequates. That was how the vicious circle had closed.
  His trouble was utterly and completely that he still has not seen a significant connection between these phenomena. Only now he understood finally what the basic condition for the existence of a social group of the inadequates, one of the main reasons of that was. And it became clear what to do.
  ... But really, Eve worried about rejection only. Her hot desire to get rid of it, and besides as soon as possible, and the dream to become she a mother, the effect of an instinct embedded implicitly in her, existed for her quite separately, without any connection. She did not believe in the possibility of all women's return to motherhood. The principal thing was to achieve immediate elimination of rejection. At any cost.
  Even by increasing the inadequates' offspring. Indeed, they are inadequate from birth - all about them is clear, and nothing has to be solved. She was, still, a very person of her time, whom the existence of the inadequates seemed in principle absolutely normal.
  But at the same time, unlike Lal, she was not so lonely. She knew many people who thought the same way as she did. Their number was quite significant. They could achieve carrying out at least partial measures to limit the rejection.
  This could be the first real step. And if they start to act, he will definitely join them.
  He stretched out toward her his hand. They understood each other: their fingers did not intertwine - the hands joined in a strong handshake.
  
  6
  
  The end was approaching. Dan understood clearly: his strength has become completely wrong. However, he engaged still a little bit in perfecting hyperstructures' theory educational courses, supervised post-graduate students. But now it became much more to be interested in things that are not work-related. Travelled. With pleasure spent time at night in clubs and cafes. Had fun at banquets carefree, admiring the dancing and joining the singing. Read, pondered on the meaning of life.
  Often he was sitting in his garden admiring the night sky and stars and dreamed. Life has been almost gone, wholly dedicated to the solution of the problem put itself. He regretted nothing, even in secret from himself being proud of his results. If he dies, he will not be forgotten: he has made sure that is everyone's cherished dream - a place in the Memorial of the Genius of the Humanity.
  ... Located on the slopes of the highest mountains on the Earth, Chomolungma, a giant complex of it began at the very foot and came up. On terraces-steps of historical epochs sculptures stood, portraits hung, and names and achievements of those who the humanity remembered, who by their thought and activity advanced him along the path of knowledge and progress, were inscribed. Each stage was enclosed in a structure reflecting the main architectural styles of the epoch; the size of sculpture or portrait and inscription corresponded to the contribution importance. The steps as coming higher became more and more big and crowded. At the entrance to the Memorial was a statue of a primordial human being with a stone ax.
  In an empty hall on the last stage it held presenting ceremonially doctor's diplomas, printed on genuine paper. Young scientists raised there on foot, passing through all the halls.
  ... But however, it is sad to think of nothing but the Memorial in future. And no reason: too few revival surgeries fail. So it is more likely that he will revive with a young body and fresh strength for a new life.
  What will he do in this new life? Of course, to originate another theory, like the theory of hyperstructures, he won't be able: is chained entirely to his own ideas born in the throes. To be able to create another such a theory, it is necessary to change not the body but the brain. So, just to resume engaging in particular matters of his theory and teaching? Is it worth for that to live the second life?
  What he wanted in the present life and what refused for his main job?
  Many educators in his childhood believed that he would become a musician. He is still extremely fond of music and played the orchestrion, according to the opinion of all those who have heard his play, wonderfully - but he understood that the main thing in life it could not be for him.
  Besides, as a child, he loved to read about explorers and pioneers. Maybe to go into the Far Cosmos with the hyperexpress - to search for extraterrestrial civilizations?
  Lal at that moment appeared on the screen of the radio-bracelet, and Dan told him semi-seriously about that idea.
  'Would you take me along with you, my father?'
  'Come on: of course! How I'll be there without you? Even here, I often miss you. How is your book-movie?'
  'Will you see the latest pieces?'
  'Of course: turn on for me their rewriting. The previous piece, in my opinion, is very successful.'
   'It is considerable merit of Layla.'
  'Tell her that it hard to hold back my tears at certain moments, when she's playing.'
  'She'll be touched. Your name she always pronounces with reverence.'
  'What a pity!'
  'Why?'
  'I'm old - but she's so beautiful and talented.'
  'May I tell her this?'
  'If you want to.'
  
  When the strength of Dan began waning fast, he was transferred to the Institute of Revival under the constant supervision of physicians. The preparation for the surgery was going on. The physicians have selected and tested additionally for optimal biocompatibility several inadequates, the donors of body, then out of those selected a main donor and a spare substitute and began to prepare for surgery.
  ... Dan was coming to the limit state when it was impossible to delay the surgery any longer. Once again, his consent was obtained, and the date was set finally.
  It was staged the night of his farewell to those he wanted to see last time before the long or, perhaps, unwanted eternal separation: his closest disciples, colleagues - and, of course, Lal. The best performers played his favorite pieces, sang, danced, recited poems.
  And Layla, come along with Lal, a talented actress and the most beautiful woman of the Earth, said quietly to him:
   'Return being revived. My passion will wait for you.'
  He smiled: to her, to his thoughts. A passion gripped him never in his life stronger than the thirst for discoveries. Well, it's fine, if the future promises this, too: a passion of such a beautiful women 'with a divinely beautiful face and body, fathomless dark eyes and a tender mouth.
  ...Lal was with him until the last moment, and his face above the hood, under which Dan was been laid to put to sleep, was the last of what he saw before falling asleep.
  
  Part II
  
  The HYPERTRANSFERS
  
  7
  
  More than a hundred surgeons with a huge number of devices performed in a special chamber the complex surgery. They joined Dan's head by many thousands of connections with the body of the young donor.
  Then there was a long post-surgical period between non-existence and delirium. And a lot of time passed before his conscience became clear, and after that, when he was finally allowed to get up and started moving. His new body, young and beautiful, was unaccustomed for him: he barely ran its movements. Careful care, hard regimen, procedures, medications, exercises - nothing else he did know and saw while in the institute's sanatorium.
  From there Dan came only three years after the surgery, fully controlling his new body. Young and strong, with having smoothed out because of the action of fresh hormones wrinkles and darkened again hair. So far, the joint track at this neck was covered with a protective collar of gold in the form of the ancient Egyptian necklace.
  He returned home on the New Year's Eve, warning nobody: he would like to arrange a surprise for all, appeared as unrecognizable on the New Year carnival. The only radio call he made to Lal, but that one did not answer: he was again in the Near Cosmos.
  ... The message on the screen had no a single word that Lal flew there not on their own. Once it was called an exile, but apparently it was a regular job of 'The News'. For those who secured this, the long absence of Lal on the Earth seemed the best way out from the arisen situation.
  The teachers, Eve's adherents, started to act exactly before Dan was placed in the Institute of Revival. It happened not without influence of a series of articles of Lal, so it was impossible to consider that he only joined them after they teamed up and had come out for the restriction of rejection.
  A controversy started with who were against any changes. There were many of such: geneticists, surgeons, biocyberneticists, sexologists, sociologists. Those leading them, especially the very prominent geneticist Yorg, had enough understanding that the debate should not be allowed to become general, in order not to sharpen attention on related to it issues. They succeeded to do everything possible that many people did not even know about the controversy at all.
  Lai appeared publicly with a new series of articles. Since the very outset, his position was extremely complicated: he had no the fully like-minded adherents even among those with whom he was in concert. In the heat of controversy he started telling far more than it was required to support the movement. And he became completely alone. Only the desire of the movement enemies to avoid a general publicity saved him: without the world vote the use of a boycott was impossible. And Yorg persuaded Marc to send Lal to the Near Cosmos.
  The first round was lost. Lal had to wait again. And to do for the present at least just the possible. Well! He understood that this is only the outset. And retreated temporarily. Having not changed his beliefs, not lost faith.
  Billions of kilometers separated him from the Earth and Dan.
  
  A New Year carnival is the most magnificent of the common terrestrial ones. In every city they erect especially huge pavilions for banquets; efforts of artists, jesters and actors combine. Cooks try to surpass themselves, using the rarest delicacies, whose production is limited due to the reluctance to spend too much energy. And every carnival glitter with fiction and fantasy and is not like the previous one.
  Dan dressed as a young 'bright. A thin snow-white lacy linen shirt with a huge collar covering his shoulders; a gold mesh-vest with long tassels to the hips over it; breeches of the color of red swordtail fish scales and shoes of black velvet. At the head a gold hoop tightening dark shiny hair as a cobra with eyes of rubies raised its head. A jewelry case of radio-bracelet, rings and ear-rings with chalcopyrite. He was handsome, unrecognizably.
  His surprise succeeded clearly: in the hall of the pavilion nobody absolutely paid attention to him. He took the empty seat at the long table, trying to stay as inconspicuous as possible. There were somewhere close his disciples; they suspected nothing. He anticipated his coming unexpectedly to them - how funny that would be!
  A huge alive spruce in the midst of the pavilion shone with colored lights and lots of ornaments. The floor, walls, seats and even the tables are covered with pile, shining and white as snow. From the ceiling huge snowflakes hung.
  New Year.
  The time of its occurrence is already close. Their glasses, vials, cups, horns are filled and raised. The music is sounding quieter, and light is fading - it is becoming a traditional five-minute silence when the stars only are visible through the transparent dome, and each is alone with himself and his thoughts.
  In the dark bells sound, and with the last kick becomes brightly light.
  'Greetings to you, our dear teacher! Happy New Year to you and a new life!' Dan hears. The entire hall is greeting him loudly, and right in front of him Arg and the rest of his disciples stay with the phials in their hands. Well, what the sly people - his surprise lost! But there is no annoyance - he laughs with them.
  Arg led him to the place of honor that awaited him; all tried to clink glasses with him when he passed by, and the choir sang a song written specially for the day of his return: 'We have so much waited for you!'
  He sat down at the table with his disciples - at that time a solo female voice replaced the choir. The singer was sitting on the dais, highlighted among the ensued half-light, accompanying herself on the harp-orchestrion. Her voice is low, deep; and movements over the strings of the harp are wonderfully graceful. She is young: its main decoration - a pure beauty of her naked body under a long loose robe of the thinnest transparent fabric. Her figure is tall and slim, with a flexible waist; her high elastic bust tightens the fabric. The thin red hair lies along the back and touch the floor. Huge moist eyes, quivering nostrils, an a little big movable tender mouth; a little bit large feet in light silver sandals, and long-fingered hands. All of her: both the figure, as though come from an ancient Egyptian bas-relief, and the face with the radiant eyes, and a smile, the movements, the sound of her voice - are full of ineffable inner grace.
  Dan stared at her while she sang. And when the dancing began, he stood with other men in a large circle against one of women moving towards men inside of their circle.
  Here she came just against him, and at that moment the music sounded slowly.
  'What's your name, sister?'
  'Eya.'
  'Eya? Your name is light like breathing.' She lit him back a smile. After the dance, he invited her to his table.
  They sat, both young, among his old and elderly disciples, and Eya was a bit shy in the company of such the famous scientists. He tried all the time to be closer to her and danced tirelessly that night: he felt fascinated as never in his first life.
  A lovely return! If Lal would be still here. Where is he now?'
  'Lal on the Minerva,' Arg said. 'A space station patrol took the signals of a scout coming back.'
  'Not Tupac yet?'
  'I do not think so. We still do not expect him. Otherwise, everyone would be there.'
  ...Dan looks at Eya again: he wants and does not dare to tell her about his passion. He has been always quite shy with women. His hand stopped halfway, but her one is coming very close. And their fingers woven tightly, they look into each other's eyes: they will be together today.
  Gradually, those who are older began to disperse, going home to rest. Dan and Eya gone away, when a farewell dance had finished sounding. In the lobby two self-propelled sleighs waited for them. They got dressed and sat in them; pressing both pedals at once, they went out of the pavilion.
  The night was quiet, clear; there were light frost and sparkling fresh soft snow. There was almost no one, only from time to time a sleigh was rushing. They drove, overtaking each other, dodging and playing - they were having fun. Then he pulled her sleigh to his one, embraced her. They weren't long able to open their flaming lips.
  Dan feels on his cheeks her warm fingers, greedily inhales a delicate scent of her perfume, his favorite bitterish-spicy smell of marigolds. She smiles, whispers:
  'You are like the youth, who has for the very first time got to know a passion!'
  ... They are in the block of Dan. Do not turn on lighting. In starlight and distant lights on the garden terrace under a transparent dome, Eya seems the revived statue of some great sculptor of antiquity. Or not: she is a comer from other galaxies, worlds, spaces.
  'Your eyes are like stars! You're a young poplar leaf in spring!'
  The bed is waiting for them, calling to it.
  
  In the morning an alarm of an emergency call woke up Dan. He turned on the reception - Lal appeared on the screen with his hands put in greeting together in front of his chest:
  'My best regards to you, the reborn! I hasten to convey the good news: Tupac is coming back! It has been accepted his broadcast: he has discovered a planet, almost similar to the Earth. But it is lifeless: its atmosphere is composed of carbon dioxide. I inform you the first. An hour later, a message will go to 'The News' for the special.' The screen went dark: Lal was hurry.
  Dan turned around heard behind him a quickened breathing of Eya. Her eyes were open widely; his nostrils were quivering with excitement.
  'Dan! Oh! How wonderful! The planet! Similar to the Earth! That hasn't succeeded to be found in the Solar system. Hurray!!!'
  'How much you are excited: if to throw you in the snow, it will hiss!'
  'I don't mind. Let's run?'
  Dressed in gymnastic clothes and light waterproof shoes, they run along a paved path. But measured normal running is impossible: both are too excited; Eya is all the time trying to discuss on the run the valuable news and, getting excited more and more, begins to run faster.
  'Stop! Run smoothly! We'll talk later.'
  'But you must understand: the same was at first on the Earth - I do know all details about that period.'
  'Do you? Why?'
  'Why how? I am engaged in the ecological history of the Earth.'
  'Are you an ecologist? You?'
  'Why are you laughing? I do be an ecologist and am finishing a post-graduate study already. My theme is just by atmospheric changes on the Earth.'
  'Indeed?'
  'Huh: teasing! Take that!' Of a nimble backheel Dan is falling in the snow. Eya is leaning upon him; floundering in the snow, they are laughing, managing to kiss.
  Then they jump up and accelerate all the time their pace. Having run into the lobby of the swimming-pool, they change quickly their clothes and, not having cooled down, steaming, throw themselves into the water. For Eya's not pestering him with talk of a new planet there, Dan is diving endlessly: he cannot talk about this right now, even with her.
  She took still a moment - when they sat on the bench with glasses. Swallowing tomato juice with large sips, she began to expound no more or less than her plan for making the discovered by Tupac planet good for living there.
  ... The Earth also had before no free oxygen in the atmosphere: like on this planet there was large amount of carbon dioxide. But plants have performed a gigantic work of the atmosphere saturation with oxygen for a great period. They, using chlorophyll, decomposed water releasing free oxygen and then combined released hydrogen with the carbon dioxide absorbed by them in the feeding.
  Plants are now the only regenerators of oxygen on the Earth. And to create normal conditions on the Earth-2, how she has immediately called the new planet, its surface should be covered with vegetation, too. Of course, it is necessary to create artificially in the atmosphere the minimum amount of free oxygen necessary for their nighttime breathing.
  But it's possible to start planting without waiting for that. How? By creating special facilities covered with transparent film, which transmits only the necessary amount of ultraviolet rays for photosynthesis. In these facilities, it can be provided the necessary conditions for plants. In the day-time, when it is light, through a special valve the desired amount of carbon dioxide can enter, intake of which will automatically stop at nightfall. Thus, the plants will be protected from the excess of the hard component of ultraviolet rays, and the necessary concentration of oxygen creates for respiration during night.
  The number and sizes of the covered zones can gradually increase. Plants much sooner start to settle the planet: it will accelerate the process of saturation of the atmosphere with oxygen and thus the colonization of the planet by people.
  Dan listened to her already attentively. 'Quickly realized. Indeed, sensible!' It should then think above this.
  This time more and more people began to appear in the pool. The radio receiver with wall screen started to work: morning music with color support was broadcasted.
  The music cut suddenly with a short signal of the special. Trying to move as inconspicuously as possible, Dan went to a diving high board.
  All became numb, having heard the message. And then there was a general cry of triumph:
  'A new planet! A double of the Earth! Hurray!!! Another else victory! Dan is here. Cheers Dan!'
  He stood there, so that was not visible, but everyone knew he was here. Someone radioed friends; excited, screaming, laughing people filled to capacity the pool building.
  'The new planet! We will populate it: we will be more numerous - our progress will accelerate! Dan! Where is he?'
  They still noticed him. People climbed up to him, and he, having waited until someone succeeded to get him, jumped down into the water. But as soon surfaced, he was surrounded on all sides.
  'Dan! At the first victory day you were not together with us. Be together today!'
  The crowd of them, with singing loudly and laughter, went from the pool to the carnival pavilion. There Dan was asked to make a speech for the direct broadcast worldwide.
  He did not consider himself a master of saying them, but today he was eager to say that filled him. He was on all screens; everyone, holding their breath, listened to what he said:
  'A great lot of time has passed since then, when people have been convinced of the futility of their hope to find in the Solar system planets suitable for colonization. Now, such a planet is found. It is far away, but we can overcome the distance.
  If our hope comes true, if we succeed to settle a new planet, we will get more numerous, and in proportion to our number, the exponent of the progress speed will increase, as those who will dwell there and those who remain on the Earth will be able to exchange information. It is worth to work hard and once again restrict our conveniences. In order to achieve the new great goal none sacrifices can frighten us.
  What awaits us? Maybe not just another inhabited planet, but also the implementation of our cherished dream: a meeting with the brothers on reason. And maybe, going to the goal, we will discover something good just in ourselves - a new, still unknown. Or remember something that we lost previously in the way of our development.
  The goal is set, the hope shines for us. Like everyone, I dream to go to the new planet.'
  ... This solemn day has tired strongly Dan, getting unaccustomed to numerous quantity of people. But he did not go away until the very end.
  
  The next day, Dan began from applying for permission to send a space radiogram to Lal. It went with the image of Dan: he realized that after three years of separation Lal wanted to see him.
  'Greetings and Happy New Year, my dear - now already brother! I'm eager to see there and hug you. If your work is done, come back soon. I'm waiting for you impatiently.'
  Then he said to Eya:
  'It seems I'm feeling a little tired of the noise. I want to be with you alone, the nice of mine.'
  She wanted to do the same. And they went for a few days in a taiga - for skiing. A special robot with a tent, batteries and sublimated products moved ahead of them, paving the ski trail; it established and warmed quickly a tent while melting snow for tea and cooking hot food.
  Getting into the tent, they were resting and talking: most of all - about the new planet. Dan also told of his very close friend, Lal. Eya listened eagerly: Lal was one of her favorite writers. Once she even managed to talk to him during an interview with her supervisor, professor Tāne: Lal made upon her an unusually strong impression.
  These days have made them very close. This very young girl inspired Dan with ever-increasing admiration. She, like him when twenty years old, was finishing the post-graduate study; Dan found her very significant amount and depth of knowledge, tenacity of mind, an amazing harmony of thought. He guessed her some hidden yet power, waiting in the wings for appearing in its entirety.
  And he touched her by his unspent tenderness; it was surprising how modest, even shy, such the greatest genius of the present epoch was. Although, he was, maybe, so nice to her only? Probably, yes: this idea flattered her.
  Many enough kilometers they have skied through the snow-covered taiga. And the last day of the New Year holidays they spent on the beach in Australia, basking in the hot sand and swimming in a warm gulf.
  
  Lal arrived soon.
  After receiving the Dan's radiogram, he during the closest communication session forwarded it to the Earth in the edition of 'The News', along with his request for recall from the Cosmos. He knew: he could not be refused - too huge Dan's authority was. With the recall, the request of Marc to get in touch with him at the approach the Earth came.
  And Lal left. Straight away. On the small space launch. Quite alone.
  At approaching, fulfilling the request of his chief, he sent him a call. A complicated relationship bound him with this man. Marc, of course, still remains at the same position, although his arguments have largely lost the power. He admires too much the talent of Lal - and therefore is genuinely afraid of him: who, if not he, is aware of the extent of the impending danger.
  'Be prudent and cautious. I am already starting to think that you are right in many respects - but your time has not come yet! So again, I ask: be careful.'
  Lal was touched. He reassured the chief, promising to refrain from public statements. He, and indeed, intended now to behave quietly: he knew that the time should pass before people will begin to understand him; he decided to hasten this moment in another way. All a long way, oblivious of loneliness, he pondered his plan of action.
  After landing the launch, he got in touch with Dan, passed an ordinary medical check and flew by a rocket plane to Starstown. As always, particularly agonizing the last few minutes were. Finally, the cabin stopped somewhere in the hundredth tier, and Lal found himself in strong arms of Dan.
  ... They eagerly scrutinized each other - marvelously rejuvenated Dan and Lal, seemed now older than him. Lal did not immediately notice that besides them still a woman was in the block. He raised surprisingly his head, but then he smiled at her:
  'Good afternoon, Eya!'
  'Wonderful day, senior!' she felt obviously flattered that he remembered her.
  They sat on the terrace - the questions were endless. Eya tried at first to leave: it seemed to her that she hinders them. They insisted on her staying together with them.
  The conversation quickly turned to the new planet. Eya questioned eagerly Lal what new he can inform. No, nothing - beyond those, already transferred to the Earth, he did not know. All the same: an incredible similarity to Earth. The diameter, mass, and gravity are not significantly different from Earth those. The temperature on the surface almost everywhere is like on the Earth's equator. In Tupac's report there are incomprehensible places.
  'They have given a computer to decipher,' Dan said. 'In the meanwhile to not avail.'
  However, no one wants to wait until the computer has coped. Also, they do not want to wait until Tupac arrives and give them all the collected by him material.
  The issues of the flight to the new planet, development and settlement on it are already being studied as immediate - for a report to the Central Border of Coordination of humanity: to approve the including them in programs of scientific preparation, engineering and industrial implementation. No one doubts the future results of the voting.
  Take part in the first expedition to the Earth-2, as thank to Eya they call the new planet, almost everyone is eager - every of them, too.
  Dan saw for himself in this a realization of long-held youth dream of travel. In addition, he believed that he would get in the Far Cosmos an invaluable material for further research: he became now less skeptical of their creative abilities. To participate in the implementation of the ecological revolution of the Earth-2 and even see it with her own eyes was also an accomplishment of dreams of Eya as an ecologist.
  And Lal wanted to see all this myself. As an historian and journalist. Would be any practical benefits of his participation for the expedition? Sure! Being interested because of his occupations in absolutely everything, he was overflowing with all sort of knowledge like a living encyclopedia - and, with his exceptional memory, would be a perfect complement of advanced but narrow specialists. In addition, he had more than two years of the time of flying in the Near Cosmos, including a six-month stay on a watch space station and the title of the first class astronaut, which he would be automatically awarded for his flight alone from the Minerva.
  It will be great - to join the expedition by all three of them. Everything, of course, will decide results of a special machine selection, the conclusion of the selection board and a universal vote. However, if to act by all three as a group, their chances of this will be higher: even just the three of them represent good staff - a physicist, a biologist and an all-round specialist. Their advantage can also be a long close friendship of Dan and Lal. The compatibility of Dan and Eya seems also absolutely good; that of Eya and Lal apparently does the same.
  Lal did not tell everything - he had a purpose else, and the current situation could not be better fit to his intended plan of action. For then, his immediate plan is creating of a new book-movie. With the participation by Layla.
  'Have you met her?' he asked Dan, getting already up to leave.
  No, Dan has not met her. Actually, on the day of arrival of the report on the discovery of the Earth-2, shortly after delivering his speech, he seemed he saw her at the entrance to the hall. But Eya said something, he turned immediately to her. When he remembered of Layla again and began to look for her with his eyes, he did not found anywhere. It must have really been wrong. And then he immediately forgot about it.
  
  8
  
  Everyone waited for the arrival of Tupac. At the same time, the preparation of the expedition developed - the Central Border of Coordination worked at that as a cause No.1, burdened with it utmost scientific and engineering centers. Discussions and competitions of solutions took place continuously. The supercomputer of the Staff Archive performed the search and analysis of the candidates.
  Dan was tried to persuade to withdraw his candidacy, not to expose his second life in danger - to no avail, of course. Eya delayed slightly the defense of her predoctoral thesis to include a well-founded plan of the oxygenation option of the Earth-2 atmosphere by greening simultaneously the planet. This idea has been recognized as the best - Eya's version was approved as a primary, increasing highly her chances. Chances of Lal were also quite noticeable: his reasons proved to be very substantial.
  Finally, Tupac flew. The giant spaceship went to the heliocentric orbit outside the Solar system. A space cruiser with Dan, Lal and other members of the meeting commission came close to the hyperexpress and laid on a parallel course. After exchanging mutual greetings, Tupac made a transfer of the information collected on surveyed areas of the Far Cosmos, while directly answering questions. First of all, they asked to explain the strange places of his message, since the computer had not mastered them.
  Tupac explained them with the violation in himself, in his brain. For some reason incomprehensible before, irreversible changes causing pain - especially at the last time - occurred. The cause of that is now quite clear for him: it is associated with a completely unforeseen consequence of the properties of hyperstructures at certain levels; he explained a possible way to overcome it.
  He must die shortly. But he is pleased and regrets absolutely nothing. He thanks Dan, who gave him the opportunity to move so quickly across the Galaxy. Instead of dozens of years of flying in the interstellar space, he was able to get for a negligible time near chosen stars, covering with conventional engines of annihilation a remaining distance. He sent from there to the star and occasionally discovered planets rocket-scouts that brought the pictures and detailed data. The scout sat sometimes on the planet's surface, doing seismic exploring and drilling, and then delivered samples of rocks and, rarely, an atmosphere. At the latest star, surveyed by him, scout brought the information about an Earth-like planet. But he started already to feel a small, but persistent pain, and the devices of the diagnostic analyzer fixed some changes in the brain. Then he decided to go back.
  Nevertheless, he was even lucky: the deviation from the intended endpoint of the hypertransfer was small this time - at the beginning of the flight he had a long time to get the first goal with the annihilation engines and after a long delay to send a signal to the Solar system. But now it went on smoothly, except that the pain intensified all the time. He was in a hurry: to convey the message about the opening of the double of the Earth and valuable information about the space area explored by him, to save such a miracle - the hyperexpress, to die on the Earth, and before his death to have the opportunity to communicate with people the last time.
  ... His quarantine was reduced as much as possible only. And then block with the contained in it brain of Tupac was brought to the Earth. But to save his life was indeed impossible.
  Then a huge block, the container of the Tupac's brain, they placed on a mobile platform for his possibility to see by his teleeyes the last time cities and fields, trees, grass, blue sky and people who talked to him touching gently by their hands the sides of the block.
  He was a great astronomer - Tupac, who became a cyborg to go to the stars: his death was celebrated by deep mourning. A large statue of Tupac appeared at the Memorial of the Genius of the Humanity, and the constellation in which he made his last flight received his name instead of the old, mythological, one.
  
  The work was in full swing. The program of the flight preparing was designed for ten years. During this period it was necessary to work out in detail the main and spare programs of the ecological revolution. To prepare everything for its implementation: design projects, the initial number of machines, robots, program of them to work and manufacturing in the Earth-2. To develop reliable methods of preservation of seeds and food; to prepare a sufficient number of batteries, 'fuel', necessary materials for the first time. And much more else. People once again limited themselves in many things: the general enthusiasm of the consciousness of participation in the unprecedented great cause supported them.
  It was nominated some groups of candidates, one of which was formed of Dan, Lal, and Eya. It received the most 'pros' at the global vote - thanks to the colossal popularity of Dan, as everyone considered. Lal, however, knew that the important role played and his enemies' desire to get rid of him for a long time: it made all of them to vote for the group of Dan. 'No wonder Yorg praised our group so highly. Well: every cloud has a silver lining. If they knew what I had in mind! Then they would try to not let me further than the Near Cosmos. And wouldn't let out of their sight'. He realized that he employed the trick - a thing in itself quite disgusting: the savage's mind. But in this case it was a ruse of war: there was no alternative.
  In addition they created several groups of substitute astronauts and a reserve for the revision number of participants in the expedition. For ten years they have to receive all necessary training: in theoretical and practical mastery of many areas of physics and chemistry, botany and agricultural technology, geology, medicine, cosmic navigation; to master a number of engineering professions. And besides that all, the intense physical training.
  Dan's group lived in a special house in the mountains. The situation does not yet allow isolating them almost completely from communicating with other people. This had to do later, during the long adaptation stay at a space station. Yet the communication out of the group was reduced to a minimum. But the broadcast continued during working hours to be available.
  Dan developed one of the versions of an oxygenizator of the ultrahigh intensity by the use of the results of his very first work. Eya made his doctoral dissertation, devoted entirely to carrying out greening the Earth-2 by her proposed method.
  And Lal worked at the completion of his latest book - 'The Inadequates: who they are - and we?' He was going to leave it up to Marc - in case he would not come back: in order his thoughts could not disappear with him. And Dan and Eya must also read it during the flight there.
  They worked a lot, hard. In addition to their own work they had to participate when necessary in a going continuously in meetings, discussions, ideas and projects' considerations.
  Each group was thoroughly tested for compatibility of its members. The full compatibility group Dan did not cause even a slightest doubt. Mutual respect and delicacy of all the three excluded completely any discontent or irritation. They were not at all a burden to each other - even preferred to work together in the same room.
  There wasn't an important problem else: Eya had physical intimacy of both men, and the right of choice belonged solely to her. Longtime friends, Dan and Lal, this bounded up more tightly.
  The solitude in the mountains deprived only of such a pleasure as a weekly banquet in the restaurant - but there were conversations before going to bed, Dan's playing orchestrion, Eya's singing and Lal's telling. There were a small wooden bathhouse and picnics at some mountain meadows.
  Later, when Eya had returned from the Memorial with a doctor degree diploma, and Dan's development have been implemented in a pilot installation, which completion was possible to manage without him, they tackled intensive studies.
  It was imperative a lot both to know and be able to do for the possibility of even just one of them in the case of the others' death to implement the program of the ecological revolution and return to the Earth. The training was composed of special programs just for them, and held by outstanding specialists. It was also imperative to learn what a modern person on the Earth had absolutely no need to know and be able, for example, to do a lot, using the most primitive means and instruments or completely without them.
  Some of the courses they read each other on their own: Dan - hyperstruktural physics, which fundamental mastery of was absolutely necessary, and Eya - ecology. Lal was competent in driving a spacecraft and able to navigate by the stars; he was their instructor during an adaptation stay at a separate space station. They have mastered fully driving large cruisers and small launches, which had to use in the Near Cosmos of the Earth-2: the hyperexpress could come into none of a planetary systems.
  
  The supplies of all they had to take with them were enormous.
  It was prepared a large number of seeds of trees, mostly - spruce and pine, which could grow in sand and did not need insects for pollination. They intended to take with them also seeds of many other plants, which required, in the absence of insects, artificial fertilization: on trial. Seedlings for the first planting passed special conservation. Growth stimulants and fertilizers were prepared, too.
  They developed new methods of dehydration and compact conservation provisions to ensure a proper and varied nutrition for the entire group planned for twenty years with a three-time reserve. In addition, they intended to take with them a few nanny-goats and hens with ampoules of sperm of a billy-goat and a rooster, and for them - the required amount of fodder.
  And it was prepared, also by a wide margin, all kinds of drugs and medicines. It was not forgotten about everything necessary for everyday life: special clothing, space suits, breathing apparatuses, any utensils.
  Continuously on the hyperexpress materials, structural elements of oxygenizators, power plants, protective domes, and much more were sent.
  And the ship itself has been reconstructed. The apparatus of hypertransfer was equipped additionally with safety devices, designed by Dan and Arg according the instructions of the late Tupac and strengthened with additional sections, to increase capacity. The crew module was replaced entirely: it now had huge cargo compartments and a spacious compartment for astronauts.
  
  9
  
  The last year before leaving has come. The work has mostly been already done. The astronauts began to prepare for the flight.
  They collected that was not planned by the program, but they would like to take with themselves. Rewrote a lot of books, movies, music. Also - they rewrote their personal archives to leave copies of the Earth: in the case of death. In days off they already did not work, but 'bade actively farewell', as Eya said: met with friends, visited different places on the Earth, tried to see as much as possible.
  The previous nine years were full of work, study, and training. It was just no time to breathe freely: for anything besides what needed to manage to do there was neither time nor energy. For all these years, Lal did not consider possible to reveal anything to his comrades.
  But now it's time for the first step. While they are on the Earth. Otherwise, then, in the Far Cosmos, he will not be able to start with that Lal considered most necessary. And he made his e2-e4: offered to fly to one of the children's islands.
  Dan and Eya agreed to: Dan because he wanted to find himself in a forgotten atmosphere of extremely distant childhood; Eya - because remembered still something.
  ... On the island, covered by trees, they arrived in the early morning. On the rocketodrome they were waiting for. It was a woman.
  'Hey you! Happy morning, Lal!'
  'Joyful morning, Eve! Dan. Eya. Eve, a teacher - my old friend. Are you free today, sister?'
  'Yes, Lal. I passed your request to the head: today even you can not be refused.'
  'Are we not too early?'
  'No matter. The school students have already got up, and to younger ones we'll go later - will move in reverse.'
  She led them to the lawn, where seven years old children exercised, looking at the instructor. While they were busy, Lal talked about something with Eve, and Dan with Eya, not wanting to disturb them, went off of them and sat under a tree on the grass.
  After finishing exercises, the children with glasses of juice in their hands approached Eve. She introduced them to the astronauts, whom they immediately surrounded.
  Lal immediately seized their attention. He answered readily their questions, dropping upon him from all sides. It was felt that he was getting great pleasure because of communicating with children. He spoke with them extremely simply and effectively using vivid figurative similes, sometimes very funny, and his story was often interrupted by concerted children's laughter.
  Dan looked at the children and tried to remember himself at that age - nothing came of it! Was he really once ago such a fit little fellow too? He was, certainly - but so long ago that he did not believe it. As if not he but someone another ran then here in bright calico shorts and with bare feet.
  A little hand lay on his palm.
  'Senior, and when you will fly there?'
  'Soon already.'
  'And what is there necessary to do?'
  'Very many things. We had to study a big lot to learn.'
  'A lot to learn? How much? We will graduate from school in two years. Then it will be possible, won't it?'
  'No, not yet - this is not enough.'
  'Not enough? But what: else?'
  'All: gymnasium, lyceum, college, university, and then - institute, postgraduate and doctoral studies. But then we must also prepare specially.'
  'And you studied so much?!'
  'Yes, of course.'
  'But ... I will then old - it must be thirty years! Now I need to - just now. Without fail! Let your captain ask: I've never afraid of anything!'
  And then, Dan remembered at once. He remembered how to him, too, it seemed that thirty years people were old. And how he, too, was eager to make something then, immediately. That impatience made him to absorb greedily knowledge even beyond the program, to ask too many questions to teachers, to swallow unrestrainedly additional literature.
  'What's your name, huh?' Dan crouched before him: their eyes were on the same level.
  'Lee.'
  'And mine is Dan: I am just the captain. You must know: what I told you about the study is imperative. Since the path to the stars is lengthy and long. But if you, though, fear nothing, you won't be afraid of long study, too. To fly into space being armed with essential knowledge. Do you like to study?'
  'N-no. Not very much. I don't succeed in that: I'm the slowest in our class at the computer.'
  'What hamper you?'
  'I do not know. But, Captain, listen: but then I'm not afraid of anything - not a bit. And I'm very strong - do try!' His hand, in fact, was really very strong for his age.
  'You see! - He smiled: 'You'll take, right?'
  'No, Lee. It's yet impossible.'
  'But I'm strong - take me!'
  'Impossible, you know? Have grown up and learned - only then.'
  'Only then? Ooh ... Well, okay: I will study - to my utmost. But just take me to the next flight, okay?'
  'I promise, if you will be better prepared than others, I will vote for sending you in the Far Cosmos.'
  'But to take me on your own - and that's it?'
  'But had I built the space express and provide him with all necessary?'
  'No,' he lowered his head. 'Captain, I realized that it would be unfair. I will, I will apply myself!' he clenched his fists. 'Only you, too - do not forget!'
  'I promise you, my friend Lee!'
  'Captain, mother Eve calls us to breakfast. Come with us!'
  They had breakfast with the children. Then Eve gave necessary instructions to a student-intern, whom she left her place, and took them to a most nearby kindergarten. They walked on foot for having a talk while going.
  'What Lee spoke to you, senior?' Eve asked Dan.
  'He asked to take him into the Far Cosmos.'
  'Oh, it is hardly ever be possible. Very low capacity, he has barely got to us. They just did not dare to reject him.'
  'He promised me, he would study at his utmost for my taking him to the next flight. He wants to become an astronaut too much.'
  'I have him a dreamer. But subjects- all of them - come to him with great difficulty. And his love of learning, to classes is absent. He's very fond of hearing about space travels, but reads on his own nothing beyond the program. Just everyone loves him - and even respects. Both the children and we, the teachers. Here, and the same was in kindergarten. He is very strong, but - never - hurt anyone; and if he sees that someone is hurt, he'll intervene and intercede without fail. Incredibly sensitive to any injustice, and, very much, kind - and in this respect may influence the other children.
  Children do be not angels: there are in children's collective enough conflicts, and occurrences of children's cruelty are not such a rarity. We must to take a lot of troubles over them to grow not only educated, but also having the ability to coexist with other people. Mutual care, kindness, tolerance, teamwork - all this is really no less important, in our view, than knowledge. And at this Lee outdistanced very many children, so they didn't decide to reject him before.'
  'How can we help him?'
  'I do not know, although I have had him for almost a year. He does not comprehend sometimes the simplest things. I assist him in addition - but to no avail. And, most importantly, he himself has no desire.'
  'But he promised to apply himself. He did firmly - even clenched his fists. Won't it still help?'
  'Oh, it would be good! I will always remind him. If it helps, think you made another great thing, and I'll be eternally grateful to you.
  You can not imagine: what a grief for us - the rejection of a little human. After all, we are so much accustomed to them and bound! It is impossible not to love them: the best and the worst ones, the cheerful and crybabies, good and bad - to make all these very people. Without love for them, there is nothing to do: without it, nobody will be allowed to our occupation. There is in fact one of the most important causes on the Earth - formatting people. In the highest sense. This no parents are engaged in, as in the previous epochs, but we. We have a huge responsibility for the release of proper people.
  And rejection is almost like a murder.'
  'That is how? So, first stages teachers are not very happy people?'
  'Oh no! We do be the happiest. Yes, sure! Difficulties - yes, incredible responsibility - yes, the continuous tension - also yes; and even rejection - the terrible rejection. But all the time we are dealing with children, the youngest - at an age when they are the nicest. After all, children are the most wonderful, the most surprising thing that exists in the world. More miraculous than all amazing discoveries and ingenious theories, more beautiful than masterpieces of art. Their little bodies, which before your eyes become stronger and more confident in their movements. Their nice faces and lively little eyes. Their smiles, their laughter. Unique funny expression and thousands of 'why'. Their love and caress. In your life there nothing of it.'
  'Eve, but there is a fear for them, too.'
  'Do you mean that you're afraid of Lee, whom you learned today - that you aren't indifferent to his fate?'
  'Yes. You have said what I feel: I am not.'
  'I am pleased to. And not everything is lost yet - there are still nearly two years - I will struggle for him. Let your conversation today help us.'
  ... Lal felt confident and in a kindergarten, too. Children there also surrounded immediately him, and the two got instantly on his laps. And he read them some verses. The lovely little verses about different simple but amazing things. About the affectionate sun and a fine rain, about the soft green grass and yellow sand, about a white cloud and a small storm one, about a light breeze. And he sang a few songs with them. And then he unfolded his screen-fan and read two little funny tales.
  The children did not want to let him go. But they had to go to a nursery.
  ... Kids who have already spoken quite correctly; and then - kids who just start to talk. Clear eyes, smooth baby skin, plump tiny arms.
  At the youngest group they saw a wet-nurse breastfeeding a baby. Eya watched without stopping: Eve saw that she tensed.
  'Do you want to pick him up in your arms?' she asked Eya, when the wet-nurse handed the baby to another nurse.
  'Is it possible, is it?'
  Eve nodded, and the nurse brought the baby. It stared at the people, and then wanted to cry but changed its mind and, having turned its head toward Eya, smiled suddenly and extended its arms to her. And Eya took it.
  She held the baby in her arms, smiling at him, too, and clasped firmly to herself, apparently for fear of dropping it.
  'Ave Maria,' Lal said softly.
  'Eya, you look at it as though you want to offer it your breast,' Eve remarked.
  'Of course!' Lal replied without smiling.
  Eya blushed densely and handed carefully the baby to the nurse. That one put him in a baby carriage, rolled at once to other those standing in the shade of a large tree.
  'I have for you now broken the rule: nobody may take babies, except wet-nurses, child-minders and the very pediatrician. Well, okay: I'll warn her, let her take some action if necessary.'
  ... Then she accompanied them to the rocketodrome. They went slowly again.
  'Are all these children born here on the island?' Dan asked.
  'Yes. In the southern part there is a building for performing fertilization of ovules with sperm according to the instructions on the composition of the pair transmitted from the Genetic center; from there requisite ampoules come also. In a near building made the implantation of fertilized eggs, zygotes, to birth givers is performed.
  Pregnant birth givers work for some time as child-minders. Then they transfer to the preparatory department, where each of them has a special diet and a regime maintained strictly. They undergo a medical examination every day.
  Immediately after birth the baby is transferred to the nursery, and the birth giver is used as a wet-nurse in the nursery group. A pediatrician supervises each a such group, and child-minders and wet-nurses serve it.'
  'Tell them more about child-minders,' Lal asked.
  'With pleasure. It is necessary not talking only about them - but, in my opinion, to put monuments.
  The smallest part of child-minders consists of medical students, future pediatricians. The rest of them are exclusively inadequate: also a small portion consists of birth givers in the early months of pregnancy and wet-nurses, and the main one does of former birth givers and former wet-nurses. A supervisor-pediatrician instructs them regularly. They know a lot, despite the fact that, as all inadequates, they got a minimum common education and only a two-year special one.
  You see, a care of infants is very complex, subtle, requiring of child-minders both the large number of special skills and knowing well each a child, and devotion, and love for children, and, I'm not afraid to say, intelligence and intuition. Though they are uneducated and regarded as inadequate, they are very professionals, and mostly, of really quite a high level.
  They are for babies - the same as very mothers. Once there was even a saying: 'The mother is not the one that gave birth but the one that brought up'. And you know, they love children; and children do them and then remember dimly a very long time. Dimly - because the children in three years transfer to the kindergartens, in other hands.
  Do you - remember your child-minders?'
  'I do not, at all,' Dan answered.
  'I do like something indefinite, but warm and safe,' Lal said.
  'And you, Eya? You're younger than everyone.'
  'I still whisper 'nanny', when something upset me.'
  'And they are busy with children just until their death. While they have forces, they do themselves, and then by assisting and watching young child-minders, because their experience and understanding infants are already invaluable.'
  'Do they die a natural death?' Lal threw a question.
  'Yes, now already natural. In the past - totally unsuitable child-minders were killed, now - not.'
  'How long for?'
  'A few years after the discovery of Earth-2: the world since has become kinder and less prudent and rationalistic. And generally...'
  'What: generally?'
  'That a long failures streak has ended: we've broken out of it. People got happier, inspired; once again they have faith in yourself. You, Dan, even though you are a genius, do not see the full significance of what you have done.
  You do know, this all appeared then to strain every nerve to utmost. But now - when it all is over? I see no sense any more!'
  'What are you talking about?' Dan asked, puzzled.
  'About a lot things. First of all, about the complete use of inadequates for childbirth. Let all women on their own give again birth to their children. Let children live with their parents, as long as possible. Let people get again to know the joy of motherhood and fatherhood, which they have deprived themselves of, not realizing that without them there is no full human happiness. Do really they not return those to themselves?
  There will be many difficulties? So let the society facilitate the care of children without breaking their relationship. Adults and children need to communicate as much as possible - it is imperative for both those and others. Adults will be much happier, and children - develop more rapidly and completely. The advantage will be huge, large - of many things.
  Here, at least: the issue of children's literature. Who of contemporary writers is writing for children? Very few, and those basically - teachers. A little Lal has done, but he for the past ten years wrote nine verses and two stories that had read for less than an hour.'
  'Nothing of the kind: only two stories and one verse. The rest of the verses are not mine, they just wrote down by my request.'
  'Why so few?'
  'It's so hard, Eve. Oh, how hard it is! It's easier to write a novel for adults: they have so much known before they start reading it. To write for children, you have to communicate with them much more than now. In this you are certainly right.'
  'Not all yet.'
  'The rejection?'
  'Just it, cursed! The principal sore of ours. As if to kill children with our own hands. In this all teachers are unanimous. Therefore only we managed to achieve a little bit of its decline.'
  'By increasing the inadequates' offspring?' Lal said.
  'Yes, of course.'
  'Okay: ice has started yet.'
  'Just now a little bit only. Listen here, Lal! Have you brought them here and asked me to be your guide - just for no particular reason? Really nothing else had you in mind?'
  'Guessed: you, as always, are right, Eve.'
  'Then I've told everything. You'll tell them more yourself. But I have showed: this is principal.'
  On a farewell, she put her personal chip to Eya and stood until the rocket plane disappeared behind the clouds.
  ... Affected by all seen, Dan and Eya looked questioningly at Lal, but he was just sucking silently his pipe.
  
  That day they had no common plan, each doing something at home.
  Dan met Lal in the dining room during lunch. Eya has not come, and when they called her appeared on the screen of Dan: 'I will be busy until tomorrow morning'.
  They felt suddenly sad, though Eya as any person may decide what to do in their free time and who to be along with. It is an inalienable natural right of a proper person - his personal archive, the key to which is a unique pattern of his fingers, his time off, his desire and his body belongs to him only. Even if Eve was now with another man or he-houri, it was also just her business - no one had the right to be interested or express in any way his attitude to this, either now or later.
  But after all, they felt sad without her and so decided to go fishing one time more after lunch. They ordered from their storages needed, got into the air car and an hour later landed on the shores of a lake. There was a working day; on the lake it could not see anyone. Launched on water inflatable boats, they dispersed in different directions.
  ... Swam to the target site, Dan picked up the screw-engine, dropped an anchor and put slowly his rod. Then he sat down with a pipe, began to look at the surface of water, wooded shores and islands. 'How cozy it is really, our Earth', he thought in blissful detachment from everything that he felt almost always at a fishing trip.
  And then biting began; he followed the nods and did not think about anything else seized with the usual fishing excitement. Breams, but how wonderful ones! Well done, Dan! To catch such breams! This was a matter of understandable pride that he considered unnecessary to hide.
  But the biting stopped as suddenly as it began. Dan lifted the anchor and moved with oars closer to an island, overgrown with willow. There he hitched a spoon, took aim and made a throw. The first couple of them have failed, at the third one a fish was taken a threefold hook, the line stretched, but for a moment. Either it hasn't taken properly, or he failed to hook. Dan made another throw, more risky, almost just to the bushes on the cape ledged very much in the lake.
  He started lead - and immediately felt caught. It was a pity for the spoon: a pike was obviously trolling at her. Of course, he has at home its manufacturing program - just that at home, but he's here, and it is unknown whether he will have to fish ever again. So he decided to try to unhook.
  Acting with oars paddled slowly to the cape. The sun was low, almost at the horizon. A light breeze blew nicely his face and naked body and pushed gently the boat. While he was busy with pulling the line, being careful not to lose the spoon, the wind turned the boat, and it was on the other side of the cape.
  A surprised scream made him turn his head: to her ankles in water in front of him, a woman stood. She was nude; her face and body struck with an incredible, inhumanly perfect beauty. The sun already touching the horizon gilded her with last rays.
  'Dan!' she whispered silently.
  'Layla!' he recognized.
  Dan looked, not being able to look away. How beautiful she is: the most beautiful woman on the Earth! None of houris, whose beauty is a fruit of the sophisticated work of a breeder-geneticist, could compete with her. And houris, even the most beautiful, can not have such a sight as hers - of the greatest actress.
  Not moving away from him her open widely eyes, she started going to the boat - deeper and deeper, until the water has not hid his shoulders - only her head with thick dark hair, pinned together on the back of it into a large heavy bun, remained above the water. Her bottomless dark eyes were full of tears.
  'Dan!' she moaned, stretching out her arms to him.
  After overcoming stupor, he jumped into the water and, lifted her up, carried to the shore. Nestled up to him, hugged his neck with both hands, she froze as if to be afraid that it all just images and will disappear right now.
  He carried her to the shore and put down on the sand. Bowing on her knees before him, sobbing convulsively, she began kissing frantically his feet.
  'Layla, sister, what do you?!' Dan bent down to her. She lifted her head, and in her eyes he saw a terrible lot: torment and joy, passion and devotion, timidity and impatience. Again he took her in his arms, nested her up. And he felt also the shiver of impatience growing in him. The passion threw them on the warm sand, interlaced their bodies.
  ... They woke up because of continuous call signs.
  'Dan, my elder brother, answer me! Where you are? Dan!'
  'I'm on the island. Something happened?'
  'I was afraid: your boat came away from the shore, but you weren't there.'
  'I forgot to tie it. Send me the big tent, clothes and a robot with food. If you want, you can go home.'
  'No. I'll fish tomorrow at dawn. Are you - not alone?'
  'No, I'm not.'
  'Right now I'll send everything.'
  Dan stretched to Layla his hand. They entered the water and swam for the boat. When they returned, a raft sent by Lal rocked already by the shore.
  Again he clasped her - wet, submissive. Thrown into the robot container, a huge bream has been already cleaned and sizzles in the pan. Dan poured into small cups some cold dark vodka, infused by Lal with herbs. They sat next on the spread out tent, throwing over themselves cloaks.
  'For an unexpected meeting, Layla!'
  'Oh, Dan! For you, my god, happiness and torment!' the last she said to herself.
  Strong flavored vodka burned the mouth, warmth spread through the body starting to feel cold. They began to eat fried fish with a ruddy crackling crust.
  'On the Earth-2 this will not be.'
  'Yes, it will. Someday. Everything will be: oxygen, forests, cities, and people. There will be there grass and flowers, animals and birds will be - and fish in the water.'
  'And theaters and studios?'
  'Sure. And you will arrive and play in the first performance.'
  ... They lay side by side on the back. It was quite dark, the moon shone brightly, more stars appeared in the sky.
  'There?' she pointed by hand.
  He did not answer. Night enveloped and cradled them; nightingales clicked, and grasshoppers chirred.
  'Dan, are you awake?'
  'Yes, Layla.'
  'It is a pity to sleep.'
  'Do you want me to light a fire?'
  'Turn on.'
  'No, not a simulator: real one. We have received special permission, although I did not think to use it.'
  'A bonfire? Fire - the real one? I would like to.'
  Dan collected dry twigs. They did not know how to light them until he guessed to bring with a battery one of her pins to a great heat. The twigs cracked, the smell of smoke appeared. It was very unusual for them: they looked at the fire, not looking away.
  'But it burns. And the smoke irritates eyes.'
  'It warms and shines. Like in ancient times.'
  'Layla!'
  'What, the good of mine?'
  'You want but do not dare to ask: why you never met me all these years - where I was, what did? I see.
  I lived and worked. A lot, terribly. But I saw you just once and then did everything for not meeting you.
  I waited for you to be reborn. You were my hero of a legend which Lal told and then repeated many times. I learned about your return when you made a speech on the world broadcast on the day of arrival of Tupac's message. I flew immediately by rocket plane to Starstown and went into the carnival pavilion. But there you looked only at a red-haired girl being like a doe of fallow-deer next to you and saw nothing more. I realized that I came too late - that there was no need of me. And I flew away immediately.
  But I could not help but think of you. To think always, during hard work at rehearsals, while playing on stage - and at night, staying alone. What is it? Probably, that rare and wonderful feeling, which Lal told me repeatedly about and was called once love but concealed today. It was a suffering, but it was a great happiness, too. It was and is! It opened my eyes to many things, heightened incredibly my perception, deepened my feelings and thoughts - gave me unimaginably a lot as an actress.
  Dan! My beloved! How much am I thankful for everything - even for the fact that you are not my Majnun . I know we can not be together: you will leave the Earth for a long time - very soon yet'.
  'Layla!'
  'Keep silence, do! I saw you all several times. I didn't approach you. Among the three of you, soldered spiritually and physically, connected by a single goal, there was no place for anyone else.
  Only as of your forthcoming departure: I was flying, just to say goodbye to you and Lal. How badly I was worried! Then here, over the lake, I decided suddenly to sit down. To relax, prepare for a meeting you. I landed the air car on the shore and swam here. If you were here at least a little later, you wouldn't already meet me - I'd swim back'.
  'Dan! You're happy to have met me here?' was all that she said aloud to him.
  'Yes, I am! This is really an unexpected gift of life to me before leaving. Like Aphrodite from the foam, you emerged at the last moment - the most beautiful on the planet that I will leave very soon. It's impossible to forget!'
  'Do not forget! You'll see me there; I played almost at all book-movies by Lal: he for sure will take them with him. You - take care of him there. It's too rare person. I cannot understand him completely, but one thing I know for sure: he has ingenious ability to understand people and love the good. His wisdom is not only in the head: in the heart, too.'
  The fire began to fade. Dan threw into it a few branches, and the fire again lit merrily a tiny clearing, the place of their unexpected date. Looking at the fire, at Dan, Layla started singing .
  Its magnificent soprano sounded unaccompanied and created an indescribable impression, stunning with sharpness of feeling. Throwing branches in the fire to see her face, Dan did not take his eyes from Layla. And she sang again and again: arias and songs, modern and ancient - in various languages, translating for him their content. Among night silence her singing resounded far over the lake and somewhere was amplified with echo. She saw that he was crying, and singing more and more wonderful.
  When she stopped, he thanked her with the highest expression of admiration, kissing her hand. She pulled his head to her chest, hid him with an edge of her cloak.
  'Go to sleep, my dear!' she murmured, clasping her cheek to his hair. Coals of dying fire still lighted.
  But they could not get to sleep. Greedy, insatiably their bodies entwined, burning caresses and kisses were. The heart was ready to burst of happiness when he passed his hand through her hair, and when his lips touched her lips and breasts.
  They fell asleep for a short while just after the surprisingly clear sun rose from the forest and dispersed the fog appeared before dawn. Beginning to warm, it woke them up in a couple of hours. Dipped, they felt quite fresh and cheerful.
  After breakfasting fish, they got into a boat and started to row between the islands. They rowed slowly through the narrow channels, somewhere overgrown heavily, plucked white water lilies, have caught a young pike by towing a fishing-line. Sometimes, they got out on the islands, to stretch their legs and swim, plucked flowers, decorating themselves with wreaths, and gave themselves to each other on the sun-warmed grass. They ate nothing but fresh fried fish.
  They talked almost all the time, but it seemed not about something else. Then, they felt it was the question of the moment when they have to leave. And Layla said:
  'The sun was setting, my beloved. It will be soon the night - like yesterday. The unique won't happen again. We must part with each other. Take me - the last time.'
  They couldn't long tear away from each other. Like mad, she caressed Dan, covering his body with her countless kisses.
  The sun touched the horizon when he made the first push with the oars. Layla was standing on the shore, raising his hands in a gesture of farewell, nude, beautiful; she smiled, but from her eyes tears were rolling.
  Gradually, her features became less distinguishable. Then there was a big white patch of her body and dark one of hair. Later - the bright spot only - and that she is not visible. Then he dropped the screw-engine. Before reaching the shore, he saw the air car rose and flew to the island.
  Lal was waiting for him on the shore. Each boasted of his catch. When in flight, they saw the air car taking off the island.
  'Lilith!' Lal expressed not quite clear.
  'Who?'
  'The first wife of Adam - not brought posterity.'
  'A - a! I see.'
  'But tonight she sang like never before - for you, my elder brother!' he proudly patted Dan's shoulder.
  They flew back. Dan was surprised to see that did not feel the sadness of he had parted up with Layla. It seemed that everything happened he just dreamed about. And he was glad be with Lal again, and they both returned to Eya.
  ... In the morning, at the pool, Eya, seeing the traces of passionate kisses on his body, gently stroked them with her hand proud also of Dan has inspired some woman fiery passion.
  They were together again. H2O or CO2, as Lal loved to joke. A single molecule.
  
  10
  
  Flashed farewell banquets with physicists, journalists, writers, artists, biologists, with friends, flown from all over the Earth, to meet before leaving. The last of them - like the magnificent carnival, with members of the Academy and the Central Border of Coordination - was broadcasted.
  That day - of their departure - they went from home early. Walked on foot, taking off shoes and feeling grass barefoot. There was none a cloud in the sky. Bright greens and countless golden dandelion heads everywhere, a white haze cherries and apple trees in bloom. Flocks of sparrows chirped loudly from all tree. They walked slowly, for a long time.
  ... And that's all: the Earth is, with bated breath, watching as they stand on the boarding platform, holding hands and raising them in a farewell salute - dressed in the traditional form of the astronauts, overalls with an emblem of the macrocosm , two men and a woman with a golden crown of red hair.
  They flew to the hyperexpress by a relatively small corvette. Everything they need was already on the starship, and now they took only their personal archives and a puppy, which little Lee sent them recently.
  The corvette made a farewell circle around the Earth, and lay on the course, picking up speed. The Earth was rapidly decreasing.
  It has begun! Now they got detached for a long time from the Earth; maybe even forever. Only just when they were still going on it.
  The astronauts flew through the Solar system - the Near Cosmos, well familiar, being flown around - feeling in it calm and confident like pilots on powerful airliners in the late twentieth century. Into the space went continuously their farewell signal, space stations sent responses. Ahead the Far Cosmos waited - the interstellar space, the flight through which was similar to the going out of Columbus in the open ocean. The first such flight, for the human body and the cyborg's system - are not the same.
  All three were tense, pale with emotion, which they tried to conceal. Three people, the tiny part of the huge humanity - the closed little world, long before the flight formed in the internally unified and strong whole, being aware of their separateness from other people.
  They had ahead more than a month of enforced idleness, as the entire archive was on the express. And most of the time they began to spend in conversations. Mostly they listened to Lal. His main topics were history and sociology, which on the Earth during the period of training both could not and did not see the point in dealing with. In these areas he felt as confident as Dan in physics and mathematics or Eya in ecology. He had an easy command of all their concepts and categories and applied skillfully them, making analysis and generalizations. But they, as he had convinced, were familiar with it only as included in common programs of the educational steps until the institute.
  And he re-acquainted them with these sciences, talking about the main stages of history, social systems and formations. They listened willingly: thank to the art of his presentation, always animated by a lot of striking historical portraits. They were interested - a barrage of questions rained on Lal, answering them in detail. He kindled their interest, trying as often as possible to cause discussions and controversies.
  Planet, by which the trajectory of the corvette passed, changed one after another on the dome of the control room: the Mars, then a few asteroids, the Jupiter, the Saturn. The Sun was becoming less and less.
  ... After 48 days according to the on-board clock the corvette approached the incredibly huge, measuring many kilometers, hyperexpress, revolving at a distance of ten billion kilometers from the Sun. Performing leading the corvette into the entrance compartment, they went to the last duty team of cosmonauts meeting them.
  Dan took the report: all right, no reason for the departure delay. The cosmonauts spent with them 24 hours more, performing the last control switching on and verification of devices, and after a farewell dinner loaded themselves onto the corvette and departed to the Minerva.
  Just 72 hours after their departure, the starship started from the heliocentric orbit to the initial point of the hypertransfer which it was to get by the annihilation engines 30 terrestrial days and nights. The duty team on the corvette fixed the start, exchanged with the astronauts the latest signals.
  
  The next phase of the flight was for the astronauts largely different from it in the corvette. There are in the express a huge archive and a computer of the highest order. There were a gym with a swimming pool, a sauna and a full set of training apparatuses; a salon-garden planted with plants selected by Eya. There were all conditions for working, mandatory training and recreation.
  Dan is not allowed to strain yet: maintaining good physical shape was most needed at the time of the hypertransfer. So, they had free time enough to watch movies, to listen to music, to play any games.
  But it turned out that Lal had already aroused too much interest in social issues and the number of conversations on these topics did not reduce. In addition, he got possibility to match their words with demonstration materials stored in that part of his huge personal archive sent to the express before. Dan and Eya, understanding already better in sociology, absorbed as a sponge what he presented them. Increasingly often, he began to leave them alone after conversations, to give possibility to discuss the listened, argue and get more questions. For the present, they pleased him: he could go further.
  And Lal became intensely to get them familiar with the very first form of class society - the slave system: its origin, development, national variants, ethics and law, history of decline, remains' conservation and the partial revival in the later periods. And then immediately moved to the modern epoch, to the outset of a long decline, engendered a large number of social institutions of the contemporary society; acquainted very minutely with many details. But at the same time without making any analysis: he was waiting for when they on their own begin to draw any conclusions - did neither rush nor push them.
  And the express increased its speed all time. The Solar system was far away; the Sun itself, which the apparent diameter of was already at the start 67 times less than on the Earth declined increasingly, becoming similar to other stars. The giant ship was moving in the space, where nobody flew but the cyborg. Its trajectory can be seen on the track hologram above the instrument panel in the control room.
  The astronauts sought largely to maintain the usual order of earthly life. In the rhythm of the terrestrial days the lighting in the garden area changed, and according to the same rhythm the routine of studies, training, nutrition and rest was organized. The difference was only in the sleep mode, as someone should at any time keep vigil: the flight went on still in the Far Cosmos, where a lot of unexpected was probable. The equipment and on-board computer of the control system coped in most cases more quickly and reliably than a human being, but at too unusual situations they could prove insufficient. Actually, the duty could do anything and be anywhere - if only he could hear the alarm before who slept.
  A clock with pointers of the date and the day of week, the month and the year counted off time. As on the Earth, Thursday morning they spent in the baths: got up steam and steamed to their hearts' content, whipped each other with birch twigs, splashed in the pool. Then they lay on sofas, sipping some drink and talked on their favorite themes. And there Eya, performing the duties of the ship's physician, carried out with the help of a cyber-diagnostician routine prophylactic screening. After the bath it was supposed a spectacle: a movie, a performance record, a concert.
  And 'at night' - there was a banquet with dishes from not dehydrated foods, which always Eya, examined thoroughly for ten years the tastes of Dan and Lal, ordered to a robot; but not a drop containing alcohol. Everyone became by lot a jester. And they were having fun, dancing, singing - solo and all together: their choir achieved a unified sound in the mountains yet was perfectly harmonious.
  Almost regularly and in plenty played orchestrion for them Dan surprised with his first performance of Bach's Toccatas after persistent requests of Lal. On the Earth, he played them rarely; former skills slowly returned to him: at the beginning the fingers of the new body obeyed him badly, and then there was not enough time to exercise. To return to music exercises was possible only at the end of training in the very last few years before leaving. His nature overcame, old skills came back - he just could not still bring himself to playing for others. But Lal told Eya, how wonderfully Dan played once, and she prevailed upon him. With difficulty: with music his memories of the most difficult life period were linked. So, now, too, it seemed to him that he performed everything too gloomy, but Lal and Eya disagreed with him. Eya kissed him gratefully, and Lal said once:
  'My elder brother, you're an amazing person! You can do everything: both unravel the deepest mysteries of nature, and to play so wonderfully. I guess you can still a lot. I want I could do like that!'
  'Why you, Lal, who knows everything, may say that? Apparently, in the world there is nothing that you haven't known.'
  'Well, but what? What - myself - I can do? My knowledge, unlike yours both, is not of the kind to allow something to create on my own.'
  'But you have created a lot of great movies. And written books. Besides yours brilliant articles, essays, reports. It is enough for you, isn't?'
  'No: because - what is the result of that all?'
  'Just the fact that people no longer gobble human flesh!' Dan at first so rudely put it by their presence.
  'To eat human flesh? Ugh, how is it possible?' Eya surprised.
  'Yes, it was very possible! Meat of the inadequates considered very valuable food,' Dan snapped again.
  'Really? And have you both - also eat it?'
  'Probably. In childhood, when we did not know, what meat was in our plates. But when adult - no, never,' thought, Lal said. 'How about you, Dan?'
  'I do not know exactly. I have quite a little paid attention to my food: asked frequently tablemates repeat order or use chosen for me by someone programs. So, it rather may be.'
  'What: they fattened inadequates for that specially?'
  'No. But, just because a human being is comparing with animals too slow gaining weight. It was used as food the flesh of inadequates killed during performing of transplantations or experiments, not spoiling it, and of old child-minders and houris, become functionally useless,' Lal explained.
  'Eve told that child-minders are not destroyed.'
  'Now - no, but just recently. And them only. But the rest - as before.'
  'Why?'
  'To feed animals on fur farms. And the other inadequates.'
  'But proper people - no longer eat it?'
  'No: now it seems already to all hideous. Thanks to our Lal and his articles.'
  'But it's all that I could. And that, then, in my youth.'
  'Just it my strongest pride on you, junior brother of mine.'
  'Oh, no more of this, please!' Eya begged. 'Rather play for us something else, Dan!'
  
  11
  
  Before one a 'week' of the getting the starting point of hypertransfer, they performed one time more the control check of the hyper apparatus and all instruments and elaborated meticulously coordinates and speed of the ship.
  ... It was two hours before the start. The astronauts gathered in the control room. Trying not to show emotion, they embraced for the last time. Then they took off their clothes and sat in chairs in the transfer chamber. Through the thick glasses of windows opposite each chair it was visible clocks: the main board and a special, counting down the time before the transfer, ones.
  They put on transparent space helmets with tubes for a breathing mixture inlet, and ten minutes later, when the arrow of the special clock went to the first line, the camera began to fill with slightly heated solution of very complex composition. Then the arrow came to the second line, and the inside chamber shell was inflated by the compressed gas, displacing the liquid, clinging tightly the body from all sides, clasping it to the chair.
  The body is almost not felt: the liquid has done its job - they feel wonderful lightness. Red light starts burning in the control room, the countdown remaining seconds sounded in headphones.
  And the last: ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. Start!
  It gets immediately dark in eyes like at a heavy overload, and in ears a high monotonous sound as if coming from inside appears. It begins entering into hyperspace.
  The walls of the chamber and the ship get transparent, melt away, disappear. They themselves - also get transparent, huge, disembodied, weightless. Stars, gas and dust clouds, planets, comets, fireballs - rush with unimaginable speed right through them, emerging from space and instantly disappearing into it. Those do increasingly faster, merging, and the space becomes thin and, contracting into folds takes on the density, perceived with the upper palate of the mouth.
  They see everything: themselves, the neighbors, the express. From all sides: from outside, from inside - in every detail. Their own bodies, the neighbors, the flaming ship multiply themselves to countless repetitions, decreasing, disappearing - and growing up, coming along the infinite number of axes emanating from the place-moment of the body whereabouts, and each axis has its own law, its metric and its time, its color-sound tonality, density and strength. Everything is spinning, vibrating, moving continuously: by moments, years, centuries, thousands, millions, billions, trillions of years - painfully long, forever. There is no exit and no end. Lights vibrate, running rapidly across, changing the intensity, changing the color from clearly visible ultraviolet to infrared. Carries to its own center the stream of repetitions along an endless hedgehog of axes: straight, curved, spiral. A hypersimphony of sounds and colors. And everything is extremely, terribly clearly. No thoughts and no desires: complete renunciation, tranquility and indifference. Long. Always. Forever. Never otherwise.
  But the flows slow down their running, the number of repetitions and axes decrease, they shrink to the center, to the place-time in which the people are, merging into an only single one. The folds of space straightened themselves up, freeing the mouth. The space is growing, and stars, clouds, comets, planets and lumps are again rushing through the vast ethereal body. Gradually the walls of the ship takes on the density, become opaque; the own body, still clutched with the air bag, becomes dense, too.
  It gets dark in the eyes - everything disappears...
  They woke up immersed in the liquid, bubbling with oxygen. When it left, Dan saw through the chamber porthole onboard clock: it passed nine hours and thirteen minutes. More than excellent! The express passed through some shortest tunnel of the hyperspace and came out of it to another of its four-dimensional section.
  They were still unable to move. All felt a severe weakness, heart palpitations, and simultaneously a terrible nausea and acute hunger.
  Finally, Dan was able to pull off his helmet with shaking hands. And then immediately a convulsive vomiting and after it an agonizing diarrhea literally turned him inside out. But straight away he became to feel better.
  He turned to Eya, helping her take off the helmet. And immediately it occurred with her the same thing like with him - only stronger.
  Already two of them began to aid Lal. With him it all happened much harder.
  
  To stay in the chamber they could not any more. They were strongly dizzy, their legs were buckling, and the knees were shaking. They choked with the stench.
  Supporting Lal, who almost could not go independently, at both sides, they got out of the chamber and reached slowly, with difficulty, the baths. Assisting each other, they washed off the dirt and after that drank hot infusion of Schisandra . Then Eya staid to care about still weak Lal, but Dan, feeling that he can already poise, went to the control room.
  He slammed the door of the stinking chamber and turned on the holography of the trajectory. The coordination instruments started working, and after a short time there was a hologram of the stellar space with the luminous path line, blurred between the start and end points of the hypertransfer. On the screen numerical values of the coordinates appeared, and Dan did not keep an enthusiastic exclamation: the exit of the ship occurred with very little deviation- about half sigma . So, in three months they will be near the planetary system, which includes the Earth-2!
  He conveyed this message to Lal and Eya, who accepted that as happily as he. Lal felt better already, and Eya went to visit the animals in their chambers and pick out the puppy.
  She detected the animals endured significantly better than the people: they were okay. The puppy ran before Eya yapping loudly and wagging its tail.
  Two hours later, they were surprised to feel the complete absence of unpleasant sensations. Eya made inspection: both the men and she passed through the cyber-diagnostician. Everything was indeed all right. Then they moved to the control room and sat down in the chairs; Dan turned on the steering thrustors to orient the express in the direction of the Earth-2 planetary system. After that, they refreshed themselves, and Lal and Eya went to sleep.
  
  Dan was on duty. He sat in the control room, sucking a pipe. He heard the robot crawling inside the chamber to wash and deodorize it. Dan turned on the screen-dome and watched eagerly unfamiliar shapes of the constellations. By clicking another button, he highlighted the star to which the ship was flying.
  Then he switched the screen to the image of the reverse side of the space - and became happy to see in places familiar constellations. He pushed another button and highlighted the Sun among the huge number of seemed unfamiliar stars.
  There's there the Earth: green plants, cities, people. Unusually beautiful Layla. Here they are only three. But closer them - Lal and Eya - he has had none for a long time.
  What they are here is a considerable merit of Lal, his telling about the primes differences charts on the day of their first meeting was the impetus that led to the end of a more than hundred-year work - creating the hyperstructures' theory that moved basic concepts like today's transfer. And thanks to this, they are here. He has succeeded to do it: Dan was not proud but satisfied only.
  His mind went back to Lal. How many years have passed since then? Actually, a lot. How much has experienced together and talked over. But Lal is often thinking about something and does not tell but passes over in silence. That came into his mind sometimes before, but he forgot it too quickly, absorbed in his work. Now, when they are busy little enough, this idea appears more and more often. What torments him? What about his solving some complicated questions in his field? And perhaps, no less difficult than once he, Dan, on his own had to deal with. What these?
  Eya appeared in the doorway of the control room and interrupted his thoughts.
  'Dan, I've rested yet. Go to get some sleep.'
  'Thanks, I do not want.'
  'Do go: anyway, I will not sleep any more.'
  'But, I won't fall asleep, too.'
  'Then I'll sit along with you. Or you want to be alone?'
  'No. Sit down. Is Lal asleep?'
  'Not, of course.' Lal stood at the door with the puppy in her arms. 'It's impossible anyway to fall asleep. Maybe let's have supper?'
  'Do you have a hyper appetite?'
  'Not at all: just a desire to celebrate our transfer. I put to the vote.'
  'For favor.'
  'The same!'
  'Excellent: we'll arrange a gala supper with festive table appointments.'
  They went into the salon-garden. A robot rolled there a table with a small amount of snacks: they were not, actually, hungry - wanted just to celebrate the event. Although without any wine - the cosmos is a cosmos, and to violate the prohibition comes to nobody's mind: in the cups they pour scented toning up nectar.
  'Dan, the first toast is of you.'
  'Well, okay. I lift the cup for you, my wonderful, for the achievement of the goal and for the Earth-2! Now you, Lal.'
  'I give up my turn to Eya.'
  'I drink for a green planet and oxygen, which it will be able to breathe with! For Dan, who has created such a miracle, and for the honor and happiness to be together with you both!'
  'Here you go! Such the event has happened: the people in their full nature, with arms and legs, not a semi artificial cyborgs got for very few hours over hundreds of parsecs . It's really - a great miracle! Eya said exactly. But so little. And Dan did even less. Say again! The most magnificent expression today won't be pompous.'
  'Then tell you, my junior brother: any way, better than you no one can say.'
  'You're not quite right: about this it has been said the wonderful words - and not by me. I'll remind them now.'
  He found quickly the necessary in his archive, switched on its reproduction. Dan appeared on the screen in bright festive attire, making a speech on the day of the arrival of Tupac's report about the discovery of the Earth-2. When the screen went out, Lal repeated his last words: 'And maybe, going to the goal, we will open something good in them selves - a new, still unknown. Or remember something that lost previously in the way of our development'.
  'I drink for these great words and their wonderful meaning!'
  'I think you tell not everything, my junior brother.'
  'You're right, Dan! I will to. But not just today. Rather, play for us. Anything old. By Beethoven. Please!'
  Dan played Beethoven's sonatas . Unrestrained power of music corresponded as never with their mood, exciting - with their will and courage, the faith in their own strength and a victory.
  He finished with performing 'For Elise' , looking at Eya. 'Excellent, Dan! Excellent, my senior brother. You can - you will understand everything!' Lal whispered silently, looking at Dan with his full of tears eyes. This piece by the strong both spiritually and physically genius, which a touching tenderness sounded in, had shocked him today completely.
  'Go to rest,' he said. 'I'll stay on watch.'
  'Thank you brother. Let's go,' Dan said, stretching his hand to Eya. 'Good watch for you!'
  'Wonderful night for you both!' Lal followed them with his eyes. Eya will be along with Dan: he deserved this today. But he, Lal, needs too much to stay now alone.
  ... In three months, they will be next the target. Just three months. It's still unknown what will be a situation, how successful reconnaissance will go off, how the planet will meet them- and much more. Now they are relatively free: can work no more than they want.
  So far - everything is going well: the necessary preparatory work has been done. They soaked eagerly up everything he said: social issues are really of their interest. It's time to acquaint them with his conclusions. It will be, of course, not easy. But they will understand - they won't be able not to understand: how Dan performed today 'For Elise'! What tenderness, warmth, kindness and humanity were in his performance, at the not chance choice of this piece. Without all of this, to understand him, Lal, isn't possible - but having, it will be impossible not to understand.
  The puppy poked him with its warm wet nose in the arm; then, putting his front paws on Lal's knees, raised his muzzle and began questioning look in the eyes. Lal took the puppy in his arms and stroked him.
  It's time. Just right now! Dan begins obviously to suspect something: 'I think you tell not everything, my junior brother'. And his sudden anger and unusual for modern language rude expressions, when he talked about eating the meat of the inadequates. The rudeness, rejoiced Lal no less than it shocked Eya.
  But just Eya concerned Lal most of all, because the principal role in his plan was assigned to her.
  
  12
  
  When the clock came to the sector 'morning', Dan appeared in the control room to change Lal. He said that it would be a good idea to arrange a holiday; Eya also thinks so. But how about Lal?
  Okay, he doesn't mind, too - but, rather, then they must go steaming right now: he will sleep after the baths.
  It was hot in the steam room - perhaps, more than usual. Lal's thought slid along a chain. A heat. The equator. Africa. Black people. Then: American slaves. America, the southern states. Uncle Tom! Stop!!!
  'Uncle Tom's Cabin' by the American writer-abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe. The book that shook him incredibly in his childhood. Exactly! From there he will start. It has everything: slavery, violence, trafficking in human beings - and motherly love.
  He asked Dan and Eya, whether they remember this book, included in the program of gymnasium, when they, wrapped in sheets, sat down on the sofa.
  'Still do,' Eya answered, 'but just in general outline.'
  Dan shook his head only: he remembered that there was such a book, but its content - alas! - forgot completely.
  'Do you want me to remind you what it's about?'
  'What for?'
  'To fulfill the yesterday promise.'
  'Ah! Come on.'
  Lal looked through his catalog. Perhaps now would be the best just this movie - even of the twentieth century, color, although flat yet: but there are a lot of Afro-American music, a perfect setting and cast. For three and a half hours.
  So he did not think any more about sleep. He watched - both the movie itself, and how they perceived it. And rejoiced at their reaction, their indignation, tears of Eya. He sang silently together with black slaves a psalm: 'Jericho, Jericho!' . He saw that the job is done: now they will ask questions on their own, and he will tell all he thinks.
  'How was it possible - to deprive of freedom quite proper people!' Eya said indignantly soon after the screen went blank. Dan was silent.
  Lal smiled sadly: is that just all? He expected, actually, more!
  'And they were not considered proper. They were brought from Africa: it was backward than Europe, where white Americans came from.'
  'But George Harris was more literate and capable than his master!'
  'He was for the host not fully white: an inferior man. The white master had of this no doubt.'
  'But this is quite wrong! Unfair! How could they tolerate such!'
  'But not everyone: you've seen.'
  'Yes: by escaping. To Canada.'
  'But it was so good, that they had, after all, where to go,' Dan uttered suddenly. 'Eya here thinks how it could exist then. But I do about why this is possible in the present time. Just so you, Lal, think and just that do not tell us all the time. Right?'
  'Yes.' So fast?!!! Really?! 'Dan...'
  'Later! Our banquet is not canceled. Get quickly dressed!'
  
  'Dan, I haven't understood you at all. What did you mean?'
  'Just what exists! Inequality. The fact that exist we, the propers, intellectuals - and they, the inadequates. One of which was killed for my possibility to live now.'
  'But it is quite different matter. They do are - really - inadequate.'
  'Why?'
  'Because these were born such.'
  'Do you think so?'
  'Certainly! They are born in the same way as we done. It takes place rejecting completely incapable children only.'
  'Not capable of what?'
  'Of any intense intellectual work.'
  'But it may be that they are capable of some other work?'
  'But who needs it? There are machines: automates and robots.'
  'So why they wouldn't do many of the things that automate make?'
  'But what is matter of this? Anyway, they'll do just not what we do. So - automatically - are not equal to us: won't be proper members of our society.'
  'They will be able to feel proper among their own kind.'
  'Yes, it is so in fact - right now. The contradiction has been removed? Lal! What do you think?'
  'Unfortunately, you are outwardly right of something,' Lal said.
  'Outwardly? Something? And even, unfortunately?'
  'Exactly.'
  'But why?'
  'The inadequates do not have to be what we, the intellectuals, have made them.'
  'Why do you both think so? I do not agree with you!'
  'Well, okay: tell us do you a lot associate with some inadequates?'
  'Me? Little. Basically, when I was still a little girl.'
  'Let's start from this. You have told you loved your nanny.'
  'I do not think me only.'
  'Do you remember that Eve told us about them?'
  'Yes, I do. What they are experts, too, despite the lack of the complete education.'
  'Do you not agree with the fact that for their work, which importance and value of are beyond doubt, their complete education isn't absolutely imperative?'
  'Well: maybe. Eve, of course, is competent of this. Especially, the people in this matter are certainly better than any perfect robot. But it is - only part of the issue.'
  'Have you associated with other groups of them? With houris, at least.'
  'Well...'
  'What do you think about them?'
  'The same as everyone. That with their help it is easy to remove small temporary problems of satisfying the sexual needs.'
  'Forgive me for asking too intimate question: how was it going on with you? You can answer if you want only. However, I think we should lift the ban for ourselves of touching on this topic.'
  'Me, too: so I will answer. Well, first of all, like for everyone - there was deflowering me. And then - when the desire comes suddenly, and it was pity to spend time for organizing a normal contact. Or when I could not fall asleep and began to think about that. Sometimes - to get acquainted with an unknown method or because of the desire to experience something very poignant. Do I jar upon you?'
  'Not at all: this is only your business. In this, you've been like all the others. But you're still thinking about he-houris? You on your own?'
  'It was really convenient. But ... how could I put it in the right way...'
  'Unpleasant?'
  'Why, no. They are, of course, good-looking, very tender and ready to fulfill any of your desire. And their specific qualities are of the highest level, and they are trained in doing their work too amazingly. But anyway, something is ... wrong!'
  'Like bestiality?'
  'Yes! Like just it. Exactly! There is no complete pleasure because with he-houri it is absolutely impossible to talk about anything. They are terribly primitive. Sexually perfect animals - exclusively. Like very dogs. He will do all what, how much and what way you want, but then- you send him away at once. Like a robot. The robot also does everything, but his presence isn't important for you.'
  'Exactly.'
  'But it is comfortable enough: saves time, energy, nerves. And they do not care: they are completely stupid and insensitive.'
  And then Dan exploded really, 'No!!! Not insensitive they are! Poor abilities? Relatively - they are. Primitive? Yes - for they have been taught almost nothing. We deemed them in their childhood finally to be too stupid and calmed down ourselves with that. But they are, after all - human beings. The very human beings! I know that. I do know too well!' He turned to Lal, 'Why, why have you protracting for so long? After all, I've ... I've for too long time considered, too, that we have something wrong.'
  'But you have said none word about it,' Lal tried to justify. More for himself than for Dan.
  'Like you for some reason. It's not accepted to talk about that: we all got used - since childhood - to the idea of the infallible final rightness of the present society structure. To break, to give it up it is not easier than I had with physical conceptions to believe the hyperstructures. The great earthly society of intellectuals - scientists, engineers, artists: democratic to the last degree! Armed with sophisticated theories and heavy-duty modeling machines. Being able to commit only most serious principal errors! What exists now is even worse than slavery: the slave could become free but the inadequate ... What may we say! But they really are human beings - they feel like very human beings: I know this for a long time.'
  'You, too: was especially interested in the inadequates?'
  'No. It turned out differently.
  
  Then - for a long time yet - when I came to the hyperstructures idea. Accepting it required giving up too many existing conceptions.
  I drove the agonizing search to bypass the need to get the truth that way. It demanded strain beyond all limits - and at some moment I started to notice that I wasn't able to do anything. An incomprehensible fear and anguish appeared. By night - I could not stay alone, because I did not sleep almost at all.
  I began then every evening call to me the same houri. She was not very young, stout, with big breasts and belly. I had no libido at all, but with the help of his skill, she sought sometimes my taking took her, and then I calmed down for a short while. At the rest of time it was enough for me that I was not alone. The feeling of her presence, the warmth of her body, to which I nestled, even the sound of her breathing helped me to outlive another endless night.
  After a few days - or rather nights, she started to get used to me.
  'You feel bad, darling?' she asked, snuggling up to me.
  'Yes, Chamomile.' You know, they have no normal names.
  'But now I will do so, that will be good for you.' And she tried as she could - and to no avail.
  'Please, speak,' I asked her, 'Tell me something.'
  'What to tell, darling?'
  'Anything.'
  'I'm sorry, I have nothing to tell - I don't know anything.'
  'Then tell me about yourself.'
  'If I may?'
  'Come on, I beg you.'
  ... She really knew and understood too little.
  At school, everything came badly to her - some kids teased her about that. Then she was told that she would go to another school, where no one would tease her.
  And, really: at the school, where there were only girls - and women who looked after them, no one teased. To learn much nobody forced them, and she liked that there. Then they began to stroke his cheeks and say that she was very pretty. Then she was scared of blood, but the aunty said that she's now adult and should not be afraid, because all the girls experienced the same. And she began to see growing hair under her arms and breasts, but small yet.
  And she went to another place, where girls lived who had grown breasts, and they all were pretty. They had fun there. They were taught to sing, dance and how to do to be even prettier. And did with them gymnastics and sports games on which became more beautiful a figure.
  At halls for their training, sometimes some people appeared, who were not like them and governesses: taller than they, with the different figure, without breasts, some of them with a mustache or a beard. And their voices were not the same. During breaks they joked with the girls, and the girls did with them, too, laughing and talking. The girls liked being together with them.
  Chamomile (this name was hers new, but the former one of her she even forgot) with interest and curiosity scrutinized then these unusual people.
  'Why are not you like us?' she asked once one of them, the most willing to chatter with her.
  'I'm a man.'
  'What's this?'
  'Some time we'll go swimming together - I'll explain to you.'
  'But when? Today?'
  'No, not today.'
  'But when?'
  'Later.'
  'Okay.'
  He came to her in a few days when she was resting.
  'Let's go swimming!'
  'But will you explain to me?'
  'Today, I will explain.'
  In a room, where he brought her, he told her to take everything off and undressed himself. She scrutinized with interest his body, so unlike her. And then she began to laugh, because she saw he was a boy, but adult. And he touched her everywhere and stroked her breasts, but allowed her to touch anything of him she wanted. And then he told her:
  'Now I will teach you the most pleasant. Do not be afraid: maybe, it will painful, but then nice.' She agreed readily.
  It wasn't nice to her then, however. But then she really liked this. The other girls were also explained, and the governess and her assistants taught how to do well to be very nice and showed movies about it. A man-houri trained individually every of the girls, practicing her methods. Men changed constantly - such was necessary for correct training them.
  As for the solemn act, the girls were prepared to appearing first time as a houri. This day they were brushed and dressed particularly beautiful. At night in a large adorned hall, they danced and took part in erotic games with propers. Houri-instructors were nearby and, trying to do everything quietly, corrected and prompted.
  Those who danced with her took her hand:
  'Go with me!'
  'Do not. Let's dance, okay?' But then she caught the instructor's sight: surprised, reproving, ordering. And she went.
  He did not as skilful as a he-houri, and it was unpleasant. Therefore she lay later with her eyes closed. He said nothing to her when he left, and then she began to cry later.
  The he-houri who first explained to her came, asked her - she told him, and he said that is not good, and gave her to drink some sweet liqueur, and she had fun and then wanted on her own. She went again back into the hall, danced, and another called her. That did pleasantly, and when he left, the instructor praised her and sent to sleep...
  'It is not good to tell about this, darling. But you feel bad, and I know nothing more.'
  ... She liked to. It was fun to dance and play games. The more she was liked herself - more often than many other girls called, and she was proud of that.
  Quite often she was called home. She sat in the cabin that carried her under the ground, but she did not know where and to whom. It's liked less - at home was not fun: only occasionally she had to dance or sing alone. And it was not always pleasant - they did not know how to do well, but she drank some exciting sweet liqueur to be sure it was nice. Almost always they sent her back after they wanted no longer.
  Then she began to change dramatically - had become big, and her breasts became larger - though smaller than now - and hips wide. And many began to call her and summon home. She is very used to and knows how to do very well.
  Periodically, instructors taught them something new. And they continued to exercise and played sports games to maintain the shape and ate a special meal. But then, she still became very stout: the belly has become large, and the thighs, and breasts, like now. But she - such - still was liked by many men; some of them even liked more that she was so snout.
  But then she began to be liked less, because ceased to be young. She then moved to the boys who had to become houri. She lived with them: explained to them for the first time and trained. They loved her because she was affectionate and kind.
  But she did not stay with them, because she came back: when she was absent, many tried to summon her home. She's therefore come back and lives here again.
  She lives here for a long time. Some go somewhere else - sometimes comes back as she did. But who is no longer called, leave for ever. Nobody knows - where: they do not come any more. When she stops to be called, she will also leave for somewhere. Maybe, she will be made again an instructor of boys-houri. But still she lives here, and she is called.
  And when nobody calls her, she sits with her friends; they talk or sing for themselves, what they want on their own. Being together is so good for them.
  However, it happens that a houri wants no longer - but persuaded, she comes again when called. Because she knows if she doesn't go when called, she will have to leave, but she didn't want, was used here, she knows everyone here, afraid to leave. But sometimes, she doesn't want at all, even hit the glass and cut himself and shouted: 'I do not want any more!' It's a pity then.
  But they have also festivals, where there are only houris: women and men. They may call each other, wanting themselves, so it is definitely pleasant because man-houri always knows well, and because they can talk to each other, too.
  And still it is fun during competitions of the most beautiful women- and men-houris who come from somewhere with their mentors. Or contests of those who knows very well or can do very well, but quite differently. Houris are watching, too. Very interesting...
  
  'You might be sleeping, darling?
  'No - tell me more.'
  'I do not know anything more. Maybe, you wan me? Also no? Shall I sing for you?
  'Yes. Just that you sing for yourselves.'
  She sang for me some depressed song.
  A terrible horror was seizing increasingly me. Next to us, with our science, art, immense archives, a mighty industry, almost fairy-tale surgery and all the rest - next to it there was something that I just could not even find a name. What an atrocity: to reject a living human being and school her as an animal for satisfaction our needs, which we do not ourselves feel lofty - to turn into a sexy toilet, and only in this to see the sense and justification for her existence in our midst! To deprive of her disposal of herself - to turn into a very thing, into an inanimate robot. Not to help them but to aggravate their being mentally inferior.
  Why is that? What for? Due to the fact that this simplifies our, intellectually proper, existence? But - may the intelligence justify cruelty? What is it really - our intelligence? What have we actually discovered, created in our time?
  All of this is too insignificant, nothing is outstanding: we complete, improve, perfect discovered before us by others. Intellectual pygmies! All our attempts will fail. And my own ones - too!
  I was tormented by a feverish sense of the need to find immediately a way out of all existed, and the confidence that all will be lost if I did not have found it, and straight away after it a feeling of complete helplessness, the absolute inability to solve something, to do. There was none way out - only despair. It seemed I alone - and just I was guilty of everything, guilty more than anyone. The idea to leave completely, at once to get rid of everything that occurred recently appeared again, and this was viewed as the only possible solution for me. 'I do not want any more!' - shouted all inside me.
  In the room, an aquarium with fishes gleamed only. And suddenly, I made up my mind, hit with my fist - with such force that smashed the thick glass at once. The beautiful fishes started writhing in a pool. My hand was damaged badly and cut. Not paying attention to that, I grasped a large splinter, but at the same moment she seized hold of my hand, hung on it with her entire weight.
  'Oh, darling, oh, do not!!!' she cried.
  Trying to pull out my hand, I cut her with the splinter, but she still did not let go. And when I had pushed her so that she, flown away, fell and hit her head badly, I felt that I'm able to do nothing more. Looked at the bloody hand, I threw the glass.
  Trudged to the bed and fell. I was shaking. She came, sat next, put my head on her chest and, holding tightly with her bloody hands, wept very long. I could hardly breathe. Heard occasionally as she muttered sobbing: 'Oh, darling!', 'So bad!', 'Sorry for the fishes, too!' And we stayed sitting until the very morning. Her hands were all in terrible cuts.
  In the morning she left. And a physician arrived to me soon: she had probably to tell the cuts' reason. He sent me to the hospital. It was urgently imperative: I still had not seen a solution for myself, and my suicide seemed inevitable.
  ... I have been cured. I wanted again to live and work. Returned home.
  I wanted to see, thank her. But when I called her, such appeared on the screen: 'She is absent here'.
  I succeeded to contact their head-sexologist, who they called a governess. She told me very calmly that Chamomile didn't live there any more - but I hadn't to grieve: there were several other houris, who were the same. That's all.
  So I could learn nothing: whether she was transferred as an instructor to young boys-houris, or perhaps because of the cuts disfigured her she became unfit professionally - and, therefore, was killed.
  This thought haunted me for a long time. But then, little by little - I forgot. As if it has happened not with me at all. I do not understand, even as I was now able to remember everything so clearly. I saw how that beast, a planter, treated his women-slaves, and ... So it was!'
  
  They were silent, struck by Dan's telling. Lal sat without seeing anything in front of him, with his clenched fists on the table. Eya's lips were trembling.
  'I've upset you. And spoiled the banquet. Well, all right: no more word today about this will be.'
  'No, Dan, wait,' Lal rose. 'Let's drink in memory of her.'
  He raised his cup:
  'May her memory live for ever!'
  They stood and drank in silence.
  'Yes, you are absolutely amazing, Dan. You perform the greatest revolution in physics and along the way obtain the proof of the social theorem of a truly human essence of the inadequates. The houri believes you and tells about her. I - being interested in them most of all - could not learn anything like this. Houris kept silent, and heads-sexologists responded that this should not be touched.'
  'Lal, I'm sorry - I can not talk about it any more.'
  He went to the control room. They continued to sit at the table without saying a word and having touched the food. From the control room gloomy sounds of the beginning of the Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony came.
  ... In the morning Eya, not managed to fall asleep, changed Dan.
  'Is Lal asleep?'
  'I am not sure.'
  'And you - were you sleeping?'
  'After your terrible story?'
  'Lal understood this long ago.'
  'I somehow did not think before about this at all.'
  'Not you only. Every of us are too absorbed in their work, and the rest we see hardly. It needs such as Lal, who sees all at once. And not able to be indifferent.'
  'For me it is so difficult yet.'
  'Okay, he doesn't hurry us.'
  'Go to rest, Dan.'
  
  13
  
  Giving to lie down the impression, Lal, indeed, two days studiously avoided resume the conversation. Only on the third one he asked:
  'Will we continue?'
  'Yes, of course.'
  'So! Now, our main theme will be the inadequates. You've heard a lot of minders and much enough about houris. Today, I will acquaint you with the donors - groups which the talk about is the gloomiest of all that we are on the topic of the inadequates.'
  'So, today you will talk about me? I consist of ninety percent of an inadequate-donor.'
  'Nothing of the sort: the adequacy is determined by the brain!'
  'Of course, Eya. So: the donors - inadequates, constituting the biofund for surgical repair of the propers.
  The emergence of this group in addition to the causes of social separation of the inadequates was due to one of the greatest scientific discoveries - overcoming immune incompatibility, ensuring the feasibility and effectiveness of organ transplants of one person to another one.
  Even at the dawn of performing transplants, surgeons did not always succeeded to carry out operations in time due to a lack of the necessary organ. The first donors for heart transplants were people perished under the then transport vehicles - cars. Of the optimal selection of the transplanted organ it even was not able to be any question.
  For this reason and because of the complexity of the operation transplantations were used then only in critical cases. Especially as before the opening of cyclosporine , these operations gave a reprieve from imminent death of the patients, since the transplanted organ rejected in some time - died off, resolved, and then either re-operation had to be or death occurred.
  The donation for medical needs has been a quite old phenomenon. The first donors gave blood for the wounded in the war - and then blood donation became widespread. These donors were almost exclusively volunteers: blood donation in no way affected their health. The exception, criminal, was only the forced taking of blood during World War II in the twentieth century - this was produced by the German Nazis: from prisoners of war and even children, sometimes entirely. Later than blood donation, appeared donation of skin, eyes, teeth and, pretty rarely, marrow - to save the received radiation sickness.
  The source of the internal organs were exceptionally fresh bodies of people, although some time after the discovery of cyclosporine there was a special kind of crime: the abduction, trafficking and killing of people, including children, for organ transplants, with which the society had to wage a severe war.
  Gradually, the development of preserving technology provided the opportunity to create the necessary transplant fund. It gave the ability to save absolutely all.
  But the material of the fund was not good enough. Therefore it was considered acceptable and humane to kill hopeless idiots put up in special clinics. The quality of transplants improved. In addition, it succeeded to improve health of very, however, limited number of people who were not threatened with death. Brilliant results of such transplants incited to search opportunities to expand their performing.
  The possibility to use widely internal organs of animals seemed initially incredible tempting was not confirmed for most types of transplants. But the prospect of using human organs increased by the fact that also prolonged lives of people, whom surgeons replaced a number of worn organs. It managed to achieve results in this way sooner than in others. And gradually, starting with isolated cases, approved by the World vote for rescue or prolonging lives of extremely important scientists, they moved to the widespread use of inadequates as donors doomed to die.
  Completely, this phenomenon was confirmed after the first successful transplant surgery of a genius head on the body of an inadequate. The enthusiasm about this fabulously difficult operation was so great that most people treated very favorably the words of surgeons who performed it. That's what they have said.'
  Lal switched on the screen. A man with shoulder straps, an attribute of physicians who have been after the disappearance of wars principal defenders of the humanity, said:
  'Our time is very scarce of major discoveries: we are terribly slowly moving along the path of scientific progress. All we are fighting over the search of a way out of this situation.
  Unfortunately, the restricted capacity of the body sets a limit to increase the intensity of our work. The efforts of the most capable part of humanity to succeed due to the merciless attitude towards themselves have as a result rapid deterioration of the body and severe diseases of various kinds.
  All of them, except those associated with brain disease, are radically curable with a process having the almost one hundred per cent reliability. But for that you have to sacrifice the least valuable part of humanity. The health and related to it life expectancy of propers-scientists, being the motive force of progress, acquired at the expense of the life of poor talent, inadequate people who are used as donors after die.
  If we look at it from the point of view of the interests of the humanity as a whole - this order is correct, fair. The inadequates do not spend their health due to a complete inability to intense intellectual work, and in other kinds of work, which they are able to be engaged in, the society did not need. Maintained fully by the society, they have to give something in return for not being an unnecessary burden.
  At present time a proper separation of functions between people based on their abilities develops. I mean steady-state mode of mankind reproduction. The proper women have the opportunity to devote himself entirely to their, intellectual, work due to the fact of that not capable for it women give birth, breast-feed and nurse their children. In this manifests itself the penetration into the correct understanding of the nature laws, quite obvious.
  But we should learn wisdom from nature more consistently. If we look closely, we find, for example, the ants - the most typical social animals, that a specific group of individuals - males - after performing their function - are killed, as needed no longer to their large family, their community. This phenomenon is also a consequence of the objective laws of nature, which inevitable, and even as it may seem cruel necessity promotes better survival of the species as a whole.
  The human being is not an ant, but it is naive to think that he has completely severed ties with the nature. Killing the inadequate, whose contribution to the sum of universal labor is equal to zero, we can provide with health and longevity the propers having spent their health for themselves and an inadequate consuming the fruits of that labor. The entire humanity wins as a species with this, and what's more very noticeably. And this is absolute moral justification of the use of a part of the inadequates as killed donors.
  Let us not be terrified with cruel justice of following conclusion: currently there is no other way. We do get needed for our organism proteins, killing animals, but people of the future, learnt to produce high-grade synthetic proteins, may become vegetarians. It is possible that in the future we will learn both to restore health and prolong the lives of people in other ways.
  But at present we are still deprived of this opportunity, and thus humanity has not the right to give up the huge benefits of the use of donors-inadequates. Of course, there are unpleasant sides, which inevitability is necessary to understand and come to terms with them, not concentrating attention on them. Just as there are unpleasant sides associated with eating the animals' meat.
  A proper organization should contribute to the success of the case. I mean that the donor should not know about his pending fate, living until use of him in the most favorable and comfortable conditions for him, but not contradicting at the same time with his functional purpose.
  Currently, the procedure for the use of the donors is not satisfactory yet. For the full effect, we need a continuous and systematic acquisition of donor contingent, picked properly and sufficient in numbers.
  Future results are undoubted. On my own behalf and on behalf of my colleagues I put the matter to a worldwide debate and vote.' The screen went dark.
  'These words fell like seeds in a well-prepared soil. Ready to sacrifice themselves mercilessly to their health, the proper people were merciless to others. They considered the establishment of a permanent contingent of the inadequate donors as a necessary and timely step, a victim justified historically. Against voted a negligible number.'
  
  'Do you communicate with donors yourself?'
  'Yes. But very little. This is a closed group, living in special areas. Just physicians-trainers leading the preparatory work are with them. Special meals, the precise routine, the system of training, mainly on the system of hatha yoga - a very qualified for the cultivation at these plantations of human organisms.
  But apparently, all this is a very Arcadia . Perfect health and excellent general physical state, carefree peace and always good mood. Very tasty food - although of strictly necessary composition. Sports games and shows, special movies, baths, banquets with music and dancing.
  They are served by special houris: men and women of this group never live together. But a physician-trainer defines strictly the frequency of meetings with the houris for each of them. When necessary, their sensuality is suppressed with medication; very rarely, actually - by castration use.
  They are happy: glad with his present - and ahead it is waiting the transfer to another place where they will live more pleasant, but it is necessary to earn with hard training and the precise execution of trainer's instructions. This idea is intensively cultivated in their minds, and they wait impatiently for the 'transfer'.
  What waits for them really they, of course, do not suspect at all. If any of the trainers tries to tell them the truth, he will be immediately isolated from them and, according to the oath given by him, without a trial subjected to a prolonged boycott, and donors who heard him are isolated and used in the first place. Despite the fact that - the most interesting! - donors have never believed these trainers.'
  'How long live they?'
  'About thirty years, and usually more than twenty. They are used being young, but fully formed.'
  'They were killed just before the operation?'
  'It is not necessary at all! The internal organs, placed in the proper environment, can be stored for a long time: in the vaults of the surgical repair fund, I saw a lot of hearts that continue to pulsate. Moreover, if before each operation to kill a donor, using one or maximum a few organs, they can be needed too many - this is an additional lot of work: too uneconomical. In fact, the use is maximal.
  Are used not only internal but also external organs: limbs, ears, noses, eyes, scalps, skin, busts, penises. Besides, bone, periosteum, teeth, bone marrow. Unused muscles and organs, which do not meet the requirements of the surgical repair, are utilized as food for animals and inadequates or raw materials for industrial processing. Nothing is ever lost!'
  
  'But due this health of propers recovers and their lives prolong.'
  'Exactly. They do not die for fun, like Roman gladiators, but for the sake of benefit, which they can be of only by sacrificing their lives - and only in such the way make the fact of their birth important and necessary. Here's what is visible superficially; what is known to all - and seems natural to everyone.'
  'But not to you - do you disagree with this?'
  'Absolutely. All the inadequates have been deprived of their own will: we manage them like livestock - without asking their desire or consent. Having used their inadequate skills in childhood, we cripple them completely by such an education that Dan has too correctly named the animals training.
  And this group - of the donors? They have taken away the most precious - life! Despite anything, it is a very murder. Killing creatures born human beings! And, most important, not being already so much as needed as considered.'
  'Excuse me, but is it really possible to provide life duration of almost two hundred years?'
  'Well, first, the achieved duration of life is not, actually, an exceptional merit of the surgical repair. It is the result of a great deal: we breathe clean air not polluted by harmful impurities; we eat a healthy, well-balanced diet; since a very childhood we pay a lot of attention to physical education. Secondly, there is the opportunity to abandon largely the surgical repair without decreasing the live duration.'
  'Yes, the continuous monitoring system!'
  'Right, Eya. What it is, do you know?'
  'Something only. A human being is continuously observed by instruments located in its housing, bed and clothes. The amount of information about all the processes in his body increases tremendously in comparison with the current one obtained, as in the old days, with periodic medical examinations. The general diagnostic cyber system processes the flow of this information. As a result, the slightest changes in the body get detected in time and the necessary measures are taken: providing guidance on the necessary changes in diet, exercises; if necessary, prescribing medication, just the easiest. In more serious cases a physician receives a related notice.
  The test results in experiments on inadequates were striking. However, even such a limited system was incredibly complicated. And to cover with a continuous supervision the entire humanity, it is necessary to establish a system of the complexity vastly superior the control system of the entire industry of the Earth. The memory of this system should include the full amount of medical knowledge to provide diagnostics. Also, analysis of incoming information should provide appearing conclusions of the optimal correction of health and revealing any common trends in the condition of the bodies of the majority or sufficiently large groups. The system is continuously controlled by physicians to avoid unpredictable negative effects. The system must have a very high reliability and be provided with redundancy to ensure it.'
  'And what then?' Dan asked.
  'Nothing. The complexity of such a system is incredibly high. It was so obvious that the issue of its creation did not even been offered to the global debate.'
  'But it is already possible in principle, and therefore, the use of the donors cannot be justified?' Dan asked again.
  'It all depends on how to treat the issue,' Lal said. 'The surgical repair is a method working perfectly and not raising doubts about results. And, most important, its use is much less expensive than creating a continuous monitoring system - CMS. This was, as Eya said, the main obstacle. Especially since it coincided with the preparation of the first flight of the hyperexpress, which were directed everything for. Then another good reason to again postpone the establishment of the CMS appeared after the departure of Tupac.
  Besides, the worst thing is that almost everyone considers the use of donors to be quite normal and does not see any reason for putting a stop to it. Creating CMS is not seemed absolutely necessary. It is easier and cheaper to cut the donors! The people have not yet thawed: the end of the crisis has just begun. Everything is still ahead.
  But this brutal method of repair people must disappear. Without fail! For it is truly disgusting for the human nature, only a deep general decline made possible its appearance.'
  
  'But that surgeon compared the need for donors to just killing slaughter animals for food. So where is the verge of humanity?'
  Lal smiled, 'This question I had to answer yet - during the controversy with the cannibals. The animals are not human beings: they live according to the laws of the struggle for existence, seemed brutal to the humanity. Killing individual animals for food or obtaining leather and fur, the man doesn't transgress the laws aimed only at preserving the species. Here - in my opinion - all is right.
  But the people are just human beings: they live already according to other laws: every human life has an individual value.'
  'Do you consider it is absolutely inadmissible to sacrifice the inadequate part of humanity, even for common progress because only of the inhumanity of this?'
  'Not only. Yet because of the possible consequences of the principle of separation of people on the propers and the inadequates.
  What separates the inadequates from other people? Their inability in doing the work that robots are also not able to do. Just this. The fact that they can be replaced by robots. It is just what is done.
  But robots are becoming more and more perfect. Reasoning consistently, we will at the limit come to the recognition being proper exceptionally geniuses, a quantitatively negligible part of the humanity. Do you agree?
  But geniuses surrounded by a huge number of robots do not need a huge number of inadequates - and those who can not be used have just to be killed to get rid of an unnecessary burden.
  It will be a kingdom of super perfect robots replaced humans, led by geniuses - negligible amount of people considered proper. Robots actually displace people with the own hands of latter ones. This is logically consistent conclusion of the principle of the separation of people on the propers and the inadequates, and this conclusion is obvious viciousness of this principle.'
  'Why cannot increase the likelihood of appearing geniuses?'
  'It is perfectly acceptable - but it does not change the situation. They still never make the majority of the mankind.'
  'Yes: the eerie conclusion!'
  'That's good!'
  'Why?'
  'Because this can make you to fall to thinking.'
  'Lal, but do you not exaggerate?'
  'Yes, I do. I just draw a contrast: to make it clearer. Well, what: is it enough for today?'
  'Yeah ...' They were terribly tired, pale.
  'I'll take a break. At least for one day. Let it settles,' Lal thought being also no less than they tired but happy.
  14
  
  But the next 'day' Dan asked to continue:
  'Lal, you have said nothing about the donor for such like me,' he looked at his hands.
  'About them, I can add a little bit to what I talked about the other donors: almost the same as about those, but also the highest general requirements - to the whole organism completely - plus aesthetic body requirements. Accordingly, they have a slightly different preparation. They are exclusively descendants of other donors, the results of a special selection.'
  'Hereditary inadequates?'
  'Yes. But we'll talk about them later.
  Now I will acquaint you with a different group of donors, standing apart from the donor for surgical repair: the purpose of this group is to supply a brain to biocybernetic systems. The fate of these donors is the same as that of the previous ones. The brain taken from them is a major part of biocybers - cyber systems' variant for the case of its being strongly imperative ultra-compact.
  In the simplest cyber systems it's possible to manage with animals' brains. For more complex systems, which can be regarded as cyborgs of a lower order, the brain of these donors is in use. Placed in a biocyber, the brain is connected directly to the sensors and control devices receiving in response to the sensor signals corresponding commands. The brain action is reinforced with conventional cyber blocks providing tremendous speed of information processing.
  Producing biocybers is too complicated, excluding the possibility of using random material. Just the brain, whose qualities are precisely defined and enforced maximally by a special pre-training, may be suitable. These qualities can be memory, a reaction speed, an attention to the particularly specific phenomena, and reception of sound and color, capacity for mental calculation - and so on. These donors are used at an earlier age, often when children. Where possible, they use also other organs of their body, but without any special requirements to their training.
  Unlike biocybers, very cyborgs controlled by the brain of a proper, who decided exclusively voluntarily before his death to transplant into a cyber systems, where he is provided with conditions for long existence. In a cyborg the brain fully keeps in full the creativity and individuality - and, most important, the ability to take non-trivial solutions to what cybers are not capable. Often, it is the brain of a very great scientist. Such as Tupac.
  Cyborgs are able to exist in an environment that is unfit for people with ordinary bodies: they were until now only scouts of the Far Cosmos; besides - they were scouts of bowels of the Earth and other planets, and the bottom of Earth's oceans. They have incomparably greater in comparison with ordinary people a number of feelings provided by various sensors and can live up to a thousand years.
  But cyborgs are, in general, an exceptional phenomenon. Seemed once attractive and highly promising cyborgization did not spread widely: very few people like a long existence, completely devoid of human joys, possible only in the body shell. Therefore, for producing biocybers the special donors are in use.
  That's all I wanted to say about them.'
  'Biocybers, besides their compactness, are also more reliable,' Eya added. 'In case of failure of a part of the brain, the cells of other parts start to perform its work.
  'Quite true! Any questions?'
  'Unavailable yet.'
  'I pass on to the next group - the experimentals.
  They are used for performing the final test after examination on animals of new drugs, physical therapeutic and other new employed treatments, the effect of created medical equipment. On them also testing new types of operations and training of surgeons are carried out. Various new food introduced in use and synthetic products are tested. It is the safety or toxicity of various environments checked and safety rules perfected. And many others.
  Their life goes on under constant supervision and is regulated strictly in accordance with the test programs. The experiments performed on them are not always painless. They may be infected specially with various diseases. Some of them die during the experiments, but the rest is never killed especially because their life duration is of interest for research.
  Overall, their existence in comparison with other groups is significantly poorer in joys. For this group, the selection is often carried out by the presence of various diseases and abnormalities.'
  'On them experiments on creation of ichthyanders - people with implanted gills - performed. Ecologists studied seriously considering the problem of settlement by those of the upper layer of the ocean. But there were too many 'buts', and the most important of them - that ichthyanders not tolerate staying in space and therefore can not leave the Earth that does not give them the opportunity to do the same that people with an ordinary body can. But inadequate ichthyanders are not needed if robots exist,' Eya supplemented again.
  
  'Houris have originated from this group. Their predecessors were used to sexological experiments. This work in a part of some problems was conducted in contact with sociologists, who the first put forward the idea of simplifying the organization of sexual life with using inadequates when a deficit of time.
  It was carried out extensive checks. Representatives of all age groups of the propers took part in it. Exceptional ease of contact organization and the associated with that time savings, as well as just a professional skill level of these inadequates caused a huge amount of positive references.
  As a result - they set up a group designed to satisfy sensuality. It consisted of selected specially men and women - the most beautiful, physically attractive, and sexy. Some poet compared them with heavenly maidens of Islam - houris, and gradually this name became generally accepted.
  An absolute sexual freedom of the propers completed fully in that. Any problems disappeared. To copulate got as easy as to defecate. The same elementary satisfaction of a natural physical need. The houris served really as just a sexy toilet - Dan has named too precisely. The mankind has obtained always ready, trouble-free concubines serving it - as once prostitutes and gigolos. The houris, of course, can not be compared with the Athenian hetaerae, who delighted men not only with her body but also by education and delicate taste.'
  'I'm sorry, but apparently prostitution was a voluntary profession?'
  'Yes - but its alternative was hard work or need. Prostitutes were paid by money, allowed to exist materially. Houris - instead just get the right to live.
  Simply, conveniently! Has summoned, copulated - and you can sleep. It doesn't require any reciprocity. Take, who you wish. They will show you on the screen with personal digital indicators. If you want, choose on your own - or a computer will select for maximum accordance after you transfer your personal data from your archive.'
  'They are also used for sex education of young people.'
  'That's right: for learning the technique of coitus.'
  'Deflowering girls is always produced by he-houri.'
  'And with their help, the material is taken to the gene fund.'
  'Right, exactly! This is all of them. Especially after the story of Dan. Any questions?'
  'Go on, brother.'
  
  'There is still a group of reproduction: birth givers, wet-nurses and child-minders. But before I want to talk about the hereditary inadequates.
  The reason for their appearance: the acquisition groups by rejected children in most cases does not give the material optimal from the point of view of those who use it. To eliminate this imperfection it began in parallel with rejection to use obtaining inadequates' descendants with just the best specific data. The hereditary inadequates do not constitute a separate group, but are included in the group of their parents.
  First of all, they appeared in the donors groups to compensate the deficit of some organs of the required quality, obtained by the rejection less than their due. Then - in some cases they were bred especially for obtaining organs of improved quality. It appeared a selection of inadequates, being little different from breeding pedigree breeds of domestic animals.
  There are special hereditary donors even of hypertrophied qualities of some organs. Transplantation of such an organ eliminates multiple organ transplants, providing the normal functioning despite a weakened activity of not replaced organs. Often, such a hypertrophy detriments the donor organism as a whole.
  The so-called full donors whose body without a head is entirely used to provide the second life of academicians are, as I've said, only hereditary donors. The elite-record of their physical health and exterior.
  In the focus of attention of a lot of people there is breeding houris for obtaining very beautiful specimens. Beauty contests of such houris are very popular. This selection is called decorative - it is a peculiar kind of art: creating living sculptures. Propers sometimes copy their appearance by plastic surgery.
  But even among these breeders there are those, who exaggerate some individual qualities to the detriment of the organism and create a non-viable, aging rapidly creatures, ensuring themselves a short-term success. As in the case of the live copy of Aphrodite of Milos.
  A general essential drawback of all without exception these creatures - they belong to the inadequates and the associated with that a mental backwardness. As the poet has said:
  Who can explain what it means beauty?
  High bust, or slender supple figure,
  Or large eyes? But sometimes
  It's not all we call beauty.
  The mouth without words no one could love.
  The eyes without fire - without smell a flower.
  They are in use very rarely in comparison with ordinary houris - to maintain their beauty longer. Such a houri can be obtained only by lot.'
  'Lal! But it turns out to be a complete contradiction. It turns out, actually, that it is much better to use the hereditary inadequates. The guaranteed availability of higher quality: it may be said so, the best material. But all this system exists as a way to use people who are not capable of intellectual work, - and the use of hereditary inadequates, being better, makes again these people not needed to anyone,' Eya interrupted him.
  'Exactly! Do not think that it isn't understood. Therefore the hereditary ones are allowed only as an exception and make up a negligible portion of the inadequates.
  Let's go back to that ultimate conclusion from the principle of the people division into two unequal categories, which you've named creepy. That small number of inadequates that may be necessary to a handful of geniuses must be - logically - of the highest quality. So it should be exclusively hereditary inadequate. They must be to have no genetic connection with the geniuses at all, that is in parallel there should be two completely closed categories of people, the two races - or more accurately, two subspecies; they must consist only of each of the group elite. The rest of the people - rejected - must be killed. So!'
  'Do you think that it can come to this?'
  'I believe firmly that not. I do believe that all of us, the propers, will succeed in time to see that this trend is embedded immanently in the existing system, and nothing, in fact, is opposed yet to the possibility of its development. And, not have comprehended again, that biological laws can not be dominant in the human society.'
  'But you're talking in riddles: you do not make any conclusions.'
  'Patience! Before drawing conclusions, I tell you what I think necessary.'
  
  
  15
  
  Lal began the next conversation with the words, 'It remains for us now to consider only the reproduction group, which Eve told us a lot about.
  Historically - this group was the first. I'll tell you right now about its appearance, being the start of the general split of the mankind into two categories not having the same social rights. Its origins were in the process of the dying away of the family as a stable independent social cell.
  In ancient times just the main purpose of the family based on mutual attraction, or as it was called, love, or any other causes, was the birth and raising children. At the same time the family was an autonomous economic unit with a common budget and, with rare exceptions, a common property.
  The main concern of the children was a responsibility of women: mothers, grandmothers. At the class epochs women of the privileged classes shifted daily childcare on child-minders - at first not free, later hired ones. Education of children special people - teachers were engaged in.
  As the society developed, it became take increasingly care of education, and then - of raising children. First, schools and universities, then kindergartens and nurseries. The latter ones allowed women having children continue to work, not only deal with care on them and housekeeping. The parents' ties with their children at the same time did not interrupt at all.
  The norm was a family based entirely on a sense of mutual love. None intimate relationship outside the family to be allowed. However, it was an ideal - the reality did not always correspond to it: intimate relationships outside the family took place often. And the feeling was able to disappear - a family to break up, creating serious problems due to having common children.
  In the absence of these occurrences the family was the best social cell for children. The constant mutual communication was the basis of intimacy of children and their parents throughout their lives. Those children who have lost their parents were called orphans: they were considered unhappy. The gradual release from everyday cares only allows parents to give children more and more of their free time, without removing a significant portion of their concerns about education and financial security.
  Childcare was not a burden on their parents. It was the realization of the natural needs - difficult but joyful. The house without children was considered empty. When a child was sick, besides a doctor its parents, grandmother, grandfather, brothers and sisters took care of it.
  The relative intimacy of people was an integral part of the life at that time. Even living, when adult, already separately, the children continued to maintain regular contact with their parents, brothers and sisters, to be interested in their affairs, and helped each other if necessary, visited them and got together for family celebrations. Family relationships, maintaining an element of emotional warmth in life, tied generations. They existed in parallel to friendly relations.
  When the development of production and social relations had completely freed people from material cares, family members' material responsibilities of each other also disappeared. Now they were linked only with not material incentives. In these conditions, the family started becoming less stable.
  The problems that arose as a consequence of this, the society began fix by maximum freeing parents from taking care of their children, which it took on itself, entrusting teachers with it. People are becoming more and more engaged in intellectual work, becoming the main purpose and interest of life, displacing all other interests. And they paid to children less and less attention.
  But the tie has not been broken yet. Every woman gave birth at least to two children who were raised in child's institutions. Their parents came to visit them there, continued to show the attention to them and to be interested in their health and development, and to spend together even some of his free time. It was time of approaching our epoch of decline.
  After a short period when an unusually large number of fundamental discoveries was done, came a long time without a single major discovery and too little number of such achievements as the successful completion of long-term work for the transplant a head on another body. The years seemed unbearable because of previous great successes.
  Intensification of their labor seemed - first of all - a way out of this situation. And then a redistribution of responsibilities among members of society, associated with the own reproduction became the first step. To keep the majority of women working instead of wasting time for bringing forth children, people started to use a way existed long ago: the implantation of a fertilized egg, zygote, to another woman for her doing instead of a very mother of a child.
  This method appeared once as a measure of helping women who wanted to have their own child, but for some reason they were not able physically to give birth to it. Since adopting someone else's child was possible not always, it was possible to help in this way. With the improvement of medicine and the general health, the implantation of the zygote was used less and less often; actually, almost disappeared.
  But then they remembered it again. To charge with a pregnancy and a birth of children the least capable women, and let more capable ones continue to work intensively! It seemed a great idea.
  It all happened remarkably quickly. Spending on the creation of a child negligible time, the woman, his genetic mother, could become already neither used nor attached to the baby, whom instead of her another woman had given birth. More and more absorbed with their work, parents, genetic, cease gradually communication with their children.
  The sociologists evaluated occurred changes very positively. Firstly, all the children began to receive qualified care only. Secondly, their education just experts-teachers were engaged in: there weren't any more all negative aspects of participation in the education of the parents, who did not always everything absolutely correctly. Thirdly, the relationship of parents affected children in no way, especially the family, as such, had practically disappeared. Fourth, it appeared the opportunity, meeting optimally the requirements of genetics and using the essential information, which a supercomputer the processing of carries, to make the selection of genetic parents.
  On the background of general stress caused by the desire to break free from the start of the decline's band, it all seemed just wonderful: 'The mankind merged finally into the single family!'
  An absolute freedom has come in their intimate lives, not associated at all with the birth of children. Private life of everyone was interesting no one else.
  Children, who do not know their parents, have become universal - and nobody's. Kindred relationships and the family disappeared. If it were not for all this, the emergence of social category of the inadequates would be absolutely impossible.
  Even with minimal communication no mother would have allowed that her child was treated like a slave or an animal, whatever it was poor talent. Family relationships protected reliably once poor talent children from becoming an inadequate: they lived among other people doing the work within their powers.
  Now, becoming orphans, they were left face to face with a society that considered them an unnecessary burden. Their only protection could only be the teachers, most of who were managed to convince of the need to reject - and forces of the others were too weak.
  What to do with poor talent ones? To destroy? No, of course! Just to use - as everything that is possible, up to the corpses and excrements, was used. Let them only bring forth, breastfeed and nurse children. This is an honorable mission. That's great!
  And the others? What to do with them? Just what you want! And they did: some ones began to grow to the desired state, then to kill and use their organs; others to use as experimental animals - after rabbits, guinea pigs and monkeys; with third ones - in quite vile way to satisfy the lust of the flesh.'
  'But was from this some benefit?'
  'Unfortunately, yes. Total labor intensity was higher than in the previous epoch - and this is partly the merit of using the inadequates.
  But such excuse slavery had, too. Thanks to it, people stopped killing the war prisoners. And due to the labor of slaves the free obtained time to practice art, science and philosophy. And besides, it was impossible by intensification of work only to improve the situation.
  Our epoch is a direct consequence of the previous one. In that epoch it succeeded to make fundamental discoveries, allowed to get into a completely new area of the structure of matter, incredible unusual - almost unacceptable for inveterate views and a 'common sense'. The field huge, requiring a lot of time and effort to cover all of her, to master firmly it. Get used enough to think freely with its categories. To make it take steadily its place in the practical activity.
  It seems to me that such periods will inevitably repeat after each series of fundamental discoveries, invasion of completely new, large area of the nature mysteries. And perhaps such periods will get longer.
  We must understand this for not trying to accelerate scientific progress in such the way. Its harm exceeds the benefit extracted from it. Such dehumanization of the society that has created it, and that then he nourished and strengthened, has become so ingrained that nobody notices it absolutely. It's time to stop it before it will be too late! It must be eradicated, and for this - to destroy the inadequates' lack of rights. Moreover, its necessity is becoming obsolete.
  No questions? Again? What's wrong with you? Why you do not argue with me?'
  'You must see: it is really difficult for us now to argue anything against. But what about conclusions? What practical ones, Lal?'
  'Draw them from what I have said to you today: that's enough. If you still have not understood - think! I give you just one week.'
  
  Lal kept silence firmly. For just seven 'days'. Was constantly on duty in the 'night' hours and slept in the 'day' ones: he left them specifically alone - let them discuss everything without him. Did not say a word when he was with them, - was smoking or playing with the puppy; he did not carefully notice their questioning looks.
  But on Thursday, resting after a baths, they both pressed him.
  'Lal - maybe - it's enough?'
  'I've given you another day.'
  'But we are tired of arguing!'
  'We do not want to wait another day!'
  'Then, come on: what you have thought up?'
  'We agree on the principal point: the social institution of the inadequates is similar to ancient slavery in the vilest manner. This is the first.'
  'Yes, it is. But not exactly. They are similar only in the lack of rights of the slaves and the current inadequates. Just in ancient times, slaves' labor was exploited, but nobody needs inadequates' labor - they are used in much the same way as domestic cattle. An exception to the rule - just the child-minders. The greatest similarity with the slaves - the houris. Here is so! Please forgive me: I think I'm starting to repeat myself.'
  'It doesn't matter! Secondly, the institution of the inadequates is inhuman - it is contrary to the veritable human nature - because the implicit trend of it is fraught with the greatest danger.'
  'But you both are still word for word copying me.'
  'I only - because I agree with you entirely. But Eya...'
  'I - just admit the possibility of your rightness. The nature laws, indeed, seem often quite severe, if you apply to them the human ethics standard. Therefore you may be not right. So, I can not decide definitively. But I want to believe you very much, and emotionally, I'm on your side. Speak on, Dan!'
  'The third - fundamental conclusion: I consider but Eya admits that the status quo must be changed. All absolutely people must obtain human rights: in this we accept your basic views. But the most important - how to do it? You did not tell us your constructive conclusions, and we ourselves haven't reached a consensus of opinion.'
  'Well, but how think each of you to achieve the purpose?'
  'Me: we must tell for this everyone about what you have opened our eyes to. And after our coming back, I'm ready to take the most active part in that. I won't, because of excessive modesty, underestimate my authority - it should help promote success of propaganda. By the time we return, the situation should become more favorable than it is now. Do you agree, brother?'
  'Well, no - don't hurry me! Talk still you. I want before to know what you think.'
  'I have finished. Now let Eya say.'
  'It seems to me that first of all it is imperative to eliminate the condition that has given rise to it. Women have on their own to bear and raise children. Then the rejection must disappear: no mother will allow doing it to her own child.'
  'Yes!!!'
  'Instead of that the inadequates' offspring will increase even more,' Dan retorted immediately. 'Besides, the women hardly will start suddenly bear children!'
  'They will: looking at who will do it the first.'
  'Come on, this is too problematic. Who of the women is now ready to do this? None, I think.'
  'Such are! Eve told me that they were! And she herself - in the first place. You're in vain treating this so skeptically. Lal! Come on, say you at last!'
  'Eya is just right! She's a woman - and so has been able to comprehend the principal thing faster than you. Do not be surprised: she was assisted with the motherhood instinct - it is much stronger than the men's, father's one. So, you talked with Eve?'
  'Yes. And quite a lot. The day when you flied fishing.'
  'Can you tell something about your conversation?'
  'Yes, everything. There was nothing in it what I don't want to talk about.'
  'Tell us the principal thing.'
  'She said again that women on their own should bear children. That the connection of children and parents had to be restored, without it life was not able to consider full. That it was even necessary for women's health: the nature avenged for the failure of their organs functions - cancer of a uterus and a breast was not such a rare phenomenon.
  That many of her colleagues, whom she is close with, they look with envy at birth givers or thrust surreptitiously her empty breast to a baby. That they would be happy to give birth and breast-feed themselves children - but at our time they were not able to do this without hindrance. And if they tried, too many influential opponents would be able to get their boycott - and then their children will be taken away from them. But she believes that this is, after all, inevitable.
  What she herself is ready to give birth to a lot of children, if we took her with us. She wanted - for some reason - to give me a special archive in which she collected materials and programs of literally everything related to children. I did not want to refuse her, copied and made a promise to familiarize myself with it as much as I would be able to. But, I've never yet glanced at it.'
  'Did you speak about the rejection? Has she told you something else about it?'
  'No. Absolutely.'
  'She before, too - did not link with each other these questions. So, her opinions haven't changed at all. And the conclusion is just yours own.'
  'Do you not think you've told me it? Just that you told last time.'
  'Really?' Lal smiled.
  'And maybe the fact that you took us then to children. Eve in this, of course, is also involved. By that she gave me to hold a baby in my arms. I imagined that once again clasped him to my bosom - and suddenly realized that if I knew it was my child - rather would have died than to admit harming him. Together with your words, this has led me to what I said.'
  'Well: all is right! The return of women to motherhood, I also consider a prerequisite and principal mean of destruction of the inadequates' institution.'
  'However, Lal,' Dan said, 'you know that it is possible too easily to start to complete the inadequates' contingent without any rejection - with just hereditary ones.'
  'Not really so. Do you know the numerical ratio of both categories?'
  'I not, actually. But what?'
  'About one inadequate to ten propers. This relationship inspires me with a strong suspicion that they reject also the children with a time lag in development only. Why? Why not to establish for rejection a little lower level of capabilities? And to complement the required number with hereditary ones?
  But here is why: there is no one hundred percent completely inheritance of the qualities of their parents; the inadequates' offspring is not without fail inadequate in their abilities. This does be - an indisputable truth that the genetics take certainly into account limiting in every possible way the number of hereditary inadequates.
  Nobody knows what proportion of the inadequates' offspring would be rejected if they grew up in the same nursery, kindergartens and schools, like the others. Now they are taught at once according to primitive curriculum, but at the same time they are not in average inferior in the development of rejected children.
  If the number of hereditaries increases dramatically - and this process has already begun - then among their descendants will be too many of these, which validity of declaring them inadequate in accordance with their mental faculties can be disputed.'
  'And what will prevent then from choosing for coupling the most stupid ones?'
  'It will too badly limit the opportunity to obtain qualities necessary for using.'
  'But still? If they achieve bearing stupid children only?'
  'No! I repeat the results will be poor. Such ones are poorly capable of training and adherence to the routine. This material will be of too low quality. Well, do you agree?'
  'I give up!' - Dan stretched out his hand toward Lal.
  'Come on, why? Propaganda will also be extremely important: without it, people won't understand the true state of affairs; it will make purposes clear. And your authority, my senior brother, will play an important role in this. Well, it's all - that's enough! Let's dress!'
  
  Dan was a jester this 'night'.
  'Let's drink for you, Lal,' he said picking up a goblet of nectar. 'For your lucid mind and sensitive heart, discerned that nobody noticed. For your making our eyes opened and suggesting us the right way out. Be healthy and happy! Let your dreams come true!'
  Lal also raised his goblet:
  'Both my dear! Today I am particularly happy - because not just I'm there along with you: you are now together with me, you share my thoughts and beliefs. Let's drink for the revival of social equality, for the embodiment of our ideal! - He clinked with their glasses. They did not feel how badly he was strained.'
  Should he tell them the rest? Whether early?
  No. It does be best to do today, but - not right now.
  'How were you going to this? Tell us!' - They gave him a good opportunity to prepare them for the principal idea, and he hastened to take advantage of it.
  It was a long telling that shook them both.
  'Lal, have you a bite,' Eya said when he finished. 'Otherwise you may die of hunger. We still have eaten a little bit.'
  'No matter: I'm patient.'
  'Far more! To keep silent for so many years - not tell me a single word,' Dan rebuked him.
  'Just I did not want to disturb you to do the main thing: it only could make possible to change that I've managed to see. But - if I knew about Chamomile!'
  'Well, all right! What we can do now? But you eat - eat, after all!'
  They began to eat in silence, and they did not ask him any questions, but their impatient looks made clear that today's conversation was not over.
  'Lal, brother, but your situation was not easier than mine then,' Dan said thoughtfully when Lal sated his hunger and started smoking. 'But why are you silent later, too?
  'You're waiting for the news arrival from Tupac. And after that you did not have any strength for new challenges.'
  'I see you spared me. But for the years of our training, entire ten years?'
  'How might I distract from it? Not, of course. Not either!'
  'What are you!!! You both!'
  They turned to her in surprise.
  'What, Eya?'
  'Yes, exactly! Both of you! To open, to think of such things! Can do that!'
  And Lal decided: 'It's just time!'
  'But you can even more.'
  'Me?! What you say!'
  'You can! Don't doubt.'
  'I'll never, I think! What you mean exactly?'
  'All right! Listen, Eya. And you, Dan. Let's raise our goblets for that you only can, Eya. For a miracle that you have got to accomplish: for that you give birth to a child!'
  'What?!!' they both cried at once.
  'Yes: just this! Without it, nothing will succeed! None thing else works more convincing than a personal example! It's imperative. To show people after coming back a child born and raised by you. In order that people can trust you - a mother, who has absolute right to say what they must to hear. Because you'll know what to say, having tried and tested all on your own! Only then it will succeed to convince to become mothers so big number of women whom it will not be possible to prevent from doing that. Do you comprehend?!'
  They have never seen him so thrilled, pale.
  'We will offer, actually, a refund for motherhood completely different people than who were once. It can not be an exact repetition of what it was then. 'You can not step twice into the same stream' . And we must first check on modern humans. To tell knowing already, but not assuming a priori. And only we ourselves can be these modern people!'
  'Lal! Do you know - what you want?! To become a mother? Me, not even having any idea about the child care? Here, where we are cut off from the Earth - with full non-availability of any assistance? On an unknown planet where a lot of work and any danger are waiting for us?'
  'Yes, of course! Because just it is imperative! Because it is possible only here where nobody can prevent - rather than on the Earth, where it is now completely impossible - and unknown how long it will be so. And therefore you only can do this. And if you do not, then on the Earth it will be impossible still for a long, too long time!'
  'Listen, but do you understand what that means? After all, a human being must be born!! It's a huge responsibility.'
  'I comprehend. And more both work and worry - and even a fear of him. But besides that - a great joy, that you can not even imagine.'
  'I won't even be able to! I won't cope with this.'
  'You will! It is necessary just to desire. What gave you Eve is more than sufficient to let you know everything about what and how to do this. And besides, many I took with me. Just you - will be able: you're capable, intelligent, persistent. I do not say any compliments at all: you really have all these qualities. And I know a lot - I'll be next to you. Make up your mind!'
  'Lal, it is impossible.'
  'But you - must! Must! Dan, you and I have a huge responsibility. To all the people! Dan has by his discovery led out of the crisis and made possible to overcome extra-long distances. Thanks to him, the Earth-2 has been opened.
  There is none on the Earth, whose authority, which depends on his contribution to the progress, is higher now. After the conquest of the Earth-2, the authorities of you and me will be very large, too.
  The new planet populated by human! Why have I to repeat again, what does it mean? Certainly: the acceleration of progress! But progress - just of what? Of the society, in what despite the fact that it consists of high intelligent people wild phenomena exist? In what the intellectuals to preserve their health and prolong life kill quietly other people, less capable, committed, in fact, the brutality, or use them to satisfy the lust? How many times is it necessary to repeat this?
  I have explained to you everything, said that I has succeeded to understand. And both of you have agreed with me. But to know only and do nothing - of this we do not have the right. We only realize now the danger of the possibility of the terrible trend development, lurking in the dehumanization of the inadequates - just we are also obliged to do everything possible until it's late.
  To return to the society the absolute right to be named human in the highest sense, and at the same time to increase the sum of human happiness, restoring a continuous link between generations - is the greatest goal for which we must be ready for anything!'
  'I'm afraid, Lal.'
  'Afraid? You? Not hesitated to go here, the first woman in the Far Cosmos? Dan! Say you: but you agree with me?
  'Only in necessity, Lal. But in possibility - with Eya. And - then - for us, after all, this is too sudden. Give us time to think. And do not hurry to answer.'
  'Okay: let it be so!'
  'But now go to sleep: you're too tired. I will be on duty.'
  'I'll together with you, Dan,' Eya joined him.
  
  They went into the control room. Dan turned on the itinerary hologram: the second half of the trajectory line became much longer. Turned the front view and then the rear one. There was none need for that: just to delay the beginning of the conversation.
  'But he does be right, Eya,' Dan said suddenly without preamble. 'It is indeed our - duty: to perform on themselves the sociological experiment of the return of connection of children and parents. Without this, of course, it is too difficult to achieve something. What Lal managed to reveal the first, it was inevitably to be understood in the future by all people. Just when? He got far ahead of our time: the prerequisites of what he desires just begin to develop. That is why he did not have full adherents on the Earth. Our Lal does be a genius. The good genius of humanity. I am proud of the friendship with him.'
  'Do you now be entirely in concert with him?'
  'Yes, I do. He designed a huge, wonderful cause - and it is a great honor to be its participant. Are you really so afraid of that? Or is there another reason?'
  'No - none other reason. I fear that I won't cope with it - that's all.'
  'We will be with you.'
  'You both, too, have never been occupied with this.'
  'All right: the eyes are afraid, but the hands are doing. We've brought all necessary materials.'
  'And this is a huge additional burden for us there, on a foreign planet, where we do not even know what we can expect.'
  'He also comprehends that. But still, if - it will be possible?'
  'I don't know, Dan. Do not.'
  'Either you just do not want?'
  She smiled, 'I do not want? Eve has given me to hold the baby in my arms,' Eya stared Dan. 'Do you not understand? It was such a small, warm, and smelling somehow amazingly. I clasped it to my chest, I felt incomprehensibly well. Then it smiled suddenly, and I almost cried. I could understand nothing. But Eve said that I look at it as if I want to give him my breast. And I felt that was so: I did want.'
  'Well, so...'
  'But we must soberly be aware of our real possibilities.'
  'To say 'No' is easiest!'
  'Well: not having given the word - be strong, but having - hold on. You have already decided for yourself, but I haven't. Do not try to put pressure on me, let me think about it, you both! Do go you to him.'
  'He's already asleep: tired unbelievably.'
  'Hardly. Anyway, leave me still alone. And then go to bad. I'll be on duty: I won't fall asleep today.'
  
  Lal really did not sleep. He was sitting in the salon, hanging powerlessly his arms, with weary face. Hearing steps, he changed immediately his position. Then he saw that Dan was alone - sat down again in the previous one.
  'Anything decided?' he asked, without looking at Dan.
  'Me - already everything. You conceived the cause, not less important than the settlement of the Earth-2. And I will be together with you, as I said.'
  'Thank you, my elder brother. But she?'
  'She - not yet. Of course, everything depends now just on her - we don't be able to give birth.'
  'Does she oppose categorically?'
  'No: is hesitating. She's frightened of uncertainty and the fear of not coping.'
  'Real fears, indeed.'
  'Agree.'
  'The uncertainty waiting for us may be too real. We do not know if we can land and live on the planet. We do not know all that we will have to do, how hard be busy, if we will have to remain any time and strength.'
  'But nonetheless - this is not less important task.'
  'Not less - and we may decline only in exceptional cases, when it is absolutely impossible. Only then! We have to convince her.'
  'Do not rush her: she may make up her mind.'
  'Do you think so?'
  'She repeated: 'Eve has given me to hold the baby in my arms'.'
  'Really?!' - Lal's face expression changed immediately: dead tiredness went away - it brightened. 'I'm going to sleep, Dan.'
  
  16
  
  For a few days Eya was silent, not leaving most of the time her cabin. They waited tensely.
  Finally, she suggested talking:
  'Listen to what I can say. I am not able to make a final decision; I still do not know anything. I want to learn before all that is needed to raise a child. Let Lal help me to manage during the rest of the flight. If I understand that I can do everything, and if then on the planet are not insurmountable obstacles, I will try to give a positive response. But before that - I won't give you the final answer. Just so!'
  'You're right, sister,' Lal stretched out his hand toward her. 'When will we start?'
  'Just today.'
  ... Additional training, which they started to do, in respect to the density of the program differed little from the pre-flight one. Pregnancy, obstetrics, pediatrics, nutrition and care of the young child, they studied very minutely. Education, training, nutrition, disease and health of older children - only in general terms: it is not immediately necessary.
  The information support consisting of materials, done by Eve and taken just by Lal, was very powerful, including literally everything in this area. Movies for teachers and pediatricians were not only a valuable educational tool: a look of children, which more and more accustomed Eya and Dan to and increasingly caused their smile, Lal considered the most important mean of influencing Eya.
  And the archive was a huge stock of programs: producing child food, clothing, toys and other necessary items. All that could be used for baby nutrition were in the food supplies. In addition, Lal pinned high hopes on goats and hens, brought with them. The information fund provided the possibility of the child service by the cyber-diagnostician. Lal took also a huge stock of children's literature: books, book-movies. And all the necessary educational information and programs - from nursery to university.
  Eya was extremely conscientious: she listened intently, asked Lal a lot of questions and then a long time sat at the screen in her cabin. She was very tired at first, but became involved quickly, began to grasp somehow immediately the essentials. To the surprise of Lal, she sometimes quickly found a significant association where he didn't see it. After a while she understood certain things even better than him.
  'Well, what do you want?' he explained to Dan, whose success, in spite of no less diligence, was more modest. 'She is a woman - this is in her blood. Fortunately, our epoch has not been long enough to destroy the maternal instinct in them.'
  Using a program from the archive, they made of rubber a large, life-size doll: they learned how to hold, wrap, wear, bath. They listen to the song for children learning to sing them.
  Lal was calm: it is too little likely that she still would say 'no'. The expression of her eyes was too eloquent when she watches movies! Maternity obviously would suit her - it was pleasant to look at her when she was busy with a doll: kept carefully, gently and firmly at the same time, as though imagining it alive.
  Such way time passed. They hoped to manage the preparation before the ship will come to the goal. However, Dan thought admissible even to delay the debarkation a little: the hypertransfer had given a time advantage over the calculation about three months. Then a robot-scout, performed flying round the planet and landing on its surface, will make a complete enough prospecting instead of the check just for confirming that it has not occurred any unwanted changes. But this, of course, no one wanted: they were looking forward to when they would able to set foot on the surface of the Earth-2.
  The second branch on the route hologram was lengthening all the time. The 'days' passed after 'days', full of intense study, seized completely their thoughts and interests. They rested one day a week: the traditional Thursday. But even in the baths they did not stop talking on topics got familiar. And movies that they watched, resting after it on sofas, was sure about children - the old, of course. It was the same at the table, during their banquet at 'night'.
  
  17
  
  The ship was approaching the goal. Lal did also: Eya had succeeded to make tremendous progress in the preparations.
  And no lesser had Dan. But he has become less occupied with it: it was necessary continuous radial probing for elaboration of the ship coordinates. Radiation went to the luminary of the Earth-2, and reflected, came back. Knowing the frequency of the radiation sent and returned and computing with them using the Doppler Effect the ship velocity, Dan judged by the time of the signal going there and back the distance to the star. The signals were sent frequently to start opportunely the transition maneuver from the radial direction toward the star on an elliptical orbit around it, that, like by the Sun, was located beyond the orbit of the last planet of the system.
  The maneuver began long before: the ship was approaching the target orbit along curved slightly, smooth trajectory. It consumed very little power, since maneuvering performed with a half only of the brake engines. They did almost not feel inertia loads.
  But, of course, both probing and maneuvering Dan was able to charge fully the cyber. But Dan just tired of training, and Lal wanted to give him a short rest by taking up his usual work. However, in the last stage the cyber still carried out bringing the express onto the orbit without the participation of people.
  The star, which they flew toward, burned more and more bright, standing sharply out among others. The final braking lasted long enough. Already only one engine worked yet, and it reduced continuously its power. It seemed not to have an end: peripheral planet brought tangible adjustments in the approach trajectory and schedule.
  They entered the orbit just on the 'birthday' of Lal according to the main board clock. The brake engine ceased, and in three hours the rocket-scouts started to each planet. Main one that went to the Earth-2 had to land on the planet several autonomous reconnaissance robots.
  Now they had to wait for the arrival of information from them - not earlier than in two weeks. Having it fully, the astronauts will fly to the planet on a large cruiser with everything needed for the landing and the first phase of work.
  
  The table in the salon was laid for the double celebration.
  'Be happy, our Lal! Let come true your desires and your wonderful designs get accomplished, dear brother!' Dan said congratulation. 'Let your leg the first set foot on the planet to which we desired to go!'
  'Excuse me, my elder brother - but this honor rightly belongs just to you, who have given the opportunity to come here.'
  'I've had enough of honor. You will do set the first your foot on the planet!'
  'But I've deserved this no more than Eya!'
  'Let this be also my gift, - although I'm sure that the right to set foot on the planet first must not be mine.'
  'Thank you both so much. I'm lifting my cup for you, the dearest and closest to me, and for this day, that is bestowed upon me to live through with you!'
  How strong their delight was - they neither were able nor wanted to restrain it. The event was such that Dan fought with a desire to decorate the table with some wine. But they already feel drunken joy. The only thing that upset them - the inability to admire with a telescope the Earth-2, concealed itself behind the luminary.
  'The Earth-2! But how will we call it?'
  'Let us now - simply: the Earth!'
  'And we'll say geography, geology, geophysics.'
  'Right! And the luminary - the Sun!'
  'And a satellite - the Moon!'
  'But there are three of them: one larger, other one smaller, and the third one - very small.'
  'Anyway: we will call them moons!'
  'We will!'
  Their choir sounded solemnly accompanied by powerful chords of orchestrion.
  And then Dan asked:
  'Lal, will you tell us today anything?'
  'About what?'
  'About the past. You know much that has been forgotten in vain. It is so, isn't it, eh?'
  'We already talked about it a lot.'
  'That about the main thing. But you tell about something else - perhaps not very significant, but in its own way, interesting and surprising. Delve into your memory. Come on, Lal!'
  'All right!' Lal thought for a moment. 'Here's to you: you know well, of course, who was Paganini, don't you?'
  'You ask a funny question. A very great composer: who do not know this!'
  'But he was no less a great musician, a performer of his own works exclusively and the virtuoso, whom none of his contemporaries was equal to - do you know, too?'
  'Yes, certainly!'
  'And what instrument he played?'
  'Again! Violin - a wooden instrument with four strings, which they moved on with rosined horsehair bundle, taut on the holder - a bow.'
  'Do you have any idea what it looks like?'
  'Very well!'
  'And how it sounds?'
  'Yes. Orchestrion has a violin register.'
  'But playing very violin have you heard?'
  'Is the sound of the violin register - not the same as one of a violin?'
  'Not exactly. It is not worse, poorer and less expressive, but - still - not the same.'
  'Why?'
  'That I don't know. When it succeeded to create a sound of almost all the existing instruments in the single orchestrion, it did not bother anyone. You know, the appearance of the orchestrion made a real revolution. Because, together with an unusual richness and expressiveness of the sound, it had such a simple technique of playing it, eliminating the need for long-term, requiring enormous effort, learning, that made available playing music almost to anyone.
  But the violin in contrast to all other instruments beggared a literal imitation by sounds of the orchestrion special register. To create a real violin performance it had to play just the violin.
  But it was such a difficult instrument, which required having perfect technical skills obtained with many hours of every daily exercise, started in childhood and do not stopped during all life. It, the violin, not tolerated a mediocre playing.
  Therefore, the people preferred alike sounds of the violin orchestrion register. And violinists, the real, in whose hands the instrument sounded only after incredible labor, have completely disappeared.'
  'But Paganini reached such perfection in playing violin, exercising night and day from early childhood, that in adulthood he hadn't to exercise at all: he was completely fluent in playing this instrument. I read about this in my youth yet. And then I heard a recording of a performance by the old violinists. But it's been so long, I remember almost nothing. Do you - have real violin recordings?'
  'Of course!'
  And the melodies sounded: by Paganini, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Bach, Saint-Saëns. They listened like spellbound.
  'Incredible! How people were able to forget a genuine violin?' Dan said staggered strongly. 'This is, indeed, not the violin register. And that - not the very violin. How wonderfully it sings! Like alive. How warm, how touching!'
  'Just the great virtuosos of their time were playing. They devoted their lives to playing violin.'
  'I envy them!'
  Lal smiled. He switched on a piece else - 'Chaconne' by Bach , performing in the movie: the violinist was playing with his eyes closed, and his arms were moving gracefully. When the screen got off, Lal handed Dan some oblong case:
  'This is for you.'
  'What is it?' Dan opened the case: 'A violin! Is it genuine?'
  'True.'
  'Where is it from?'
  'A long time ago one of the professors, who regarded me as his best student, presented it me. And his teacher did it to him; and before a teacher of that one - apparently - did the same. It is genuine: it has been played once. But - neither I nor my professor. This is just an ordinary violin - not one of those who are still kept solicitously. But, nevertheless - genuine. It was covered with a special protective varnish; otherwise it has crumbled long ago.'
  'Thank you!' Dan picked up the violin to his shoulder, held the bow. A pretty nasty rattle resounded: Eya burst out laughing.
  'Hmm!' Dan smiled confusedly. 'But yet, I want to learn to play it.'
  'I have a tutorial: there there's some new system, the invention is a belated fan, greatly facilitating learning. But nobody wanted to take advantage of it - orchestrion defeated all. There is a stock both of strings and rosin.'
  'I'll try.'
  'You should succeed. Just it takes time.'
  'Never mind! Playing music was for long my almost only rest.'
  'We may have almost none of it when...' Lal did not finish.
  'We'll see. It may be possible. So: since tomorrow until the arrival of the first information I declare vacation. A complete rest. Any objections?'
  'No. I believe that we have coped with the training program.'
  'Then go have a rest!'
  'Dan, but maybe we'll sit still a little? Eya, sweet, sing something, eh? Please!'
  And Eya started singing - 'Ave Maria' by Schubert : she knew how much he loved it. And followed with 'Ave Maria' by Bach-Gounod . She sang as never before, and Lal could barely hold back his tears. This topic excited him too much, and in the performing by Eya he guessed that it becomes close to her, too. Then, to make pleasant things for Lal, Eya started to sing children's songs, which have learned recently. She sang them one by one, looking how was blooming a joy on his face.
  'More, Eya; more, my dear!' he asked, kissing her hand.
  'Sleep, my darling, go to sleep! House lights go out...' she sang. He listened eagerly to these words, these sounds. As a hope. And the faith.
  
  They were relaxed completely, knowing that after the arrival of the information a hard work will begin. It will be enough of unexpected, and all the same, they will have to familiarize themselves with all quickly not to delay the landing.
  
  
  Part III
  
  The VERY START
  
  18
  
  Information from the scouts began to flow. Actually, the practical interest for the present was represented only by information about the Earth-2 and the local Near Cosmos. Overall, the data were encouraging: within safety standards of their ships radioactive flux of light was; there was not excessive density of two asteroid belts, but they at a greater density also wasn't a serious obstacle - it was enough to bring the express into orbit at an angle to the plane of the planets.
  It was more troublesome, though not unexpected, the temperature data on the surface of the Earth-2. Its values were even slightly higher than the average ones determined by Tupac. There the hot climate dominated - the undoubted consequence of carbon dioxide atmosphere, retaining the heat from scattering into space. A secondary consequence was the entire lack of snow and ice, the huge water surface area and high humidity, increasing even more heat-insulating properties of the atmosphere.
  Reasons to postpone the landing were none. It had to do a little bit, and preparations were long: almost all required immediately after the landing, were loaded still on the Earth in the cruiser, which was supposed to deliver them from the express to the planet. There's an equipment for the first oxygenizator and the first power station, film for protective tents of the first forests and a special film for of use of radiant light energy of the luminary, machines for geological exploration, a park of construction and installation powerful robotic machines of different types, materials; a large amount of seeds and spores, seedlings, fertilizers, growth stimulants; a long-term supply of food and a lot of batteries. The residential block with rooms-cabins, the garden-salon, the fitness room, the baths, the pool transferred to the cruiser: it should be their shelter on the planet. They take with them a complete copy of all the information of the express memories. Almost all goats and chickens.
  And of course, the puppy, who had become a youthful St. Bernard. He responded to the nickname Dog and slept in the cabin of Lal, who was involved in his training and taught to the space suit.
  ... Led out from the express a cruiser gently pushed away from it and, moved away at a far enough distance, went with the annihilation drawn to the Earth-2. Again forty-five 'days' of fight lay ahead.
  They received information sent from the scouts and then relayed back from the express; studied, analyzed it. Drew up a preliminary geological map; scheduled where to go machines for the next stage of exploration. While initial results are good: the presence of iron, copper, aluminum ores; found chromium, molybdenum, magnesium and sulfur. But uranium has not found: his search they will have to deal with immediately. For beginning there are enough of available energy reserves; then a thermonuclear station operating on hydrogen should give it - but it is hard to organize without uranium mining and ore processing, provided by the maximum program. But the accumulation of finished materials will give a huge gain in time in the future when the population of the planet will begin.
  There are, of course, none organic raw materials: coal, oil, gas. The synthesis of necessary organic compounds has, as much as possible, to carry on simultaneously with oxygenation. This will require further big spending energy.
  The land area is quite small. Thereafter, it will be more when the water will be placed in the form of snow and ice at the poles and on the tops of the mountains, and the sea level drop. But this long time: the climate does not become colder, while the planet is covered with the carbon-dioxide coverlet.
  Oxygenizators, that will have as soon as possible to start up working, must work all the time until their departure back to the Earth. Later, they will get a powerful helper - vegetation. It will complete their work after the departure and make stable a chemical composition of the lower layer of the atmosphere, produce organic row materials, start creating a layer of fertile soil.
  The huge task. The rest of the planets will already be carried on those who arrive after them. But information about these planets is a huge concern.
  At work and 'night' stories by Lal time passed imperceptibly. The luminary grew larger and brighter. They were able to see the Earth-2 through a telescope.
  
  19
  
  Now they were able to see it without a telescope. They eagerly looked at the Earth-2 through the thick glass of a porthole, covered before whit a secure shield. Near it was like a real Earth. The cruiser was flying around it.
  They prepared two space launches, loaded equipment for the landing-exploration: space suits, small ATVs , inflatable boats, legged platform, seat-helicopters, robots.
  
  Dan and Lal were going to fly. Eya remained waiting on the orbit. With Dog.
  The men have to perform the latest intelligence before landing and try to find a cave, which they could to mount an oxygenizator in. Near this cave they will install a radar beacon to land the cruiser as possibly close to it.
  There came the solemn moment. Men hugged finally Eya, then each other: it was never known what might happen - because of this they were flying on two separate launches. And, rebounding from two sides of the cruiser, the launches moved somewhat in the parallel course and, turned on engines, started to leave along a gentle curve to the planet.
  ... They decreased - have become invisible. Rather she flew instead of one of them! They have got to be protected: these are the great minds. She's just a girl yet; she has just miraculous luck of being along with them.
  But it turns out contrary: just they are flying on reconnaissance - cherish her. Because of their waiting for that she has not till now been able to decide definitively. Despite the diligence, which she worked with, learning the science of motherhood. Yesterday, she silently took two ampoules - with their sperm. But that is still scary! And now there's also the concern for them, to which, however, a slight envy is mixed.
  
  They are at this time already decreased so that entered into the upper atmosphere. It was time to include brake motors, not to heat the surface of the launches.
  Wings, which they had like air planes with, supported them at a reduced speed and allowed, breaking the thick layer of clouds, to come down so low to see the surface of the ocean, sea, mountains, plains, lakes, rivers.
  'Dan! I seem, my locator has detected a cave,' Dan heard. 'A little right of the course.'
  'It seems so.'
  'Will we check? I've located the coordinates; we can land. Waiting for the command, captain.'
  'Go-ahead!'
  The rockets rested on jets beating from engines and gently lowered to the surface with supports. Lal have fixed time.
  'Lal! With a happy arrival! What about your instruments?'
  'The complete order: contraindications to exit I don't have.'
  'All right! Get ready to leave!'
  'Ready yet!'
  'Go to the sluice.'
  'In it yet!'
  'Do not hurry!'
  'I can not!'
  'Then go. Out!'
  From the opened hatch at the bottom of the launch a pad starts to lower itself; on it was Lal, holding on to the handrail. Just before reaching the ground, it stopped. Lal jumped and took a few steps. Then he dropped to his knees and, leaning on his hands, pressed to the ground with his helmet.
  Dan followed him. He, too, knelt eagerly, touched the 'Earth' ground with his gloves.
  
  They were near a huge lake. The shore from their side was low and flat, on coarse granular sand lots of stones strewed. On the opposite bank there were the mountains, which something looked like a cave was visible in. It is necessary to cross the lake to get to the hole in the mountain: Dan was going to lower the ATV.
  'Let's rather inflate our boats. To sail with oars - like on the Earth.'
  'Like then? Come on!'
  'Pity, none fishes. Such a lake is lost, isn't it?'
  'Look what you just want!'
  They sail in small inflatable boats, ten meters from each other: Lal ahead on the right, Dan behind on the left. Light electric screws-motors are lifted. The astronauts are rowing slowly and do not want to hurry. Rays of the 'Sun' for a short while broke through a hole between the dense clouds, lit up all around, and for a moment the terrain ceased to seem gloomy. All seemed such it had to become: they felt the beauty of the landscape, saw the clear cleanliness of the lake.
  Both had experienced the pleasure of the slow movement on water, of the even strokes of oars. And the sky, although overcast, beginning to darken - here the evening came - was a heaven, scattering light, but not a black hole of space.
  Another great joy they have experienced, found that in front of them, in fact, the entrance to the cave was located. After deflating their boats and turning lights on the helmets of their spacesuits, they moved deep into the cave. Lal, who had been in the caves, found that they were incredibly lucky when, after passing half a kilometer along the winding narrow corridors, they found many huge grottos. Halls, which they entered, wee not inferior to the beauty of the caves in the Pyrenees, explored by Casteret : magnificent stalactites, stalagmites, columns; white gypsum crystals like flowers and branches.
  Then a large lake of transparent, almost invisible water blocked their path. They inflated again the boats and moved on further under the high arches. Again there was a corridor along which barely managed to sail, and boats found themselves in another, even bigger grotto.
  'A good enough lake,' Dan said. 'If still the vault strength is sufficient, we will install the oxygenizator here.'
  'Let's go a little farther.'
  'Just we'll go not too far.'
  The boats bumped suddenly into the bank. They pulled them from the water and left without deflating. But soon the corridor, moving farther, was filled with mud up to just the ceiling, and they turned back.
  'It is necessary to send a robot: let it check the strength everywhere,' Dan said in the boat. 'If it is sufficient, we can land the cruiser here.'
  'It's pity to use it for oxygenizator. It is impossible to create such beauty,' Lal objected.
  'The oxygenizator will not work forever. At the end of the work it can be removed. The cave will become again of previous form.'
  'Hardly. It will be impossible to remain everything here, as it is now, and the oxygenizator will be wanted to keep as a historical monument. I would prefer to live here, since while it is impossible to set the residential unit on the surface.'
  'Alas! There is not oxygen atmosphere, burning meteors before they reach the surface: we need a very robust roof. But if we settle here, the cave for the oxygenizator we have to look for in another part of the planet. We must not live so close to this gale-force device!'
  'It would be nice to find once a cave for power plant, too!'
  'If we'll be very lucky. We will not especially look for it now. First of all - the oxygenizator.'
  They got out. It was to begin soon early dawn, there was a fog over the lake, and when they were sailing, they began to think that it is necessary to rush - it is necessary to get in time the cherished place, not to miss the beginning of fish biting. They shook off this obsession. A strong wind dispersed the clouds: the large, bright stars got visible. One of the stars, moving quickly, drew the sky: the cruiser!
  Reached the shore, they refreshed and slept in turns. They decided to move on further immediately after a session with Eya.
  
  Again they got into the launches, drove them up - and then saw the 'Sun': clean, bright, young.
  Caves on this planet there were a lot, and a locator fixed at the first turn a few objects that can be entrances. The astronauts chose one of them - about ten thousand kilometers away from the first cave.
  The entrance was located in a gloomy gorge. Almost immediately after it was a small grotto, which the only option to get out of farther was the way deeply down through a chasm-well. They went through it at a depth of two hundred meters with a winch built into the robot following them.
  Then they moved by the walking multi-legged platform through horizontal and sloping corridors along the underground river. In places the corridors turned into huge halls; then they narrowed again but were wide enough so, that almost until the end they were able to move by the platform. Only at the end, they had to get off and go on foot.
  Rest of the way was short. Only five times bent and once entered into the stream, they went into an incredibly huge hall with a deep lake, where from a height, apparently a very large, a waterfall flowed. The ceiling was so high that it was almost not visible.
  What a real height the water fell from? To clarify, they blew up a small balloon with hydrogen and let it go up. The ceiling well, where it went, was long enough: a thin fishing line, which was attached a balloon to, wound continuously, spinning a reel with a counter. Unwound about four kilometers, they suspected that the balloon was already out of the cave - stopped the reel and moved back.
  'Well, you don't mind this cave, do you?'
  'It is very ordinary.'
  'Why? No matter it is unprepossessing, but for the oxygenizator - even to dream about such was so hard. The input well, the horizontal and the outlet tube. Besides, the water from above - and even the lake of such the size.'
  'I wonder what height of the tube output?'
  'Maybe we can see the balloon: I don't want to come back here again - a signal cannot reach such a depth.'
  'We may hope, it's already outside the tube - while now we are lucky.'
  'Of course! Two such these caves. It will be necessary later to find out where the flow goes.'
  'Maybe we'll go along it?'
  'No: I'm eager to find a way to inspect the tube and there is a neighborhood.
  Do you know what the local time is?'
  'Wow, really! Let's go faster.'
  But at the entrance of the gorge the balloon was not visible. It became to dusk. Hurrying up, they sat in the helicopter seats, buttoned straps at the waist and chest, and took off.
  And only from the height they saw the balloon, lit brightly by the last rays, and underneath a large lake in the mountains. They were flying at maximum speed, but when flew close, could only see that it hung at an altitude of about half a kilometer above the mirror of the lake and several streams flowing down from the mountains to it.
  
  20
  
  It was pity to go back to the launches without examining all the details. Instead of turned lights on their helmets, to try to find from the height the tube outlet, and restricted to, fly away, they decided to spend the night on the terrace, situated on a hillside a little below that one, where the lake was located, and in the morning to resume the inspection. Besides, to fly to the ATV left in the gorge seemed risky, and they still were pretty tired.
  And they relished, throwing off their helicopters and stretching on the rocks. Sucked nutritional paste from tips in the helmets. Took a nap alternately.
  Then they waited impatiently for the dawn to continue the search. Dan, turning lights brighter, examined the terrace. Almost steep slopes on three sides, a cliff at the edge of the fourth. Wet stones.
  'Lal! Are you on the Earth spent ever the night in the mountains?'
  'Had to.'
  'Me - just a couple of times. Besides of our house.'
  'I'm a more. How quietly it is! But if anything happens - it should immediately direct the helicopters away from the mountain.'
  'May be a rock fall?'
  'Not likely. I don't see traces. But anyway!'
  'We'll find the tube outlet, then examine here thoroughly - and the cruiser can be landed.'
  'I think the outlet is under a rock on the left. Obviously, it hangs over the water.'
  'I'm still interested in what feeds the lake?'
  'In my opinion, a night condensate from the mountains: brooks flow from there. Let's walk for a while.'
  They reached the cliff.
  'How can it be called then?' Lal asked thoughtfully.
  'It's hard to guess. I wonder when it will be able to settle. So far it looks pretty surly.'
  'Look, the sky is clearing.'
  Stars glittered, the mountain lit up fantastically just with the light of two moons. They succeeded to see how a bright star again drawn the sky. Eya! But it was impossible to exchange signals without communication devices on the launches.
  'What is she there now thinking about?'
  'Probably, worried that long no signal from us.'
  'We'll exchange in the morning.'
  'Maybe, a little jealous of us. Dan, do you think - has she already decided?'
  'Hard to understand. She was so diligent.'
  'Nevertheless: is she decided finally?'
  'She must, I suppose.'
  'But when?'
  'In a hurry?'
  'You're surprised at this? I do not know why, my usual patience failed me lately. I'm so eager to see how she will hold her child in her arms.'
  'Ours.'
  'Ours, hmmm... Dan! You know, what I wanted to ask you about?'
  'What?'
  'Will you ask yourself the question - whose it: yours or mine?'
  'Who cares?'
  'You see, there was the notion - the voice of the blood, when you know that you - but none another - are the child's father. If suddenly it will bother you?'
  'I do not think so.'
  'Are you sure that you can guarantee?'
  'How can I know? But even if it is, so what? Am I not able to control myself?'
  'I'm not sure whether it will be better because of this. You know: the child must have a certain father. And he must be you.'
  'Why do I - do not you?!'
  'I've set this goal.'
  'What do you suggest?'
  'To cease Eya's and my intimacy.'
  'But you're a living man. Twenty years without a woman's caress?'
  'For me it isn't so important: the principal thing is the goal! I'll endure. If not ... There were once rubber dolls, you know.'
  'This is too sudden. I'm not prepared anything to say at all. Let's talk about something else.'
  'But you think about that, okay?'
  'Okay.' And they were silent for a long time.
  Lal broke the silence, 'Dan, you know, I still can not get rid of the impression of your story - about that houri, Chamomile. What a terrific material!'
  'What: material? I do not understand you.'
  'Yes, it: for my book.'
  'About her?'
  'Not only: about our epoch. A big novel. It began to take shape in me, when I led the conversation with you. Do you allow using your story?'
  'Sure.'
  'The houri, the inadequate, is holding on her chest with her bloody wounded hands the head of the saved by her man, whose discovery will change the world, and crying of pity for him. Not thinking that maybe she has been so disfigured that no longer fit for your profession - and then may not live any longer. She was sorry for 'darling'! Let them read, let them know: the inadequates are just human beings!'
  'Your book will be very apropos: it won't disappear just on its own. Someone will always seem it comfortable: we are in for very hard struggle. It is necessary to have written it here.'
  'It will be very large in terms of volume.'
  'Anyway, you'll succeed. We'll include this in our program - as well as the birth of a child. Just...'
  'Must I change the names?
  'Yes - desirable.'
  'I'll call you by a different ancient name.'
  'Is really my name ancient?'
  'Yes: the biblical one. Dan was one of the twelve sons of the patriarch Jacob, the grandson of Abraham. Jacob had two wives, Leah and Rachel. He loved Rachel, but not unlike his beloved Leah, she has not been able to give birth. Then Rachel gave her slave Bilhah to her husband, and she gave birth to Dan, who was considered not a son of Bilhah but Rachel. The hero Samson was his descendant.'
  'But I've never known!'
  They fell silent again, and anew Lal broke the silence:
  'You know, Dan: now, when I look back, I'm increasingly coming to the conclusion that our epoch, after all, was not just bad. It was really necessary to put things in order, to bring everything up to the desired level. Without this it is difficult to wait for further quick results even from major discoveries.'
  'This idea has occurred to me, too. For example, such an expedition was succeeded to prepare in just ten years. Without a full adjusting all links, completeness and perfection of all the elements, without exception: no, nothing would be done so quickly.'
  'Was there any special reason to perceive the scientific progress delay as the deepest tragedy? Has not just a vanity of generations, who desired to be not inferior in a set of statues in Memorial to their ancestors, caused the general depression? Progress, progress, scientific progress - at any cost: as a universal life purpose - obviously understood insufficiently correctly. And as a result - a return to the wildest likeness of slavery.'
  'Write your book - for understanding by everyone.'
  'I will begin immediately - as soon as it is possible. And you both can help me: I will read you ready-made pieces. Look: a shooting star!'
  'Here it may be not so safe spectacle. Did not you pay attention to traces of the meteorites fall?'
  'There are not so many of them, and besides, they may be old. It looks like the fall has been not very often.'
  'Still: wear your seat helicopter. If anything, go immediately up.'
  
  They buttoned quickly locks. They were ready to take off from the ground, but suddenly saw: another point of light appeared in the sky -it moved slowly straight toward the first one.
  Eya!!! Will a fireball collide with the cruiser?! They watched tensely, not remembering anything else, not noticing that grabbed each other's hands, squeezing them painfully.
  It may be imaginary danger! May be! It is not definitely that the paths of the cruiser and the fireball cross. The depth of the space is not perceptible: they may pass far away from each other. Maybe!
  But what if - not? If ... Then an autopilot itself should make the maneuver. But does not start...
  No, it started: the cruiser swerves sharply. How is Eya there? Overloading is now bad!
  They sighed with relief. The collision has not happen! Both were so happy and exhausted at the same time that stopped briefly watching the sky.
  ... They both lifted their heads because that was beginning to lighten. It was not the dawn: too early. A meteorite! It was shining not with reflected light of the 'Sun': having entered into the upper atmosphere and become hot from friction, lighting bright, it flew to the surface.
  Almost momentarily, they realized that it was moving toward them: will fall somewhere near. It will be an explosion, earthquake, falling rocks. They must immediately take to the air - as high as possible!
  But it was too late. A strong oncoming airflow pressed them to rocks. Trying to take off at whatever cost, they forced the electric power to the limit, beyond the limit. But to fly off was still impossible. The retreat disappeared.
  Lit up everything around with crimson light, a huge fireball flew directly above them and disappeared behind the crest of the ridge. A terrible roar rang out; the mountains quaked. It has, apparently, fallen close, a few kilometers away from them.
  A hurricane ceased, but to take off failed. Apparently, the engines were burned. They hurriedly unfasten already useless helicopters.
  It was an incredible roar penetrating to the helmet as if something rolled uncontrollably downhill.
  A splash sounded, and from the upper terrace, where the lake, a waterfall hit. On the lower terrace, it turned into a raging stream, dragging stones. Trying to get rid of the helicopters, the astronauts did not have time to escape, got to it. They were dragged to the precipice.
  Along the way, Dan managed to cling to some big stone, resisting the flow, and held out his hand for which Lal seized. They fought furiously with the flow. Dan held a stranglehold over some ledge stone, trying to resist hoping to help Lal.
  But everything failed. The flow was strong, and Lal was dragged slowly, despite the fact that Dan became whole bloodshot of stress, feeling his hand starts to slide.
  And suddenly Lal pushed sharply him and immediately released his hand. Dan, fallen to his knees, leaned with his whole body against the stone, grabbed it with both hands.
  'Lal! Lal!!!'
  'Da-an! Do not forget... A-ah!!!' - that was the last that was heard in the headphones.
  The flow seethed, trying to tear him away from stone, to wash away. Only heavy-duty suit-armor saved from being hit by stones and sand.
  And yet, he could not resist to the end. His fingers did not obey him. He was torn and dragged - slowly because the flow weakened already. 'Really: that's it?' he thought.
  He succeeded again to cling to something at almost five meters from the cliff and climb a huge boulder, which rocked on water pressure, but did not budge. Completely exhausted, he lost consciousness.
  
  21
  
  Dan regained consciousness.
  The stream disappeared, leaving piles of stones and sand. It began to dawn.
  'Alive', he realized with surprise. And then it burned immediately: 'Lal!'
  'Lal! Lal! Answer!' he cried. No single sound in headphones.
  'Lal! Brother!' he continued to shout.
  No answer. And won't be, he realized with horror. Too little chance to survive, falling into the abyss with the flow. Especially, when also stones fall with water from the top flying. The suit could not save.
  But yet! He could not believe in the death of Lal.
  If he were next to the launch! To try using instruments to find Lal: maybe he - still - remained alive. Still alive! It is imperative to get immediately to the launches.
  But the helicopters were nowhere in sight. They must have been washed away. Yes, they have, all the same, burned motors. Hence, he must go down the steep, almost vertical mountainside. The robot with a winch, left below, cannot climb here. If he had at least something that ordinary climbers have!
  Without waiting for enough daylight, Dan began to descend. By negligible cracks where he can with big difficulty to shove a boot toe, clinging almost with fingertips, an infinite number of times the risking of break, sometimes slipping on gentler slopes, he made for three long hours his descent. The special training of astronauts rescued - the ability to manage almost without any means. More - a dope helped. And even more - a fear drove: of being late, do not have time to use the slightest opportunity to save Lal, if it was - still - alive.
  The hard shell of the suit is durable, very. Maybe Lal is buried with stones and sand. But the suit will withstand the weight, and oxygen will be enough for many days. If just! If it is not crushed by boulders. Even a fall from such a height ... But maybe the water has created a pillow to cushion the fall.
  Okay, nothing to think about! To inject more dope and run to the ATV. And then in the launch: to raise it and from the height probe all with the locator!
  The ATVs stay at the entrance to the cave in the gorge. One of them is turned upside down, either with air waves, or by water shot out from the cave. Near a pile of sand, which was not there before.
  Dan got into the terrain vehicle, and it went immediately at full speed . Reached the launch and, at last, flown up, he searched with the locator long and hard the mountains, the river, the place where it flows into the sea.
  Nothing! He returned again and again and searched meticulously everything. Just he could not believe that Lal had perished - could not at all! But the feverish search was resulted in nothing.
  Bad! Oh, how bad! So, the most incredible thing happened. What would he say to Eya? What? He responded to her calls only with short signals, was silent - but how long can this go on?
  At last, Dan understood with despair - that's it: nothing more can be done. Found his way to the cruiser by radio waves, he turned on the autopilot: there was almost no strength.
  He was not able to believe, that is real. That Lal had perished, that he is no longer! Lal, brother! Wise, kind, unique. He sacrificed himself for him, Dan: to save him! 'Da-an! Do not forget... A-ah!!!' He closed his eyes: had completely no strength, his hands seemed.
  
  He could not remember anything afterwards: either as the boat was gaining height, or as flying, either as taxied up to the cruiser. Remembered significantly only a push during the docking, which he as if awoke of.
  He moved into the airlock chamber. Forced purging, because - there were in a window a pale face of Eya, pressed against it, and in his headphones a question:
  'Dan! Why are you just alone?'
  He opened a hermetic door of a chamber. The dog nearly knocked him off his feet, rushed inside, sniffed frantically the camera, him - and howl eerie, melancholy.
  Dan took off his helmet.
  'Where is Lal? Why has he stayed there?' Eya looked frightened at him. 'Dan!'
  'No Lal. No longer. Perished!' he squeezed out barely of himself, croaked.
  'Oh! Lal!!! Nanny, nanny-yh!'
  Suddenly, Dan felt completely unable to move. He began to fall, and would have fallen if not caught by Eya. She helped him to get out of the airlock chamber and to sit down. Stripped off his space suit, injected drugs, and was silent, until he began to come round. Then she sat down next to him.
  'How was it, Dan?'
  'The meteorite. We were in the mountains. It has fallen - close. Rocks debris fell down into the lake above us. The water ran over the edge onto us. It washed him away. Into an abyss.'
  'Why weren't you communicating when I called?'
  'I was looking for. For a long time, many times. I did not believe it. I could not tell you that he is not any more.'
  His speech was distinct from the aftereffects of doping. He told barely how they landed, found the first cave, then the second one, about spending the night in the mountains, about fear for her, when they saw the fireball coming toward her, and joy when it passed.
  'One and a half kilometers away. Before that I had been waiting for communication with you and accidentally fell asleep: I was waked with an alarm and by Dog. Barely had time to sit down, a maneuver was a great strain; it flew with a huge speed,' - her fear since that has not ceased.
  The telling about just the disaster, about the descent and search robbed him again of all power. Somehow, with the help of a robot, she managed to put it on a bed of cyber-diagnostician. With him, fortunately, nothing terrible happened: only the effect of a strong overstrains and a big dose of doping. She turned on an electric sleep, inserted a needle into a vein, to energize his with glucose. He should sleep just twenty hours.
  Left him alone, Eya went to the cabin of Lal where she locked Dog not to hear his wild howl.
  'None of our Lal, Doggie!'
  The dog howled again, turning her head. Eya stretched out a hand to him - she was scared, wanted to touch something living, but he bared his teeth, snarled viciously. She left him alone.
  Here is so! Everything has ended! Surprisingly happy, even without any minor incidents, the flight here. When everything was still ahead, shrouded with expectation, dreams and romance. Now it's over.
  A terrible start! No Lal! And will not be. Neither just him, nor his smile, nor his amazing stories. It will be hard for them without him. Who was waiting for it to happen at once? Like a payment for the first steps on this planet, that she hates now.
  No Lal! None of him! And everyone is vain and unnecessary at all. And so scary Dog howls.
  'Stop howling, do you hear? Immediately!'
  She ran out of the cabin, slammed the door. Fell into a chair, choking with sobs.
  
  22
  
  Put twenty hours Dan slept soundly. With heavy of tears and thoughts head, Eya came periodically to see him.
  Most of the time of his sleeping she spent it in the control room near instruments. The locator was silent. Two more meteors rushed, but small ones and far away from the cruiser. Just there, in the control room, she dozed off for a short time with a heavy slumber.
  Finally, she turned off the electric sleep. Dan woke up. He felt due to the long sleep satisfactorily and immediately began studying the radar readings.
  'It's still normal. We'll land the cruiser.'
  'What for?' Eya almost cried.
  'The place of landing is at the second cave. It is deep enough and hardly has been damaged. There we begin the installation of the oxygenizator. It'll be necessary just to find the tube hole.'
  'But, if it's not, the second cave? Will you install in the first one?'
  'No. I'll look for another one. Lal did not want to touch it.'
  'And he paid for it with his life.'
  'What do you mean?'
  'Do you really - want to make a landing is now? There? Now - when Lal just perished? And you have the desire to do that?'
  'Sure. I have to do it. We must.'
  'Lal...'
  'Nothing is free of charge.'
  'But...'
  'Shut up! Shut up and listen. We have entrusted with it, sent here. The first. We are obliged to fulfill the entrusted to us. Even if only one of us will remain alive here. I, too, could perish there - and then you alone would have to make everything. It can also happen later: we have the guarantee of nobody's immortality. We are alone, no one will able to substitute you. Therefore be weak - I will never let you!'
  'You ... you have misunderstood me!'
  'Really? Then okay.'
  'Dan!' - she really was ashamed of her weakness.
  'Not battle-hardened yet' he remembered an old expression; he felt pity on her at that moment - would like to caress, soothe her. 'No: let her cope with the current on her own - otherwise can not be'.
  They sat at the controls in the chairs, strapped themselves. The brake and steering motors started working. The cruiser began a gentle descent.
  ... A few turns for the orientation of the two beacon signals at the entrances of both caves, and the autopilot put the cruiser exactly at two kilometers from the second cave.
  It's time to go out. The suits-armors on them, in which always landing makes - the unbreakable rule from the early days of space exploration. Especially now.
  Locking. Descending. And hand in hand, they go on the planet.
  
  Light clouds, and the luminary shines brightly. Flooded with light, everything seems friendly, ready to accept amicably aliens.
  The impression spoils only the ATV turned upside down. Now together with Eya, Dan went down into the well. In the cave there are traces of a sudden gush: piles of sand, stone and clay. Sometimes it is difficult to go through a corridor packed to the top with drifts - he has to clear the passageway with a robot. They move forward very slowly. Dan's locator probes the ceilings: though he was afraid they are intact, no cracks - the mountain has held out against the impact of the meteorite.
  The robot left by him in the latest grotto disappeared: washed out with a stream. Dan fills a new balloon with hydrogen: it rises freely. Released fish line to the previous length, Dan and Eya go back.
  ... It was necessary to find the tube outlet. Dan sat in the seat of the helicopter, buckled belts.
  'Do not go anywhere. Wait here!'
  'Let me fly with you!'
  'No!' he said with a tone, eliminating objections and questions. She has not to see his face when he will fly there over that spot. Where Lal perished.
  He gained immediately the altitude. It was visible the lake, heavily littered with boulders. It's possible to see the hanging ball.
  The hole of the tube, indeed, is located under the rock overhanging the water, miraculously survived a lumps fall. The main thing what they wanted to know about, because of which stayed in the mountains.
  A hole is big enough - the perfect complement to the rest of the properties of the cave. Lal would be pleased! It is time to return.
  No, this terrace he cannot pass. Impossible! It now looks quite peacefully. That stone, which he clung to resisting the flow trying to wash out him together with Lal. Place of the Death.
  Oh, Lal, Lal! Brother! A friend who closer of he had never and won't have. Rare and wonderful, modest and of genius. That's it! He died, disappeared, never will be!
  'Dan! Do not forget...!' What? Just that, perhaps, that he has succeeded fortunately to tell them. Dying, he was thinking just about that. What he will not have to fulfill yourself. And now they have to do it. It is their duty: to him and to the people. They must not let die his great ideas, bring them to everyone. And future generations will remember with gratitude Lal. So it will be!
  He waited until his tears get dry completely: in the space helmet it is impossible to wipe them. He looked last back and soared into the air.
  
  23
  
  The next day, work began. In the cave it was let down a robot with a locator, which slowly moving made a solid plotting with 'probing' the ceiling, floor and walls. Then a computer which they entered data of shooting started working; it gave preliminary versions of layout and organization of the oxygenators' installation.
  Dan and Eya discussed them, argued. They wanted to start up the oxygenizator as soon as possible, but at the same time it was impossible to let the release of carbon particles in the air: it was necessary to use it for the synthesis of organic substances. Unless completely, maximally possibly - the rest to collect and store for future use.
  At last, a final decision has been made; the computer is running on the development of the work program. In parallel, preparatory works are being performed. They let down mining, construction, assembly and universal robots. Then, building materials and elements, and the first units of the oxygenizator and a synthesizer. Helicopters-cranes are clearing the upper lake: split clumps, pull them out and carry away - the capacity of the lake will be restored.
  ... By the beginning of installation, they became considerably tired: Dan gave mercy neither to himself nor to Eya. They had to work - as intensely as possible, clenched teeth: only this would save them, get over the grief. Otherwise was impossible.
  Sometimes Eya felt quite exhausted: such intensity even for her, with all her efficiency and industry, was unusual. In addition, Dan treated her quite sternly, without any letting off. And avoided physical intimacy.
  Eventually, Eya even got angry, but because of that she became somehow to feel easier: she defeated the fear, coped with her. And then, at some point, she realized that he was doing that all on purpose. To help her. The loss grief remained, but did not take away either strength or faith. Dan pretended not to notice anything, but his attitude toward her became softer.
  
  The installation of the oxygenizator took its course, controlled with a computer and a program embedded in it. Robots' job did not require their participation - they addressed themselves to solving other issues.
  First of all - a natural cave for the power plant. Definitely at a very big depth. But the searches did not yield any results. They had to stop them and start sinking a artificial cave.
  Gradually, they managed to unload the cruiser. The main repositories they made of the most part of the First cave halls, which had to clear, and in some places even extend the corridors. There the dwelling block also was. They sighed with relief, sent the cruiser on circumplanetary orbit: there, being able to maneuver quickly in space, it was far more secure than on the 'Earth'.
  On the day when it was sent, they did not work, Dan declared a holiday. According to the tradition at night, they sat at a table - but felt strange. Unused - they long had not had any holidays. Ever since the death of Lal. And too noticeable his missing this table was.
  The table was set for three people, as if he were alive, just being late to the table, delayed in his cabin. Dan opens a bottle. This is wine, genuine. He fills the cups: his and of Eya, pours on the bottom of Lal's one.
  'Let's drink, Eya! At once for everything: for the landing, for the outset of the work, for the cherished memory of our Lal. Our brother, friend. Our teacher.'
  He drinks avidly - at one draught - the entire cup. The perfect wine: light, tart, sourish. People drunk it always in small sips, slowly, savoring the taste. But there is no force for that: he is too tired, and the wound from a terrible loss has not healed yet. Incredibly tired - and therefore the wine hit in the head, relaxes almost instantly. None wish for speaking. It mustn't reopen the wound, but they can not talk about anything else right now.
  Dan sits hanging powerlessly his arms. Eya is nearby. Being silent, too, put aside her cup from which she drank just a sip. She, too, is tired, excessively.
  He puts his hand on her shoulder, and she does no longer restrain: is crying, buried her face in his chest. He does not try to comfort her. When she has cried out - it will become easier. He cuddles her with his hand, touching her hair with his face.
  'Come on, enough: stop,' he says, feeling that she starts to calm down.
  'I'm sorry. I wo-on't any more,' she says still sobbing poorly. 'It's a shame. Weak I am. Got limp.'
  'No. You're doing fine: have coped. We're just very tired. It is necessary to relax. Now you can. Have some wine.'
  'Yes, I am very, very tired. And it seemed to me that you despise me.'
  'It wasn't so.'
  'You were so severe.'
  'You had to cope with yourself. On your own. We have nowhere to wait here for help. And if something with me happens...'
  'Do not say!'
  'But who knows? Then you should have enough of your own strength to cope alone. You must be ready for anything, be internally strong. Do you understand?'
  'I will, Dan. I will try.'
  'I'm sure that, sure: you have it - your own inner strength.'
  'You think so?'
  'I see: coped - so you do have it. I'm not afraid of you any more.'
  'But I despise still myself for my weakness at that time.'
  'Just this has helped you. Do not blame yourself too much: after all, you are, in fact, has never lived really. You had neither problems, nor crises, nor dramas. You did not have occasion to test yourself on the matter.'
  'Sure. I studied, then prepared to fly here. That's all. And next you and Lal were.'
  'Any difficulties and dangers - you assumed fairly abstract, but completely somewhere in the back of your mind - did not believe. Especially as flight went on surprisingly smoothly.'
  'Yes, you're right. So. Very likely. And then at once!'
  'At once, and you turned out to be prepared insufficiently for this.'
  'But you? And Lal?'
  'We imagined everything very clear. These causes, like ours, rarely did without victims. But whom before us it has been stopped?'
  'I...'
  'You lost your head then - but later managed to overcome yourself. So, everything is normal - relax!'
  They were silent again, continuing to sit motionless, huddled up to one another.
  ... Then, when they lay side by side after sex, which brought relief to both of them, he wanted to ask her about the main thing - about what Lal waited for and hadn't ended by it. But he saw that she begins to fall asleep, and did not dare to disturb.
  
  24
  
  It became easier - both in relation to each other, and in work. They started planting experimental woods. For a start - a relatively small area of about ten hectares, opposite the entrance to the First cave on the lake shore, near the site of his with Lal first landing on the planet.
  Machines-robots installed the appropriate number of masts and inflatable domes of a special film, restricting the spectrum of rays passing inside. They laid pipe-lines of for underground nutrition of roots.
  Solar film was spread, due to the absorption of the 'Sun' light providing energy for an oxygenizator of the wood-plantation, its pumping station and the installation of the nutritionally-stimulating solutions preparation. Seeds was soaked and tested for germination; but for the first plantings not they were intended, but the seedlings taken from the Earth. Machines-robots scurried, moved.
  And then the landing started. According the strict order providing control over every tree. This work Eya ran.
  The seedlings, which should be the first grove on the planet, - thin, naked, stuck up from the ground under the high transparent domes. Would they take root there, turn green? Would come up to expectation? It was necessary to wait - to wait patiently! Nothing was yet known - nobody had planted forests on other planets.
  ... The seedlings showed long no signs that come to life. It seemed as if the cold of space reached them in special cameras of the ship and froze tightly. But devices following vigilantly and continuously each of them, read that it was different. Just not immediately the effect of the treatment, allowed to keep them, passed off. The depreserver penetrated slowly but surely into all the vessels, cells. Patience - and once again just patience! All is still going well, and if nothing special happens, they will come out, turn green. Then forestation, greening of the planet will be the main occupation of the aliens.
  
  Trees started to wake. On several little poplars buds have swollen.
  And now: the first leaf. Small, bright green, soft, shining, sticky. It smells so wonderful!
  They were cautiously approaching it with their noses, sniffing, admiring. And could not move away from it. The first win: poplar leaf!
  'You're a young poplar leaf in the spring!' Eya smiles - happily, easily the first time in a long time. Almost a year has passed.
  They have got already accustomed to many things: the planet, which even in thought called the Earth, its bare landscapes, their cave. By the sky, almost always covered by clouds, and too frequent rains; to three moons moving across the sky in a few clear nights.
  They have got accustomed, reconciled to the fact that they do not have Lal - it has not come immediately - and that in their existence there has been very little joy.
  But that day laughter was first heard at their table, and Dan played orchestrion. It was close to another joyful event - starting up the oxygenizator: less than in a week. They felt hopeful.
  And in that day Dan ventured to ask:
  'Is it not time for us to create the child, Eya?'
  And once again everything became painfully tense, Eya's face frowned:
  'Why do you come back to this?'
  'Why do you say that?'
  'Lal is no more. I was ready to do it for him. And the dead need only the remembrance of them - and nothing else.'
  'But his ideas? What did he tell? It, too, died with him? Do you indeed think so? Then you're wrong: I'm still alive - and all he told is for me alive! His ideas are the greatest ideas: Lal, our teacher, was the good genius of the mankind, in whom everything created by human thought has come together like in the lens focus, to give birth to the dream of reviving justice and happiness.'
  'We just loved our Lal too much - so we believe everything that he thought to be right. I do not know, Dan, but I have many times thought again about what he was told. Too many doubts. The main: are you sure that the future life of inadequates what it wanted to do Lal, will be happier then the present one, when they, not understanding their position, do not feel disadvantaged compared to others?'
  'I am sure that it will be more suitable for human beings. And I understand that the humanity has no other choice. What do we move toward? To complete dehumanization.'
  'Is it possible to claim so categorically?'
  'Yes! What is happening on the Earth is terrible! Are we really better than slave-owners? How far are we behind in inhumanity of the Romans with their highest construction and engineering craftsmanship, law, sciences, poetry - and gladiatorial fights?'
  She continued to hang her head.
  'It is our duty to: do understand! He perished before he could make his plans - but we are alive: you and me, the people most close to him. If you are in doubt, do just believe now - not him but me: I have lived a very long life, I realize that he is right, our Lal. He was a great thinker, surpassed all his contemporaries both in vision and in greatness of soul: he first rose up against the newly penetrated inequality of people. And we have - no, we are obliged to make his plans instead of him, if we do not want to betray him. That is, to betray! Do you hear, Eya?!' he almost shouted, clenched his fists. And hated her at that moment.
  But she just raised her head and quietly shook it:
  'No, Dan. It's a scary planet, and death always lurks us. I'm afraid to give birth to a child. Is not enough what we have sacrificed for the appearance on it?'
  'Eya...'
  'Like in the ancient legend, told by him: terrible gods of an unknown world demanded from travelers a bloody human sacrifice and, having received it, propitiated themselves and gave them a success and good luck. - She was - not shouting but talking quietly, with even voice.'
  Dan felt in despair that he could not to convince her. And he went to his cabin.
  
  Eya was well aware that he would not leave her in piece. His entire life for the sake of science, he did not spare himself - will now not spare her because he considers it necessary: he will seek to get his own way.
  It will be very hard for her: today she has prevailed, but then ... It's Dan, the greatest scientist of the Earth - just also for her. And not only that: it is the most close and dear of her man. One and only: Lal is no more. Lal and Dan - closer of them to her she has never had anyone; she was ready for them to do anything. But the child here?
  Of course, the meteorite danger is not so great. The meteorite that killed Lal is almost unique: tracks of fall such ones are very rare. It is here no the Moon, completely devoid of atmosphere: the gaseous envelope, in which due to lack of free oxygen meteorites does not burn, manages however to decrease considerably their speed. Cosmic dust and small meteorites are really not dangerous, larger ones - too rare. They almost got rid of the fear of them: do not wear suits-armors - believe that it is sufficient light, of soft film.
  But - all the same - somewhere fear in general is still alive, preserved since the death of Lal. And the kid here? What else can happen - unknown, strange, inevitable? They may not give birth to a child to subject him to so many dangers! Here - there is not the Earth!
  But on the Earth today, such is - absolutely impossible: it is clear for her, too. Therefore, Lal did see no other way out.
  And yet, this is madness: Dan must understand. Every of them may take risks - but only self and a friend, adult one - but not a child: little, helpless, defenseless.
  Like the one that had given her to hold by Eve. If it were possible on the Earth! Wouldn't hesitate even a moment. But here - in a strange, hostile world. After the terrible death of Lal.
  How could she stand up for her rightness? Dan is just not Lal: he will not, can not be silent as long as Lal was able to.
  ... Passing to her cabin, Eya saw that the door of Dan's cabin is closed not completely. Hushed sounds of creaking came from there.
  Eya stopped listening. 'The violin', she realized suddenly, 'Lal's violin'. Dan did not touch it until now: had no time, no energy left, either physical or mental. And today, he picked it up; took as a sign that he has forgotten nothing, that he remained faithful.
  Jerky, timid sounds - as a challenge to her, the forsaken. Eya walked quietly to the Lal's cabin, where Dog was sleeping on a mat. She bent down to stroke him; he shook his head sharply, feeling her hand, jumped up and stood, hastily, as she thought, looking at her.
  She went away to her cabin. Staccato sounds of the violin as if scratched her heart. Her face was deathly pale; she lay silently, biting her lips strongly.
  The violin ceased sounding.
  'Eya!' his silent call sounded. She did not respond, although she heard perfectly through the door being ajar. He did not repeat the call; perhaps, he wanted just to check if she was asleep. Eya heard his footsteps: they were moving away - he was not going to her.
  Silence - dead, stressed, sleepless. With bloodshot eyes, with burning head.
  Suddenly, a cascade of sounds fell upon her. Dan played in the salon 'Apassionata' . The sounds pressed her: they accused, beaten mercilessly, demanded. 'Put away the doubts and fears - and for the sake of a great goal accomplish a hard feat!' Died many centuries ago Beethoven called, and recently deceased Lal did - with their voices Dan was saying.
  The music stopped abruptly.
  'Found it!' Eya heard.
  Again Dan's steps sounded. All got quiet.
  Completely exhausted, she imperceptibly fell asleep, fell into oblivion.
  
  25
  
  Eya slept long. Waking up, she saw on the screen: 'Note'. She quickly start playback.
  'I flew to the Second cave. Waiting there.
  I beg you to see a play by Ibsen, 'Brand', before meeting me.
  Take your time.
  Dan'.
  It seemed unpleasant that is written in characters, not with the recording of his face and voice.
  Well, okay! She has no reasons of refusing to comply with that his request.
  She did not hurry: did exercises, took a shower, swam in the pool, and ate breakfast together with Dog. Wearing a suit, he went across the lake to the forest plantation.
  It came out another bud. She sniffed the bitter fragrance. It was an unusually cloudless: the 'Sun' shone to its utmost, warmed, caressed her skin. Under the transparent dome she had an opportunity to breathe easily: there was enough oxygen emitted by the oxygenizator working intensively-the solar film, lit brightly, provided it with a lot of energy. Eya sat for five minutes on the 'Sun', even just did not dozed off. Then, with a sigh, she puts on a helmet, buttoned suit and headed back.
  ... She sat in a chair, turned on a stereo and made the call. The lights went out in the salon.
  Henrik Ibsen, 'Brand'. The play, which was part of the curriculum of the lyceum. She remembered it very vaguely. The basic idea of the play seemed to her then standing to reason, most of the situations - completely incomprehensible. Now she understood it quite differently.
  
  A priest of a remote mountain village, severely and implacably exacting: from himself, from others, his own mother. For the sake of accomplishment his duty, he sacrifices his wife and child. By his own example he succeeds to carry along with him the people. But the opposing him Vogt, the personification of vulgar worldly wisdom, with a lie about a 'million-strong shoal of cod' succeeded that people left Brand. At the end only crazy Gerd with him, together they perish in an avalanche.
  Eya looked for a long time: this piece was once performed in the theater for two nights. She made only a short break to eat a little.
  'All - or nothing!' Brand demands from everyone. Because of this, he becomes a priest of the village church. Refuses to visit his dying mother, wishing to sacrifice for the redemption of her sins only a portion of the property - not entire. Refuses to leave to save his son, a patient from a lack of sunshine in a gloomy ravine: 'Was I really not a priest?'
  No, not at all - he is just a blind fanatic. His faith, his desire to see people perfect, whole, excellent make him undergo the terrible anguish when he loses his most dear people.
  His son dies; then his wife does. And he was not able to win. But he was more frightened with another - the lack of desire for the lofty, perfect: 'Not that you weren't able not, but that you didn't desire to!' The continuous path to the ideal - that is just the meaning of life.
  But even more the image of Agnes, Brand's wife, exits Eya. Young, happy, she met Brand and, conquered with his spiritual strength and conviction, leaves her fiancé, with whom the future was clear, with no worries. She is side by side with Brand in a remote village among the dark gloomy mountains.
  It is not enough sun for a child born by her, he withers. To save him they must go away. Brand agrees - they are ready for the journey, she leaves the house with a baby wrapped in her hands. But the cry of mad Gerd 'Priest escaped!' stops immediately Brand - he may not to leave his parish. And Agnes stays - she must be where he is.
  And their child dies. Agnes fingers sadly things of her lost son: a hat, a coat. In their snowbound house a gypsy woman with a half-naked baby comes and, seeing the baby clothes, is begging for it. Agnes gives things dear as the memory of her child. But anything she wants to keep as a souvenir of him. But the gypsy woman is begging, and Brand says: 'All - or nothing!' And Agnes gives the last - entirely. The gypsy woman goes away, taking the things along with her. Peace and enlightenment master Agnes, but the strength leaves her. Brand remains single.
  Eya saw the play as if the first: she, such became due Lal, comprehended thoughts and feelings of the characters of the drama very well. They were close to the thoughts and wishes by Dan, who remained faithful to everything taught by Lal. Dan, who always sacrificed everything entirely: his health, strength - created a miracle after going through torment.
  But she? Is she deserved to be together with him? He stood before her in the darkness: 'Look at Agnes. Compare and get into her position for you. Be equal to her. Great things require no less sacrifice. To evade is unworthy. It may not wait for making by another just you should do. I understand and Lal understood the risk and the responsibility. But there is no other option, and you must make this a difficult feat. We are waiting for it from you!'
  'You must!', "To evade unworthy', 'We are waiting', 'a difficult feat'. The thought fought feverishly, resisting with last her might. Did intensely with Dan, Brand, Agnes, with herself. At last, exhausted, with wet face, Eya fell asleep.
  
  It was a beautiful dream. She was on the Earth, standing barefoot in the forest edge, among dense tall grass. Recently a warm summer rain fell. The fresh smell of ground and greenery, clean, bright, in shining drops. The sky was clearing, and ahead, behind a huge meadow, behind a river in the distance - a rainbow hung in the sky. It was necessary to go there.
  Eya awoke, smiling quietly, relaxed and happy. She saw still the rainbow. But then she remembered suddenly the yesterday's, and thoughts whirled again, but into a tangle of them, not wanting to disappear, a rainbow interweaved.
  Rainbow. Rainbow. The word somewhat worried, something awakened - old, vague, almost completely forgotten. And suddenly she remembered: 'The Rainbow', a story about the war. The Second World War. She read it at gymnasium, beyond the program.
  ... An Ukrainian village captured by German troops. A commandant interrogates a woman: she is a partisan - someone betrayed her. Why did she come to the village? She's waiting for a baby; she came to give birth to him in a warm peasant house. The commandant needs information about the partisans, but she says nothing. On the terrible cold, stripped, pregnant, a German soldier with a rifle is chasing her on the snow. And the people of the dark windows of houses watched, powerless to help her.
  And one of them does not stand up, sending her little son, and he quietly crawling on the snow to the barn, where the partisan is locked. 'Aunt Olena, I brought you some bread!' But then a shot follows immediately: a soldier kills the boy. Now the mother creeps surreptitiously to take his body thrown by soldiers.
  And here he is - the son of her; she and the other children are standing by for the last time looking at him. 'They killed Mishka,' a little sister says. 'A fascist killed' brother adds. They have to bury him right there in the house, digging a grave in the earthen floor and carefully having leveled the ground to hide the traces.
  A partisan just in the cold barn gives birth, and the Nazi soldiers look and neigh. She takes off the last left for her to wrap up the baby.
  The soldiers bring her again to the commandant. She is now the mother of a child and must be concerned about him, to tell them everything, otherwise... But he hears not a word - and then shot in the face of a newborn child. With his corpse in his arms, she goes to his last journey - to the river, where the soldier robs her of the body of the child and throws it into the hole. Then the commander shoots her. A rainbow hung in that winter day over the village...
  Yes: they sacrificed even children, but not conceded, not betrayed - and so eventually won. The scary thing - Nazism. It was no longer a fantasy, not an allegory - the very life, which is often scarier than any fiction. And ordinary people, who never consider themselves heroes, acted. But not less their pangs and grief were. And their greatness. They sacrifice their children, the dearest - it was necessary. Imperative!
  It was necessary then, it is necessary now. A terrible analogy of then and now. There are similarities, even an incredibly distant, between the two. Inferior peoples, inferior races - these concepts existed by the Nazis, although they included in them all non-Aryans, regardless of their mental capacity, the existence of which they simply did not recognize. The main thing was allowing legitimate opportunity to treat them as not human beings. This is the essence!
  And if so, then, indeed, Lal was entirely right. Therefore, it must not exist.
  And, therefore, it is necessary! She must - in spite of everything. Of what can be scary. Even much scarier than you can imagine. She must! Without delay.
  
  Eya puts on the suit. Dresses Dog. The launch takes to the skies and rushes to the second cave.
  On approaching she called Dan. He was on the terrace just below the lake. He is waiting for her.
  After landing the launch, she fastened helicopters themselves and Dog. Driving Dog's helicopter by radio, she raises high, flying to the lake. Here it is, cleared completely of boulders, shimmering. A terrace under it, and a small silvery spot. Dan.
  He was motionless, his head down, sitting by some huge stone.
  'We were here at his last moment,' he says without any preface, looking just at her shadow. And does not raise his head, not look at her face as if is afraid to read in it a final rejection
  She sits on a rock nearby. Dog lies obediently down at his feet.
  'I clung to this stone. With one hand. It was not clear how. I tried recently again - to not avail. He held on to me, then my hand start slide, then he pushed me and let go of my hand, to which he held, and I clung to the rock with both hands. He was immediately washed away, he could not cling to anything: he had less strength than me - my body is much younger. I managed to call him. 'Dan! Do not forget... A-ah!!!' That's it! He must have hit with a lump. Or, at this moment he was falling down into the abyss. Just here all this happened,' he paused, continuing to avoid her gaze.
  She took him by the hand. He raised his head and looked straight into her eyes. By her quiet face, the smile he saw she was in agreement with him - completely and finally.
  'Thank you,' he said in a barely audible voice. 'Thank you for my not mistaking.'
  'Never mind, my dear! Everything will be as it should to. We will have a child - and if needed, not only one.'
  'Thank you, girl!' - he drew her to him. 'I was tormented by fear. That I won't be able to keep a promise given the memory of Lal. That won't fulfill my duty to him. Thank you.'
  
  Everything was ready. The next day it was to begin testing - and then removing assembly robots. Then a trial run at low power was. If all goes well, they will send robots from here and make the working start.
  So far, everything went smoothly. After sleeping the night, they performed in the morning a fast check of the entire complex and its management system. In the control console a board 'disorder' lighted up never - the devices have not found them.
  One after the other, from the entrance hole of the Second cave the machines-robots were moving self-propelled to a place of waiting for the test run end.
  It, too, passed without any surprises. A weak flow of air went out of the outlet tube, and the gas analyzer recorded the almost complete absence of carbon dioxide in it: together with the nitrogen went oxygen with a negligible admixture of nitrogen oxides. A flying robot delivered bulbs filled with oxygenized air. In one of them there was a metal spiral that, as soon as it connected to the battery, become hot and burned.
  The evacuation of robots started. Helicopters raised platform with them and carried away to where mining machines ended up making the shaft for the power plant. During this time they installed on the inlet tube a secure deflector-filter of solids.
  ... And now it's over. They are in space launches. Gained altitude, Dan sends to ground, in the center of the control cyber system of the oxygenizator enable the signal of turning on.
  The very start of working they do not see: the launches go quickly away, moving around the planet. But after making a turn, they saw dust devils of air rushing to the cave and an updraft, punched a hole of the almost right shape in a thick blanket of clouds.
  'Cheers, Eya!!!'
  'Hooray!!!'
  They put the launches near the First cave and leave them quickly - joyful, excited; throw at one another, are cuddling, laughing.
  'Let's celebrate, Eya! Now, immediately. Will steam - and at table.'
  'Will you play today?'
  'I will. And you sing, right? Come on!'
  'Let's first take a walk. In the woods.'
  Miraculously become the 'forest'. Almost a dozen leaves, and swollen buds on other trees. Pines and spruces are preparing to release the needles.
  At home, too: two plants with revealed flowers. They placed them among the dishes, when after a baths, fresh, rested, in bright attires, they sat down at the table.
  Wine is supposed to such the triumph - but it was not on the table, and when Eya asked Dan about it, he replied:
  'It is not necessary today,' he looked into her eyes.
  She understood, and her heart began to pound.
  
  26
  
  They waited. Eya caught questioning Dan's glances at herself, which he was throwing - carefully, so that she did not notice. The cyber-diagnostician is still showing nothing. They have entered into it all necessary information and programs, taking from the archive stuck by Lal: if these do something wrong, then they will not be able to correct them on their own. They have to wait and not to worry: it is too early.
  ... The cyber established her pregnancy at the day, when a larch opened. By just it, Dan found Eya after his returning from the construction of the power plant. On the road home he flew over the oxygenizator: could not resist, even though he could see at home, on a screen.
  She rose to meet him, hugged him and pressed her face.
  'Dan!' she said softly.
  'What, say, please? Yes?'
  'Yes!!!'
  Something great, significant was appearing in their lives. Waiting for it was more important than everything: an oxygenation, greening, a power industry, the exploration of mineral resources, and the study of the planet.
  They again studied hard and discussed all that was required to be able to and have, especially at first. Dan was once again convinced, how much Eya knew and remembered the minutest details.
  The cruiser delivered to the 'Earth' together with a second oxygenizator, a supply of food and batteries, also a lot of products and materials from which the robot started by programs brought by Lal to produce everything needed for a newborn.
  Dan established vigilant custody of Eya: gently but inexorably he forced her to stick to regimen and diet. He tried to feed her as much as possible with fresh, not canned products: gave to drink goat milk, fed with meat of kid-males, eggs, almost completely abandoning to eat it himself.
  In non-working time, he played a lot to her, only something joyous, tender. She listened, sitting side by side, and hand-knitted children's small things - hats, sweaters, Dan considered her knitting now incredibly helpful - it strengthened the nerves. But she did not complain to them, she felt fine: she had a young, strong body - as a consequence of regular physical exercises.
  But sometimes, some an inexplicable anxiety ridden her. It was not bad, but it appeared by night, when Eya woke up - single in her cabin. Ones she broke down, made a radio call - Dan came immediately to her. She was afraid that he would severely tell her off for this weakness, but he caressed her. She calmed down and fell asleep quickly, holding his hand. He sat beside her until the morning: when woke up, she was glad to see him just next to her. And then they started sleeping together, and she felt calmer because he was always alongside her.
  Good were all the other affairs. The oxygenizator worked normally, the thermonuclear power plant installation and driving of mines under the second oxygenizator were in full swing. Machines-explorers, crawling on the planet, probed the depths with ultrasound: they drew up a detailed geological map.
  Trees begin to turn green, one after another, and they began to plant woods with sprouted seeds. The construction of the transparent domes was not a problem: while then it was enough of both masts and film. But the process of landing required continuous attention.
  They spent many hours a day on plantations or at computer screens. Prepared new batches of trees seeds. Working out the solutions for the extraction of ore, the construction of metallurgical plants and plant of synthetic film: many more masts and domes were needed.
  Work went well. They themselves were surprised with extraordinary rise of strength, which replaced their former mood. But not only this: even much - in themselves. Completely new aspects, revealed suddenly for them in this very unusual situation. For example, just as Dan treats the fact that the figure of her is losing form - the waist has disappeared and the belly begins to protrude: Eya saw that he even with some pride looks at it - a warm, swollen - when helping to adjust the bandage. And with what joy is looking at her increasing, swollen breasts.
  And most importantly - some new shades in their treating each other: more than erstwhile friendly affection and passionate physical attraction.
  
  Then the desire to explore the planet began gradually to emerge. All their activities were till now just utilitarian: to find the most suitable places for the performing of any work, examination and follow-up visiting them only. The rest they have seen only on screens.
  'Let's travel a little,' Eya offer the first.
  'Okay, but...'
  'What: but?'
  'Well, work...'
  'Everything is going on its own without us. We may confine ourselves to just the control - it's only one hour a day. Rest of the time we are now completely free. What we have really seen here? Just the objects of works and what flashed down during the flight? It is time to see something up close, to touch and to stand without hurrying to leave.'
  Eya, definitely, was right, but Dan was too afraid for her. If he were able, he would not let her out of the cave. But nevertheless he makes her every time wear a suit-armor, altering endlessly it, adjusting to her changing, growing stout figure, but he is walking alongside in an easy one of film. She always resists, but he is adamant about it.
  In other respects, she has recently obtained some power over him. He even lets her behave some capriciously. However, she did that not seriously - it was just interesting to watch him at such moments: an infinite patience, an almost absolute obedience. Namely, almost! If he thinks it is threatened with the slightest danger to her, he becomes terribly hard.
  'I'll be in the armor,' she said.
  'Sly you!'
  But to her surprise, Dan resisted not long. Perhaps, he saw that they really need to go on some travels.
  They had a long discussion where to fly. Viewed recordings of robot-scouts shootings. Most of the places struck by the monotony. Especially plains familiar well: while all the forests were planted on them. So first of all they decided to visit one of the mountain areas at low latitudes: there is a whole chain of lakes among the rocks of some a strange shape.
  The next day, having spent no more than half an hour to get acquainted with reports of works progress, they got with a launch. Before they left the launch, Dan again enumerated to Eya, with a view of a good girl listened to him patiently, all necessary safety precautions. He has provided the most up: they will move in a closed ATV connected with cables with an air car flying over them, which can at any time raise the ATV and pull to himself.
  ... Here it was night. Fortunately, there were in clouds some gaps which one of the moons was lighting through. A track creating with it on the surface of the lake shimmered with large ripples and go somewhere endlessly far away among a pinnacles chain. The world has been amazingly blue: both the water, and countless rock, and even 'the moon'.
  The ATV was slowly sailing; it seemed the lake had no end. They then moved through the narrow ducts, then again got to a broad stretch.
  Clouds began to close up. When it was completely dark, Dan stopped the ATV and switched up all the spotlights.
  'We must wait until dawn.' - He took food out.
  'I'm not hungry yet!'
  'But it needs.'
  'Oh!' - But she drank dutifully goat's milk. Then he forced her to lie down for rest, and sat alongside.
  'It looks like earthly - and at the same time very different. Right?' she asked softly.
  'You're about the color? Yes: an amazing blue!'
  'This is due to the concentration of carbon dioxide?'
  'Unclear. Maybe.'
  'Or something else.'
  'Yes.'
  'But does it happen on the Earth?'
  'Have not even ever heard.'
  'Me, too.'
  They fell silent as suddenly felt keenly, how much they wanted to be on Earth right now - native, habitual. More than two years have already passed, since they left it.
  But the clouds dispersed again, the 'moon' broke out the darkness and filled everything again with the marvelous azure and shimmering spots of light. And the longing went away, they calmed immediately down.
  But it did not last long; clouds closed up anew, even just until the dawn that they met in an impenetrable fog.
  'Will it be long?' Dan thought annoying. 'Otherwise we have to fly away, without seeing anything more'.
  Eya was dozing. He sat at the radar, began ransacking the shore to occupy him somehow. Just rocks, rocks, rocks.
  And suddenly he saw a forest. No, impossible! But: just the forest! However, the strange one.
  He began to turn the knob, sharpness improved. No, of course, it is not a forest: rocks. Just stretched up, sharp. Like teeth. Of a fairy dragon. And further ranks of them resemble really huge old spruces.
  Dan did not begin to wake Eya. At the very slow speed he drove the ATV toward them.
  The 'Sun', probably, rose: breaking through the clouds, with the assistance of wind it disposed the fog. It was becoming increasingly clearer, and around the corner, next to a high rock the whole picture appeared at once before him.
  'Eya, get up! Look!'
  She cocked her head; clenched eyelids, banishing sleep; yawned. Then she opened her eyes, and the sleep disappeared immediately: she froze, startled, resting her hands in a transparent front wall of the ATV.
  Dense dark clouds stood low enveloping the sky above, and only the distance was clear. From there, bright, clearly visible rays of the 'sun' are beating. It was visible only a part of it, and it seemed huge.
  Rocks of unprecedented form stuck. A whole forest of rocks. Ahead, aside, close, far away. The water flowed through them forming cascades, then low and very wide, then narrow - much higher.
  The rocks are very different. Distant ones are mostly dark; some rocks in front of them lit by the 'sun' shine brightly. Some of the rocks - like terrible teeth; others - inverted giant icicles; the third ones stick straight out of the water in neat rows like pipes of old organs. The fourth...
  'Spruces, Dan! An enchanted forest!' He just smiled in response to her.
  The fifth ones - like mysterious towers of unknown civilizations.
  But most striking the colors were again. Deep blue shadows, delicate pale blue spots, gray-turquoise clouds; endless transitions of purple, lilac. A pure cold range, seen never hitherto.
  They could not take their eyes away. When the 'sun' hid behind the clouds, they decided to wait for it on the flat top of a high rock, from which the best view of the entire panorama was to be than from the ATV rocking on the water.
  They put on their spacesuits. Dan was also in the armor: Eya noted that with gratitude to herself. They passed on a sliding ladder to the rock.
  They had to wait quite a long time. But they were in no hurry. We did almost not talk; everyone sat, lost in their own thoughts, listening with the sound receivers to the noise of waterfalls.
  They do not want to go anywhere. Eya felt that the planet is ceasing to be longer a stranger: she saw, recognized its beauty. She will love it not only as the future Earth-2. Now this does be their planet. She touched the stones really blue, that she had never seen on the Earth.
  The 'Sun' again erupted, lit a magical range of colors. They watched eagerly soaking up the vision in themselves - barely breathing for fear of losing even a moment.
  And the 'Sun', indeed, disappeared soon. The clouds grew increasingly darker. To wait longer was useless. Even dangerous: it could, as usual, start a thunder storm.
  With regret, they left the rock. The air car pulled up to it the ATV and took quickly to the launch.
  They came back from the land of the Azure rocks being full of feelings, bathed with impressions, realized something very important for them. And when the next day Eya at last agreed to go with Dan to the far halls of the First cave where stalactites, stalagmites, columns, where the flowers and branches of sparkling white gypsum crystals were, she had no doubt of the rightness of Lal, who did not want to break that beautiful, he saw here - trying to avoid such sacrifice. Even for the sake of oxygenizator.
  
  27
  
  They sat at the computer, doing each his work. Eya called:
  'Dan!'
  'Half a minute! Wait, please.'
  'Cannot. Hurry!'
  He jumped up in alarm, 'What's wrong?
  'Ugh, I scared you. No, do not worry - nothing. Give me your hand!' she took it and put on her stomach.
  Dan carefully touched it: he had long wanted it, but was terribly afraid to cause any harm to it, and dared never. And suddenly something pushed gently into his hand, and after a short time did again.
  He continued to keep a hand on her stomach, looked at her - felt that had never in his life experienced such tenderness, as it was at the present moment for her. Not knowing what to do, what to say, he went suddenly away.
  Through a not completely closed door clumsy creaking sounds reached her. She smiled: he now always in moments of very strong emotion takes up the violin.
  ... By the time she had to give birth, the last of trees of the first planting, whose buds swollen. Only a small number of trees have not borne conservation and not awakened: the robot dug them out. The rest covered with leaves or needles and under the influence of stimulants began to grow rapidly. They go there for a walk every day.
  
  He was all ready: apparatuses, instruments, oxygen, blood and medicines. Eya has done again psychotherapeutic exercises.
  Her contractions started the next day, in the evening. She was lying on a special bed of the cyber diagnostician. Dan in a sterile white overall was sitting alongside encouraging her.
  But then the contractions ceased. Night came. Dan drunk infusion of schisandra.
  They started anew to midnight.
  'Shout,' he said, 'you will be easier: shout.' But she tried to smile and, biting her lips, suffered but did not shout.
  Then it began. And then Dan is holding something small, red, in the mucus. The boy, as the cyber identified earlier. A son!
  The baby is shouting. Well then: all right! Dan quickly cuts the umbilical cord, processes it. Washes the baby and puts into the camera - the cyber-diagnostician starts immediately working.
  And Dan rushes to Eya. Fine: her health is excellent. Everything went quite normal. She has just two small gaps - quite, really, tiny. He stitches quickly them up.
  'Dan! What is it? Show me!'
  'Please, wait! You need to be properly processed.'
  'Wipe the sweat from your face, you have it quite wet.'
  'Wait, Eya. I still have time.'
  The cyber already issued data on the screen: the weight, the height, - everything. All is great.
  'Dan! I beg, show me!'
  Wrapping the baby, Dan brings it close to Eya. She is still very weak, could just turn her head.
  'Red-haired!'
  'Just like you!'
  He then did not fall asleep but sat throughout the night. Eya fell asleep. The baby was sleeping. Dan gazed at him: he felt that this incredibly tiny man filled with himself everything. Red-haired - like Eya. 'After his mother!' Dan smiled.
  So far everything is so good: the cyber is silent. But he is tired much enough, mostly from the stress: does he not do anything wrong?
  'Dan!' Eya woke up and called him in a whisper.
  He walked close to her, leaned over:
  'Well, how are you?'
  'Not bad already. Are you not sleeping?'
  'No, I'm not.'
  'Guarding?'
  'Yes, I'm guarding.'
  'Is he sleeping?'
  'He is,' Dan unexpectedly even to himself smiled proudly. 'All right, Mom Eya. You're our fine girl. Thank you for our son.'
  'You, too, Dad Dan: apparently, you're a brilliant obstetrician.'
  'Do you think so?'
  'You're tired, I see.'
  'No matter, I'll sleep later.'
  'Dan, but I'm hungry. Very much!'
  'Excellent!' - he takes up his bracelet, sending the order, and the robot brings food soon.
  Dan spoon-feeds her with a strong broth of real chicken for which it was slaughtered one of the hens. For such a case she need to, especially since the chickens they have now over forty and the same number of chicks, and even some eggs are in the incubator. Eya is eating with pleasure: it is clear that she became very hungry. After the soup, he feeds her with chicken. She needs now to eat more: for two. After eating, Eya fall back asleep.
  He sits next to her. It is strange to feel at the same time some deep tranquility and extraordinary excitement. It's just time to take up the violin. But he was afraid to leave. He continues keeping watch and all the time glancing at the child, listening to his breathing.
  Then the child began to cry, waking once Eya. Dan replaced by a robot litter, but the son continued to cry.
  'Let me feed him,' Eya said.
  'It's too early.'
  'I think I may already!'
  She washed her breast. Dan, strained strongly, carefully, almost without breathing, gave her the son. The baby poked his nose in the breast of Eya, then grabbed immediately the nipple and began eagerly to suck.
  Now Eya could properly examine him. What ugly he is: a red face, wrinkled; the eyes with a kind of murky blue languishing. But he's sucking energetically!
  It was extraordinary good, and she felt the growing fondness for this still unknown and unusual creature.
  
  Part IV
  
  The RETURN
  
  28
  
  The abyss of the Cosmos. Darkness. Black. Unlimited. Whose depth is only reinforced by the radiance of a myriad of worlds and incredibly bright stars. Like nowhere else. Neither on the Earth nor on the Earth-2. Not on any other planet, where light is shielded, blurred with a veil of an atmosphere.
  They are far. In infinity, which a movement through can be noted only by sensitive instruments with the Doppler Effect.
  The violin is crying . Singing under the bow and his running fingers. Now, when it alone speaks to you, it has become clear, why it has not succeeded to reproduce accurately its sound with the corresponding orchestrion register: people have forgotten how to cry. Proud of their success, confident of the power of the strength of their mind, they did not know either longing or tears. That was just why the violin was then forgotten. Almost at all. And later, at the last epoch, when too many knew melancholy and disappointment, they still did not remember about it.
  Lal did. The first, he felt after an incredibly long break a deep sound of this instrument, the beautiful like love vanished almost. He just did not have time to comprehend the reason of the failure of its reproduction on orchestrion.
  Yes: he just did not have time! Because he was the only one who could understand - everything. Even what remained out of the control of the all-powerful mathematics.
  'Do not forget...' No! What he desired has been done.
  ... The apparent endless distance to the Earth - is nothing compared to the duration of time feeling on the scale of loneliness. None sounds except the violin and his own voice.
  Once, long ago, there, on the Earth, He, like many, loved to retire. For not distracting by anyone, not bothering when thinking about the main thing. But then He lost the habit to be too long alone: Lal appeared; then They did - and now They are the most important for hum.
  When completely unbearable, when it seems that no longer sustain, that longing can break him, He wears the spacesuit and goes to Them in the far bay of the ship residential unit.
  The thick doors recline and immediately close. He goes worrying; his heart is pounding furiously, and sweat covered his hands and face. The flashlight illuminates his path.
  Finally, the last door. Under thick transparent lids They are: Mom, Son, Daughter, and tiny Kid. In the state of suspended animation .
  Other way out they did not have. He remained the whole year alone, prisoned in silence. Just these rare comings to them - the only outlet. And He looks eagerly at Their dear faces.
  Mom. How much He yearned for her: for the sound of Her voice, the warmth of Her body, caress of Her touch.
  Son, the object of His pride and respect. The first person born on a new planet and feeling more confident than everyone on it. Adult enough in his sixteen years, managed to become a real assistant to Him and Mom.
  Daughter of two long fluffy braids, whose face is so akin to neither His one nor that of Mom; who loved a long time to sit on His lap talking to Him.
  Kid was born recently, in the Cosmos. The subject of the general joy, love and anxiety.
  He sits for a long time, staring at Them.
  For each visit He needs to expend energy, which He must save maximally; for them it is now the most valuable in the hyperexpress. Otherwise, They had no reason to be in suspended animation, and he would not be alone right now. Therefore His visits are so rare.
  But They only help him to hold out, support strength.
  ... Last glance and He comes back to the control room, where he spends all the time.
  
  Energy is only just enough, so He can not work: impossible to use computers. Besides the main pilot-computer, leading the express and watching the Cosmos.
  He can not even read or watch movies. Can only play violin and think endlessly. And discuss with himself or with an imaginary companion. The most often - with Lal.
  He spoke mentally with Lal at the moment when, exhausted by loneliness, he understood the secret of the violin sound. And almost at once He saw clearly Lal.
  He came from some far away, where there were huge old trees with tall thick trunks. Dressed in silver-gray overalls, with a telephoto lens on his forehead, he rolled to Him with self-propelled shoes. It is the same as on the first day, when they suddenly found each other.
  The sounds of Mendelssohn's concert turned into a cascade of questions addressed to Lal, who was standing in front of Him and looked into his eyes smiling, with a full understanding, ready to answer.
  Suddenly, He felt horror. He made an effort and drove a vision that immediately disappeared. Then he calmed down: hence, the emergence of Lal was not the result of a painful illness of the psyche, and He had not to be afraid.
  He did not try to do anything now, when Lal again appeared before him clearly. Most often from some far away, where the trees once appeared. And entered into dialogue with Him and listened to His telling.
  At His imagination they exchanged their status: Lal seemed to Him not only wiser, but - for some reason - older, too. As before, He heard an address by Lal - 'elder brother', but wanted always to call him 'teacher'.
  
  29
  
  The birth of Son changed radically their lives.
  At first, they both were in terrible strain, being afraid to do anything wrong. They could not wait for anyone's help or guidance: they checked endlessly with materials that provided by Eve and Lal.
  They had a lot of affairs and troubles. Full program for the robot-minder did not exist; they had to train continuously by their own operations, following which, it created and adjusted the program on its own. But at first they did not trust it, trying as much as possible to do on their own.
  Suddenly, besides the robot, they obtained another assistant: Dog. He is worried extremely when the baby was for the first time showed him, trying to sniff; he was not admitted to approach then. Still, he wagged his tail and lay quietly on the floor near the door.
  Once again, he made an attempt to either sniff, or lick Son using their absence, but the robot did not let him, started alarm. Dog was punished, and he did no more attempts, kept his distance from the child, but always followed him and the robot in their absence, and if something seemed wrong to him, leaped up or even ran for them and began to pull to the baby clutching teeth at their clothing.
  Gradually they began to feel rather confident. Mom did everything absolutely pretty adroitly: He just marveled - and together with the robot-minder imitated her.
  He loved very much to watch her breast-feeding Son. They together on their own bathed him always. And during the night, they got up in turn to see how he was sleeping, although it was unnecessary: the robot was next to him.
  Fortunately, the son developed normally, without any deviations that would be immediately recorded by the cyber-diagnostician. And he was quite calm.
  Everything about him was so unusual and surprising that the first year after his appearance seemed unusually long. Every day brought something new. They noticed absolutely all in every detail.
  'Look, how he yawns!'
  'How he holds his head!'
  'Smiling! Hurry to see: he is smiling!'
  He recognizes them! He stretches hands! He learned to sit! He creeps! His tooth cut! He stands up, holding the play-pen wall! He started walking!!!
  The events incredibly important, unforgettable. The joy, which more than compensated for all the work and worry, gave strength and confidence. All that was before has become a little important. And it seemed they themselves have become completely different...
  'Yes, it was just so!' Lal said.
  'You know, we had no idea how to live without that.'
  'I thought just so. You see, Eve did be right.'
  'I'm sorry, my brother, but it was so good that we even have almost ceased to be sad about you.'
  'It does be good, too!'
   'We have named him Lal.'
  
  Of course, they did not cease doing the work. They had the strength to do anything.
  They started up another oxygenizator: oxygen was coming into the atmosphere. Continued planting forests.
  Mom planted fruit trees - not only as an experiment: she wanted the child to have real fresh fruit. Then she made hydroponically a vegetable garden. They were not large, both the orchard and a vegetable garden, since there were no insects pollinating flowers - this was done by a few robots, such as those working on extraterrestrial plantations in the Near Cosmos next to the Sun.
  And He continued vigorously the exploration of minerals, preparing launches of factories for smelting metals and manufacturing of masts and protective film for forests: their reserves brought from the Earth was coming to an end.
  As before, not everything turned out as they wanted: there were failures and mistakes. But they forgot those, when He and Mom came home, and the child stretched out his hands to them.
  The 'Sun' shone sometimes through breaks in clouds, or when they both or in turn took went for walking with Son in the 'forest' cross the lake: he was in his baby carriage, that could be hermetically closed, and smiled. 'Sunny'!
  'Do you like it, sonny?'
  Probably, he did! And the Dog, who participated always in these walks - did also.
  
  Gradually, Son started to walk confidently, and they began to let him down to the ground during walking. Initially, he clung to their arm or Dog's neck. Then he quickly began to walk without holding anything.
  And, finally started to spoke. It was a wonderful time. He mispronounced the word unique funny...
  'And what phrase he said the first, my senior brother?'
  'On my own!'
  ... He really was incredibly independent: quickly learned to handle a spoon, to sit on his potty and then to dress. And, most important, he always found for himself some a pursuit, played not noisy and did not interfere. His favorite pastime was to build something out of bright plastic elements - during this it was safe to leave him alone under the care of the robot-minder and Dog.
  This was just at the right moment: a period came when issues requiring immediate solutions, which could not be done by computers, appeared one by other.
  At first, they tried to be away from home in turn, but soon, seeing that he could be left alone, they were increasingly absent both. The robot promptly fed him and put to bed,
  Dog followed him and took part in his games. So for, Son saw a while Him and Mom quite little. He did not behave capricious, though it was evident that he missed the communication with them.
  The revenge he took on Saturday, their only day off during that period. They woke up late and did not hurry up. His cot from the very beginning was in their bedroom: he woke up early and waited. Seeing that they at last did not sleep, he started to ask a question:
  'I may to you, may I not?' - he knew that today would not be failure. Got off of the cot and, padded barefoot across the floor, got to them.
  He went in the middle between them and started to ask questions. Many of them provoked their laughter. He became quickly tired of lying and he climbed on top of someone, demanding them to throw up him: he scary liked that awfully - he laughed loud being not a bit afraid.
  Then Mom self washed him, and He ordered the robot breakfast. Son was sitting at the table with them in a high chair. They breakfasted leisurely; were talking, trying not to touch the work. After breakfast, they went to the baths, and the Son and Dog waited for them to go, dressed in protective suits, to the 'forest' across the lake.
  Trees grew stronger and gained height quickly: an excess of carbon dioxide and the optimal dose of the ultraviolet light transmitted through a protective film, worked wonders. The child felt excellent here: all were familiar, and he could hide behind the trees.
  Occasionally, the 'sunny' warmed, and then it was quite wonderful, they did not want to go anywhere away. Son instead of lunch drink goat's milk, and they stayed up until the eye of the baby did not start to stick together. Then He took him in his arms and carried into the boat.
  After sleep and afternoon snack Son asked to show him 'pictures', as he called children's movies, and climbed to someone's lap. But the film took him for short: he was too fond of moving. Again asked 'to forest' - and if possible, they sailed there.
  They put him to bed on Saturday early: he managed to get tired in the afternoon, and they would like to sit at the table. Before putting to bed, they bathed him. On their own, of course - without the robot. Son squinted at the fun, sitting in warm water, and played foam.
  They felt unusually calm and nice at this moment: seeing naked baby body, which was becoming more resilient, prompted feeling unclearly pressed their hearts that it had to be nothing better than this.
  He quickly fell asleep. After changing clothes, they sat at the table. They paid tribute to the festive food: dishes of fresh meat and vegetables from the garden. Then He sat down at the orchestrion and played - much, for long: what he wanted, and what She asked. Sometimes She sang.
  Hugging her, He fell asleep, hearing the sound of Son's snoring quietly and feeling that his life is full as never before.
  
  Teaching Son they started in full, just when the volume of urgent matters slightly decreased. It was reduced to showing films and conversations that he was looking forward to. He listened and memorized surprisingly quickly. He knew the names of all the trees in the 'forest', when he had not reached three years yet.
  It was time to begin systematic teaching by the initial program. There difficulties associated with his inclinations began to appear.
  So, he had learned digits before letters. Digits were convenient: they instead points that must be counted. But letters? You can just listen to the recording. And he got stubborn. They had to take pains to explain to him the practical necessity of letters. But after he realized he learned them quickly.
  Very early his practical cast of mind determining the direction of his interests manifested itself. He loved to make anything on his own; enjoyed watching how they did, and tried to assist, if he was allowed. What was necessary to make, came easily to him, quickly.
  Mom, he assisted in many small works, when she was busy at the 'forest' and at the vegetable garden - and quite sensibly. He stared as He works with a computer, waiting patiently for permission to sit on His lap. And was then silent, knowing that he had not to interfere.
  To their chagrin, he manifested very little interest in poetry and tales. And in the stories and movies in which there was nothing about what to make. But when He dared to show him a technological movie of gymnasium curriculum, Son watched breathlessly, with her mouth open.
  Having some musical ear, he was not particularly fond of learning and singing children's songs. Let Mom better allow him go to kids or chickens.
  'A typically engineering cast of mind,' he determined.
  'Perhaps!' Mom agreed.
  
  30
  
  By four years Son's character began to deteriorate: he became irritable and stubborn and, at the same time, boring, inert. Often, switching on the screen, when leaving him alone, they saw him, instead of playing, sitting still on the floor, hugging his knees and laid his head on them. And silent. What was he thinking? What happened to him?
  He once asked Him:
  'Daddy, why there are a lot of people on the pictures?'
  'Because it is so actually.'
  'No, it isn't! Just three people: me, mommy, and you. But Dog isn't a human, and nanny - too.'
  'Yes, sonny: there are a lot of people.'
  'Do really more people exist in the world? Not only on the pictures?'
  Trying not overstraining him, they began to tell him little by little about the people, the Earth.
  Once they saw on the screen him droving away from himself Dog and the minder.
  'You, Dog, are not able to speak, and you, nanny, not a living - because you're not human. But on the Earth there are people more, and little ones - children, like me also, and they talk to each other and play. So! But you can not. Go away, you both!'
  Dog wagged its tail guiltily, and the robot rolled into the corner.
  It became clear that he lacked communication with other children: passed the age when a child could play alone.
  And they decided that it was needed another child.
  
  The waiting started again; he saw anew growing stout Mom's figure, adjusted her suit and a bandage again.
  And now he is holding another tiny creature: a girl.
  ... When Son was told that he now has a little sister, he was very surprised:
  'She didn't be!'
  'You, too, there was not before.'
  'Really? And where did she come from?'
  'From Mom's belly.'
  'She got out?'
  'Exactly.'
  'Why not together with me? Or I wasn't in Mom's belly?'
  'You were, too. Just before.'
  'What is she?'
  'Do you want to see?'
  'I do, of course.'
  Having seen her, he again surprised awfully:
  'Oh, what a little! How really she will play with me?'
  'She must grow before.'
  'But can she talk?'
  'No yet, of course! She will learn then.'
  'But in what way?'
  'We will teach her.'
  'We - and me?'
  'Of course! She's your sister, little, and you are her brother, older. You're going to assist us take care of it. Okay?'
  So, he will have to do something: it makes him very happy about it.
  'I will, will!'
  ... Son stopped being bored - he had already a lot of activities: to watch how the sister sleeps, yawns; to run to her when she started to cry.
  Then she began to grow, and every day became funny. The brother helped her learn to walk, climb, when she fell; he played with her.
  But she was very little and could not be his friend. In addition, he sometimes felt offended: he no longer enjoyed the exclusive attention of Him and Mom. In fact, he was still little, too.
  Until that day.
  
  When He thought about that day, Lal appeared in him again.
  'Mom promised him the very first apple that ripened in the orchard. Fruit trees did not blossom a long time, and then did not bear fruits: the seedlings suffered the space preservation badly. Finally, ovaries appeared on one of the apple trees. Son's joy was great:
  'I'll soon eat the first apple!'
  ... It seemed to be the most beautiful among the rest, still quite green. Mom made the analysis, which confirmed its edibility.
  We three sailed home from the 'forest' where there was an orchid. When put off our protective suits, Son ran away for Sister and Dog for that they saw the apple before he ate it.
  Mom washed the apple, put it on the table. It seemed to us, too, wonderful. A large, red. And it smelled wonderful.
  Son ran into the room, followed by Dog. Daughter tripped at the door, got on all fours. And he grabbed an apple, showing them.
  'That's what!' Then he brought the apple to his face to admire it once again before eating.
  'Give! Me!' Daughter suddenly said: she clung with one hand to his pants, pulled the other one to the apple.
  He had not expected this, looked to at her surprisingly. Then he turned to us. In his questioning look there was a perplexity: actually, the apple was promised him long ago, when he did not have Sister.
  But we are silent: something kept us from intervening. I just felt that my heart was pounding furiously; Mom was terribly pale.
  'Do! Give! Me! I want!' - she wrinkled her nose, ready to cry.
  'Eat! Eat!' he said hurriedly, dropping to his knees and brought the apple to her mouth. She bit hardly through the skin.
  'Eat! Eat, you little. Nanny, give the knife. It is necessary to cut the skin.'
  'Cut a half. It will be enough for her.'
  'No, let her eat the whole one. Do you like it?'
  She nodded.
  'Later more apples will grow. Have you seen how many of them are on the tree?'
  She nodded, her mouth was full. He cut the apple into small pieces and gave her. Only when she had eaten everything, he began to try the cut off peel.
  'Delicious! And you try also - do take!'
  'Eat yourself, sonny!'
  'Why: I'm not little, you know.'
  How he managed himself, without prompting, to do so? We have never told anything about this. What for? Indeed, in our time, it is unnecessary: all people have enough of everything. We ourselves had never faced similar situations and could not have suspected the possibility of their existence.
  'But he saw - how you treat each other.'
  'Do you think so?'
  'Yes - believe me!'
  'Perhaps, you're right.'
  'Did you praise him?'
  'No. Said nothing. Mom actually could not speak: agitated, with tears in her eyes.'
  'It is important for all: for them, for you - and those on the Earth.'
  'I thought about it. We can really be a lot better, raising ourselves our children.'
  'And happier.'
  'Yes. It was one of our best days.'
  
  31
  
  Daughter was very different from Brother. It was a more vivid creature, playful, gentler, but at the same time more capricious and touchy. If not Son, it would be manage her much more difficult than him. But since that day, feeling grown-up, he began to really take care of her. Sometimes, when she ceased to obey them, Son intervened, and she obeyed absolutely.
  She had many of that he did not have: she was very musical, loved poetry, tales, danced to their general satisfaction. But it was a bit lazy and only imitated Brother's trying to do something useful.
  Due Son's care of Sister He and Mom could be away for a long time, both. Together, Children were not bored. Periodically, switching on the screen, it was possible to see how they play and to talk with Them.
  Son made great progress and, in addition, much mastered beyond the program by watching how and what He and Mom did, asking them questions. Most of all he was interested in machines, especially robots. There was not without some incidents. So, one day, he turned off the power of the minder - it happened in their absence, so he was punished.
  'But if you needed something?'
  'Dad,' so he became call Him since the day that he gave Sister the apple, 'but you know I can do all that is necessary. I'll be able.
  'He knows everything,' Daughter confirmed gravely standing next to him. 'He so many times put me to poo.'
  'Why did you do that?'
  'Nanny prevented from playing. And more - I just wanted to try.'
  Another time he did something more serious: after coming back, they did not find him at home. Daughter was playing alone.
  It was not clear where he had gone: switching on the screen, they saw him studied at the computer and tried not to distract. But at the computer he was not.
  'Where is Brother?' They asked Daughter.
  'Ah, but he's somewhere here!' she hurried.
  'Where here?'
  'Here, here. Yes!'
  They felt something wrong. They searched the whole dwelling block: whether had he not decide to make a joke, did not hide? No, it was nowhere. He already had his radio bracelet, but he did not answer calls.
  Only half an hour later, he replied, and after fifteen minutes in the airlock walked six-legged robot, on which he sat, wearing a suit-armor, along with Dog. Where he was became clear at once when he came out of the airlock with a magnificent brilliant 'branch' of the white petals of crystalline gypsum.
  'Why did you leave?'
  'I wanted to see the Lal's grotto and bring her a flower of gypsum.'
  'Do you understand that it is dangerous for you to do this alone?'
  'Why?'
  'You're still little.'
  'But I have done all that is necessary. I wore armor.'
  'We're not on the Earth.'
  'So what? This is just our planet.'
  'But you deceived us. And you forced Sister to tell a lie.'
  'He did not tell me. I did on my own. He said he will be back soon, you will know nothing,' Daughter stood up for Brother again.
  They questioned him closely. He had to tell them: both how he was able to turn off the entrance interlock, and how to connect to the video transmitter that he was studying. Going into the cave, he really did everything necessary. Just as an adult. He was a good fellow, though guilty.
  He had to talk to Son seriously. Son promised that more will not absent alone, until he was allowed, but it was clear that he did not find anything special, even more - dangerous in his excursion.
  
  32
  
  The next year brought them unexpected, terrible ordeal.
  The next in turn cruiser with a stock of food, instead of coming at the right time back to the Earth-2, went astray and then, passing by the planet, into the Near Cosmos space. It was a serious nuisance.
  If it goes into a 'heliocentric' orbit, then it will be possible sooner or later using the radio control to land it. But if the cruiser moves along an open path - or elliptical, but with a too large eccentricity, trajectory?
  They were alarmed. The main thing was that the previous cruiser according to the command given to it delivered the bigger than usual amount of equipment due to the smaller amount of food. They risked doing so, because until now nothing wrong happened to the cruisers.
  Because of this, the food supplies were low. It was possible still rely on the vegetable garden and, to some extent, goats and chickens, which fodder was mostly still delivered with the Express.
  A radio command was sent urgently for the immediate dispatch of the second cruiser with the doubled amount of food and fodder, as well as chlorella , which could provide nutrition for them and their animals as a last resort. Of course, a double supply of food created additional problems for its storage: in space its safety was provided much better. But they have no choice: the situation demanded a more robust insurance. The cargo of the second cruiser was formed; cruiser started to the Earth-2, and He watched continually his movement.
  But suddenly, about halfway, it was discovered deviation from its planned trajectory. The cruiser began quickly to move closer to a planet with a very large mass, composed mainly of hydrogen and helium. Like the Jupiter in the Solar System.
  Attempts to change the direction of its movement with the help of radio signals yielded nothing: it caught up with the 'Jupiter'. Then, come very close to it, the cruiser was drawn into the interior of the planet. The communication with it was cut short. Even if the cruiser was unharmed, then, anyway, has become for them a completely inaccessible.
  It was just a disaster. Stocks of food and fodder had by that time already been significantly reduced. There were only a few chickens and goats: the rest had already eaten or slaughtered.
  The last week before the disaster, He almost did not leave the desk of space communications, trying to straighten the course of the cruiser. Was eating when just possible. Almost always alone. Mom herself served him food. They did almost not talk: it was all so clear. She looked no better: a pale, haggard.
  What to do now? To call the third, just last, cruiser? Prior to his arrival they yet would last somehow. But where is the guarantee that he will come? It is clear that the deviations from the cruisers' courses are not random - twice running. It seems inevitable to fly to the hyper express himself.
  It is no less risky than calling the last cruiser. He will have to fly on a space launch - will not prevent the same causes that have not given the cruisers come? What are they? If you understand, then you can at least something to provide.
  What is most likely? Do not just the Express apparatus: a distortion of space caused by it? What will prompt analysis of the movement of the cruisers that have not come? He set a task the computer to analyze both trajectories.
  Time, time! But They have it less and less. Food is barely enough, even if you fly immediately. He decided to limit himself to the first results of the calculation. Told Mom about this.
  'It might be better to wait, Dad? We will send in half an year a launch with autopilot: to check whether the reasons for the ships deviations still exist? In the meanwhile there is a certain amount of provisions. We can make some plantations, which will provide both us and the animals.'
  'With the food left before the first harvest we cannot still survive. Even with the maximum use of growth stimulators.'
  'One will last.'
  'And the others?'
  'The others it won't at this time be required for.'
  'What are you suggesting: suspended animation?!'
  'But if you won't come back?'
  'Then only. You do know!'
  'I do.'
  It could be just a last resort, when the situation is absolutely desperate. Suspended animation had been failed to learn enough to use it safely and confidently: it threatened surprises every time. It did not meet expectations that had laid for it as one of the main means of implementation of flights in the Far Cosmos: there cyborgs only went out.
  'The animals have to be slaughtered in all.'
  'One nanny-goat will be left alive: I will feed her with twigs. She will survive somehow with them.'
  'Probably.'
  'And a few eggs: later we dissolve chickens again.'
  'And ... And one more thing...'
  'What?'
  'There's nothing to feed Dog, too.'
  'No.'
  'How to tell Son this?'
  'Maybe not to tell him at all?'
  'Are you sure it will be possible to cheat him? But - how to tell?'
  How? To tell that there is nothing to feed the Dog, therefore he will have to be killed. Dog, who did not depart from Son since his birth. Whom he loved almost as much as little Sister and Them.
  Son looked at Him wide-eyed with horror, when He told him about that. He wasn't able to believe that it could not be otherwise. Then he understood and dropped his head. He seemed numb with grief. The first in his life.
  What said He to the Son? That they came here to solve the greatest challenges: to make habitable the planet - all people in the world expect that they will cope with it. To do this, they are obliged to survive - at any price. He reminded about Lal, who perished on this planet, and whose name was given to him, Son.
  Son did not respond, still not looking up. Long was silent. Then he said:
  'Take me with you,' - and Mom and He could not refuse him.
  They fed Dog last time. For a long time they bade farewell to him, and he wagged his tail and looked devotedly them in the eyes. Then the children were sent to sleep.
  He did not tell Son that at flight they will eat also canned meat of Dog.
  
  Their flying, contrary to expectations, went off completely safely. As if it was just never what He was afraid to discover. Approaching the hyper express He performed according the regular program, without introducing any amendments.
  The sized of many kilometers hyper express with signal lights turned on by His radio command, which stared Son, was approaching slowly. The impression of the first voyage in space a little dulled his grief.
  Put the launch into the receiving compartment, He left it alone. The first He made a check inspection - the instruments showed the complete absence of dangerous deviations.
  Only in the records He found incomprehensible activations of the Express hyper apparatus. It happened three times at regular intervals - every a little more than an earthly month. The first and last of them coincided with the departures the cruisers, which did not come to them.
  He returned to Son.
  'It seems all right.' Gave at once food him and sent a command to completing cargo according the program entered by Him and then a message to Mom.
  The thought of Her and Daughters makes Him hurry. After loading in the cruiser food, chlorella, seeds, batteries, and a small amount of equipment, they flew immediately back.
  So Son made his first space flight and experienced the first in his life woe. At eight years.
  
  33
  
  The incident forced them to take without delay precautions: using hydroponics, they made some plantation. Of the remaining ten eggs it hatched only two chickens, one of whom was a cockerel. But the only hen provided an opportunity to get eggs, breed a flock. A nanny-goat gave with canned sperm an offspring. They protect themselves from hunger.
  But they still had to send the only cruiser to the Express for the remaining equipment. Initially worried, if it came back, but everything turned out all right, and gradually they calmed down.
  The oxygenizators were working, and the air of the planet contained already a significant amount of oxygen. Power stations, mines, factories operated; new one were building under the ground. It was mining ores and accumulated metals. Masts were produced; film - generated. The planet became increasingly covered by forests.
  And Children grew up. Still - surprisingly different. Perhaps, Daughter was much younger. Gentle, cheerful, with a sonorous voice - the general favorite; perhaps a little spoilt. She was interested in stories and movies about the Earth.
  Son - calm, serious, taciturn. He also loved to be busy, to do something. He could manage many machines, to make programs of middle complexity. He dreamed of the moment when he would be allowed to drive on his own a space launch.
  He got tall and stronger. Loved sport and movement. It struck his complete fearlessness and some special, not characteristic of the rest, confidence with which he felt, walked on this planet.
  Still, just the Earth was Their native. Only there They feel confident entirely. Here actually some anxiety and uncertainty as a shadow accompanied Their existence. Only in the cave, in Their dwelling under the massive stone arch and durable roof They felt rather calm.
  And only Son was not a stranger on this planet. Not knowing the fear, he jumped off a cliff into the lake, dived deep, and when his head appeared above the water, his face shone with pleasure. Mom was afraid for him, but He did not consider possible to stop Son: He was proud of his courage and encouraged him.
  
  Oxygen in the atmosphere finally became so much that meteorites did not reach the surface - burned completely. Only one fell not burned - was too large.
  Unfortunately, He was just near the crash place. He flew there with the launch: wanted to inspect the place interested him - the land of a sandy desert, surrounded with a mountain range.
  An air whirlwind overturned Him back; He slid somewhere down, into the cavity, and was covered deeply with settlings sand that was raised with the air wave. Fortunately, he was in a hard armor, which he always wore, going for prospecting alone.
  He tried to get out, but fine sand did not allow any move upwards. It was necessary to cling to something, - but where was the closest wall of the cavity? He turned over approximately one hundred eighty degrees: most likely, it was from the direction of His back - He moved down on it. Began slowly to move forward, wriggling like a worm.
  Finally He found the solid wall. Groped long with a hand, until He hooked with his fingers on some ledge - He started somehow to creep up. Then he felt another barely noticeable ledge.
  He was moving up - terribly slow, spending an incredible lot of effort. Several times His hand slipped.
  And suddenly it became easier. Impenetrable darkness broke: the upper part of the helmet with spike-antenna came out of the sand. He had none strength. Somewhere above him a trickle of sand flowed, threatening to bury him again.
  With the last effort He managed to turn on the radio for help. The launch had to be intact - it was far enough: here He got by seat helicopter. The signal reflected from the cliffs would reach it and reinforced, through one of the communication satellites, do Them.
  It was the last thing he remembered: He lost consciousness.
  ... How long He stayed unconscious was unknown - but, apparently, for a long time. He woke up due something knocked on the helmet. It was dark: He must had been filled from above or moved down back.
  A knock on the helmet stopped. Breathing was very hard, He had no strength. He did not think about anything, felt no fear: anything but some kind of complete indifference.
  From above came the rustling of sand. And suddenly in the eye hit a bright light of a lamp on a dark figure in a protective suit. He began again to fall into oblivion.
  He woke up in the launch. Without his helmet. Before He opened his eyes He took greedily a few deep breaths. Above him, leaning, Son was standing.
  'Where's Mom?' He finally managed to say.
  'At home. What is up, Dad?'
  'A meteorite. Near here,' He barely turned his parched tongue.
  'Have you hurt anything?'
  'No, I think. Only it was difficult to breathe.'
  Son helped Him to sit down and began to dig in His suit.
  'The regenerative cartridge is out of order. Have you been badly thrown?'
  'Do not even remember. But why are you here?'
  'I first received your signal. They were absent at home: flew to the fruit plantation. Sooner than in two hours Mom here would not arrive here. So I did not wait for her,' he started to tell all in detail.
  He did not inform Mom - put on quickly armor and flew with the second launch left close to the cave. Approaching here, he found from the height launch His boat and landed.
  'The launch was empty. I attached the helicopter, flied higher and began fumbling with the hand locator. For a long time: I did not think that you're so far away from the launch. Finally, I found something similar, flew there.
  It was dark, almost nothing was visible. My flashlight illuminates only the slope of the mountain, and I sat on it. Tied the rope to a large rock, I started down: the locator pointed there. There was continuous sand. I sent a command to the launch flew - ordered an air car to come with a winch and tools, but did not wait: tried holding the rope to rake sand away from a small funnel. I poked in the sand a long probe until it bumped into you. You were not deep - I dug you quickly and tied the end of the rope which I hung on. The air car just landed - the winch raised us and brought here. That's all!'
  'You've already communicate with Mom?'
  'No. She does not know yet.'
  He did not know what to do: to thank for his in time help - or to scold? What for? An unauthorized flight by a launch - not a joke, of course, but he did everything as well as possible, and for that he had be just praised.
  'Okay, let's talk home,' - it was all He said.
  What thinks Mom just now? Postponed the search for the fallen meteorite, He drove the launch; the second one flew behind it, driven by radio.
  Nausea ceased. He spoke with Son about the meteorite. The launches flied above clouds; there were in the sky two moons: the largest and the smallest.
  ... During the flight, He had not decided whether to tell about what happened to him, got off with a radio message: 'Flying home'.
  At home, before he could open His mouth - Mom excited beyond recognition, screaming and crying, fell upon Son:
  'How dare you!'
  And then she did something that no one ever expected: slapped Son in the face.
  Son blushed of resentment; He wanted to tell her everything, but suddenly the boy said on his own:
  'Mom! Mommy! Forgive me: I will not any more,' and he gazed at Him: He realized He had neither to tell nor to explain anything.
  Mom burst into tears, and Son hugged her and started to calm.
  ... They did not tell my Mom what had happened then. But since that day He felt to the full extent the respect for Son that has arisen at a time when he gave his little sister the first apple.
  
  Son grew up noticeably. His assistance in the affairs became appreciable, lost the initial type of mainly educational means. He and Mom are increasingly discussing issues in his presence; they let him the opportunity to express his own opinion if he wanted.
  He delved deeply into all that has been done, was doing and should be done on the planet. He flew with Him and Mom, and occasionally alone to all corners of the planet, visited all of the objects on it. Many of those concerning the nature of the planet and some its parts, he remembered even better than He and Mom. They began charging him deciding increasingly difficult practical problems, and he manifested the ability to cope independently dealing with them.
  Daughter tried to keep up with Brother, but she was inferior to him in this, and not just because of the mere age difference. But Brother turned over to her fully the care of animals and plantations: in these affairs, almost nothing changed - robotic machines coped with this work of, and she had only to supervise guided by Mom. But this activity awakened her interest in biology.
  So, most of the time she spent with Mom, the Son - with Him.
  
  34
  
  Oxygen in the air of the planet became enough for a night breathing of plants - they started to remove the protective film. Their stay on the planet was coming to the end.
  The cruiser now carried the load mainly on the express - batteries with a supply of energy - and returned with the remains of the seed for afforestation remainders of the planet's surface and forest restoration: after removal of the film, there were two grand wildfires from lightning, which They managed barely, then stopped the dismantling of metal masts - installed lightning rods on them.
  ... Two years later They ventured first time to take off protective suits. Breathing was possible. But it was hard yet - it was still too much carbon dioxide.
  However, Their program did not, really, include bringing the composition of the atmosphere almost the same as on the Earth: until the planet had not yet settled, the excess carbon dioxide contributed to the growth of trees. And provided them with nutrition until the time when there would appear sources of maintenance of carbon dioxide: humans and animals. It should be enough also for chlorella, which will be put in seas just before the departure from the planet for providing the opportunity to settle fish in them by the next arrival.
  Their departure was planned in a year, but occurred events forced Them to hurry. It began with the fact that the cruiser, just last, deviated suddenly again from its course and went into the space: something happened to the hyper apparatus of the Express again.
  The loss of the last cruiser was not yet a complete disaster: they had traveled to the Express by launch, and He was sure that once again He would be able to get it together with Them. Beforehand it would need to send one of the launches for exploration - with the autopilot.
  But the archives with files of the planet data, the flasks with the air of each year of Their stay, samples of rocks, plants grown on the planet - all those They would have to leave. They would not be able take with Them the habitual dwelling unit - would deprive themselves of most facilities. And most important, the last large lot of batteries that in the Far Cosmos may be just not superfluous.
  Suddenly, in the Near Cosmos it was noticed some object moving like a comet: it turned out to be the first of the cruisers that not come to the Earth-2.
  All attempts to bring it to the trajectory of the approach to the planet via radio came to not avail - and then He and Son flew to intercept it. Their launch was loaded to capacity with batteries and 'fuel' for the cruiser's annihilator; another one, driven by radio, with exactly the same load followed him.
  The cruiser was in completely intact, as well as the whole load. Just it was consumed completely the entire supply the energy because of what its control did not work.
  The energy brought by Them revived the cruiser. Its engines and pilot-computer started working, and it came down safely.
  It was almost unbelievable good luck. The view of the cruiser, the giant next to the boats, invited for travel, and they decided not to postpone.
  
  And They started preparing - for the flight away. With the fact, that after so many years had done a tremendous job, the oxygenizators ceased working. Then the plants were temporarily cut off - the power plants worked entirely for charging batteries.
  They bade farewell to the planet - visited for the last time the places that are most desirable to seal in their memory, shot the latest movies. Among them was the Land of the Azure Rocks. The colors, which the depth of revealed for Mom the planet before the birth of Son, faded somehow: probably, changes of the atmosphere affected.
  ... It remained to load in the cruiser the residential unit only. At the last night - before dismantling it and taking out of the cave, They arranged a farewell banquet.
  The children had already grown up and got used to sit with them at the table at Saturday night. As always, He played a lot orchestrion and violin for Them.
  How attentive They listened! Even Son, who was previously indifferent to music. Recently, he was changing considerably: love of beauty awakened, began to like poetry and music, to be worried with books and movies. Especially, as He noticed, those which Layla took part of: it seemed he saw her only, while watching them.
  That evening They experienced opposite feelings. Son, perhaps, was sad before departing from the Planet that They were leaving. But others rather rejoiced the opportunity to see the Earth.
  Later, He and Mom sent the children to bed, but stayed themselves in the salon. Mom seemed to Him particularly beautiful at that night, even though She was pale and, apparently, somehow wary.
  Mom! By that time He completely lost the habit to call Her otherwise, even mentally; almost forgotten her earthly name - Eya. Just as his own one - accustomed, that He was always called Dad. Son was also not called by his name; Daughter had even none. They were here just four.
  He was playing quietly some improvisation, and Mom was continuing being silent, occasionally lifting her head and looking at Him, as if going but at the last moment hesitating to talk to him about something.
  He broke the silence:
  'Son varies considerably.'
  'The time to his heyday starts,' Mom replied. 'He's become more dreamy and receptive to beauty. View a woman begins to excite him.'
  But it seemed that She was thinking about something else. He again plunged into his improvisation.
  'Dad!' She called.
  'What?'
  'Listen! I want to tell you something.'
  'I'm listening to.'
  'Dad, dear of mine: I'm pregnant.'
  'What?!'
  'The cyber showed that a week ago. Probably, the mean got already not good. Very inopportunely, since we are going to fly. But this does not delay the departure.'
  'Have you - done something yet?'
  'Not yet. It seemed to me that I must first tell you.' Now she was pale to the limit. He sat down alongside.
  Yes, at the wrong moment: a flight with its overload during acceleration and braking, turns and maneuvers. But He felt, what it means for Him and Mom - to kill the life come into being, to get rid of a child. Their child.
  'Now you know. We will not postpone. I will do what is needed. Right now.'
  'No!' He almost shouted.
  'What - no?'
  'I'll drive the cruiser so that nothing will happen. Let him be born!'
  'The cruiser's speed will have to decrease almost three times.'
  'We have plenty of energy.'
  'We do not know what awaits us in the Far Cosmos.'
  'But did we know what awaited us here then? Remember, you were then afraid, too. Well, imagine that I had not succeeded to convince you, and we would not have our Children today. Huh? Neither Son nor Daughter.'
  'Here a habitable planet is. Not the Cosmos.'
  'Which we did successfully overcome, but then we lost at once here Lal.'
  'But still...'
  'Do not do this. I bag you, Mom. I want It to be.'
  She was silent, and He waited tensely. And when, finally, she said:
  'Well, let It be,' - They hugged each other and sat in silence for a long time.
  
  The cruiser was packed to capacity. Loaded archives with a huge amount of invaluable information, countless samples: of minerals, plants. Pets - a pair of those and others each: the rest did not dare to leave on the planet without supervision. Their meat with fruits and vegetables will have to be fresh food supply for the first time of the flight. Set the residential unit in the cruiser. But the lion's share of the load was energy batteries. The cruiser capacity was used until the last gram.
  They flied round the planet by launch, at a low altitude. Last time walked through the garden and the forest near the lake.
  Last time went into the cave, empty already, where They lived for seventeen years. They left their images and recording there. For the event of a visit of any aliens to the Earth-2. Or the case of Their own death. At the entrance They put a bright-colored obelisk and a beacon powered continuously with solar batteries.
  They made a check inspection of the objects left working: the power plants and ore-metal complexes.
  They sat down to spend the last moments in thought. Just on the ground, touching it with their hands. The 'sun' was warming. It was far sadder than they expected: when they stood up and went to the cruiser, legs did not want to break away from the ground.
  And so - everything was closed, battened down, sealed hermetically. They settled into chairs in the control room, in front of the control panel.
  Launching system is running. That's it! The start!
  
  35
  
  The Earth-2 took up most of the screen, and They eagerly watched as it moved slowly away. Their Planet - lifeless when They arrived here, covered with green forests now. With the air, which, although with difficulty, was possible to breathe with. On which He and Mom have experienced so much unusual, really. They have altered not the planet only - themselves.
  Son was the saddest of them all: he left never the screen for a moment, saw nothing more. Fortunately, the Planet moved away not too quickly.
  Then it made him perplexed:
  'When will start the real acceleration, Dad?'
  'The acceleration will not increase.'
  'Why? We must then fly to the Express nearly three months, mustn't we?'
  'You're right. But a big acceleration bad for Mom: we will soon be five.'
  'Really?!' Son responded happily. This news immediately cheered Children - they even stopped being sad.
  
  They got the Express safely. On the approach He took all necessary precautions: the cause of the deviations from the course of the last cruiser again was certainly the activations of the hyper apparatus caused by something unknown.
  The space near the Express again had a lack any trace of it. But they were - in the records on the Express. At this time, there were many of them, but the intervals between them were not equal. He put off the study of them for the further flight's time.
  He turned on the annihilation engines, and the Express, producing slowly an orientation maneuver, left the 'heliocentric' orbit for the Far Cosmos. Everything was going fine: Mom felt good.
  ... They began to study the records associated with the unknown activations of the hyper apparatus. It succeeded almost immediately to find that the duration of any activation was strictly the same every time, and most of intervals between them were strictly equal. The rest of intervals time reduced increasingly, but were, however, significantly larger than those equal.
  Plotted charts, They were staggered. The activations went as increasing groups, and the time intervals between the first activation of each adjacent pair of groups were also strictly equal. But most important, the striking - the number of activations for each group since the first one: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37, 41! Prime numbers! The number of groups - 13: also a prime number! The hyper apparatus has been born by primes, and now it starts to give them.
  But the puzzle of the phenomenon became even more striking after Son the first found in the records of that activations of hyper apparatus not accompanied by an increase in energy consumption. So, it was not self- activations - they were caused outside! But where from?
  'Is not the hyperspace able on its own to induce them?'
  'Hardly. Until now, nothing of the sort has been found. Neither by Tupac, nor by us when it revolved around the Sun.'
  'What if it made some fairytale creatures? - Daughter asked: she still believed in fairy tales - not serious, of course.'
  'Maybe not fairytale,' Son said thoughtfully. 'Dad, if it is signals of some sentient creatures?
  'Unfortunately, I hardly believe in such a possibility,' He said. He did not want to do such extreme conclusions: how many times the researches of mysterious cosmic phenomena urged that those taken for signals of extraterrestrial civilizations got another natural explanation. It worked out carefulness that He fully shared. A contact with the Other Civilizations seemed a matter of very distant future. When they will long have not existed.
  'We must not hurry.'
  
  He did not rush to the study of the causes of the activation - postponed until the arrival on the Earth. So far, the main thing was different: the growing Mom's belly. They were all in joyful anticipation. Mom was lavished by the general attention on; She is completely released from watches - only men watched: He and Son.
  But Mom was not idle: in-flight He and She needed to eliminate defects of education of Children associated with the specific conditions of Their life on the planet - to prepare them properly to face the Earth. There, after the direct acquaintance, a lot may be confusing and even extraneous.
  And They anew told them in detail all about it.
  'How can they really live without their parents?' - it was too surprised them; perhaps even frightening.
  He and Mom answered, explained - but now They themselves were hard able to imagine normal life without children, without daily contact with them. Taken this question as a starting point, They told Children a lot.
  About the existing structure of the society, about the historical conditions that created it. About raising and educating children.
  But except the fact that the children on the Earth did not have fathers and mothers, nothing caused them to wonder. All They told those kids took for proper, including the existence of the adequates.
  Then they started, like Lal once, telling the history of the previous epochs: of all social structures that existed before. And then came back to the modern epoch.
  ... 'We have tried to do in Your way,' He said to Lal, who He saw very clearly. Lal nodded...
  But Children were not yet able to draw conclusions: the Earth was so far away, and a lot on it remained unclear for them. Perhaps other thoughts worried them more much.
  'Dad, but perhaps it was, after all, signals by Those?' Son who seemed listening to Him carefully asked suddenly.
  And the children were given a respite: They feared their stress - it was ahead a hypertransfer.
  ... Then Kid was born and became the center of everything. The first person that appeared on the world in the interstellar space.
  Son said to Sister:
  'You, too, were the same: I remember.'
  And she almost did not leave Kid. Even the mystery of activations faded, left for them on the back burner. The Express flew, covering billions of kilometers, and Kid was growing up. By the time they had to make a hypertransfer, he was already three months - he began to smile.
  
  Four seats and a special bed for Kid were installed in the chamber.
  Only three hours left prior to entering the hypertransfer, when some self-activations of the hyper apparatus were again recorded. Again they were going by groups: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37, 41, 43, 47, 53, 59, 61, 67. Nineteen groups.
  'Dad, it is just the Signals! We have to respond!' Son cried.
  He hesitated. Prior to the hypertransfer there was too little time. And there is no certainty that it really signals. But Son insisted:
  'Dad! At least the shortest answer! Otherwise, we can miss the opportunity of establishing the Contact! Dad!' he almost begged Him.
  This confidence of Son started to pass to Him. And He gave up. Turned on in response activations of the hyper apparatus - by groups precisely repeating just recorded: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37, 41, 43, 47, 53, 59, 61, 67. The response signal, the first attempt to establish the Contact through hyperspace.
  'Once again, Dad!' Son asked.
  He shook his head:
  'It takes a lot of energy. Let's wait.'
  But nothing else happened. They waited peering tensely at the devices to the moment where it was necessary to enter the chamber.
  ... They were already in their seats, pressed with inflated film fitting tightly their skin lost sensitivity, watching with the instruments the hyper apparatus was gaining activation approaching the beginning of the transfer. And suddenly, in the last moments at the verge of the start, other activation of the hyper apparatus began to overlap the program ones; they were going by groups: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11.
  'Signals! Signals!' He heard in the headphones: both Son, and Mother, and Daughter were screaming. 'Hurry!!!' And he managed to command with his voice to turn off the work activation of the hyper apparatus.
  Into the hyperspace went back the signal repeated that came: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11.
  Almost immediately the answer came: 13, 17, 19, 23, 29. He repeated it.
  And then again it's 31, 37, 41, 43, 47. He again responded with the same signal.
  But the next signal was again 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, and when He responded with the same, repeated unchanged. As if He was offered to respond them with something else.
  A vague conjecture flashed in the brain. And almost not believing that it was true, He responded: 13, 17, 19, 23, 29.
  And once it came: 31, 37, 41, 43, 47. It was clear: increasing! Responded: 53, 59, 61, 67, 71. Anew, the signal: 73, 79, 83, 89, 97. The response: 101, 103, 107, 109, 113. So, He understood Those correctly!
  And the next signal: 113, 109, 107, 103, 101 - answered confidently: 97, 89, 83, 79, 73.
  The signal: 71, 67, 61, 59, 53 - the answer: 47, 43, 41, 37, 31.
  29, 23, 19, 17 - 13, 11, 7.
  5, 3 - 2!
  The slightest doubts vanished: it was the Dialogue - a primitive dialogue. Verifying possibility to understand each other. A beginning of the Contact!
  Once again started activations were not like the previous ones: that was already not groups of exactly the same discrete activations. Now they came almost continuously, with a comparatively small amount of pauses, and were accompanied also by a continuous modulation of the frequency and amplitude. To understand them already was impossible. But the computer recorded that Message, and They will bring it to the Earth.
  As soon as the reception of it stopped, He commanded in the replay turning on the transfer of the Message of the Earthly Mankind. The computer translated hastily it from the language of the transfer by a laser beam into the language of activations of the hyper apparatus. The Message of the Earthly Mankind went into the hyperspace, to Those.
  Just then They could start the hypertransfer. It elapsed more than two hours after the passage of the previous starting point, and all this time the computer-pilot was counting necessary amendments.
  The hyper apparatus is turned on again in the work activation. The start clock is ticking anew the remaining seconds: '... five, four, three, two, one. Start!' It gets dark in eyes.
  
  36
  
  As soon as consciousness regained, He looked at the board clock: the hypertransfer lasted 72 hours and 17 minutes. Unusually long - almost to the limit of probable deviations of three sigma from the average estimated time. What else could it mean?
  But then Son soiled with sewage appeared in sight and quickly took off His helmet. He was just twisted - stronger than then. When He was finally able to raise his head again, He saw that the Son held already Kid, who seemed to feel like always. Daughter was busy with Mom still hunched up.
  Using robots, Children helped Them get out of the befouled chamber and to get to the baths. They washed away the filth, drank hot infusion of Schisandra. Passed the inspection through the cyber diagnostician.
  Children were entirely in order. Kid soon made a sound, and Daughter became to feed him from a bottle: he came out of the transfer incredibly easy - without vomiting and diarrhea. But He and Mom were worse than the first time.
  As soon as he could, He went to the control room, leaving the care of Mom for Son - He was anxious about too long time of the transfer.
  The fears were confirmed. Immediately. They were far from the estimated point of the exit from the transfer, with a deviation from it the same like from time, equal to almost three sigma. The course of the Express in the direction to the Sun was heavily biased - at 174 degrees.
  Apparently, something happened with the space because of the activations of the hyper apparatus before the transfer. Instruments, which the computer performed adjustment with, were not able to notice it. So, by a normal acceleration of the Express They can reach the Solar system only after more than a decade.
  But opened control data, He found that the situation is actually much worse. Far worse: a quite unexpected, catastrophically huge consumption of energy for the transfer. Besides, they sent the Message into hyperspace They also disregarding the energy consumption. Forgot everything, being afraid only to miss the opportunity to enter the Contact. Too great goal and a great event too, that at this moment not to forget about everything.
  What to do now? First of all, to turn the ship, and after having slowed its speed down, to accelerate it toward the Sun. It is - in any case.
  He summoned them to the control room. Children rushed to watch the routing hologram.
  'Dad, are we moving in the opposite direction?' Son asked immediately.
  'Exactly. We need to turn the ship. Lie down in a chair.' He turned on the steering engines.
  Getting up immediately after the end of the turn, Son came to Him.
  'Dad, how was the transfer?'
  'Not too exact, really.'
  'How much?'
  '2.87 of sigma.'
  Son whistled:
  'How long must we now to fly to the Earth?'
  'In the meanwhile not worry: we'll think of something.'
  'Sure!' After such an incredible luck, as the access to the Contact, Son was full of confidence and optimism.
  'Why should we slow down?' Daughter asked when He turned on the deceleration of the ship.
  'Our course has shifted at almost 180 degrees - you need to stop it and to accelerate in the opposite direction,' Son said instead of Him.
  'But it is possible also along a curve: for example, along a semicircle. Without braking.'
  'It will take time and energy to 1.57 times more. Clear? Pi half times. Elementary! Look,' Son grabbed a light pencil and began to draw the scheme.
  Mom took advantage of the fact that children were busy with their conversation:
  'Things are not quite right?'
  He nodded.
  'Later. I want to count up something. Have supper without me.'
  'Then Children will realize that something is wrong.'
  'You're right.'
  
  After the supper, He went immediately back to the control room and sat down at the computer. Made quickly the first calculations. A foul position: just so many of unfavorable factors with the terrible deficit of the energy resource.
  Braking will consume not too much of it: after the birth of Kid He did not increase the acceleration. But - a new acceleration: flying at the same speed, as now - is possible no longer. Not to mention just about the very long flight, it is again the energy - necessary to ensure Their existence: the energy for the regeneration of air and water, heating, the work of numerous devices. To keep within everything it is necessary to accelerate maximally the Express - again energy that is not enough. And then breaking when approaching the Solar System.
  On the ship, there are a lot of those that They can manage without but can be converted into energy as the 'fuel' for the annihilator. He began to look through the inventory, selecting, what can be sacrificed. He included in the list even the cruiser and all launches, except one - for the most extreme case. Calculated the total mass, multiplied it by the square of the light speed and the efficiency of the annihilator. Compared with the needed amount of energy.
  Not enough. Terribly! He began anew to view inventory. Included in the list everything that was possible: the extra computers; memory storage units with recordings that were on the Earth and with educational programs for Children; bulkheads of the residential block, the orchestrion; all animals and fodder; clothing over the especially required minimum - and even some food. But that was not enough, too. What really else?
  The work was interrupted by the appearance of Mom with Kid. She put it to her breast, began to feed, so he did not say anything to Her. Stayed silent, watching Kid sucking - kept thinking.
  Mom looked at Him questioningly. He shook his head:
  'Later. When you finish feeding. The talk will be long. Have Children gone to bed?'
  'Yes. Are sleeping already.'
  She took Kid away and came back to Him.
  'What?'
  He showed the numbers of the energy resource, the overall results of his, and, seeing as she immediately turned mortally pale, He began immediately to tell how He thought to find a way out of the situation.
  'But how much does still lack?' They checked several times the inventory list, but still succeeded to scrape up not much.
  They were thinking and searching, looking again through the variants, counting. But they could not find a way out. What, what else were They able to put in the annihilator?
  Some elements of the hyper apparatus? Constituting the bulk of the Express mass - now they were only a dead inertial mass requiring the lion's share of energy that should now be used for acceleration. Even if They decided to sacrifice this miracle, coasted so much of effort and hardship, and that gave such power over the space - they were absolutely not available for Them: made of heavy-duty materials, they weren't able to be cut.
  Apparently, the way out was found when it was seemed they reached an absolute deadlock.
  'Mom, but what if...?!'
  'What? Well, come on!'
  'If to exclude the brake action during the approach?'
  'To overshoot the Solar System? And then?'
  'Oh, no! We are in fact waiting for; They monitor continuously the Far Cosmos: our signal will be received for sure - we will be able to inform that we want them to meet us with 'fuel' for our braking.'
  'They will have to go into the Far Cosmos.'
  'Not too far. By cruisers it's possible. The bold-spirits will volunteer. And now look.' He excluded from the balance the energy on deceleration when approaching - now its total need became less almost twice.
  But, still, it was not enough - not enough yet, though not comparable to that before. But how much longer They racked their brains over this problem, the deficit remained.
  And again came a conjecture, a sudden idea appeared - but it was so terrifying that He tried immediately to drive it away. But didn't manage - because Mom said herself, what He tried to hide it from self:
  'Suspended animation!'
  'No!'
  'Yes! There is no alternative. You do know. Let's count.'
  She and Children will be in suspended animation, but He will stay alone on the permanent duty. The consumption of food will reduce, what gave tangible additional mass, which will go to the annihilator; energy consumption for life support will also decrease: its consumption in suspended animation chambers is small.
  But immediately, and so did not work out. If only He will make such maximum acceleration, which He is able to endure...
  Managed! Almost at the limit - with a negligible margin for the unexpected.
  They were incredibly tired.
  So, only way out - suspended animation! This word itself inspired fear. When it was uttered aloud or thoughtfully, it rose before Him the face of one of the few closest friends, a talented astrophysicist, hoping using suspended animation to wait for the cyborg gone into the Far Cosmos without losing years of his life in vain, to have them to be enough to complete the very interesting work started by him. But he did not wake - did not go out of suspended animation when the cyborg returned, confirmed all his suppositions. The work was tried to finish his disciples, none of whom was equal to him.
  'But there is no alternative, Dad. You know that. And me, too.'
  'Let's think about it more!'
  'It's useless. Just this.'
  And though everything in Him continued to resist, He knew yet it was inevitable, and that even to delay for a long time They had no possibility.
  
  They did not sleep a wink. 'In the morning', at the breakfast both were silent.
  They talked with the Son; then, the three together, with Daughter. The possible consequences They did not tell Children about - those agreed trusting with everything: they were accustomed to believe Them always. The preparation and testing of the suspended animation chamber with animals had not taken even 24 hours.
  The last common dinner. At parting, He played orchestrion a lot for Them. They prepared for a long separation. Only Kid did not understand yet: he was suckling quietly Mom's breast, smiled at Them.
  They placed him first in the chamber, put into the suspended animation condition. Daughter - after him. Then Son, who hugged Them before he lay, smiled and said:
  'Well, see you!'
  He and my Mom became left alone. The unforgettable last hours, Her words and the last warmth of the physical intimacy, which She tried to ease Him coming separation with.
  ... And he became just alone.
  But then, in the beginning, He had no time to pine for Them. Got into the hypertransfer chamber and immersed in stimulating solution, He performed braking, and after it - accelerating the Express toward the Sun. The solution provided possibility to endure large overload - He speeded up maximally the ship. And only when He felt that it was quite unbearable, He did a short break. Then again got into the chamber and immersed in the solution, again speeded up, increased acceleration until the overload had reached the limit which He could not exceed.
  He broiled with impatience: the greater the acceleration, the faster a maximum speed would be achieved - the sooner He would reach the Solar System. The sooner the separation from Them would be over!
  In the annihilator womb, two kilometers from the crew section, disappeared everything that was dragged to the receiving hatch by robots, which themselves were expected the same at the end of acceleration.
  Gaining a monstrous speed, the starship was flying to the Sun.
  
  37
  
  He had just returned from a date with Them. Started out to play something, but fell soon to thinking and lowered the violin.
  Lal came, appeared in Him, asked a question:
  'What's further?'
  'I have done already everything I could. Has accelerated and am flying. Play violin and talk with You. Visit Them.'
  'Do you think about the Future?'
  'Not much yet.'
  'It's time.'
  'Probably, You're right.'
  'Do you remember that you will have to do on the Earth?'
  'I do: everything that You said.'
  'That only will not be enough. Do you think that many will be very difficult?'
  'But was it easy just to defend the theory of hyperstructures?'
  'Right! But you will be asked also the questions left unresolved by me.'
  'So be it! I will, for sure, be not alone: those who accept as welcome Your ideas will follow me. They will assist to develop and implement them. Such people will be more and more.'
  'You're full of faith.'
  'You said before Your death: 'Dan! Do not forget!' And I have not forgotten actually.'
  'I know.'
  'We came into the Contact. I do not want Those will take us as wild beasts.'
  'I'm worried about if you can answer the most difficult question that you will ask for sure.'
  'What one?'
  'What to do with not capable of intellectual work?'
  'To give them the opportunity to carry out just possible job. Not humiliating their human dignity. And not giving to reduce them to the level of domestic animals.'
  'And for those who have become inadequates?'
  'To teach them different types of uncomplicated labor.'
  'But won't they resist it? Nevertheless, they are used to their way of life. You must remember: the donors have never believed those who tried to tell them the truth about their fate. They live a carefree life and are proud of their excellent health. And houris - of their beauty and professional skill.'
  'Not simple.'
  'Really: just not.'
  'And probably, not everything will be successful at once.'
  'Certainly, too much cannot be foreseen.'
  'But to start - it's time!'
  'It is.'
  'What a pity that You are no more.'
  'I'm now really in you.'
  'Yes, You are.'
  'Do not be afraid. Neither of struggle, nor of doubts. Look for and think. Listen to and collect painstakingly what people will say. Those who will follow you. Those who will oppose you. Those who will be in the middle. Find the truth in self and them. Believe and do not give up. Like all your previous life.'
  'It was not easy.'
  'I know: you did pay dearly for everything.'
  'Because there was no other possibility.'
  'And won't be!'
  'And so be it!'
  The voices mingled, confused: He could not distinguish when He was saying and when Lal did inside Him.
  
  The Earth waits for Them. They return with the news - They have made the Planet fit for settlement. Everything is ready: its atmosphere saturated with oxygen, the surface is covered with thick green forests - it is already possible to breathe and live. It's time to build more ships, which its first permanent settlers will start there by, taking in the memory storage devices all sum of human knowledge. Seeds of a variety of plants and animals that settle the land, seas and air.
  They bring also one else news to the Earth. Unexpected. Welcome. Their coming into the Contact: in memory units there is the recorded message of Those. Priceless. That they will save at any cost. The news will fill people with even more proud and conscious of the importance of their time, epoch and generation.
  The old epoch will now collapse. Completely. And with it its terrible offspring - inhuman division of people into not equivalent categories. Because they bring people another great gift - the ideas by Lal. They will be totally unexpected for the overwhelming majority. For too many - absolutely undesirable. And in terms of solutions the new great tasks associated with those two pieces of news - even inappropriate, impeding, harmful. It will be ahead a struggle - a hard, sustained, complicated one. It will take a lot of effort. And - not less - of patience.
  But He will be able to do all this - He knew himself. He won't give up: the implementation of the ideas by Lal does be an urgent task. Just right now. When the humanity must populate another planet and to establish a permanent contact with Those. Just now it may happen again the situation given rise to what is considered to be severe long decline of the scientific progress.
  The twentieth century was the century of scientific explosion. The new theories of relativity and quantum mechanics, a breakthrough in the microcosm opened the way to the completely unexplored. Like the opening of the vast unknown continent: it was not enough to land on its shore - to get to its other shore and move on, it was necessary to pass it. Throughout. Not only that: to learn. And for this purpose - to explore it fully.
  The phenomena, which then were discovered, were too badly consistent with previous notions seemed obvious, by which scientists tried to understand and explain them. Theories were created and collapsed; it had again to go back, to revise almost the most basic concepts. And then it seemed that they were marking time without making a single step forward.
  The great discoveries of physics have allowed really to master biology, being before principally descriptive. Biophysics has become for a long time the most important of the basic sciences. But its problems as a physics of the system consisting of a large number of elements with multiple connections created enormous difficulties even of computational type. It took time. The movement has gone basically by gradual small steps.
  But just then they succeeded to overcome completely the immune incompatibility. And at once use it as a starting factor separating inadequate people.
  (But creating artificial life hasn't been succeeded. They stumbled at some last verge - when it seemed that the success was already not in doubt. Perhaps here, too, was the secret - somewhere on the level just of hyperstructures? Why not?)
  It was so. But now... They're entered anew the huge unexplored area where many previous concepts seem anew to be powerless, and the mastery of which again will require the exertion of the entire strength and an unknown amount of the slow progress time. After the first successes - long setbacks and discouragement: then will repeat the previous situation.
  If, trying to get out of each such crisis, will the humanity dehumanize deeper and deeper, run wild? Sure: if now, after the first crisis, it will not become aware quite clearly of unacceptability for itself the conversion at least some part of the people in the deprived of any rights likeness of cattle. And do not destroy it immediately. Just the memory of it must be stored and passed on from generation to generation for happening such never again.
  Now, without further delay, it must be done - even if the Contact with Those will give people the opportunity to avoid the seeming crisis, it may appear later, just at a higher level. Their third gift to the Earth - does be the most principal now!
  The way of implementing it - giving by all women birth to their own children, living with them, daily care for them. The love for them. For each one.
  And another love - a great, wonderful feeling, worthy highly developed people - will again take its rightful place. It will make people - all - happier. And finer.
  He knows that. On the strange, terrible planet where Lal perished, He spent the happiest years of his life. He returns, understanding extremely important things. Mom, Son, Daughter, Kid - They will be together with him, and Their existence will provide his strength. And yet - the memory of Lal. The man, who was just the best at this epoch on the Earth.
  An excitation overfilled Him running over the edge by the sounds of the violin.
  
  Solitude became more and more excruciating. His nerves were stretched extremely.
  He strictly controlled himself: straining will, drove away obsessive thoughts. Even stopped to talk with Lal as its supposed appearance became like a stable hallucination.
  Such way a few months passed. The Sun was coming nearer; He sent in its direction signal requesting the sending cruisers with 'fuel' to meet them for flight approach braking and started waiting for the response. If it does not come in time, He will repeat the signal.
  At the most incredibly case, if they will detect Them too late and do not have time to deliver 'fuel', the not braked Express will pass the Solar system and then go again into the Far Cosmos - ships from Earth will have to catch it up (they won't be able, really, to fail to notice it at the last moment, when passing by the System where he gives the last signal, which the violin will be sent to the annihilator for), but that they won't succeed soon: the Express is flying with a enormous speed. And then there will be enough energy to stay alive till the meeting?
  Driving carefully away the dismal thoughts and impatience, He waited for the laser signal given in response. And it did come! The Earth was waiting - the ships with 'fuel' will meet Them. They asked to inform what happened, but saving energy, He did not answer.
  His strength was coming to an end: he felt keenly that. Only the hope of a near arrival and the end of the separation from Them supported Him.
  All the time, except for the rare short visiting Them, He was in the control room. There also He ate and slept. He slept restlessly, with endless dreams, a kind of very bright, and in which He met Them and Lal. He woke up without feeling rested. Then, sitting in a chair in front of the control board, He fell often into a slumber, but it was also filled with vivid dreams and visions.
  ... And now, leaning back in his chair, He closed his eyes and dozed off.
  The vision that came was bright as never before. Planets, stars and galaxies rushed at a furious pace through Him, vast and ethereal. It was visible the blazing Express and sitting next to him then They then suddenly Lal and Eya, and it even did not occur to His mind to call her Mom. They, too, were huge, incorporeal and transparent and visible from all directions: both outside and inside. And then space, huddling with folds, filled his mouth, and He felt it with his upper palate.
  Then it appeared a bunch of innumerable axes - straight, curved and spiral emanating from the universal focus of space-time, which He was located at. Each axis was with its own law and metric, with its continuously vibrating intensely bright color range.
  Ship and His companions multiplied with countless repetitions, rushing to the center and from the center of infinite hedgehog of axes. And the eternity without hope lasted - and it was a complete, absolute indifference to everything.
  But the eternity ceased: the repetitions, decreasing, came together in the center and have merged into one. The space, straightening, released his mouth; myriads of heavenly bodies again raced through his ethereal body, and then it and the ship's walls began to lose transparency...
  Dream ceased. He opened his eyes for a moment and was surprised to see - an on-board clock hand moved only for five minutes. The vision was clearly and distinctly in all its details facing his eyes. It was incomprehensible why there was a confidence that this entire He did actually see once. He was trying painfully to remember when - but could not. But confidence did not pass off, and he strained repeatedly his fevered brain, trying to recall.
  
  38
  
  A signal came from the Minerva: the first cruiser started towards with a part of 'fuel' that He needed. They again asked to inform in detail what happened. He did not answer. There was no strength even to rejoice.
  To whip himself up, He went to Them. Especially for some strange feeling tormented Him.
  Unfortunately, it proved to be true. There, in the suspended animation chamber, He detected at once that something was bad. Two instruments were not showing what he most recently, less than an hour ago saw on the control panel screen. Super reliable instruments - have failed? It's urgent to replace them!
  But the control test had shown that the matter is not in the instruments. To leave Them in the suspended animation chamber until a removal of the cause was too risky. It was necessary to get Them temporarily out of the suspended animation condition: there was no alternative - He had to do so without delay.
  And he began to prepare the chamber for their getting out, experiencing in the same time somewhere in the recesses of the mind the joy that at least temporarily his separation would be interrupted. But a clear, strong anxiety, fear of suspended animation overpowered it.
  His eyes monitored intensely the instruments of the chamber and the cyber-diagnostician, drops of cold sweat covered his forehead. Under the lid Mom lay: an hour, which was required for getting out, seemed like an eternity.
  When She began to breathe deeply, and he realized that Mom is now just sleeping, almost no strength left. Raising the lid, he leaned his forehead against her hand. She woke up and opened her eyes. Her other hand touched his hair.
  He raised his head, saw the surprise, fear in Her eyes, as if she did not recognize him. And almost immediately, their expression changed: apparently, She remembered everything.
  'Dad! My dear, good!' She raised herself a little and, clasped with her arms his head, pressed it to her chest. The familiar, native heat was penetrating into Him, prostrate, and carrying peace.
  His head was dizzy, the thoughts confused; for a moment it seemed that the time had shifted: His head was pressing to her chest with bloody hands by Chamomile - the houri, a pariah of the great Humanity. And it came a deep inner understanding of the great significance of what motivated her - kindness: that made it possible to support a person in a moment of weakness, helping to overcome it and regain the strength to go on. Him - to stay alive: to create a theory hyperstructures, to fly into the Far Cosmos, to master the Earth-2, to become the father of their Children.
  He was all of a tremble, and Mom presses him stronger and stronger to her. The desire awakened in Him and passed to Her. And a brief moment of acute happiness of their intimacy was like a breath of air - brought a drop of soothing, dulled the unbearable tension.
  Together they began getting out Son. Again, long minutes of anxious waiting, which, fortunately, ended well. After it the turn of Daughter was. Children regained consciousness like after the normal sleep, with a complete lack of sense of time spent in unconsciousness.
  It left to get out only Kid. The four of Them were watching his being got out. Everything was going the same as the others. But only until the moment when the suspended animation condition was supposed to go to an ordinary sleep - breathing did not appear. The cyber-diagnostician showed something completely incomprehensible.
  They began hastily to try all means that had to help - but to no avail. Expected tensely out that his breathing and pulse still will appear: an hour, two ones; connected to the diagnostician a part of the pilot computer blocks; did not spare any energy. And waited - waited. But the diagnostician showed steadily the complete disappearance of the last vestiges of life - they were powerless to do anything.
  'Kid! Oh-oh-oh! Kid!!!' Daughter could not contain herself, screamed. And just then They realized that Kid would never open his eyes.
  They did not decide immediately to turn off getting out, although not believed already to any miracle. Kid - a tiny, beloved by all of Them, their greatest joy - was lying pale and some extraordinarily beautiful. They bent over him, shocked, numb from grief, and looked, looked.
  There was silence. Only occasionally it was interrupted with a stifled sob by Daughter. Son's lips were tightly compressed, but against his will tears rolled from his eyes. Mom bitten her lips to the blood. Only Dad, apparently, did not see anything else, as though the last remnants of the strength left finally him.
  It seemed to him, that he was suffocating and in the fevered brain a rabid vortex was spinning. Everything was rushing somewhere, appeared and disappeared. As in that dream. And suddenly, like a revelation, an absolutely unnecessary thought appeared: the dream was a memory he had seen at hypertransfer. And a complete confidence in it did. Just when Kid went forever away. The first who was born in the interstellar space. Little, dear. With a lock of dark hair on his terribly white forehead.
  Here also, in the Space, death found him. He will never walk on his small feet the green grass. Never. Never.
  'Kid! Kid! - Daughter restrained herself no longer, writhed, sobbing.
  Mom turned off the suspected animation chamber. She saved energy: remembered why they have appeared in that condition.
  He will lay under the hood, Kid: a mixture of inert gases will preserve him till the arrival on the Earth.
  'Kid! Kid!'
  
  They did not deal with the causes of defects in the suspended animation chamber: any getting again into suspended animation was out of the question. In no circumstances: even in which They were.
  The situation was quite critical: the supply of food had been counted only for one person. There was neither chlorella, nor necessary salts. And, most importantly, there was no energy. It was quite only just enough. But its consumption for regeneration of oxygen and water increased.
  The death from hunger, thirst and suffocation was looming. And they will not succeed to save Them. To do this, it was urgent to bring them food and energy, at the latest in two months - an entire month before the meeting the cruiser flying toward Them. A task that was over hard, at the very edge of the possibility. Even the going into the Far Cosmos on such a distance by cruisers - is the incredibly hard and dangerous undertaking. But now this is even not enough. And if the almost impossible is not accomplished, the records and their corpses will reach the Earth.
  And toward the Sun a signal went: 'SOS! SOS! SOS! Hasten meeting by a month. We need very much food and energy. We beg to do the impossible!'
  They were replayed: 'Wait. We will do everything'. How - not reported. But if it was promised - will be done. They won't be let perish.
  
  Their entire space was just the control room, closed hermetically: so it was able to save energy for heating. Almost all of the time They spent lying in chairs, trying to move less to make it easier to endure hunger - their diet was hardly even poor.
  The general depression was added to this: Kid's death continued to torment their brains. And in the control room, lit dimly with the display devices, was an oppressive silence.
  To distract Children, Dad tried to talk to them about the Earth, but seeing that his words did now not reach them stopped trying soon. He watched only anxiously that every day their faces became pale and lost weight. In his soul a cold fear was that they will not bear hunger, and it gripped him by the throat.
  The watches were carried in turns by Him, Mom and Son: Daughter was still young for them. Who was not on duty tried to sleep. Dad used this: many times, instead of eating his portion he added it at the beginning to a portion of Children - then began to save it for them.
  'Have you eaten?' Mom asked him, taking up the watch.
  'Yes,' he answered and, to avoid further questions, closed his eyes. He pretended to be asleep, although hunger did not give to sleep. And through half-closed eyes he saw that Mom was doing with her portion the same as he did.
  She knew, too. Both told nothing each other. Did not Son also: secretly, as he thought, of them, he gave a part of his portion his Sister.
  'Take it,' he said it in a whisper.
  'But you?'
  'Don't want any more.'
  She could not believe it, but was hunger excruciatingly. She took.
  ... Nobody slept in the long-awaited moment switching on the locator, when all of them glared at the screen with a hope. It showed long just the fixed stars, among which in the intersection of the lines in the viewfinder the Sun shone - brighter and brighter.
  Twice signals came: 'Wait. Going. Hold on!'
  And finally, on the screen one more point appeared - at the beginning quite barely distinguishable. It was moving quickly - toward them: the help was flying. Soon it will be possible to feed Children to satiety.
  The point on the screen became more visible. The locator shows that its approaching speed began to decrease: the ship going toward them started braking for having by the time of the meeting the same velocity as the Express had. Hurry, do come soon! Food will really soon be over, and into the annihilator both the cyber-diagnostician and the chairs will be thrown.
  And when the meeting was already close, they were surprised to see on the radar screen that the ship hurrying toward them was just a space launch. Just in the Far Cosmos! Quite impossibly. But the launch was really - hence, the impossible had been done.
  They strained the last vestiges of their strength.
  
  39
  
  Space requires of a person a great deal: the courage and endurance; composure, for not getting lost in an encounter with danger; the ability of reaction rapidity and resourceful mind to find a way out of any situation. To become a real, professional astronaut, it is necessary long first to learn and train. And pass multiple checks, after which just the most reliable remained only.
  But only the best of the best, people with quite exclusive potentialities can become space rescuers. When somewhere in the Cosmos something happens - someone is perishing and succeeds to signal 'SOS!' - they fly to rescue. They always have to hurry to manage, and they fly, overcoming huge overload, inaccessible to ordinary astronauts. And often it is necessary to make such that it seems impossible.
  When the space station of the space watch on the Minerva took the signal from the returning hyper express, which left many years ago to the Earth-2, all - the Earth and the Near Cosmos, awaiting it, became anxious. In very short time has been loaded and sent towards the largest of space cruisers - to deliver the first part of 'fuel', which the astronauts asked to start braking on the approach. The amount of 'fuel' was enough to start in time decreasing the speed of the starship, without waiting for the other cruisers, sent later.
  The team of the cruiser consisted just of space rescuers: the task was extremely difficult. They had to go to the Far Cosmos and fly, being guided only by the reflected wave from the hyper express, since no signals were sent from it.
  The cruiser flew towards the express increasing continuously the speed, and was at the exactly appointed time to meet it. But en route one more, an emergency, signal came: they asked some food and energy. Urgently. They understand how hard it is to fly even faster, 'We beg to do the impossible!' It meant their position was desperate.
  What the astronauts asked was really impossible - but not for the youngest member of the crew of the cruiser, which however the Earth and the entire Near Cosmos considered the best space rescuer existing ever. His exploits were legendary: he seemed just to be born to make absolutely impossible. He was supposed to fly on the big launch. Alone.
  The launch was filled to capacity with 'fuel' and batteries. And with food leaving for themselves only the necessary minimum.
  
  Such a flight was in the practice of none space rescuer. Such the overload, even having immersed himself in a stimulating solution, just he only was able to endure. He literally did not get out of it at all - he was in a hurry. It is imperative to rescue those who ask for help. To do at any cost: so the First Commandment of space rescuers runs. Even at the cost of his own life or the complete loss of health, when he has to say goodbye to the Cosmos forever. He was always ready for it.
  Especially now: the people whom he has to help are the greatest heroes of the Earth. He personally knew them, saw once - when a child, even was talking with Captain and asked to take him along. And then Captain promised to recommend him for the next flight into the Far Cosmos, if he would study so, that he would know everything astronauts needed to. To study indefinitely long as it then seemed to him. But he promised.
  'Lee,' Mom Eve (he still calls her so when he meets her, arriving on the Earth, and during the rare but regular communication session from the Near Cosmos) told him, 'Lee, you have to study - to study well. Do you hear? You must to study hard. You have promised it just Dan. Or you won't become an astronaut.' She was then his schoolteacher.
  He had a hard time: studying came badly to him. Previously, he did not try very hard: he thought that he would be able to cope with everything without it, because he was very strong - the strongest in the group.
  Mom Eve made him work hard. And how much she fussed with him, assisted him with study! He did not know why she did that - the real cause. Now - just like back then. He did not know how many years it hung over him the risk of being rejected, to become an inadequate. With his physical abilities - most likely a donor: soon to go under the knife. He did not know that only after his transfer to the gymnasium, she calmed down finally. He knew only that she kept all his life on a regular basis to see him, all the time was interested in his learning and life, enjoyed every his success and reminded continually of his promise given to Captain. And there was none in the world closer to him than Mom Eve. Even in the space, where friendship welded tight people together.
  Arriving on the Earth, he hurried immediately to her, and while he was there, he tried to be together with her as much as possible. She regaled him with dishes, which cooking programs she chose very carefully, knowing what he loves, and they seemed to him extremely tasty. Together, they went to theaters and museums, flew on trips. They sat side by side at banquets in the restaurant: she - proud of him, dressed in the form of space-rescuer with the emblem of the Near Cosmos on the red shoulder strips. Sometimes just there an emergency call appeared on his radio bracelet, and he had to leave her: he went into the Cosmos.
  He missed always her there. Impatiently he looked forward to the next session. He talked about her to his friends, whom he had there a lot. And treat them saying with pride, 'Try: very tasty - this program Mom Eve has given me'.
  In his success, the desire to earn her praise was more important than the promise given Captain in childhood. But he has not forgotten about it - and he could hope that fulfilled. Not shining with abilities, he achieved much by working hard.
  In the Cosmos he found himself, his natural qualities gave him the opportunity to do a lot of that others could not. The difficulties of the space rescue training, which program was difficult and long, did not stop him: thanks to the efforts of Mom Eve he still when a child (timely!) progressed from the standstill of the inability and unwillingness to learn everything. He mastered both cosmogation and medicine, drove alone confidently the ships and made complicated surgeries. The main thing - to succeed to arrive in time. And the risk was a usual matter, but not an exception. This He told never Mom Eve; and she - that she knew this and worried continuously about him.
  But it was a few times when he was powerless to help: it was too late or ... or impossible to do anything. And he, anyway, blamed himself. And he worked hard on themselves, obtaining infinite seemingly endurance. He looked for, tormented himself. As a result, he was able to perform several rescue operations, which before were considered absolutely impossible.
  Moreover, he proved that the point was not just of his unusual physical qualities, that others were able to achieve the same by adhering to his system of physical and psychological training - prepared several rescuers who together with him were considered the best in the Near Cosmos. Just for this system by him he received his doctorate. He has not stopped at that: kept looking for, testing everything on himself.
  His popularity among the astronauts was additionally assisted by his heartfelt qualities: his kindness and a keen sense of justice. He's wanted always to share with him the most intimate: he knew how to listen. His presence affected always favorably: therefore he was happily welcomed everywhere.
  'It's since his childhood,' Eve said to his fellow- astronauts, whom he was always trying to introduce her with.
  From them, she heard a lot of that Lee had never told her: about the risks associated with tasks performed by him; his strange striving to test new items on himself, without using ever the experimental inadequates. Even when it was associated with a risk. She was not surprised: there was in that a portion of the impact of her words, as if in passing occasionally told him.
  But there were things that even his friends told her never. She did not know how his two friends-rescuers perished before his eyes. About how on one of the outer, beyond the orbit of the Minerva, the space station, a group remained in the accident without food and with a negligible amount of energy - in order to survive until his arrival, had to cast lots on which one of them was killed and eaten by the others . The case extremely scary, but everyone knew that otherwise none of them would have survived. But the survivors could not recover later: they all left the cosmos, did not communicate or meet each other; almost all have paid severe mental disorders. Two ones committed suicide, but the rest - were goners.
  Such the darkest side of the cosmos known by Lee was. And not by him only. Under these conditions, a kind word and attention, a friendly smile and a mutual concern were the best means supporting the people.
  
  The Near Cosmos is full of beacons, allowing orientating in it during flights. They are everywhere: on the planets and their satellites - on what it is possible. And on hundreds of artificial satellites moving along heliocentric orbits. Some of them are interplanetary stations, on which astronauts, changing, constantly live and work. Another part - rescue stations: the wrecked can find supplies of energy, food, water and a powerful installation of radio communication. It is possible to wait for the arrival of rescuers or to repair their ship.
  In the Far Cosmos, beyond the orbit of the Minerva, there is none of that: landmarks, like for the ancient navigators in the ocean, are stars only. With them and reflected from the starship the periodic signal of the locator, Lee drove his launch.
  He made it and him self to do that until now has never been able to. The distance between the launch and the giant hyper express, driven in the direction toward the Sun to the speed of interstellar ship, was continuously slower declining until they were close. Then, having turn off the main engines, Lee put with steering ones the launch into the receiving compartment of the starship.
  ... He arrived in the promised time. Has he not been late? No one answered his signals.
  However, the door to the airlock chamber opened before him, and he drove into it the cart, loaded with first aid means, food, water and batteries. The airlock chamber worked, but it was there dark. Lee moved his flashlight, trying to discern something, to understand as soon as possible what had happened.
  Then he moved along the long corridor, from it he entered the block, which does not look at all like a residential one. Everything was bare: there was no furniture, nor plants. There were not even almost all doors and bulkheads. Darkness and cold dominated.
  The door of the control room opened slowly, as if by force, in front of him and did not close when he entered. Inside the control room was a little warmer, but also dark.
  The flashlight beam grabbed the control panel, which none instrument lighted, and just then stumbled on people lying on the floor, huddled up tightly to each other. One of lying was covered with overalls; two others were almost without clothes, only in some scraps like loincloths. All three of them in a semiconscious state.
  'Door... cold...' Lee heard. Another man, at just the control panel, half sitting, leaning against it his neck - his lips, almost motionless, barely audible from a distance, pronounced these sounds. Lee rushed to close the door.
  He took off his helmet and immediately felt how hard to breathe: the air was stale and smelled horrible. Having quickly attached batteries, Lee switched on the regenerator and the heater. The speaking - an old man, in which the rescuer still recognized Dan breathed in hungrily, feeling the fresh air. Lee switched on lighting.
  'Help them!' Dan whispered.
  Lee stepped up the supply of oxygen. He brought his cyber-diagnostician and began giving the first aid.
  It was so clear what caused the severe condition of the astronauts: a prolonged fasting - their bodies were like skeletons covered with skin; a thirst - in a mug next to the lying a little bit stale water on the bottom; asthma, cold - 281 Kelvin . But alive: had managed! He gave them to drink, put into their veins the needles of drip-feed - to feed them with glucose and vitamins. Increased heating.
  Then he went to Dan, gave to drink, put a drip-feed and laid him next to the others. He did it all quickly, deftly, without any unnecessary movement. Again became happy: the diagnostician showed that an immediate threat to their lives was still absent.
  Besides Dan and Eya - two teenagers more.
  'But Lal? Where?'
  Dan opened slightly his eyes:
  'No - any more. For a long time. He perished. There,' - he was falling asleep.
  The rest were asleep already. Lee did not bother them anymore. He only covered them with clothes brought from the launch.
  He switched on the control system. The instruments lighted. On the radar screen - the Sun as the bright star in the crossed-hair cursor and close to it, barely perceptible point - the cruiser.
  There the first message by Lee went: 'Arrived in time. So far everything is normal'. He drank the infusion of schisandra and settled down for a watch.
  
  They slept and slept. Lee woke them to give to drink the broth and juice, and they fell asleep again. He himself slept by fits and starts.
  Only on the sixth 'day' Dan did not fall asleep immediately after eating. He stared at Lee. This Hercules, who appeared just in time, reminded him something.
  'Senior, can you speak?' Lee asked.
  Dan nodded and asked himself:
  'What is your name?'
  'Lee, Captain.'
  'Captain!' A faint smile flickered on Dan's lips:
  'The alumnus by Eve?'
  'Yes, I am, Captain.'
  'You become an astronaut?'
  'A space-rescuer.'
  'How old are you now?'
  'Thirty two.'
  'Then he was seven. So the world was twenty-five years; in our time - twenty two. Relativistic difference - three years,' Dan calculated out of habit.
  'What is on the Earth?'
  'Are waiting for you. With great news.'
  'The Earth-2 is suitable for colonization - our job we have fulfilled.'
  'Many people dream to go there. Me, too.'
  'I will do recommend you: I remember my promise. And you have deserved it.'
  'I was doing just my job.'
  'You've done the impossible. I am happy that you become such. Listen to the news else, not less important: we have come to the Contact.'
  'What?!'
  Dan briefly told how it was. Lee listened with bated breath.
  'It was worth - not to spare anything. Not only is the entire stock of energy - even the life!' Lee said when Dan stopped telling.
  'The life, you say?' - Dan frowned.
  Lee got upset: it was not clear what he was suddenly afflicted Captain with. No more questions he asked - was afraid. But Dan fell soon asleep.
  And the questions were on the tip of the tongue of Lee: how Lal perished, how these children appeared? Like for many, children were his secret weakness: Mom Eve took him often to them.
  ... The next 'day' besides Dan Eya was also awake for some time.
  'Our savior's name is Lee, Mom. Do you remember? The pupil by Eve.'
  'By Eve?'
  'Yes, Mom.'
  'She will ... be pleased,' Eya said. She was very weak - talking with the greatest effort.
  'Mom Eve told me a lot of you.'
  'She'll be ... glad,' repeated Eya. 'Here!' she pointed at the sleeping children. 'I myself ... gave birth to them. They ... believed ... that ... it's very ... important.'
  'Who?'
  'Lal ... and Eve. She ... gave me ... necessary ... records.'
  'What of?'
  'Associated ... with their ... birth and ... care.'
  'To speak is hard for you, seniora: you must not to any more.'
  ... 'Captain, can you talk to me?' Lee asked Dan when Eya obviously tired of the conversation fell asleep.
  'Sure: I have too much to tell you... As soon as I have strength. Not now - sorry.'
  
  40
  
  Lee helped Dan to sit comfortably in an only seat, taken from the launch. Dan was still weak, but he offered on his own to talk.
  'Do not be afraid: I will able. Ask.'
  'Captain, why Mom Eve wanted you to have your own children there?'
  'Did she not tell you anything about it?'
  'It seems not. Or very little. I do not even remember. But I would like to understand.'
  'If you want - you'll understand. The conversation will be long. But we have enough time. But first, I want to know whether they still reject children?'
  'Yes, they do.'
  'Many of them?'
  'I don't know.'
  'It is a pity: you must know Eve struggled against the rejection.'
  'And now - too. But I do not know too much: I spend too little time on the Earth. - Lee was perplexed: it turned out that he did not know many, apparently very important, things that he could have known.'
  'Then listen.'
  Dan was telling - Lee was listening. Carefully, as always. Strained as when high accelerations; completely stunned.
  Dan had still difficulty to speak a lot. And while he was resting, Lee thought over the listened. But after resting, Dan came back to his telling. He as if led step by step Lee, breaking his customary for all poor knowledge of social history, ignorance of and indifference to many things that are not related to the main thing - his work. And to give Lee a break, he was telling about the Earth-2.
  Soon Eya and Son joined them.
  ... 'How you yourself treat the adequates?'
  'I don't deal with them.'
  'However, the experiments are carried out in space on them.'
  'Yes: we have experimental inadequates. They only. Space-rescuers also experiment on them. But I do not.'
  'Why?'
  'I do not like to experiment on animal, too. Because that hurts them. And on humans I cannot at all.'
  'Eve has inspired this into you?'
  'I'm not sure. Maybe. I do not remember that she told me about that. I think, it was most important for her just my studying successfully. Especially in the beginning.'
  'Because she was afraid.'
  'What of?'
  'Of the terrible danger hanging over you. Too real one: you studied badly, too much.'
  'I ... could become an inadequate? It means - Mom Eve saved me then?'
  'She and her supporters have saved many children.'
  'But just she, actually - me!'
  ... The telling by Dan and Eya shook him. Since the very beginning. The impression of it did not pass off, continued unabated. It was hard. Like during a flight in the Far Cosmos. Even much more hard: none previous training, study give a reliable, familiar guiding lines.
  The main argument affected him was the inhumanity of treating the inadequates. Cruelty to animals - even which he considered disgusting. And to the humans... It seemed incomprehensible, why he had not realized this until now.
  'If just you?'
  Yes, exactly: that's the point, that not he only. Almost everyone.
  'We once did not comprehend this, either.'
  'But Mom Eve?'
  'Even she either. Despite her struggling against the rejection - because she felt sorry for their pupils. But she was the very first prompted the surest way to destroy the social inequality.
  'Whom?'
  'Lal.'
  'Mom Eve? What prompted him she?'
  'Here it is,' Eya pointed at Son and Daughter.
  'We?' they were surprised.
  'Exactly!'
  ... 'So, as I have understood it, the humanity has deviated from the course. We must go back to it,' Lee expressed in astronaut terms familiar for himself. 'For beginning: to perform breaking.'
  'Braking began already. Your Mom Eve is involved directly in it. But completely, Lal has the first discerned and comprehended.'
  'Lal was a true rescuer.'
  'Why?'
  'Has appeared just in time!'
  
  A faith in the justice of their words was reinforced in the considerable extent by the communication with them. They got used quickly to each other: they did to him, he - to them. He became attached to them. How can to the astronaut, who is used appreciate highly the warmth of human relations. And he became also one of them. Not only because he rescued them and continued to take selfless trouble over them.
  Being together with them was too good for him. Like with Mom Eve. Especially when the girl was sitting on his lap.
  They have not yet recovered from the endured hardships. Are thin and very weak physically still. Even can not eat fruits, brought by him - he must to turn them into puree or juice. But they can already move, can talk as much as they want. But never for some reason do not smile. In general, it is normal; but it is better they to smile.
  He tried once to cheer the girl using what she had asked him to tell something.
  'What?'
  'A tale. When a little, I loved them.'
  He did not remember any fairy tales, but decided not to retreat.
  'But a legend?' he suggested.
  'Come on,' she agreed listlessly.
  'On a beautiful green planet people have lived,' Lee started: not bad! He was telling, making up at the same time. How the scientist appeared among the people and made a great discovery: using it became possible to overcome vast distances faster than light. How a ship was built, that went away to the stars, where the planet alike their one was discovered. About that the scientist with his friend and girlfriend to set off on the new planet. About the death of a friend and left them by him the secret of happiness - children, whom they themselves should give birth and grow. And so the first children were born on another planet.
  About that after planting the entire planet with forests and saturate its atmosphere with oxygen, the scientist, his girlfriend and their children flew home and en route made a contact with other intelligent beings, spending almost all of the energy, and nearly died.
  'But they were waiting on the native planet. A space patrol took their signal for help, and rescuers, who were sent to meet them, succeeded to arrive in time.'
  'And then?'
  'They came back to their home planet and brought people great news.'
  'They came back...'
  Certainly: it was not very like a legend. Short, too much. And the words, phrases were some clumsy: failed. Only the first sentence was not too bad. Hmm! But the girl, to his surprise, listened attentively, sitting opposite him - but for some reason did not look at him.
  'I cannot very well tell any legends, right?'
  She turned her head towards him, and the look in her eyes frightened him.
  'Just it is a terrible legend - you do not know all of it: that's how!'
  'Do not, sister!' the youth said.
  'He must know. Listen! When they flew back to the Earth, by them in the space a baby was born. Quite small, with tiny fingers. And all were happy, looking at him and taking him in their arms. When the ship approached the starting point of transfer, he was already three months, and he knew how to smile.
  Just then the fabulous miracle happened: they received the signal of Those and entered into the contact with them. But after the hypertransfer found that almost all of the energy had consumed.
  To reach Earth, all except the father were put into suspended animation and stayed in that condition for over a year; but before they got to where they were to be met, the devices of the suspended animation chamber failed, and the father began immediately get them out of that condition. But Kid did not come out of it. Kid! Oh-oh-oh! Kid! The dearest of mine!' she cried, writhed sobbing. Brother rushed to her, hugged her.
  'What have I done!' Lee thought with horror. 'That's why they tell so little about what has happened to them. But how is it?' He looked at Dan as if begging for forgiveness - for his involuntary guilt. Dan seemed petrified.
  'Captain!' Lee said quietly. 'I haven't known, Captain.'
  'Yes, yes!' as if from afar Dan replayed. 'You have to know everything, I'll show you.'
  'Dad, do not!' Eya tried to stop him.
  'He must know!' like the daughter he said. 'Come on, go with me.'
  They passed through the residential unit - naked, robbed, terrible. Through the long corridor reached the far end of it, where Lee had never been.
  There the suspended animation chamber was, and in it under an only hood not thrown into the annihilator - tiny fixed figure lay. The dark lock of hair on the very white forehead. The child was sleeping to awake never.
  Shocked, overwhelmed by what he had seen, Lee stared at the child. A lump was in his throat. He was afraid to raise his head to look at Dan again. That was silent, seemed oblivious of the Lee's presence.
  'Forgive me, Kid!' Dan said faintly finally.
  'Captain! I'm sorry. I did not want.'
  Dan raised his head:
  'Just you I can say to. There, in the world, we are considered heroes - but I now desire to scream and howl.'
  'Your grief is mine, too, Captain.'
  But Dan did not hear. Putting his hands on the hood, he laid his head on it and froze in this position.
  Eya came, and Lee hurried to go away. In the control room Daughter still writhed with sobs, but Brother did not even try to restrain her; his own face was wet, too.
  Tears flowed from Lee's eyes, and he was not ashamed of them.
  
  'How could I! Little mine!'
  'Do not. Dad, dear mine, you must not now!' Mom squeezed him.
  'What have I missed? Why did this happen?' - she saw the just first time ever him in such despair.
  'Everything has been made, absolutely everything! I may tell you this - I do know!'
  'No! If did - he would not have died!'
  'The chamber worked fine - only instruments denied. Otherwise none of us would come out of suspended animation.'
  'I did not take into consideration something!'
  'You just could not take into account absolutely all. The same as the incredible overconsumption of energy. We don't know still too much of the hyperspace.'
  'May it is cursed - the hyperspace! And me - since has discovered it!'
  'Stop it!' she cried. 'Hear, immediately!!! You - may not become so weak! Who will believe you that your own children are happiness? Who? If they have see you such - a broken, helpless!' But nothing affected him: he did not hear her - only moaned muffled in pain.
  And Mom had to wait for his calming down a little bit to begin to speak with him again. This time it fell to her to be strong.
  
  Lee knew that only time will help them to cope - his any attempt would yield no results. The atmosphere was oppressive, and he was waiting impatiently for a meeting with the cruiser. Then they will begin braking and send a preliminary report to the Minerva. And finally be able to wash them well - in a bath.
  The cruiser was clearly visible on the radar screen. Lee wanted to arrange a conversation session with it, but they did not let him: that required energy.
  'What if happens something?'
  He could understand their fear, and he did not insist.
  
  41
  
  The Earth was waiting. After the first cruiser the rest of them with the 'fuel' for braking went also long ago into the Far Cosmos the rest. But besides the message from the first cruiser that for giving emergency help the astronauts with energy and food the space-rescuer No. 1 Lee had flown by a space launch, who safely had reached the hyper express, no news else had come. However, the rescuers reported orientation signals from the starship.
  It had to wait. Tensely: they feared the worst. All personal receivers were programmed to activate in the event of any broadcasting, related to the Express. It seemed the planet listened with bated breath measuring out the time by the distance between the hyper express and the cruiser which the messages came regularly from. And on the eve of their meeting almost no one was sleeping.
  The message which came at last from the hyper express came down like an avalanche: carbon dioxide of the new planet atmosphere has substituted with oxygen, and the surface is covered by forests. Next - quite stunning: They went to thy Contact! Through the hyperspace. It has recorded the message of Those and sent the Message of the Earth.
  All the screens were switched on. Everybody was listening.
  The report was extremely short. Vast distances and the lack of repeaters in the Far Cosmos did not give the opportunity to see the astronauts on the screens.
  The Earth seethed. The sea of people flew from homes. Like on the day of Tupac's arrival. On both sides of the planet: day and night ones light-flooded with countless sources.
  
  The session of a direct communication with the Earth was only when the astronauts were brought with the cruiser at the Minerva. On the hyper express passed because of the high speed the Solar system a team of astronauts remained to complete his braking and return back to a heliocentric orbit.
  Finally it became possible to see them. Dan and Eya - gray, gaunt; their overalls were hanging like bags. And next to them the children: a boy and a girl. But Lal was not: everybody knew that he had perished. How? Behind them space-rescuers: the space hero Lee and others.
  'People of the Earth, you are welcome!' Dan spoke. 'We are pleased with succeeding to accomplish something for which we flew away. It is already possible to breathe with the air of the new planet, forests cover its surface, and it is waiting for those who will settle it.
  During returning to the Earth entering the Contact with an extraterrestrial civilization, which transmitted signals through hyperspace, received with the hyper apparatus of the express. We delivered the received record of the message of Those. It is necessary to decipher it.
  We three have gone to the Earth-2, but have come back four. Lal perished on the second day of landing on it - it is difficult to overrate the loss of him to the Earth.
  On the Earth-2, we have given birth to two children: a son and a daughter. On the way back, in the space another child, a boy, was born, who in the space, died: did not get out of suspended animation, which we had to resort to.
  We look forward to the time when we again set foot on the Earth.'
  
  All spoke only about the astronauts. However, only that it was related to the future settling the Earth-2 and their entering the Contact.
  The appearance of the children was unexpected, but too many attached none importance to that. It made wary others. The third - small in numbers and separated - did happy.
  
  Part V
  
  Before DAWN
  
  42
  
  Layla opened repeatedly recording the meeting of the astronaut.
  She was eagerly looking at an incredibly changed, old again Dan. At Eya, who all these years has been together with him. At their children.
  Dan has come back. Dan!
  But what? Nothing will change.
  You thought about him all the time, even hoped for something: he filled you completely. Just since that distant time when he his last years before the renovation. All resulted in a single meeting prior to their departure. Flashed as a single moment. The lightest in your life.
  Why - can you not live like everyone else? Use absolute freedom, to weave your fingers and be on intimate terms with who you like at this moment? Why not?
  Why you were so excited once by Lal's telling about love - a feeling unknown now, but in the old epochs considered almost the main sense of life? Then you began to read about it, of course, only works of bygone epochs - in the modern ones love did not even mention. And the thirst of the experience it appeared suddenly turned into a conscious dream. Just then you met for the first time with Dan, who was a legendary personality - especially after Lal's telling.
  You played a part in a book-movie that Lal produced. Dan came to a rehearsal. He was old and decrepit. It was useless to stretch out a hand towards him, waiting for a response touching of his fingers. Especially as strange it was found that you could not help but think about him and needed no other else.
  Listened even more eagerly to telling by Lal about him. As a great happiness awaited his appearance at rehearsals, shooting, performance. Considered the highest award to hear his praise of your performance from Lal.
  But, like everyone else, you hid your sense from others. About it even Lal did not know.
  The hour was coming when he would go for renovation: to get a new body - and with it a second life and youth. He invited you, along with Lal, on a farewell meeting. You hoped to meet him already renovated when you could become necessary for him. However, the renovation might not work out, and that thought prevented to remain restrained, as always.
  'Return being revived. My passion will wait for you,' you used familiar expressions. He smiled slightly in response.
  All years when his head was knitting with the new body, you waited for him. But returned, he had not thought of you. You were late, just a few hours: when you saw him being already young and beautiful, he had his eyes only for another woman sitting next him.
  And then - all the time he was together with her. Here and there. Together they flied away and returned.
  That unexpected only meeting with him - all you've got. And you were then like mad.
  After their departure it seemed that you were left completely alone: along with them Lal departed, too. Only he could understand, just him you could decide to entrust your secret.
  
  In some ways the ears during their absence did not passed in vain: she met those who maintain personal relations for a long time. It was not unexpected, but she did not succeed to meet them for a long time: they were pretty rare exception to the general rule. The only thing that was possible to see at first - they were unusually often together.
  Not anyone could guess the nature of their relationship. Like everyone else, they did not like to talk about their personal life - it was possible to talk with them about it too not immediately. She had to wait patiently, when she can ask questions without risking not get an answer, and before that - only to watch and to notice: fortunately, her professional skills helped that a lot.
  As soon as she had learned these people, they attracted her more and more. Their treating each other, affection, warmth - all that she saw had made her to feel especially acutely what just she lacked the most.
  Really, she had her friends - and very close ones. There was once Lal. But that was - after all - something quite different. Some nuances that were more appropriate to some needs of the own soul, not realized for a long time.
  These people were increasingly appearing among the permanent acquaintances - she began gradually to spend most of the time together with them. They got used to her, and sometimes on their own were talking about what she did not even guess. It became clearer and clearer that was in the old books, what Lal mentioned: his words came to mind more often.
  And watching their joint life, she saw always next to her him - Dan. Sometimes she even let herself imagine that he would come back and still be together with her. And she would be like one of those rare women: the happiest ones - whether they realize it or not.
  But hope died out immediately: he was far, far away, on another planet. Along with him Eya - for many years of the stay there he would have been even more accustomed to her.
  But yet - their relationship, of Dan and Eya, differs from that is now familiar: they are not alone, along with them Lal is - Eya is intimate with both. So, why Dan could not be intimate with her? With her and Eya at the same time - like Eya with him and Lal? Why is it impossible to find for her a place next to them? This idea, having appeared, did not disappear: she had to believe in something. And she waited for his - no, their - having come back.
  Each year at least once she came to the island, where her life had given a meeting with Dan. There, lying on the grass and looking at the night sky, she found the constellation of Tupac where they were. Mentally, she was then along with them.
  No one knew what she wanted. Neither the closest old friends for whom all this would be incomprehensible. Nor even the new ones, whom fortune she was jealous of but did not dare to talk about herself.
  Her success on the stage has even more grown over the years - and she is still considered the most beautiful woman of the planet. Many men longed to have sexual intimacy with her, but the thought of it with someone other else but Dan was impossible for her. Only very rarely - as the performance of the unpleasant, but, unfortunately, necessary physical need - she summoned home a men-houri, whom then sent immediately out.
  
  But Lal is not - he has perished. A long time ago: in the beginning. They were there just two together. For so many years.
  And children! What does it mean?
  It is necessary to meet with them. But it will not be soon: after the arrival to the Earth - a long quarantine must have place; besides, they look horrible - their treatment will be lengthy.
  However, then she will try to meet with him - as soon as possible. If she sees that he does not completely need her, she will talk only about Lal: he was her close friend. And will have gone forever, try no longer to see him. At any cost!
  Because, she has accustomed. For so many years.
  Nobody guesses what's going on in her heart. The great Layla - the most beautiful women of the Earth, a brilliant actress, shaking always by her amazing playing hundreds of millions sitting at screens and thousands of lucky people who have received by lot the right to directly attend the performance. Wide-opened eyed, tense silence, tears. The storm of applause. But does even someone of them knows that one of the sources of such depth of her playing - the pain and suffering?
  
  They are already on the Earth.
  Their physical condition has required a long treatment, and while they communicate only with the doctors: for not disturbing them, a direct link with them is unavailable temporarily. To the house, which once started their training before leaving in, standing alone in the mountains far from the cities, only congratulatory telegrams come from those who can not wait to see them; a special duty tells the astronauts about them.
  Layla's radiogram came just to the end of treatment.
  'I would like to talk to her,' Eya asked a duty.
  'Seniora, will you not get tired of talking?'
  'Not at al. On the contrary!'
  'Please!' he turned on the connection.
  Layla did not expect to see her on the screen: started at once.
  'Oh, Eya!'
  'Hello, Layla! I'm glad to see you.'
  'Hello, Eya! How is your health?'
  'I think it is already in order. We are already tired here. So much we want to see all of our friends!'
  'And I do you.'
  'You want to ask about Lal: I see.'
  'Yes,' she looked sad.
  'Do you know what? I'm going to ask for giving you a permission to visit us. Eventually, a few days do not matter. It's time to finish our retreat.' The screen went dark.
  Layla sat without moving; she waited, believing and not believing that the incredible happens. And only when the screen lit up, and Eya said, 'All right, I have persuaded them. Arrive: now!' she hurried, remembering that she is not dressed. Gave a command to the robot to get out of the storage necessary clothing and jewelry, ordered a cabin - and pinned hastily up hair, threw a cloak over the home tunic, drove off to the airdrome.
  She made her dress in a rocket plane - the autopilot drove it. But it took not much time - too little to distract slightly from the anxious waiting, which seemed it could suffocate with.
  Eya from a balcony saw the rocket plane appeared in the sky. Making an U-turn, it sat down. A woman in a fluttering black dress moved slowly toward the house. Eya walked quickly toward her. She was happy to receive guests: their quarantine seemed to last an eternity.
  Layla - a friend of Lal: hence their friend, too. And one of her most favorite actresses. What a beautiful she is: not for nothing Son there, on the Earth-2, recently almost was not breathing when she was on the screen. But her eyes are sad.
  Eya took her hand:
  'Everyone will be glad to see you. Dan along with the children went into the mountains. But they have to come back soon: have gone long ago - before I contacted with you. They do not know - well, let, I won't inform them - your arrival will be a surprise for them. And we will still talk: I missed a communication so much.'
  'I was eagerly waiting for you.'
  'With Lal.'
  Layla nodded silently.
  'I see,' Eya also stopped talking, and Layla was glad of necessity to say nothing. 'It's a terrible loss. Not just for us. For all people. He was amazing. The only who knew what should be the people.'
  'Yes.'
  'He told us shortly before his death very important things.'
  Layla barely heard her, but, fortunately, Eya did not see it. They were sitting on rocks near the house.
  'Here he comes!'
  Layla looked up: on the trail leading from the mountains to the house, a man appeared. Dan!
  Dan! She tensed entirely. He looked at them, putting his hand to his forehead: the sun was shining directly in his eyes.
  'Dad! Da-ad!'
  And when he started slowly toward them, Layla paled so much, that Eya could not fail to notice it. Something pushed painfully her heart. What...? She could not even think that a woman else exists in Dan's life.
  Sure, before she did not care it: like everyone. Just before! They have together been too many years and experienced too much. Together, all that time together. And their children...
  'Hello, Layla!'
  'Hello, Dan!'
  She's still beautiful, incredibly. Beautiful like a goddess. The same one - like she was then, at the lake.
  Eya seems much older than her. Her figure, in spite of permanent exercises, is no longer like before - because she has given birth to three children. And her bust does not hold itself elastically - has become rounded heavily: she has fed with it his children. Some wrinkles in the corners of the mouth and eyes, a lock of gray hair: the treatment is still not put out tracks of the experienced during the return flight.
  But then he left Layla without sadness - now without emotion met her. Eya...
  No: Mom - she is his only woman of all them. On the Earth, in the entire Universe. So close that it is difficult to understand where he ends and she starts. And without her he can neither live nor breathe: none intimacy with another woman, even just the most beautiful of all - Layla - is impossible for him.
  So, it means that he is no longer free? Can not what it used to? Yes! Well, but what? He can not - just because he did not want to give up even a particle of what he has: his feeling of Mom and her one of him, the unbreakable unity of them and their children - the children would feel unpleasant if someone else besides Mom exists for him. This his according the former conceptions, lack of freedom - is inseparable from what he has become; it is true freedom in the highest human sense: the reluctance to stir in any way up that light, because of which he is happy - happy for certain. He such as he is now can not and does not want to be different. He himself. Mom maybe would not be, using the old expression, jealous...
  But she is pale, silent. Well, yes - she now sees everything: she is now like he is, too - not like all others.
  'Mom, they follow me,' he said. She immediately became to breathe easier: everything is all right. They looked into each other's eyes and smiled.
  'Layla, you will now see our children,' Eya said.
  'I desire to see them,' Layla replayed quietly.
  It was too clear that she cannot hope for something: they were like those - living together for many years. It was sufficient just to see how they look at each other, to hear how they call each other.
  But at her he looks calmly. There is and can be no place next to him. And if it were possible, she would now fly immediately away.
  'Here they are!'
  Along the path a tall youth was walking, carrying on his back a girl hugging his neck. He carried her seemingly without any stress.
  'Get down!' he said, coming up. The girl jumped to the ground.
  They put together their hands in front of chest, welcoming Layla.
  'Again you spoil her?'
  'My little sister got tired, Mom. Was crawling barely.'
  'It wasn't! He just wanted to show off his strength. I do not mind - let him carry, if he wants.'
  Eya was looking at them smiling:
  'Our children.'
  'We actually know you, seniora.'
  'Really?'
  'Yes: we had movies with your participation. Brother loved those best of all.'
  Layla looked at the youth standing before her in silence, with his eyes casted down. Only from time to time he raised them, glanced at her, and in those moments, she noticed that they were open wide: he seemed stunned by what he saw. Thick paint flooded his face.
  'How marvelously he looks like you, Eya.'
  'My son,' Eya touched gently his hair. He looked again at Layla - and blushed yet hotter.
  She could not help admiring him: she wanted for some reason suddenly, too, to stroke with her hand over his bright red curls. But she did not dare - and stroked the girl, who smiled at her all the time. The children aroused keen interest - there was no desire to fly away as quickly as possible any more, and the pain dulled a little bit.
  'Come to supper!' Eya invited.
  Everyone, including the duty, ate the same dishes - Eya ordered them. Layla did not want to separate from them - she did not order for herself something else, ate the same.
  'Could we stay with you?' the girl asked when the supper was over.
  'No, my daughter. Go: read some and lie down. And you, too,' Eya said to the son. 'We have a lot to talk about.'
  'I won't interfere, Mommy.'
  'Sister, let's go!' the boy said softly, and the girl rose obediently.
  'Good night, Mom!' The son came to Eya; he bent and kissed her. 'Good night, Dad!'
  The girl kissed the father, too.
  'Goodbye, seniora!' they bade farewell to Layla. The youth finally openly, somehow greedy, looked at her. She replayed him with a smile, and, emboldened, he smiled, too: it turned out, he could smile very well.
  It was wonderful and incomprehensible - what she saw. And two feelings struggled in her: the heartache increasing again and the irresistible desire to know and understand as more as possible. A thousand questions were on the tip of her tongue - but the communication with couples of living together has taught her to be careful: they disclosed never immediately.
  But this time it was quite different: Dan and Eya told her everything - a lot and in detail. There was in their telling almost none of what everyone already knew from the reports.
  'It all happened because of Lal.'
  Listening to Dan, Layla found herself thinking that some of what he said about the terrible truth existing on the Earth, but not noticed by anybody - the seen and comprehended just by Lal, she had long ago heard from the latter himself. But only a few statements that she was not always able to take deep enough and gradually almost forgot. Now, when Lal was no longer alive, his ideas related to a coherent system, coming from the mouth of Dan, found for her extraordinary persuasiveness, although many were still perceived with difficulty.
  Lal has perished having carried out nothing, but that incredibly important, which he has revealed to them, they have remembered to tell all people. And they began to act: appearing their children was a direct consequence of the conclusions by Lal.
  About the children Eya told. Mainly about their firstborn - the son, and her telling has seemed to Layla not less staggering than the former. About expecting the birth of a child, just his birth. About how he sucked her breasts, smiled for the first time, first sat down, started walking for the first time. How started to speak. How he grew and developed. How he gave his sister his very first apple. How became independent and skilled. His fearlessness. About their, the parents, worries and joys.
  Some unbelievable world was revealed to Layla in the telling of Eya about the children. Known neither by her, nor almost by anybody. The highest level of love, unknown even by those whom she envied until now to: those who have for a long time, even a lifetime retained the exclusive feeling and affection for each other. But their sense retired just on themselves and could not go further, did not rise, fueled by the love of its natural fruits - children, to the fullness that she saw by these two, one of whom was the dearest of hers.
  Especially since she had no place next to him. And the pain intensified, squeezed her. She felt that she could no longer stay here.
  'It is already the middle of the night. Time for me to fly.'
  'Why? Spend the night here.'
  'Thank you: I cannot - have in the morning a rehearsal. Not see me off.'
  'Come on! Dan will see you to the rocket plane,' Eya said.
  'Okay, - Layla agreed meekly: 'She sees everything. And is not afraid of anything'. Because of that it became even harder.
  
  They both were silent all the way to the rocket plane. Layla was going ahead without turning round as if taking to flight.
  Only just when they were saying goodbye, he said:
  'You must think hard. I hope for you: in fact, you were his friend.'
  She looked at him sadly, parting with nodding her head, but said nothing.
  ... Returning, Dan noticed a figure on the upper veranda. 'Son', he recognized. That was standing and looking toward where Layla left. Rocket plane took off, and while its outline was visible in the sky starting to dawn, Son was watching it.
  Dan came into the bedroom. Eya had lain down, but was not sleeping.
  'Son also isn't sleeping,' Dan told her.
  '?'
  'He was standing on the balcony, watching the rocket plane to fly.'
  'He did not expect to see her in reality. I saw: he wanted very much to look at her, but was shy. Well, what: our son will soon become a man. We are on the Earth, and have almost run out of quarantine.'
  They said nothing more to each other. Dan lay down side by side with her, embracing - today, more gently than any time after their return.
  Come back on the Earth, they continued to sleep together. But sexual intimacy of them there was not since that time never. Dan did not afford it after their sex immediately after Eya's getting out of suspended animation - as if just those few minutes of delay may have caused the death of Kid.
  He held her hand with his one; they were lying sleepless. Not for the first time.
  
  Layla wasn't also sleeping that night.
  She did not even go to bed: got home, she sat in a chair on her terrace-garden. She had to think hard about everything, to make it out.
  Thoughts swirled in her head replacing randomly each other. During the flight, the heartache twisted her so much that she was unable to cope with their chaos. And just sitting on the terrace, she made an attempt to pull herself together.
  First of all, she must clarify: think again, in detail, everything that she has seen and learned. To try to do this quietly, orderly - or the despair will completely crush her.
  So... He's happy. As no one on the Earth. Because Eya and their children are together with him. And he self belongs to them completely. Thus she can hope for absolutely nothing. Previously, there was at least some spark of hope, though mad.
  All this can be understood by the mind, by the heart - in no way. But - what can she do? Be patient and wait, as before? Useless. Dan is now completely different. Even more worthy of love - but quite inaccessible already.
  'It all happened because of Lal'. Lal has made him such. Him and Eya. He has changed radically their souls.
  But he has caught her, too: has awakened the need for love. It has not brought happiness, but she does not complain: it is dear that she has survived. She, too - has not been able to be different.
  But she did not know too much until now. It turns out old books and the communication with those who kept the need for long-term affection, still did not give a true idea about very love. What she saw only today. At the same time with irrevocably ruthless conclusion about her fate.
  Do they understand themselves entirely the full measure of their own happiness? How they call each other - not by their names: Mom, Dad, Son, Daughter, Sister, Brother. Children kiss them before going to bed. You can suffocate! If to be, like they are. Like Eya!
  She imagined herself in her place. The beloved person living nearby. The children. She would love them, too, and would be proud of them. Of the tall serious youth, the perky lively girl. If only, if only!
  Although to be one of them. To be as intimate to them as they themselves. And, perhaps, it would have stopped her mental anguish, and she would resign to the inability to be intimate physically with Dan.
  She smiled bitterly this unexpected turn of her thoughts. It is no more possible than her first desire. After all, just the role of a friend welcoming always would not suit her.
  No: to live together with them. Always, every day. An absolutely insane, absurd desire. Thoughts rushed in the fevered brain in search of a way out. There was none.
  She must resign herself. And nevertheless, somehow to pull herself together. Otherwise, she can go crazy.
  And it is imperative to stop! Necessary to drink schisandra, to run to the pool, to make yourself breakfast and go to the studio. She has to work - the sun has risen already.
  43
  
  Nobody, of course, suspected what was happening to her; it seemed everything goes as usual. Only today she was even more exacting than ever.
  Much, too, did not satisfy her. She made again and again to repeat pieces, turned endlessly on recordings of played ones and found in them more and more mistakes and bad elements.
  'Yesterday it was just what you liked!'
  'But what? Today it should be better than yesterday.'
  It seemed to the actors that she wants something almost impossible. But she felt unexpectedly that she did not like that play at all. After the seen yesterday she took the topic of it quite differently. Not what was needed. Let another producer stage it further: by her it won't work out.
  Fortunately, the time was coming to lunch: the rehearsal was over. She could go home after lunch, relax: there will be at night a performance with her participation. Instead of that, she returned to the studio. Here, the usual working environment was that prevented to immerse you completely in the chaos of her thoughts.
  Again rehearsals began, and she passed from some a hall to another one, somewhere stopping briefly and disappearing quietly, as well as appearing. Almost nothing seemed interesting, pleased her. She went into the garden.
  A small company of actors and producers settled on the lawn. They were arguing about something, sitting on the grass.
  'Layla!' they call her. 'Have you heard that news? Paul wants to produce an old play: 'Brand' by Ibsen.'
  ''Brand'? So what?'
  'He is for some reason convinced that you will support him.'
  'Ah: maybe.'
  'What: you are familiar with its content?'
  'In general outline. Paul has told me and showed a few passages. Apparently, six months ago.'
  'Well, and...?'
  'He, as I understood, was not going to produce it then. And I began 'The search'.'
  'How about it? Finished? When the première?'
  'I thought that almost finished. Today, I've made sure it won't work out by me.'
  'By you? Why?'
  'I've lost interest. Will transfer to another producer.'
  'Do not hurry! Maybe, it just seems to you.'
  'No. It does not.'
  'Why? Has something happen?'
  'Yes, it has.'
  'Today?'
  'Yesterday. I was talking with Dan. And Eya.'
  'What? But...? You allowed a direct connection with them?'
  'I was to them.'
  'Oh! But the quarantine?'
  'It's almost over: Eya received permission immediately- I flew to them.'
  'Come on, tell us! How are they?'
  'Some normal. Outwardly, at least.'
  'What have they told you? About the Earth-2? About their flight? About the Contact?'
  'No: they said about it almost all can be learned from their reports.'
  'Then: what exactly?'
  'Many things. But most importantly, I saw yesterday their children.'
  'In my opinion, this is the only incomprehensible of all that has happened to them.'
  'Until yesterday - in mine, too. It was necessary to see to understand: they are very happy people, though seem gloomy.'
  'Of course: after such!'
  'They are happy people,' Layla repeated. 'Perhaps the happiest ones on the Earth.'
  'Certainly! To be able to make so much: the flight into the Far Cosmos, the development of the Earth-2, the access the Contact.'
  'No: best of all just because they have children. Their own children. Because they have on their own given birth to them and raised. Because they live together with them.'
  'Why do you think so?'
  'Because I have seen. And because just they have told me everything. About how it gave them the opportunity even there to feel happy.'
  'So: happy, happy, and happy! You are endlessly repeating this.'
  'I can repeat it again. Instead of the usual our disunity - the warmth of relations, such as I have never seen. Just what we are deprived of.'
  'May you vouch for everyone?'
  'For the vast majority, anyway.'
  'But all the astronauts are such: they're forced to communicate constantly there - and got used to each other.'
  'No, this is different: better.'
  'Just what called once love? What attracted you in ancient plays, right? But who needs it now? None of these plays that you tried to produce had been a success.'
  'It is the saddest. The feeling that was once considered the most beautiful has been forgotten.'
  'But this is an exceptional sense of men and women to each other according to the ideals of the past centuries was carried out in a marriage, that is, in living together until very death - with the observance of fidelity to each other and the birth of children. You saw something similar?' kept quiet so far, Rita, a graduate student-actress, the youngest of those present, asked.
  'Yes. Exactly.'
  'You call love just that, don't you? But it was just an ideal - not the rule. Marriages were developed not just on the base of love; fidelity violation was widespread. Is not that right?'
  'But have not modern people matured for the realization of the ideal, for turning it into the norm?'
  'I don't understand what you regret. Well: we have forgotten the word 'love', which is based, after all, on the mutual physical attraction of man and woman - passion giving the joy. We are completely free with regard to it: we may intertwine fingers and be sexually intimate with whom you like right now. You have always the opportunity to do so without thinking about anything besides your desire. Is it not more wonderful than it was once?' Rita smiled triumphantly.
  'No,' Layla replied quietly. 'It does not give those spiritual feelings that love does.'
  'But who feels the need for those?'
  'There are such people.'
  'Nobody prevents to maintain a long-term communication with each other, even a lifetime. I do not know them: any. And they are extremely innumerous.'
  'I am, however, know them.'
  'And do you like them more than others?'
  'Their relationships are more, much, warm than of the others - but they do not have a natural completion: love without children is not complete.'
  'Is this conclusion - your own?'
  'No. Of course, not. Lal made it once. Dan and Eya have succeeded to verify its correctness: they told me how were born and grew their children.'
  'And have succeeded to convince you?'
  'They have. Because I saw them all together.'
  'Lal. Then he. That's like him.'
  'Remus, he was also almost the same age as you?'
  'Yes. And I remember well his appearances. Lal did not like too much in the modern life: he thought that a lot of what the people of the bygone epochs had has forgotten quite undeservedly. Well, then everything is much clearer.'
  'What may there be clear?' Rita rejoined passionately. 'The modern woman, who gives on her own a birth to children instead of engaging entirely in her work; wasting time on something that an inadequate can make! It is a quite unjustified anachronism. Sure! In my opinion, it is impossible either to understand or justify.'
  Layla somehow did not want to argue. She got up and left.
  ... The performance went in the evening with the usual success, although her playing was worse than at the previous one. But the public did not notice that: her professional skills helped.
  And after the performance she did not want painfully to go home: was in panic fear of the second sleepless night, of that the dismal thoughts will torment her utterly. Fortunately, the fatigue brought her down - into a heavy sleep.
  
  In the same performance, Rita participated, too.
  Home she went not alone - with her new acquaintance, a young geneticist working for degree of doctor. She met him at the banquet last Thursday - their fingers entwined then. They still lusted after each other and went immediately to her.
  He was very skillful and ardent; his caresses were endless, and they excited her again and again.
  'You have the body of a goddess,' he said, staring at her interruptedly with his eyes dark of passion, and his fingers were constantly wandering, touching her shoulders, breasts, abdomen, thighs. They gave themselves without restraint to each other.
  'What a pleasure! Oh-oh-oh! How much it is pleasant!' she thought. 'This Layla - she's a statue, not a woman. Just a statue, though beautiful, more beautiful than any other real women. Such as I am. What does she understand? She is not capable of true passion, can only represent it on the stage.'
  'Hear, my desired, what about such: would you like to be with me all the life?' she asked him suddenly.
  'I'm afraid so!' he replied without hesitation.
  She laughed, 'You have not understood, I did not mean just to be occupied with it. I asked about another: would you like a lifetime to be intimate sexually with me only and did not know the other women?'
  'What for?' he was surprised.
  'Exactly: what for?'
  'Sorry, don't understand.'
  'Just for fun: the continuation of one of today's conversation - by the way, quite curious. Share?'
  'Later!'
  'Will mana-ge! Listen still. The conversation - about love.'
  'About what?'
  'This is what the romantics used to envelop in a beautiful, joyous pagan need for physical merging of man and woman. Its, love, and essential attributes were loyalties, that is the inadmissibility of physical communication with others, and many more, vaguely sublime. And all this, according to the literature of that time, remained basically just the ideal and, in fact, was a rarity.'
  'Well, it happens now, too. Someone like for incomprehensible reason to live together and be satisfied almost exclusively with each other.'
  'Have you met such people?'
  'Never. But what you and I care about them? Should we be worse if we intimate sexually with someone else?'
  'Of course! But listen more. An interesting detail: the love should be completed with a family development and the birth of children. Here!'
  'What a gibberish! And who needs it now?'
  'The most beautiful woman of the Earth - Layla.'
  'As an aspiration of the great actress for unusual spiritual feelings?'
  'If only! As a consequence of the example, she has seen with her own eyes.'
  'What one?'
  'Such one: Dan, Eya and their kids! She was allowed to visit them yesterday.'
  'It is personally acquainted with them?'
  'Still would! Layla starred in many movies by Lal, was his friend. By the way, just Lal inspired them for this feat - the birth of children: they have told Layla.'
  'Just that - is really interesting. Well, and...?'
  'All. Do not know anything else. Isn't it enough for you?'
  'Perhaps abound. Um, a symptom of little comfort.'
  'Is it so serious?'
  'Perhaps,' he sat down on the bed. 'It has been something else. Among the teachers, mainly those dealing with early children, there were women who expressed a desire to have a baby. Fortunately, except in one case the matter went no further than words: they knew that we will then require the use of boycott on them, and at the proceedings they won't be able to hope for any support of the sufficient majority of the humanity.'
  'But yet, one case has been?'
  'Just a try. One of those who opposed actively the rejection.'
  'What's she trying to do?'
  'Became pregnant. But she was forced to abort the pregnancy. Also with the prospect of a boycott. Besides, she knew that her child would be taken away, and it will be immediately considered inadequate - as born without respect for human reproduction rules.'
  'Is there a direct link between her attempt and previous participation in their movement against the rejection?'
  'Not sure. But if so, then it is too seriously. By the way, she was also close to Lal. As a like-minded person.'
  'When Layla left, Remus said Lal came against almost all. Even any use of the inadequates.'
  'He was not really let to do it.'
  'But Dan? What wants he?'
  'We do not know that yet. What you said to me, from the words of Layla - that their children appeared under the influence of Lal, leads to suspect that Dan wants the same as the Lal. Too close friends they were. There's too little of pleasing. In our circle, of geneticists, Lal was always treated without great sympathy; perhaps, I put it too softly,' he fell to thinking. 'Dan has violated the laws of reproduction yet. This set us immediately on the alert when we saw his children.'
  'But without just what Lal was against Dan would not live now his second life.'
  'Of course! His body is a donor body.'
  'And by the way, the genes passed to the children, too, belong not to him, but the inadequate. His children - automatically - are hereditary inadequates since birth - without any rejection.'
  'You became an actress by mistake. You put it, as a very member of the Board of reproduction.'
  'Look, but they - their children - are proper in their development?'
  'Apparently.'
  'So what, after all, is waiting for them?'
  'I do not know. Dan, certainly, won't let to recognize them as adequates.'
  'Of course! Especially after all that Layla said.'
  'You know, Dan's not that woman - he is secured with the support of almost the entire humanity.'
  'The kids under the protection of the authority of their father.'
  'Exactly! A father. A patriarch. A head of his clan. The clan of Dan, Dan's tribe. Quite biblical.'
  'Do you know even the Bible?'
  'Lightly.'
  'Hmm! I do not like it, very much.'
  'Noticeably.'
  'What if, looking at them, those women, teachers, will have become bolder, decided on the birth of children? If this phenomenon will be all the rage? In general, will have become the norm? Such the prospect doesn't suit me. I am a modern woman: my business - is the scene of the theater; let the inadequates give birth to children. And I wish to enjoy with a man, not thinking about anything else,' she noticed that he almost did not listen to her.
  'The birth of Dan and Eya children is in direct relation to the impact on them of Lal. A valuable information. It should inform immediately Professor Yorg.'
  'Right now? But it is a night!'
  'Oh, yeah!'
  She saw that he was no longer in the mood for her. And did not hold him from going away.
  
  He could hardly wait for the morning. But until the end of the breakfast, he did not dare call Professor Yorg.
  ... 'Good morning, teacher!'
  'Excellent morning, Milan!'
  'Not really.'
  'Something happened?'
  'Yes. I managed to learn something important: tell?'
  'It is better you come to me in the laboratory. Waiting.'
  When Milan became the professor looked at the working screen and pulled not just immediately away from it.
  'Well, what did you want to tell me?' he asked to Milan finally. And Milan told what he had learned during the night from Rita.
  'So!' The professor clenched his fist, slammed it on the console stand. 'So! Then, indeed - Lal. We have thought immediately just so.'
  'Whatever will happen?'
  'I'm afraid that nothing good.'
  'What is going then the Border of reproduction to do?'
  'It's ridiculous to think that we can now immediately somehow remedy the arisen situation. Just now Dan is able to crush us: on this matter we cannot have any illusions.'
  'So, to leave everything like it is? You do know he has broken the established law, providing so much time the optimal reproduction of people. The law is mandatory for all!'
  'But if then he will put into question the legitimacy of this law?'
  'What then: we can only be silent?'
  'We'll see. I have, too, the news. Something in our favor. Here look!' A schematic representation of the DNA chain, long, complex, with many thousands of characters appeared on the wall screen. 'The most recent result. Yesterday's one. Now you will see.'
  'Whose DNA?'
  'Of the younger son of Dan. The physicians who was assigned to find out the cause of his death, asked me to find out whether it was connected with some genetic disorders. I took trouble over it a lot.'
  'Is the cause of a genetic character?'
  'Exactly. And it was seemingly an insignificant infraction: I hardly detected it. Just here. At first glance, nothing like the infraction. But I had a remotely similar case to this, and then ... Anyway: I have spent fully my monthly recourse of working time of a supercomputer.'
  Further conversation, quite long, could hardly be understood by a specialist of not their profile.
  ... 'Was this the cause of his death?'
  'Yes. With diagnostician, they could not, of course, find anything: the case is really too rare. Just this infraction without a combination with a number of other factors could not inevitably lead to death - it only gave a predisposition to disturbances of body functions.'
  'These factors have emerged as a result of his stay in suspended animation?'
  'Sure: in this case, I can say it is quite confident, though a suspended animation is still too much uncertain. But that's enough of the small infractions in the genes for a person not coming out of it.'
  'So, if they did not use suspended animation, the child would survive?'
  'In their case - of course, not. They had almost no energy - with slow acceleration they all would dye of suffocation and hunger, but the forced one in a normal state he would not have endured.'
  'But, if the flight was normal - nothing would have happened to him? You have noticed the infractions did not threaten him nothing else?'
  'It did, and how much! He had every chance to begin to lag behind in intellectual development. Seventy percent probability. But, only up to five years, only: after five ones, if everything turned out all right, it would already affect nothing.'
  'After all: is it hereditary?'
  'Yes, it does be! This is not a mutation.'
  'Obtained - from Dan?'
  'So far - yes. I compared their genes, when you came in. Here, look both of them. Do you see? Although Dan infractions is a little weaker.'
  'But Eya?'
  'I don't know yet.'
  'It is important that from the part of Dan. And what about the older children?'
  'Too - I have not looked. But it does not matter: they have long passed the critical age. Anyway, it is a fact against those who will want to follow the example of Lal's friend. But the situation is alarming - we must be ready for anything.'
  'What will we have to do?'
  'To wait - only. How will events develop. In no circumstances do not urge on them. The only thing you need to do - to create the maximum number of supporters of a negative attitude towards giving birth children by proper women. By the way, you have already started it.'
  'You mean about Rita, teacher? I hadn't to convince her: he is the most ardent supporter of the law of reproduction. Isn't inferior in to us.'
  'That she has confirmed that the birth of children of Eya and Dan - the result of Lal's influence upon them - is very valuable. But we can suppose that Dan has adopted other ideas by Lal, too.'
  'Would you like to know this?'
  'Well done, my Milan: you have understood sooner than I said. Layla said something else, essential for us?'
  'Rita said: no.'
  'Has she not missed anything? Now it may be important.'
  'Let's connect with her,' Milan picked up his radio bracelet.
  Rita asked him to wait until the end of the rehearsal. Just half an hour.
  ... 'Professor Yorg would like to talk to you,' Milan said when Rita appeared before them on the wall screen. Rita put her hands in front of chest:
  'I listen to you, senior.'
  'I want to thank for that our friend informed me. Tell me, did not Layla say something else that might be of interest to us, but you did not tell, considering not too important?'
  'What exactly?'
  'For example, about Lal.'
  'Only that the birth of children - his service. She mentioned that she has been told how the children were born and grew up.'
  'Hmm!'
  'I understand you: will try to find out more.'
  'And the sooner, the better.'
  'Well, it's clear! I'll try to talk to Layla today.'
  'Good luck! I do not doubt your abilities.'
  
  44
  
  Layla was in for a difficult morning.
  When she came to the studio, she first went in the directorate, and since there was no one found, dictated in its memory block her disclaimer from management production of 'The Search'. Then, despite her very strong reluctance, he went to a rehearsal.
  After an hour in her rehearsal hall one of the directors, Tsoy, rushed. He just sat in the back row and half an hour watched silently the rehearsal. Then he went up to Layla:
  'We need to talk.'
  She nodded.
  'Run temporary further on your own,' she told her assistant - and left with Tsoy away from the scene.
  'My dear, well, what's bitten you? I specifically ran to look.'
  'You could just switch on your screen.'
  'That's not it: every subtlety I feel only in the hall.'
  'Well, so: you have run...'
  'Yes: and I've seen that everything works out by you.'
  'Non-sen-se! Well established techniques. Only. I do not like the play, at all. Transfer it to my assistant, let him end up producing. If needed, I'll assist him.'
  'You did like it, actually!'
  'Not really. It just did not seem worse than others. Then - when it was proposed to my, my mood was very foolish.'
  'It happens. And now you have a good mood?'
  'If only! Even more foolish. But now it is not all the same to me.'
  'Is it that: a sudden epiphany?'
  'Do not try to catch me out. I'm serious: it is all one to me no longer.'
  'The reason?'
  'I've remembered the past. Lal.'
  'Lal?'
  'Besides, I have learned about him something new: the day before yesterday I visited Dan and Eya, they...'
  'Wow! Could you tell?'
  'The most detailed way. But, I suspect, not now: you have, of course, as always, no time.'
  'Oh! Can you very briefly?'
  'They talked a lot about Lal. You remember I've played so much in his movies.'
  'Well, you bet!'
  'What the things he wrote and produced: of what heart and sharpness!'
  'And how many they enraged! So they gave you some of his not staged plays?'
  'No.'
  'Will you look for?'
  'There is such one already. What suits me: what is going to produce Paul - 'Brand' by Ibsen.'
  'Along with him? I think he will not refuse to produce it together with you: once you've done it. And will you play in it?'
  'Sure.'
  'So, just that?'
  'It is: exactly.'
  'Well, then I bless. But your assistant copes really.'
  'Look, and the actors feel much more confident with him. I just pestered them yesterday - did not know what I wanted.'
  'All right! You must not persuade me any more. I have already said: I bless. Good luck!' He kissed her hand and went out.
  
  So, this load was off her mind. She expected the worst: that she would have a lot of cajoling him.
  She sat a little, watching the rehearsal. Then said, 'Go on without me!', and she went out into the corridor.
  She walked quickly, deep in her thoughts, and did not notice that ran into Rita.
  'Oh!' that cried, clutching at her with hands to keep from falling.
  'I'm sorry, I'm almost knocked you off!'
  Rita laughed, 'You were rushing so fast!'
  'I fell to thinking.'
  'You are still impressed by your visit to the most unusual couple of people on the Earth?'
  'Why do you think so?'
  'I judge by myself. Yesterday I like a fool began to argue with you, prevented telling more about them. I'm so angry with myself: I'm an actress - I have better, deeper to know the people in general, and such the extraordinary ones, like Dan and Eya, even more. You're mad at me, seniora?'
  'Never mind.'
  'I began to refute what I do not know. But I want to know that.'
  'Well, okay. I can tell you later more about them: now I have to see Paul.'
  'I saw: he went into the screening room. May I go with you?'
  'Are you free? '
  'Yes. My rehearsal was over early; in the evening performance I do not busy. Just - won't I disturb you?'
  'If you're going to behave quietly.'
  'May I fail the next performance!'
  
  ... Paul sat at the holography.
  'Paul!'
  'Shh! Look!'
  'All - or nothing', Brand says. His wife, Agnes, is looking through children's things - of his dead child. That could be saved by leaving the village in a gloomy gorge. But Brand is a priest of the village, he had no right for herself and his child to leave the congregation, he did not consider possible to violate his duty. And his wife - not to leave him alone.
  'My little boy things'. That's all that's left of him. But a gypsy woman with a child wrapped in rags comes there and begs eagerly for him things dear for Agnes: it's winter - he freezes. Agnes gives her almost everything - only one thing she wants to leave as memory for herself. 'All - or nothing!' Brand repeats. Agnes gives the last thing, the gypsy leaves.
  Agnes has given everything, entirely. And she dies - Brand leaves alone.
  Paul turns on a general light, without turning off the hologram, which motionless Brand is on. Tears are trembling on Layla's cheeks. And Rita - she feels anxious.
  'Huh? 'All - or nothing!' Just so, and nothing otherwise! What of all that we are playing can be compared with that?'
  'It - should be staged!'
  'You, too, think so? I'm delirious this play.'
  'But I think we must give it a modern interpretation.'
  'Damn all to hell if I do not think the same way! I will seek, find prototypes for it.'
  'I know who can serve as them.'
  'Layla!'
  'Anyway, I went to you, to offer its co-production. Do you mind?'
  'Me?! Why do you ask this question?'
  'Then okay! But the role of Agnes, I want to take myself.'
  'Well: then...' he could not find words. 'When - will we start?'
  'Even today.'
  'Really? We'll lunch - and immediately after it start working?'
  'Exactly.'
  'But, the prototypes? You really - already know them? Who?'
  'The astronauts: perished Lal, returned Dan and Eya - two days ago I saw them.'
  'They are - what? Terribly interesting!'
  'More than. I'll tell about them, with this we'll begin. By the way, and Rita wanted to hear, so I will tell you both at once.'
  'Then hurry to lunch!'
  He was so excited, that he talked even during eating which took away very little time.
  'Let's go to the park,' Rita offered.
  
  They walked through the dense alleys, going farther. Huge old trees saved with their shadow from the scorching heat. There was silence: none leaf was swaying, one could not hear birds hiding themselves from the heat.
  Layla said, and Paul and Rita listened first without asking questions, afraid to miss a single word. The microphones of their radio bracelets were switched on: with the permission of Layla they recorded her telling.
  Layla told in detail. About, when came, she saw children; about the heartfelt atmosphere of this so unusual group - family. Then Eya's telling about the children; after that about Lal, his death.
  'So, the children appeared thanks to him?' Paul asked. 'But had he in mind just it, shouting at the time of his destruction: 'Do not forget!'?
  'Have they told about Lal something else?' Rita added.
  'Yes. I just thought about this too little. And remember worse than what has already told.'
  Indeed, it was very difficult to remember what Dan was talking about Lal's social views. Stated by Dan consistently and clearly, they sounded convincing, but she still perceived them not too deeply, because they were far from what tormented her.
  Because of that part of the telling was not very coherent. Gradually remembering, she often came back, adding now one thing, now another. Their many questions helped her largely.
  But something she did not wish to remember. About when she had to answer the question of Dan what she knew about the use of inadequates now. All she knew - that still the surgical repair applied, and that there houris. The latter she replied faintly, as if Dan asked her just about something other - concerning them both.
  Lal's ideas made a stunning impression. A terrible picture of the current was painted: the social system, an integral party of which was the presence of unequal group of the inadequates; the dehumanization of humanity; the complex chain of the interconnection of the termination of birth by proper women and separation of inadequates. A terrible final result: a consistent disappearance of the growing part of humanity, replacing it with perfect robots and negligible numbers of geniuses.
  'And what conclusions has Lal done from this?'
  The transformation of inadequates into a social group deprived of rights - the result of the scientific depression that lasted too long. It is over - and now it's time to fix the error made by the humanity, otherwise it will be fatal. It is necessary to start with that all women must again, as in the previous epoch, give birth to their children on their own and to revive the family within which children should grow. Then those of children who are inferior in their abilities will be provided with care of close people and the inability to turn out to the position of home half-animals.
  ... All that she had to Rita already learned. Evening was approaching, Layla and Paul switched to the discussion of 'Brand', and said goodbye to them, she called out a self-propelled chair to get quickly to the nearest transport station.
  At home, she got immediately called to Milan and rewrote him the entire conversation in the park.
  'You are a super girl! I immediately contact Yorg. Can I then come to you? I lust you!'
  'No. Excuse me: I'm not quite myself.' In fact, she did not feel pleasure from having fulfilled so brilliantly her promise. The telling of Layla caused disturbing doubt in something that only yesterday seemed unshakably correct.
  Yesterday... Yesterday just about very much she even had no idea.
  
  'Teacher, everything is all right!'
  'She's already learned all that we asked for?'
  'Yes, and even recorded the entire conversation. She's re-recorded it to me.'
  'What has succeeded to clarify?'
  'I don't know yet: hurried to report to you. I have already made you a re-record.'
  'Then let's listen together.'
  ...Yorg was pale. Like chalk. It has confirmed the worst fears. Lal's attacks against the status quo of the inadequates during the campaign against the rejection that caused actually his exile then to the Near Cosmos were just the beginning of troubles. Then, he still feared to speak completely openly.
  Now this is a complete system of ideas - consistent, solid. With precisely formulated conclusions. The argumentation is very powerful - it feels Lal with his enormous erudition. It feels, how much all principal issues have been thought over.
  'Has Layla told everything correctly? In my opinion, she has not understood all properly: stumbling, here and there - confusing obviously.'
  'It makes no difference: said by Dan may be for us even worse, but certainly not better. What Lal! We were too happy here that we succeeded for long to get rid of him -voted then in concert for his inclusion in the expedition. But he knew - did know what he was doing. Having convinced that a frontal attack was impossible - he calmed down temporary. Counted on that there no one was able to prevent him.'
  'So, it's nice, that he did not come back!'
  'It doesn't matter absolutely, my dear: he has prepared too strong replacement himself - Dan. The most brilliant, the most popular of all the scientists of our time. Who is able to do what Lal himself could not. Subtly he calculated everything!' Yorg clenched his fists. 'Dan! And he does be none Dan at all - a very Dan is no longer: his body - from the inadequate and the brain - of Lal!' He suddenly became somehow flabby. 'Goodbye, Milan. I want to be alone, to think.' Yorg turned off quickly the connection: did too much not want Milan to see that a fear began to regain control over him.
  
  45
  
  Starting tomorrow, they will live like everyone else: the quarantine is over. They will move to Starstown where Dan lived almost all of his first life. It has made especially big block for the entire family. Only the daughter is likely to live most of the week in lyceum, like other children of her age, but it will be not immediately: first, she became accustomed, after training and games she will come home.
  And now she had to get used to her name. She herself was allowed to choose it: that was to make things easier. She compared different names, suggested to her, repeated them, thinking over again - and at the end said:
  'I've thought up: let my name be Deya. Similar to yours both.'
  'It seems that in ancient Latin it meant: a goddess,' Dad said.
  'Of course, she is of extraterrestrial origin - has appeared from the heavens,' supported Sister Son. 'And her eyes are like stars.
  'Sonny, well, you became a poet,' Mom smiled. 'Okay, be Deya.'
  'But you will still call me as usual?'
  'Of course. But before the end of the quarantine only by your name: in order you are accustomed to. And you, Son, too.'
  Get used to the name - if only it. It was Far more serious the passing of interviews with teachers who were to determine their level of knowledge and preparedness.
  In order not to create excessive nervous tension, the teachers appeared as guests. The interview took place in a very relaxed atmosphere, often - even outside the home. The examinations, during which they had to perform the task offered to them, were carried out at the very end.
  Dan and Eya weren't present at the interview. Sometimes they just saw how Son or Daughter is walking with the teachers on the path and saying something. Relaxed and calm. But They - worried: knew that the most serious test today just they themselves held.
  How will their children be appreciated? They learned, like all children on the Earth - by the same programs: the parents paid for it a lot of attention - along with important matters for which they arrived on the Earth-2. But on the Earth the birth of the children was not indifferent for too many. Those who were opposed to Lal during his lifetime certainly can try to do something to discredit the fact of the birth of children not by an inadequate. Are there not such among those examiners? Who know!
  Just today They breathed easily: the commission has made a decision on the results of examination. The positive one: the children's development corresponds to their age; further studies, they can continue in the ordinary schools without any additional training. The report of the commission consisted of a very large number of points, reflecting in detail all particular moments of the development of Son and Daughter: both strong and weak peculiarities of it were noted.
  They knew relatively poorly the geography of the Earth, and no wonder: with it they were familiar only with educational materials. But we knew the geography of the Earth-2, which they went almost everywhere and saw everything with their own eyes. Especially the youth: he knew it wonderfully and remembered everything surprisingly accurate, up to the smallest detail.
  Something similar and about botany: both knew well all that concerned the trees in the forests of the Earth-2, many kinds of vegetables - grown there by themselves; the rest also by educational materials.
  They knew history excellently. Knowledge of mathematics: the girl - in the normal range; the youth - excellent, especially in the areas that had applied importance. Normal or high assessments of knowledge on other subjects.
  It was noted that the youth knew too much of what is included in the curriculum of next stages of education: could drive a space launch, knew in detail the technology of various materials' production, was able to design independently a lot.
  The development of girls - with a large bias towards the humanities and artistic disciplines.
  'Well done, Children!'
  At a festive evening table Mom ordered some extremely tasty dishes; then Dad played the orchestrion, and all except the Son were singing. Son just listened. Silently, with an absent look: his thoughts were somewhere far away.
  
  We went early to bed.
  'Everything went smoothly. Unclear, why?' Dan thought out loud, lying next to Eya.
  'Something has changed.'
  'So far, it does not seem so. Judging by what has been succeeded to learn. Too little: of all who have visited us, no one is directly connected with the inadequates.'
  'Eve would have answered many of our questions.'
  'She has never informed about herself.'
  'The computer has replied that she was alive and well. But despite this, she doesn't answer my call, although I used her chip. You may understand how you want. Well, Dad, sleep: tomorrow we have to be in form.'
  'I'll probably roam the garden a little bit: I cannot fall asleep right now.'
  'Not for long only, okay?'
  'Of course.'
  Dan put on a plaid, went out and sat down on the step. The night was clear; the sky was spangled with bright stars. Dan's gaze found the constellation Tupac: there Lal's ashes are. Of Lal Senior, how he will call since tomorrow, in contrast to Son, Lal Junior.
  Tomorrow! Tomorrow will be the beginning of what they prepared for on the Earth-2. Tomorrow, it may be possible to succeed something to learn. But to learn is necessary a lot - everything. To understand how to act. Before that they will proceed cautiously: with patience - like Lal once. He warned: strait actions will yield no result.
  So! He must, nevertheless, walk a little - he begins to feel cold.
  The eyes have become so accustomed to the darkness that distinguished almost all. But the human figure in the far corner of the garden so immobile that Dan almost stepped on it.
  Son! It lies in semi-unfastened sleeping bag: for him the night sleeping under the open sky without hoods and roofs - the biggest luxury of the possible on the Earth.
  He is not sleeping: his eyes turned to the stars. Of course, the constellation of Tupac.
  'Why are you not sleeping?' Dan sat down beside him. 'Are you worrying, how will your appearance among university students?'
  Son did not answer - it seemed, did not even hear. His eyes were fixed intently into the sky.
  Then, as if waking up, he turned them to his father, and he read in them anguish. Suddenly, he struck Dan with a question:
  'Dad, and when we will return there?' Son held out his hand to the sky.
  Dan's heart squeezed with pain: he realized that his son - not an Earthman; he would in no circumstances stay with them for a long time - will fly away to find himself again there, on still the little comfortable planet. His homeland. The first son of the Earth-2.
  But They won't be able fly away along with him. Until full implementation of Lal's Senior ideas. It will take many years. Maybe, the whole rest of their life.
  
  Joys of the return to everyday life absorbed Dan and Eya in the early days fully. Meetings with friends, pupils, colleagues, acquaintances; - They with a greedy pleasure plunged into the sea of communication with lots of people. It does not tire them at all.
  And in those days they received some information that only confirmed what they already knew. And nothing more.
  Eve did not respond. They could try to contact her through Lee, but he was called into space during the quarantine. He did not even rest properly after the rescue of astronauts - but there, in the Near Cosmos, something happened, and it demanded the best rescuers. Who know when he will get back!
  'What shall we do, Dad?'
  'I want to understand: to comprehend the situation completely. They behaved too weird. The test of knowledge of our children was the most opportune moment, why did they not use it?'
  'What can they do now with us - with you? They understand too well. They preferred not to focus general attention.'
  'You must be right, Mom. They try to pretend that nothing special had happened. To represent the appearance of our children as a pure experiment, carried out in exceptional circumstances, and that implies only that children survive on the Earth-2 and the Far Cosmos. And nothing more. None further - social - conclusions. They do not, indeed, occur to almost anyone.'
  'It means they're afraid of you - your popularity: it creates a situation not in their favor. It is just now necessary to take advantage of it. You must appear on the worldwide broadcasting.'
  'No, I must not. Remember all that Lal said. His views were too unexpected for everyone: no one wanted to listen to him.'
  'They will you!'
  'But won't understand. This will only stun them. Only play in favor of Lal's enemies.'
  'What do you suggest?'
  'Do not hurry. We will make familiar with the Lal's views some individuals: let they talk about them to others, passed from one to another, discuss them and argue. Spreading gradually, they will take roots in the minds of many better. Then we will have supporters, but the opponents.'
  'Is that all? No! It is imperative acts, examples.'
  'The appearance of our children - is still a prime example.'
  'You yourself say that the most did not make any conclusions of it - have understood nothing.'
  'Give them time to understand.'
  'And before that time to wait?'
  'To propagandize.'
  'Not enough! And what we've done there - turns out, too. It is necessary that there was at least one child born by its mother already here on the Earth. But I myself...'
  'I know. 'I know. You can not - the death of Kid standing in front of your eyes. And before mine, too.''
  'We must act. Act!' Eya repeated stubbornly. 'I know - there were women who wanted to give birth to a baby themselves. Teachers. Eve told me about it: then, before departure. She herself - too.'
  'Again Eve?'
  But the new attempts to call Eve yielded nothing: without replay. Why: why does not she want to talk with them?
  They decided to contact Lee without waiting for his arrival. Dan ordered a session of cosmic connection with him. But instead of Lee, the doctor of the space station on the Minerva went to communicate. Lee was in the hospital: crippled greatly during the last rescue operation, which was then suddenly called for. Now his life is out of danger, but he is a long time to be confined to bed after he underwent surgical repair. Terrible news!
  'He is going to get over it, Mom. You have heard: the doctor said! But he will have to be treated for a long time - we won't soon see him.'
  'We had to ask him while he was on the Earth. He'd certainly communicated with Eve. Well, nothing to do: I myself will go to her.'
  'Do you not force her to talk with you if it turns out she really does not want to!'
  'I will - somehow. The main thing - to find her, to see.'
  'It will be really a terrible breach of etiquette.'
  'Let it be - necessary! By the way, I think I know how to affect her: I'll take along with me Daughter. And I will not put off: we'll flight this Friday.'
  
  Children have returned home full always of impressions and immediately began to tell and to discuss what they saw and heard during the day.
  While entering into an ordinary earthly life gave them easily. Both were immediately surrounded constantly by their companions, who tried to show and get acquainted with all that they could not see beyond the Earth. They paid with telling of the Earth-2 and the Far Cosmos. Attitude to them not only friends, but also teachers was certainly special: they were, after all, not like everyone.
  They do not hurry home after school - appeared there only by dinner. But to finish the day out of familiar environment, without parents, they would not be able.
  ... Son, it seemed, was not quite himself - confused with something.
  'A sexologist said with me today,' he said to Dad alone after dinner. 'He asked me if I wanted to go to the houris. Is it necessary at once?'
  'No: you have the right to wait.'
  'Dad, but in general - is it obligatory?'
  'All your contemporaries for the first time had to do with houris.'
  'I would not like this at all. I can not treat houris and also all inadequates like everyone else. You have said yourself. And I'm wearing the name Lal.'
  'That's right, Son!'
  'Of course! And then, whether is it necessary? I would like to - like you: you and Mom. It is right?'
  'I think, yes. Though, maybe, not for everyone. You can do as you like.'
  'You see, it is worse than the guys invited me to go to erotic games. This Friday. I need some good reason that they would not hurt: I anyway do not go with them.'
  'On Friday we will go with you for fishing. There is a lake; I was there just before flying away to the Earth-2. Together with Lal. For your comrades that, in my opinion, is sufficient.'
  'Yes - it is!'
  And he began to share his plans with Dad: to fly around the whole Earth, to see firsthand all of its corners. And all the plants. And all the animals: for the present he liked best of all in the zoo.
  'But all of them, we will not take there: at least at first,' he brought routinely all in the end to his Earth-2.
  
  
  
  
  
  46
  
  On a rocketdrome of the child island there was nobody. About Eve's workplace Eve learned from the same reference computer: in the other side of the island, which they had to reach by air car.
  On the lawn, as once ago, barefoot children in colorful calico shorts were doing exercises with an instructor. Nearby, under a tree, a woman sat. Apparently, the teacher - waiting for the end of the exercises to lead a group to breakfast. She did not pay any attention either to the landed air car or that Eya with Daughter approached her. She did not even turn her head.
  'Good morning!' Eya greeted.
  The woman flinched and raised finally the head. In her eyes for some reason a fear flashed. Unfamiliar.
  'Eya?!' she asked hoarsely.
  'Eve!' Eya recognized her suddenly - she was not too similar to the former Eve, haggard and thin, looks much older than her years. The eyes - extinct.
  It was obvious that she was in such a condition that nothing can be questioned. And it must be so now!
  'Relax!' Eya tensed, 'No matter: you shall speak'.
  'This is my daughter. Her name is Deya.'
  'Daughter...' in Eve's eyes something blazed.
  'I want to show her children on the Earth. Will you help?'
  'Yes. I will,' Eve replied indistinctly.
  She gave the children to drink juice and immediately led to the dining room.
  They had breakfast in the same place, at a separate table. Eve was gloomy silent, and Eya tried somehow not to show her impatience.
  'Lead us, please, first to the babies,' she asked Eve, when they rose from the table.
  'Substitute me,' Eve said to an assistant-intern. And they went to the nursery to babies.
  'Little!' Deya's eyes widened. 'May I pick him up, seniora?
  'Only carefully.'
  'Do not be afraid, Eve: she - knows everything.'
  The nurse handed the baby to Deya, and she took it carefully.
  'She holds skillfully!' Eve saw in amazement.
  Deya clutched tightly the baby to her. Her face was pale, the lips trembled.
  Eve looked silently at the nurse. Deya gave her a child, went to her mother. Her head was lowered.
  'What is up, girl?' still doing not understand anything, Eve asked. Instead of answering, Deya burst suddenly into sob.
  'Kid! Little!' broke through her crying. Eve grabbed, hugged her.
  'Do not cry, my daughter, do not cry! Come on!' She has managed to calm her down - and only then let go. She turned directly to Eya.
  'We need to talk!' Her eyes burned - it was again the former Eve, with decisive, energetic gestures.
  'It is very necessary, Eve! Because of that I have arrived.'
  'Come on, let's go: I can not sit down right now - I need to move.'
  'But I can still stay here?' Deya asked.
  'If you do not cry. Okay?' she stroked gently the girl's head.
  'I will not - I promise.'
  'Well, stay. Wait for us here. When hungry, order a meal: the robot will bring it to you in the office.'
  'Maybe I have lunch with them?' Deya pointed to the nurses.
  'No, it's - rather not.'
  
  As soon as they moved away from the nursery, Eve drooped more and more again. But Eya did not go down, though she the first did not start talking.
  'You have a good daughter,' Eve said finally.
  'Good, yes! And my son is good, too. Mine and Dan's.'
  'Yours and Dan's,' Eve repeated thoughtfully.
  'I wanted to show you the first our children - in their births there is your also contribution. But you have not visited us. Why is that? Why you did not even answer my calls? After all, you have given me your chip.'
  'A lot of why, how many! How much water has flowed since then.'
  'What happened to you?'
  'Ah! Nothing did.'
  'You wanted to talk.'
  'Perhaps, I changed my mind.'
  'What's wrong with you?'
  'With me? Nothing. Just tired of everything.'
  'Of what?'
  'I said: of everything.'
  - Come on,' Eya spoke suddenly to her strongly, 'tell me! All entirely.'
  'What to tell you?'
  'What has happened to you: why you have become such.'
  'Who gave you the right to demand?'
  'You did. Yourself. I'm a mother. You wanted this.'
  'Wanted,' Eve echoed.
  'You and Lal. You were a friend of his. On the Earth, there was no one who would have been closer to him in views than you.'
  'Yes: it was. And isn't any more. It is over. Now I can nothing.'
  'Do not dare say that!'
  'You even shout at me already?'
  'I shout! Why do you think I must not to shout? Or have you already forgotten why the daughter was sobbing? You think I looked quietly at kids? You surely know noting?'
  'I do know! Forgive me,' Eve hugged her. 'Yes, I know - you have lost one child.'
  'Our Kid,' Eya felt weakness seized her. With stress of will she forced to pull herself together. 'Eve, you have to tell me - everything. Immediately.'
  'Yes, sister. Sit down. Better yet, lie down on the grass. I will now. Just will collect a bit my thoughts. Not so easy to start. I will talk not quite coherent: you really do not take offense.'
  She sat beside her.
  
  'Listen now.
  You flew away when we obtained the first restrictions of rejection. We - teachers and physicians. Not all - only those who are engaged in children of the first three stages. During which it is made - rejection.
  And Lal was once with us. In just the beginning. But he wanted not only what we did. Lal spoke out against the existing use of the inadequates on the whole, - and nobody supported him. Even we. Me, too: I did not really understand what he wanted. He was sent away in the Near Cosmos.
  Further we went on without him. When after Dan's revival he returned from the Cosmos, then did not participate in our movement. At all. I do not know why. Maybe, because he was preparing to fly there along with you.'
  'Eve, he found another way,' Eya interrupted her. 'During the flight there, he opened our eyes to all that was happening. We lost him there right away, and what he wonted we have done without him. And we will do further. Later I'll tell you everything. And now I'm sorry I interrupted you. Go on, please!'
  'Wait! You want the same thing what Lal did?'
  'Exactly, Eve. Now this is the main meaning of our lives.'
  'Do you know what that means? Alone - who will support you?'
  'For the present - only one. Maybe, someone else whom we managed to acquaint with the views of Lal.'
  'And who is he that only one who is already with you?'
  'Lee, Eve. Your Lee.'
  'You do not understand the danger you expose him to!'
  'We understand. And he understands. But we know and the extent of our strength. But Lee is not afraid of danger. Who, if not we, whom he saved, can know that? And I believe that you will be with us, too.'
  'Me? I do not know, - she drooped again. 'I'm sorry, but it is difficult for me to talk now.'
  'No: go on!'
  'Okay - do not be angry, please.'
  'You go on without Lal...' Eya prompted.
  'Yes. And then we were able to achieve a restriction of the rejection. Partial one - but still it was a victory: for some of the children we are able to not be afraid.'
  'By increasing the inadequates offspring', Eya thought, but said nothing: was afraid to interrupt again spoken so hardly Eve.
  'We have achieved the victory without attraction all mankind to the issue decision. Our enemies retreated - apparently because of fear that made our movement public worldwide, we would achieve much more: the crisis was over, and people thawed a little, became less ruthless to selves and to others.
  The only argument of our opponents was a reference to the fact that in the current circumstances not lesser stress required - for the solution grandiose challenges associated with the development of the new planet. Therefore, limit the rejection even more had not to be done.
  And this has convinced even some of the members of our movement. Our ranks have thinned. But those who were against it propagandized vigorously their arguments against us.
  The campaign continued, but with quite little results. We, perhaps, appealed to all mankind too late: the universal voting has already given us very little. Still - we continued to struggle.
  I began increasingly to understand that we would not achieve further anything, not having eliminated the basic condition of the rejection possibility: children should not be common - and, as a matter of fact, no one's. For this woman - all, not only inadequate birth givers - themselves have to bear and raise children. Then they would no longer be indifferent to the fate of their child, and rejection could not exist any more. It would disappear. Completely.
  What are you looking such way? I really, when I said you, that women themselves must bear, thought only that we ourselves need it. Natural need put in us, women, without satisfaction of that we feel the lack in life something significant. And only.
  Too much time has passed, until we realized that it was the only mean of the destruction of rejection.'
  'But you said it to Lal during your first meeting! He said that it was you who told him it then. If do you not remember?
  'I have said, yes. And then forgotten for some reason. I remembered about it far later, much - already after I came again to the same conclusion. Even without any connection with said once to Lal.
  It was not only my conclusion. We approached it together, me and several women - from those who struggled against the rejection. If Lal was with us, we probably would not have lost so much time to figure it out. We were not able to see so deeply and widely as he - saw only our immediate objectives.
  
  Those who understand the relationship between childbirth by all women and the rejection were terribly few. And most importantly, none of us had enough determination to do this: a fear that the children would be taken away immediately, and we were not able to do anything - the public opinion would be against us.
  But time went on; our struggle stopped actually, because it gave no longer anything. And then I myself decided to do it the first.'
  'Eve!' Eya pronounced faintly.
  'It was more like an act of despair. Even the closest friends accepted my decision with horror. But my decision was final.
  None man agreed to become a child father. I employed a ruse, although it was disgusting: interlaced my fingers with many men, that none of them could for sure blame self in my pregnancy.
  Stopped using contraception, but for a long time nothing happened. This led me to despair.
  Still, I got pregnant. You know, it's hard to convey all that I felt, knowing that it has appeared in me - my baby. But just you will understand: you only. Do you remember - your first pregnancy?'
  'Of course! All at once: both excitement and joyful anticipation. And Dan - he, too, worried and was happy. How he watched over me!'
  'Yes: by you it was different.
  But I - had to hold back. Only my closest friends knew. The physician, who was watching me, was one of them: I came to her in a nursery during a time when no one could meet me, and after the examination she was recording my original data in your personal archive. I wore a dress, which cut concealed for long my growing abdomen. It seemed that none knows anything.
  But the awl in the bag can not be hidden. In fact, my position was guessed by the minders and wet-nurses - inadequates, on which the physician and we did not really pay attention. Between themselves, they said, 'Doctor Eve's belly like by a pregnant woman becomes'. Gradually all inadequates of our island began to know it. But for some reason they told about that none of propers.
  They - apparently accidentally - were overheard by one of our trainees. I know it almost certainly: I was surprised unpleasantly how carefully, with her eyes wide, she scrutinized me. Three days later she flew away - her practice ended.
  ... And a week later to us a commission flew: several gynecologists and one of the leading geneticists - Professor Yorg. Flew because of me. Of course, only she could report: here we know each other too well - any of the teachers or physicians in the first would talk to me.
  They examined me immediately. Actually, it was clear as soon as I undressed to lie down on a cyber-diagnostician.
  I tried not to show that I worried.
  'A boy,' one of the gynecologists said.
  'A boy,' Yorg repeated. 'However: this is not essential.' And he left the room.
  The gynecologists I did not say anything - they all seemed confused.
  
  Yorg was waiting for me at the entrance.
  'If you do not mind, let's walk, - he said quite kindly. 'We need to talk and discuss things calmly, colleague.'
  'We seem to be of different specialties, senior.'
  'I'm in a broader sense: we are colleagues in the common cause - the human reproduction. So, I want to understand why you, found your pregnancy, did not take the necessary measures?'
  'Because I did not want to interrupt it,' I replied.
  'Unclear.'
  'I got pregnant intentionally: I want to become a mother.'
  'Again, it is not clear.'
  'I will try to explain to you. If you will able - try to understand: I want to bear a baby. My own one - myself. And then raise it.'
  'What for? There are birth givers, inadequates, and baby minders, also inadequates that are not able to do anything else. And they do an excellent job with their business. But you, a proper woman, can devote yourself entirely to your own one, without being distracted by what they are, fortunately, can. To each his own. This is the order by which we, humanity as a whole, were able to achieve a lot.'
   'We just do not notice what we pay for this order with.'
  'With what?'
  'With the loss of one of the highest human joys - parents' communication with their own children. Whom they on their own have given birth and raised. With whom are busy since their very birth - and thus they become the dearest in the world. This is with what we are paying.'
  'Do you not really love your pupils?'
  'I love, sure. But love for children is a sense needed not only to me, teachers, pediatricians: to all and every. And to you.'
  'I see! Do you think that children, all absolutely, not lavished by love on? Do not get all that is possible to develop harmoniously? Does not the humanity give them the best that it has? Are not children most precious to us all? They are our common children, children of all mankind!'
  'But it's impossible, dear professor, to love all at once - not knowing anybody individually. This is not the kind of love - this is an abstract love: it is not sufficient. Children actually transmitted entirely to us - the teachers: the rest have little to do with them. We, their caregivers, really love them, but we are too few to defend them against what is being done to them - with our participation, to the horror. With a clear conscience, convinced of the need for this. And all the rest of humanity also calmly permits it.'
  'Is this: the rejection?'
  'Yes, may it be cursed!'
  'You and your like-minded friends are not aware of the evils of what you are seeking! The nature has not created all people the same.'
  'It has created them all human beings: with a human mind and senses. With the human soul.'
  'Soul - is a mystical gibberish: suitable only for bad poetry. The humanity bases itself on real differences of intellectual potentials of specific individuals and, accordingly, determines functional place of everyone. This ensures maximal effectiveness of the activities of all mankind.'
  'Repetitions of the crisis epoch! It is over. And not at all because of what you and others continue to allege. Now such brutality has already none excuse.'
  'Is it not enough for you that you have got? Are you dreaming stop the rejection completely?'
  'It's been our goal from the very beginning.'
  'And the return of women to the birth of children - is a mean for its implementation?'
  'Yes - although not only for this. I told you already.'
  'Well, let's summarize: your pregnancy - is not an accident but an intentional, deliberate act of your program.'
  'Yes: someone had to do it the first.'
  'I see everything.'
  'Is our conversation over?'
  'Almost. Let me just ask you a few questions, interesting me as a geneticist.'
  'You may.'
  'Thank you. Who is the father of the child? Do you understand what is interesting me?'
  'I do not know.'
  'What do you mean?'
  'The possible fathers are a lot.'
  'An exhaustive answer! And what genotype of the child can you expect?'
  'Do you - always specify it in advance?'
  'With incomparably bigger probable reliability than in your case. Optimal selections of pairs, produced by us, as you know, after a thorough analysis with use of specially designed only for this supercomputer.'
  'Why, then, all the children are not born capable enough?'
  'Because it is - absolutely impossible. And you know it. Instead, we provide the maximum of the most gifted ones possible today. Excluding selection will cause hereditary degradation. This argument - against you. You have something to think about. I have all for today.'
  He called on his own a self-propelled chair for me.
  
  A few days Yorg did not contact and meet me. I spent them in trouble: we guessed what he would undertake.'
  'Did he expect that because of the uncertainty your nerves would become weaker?' Eya asked.
  'Must be. But when, at last, instead of paging he appeared very early in the morning in my school, his behavior had not a trace of hostility.
  Children were doing exercises. I, as always, was sitting near the sports ground - watching. Then suddenly, without seeing, I felt his presence, and shuddered. Like today.
  'Relax, sister! You must not: if you are afraid of me?' he said smiling.
  'Why do you think so?'
  'Of course: why should you be afraid? Good morning!'
  'Nice morning, senior.'
  'I would like to talk to you.'
  'After breakfast. During this time, I'll call a replacement - the trainee is even inexperienced.'
  'Okay, I'll come after breakfast.'
  'Why? Better, stay - observe the children. Is not it gives you pleasure?'
  'I do not mind,' he agreed immediately.
  He looked somehow thoughtfully at children.
  'Look, look!' I thought. 'It's useful for you: maybe, you will have will understand something.'
  After exercising, the children came up to us. I introduced him to them - he just nodded his head in greeting.
  ... After breakfast, we had our second conversation.
  'Both of us had time to think, sister.'
  'On what you call an argument against me? Even then I could say that you're right...'
  'Well, you see, you yourself admit it.'
  '... But - only partially. This is not the whole truth, and not the only imperative. Stop for a while to argue, - first answer me here what question: did you want to pat some child on the head?'
  I probably caught him off guard with this question: he did clearly not want to admit that such his desire did not appear.
  'No!' he had to say yet.
  'You do see! So, you do not have love for them - you can not give them even a drop of affection. But we have a love for children as an obligatory prerequisite for the possibility to deal with them.'
  'I do not understand: what do you want to say with that?'
  'That it is not clear: how, not loving children, can you be occupied with them?'
  'You know, you won't be able to drive me out of my wits. You're trying in vain. Do not smile, please: you have for this too few reasons. I do not understand why you're trying to prevent me from helping you?'
  'Helping? You just do not hinder!'
  'Oh no! We did unfortunately - not prevent you properly too long. But further - no! Do not expect. Too much you managed to mess things up. Now both you and we came to the bound. You are striving for your own, affecting the emotions of people - and only them. We appeal to their mind: the mind of modern people is stronger than their emotions. We'll explain what harm you have already caused, and will to more if we won't stop you now. We are able to do it - the majority is with us. Remember: whether people supported Lal?'
  'They did not understand him yet.'
  'Even you did not support him. And if we persevered, the whole Earth would have voted for the announcement of his boycott. But we understood that everyone was able to be mistaken - we gave him to ensure his own error. Well, so what? He understood, and, after returning from the Near Cosmos, stuttered no longer on the former. He was a clever man: instead of continuing to persist in his delusion, engaged in a truly great thing - flew to transform the new planet. Follow his example better!'
  'Lal yielded to you? Too poor you know him!' - I remembered how he brought you before your departure. But did say nothing to Yorg: he was not an opponent, whom to dispute with - the enemy. I saw that he would not spare me. But I knew that this enemy is, unfortunately, much stronger than me.
  'Here's an alternative: either the termination of pregnancy, or our demand for your boycott. In result, we do not doubt. And you, too.'
  I was silent: yes, I did not doubt.
  So, this ghoul wants to kill my child, whom I carry under my heart! Eya, sister, do you know what the feeling of hatred is? I've - I know. And I know how you can desire to kill a human.
  Yeah, the human. If he was a wolf, it would not be so terrible. And he was endowed with reason - and considerable one. He knew much more than I expected, but in his own way - to turn against me.
  'The threat of a boycott can not intimidate you. Of course: you bring a sacrifice for your great goal - and already see yourself in advance in a heroic halo. But have you thought you'd have to sacrifice not only yourself?'
  'I am ready to pay for everything alone.'
  'You still have not understood. You are thinking about the doctor who helped you? No - not she.'
  Not she?! Who? Not actually the father of the child - they do not know him, and it is nothing to blame. Yorg looked at me and smiled. Ominously. Confidently.
  And suddenly, as if an electric shock pierced: Lee! My dear boy - almost my own son. Who I saved from certain rejection and loved best in the world. And he does me - closer than me he, too, had none. I will stay closest to him - whatever happened to me. He will not renounce me if I expose a boycott - and then a boycott will wait for him, too.
  'Do not you feel sorry for him?' Yorg, who seemed to read my thoughts openly, asked. 'No? So then what is worth your love?'
  'I will myself forbid him to communicate with me: I'll say that it should be so.'
  'It will not help, Eve: he loves you - he never will turn his back upon you. Love is the highest and most powerful feeling, isn't it?' It turned out, a lot, too much of it he understood. 'You did not think of that before? Strange. Well, think about it today. Tomorrow morning, I wait for your answer. I'm giving you a chance, and if you don't use it, then you will able to blame for the consequences only yourself. Goodbye!' And he left quickly.
  
  The day dragged on painfully long. I continued to do automatically my usual job and think uninterruptedly: how to be?
  Finally, in the evening, when the children were in bed, we got together. No one could offer anything - I had to decide alone. Gradually, the friends went away.
  Well, what a night it was! I thought feverishly, looking for a way how to keep the baby and not to ruin Lee? How, how??
  Why actually I saved Lee then if I was able to break his life now? Do I have the right to do so? After all, the child is not yet born - but Lee alive, conscious. The best space rescuer of the Earth - that was waiting for him for very many years?
  If not him, I would not hesitate. But I really loved him too much. Apparently, more than the cause for which struggled - for which wanted to bear a baby and was ready to endure the boycott. Alone.
  And - I did break down, lost my nerve: by the morning I was ready. Not telling anyone anything, I contacted the physicians of the commission and said I wanted to meet them immediately.
  They were waiting for me in the clinic - Yorg was not among them.
  'My friend, do you want us to help you fix what happened?' one of them asked.
  I could not answer: yes, my throat tightened. Nodded my head.
  'Okay. Will do.'
  'Only immediately,' I croaked, 'until I've changed my mind.'
  Accompanied by two of them, I was taken by air car to our implantation building. There's a surgeon, dealing implantation zygotes to birth givers, made the abortion. The operation was made quickly - the surgeon was experienced: abortion birth givers sometimes had to be done. The gynecologists of commission for some reason were also present during the operation.
  And that's it! It got empty, as if not my uterus was ravaged - but my soul. I was like broken: could neither speak nor eat nor sleep. A week they kept me in the hospital for intravenous nutrition and electro sleep. I regained the physical condition, but mental one - only Yorg I will wish the same!
  Only a month later I returned to school. With children it became easier for me. But with adults, I did almost not communicate - could not.
  ... A month later I heard a message about your return.
  
  My Lee flew together with others to meet you. The whole Earth lives with reports on the progress of your rescuing.
  Only none was waiting, like me. I waited for coming of a man who knew what to do. How much it was necessary to me!
  You were showed on the screen: you were like shadows, and the children with you - no one but I did understood what that meant. But Lal was not: he did not come.
  However I saw children, real children! Born by you - on your own. You - are a mother! I tried to persuade you to do it. And you - have done. But me? How to look you in the eyes now?
  Other people were happy - I could not imagine without horror a meeting with you. I even cut off completely the external connection. I was able to be called by only a few people, my closest colleagues: I gave them another call code.
  Even Lee I was afraid to see. Fortunately, he passed the quarantine; I myself called him: in order he did not worry. Just once.
  It was necessary to contact you all, with you, Eya, at least to send a congratulatory radiogram - I could not. Just thought: even you wouldn't remember me!'
  'Why you so?'
  'Now I do not deserve anything else.'
  'No, you - must not think like that about yourself.'
  'No, do not comfort. What, besides bitterness and contempt for myself, left for me? How can you even talk to me? Now - when you know everything. You regret me - why?'
  'No. Believe me: I do not. You're higher than me. Me - what? If not Lal and Dan: I was just a young girl when I met them. But you did everything on your own. Exactly!'
  'All of this is now past.'
  'No. You struggled - so hard! Why punish you yourself: could it not be even a single defeat? Do not, sister: you hear, do not! We will achieve our goal - you'll see!'
  'We? Who exactly? How many? They can be counted on the fingers of one hand: the rest scattered in all directions.'
  'We will gather them all again.'
  'Hardly!'
  'We will! Them - and others: what Lal taught us will open people's eyes.'
  'Nobody listened to him then, you know. And I, too - ready to repeat it to you.'
  'Since then, much water has flowed under the bridge. Now you listen to me instead of him.'
  
  Now Eya was speaking - Eve listening.
  'So!' she said. Of all whom they acquainted with the views by Lal, no one understood so good what was said. She did not need the usual details: she knew too much herself. Every word of Eya - like water in dry sand: again in the eyes of Eve appeared shine, and for a moment she turned to be the former Eve.
  'It would be easier if all the time he was with us,' she said thoughtfully. 'But maybe - even more hard.'
  She began to answer Eya's questions. Her answers were a little comforting: not much has changed since their departure. The rejection - yes, limited considerably - but has not disappeared, exists (May it is cursed!).
  'We must act, Eve! Lal is not - we are in his stead.'
  'How - to act?'
  'To transfer Lal words to everybody: let them know! Restore your former ties, and tell them - in the first place.'
  'I'll try.'
  'And else, it is necessary that another child was born by a proper mother - here, on the Earth.'
  'Do you want to repeat what I have failed?'
  'That's imperative, do you know?'
  'Who? You?'
  'No. I can not. I...'
  'The space?'
  'Yes. Although, I am quite healthy. There - our Kid perished. You know how.'
  'I know. Everybody knows.'
  'But you - you understand. I'll never obviously dare - to give birth,' she looked longingly into the eyes of Eve. 'Do you?'
  'Me? I can no longer. After surgery, the gynecologists told me: 'Now you can in the future have none fear.''
  'We need to talk with those who wanted to do it.'
  'No. They are demoralized with what had happened to me: they are afraid. Yorg and genetics are still able to do anything with them.'
  'You think so? Why do they remain silent until now about our children?'
  'Are afraid to have to do with you: you are too popular.'
  'But at least to try to do something? When checking the development of the children, they had the opportunity.'
  'There was absolutely nothing?'
  'We have not noticed.'
  'Then they had in reserve something more serious.'
  'Tell friends that and we won't give to do anything with them, too.'
  Eve shook her head:
  'All the same, nothing will happen. Now - no way. I'll try, of course. But all the same, I know they do not dare immediately.'
  'Let not immediately.'
  'It's hard. And we both have no strength.'
  'It will be. We will stay together - and it will appear. We will find it, we must - we have to be strong.'
  'Only - not immediately, too. But now I know at least that I am not alone. Well, let us go. The girl, maybe, is tired of waiting.'
  
  'You're not bored, my daughter?'
  'No, I looked at the babies. And wet-nurses are so nice. Only they did not give me children any more.'
  'It is not allowed, girl. Whom you took, the doctor will examine especially.'
  'But to look, they do not interfere.'
  'To look is allowed.'
  'Only they are a bit strange. Do not know many things - I tell them, and they do not understand.'
  'They have been taught little. They are inadequates,' Eya said.
  'Those who Dad said about?'
  'Yes.'
  'I see!'
  'Daughter, but do you want to stay here till Monday?' Eya offered suddenly, seeing how Eve looks at her daughter.
  'Is it possible?'
  'Yes, my daughter: of course!' Eve drew the girl to her. 'You will be along with me.'
  'Will I be allowed to play with children?'
  'Yes - only the doctor will examine you, and it will be possible: already tomorrow in the morning.'
  'Then I'll stay. Mom, what about you?'
  'Dad is waiting for me.'
  'Come to lunch, Eya,' Eve reminded.
  'Excuse me, I'm not hungry. I'm going to fly. Just I'll say goodbye to my daughter. You take me to the air car, let's talk a little more.'
  ... 'Thank you that you left her with me.' They were standing near the air car. 'It's so good for me to be with her.'
  'Stay along.'
  'She kept surprising cleverly the baby. Our girls are not able to.'
  'Children of different ages have a little connection with. This is bad. My ones grew up together; Son took care of her sister, knew that he is elder. I have so much more to tell you about them.'
  'They, must be, and give you strength. Happy are you, after all - in spite of everything!'
  'Yes, Eve. And for that I am grateful to you both: Lal and you. So long, Eve! Open your external communication. Let's be together!'
  'We will, sister.'
  'Yet this is what else: I recorded our conversation 'do you allow giving the record to Dan? Or do you want me to erase it?'
  'Yes. Him - do give!'
  'Well, that's it! See you, sister. Arrive as quickly as possible: we will show you Son.'
  'Thank you for everything. Say hello for me to Dan!'
  
  
  
  
  47
  
  The lake extended beneath with familiar outlines. Dan landed the air car and jumped out of it ran to the shore.
  How long ago he was here. Along with Lal. There, in the distance, the island located where he spent the night with Layla as if dreamed. He was then different, and Lal was alive.
  'Dad! How beautiful it is!' the other Lal, his son, was standing behind.
  The robot quickly put a tent. They launched the inflatable boats, loaded fishing gear. The lake, in spite of the non-working day, was almost empty - only one boat loomed nearby.
  At first they put the boats side by side. Got undressed, put the body under the sun, feeling the air with all pores. Dan adjusted rods, helped Son. They threw and started waiting.
  'What is it? Why there's none biting?' Son said disappointedly.
  'It means nothing: later, by the evening it'll begin. Let's depart now. Try spinning.'
  'I'll row to the big island.'
  'Come on! Once there I had pike biting. With exactly such spoon-bait. Take them!'
  'Why - two ones?'
  'For an emergency: there at the shore there are algae - hooking can occur.'
  The water seemed frozen. The floats, too - so that he got tired of looking. Dan poured tea from a thermos and drank slowly.
  The boat with the solitary fisherman approached him.
  'Does bite?' the fisherman asked after saying hello.
  'Nothing. And how about you?'
  'The same. Just wasting my time in vain!'
  'What bait did you use?'
  'Actually, I've tried almost everything.'
  'Maybe later I'll begin?'
  The fisherman waved with his arm:
  'In the evening yesterday none biting was, and this morning, too: I started at four o'clock. For nothing! I'll fly now somewhere else - it's just time! Not for nothing, no one stayed here. Are you going, too?'
  'No. I was not here for too long.'
  'Well, you know best. Good luck!' It was good, that he did not recognize: the face was obscured by a large peak.
  So, it's almost nothing to hope for. Pity: he wanted so much to experience the thrilling feeling of excitement and success, the feeling of resistance of caught fish, drawn the line. But to fly, in any case, he was not going.
  Lal was waiting for him once here - and he was there, on the island: Layla sang to him and gave herself. Son rowed there - to the island. He has already not seen at all.
  The sun warmed nice. Throwing a couple of clay 'bombs' for lure, Dan lay on the bottom of the boat, dropped off imperceptibly.
  ... Unexpectedly something as if pushed him. Still not quite woken, he sat and began to look around. And suddenly he saw the boat of Son swinging on the water. Empty!
  He grabbed frightened his radio bracelet:
  'Son! Son, answer me! Where are you! Son!'
  The son replied immediately, 'I'm on the island, Dad. Something happened?'
  'I was scared. Your boat came away from the shore, but you were not there.'
  'I forgot to tie it. Send me, please, a big tent, clothes and the robot with food.'
  What?! And suddenly he remembered everything: understood.
  'You are alone?' he asked with some timidity. His heart was pounding with thrills.
  'No.'
  'Right now I'll send everything.' He hurried to the shore, blew the raft and dragged himself everything on it.
  
  Since the day she visited them, she flew often here.
  The days were filled to overflowing - she and Paul worked like possessed, preparing 'Brand'. But in parallel, ceasing never for a moment - thoughts: about herself, Dan, Eya, their children. She could hide nowhere from them. And more and more she was attracted to the place where the only, incredible, wonderful night occurred. The night with Dan. Here - in silence, alone, she sat for a long time, remembering again and again, thinking.
  ... Rowed a sufficient distance, Lal hitched the spoon given by Dad and stood upright.
  The first few casts failed. Remembering what Dad said and showed, he repeated them, approaching the island. And near it a fish bit.
  The line stretched to the limit. Breathless of excitement, Lal gently hauled it up by holding his finger on the button of the motor rotating the reel. And he did not believe his eyes when he saw the fish, caught with a landing net. A pike! Not little one. What here they are!
  He took aim again, casted. Nothing. Again, and one time more, and more again.
  And again, the fishing line got taut, fishing rod bent. Again good luck! It is going even harder than the first fish. In order not to break the line, he has then to turn on the motor, then release the brake. How much force it has! Come on!
  Also a pike. What huge, almost twice bigger than the first one. Oh-ho-ho! The eyes of the youth were shining, the nostrils flaring, - he smiled broadly.
  Again, again a cast else. Nothing. It can not be, should not be! To catch more, to feel again and again a bitten the spoon fish, hook it with a sharp jerk and then again drag to him.
  'There, we also must have fishes, it is necessary as soon as possible to populate rivers, lakes, seas.' To be able there also to experience the excitement of catching, the delight at the sight of a large thrashing fish.
  He threw away far, almost to the bushes at the cape. Started to lead - and felt immediately that he had caught. Oh, wow!
  Working with oars, he slowly moved to the cape, gently pulling the line, as Dad taught, to try to free a triple hook with the spoon. The sun still shone brightly. The breeze blew nicely over the face and naked body and moved quietly his boat.
  A surprised cry caused him to raise his head.
  ... What to do? How to live? Every day, she felt stronger and stronger, that she was finally not able to live as before - just the way they live.
  A thought seemed at first insane - to be one of them, enter into their family - did not stop. On the contrary - it became obsessive, so strong that even crushed feelings for Dan. They were getting closer to her - all: both Eya, and the girl, and the shy youth, whose burning eyes she began to see often.
  It is necessary to swim: water will refresh the body and calm a little. Layla threw off her clothes, stepped into the water. The sun beat in her eyes so that she had to squint.
  She opened her eyes - and did not believe herself: the boat was before her, and in the boat Dan's son - Lal. The sun gilt his waving fiery red curls - it seemed radiant halo surrounded his head. And youthfully shapely naked body with a convex chest, unfolded shoulders - as if created by the ancient sculptor for the temple of Helios .
  He looked up when he heard her scream - and his sight eclipsed everything. He could not already tear from her his eyes, could not lower them; they light in them admiration and joy, timidity and submissive tenderness. His lips moved silently.
  And a thought as lightning pierced her: it is - the way out! The only one - the other won't be. This only will tie her with them - indissolubly, stably.
  And all doubt eliminated immediately, all anxieties. She became surprisingly quiet in her soul. And she did not cover her nakedness: stepped forward, into the water - towards him.
  
  Layla... Just she - or he knew not enough his son: how he looked at her, red with embarrassment. Then a half of a night waited on the balcony to see her again.
  It's time - the boy is eighteen. Be happy, Son!
  It is wonderful that with the first woman in his life love will tie, to which she will replay with the same - not just a passion. She will: she does know that feeling. Since a long ago. Much earlier than he, Dan, got to know it.
  Just him she loved. That meeting, here, when she seemed mad with joy - only this he recalled at least sometimes. But now he remembered everything: what Lal told him, when he, a powerless old man, lived out the last years of the first life, and her words at farewell then. He did not remember her, when returned: met immediately Eya. And there was the only that night - and the day.
  There, on the super far Earth-2, he and Eya bore children, and Eya, Mom, became the only one for him for all life - he got to know love and became different.
  But she waited here: he felt it immediately when she visited them - she flew to him the very first. And flew away, understood everything, but then forgotten nothing: she continue to fly here. And now she is together with Lal: because she can fall in love with him only - Dan's son. Let her be happy - with Son! He decided to keep the fish till Mom's arrival.
  Dan sat long on a rock next to the water: looked at the island far off and thought. The raft came back -a great big pike lay on it. So, Son has today good luck in all!
  How long she doesn't come! Let her arrive soon! What's about Eve? The wait was agonizing. He did not want even to fish.
  He is incredibly pleased to hear at last a call signal.
  'Dad, I'm flying. Turn bearing in an hour - I'll change a rocket plane for an air car.'
  'What's Eve?'
  'This is serious: she made an attempt to bear a child on her own - and she was forced under threat of a boycott on her and Lee to destroy the fetus.'
  'How did this happen?'
  'I have recorded our conversation - overwritten it to you. Start listening before my arrival. I will soon.'
  He listened, clenched his fists. Right, a thousand times right Lal was: what beasts!
  Eya, arrived, saw that he continued to listen - sat silently beside him.
  'It seems that Eve is not very stable,' he said, heard the main.
  'For the present, much not. But it's Eve: should cope.'
  'You are very tired today?'
  'Unbelievable. And I have not eaten since the morning: I was too busy with Eve. She is - like beaten unmercifully. I left Daughter with her - until Monday.'
  'Why haven't you tell me immediately? I will feed you.'
  'Have you caught a lot?'
  'I have nothing. But Son has caught by spinning. Look!' he showed her the pike.
  'Oh! Good boy.'
  'Yes,' something prevented him to say everything at once.
  'I even became hungry.'
  'Just a moment!' He put the pike in a container of the robot. Poured into tiny cups some dark vodka. 'Drink a little. An herbal liqueur according Lal's recipe.'
  'I'll get drunk: very hungry now.'
  'Well, good: relax.'
  'Okay: after I had learned, it is really necessary.' She choked immediately over, tears came from her eyes. Then she drank up. Dan gave her a piece of already fried fish.
  They ate in silence.
  'Indeed: it became easier. What you're now going to do? Will you go back to fish?'
  'With you - yes.'
  'No - I can not at all.'
  'Come then, lie down immediately.'
  'I'll wait for Son.'
  'You must not. He's on the big island.'
  'Where?'
  'Just there.' But nothing was visible already, it was quite dark.
  'It is necessary though to call him.'
  'It isn't, Mom. We must not hinder him.'
  '?'
  He didn't manage to say anything: a quiet female voice rang out over the lake.
  'The lullaby!' Eya exclaimed in surprise. One of those she taught with that, senior, Lal, and then sang to their children. 'Layla?! There - with him, our son?'
  He nodded silently. Layla: now there was no doubt. The sounds spread over the water, penetrating somewhere in the very heart. An unexplained guilt before her first awakened in him. What for? Even then Eya was. She is still with him. Next. Son - will give Layla that he hasn't given. And she - will give Son themselves whole, entirely: she cannot otherwise.
  They replaced each other: songs, romances, arias. One more beautiful than the other. They entered the soul, and a calm and joyous faith is setting in it. It was disappearing sickness at heart followed continuously them since that terrible moment when Kid went to sleep forever.
  Dan hugged Mom, pulled her to him; she nestled up to him silently, cuddled up tight. And when singing ended, they felt that passion reawakened in them.
  'Dad, dear of mine!'
  'Mom, my beloved!'
  They did not wish to oppose their lusting after each other. The desire, who had returned after such a long break. Entering the tent, they turned to the side, where now was their son, who found his highest happiness, and from where came a relief for themselves. Some dim light flashed there: it lights up the fire.
  
  48
  
  'Good afternoon, Eya. I need your assistance: we stage an old play, and I play the main character - she is a wife and a mother. Who, besides you and Dan, can assist me?'
  'Of course. And what is the name of the play?'
  ''Brand'.'
  'By Ibsen?!'
  The son lived no longer with them - his home became a unit of Layla in the City of Muses. Arriving Starstown - he did not transfer from the local university because of friends who he had already been - Son necessarily tried even if for a while to see them and sister, without resorting to telemeeting.
  They did not know particularly how to behave in this unusual situation. Did not talk about Layla, and she seemed to have no desire to see them again.
  This paging she did now for some reason to her, Eya.
  'I need your assistance,' Layla repeated. 'Could you fly to our studio - at the rehearsal?'
  When they appeared, the hall, where a rehearsal of 'Brand' was going on, was packed to capacity. For the first time: none outsider still appears at its rehearsals.
  Staging the play in general from the beginning encountered great difficulties: wanting to play it was almost none. Layla - Agnes, and Paul, decided to play himself Brand. With the rest of the roles Tsoy helped, the director, who blessed Layla to 'Brand', hardly persuaded several actors, not the best, except for Remus who took part of Vogt.
  But for the role of Gerd he did not find a performer, and Layla turned to Rita, not, however, hoping that she would agree. But, surprise, Rita, who denied before Tsoy's request, promised to think.
  ... She told about that Milan during their date.
  'If I agree, it will be only to meet Lal.'
  'The junior one?'
  'Yes, him. He is with us almost every night when Layla is playing. You know: she is intimate with him.'
  'Sure.'
  'You know unbelievably a lot.'
  'Not from you.'
  'It doesn't matter.'
  'You have changed.'
  'I don't think so.'
  'Do you not want to help us any more?'
  'I did not say that.'
  'Then - it will be helpful you met this new Lal. You know that they tell everyone and everywhere all heard by you then from Layla? And many listen to them, and then transmit and discuss with others. You do comprehend, what result can be.'
  'Of course. So - I must take the role of this crazy wench?'
  'It also will help you to learn from them is still much of valuable for us. Yes, baby?'
  'It is as hard to deny your request as to give up you now! - She smiled, moving closer to him. But it governed her also curiosity: in any case, these people were too unusual.'
  ... Layla introduced them to the chief producer of 'Brand' - Paul. The guests were shown two scenes: where Brand is going to leave the mountain village, but pursued by shouts of Gerd and consciousness of its debt remains - and with him Agnes, too; then - in which the gypsy comes, and Agnes gives all things of her deceased child.
  Layla was great: every word, every movement was of a genuine sense. But at the same time she imagined many things not quite correct - this is necessary to point out: to explain the needed details. Just this is not important. The main thing - how she interprets the image of Agnes. And how she is holding a bundle with the child. If she had her own one! Well, this dream is too unreal.
  And Brand was excellent: Paul played a person not only stanch and indomitable - his Brand expressed his pain for what people were. It lay in his conviction a torment of overcome doubts, of the overwhelming desire to condescend to the weakness of people - they need to be helped to become them in the highest sense. Contrary to them selves, in spite of pity hindered him.
  The memories crowded in Eya's mind. 'Brand' served then as Dan' means to force her to overcome doubts, to decide: now she could never imagine the life without her children. And it was her duty to help others become the same. It is necessary to help them, Paul and Layla: the production of 'Brand' will stir people up.
  Unfortunately, it won't be able to have a conversation here. Many people - all are looking only at them. Besides, the rehearsal went on much longer than they expected.
  'We have an appointment with friends in Starstown. Maybe you will fly along with us?' Eya offered. 'Let's talk in the cafe.'
  'But your meeting...'
  'To them, our discussion will be interesting. So what?'
  'With pleasure! - Paul and Layla got up.'
  'May I to along with you?' Rita asked.
  
  During flying Layla questioned Eya how true she was portrayed Agnes - Eya explained to her errors. The others were silent, listening to them. Paul and Rita saw the first astronauts so close, and were all ears, though each of them was interested in quite different things.
  For Paul, they were primarily prototypes of the play protagonists. Dan really looked like Brand, only calmer and less severe; - would Brand be the same having such great achievements? But Brandt and Dan - are people of too different epochs. Some producers treated Brand during the time of Ibsen as severe fanatic just because of his being a priest: his striving to excellence for people perfection connected with his religion. But how many remarkable people of that time were deeply religious: Tolstoy, Gandhi, King. The latter two were killed.
  Brand - isn't a fanatic: he is demanding just because of the main goal clarity - continuous improvement. Dan is also like a person understanding clearly the purpose. What one - Paul knew already in general lines from Layla's words. But he wanted to listen just to them: Layla's words aroused the strongest interest in the ideas which they, as he was said, preached now widely. But if they're right on the whole - or so much that, without taking all them, it is necessary to recognize their partial correctness - he did not venture to judge this.
  But the very personalities! As a matter of fact, Brand is for him valuable only as a bright, solid character - however, there is in him still a lot of unclear, incomprehensible.
  'What can you say about my Brand, senior?' Paul ventured finally to ask Dan a question.
  'There is a lot of that, who can be taken as the prototype - unfortunately, he is no longer - my friend: Lal.'
  'He doesn't consider, that he self!' Paul mentioned.
  ... But Rita felt a little strange. Being a scout - it tickled the nerves, seemed exciting as in old books about them. But at the same time, she, like all on the Earth, could not help but admire them.
  What do they want? Why, indeed, they violated the existing order and preach to others about its destruction? It became to intensify the desire to know and understand as much as possible not only for Milan and Professor Yorg.
  
  The cafe 'Aquarium' where they spend most of their meetings, was selected Dan: their walls were decorated with a large number of designed elaborately, lighted aquariums, and he satisfied his former passion for fishes, that to admire he had no possibility for so many years. He sat always face to the circular wall: the floor rotated slowly, and aquariums with a variety of fishes passed in turn before his eyes.
  There no one waited for them yet. They sat at the table; each ordered a light supper the cyber cook. Again they started talking about 'Brand'.
  'But this play was once helped me greatly. Yes, Mom?' Dan asked.
  'And how much!' Eya replayed. 'Perhaps, I'll tell you how it was.'
  Soon there were those whom they waited for: Arg and Leah with a dozen of young graduate-students.
  'Excuse us, teacher, for coming after you!' Arg, completely gray, said: his appeal sounded strange - Dan looked not older than he.
  Feeling coming late, the newcomers sat quietly and listened also to the telling by Eya.
  ... Just this she did not tell during her arrival to them in the mountains. About how Lal persuaded her to bear a baby; of her hesitation, about how after the death of Lal she decided that it is necessary no longer. About Dan attempts to convince her - to do in remembrance of a friend: he asked her to see then 'Brand'.
  About 'The rainbow', that she recalled after watching 'Brand' and the contents of which narrated briefly. And how she then made up her mind finally.
  They listened to her with bated breath.
  Not audible by others signal interrupted the end of her telling. On the small screen of her radio bracelet Daughter appeared.
  'Mom!'
  'How are you, my daughter? Have you been home for long?'
  'Just arrived.'
  'Have you had supper?'
  'Yes. Mom, but where are you?'
  'In 'Aquarium'.'
  'So, you'll today come back late, too?'
  'Apparently. You do not wait for us, go to bed in time.'
  'Okay. I only will contact with Eve: I want to talk to her.'
  'Say her hello for us. And tell that today I will hardly manage to contact her.'
  'Please, switch on a large screen, Eya: I want to say something Deya,' Arg asked.
  Rita looked curiously at the girl's face appeared on the big screen.
  'Good evening, seniors!' she greeted everyone.
  'Nice evening, my daughter!' Arg said to her. 'I have learned something for you.'
  'I am listening, senior.'
  'But by 'senior' - you will not call me any more. Here - I have found that once children called 'uncle'. This means - the brother of the father or mother. Is that clear?'
  'Yes, it is. And the sister of the mother or the father - too?'
  'No - women were called 'aunt'. A very old people - 'granddad': the father of the mother or father; and 'Granny' - the mother of any of them. Me - how will you call Uncle Arg or Grand-dad Arg?'
  'Uncle Arg. You're actually younger than my father.'
  'But I'm older than your mother.'
  'But if to put together the halves of their ages?'
  'Oh, there will be roughly equally. Indeed: uncle. Fine girl: you are very clever. Come on, I will make you my disciple when you've finished university.'
  'No, Uncle Arg. I'll be the teacher. Like Eve. Aunt Eve.'
  'It's pity, Deya!'
  'Good night! Goodbye everybody,' Deya said and disappeared from the screen.
  'The incredibly nice girl! I like so much to talk to her: an enormous pleasure.'
  'But everyone loves this - to talk to children,' Dan said. 'The natural need - to communicate with them. For all - Lal was infinitely right: each human, a man or a woman, must have his or her own children.'
  'It is a pity that I hear it from you only now, not when you were only sixty years,' Leah said.
  'Why just sixty?'
  'I then asked him for a consultation - I finished college. What he was! How I wished him to stretch out me his hand.'
  'Did not I do it?'
  'You did: but after I did it first. And the second time, when I stayed in his box all night, he was just talking about his work. He offered me a deal with the problem, which he told about, and to become his graduate-student. What I have done. Here's what he was when sixty years old.'
  'Have you regret something?'
  'Terribly! No, not that was his pupil - that no one had then hit still upon the need to have their own children. You would have persuaded me easier than Eya. Indeed: great! But now I is already late for me,' she touched her white as snow hair. But her black eyes looked young, glittered - it was not clear whether she seriously regretted it or laughed.
  'That really resembles our teacher. Do you remember how he made a couple of young graduate-students to disengage their fingers and go off home to their computers?' Arg asked.
  'Gay and Yukee,' Dan remembered. 'He was your graduate-student, Leah. And she gave us then all the material about the characteristic numbers of elementary particles.'
  'You found then that they of one of the particles coincided with a regular group of primes' differences series.'
  'And that was the beginning of the discovery of the periodic law of the elementary particles. And then - hyperstructures.'
  'No,' Dan objected. 'In the very beginning there was my meeting Lal, who showed me the chart and the letter of Mikhayloh.'
  '... And then the hyperexpress was built - Tupac opened the Earth-2.'
  'And you flew there and made it suitable for settling.'
  'And have entered the Contact.'
  'Yes: the epoch of the crisis is over.'
  'It is past.'
  'No!' Dan retorted again. 'It isn't yet. And won't be - until all people have understood that Lal had the first discerned. If the errors of the crisis epoch won't be eliminated.'
  'Teacher, let me object to you,' Arg said. 'I do not agree that this should be done immediately. Using the inadequates provides great benefits: can we still stop using them? After all, we have today no less grandiose tasks, which will again require enormous tension.'
  'Are you suggesting postponing it for the future?'
  'Sure! To move the Earth-2 once all the required number of settlers, animals, plants and the rest by the Express is impossible - even having reconstructed it. The calculations have proved that completely. We'll have to build another hyperexpress - at least five times bigger. The affair is not cheap. In fact, I've because of it delayed now: looked through the latest results of the calculation.'
  'It's possible to do for several times, by the Express - I proposed this option from the beginning.'
  'The settlement will dragged on for a long time.'
  'It doesn't seem to me scary.'
  'But, teacher, everyone wants as quickly as possible.'
  'And the return of the Express service almost without load will need to spend about the same amount of energy as flying there. It is irrecoverable costs - not comparable with those for the construction of the super hyperexpress,' one of the graduate-students of Arg added.
  'This is the reason, being too weighty for all. And now there is one more: the hyper apparatus of the Express is needed for another - as an antenna for receiving repeated signals of Those. At least until we have managed to decipher Their message.'
  It really did not yield to decoding. They used the most advanced and powerful supercomputers, but - nothing worked out: its record was so ultra-compact, that it was impossible to divide into separate elements. In intensive searches of a way of its division Dan participated, too.
  'Have I convinced you, teacher?'
  'You haven't, Arg. We may not now establish a permanent contact with Those: they should not have seen us in this guise - as highly intelligent beasts.'
  
  The position taken by Arg alarmed Dan. Is it possible that among his opponents his disciples will be? Sadly, if he have to experience that.
  Seeing the dark face of Dan, Leah tried to turn the conversation to the different:
  'Eya, you wanted to tell us something else, didn't you?'
  And Eya started again to tell: how Children grew up. All were listening again attentively. Especially Layla - despite the fact that she had already heard that: she was listening with excitement and because of this did not notice how hard to talk was for Eya.
  ... None of those present support Dan, but many of them showed that they agree with Arg. Even Leah said nothing. Eya had felt clearly, as it was hard to be to Lal, forced to remain silent terrible number of years. They were listened at least to!
  Dan lost in his thoughts. It is not easy, oh, what hard time they have! Still never somebody here has expressed sympathy, the consent with that he and Eya tell about the inadequates. They have been only respectfully silent always. Today, he has first objected: he did not expect that it would make his own pupil.
  Rita was listening Eya initially carefully, like everyone. Much of what she was telling, Rita had heard of Layla, but stated by same sounded differently often: Layla has missed a lot of details - not having understood and therefore remembered them. But then Rita's glance fell accidentally on Dan, and she stopped to listen.
  The greatest scientist and hero, planned so much to turn over on the Earth, was sitting fallen to thinking deeply about something; his eyebrows were knitted. What is he thinking about? Rita tried to guess something from his face. It then became stern and calm, then again tensely frown, and his lips became tightly compressed. And suddenly, his eyes flashed with an expression of acute internal pain.
  He just lifted his head, looking at the fishes, to digress a bit: in the aquarium, which passed slowly past him were swordfishes, angelfishes, and gouramis. A strange choice for such a cafe: pure amateurism, he admitted once to himself in his unit. And immediately he remembered: 'Sorry for the fishes, too!' If to tell them - about Chamomile! But he could not: in this case he would have to say everything just about him, about the condition in which he was then - is now here it is hard for him to speak about this. Rita saw his eyes darkened again.
  Dan felt someone staring him. He took himself in hand. Raised his head and looked straight into her eyes. Ah, she played the role of Gerd, crazy, which was the sister of Brand - Vogt told him about this; with her Brand perished in a snow avalanche at the end of the play. There are in the eyes of the young actress curiosity and some hidden turmoil. He smiled at her suddenly.
  ... A silent ring signal transmitted from the radio bracelet with easy blows on the wrist, distracted momentarily Layla eagerly listened Eya. In order not to interfere, she put the micro earphone in her ear, put to the throat laryngophone .
  'Wonderful evening, Layla! It's me,' Lal's voice was heard. 'I'm sorry: I stay with my friends.'
  'No matter, my dear. I won't come home soon. You may not hurry.'
  'I'll fly home as soon as I'm free.'
  'But I'm now in Starstown.'
  'Ah! Where?'
  'In the cafe 'Aquarium'.'
  'There Dad and Mom spend time almost every evening.'
  'They are here right now, too. I am with them - we have met today at the studio, and then come here. We have a long conversation. I'll become free not soon.'
  'You signal me when you leave. All right?'
  'What for?'
  'Oh, please!'
  'All right, my dear. Bye!'
  She began again to listen to Eya, who several times casted a look at her when she spoke with Lal. Probably guessed that this was Son.
  She spoke for a long time already. Everyone who was in the cafe, having asked permission, sat closely and listened. They heard about the amazing things, unusual - it was what was once known to all on the Earth, but then forgotten firmly.
  
  A group of university students had dinner in the lobby of the dormitory. On the table in front of them, a pitcher of milk stood, rye cakes and biscuits lay on a platter.
  Lal was sitting in the middle. Today all that evening he was again questioned about the flight, the Earth-2. The image of its hemispheres adorned their clothes, consisting of identical black sweater and white vests.
  'There by us...' - this phrase Lal began each next telling about his home planet. They listened wide-eyed: wow!
  They still understand each other not always. The friends imagined his life with his parents not very well - he did not how they can even not have them at all. He tried to understand their way of life, which before he was only familiar with from the words of Dad.
  'Your father is the greatest man of our time.' When he heard this, he surprised:
  'He says that the most remarkable man was Lal, his friend. I was named after him.'
  'But just your father discovered hyperstructures.'
  'But what?'
  'Come on! You did not hear about the scientific crisis, did you?'
  'He told me.'
  'But he did not tell that the crisis was over just thanks to him?'
  'No, never. And Mom did not, either. I heard from them that the crisis was over after the discovery of the Earth-2.'
  'But its discovery was entirely due to the creation of the Express performing a transfer in hyperspace - thanks to it. Lal was only his friend, he - a talented writer and journalist only.'
  'But not only. Dad said that he made people stop eating human flesh.'
  'What?!'
  'Did you not know at all?' - it was the first thing he told them about Lal Senior. 'But that's not the main thing: Lal discovered a terrible one - the revival of social injustice on the Earth.
  He started to explain to them what he had heard from Dad about the inadequates. But this telling was not as striking as about the Far Cosmos, the Earth-2. That he had seen with his own eyes - knew, remembered. But here, he had to strain, recalling what his father said. It turns out that not all was clear for him himself. Still, he imagined not exactly what the inadequates were really.
  He confessed them to this.
  'Just people who are unable to perform the normal job. Go still with us for the erotic games - you will look houris.'
  'You'll understand what they are: they know nothing and hardly understand anything.'
  'What did you speak about with them?'
  'With them? About nothing at all. We just dance, participate in games and retire with them. For the present we are allowed to go there no more than twice a month. Come with us next time - you'll see,' - they offered him nothing more: they heard about Layla. It was another reason to be proud of him. 'You think.'
  'Okay,' he agreed and started speaking again about Lal Senior.
  They absorbed eagerly what Lal said - Lal Junior, their mate and hero-astronaut, and they could not help but believe him, even when they understood not everything. But Lal felt that it became to tell harder and harder.
  'I'll talk with Dad once again,' he said, 'then tell you the rest. I will try to acquaintance you with him. And Mom. And with my kid sister.'
  'Thank you, brother. We hesitated to ask you to do this.'
  'Listen, why do you call me sometimes brother?'
  'A brother is a close friend.'
  'Is it?'
  'But why not?'
  'My sister calls me brother, because we have the same father and mother. We had a little brother else - Kid: he was born in space and there died. And my little sister and I grew up together; she obeyed me no less than the parents.' No idea even occurred to him to tell that he always gave her the best, and in terrible days of hunger - and the last.
  'You show them to us - we desire to understand everything that you say.'
  'It is time, guys!' he said, getting up. The signal from Layla did not come.
  They all together went to see him.
  'Lal, who will you become? What institute do you think to enter?'
  'I'll fly back to Earth-2: I have to know too much - I'm afraid no one institute will suit.'
  'Probably, it will be established a special one: with the program which your parents prepared by once.'
  'It's necessary to talk with Dad. Let him propose this.'
  'We will enter it, too: we want to fly along with you.'
  Lal was sitting in the cabin yet.
  'Bye, friends!' he shouted, slamming the lid.
  
  It was time to leave. Dan with Eya and three actors and headed for the exit.
  'When it will be possible to meet again?' Paul asked Dan. 'I really want to hear about the very Lal.'
  'Even now, if you prefer to go to us - to talk, but not home - to sleep.' Dan's offer was completely unexpected, but Paul was not surprised: all the behavior of this pair of people was unusual.
  'Won't I abuse your kindness?' he asked just in case.
  'Not at all! We won't hinder Eya: will leave to the terrace.'
  'It's pointless! I do not want to sleep at all: I was not too long on the Earth to indulge in the opportunity to speak. Maybe you with us, too?' she said to Layla and Rita.
  'Yes: with pleasure!' Rita said: plus to everything a visit their home else!
  'Too unfortunately, I can not,' Layla said little sadly; she wanted still to be with them, but she knew Lal was waiting for her signal.
  'It's pity! I'm always glad to see you and talk,' and Eya handed her a chip.
  'Thank you! I will need it very soon.'
  The question froze in Eya's eyes, but Layla, saying goodbye with bowing her head, quickly left. Their conversation, now already mandatory - is ahead, but now she isn't yet ready for it. Besides, she was really in a hurry: she may not keep him waiting so long.
  Having gone out to an alley, she just touched her radio bracelet to send him a call but heard suddenly a low voice:
  'Layla!' - the youth rose from the ground and stepped out of the trees on the illuminated track.
  'Are you here, my boy?'
  'Yes.'
  'Waiting for?'
  'I am,' he touched her arm.
  'For long? Your hands are cold - you're frozen.'
  'You don't mean say so!'
  'But you can catch a cold: the ground must be wet.'
  'Can it happen anything bad with a man here on Earth?'
  'A silly boy!' - she straightened his hair.
  'I was waiting for you.'
  'I know.'
  
  The unit was big. Rita scrutinized curiously adornments - the product of owners.
  'I just will have seen my daughter - and get back immediately to you,' Dan said.
  'May I go along with you?' Rita dared to ask him.
  'Certainly - but quietly.'
  'And me?' Paul asked, too.
  'Of course.'
  In the girl's room a dim night-light was alight. Deya was laying in a sprawl, her blanket was dislodged. Dan covered her gently - Daughter did not wake up. One moment they stood looking at her, listening to her steady breathing. Then they went out on tiptoe.
  The robot brought them to the terrace some coffee, strong - not to want to sleep. Dan began to tell.
  About how he first met Lal. About long friendship with him. About Lal remarkable abilities, his comprehensive knowledge, the breadth of his interests. About his superhuman patience - the lasting of many years silence about his terrible discovery.
  The actors listened without asking questions. Dan's telling portrayed a person being wonderful, heroic. It was wanted to believe everything that opened this untimely deceased person.
  ... It was hard to resist the charm of this image, to take the ideas left them still with irony. Something prevented - already - not to believe what Dan said about Lal. It's hard to forget how he gently touched the sleeping daughter and carefully covered with the blanket, how was looked at her: the expression in his eyes in the dim girl's bedroom has struck Rita the most. It was impossible to forget - and that was why so hard not to believe what he said. Even if, indeed, he, like his deceased friend, is mistaken.
  Even if...? She grinned to herself: she had thought as if no she was already confident in their rightness, but not her, Milan's and Professor Yorg's one.
  Continuing to talk, Dan plucked almost mechanically a flower, a marigold, and mashing with his fingers, raised to the face, sniffed the smell of it. And Rita wanted for some reason also to feel bitter-spicy aroma of the flower - and to her own surprise, she stretched out her hand to Dan, and he, as if having understood immediately, gave it her.
  And almost immediately began talking about another side of his friend nature: about Lal - a writer and connoisseur of beauty. About how before his death he did not let ruining the gypsum grotto. And about the violin. He brought it and, attached to the shoulder, started playing 'The Ballad' by Porumbescu .
  The sky began to lighten slightly, stars - to fade.
  'The dawn will be soon. We must go away long time ago. Sorry, we forced you to spend the night without sleep,' Paul said, getting up.
  'Ah! How many of them were there, sleepless nights. It doesn't matter - they have not gone to waste. And this one - too. Hurry up, my dear, for your staging: it is very necessary. May soon be dawn - just that, real one. What our Lal dreamed of. Feel free, if you need our help: you'll do help us with 'Brand'. I think that you have understood a lot.'
  'Still not completely - but I want to understand. Goodbye! Quiet remainder of the night to you.'
  'Goodbye, Paul. Goodbye, girl, Dan nodded gently to Rita.
  ... 'Yes, Mom: this night has not gone to waste!' he repeated surely, when the door closed after them.
  
  49
  
  This night has not gone to waste not only on the Earth - far from it, too, in more than ten billion kilometers. Although at that time the side of the Minerva, where the space station was, faced the Sun, its light here was nearly five thousand times weaker than on the Earth. A dark day, usual there.
  But in the ward of the hospital where Lee lay, it was light and noisy. Around the bed friends sat, who just arrived on the Minerva. Lee was already on the mend: physicians had worked on him much enough.
  'They have fixed me already,' he had reported them immediately. 'I consist for twenty-five percent of another flesh, bones and organs. And stranger skin - seventy percent.'
  'Darned qualitatively!' the giant Guy, a former graduate-student of Lee and his partner in many rescue operations, said. 'But still, without me, you should not be allowed to go anywhere. Really! Although I think you'll fly because they haven't spared material for you.'
  'Haven't really! The material of the first class: the highest quality donors must be slaughtered specially.'
  'Why: to spare for such the super expert like you?'
  'Sonny, you perhaps would look at it with a little less humor, if you knew that you had once more than enough chances to be among those whom they have finished off for you calmly.'
  'Wha-at? Do you not be depressed? They what - have told that you can say good-bye to the rescue service?'
  'Not yet. It will be clear when I have recovered completely.'
  'So, what are the grim jokes?'
  'None jokes! I explain: I still before this scrape have managed to improve a little my brain and to explain what exists now really, so I did become able to comprehend something.'
  'The gloom of the Universe! At what direction do you lead us in?'
  'In the right one - do not worry - the most correct.'
  'By whose bearing?'
  'By whom I called always Captain.'
  'Dan? Would you better tell how you flew to rescue them.'
  'And about them. '
  'Come on!'
  'So be it. At the same time, also why I think that he was able to straighten my brain. Just keep in mind: we'll have to string up, to understand properly what I have learned. It's not too easy - even for you, my genius of cosmic scales.'
  'Well! Do not wear out.'
  Lee tried to speak as intelligibly as possible to manage bring at once to their consciousness the main. Some of them can fly in the near future - it won't be possible to talk to them soon. It is important that, having understood something, they would be able to remember as much as possible - and share with others. To carried Lal's ideas throughout the Near Cosmos. That they will fulfill his request and do it, he had no doubt at all - as well as in themselves: the space brotherhood - the thing, being most reliable.
  What he said was so striking that they forgot about his fly by launch to the Far Cosmos, which details were the most interesting in the beginning. He was telling about what was not in the reports published long ago. Kept silence, listening attentively.
  The doctor came for a moment to see him - even did not sit, to leave immediately - but did not to, began to listen, too. He remained standing, folding his arms across his chest and leaning against the wall next to the door.
  'Everybody must know this. You'll tell others - wherever find yourself. And they - will do further. Tell as minutely as possible. All you have realized or for the present just remembered.'
  'In the meanwhile - more remembered than realized. Not so simply!'
  'All right: for beginning it's enough. Who do not fly immediately drop in to see me as often as possible. We will discuss: we need to comprehend this thoroughly. Captain said that the epoch of the crisis cannot be considered past, until the mankind will destroy the social institution of the inadequates. Therefore think - think properly about what I have told you. And once again, I ask you: tell others about it - anyone you will able.'
  'Don't worry: we will. But in general ... Hmm!'
  'Do not get embarrassed, boys. For me it was even harder: I did select for you to only the most important for the present.'
  'But if everything is as you have said, why - no one saw this?'
  'That's just the whole point. Therefore, all must now learn.'
  'Of course!'
  'Eagles of the Cosmos, fly up immediately - until you have done in my patient!' the doctor ordered suddenly.
  'Why were you still silent?'
  'Because it was still possible. But now enough - I say quite seriously. And not invest in farewell handshake the whole power of the feeling: I cannot now re-transplant him a hand - I respect other people's principles, even - new ones.'
  And the astronauts said goodbye to Lee with tilted head.
  ... After a minute after they left, Guy reappeared at the door.
  'I persuaded him to let me sit with you for five minutes else. Well, have you given a brain what for, brother! You know, I was never afraid, right?'
  'Right.'
  'But now I'm afraid: if what you have said, well, everything is the truth, then it cannot help but be scared.'
  'And what do you think now?'
  'I - like you: you and I were together always.'
  'It will be difficult.'
  'You bet! But we are rescuers: 'If somewhere a trouble happened, our job - to hurry there!' But how was it possible: how could it all happen imperceptibly? Were you - scared, too? When you have learned - about it?'
  'Terribly- especially when Captain said that I myself had to be rejected. With my physique I would have a direct route to donors - and maybe you would mend with my pieces. Really, in the beginning I could not stand to study, so if not my Mom Eve...'
  
  And she at that time also did not sleep.
  Today, she managed finally to gather a quite big number of her former like-minded people. It was required the considerable labor: the movement against the rejection, in which they participated, reaching a deadlock because of the narrowness of the purpose, as if lost any former energy. Eve's desperate attempt to expand the goal of struggling and revitalize it with acts of bearing children by proper women ended in defeat: it seemed the movement has been crushed, destroyed. Although what happened because of it, remained the opponents of motion were aware of the impossibility to return everything back.
  The movement participants, leaving it, stopped seeing each other, dispersed and as if disappeared. And it turned out extremely difficult to bring them anew to a resumption of struggling. She had to talk to each separately - to convince of the need to assemble together: many tried to avoid the meeting. Even those who worked with Eve on the same island: during the meeting, they lowered their eyes - could not forget, that in the hardest moment they left her alone. Only two of them came with her to the meeting.
  But, in general, a sufficient crowd still gathered. Women dominated. Housed in an out-of-town cafe, occupying it entirely.
  Eve told about her meeting with Eya.
  'The situation has changed, colleagues. Lal's ideas are opening new horizons and showing the way. The victory of his ideas is inevitable, and we should be in the forefront of those who will come out for their implementation. Our movement against the rejection was essentially the initial stage of the struggle for the revival of social justice. Now it's time to perk up again - to unite and act.'
  Not many responded. Someone went away immediately, but among the remaining, most sat in silence. At the end there were only ten people, two of them men-pediatricians, the rest women, almost all the teachers of the first three stages. But on the other hand they were the most reliable.
  They started to develop a concrete plan of resuming actions. They discussed primarily measures to attract to the struggle the former members: according to the today's meeting, this issue continues not to be easy.
  Limiting the rejection was not accompanied by a reduction of requirements for the level of knowledge to transfer the children to the next step: the burden on teachers has grown, and the complexity of their work increased. Each of the children of poor talent, who formerly fell under the inevitable rejection, required not only significant additional work, but also an individual approach: some common, well-established methods of work with backward pupils there were so far extremely not enough. Far not all teachers were pleased with this that was also one of the factors of the movement fall.
  The discussion of this issue, too not easy, dragged on badly. It was night for a long time already, but they continued to debate, trying to identify the most effective ways of solution, and did not think to leave. Listening to them, Eve caught herself at a thought that they focused all attention on narrowly their own issues, failing to take account of the main goals of already a new stage of their struggle. And having waited when their end of debate died down a little, she said:
  'Is it worth from the very beginning to occupy in these issues only? Our ultimate success can be achieved only by the restoration of the immediate bond of children and parents: now the birth of children by very mothers on their own - is needed urgently. The appearance of Dan and Eya with their own children creates conditions different from being before ones. If I have not hurried to try it then, I would have made it the first now. But I am deprived of this opportunity forever: I ask you to think about it.'
  And again, the heads lowered themselves, the eyes hid - for this no one was ready yet. Although there were those who ones wanted to do it. But now - no. She has hurried.
  It was a mistake: Eya has warned her that it is still impossible to act bluntly. And they somehow drooped immediately; the conversation stopped, and all were going to disperse.
  Eve was walking behind all. It seemed this night had gone to waste.
  
  They lay on their backs, side by side. Were silent.
  Layla even thought he fell asleep immediately: the time was too late. But by his breathing she realized: no, he isn't sleeping. Why is that?
  She herself cannot to fall asleep. Well, so be it! The head is clear: thoughts about everything that she heard today. And the decision that she took today almost completely.
  He sighed.
  'Why aren't you sleeping, boy?'
  'I'm thinking.'
  'What about?'
  'Today I talked with the guys: told them what Lal Senior said about the inadequates. And I became convinced that I myself did not understand many things. I know these inadequates only by telling: what they are really I know, however, not enough clearly. I need to see them myself.'
  'You can meet the houris: it's easy.'
  'Yes. But that doesn't suit me.'
  'But the majority of people associated just with them. You'll get an idea similar to the most common one.'
  'They called me to visit erotic games.'
  'There you will see them quite a large number.'
  'But I cannot do this: either do you not understand?!'
  'Why?'
  'Because I've got you. And I cannot, do not want to be intimate with any other woman. I want just you to be mine - as Mom for Dad.'
  A dull pain like the last echo squeezed her heart: 'Just the son of Dan. But not Dan!'
  'A sexual intimacy with a houri is not mandatory. Do not be afraid: go - to understand.'
  'Really?'
  'You can see and then go away.'
  'And talk?'
  'With them?'
  'Of course.'
  'Try it.'
  'So, you think I can go there?'
  'You can. Let it does not bother you.'
  The pain was going away - she calmed down.'
  'Layla!'
  'What, my nice?'
  'Layla! I love you too much!'
  She pressed his head to her chest, squeezed it with her hands. Everything will be as it should be. 'Like by your Mom and Dad.' The last doubts vanished - she had decided: irrevocably.
  ... This night does not have gone to waste!!!
  
  50
  
  'Teacher, how long won't we act?' - the question of Milan to Yorg sounded quite sharply.
  'In my opinion, you are too excited today - and therefore exaggerate somewhat.'
  'They expanded their propaganda in full.'
  'But you run your own one. Or nothing works out by you?'
  'My one - still does not stop to acquaint with their ideas more and more people.'
  'But far not all like them.'
  'But still are gaining adherents. We are actually retreating instead to oppose publicly immediately: until they have succeeded to organize.'
  'Calm down! You still have not told me the news yet, but I'm waiting.'
  'Too little of the good.'
  'Really? Is there fresh news from Rita?'
  'Dan and Eya were to their studio during the rehearsal of the drama 'Brand'.'
  'Ah! By Henrik Ibsen.'
  'Yes. Layla is one of its producers. It turns out, Dan pins high hopes on staging this play. After the rehearsal he invited Layla, the main producer of 'Brand' Paul and Rita to Starstown for a meeting with his disciples in a cafe.'
  'There the star-spouses pontificated with the voice of the super wise Lal?'
  'Yes, they did. Eya repeated what she had once told Layla: about the children. Then they even invited them home - I think, not without intention. Layla refused, but Rita went with Paul, and they stayed there most of the night; Dan told them about Lal, who should serve as a prototype of Brand. Now, a number of interesting details: Dan with them went into the room of the sleeping daughter. He was putting her comfortably, covered...'
  'Well, but what?'
  'It made the greatest impression on Rita: how he did it, was looking at his daughter.'
  'They appeal to the still persisting instincts.'
  'Sure. About Dan and his daughter Rita repeated several times. And a couple of little things more: he put some flower that she wanted to sniff and played a real wooden violin. 'Even if they are wrong, then they inspire me with sympathy'.'
  ... 'And in general, I'm ceasing liking my role among them - this is cunning, a deception.'
  'Not we have started. They have violated the law of reproduction, when they could not be prevented, in order to put us with the fait accompli. What is it - not a trick?'
  'Why are you silent? Why you do not act like them? Or you do not have any confidence in your self-righteousness?'
  'You, you... You somehow separate yourself from us. You - the first who have opposed adamantly both the appearance of their children and their ideas that you called very delirium.'
  'Because I did not know yet what they have understood.'
  'You start to think that they are right?'
  'Yes - in something, at least, although a large part of their truth - or delusion, you may call it how you want - I cannot accept. Maybe the point is that they are different people - not like most of us. Therefore, we could not - understand them.'
  'Can you say clearer?'
  'I can. Tell me, my Milan, felt you ever a desire to caress a child? To stroke its hair? Or Professor Yorg?'
  ... 'Tell me, teacher, whether felt you ever a desire to caress some child, to stroke its hair?'
  'What?!' - this question had been asked him. By Eve. Who he succeeded to render harmless then. The victory gained self-confidently, with full consciousness of his strength. Temporary, unstable one, as it turned out. 'Why do you ask such a question?'
  'Not me. Rita. The question to me and to you. To all of us. Do you really not feel how serious it is?'
  'I agree. Well, and what else? Is there really nothing that is worth of paying attention to?' Yorg asked, preventing other unwanted questions by Milan.
  'Something: in a cafe during a meeting, no one supported Dan, when he began to appeal for changing the position of the inadequates - they listened, but did not support.'
  'But - did not object also.'
  'No, one - though only one - objected to him.'
  'It was one of ours?'
  'No, no one of ours was there, though at the end of the evening everyone in the cafe joined Dan's company and listened to the foremother Eya.'
  'Not our one?! Who?'
  'Arg, the closest disciple of Dan.'
  'Excellent!' - Yorg had a burning interest. 'His arguments?'
  'The not appropriate time for stopping the use of the inadequates under the present conditions requiring an utmost stress again.'
  'It is not just something! Not we - his ideological opponents - objected to him first: Arg, his favorite pupil, the great hypership-builder!'
  'He said that the main thing was the construction of hyperexpress, the settlement of the Earth-2, and the Contact.'
  'All right, very good! Great! That's what I just was waiting for. Dan has to understand now what he will face - will fall to thinking. Everything was very right - that we haven't still opposed him openly: we are now able to join those who think like Arg. But their amount is and will be overwhelming. And we - among them: not defenders of merely our own interests, but one of the parts defending the universal ones.'
  'And then...'
  'Wait! That's not all: the giant popularity of Dan cannot be discounted. And we should not forget that it is impossible to break him. But...'
  '?'
  'It's possible to try to disarm him differently: to make him have doubt the absolute truth of what he believes unconditionally. Start hesitating.'
  'How?'
  'To inform the cause of the death of his youngest child: it can affect him. All mankind must not enter our controversy: alas, everything is not so simple! The question that asked Rita is not accidental. The others must not ask it themselves, either. But this may become unavoidable if not suspend current affairs. But without any noise.'
  'Brilliant, my teacher Yorg! Go ahead! You, dear members of the Board of reproduction, are great masters to act quietly. The results are known. It was! Before having finished off the movement against the rejection - you have retreated, given to cut down it. And now, they are going to do the same. Let's wait and see! If they delay or become to give up again, we, young, will ourselves start acting. Without them!'
  'Do you have any questions for me, Milan?'
  'No!' - his tone was not usually deferential. His face and this tone made Yorg realize that the matter was complicating on the other hand.
  ... It is time to act besides only the counter-propaganda. It is imperative. Otherwise, the Milan and his campaigners and those whom they propagandized, stop to submit to him and the members of the Board of reproduction. They will be openly ready to pick a fight - they do not understand that to win, really, is not too simple.
  But not win, failing to defend the status quo - this is the finish. The end of everything that makes sense of his, Yorg, life.
  Does he want to caress some child? No, he doesn't! That is why just he has got to deal with the control of the reproduction of people, that he does not act under the influence of blind emotions, but guiding with the dispassionate voice of reason and obeying only the iron logic of science.
  Science and science exclusively - is the highest meaning and joy of life. It only - not the emotions, which people lived before with and for the return of Dan, Lal's shadow, is advocating. Emotions that are not worth anything - should be forgotten for the sake of pure happiness to devote themselves entirely to science only. So it is - and only so it should be!
  And the meaning of his, Yorg, existence - genetics, the greatest of sciences, which gives an unlimited dominion over the highest creation of the nature - the human being. Creating unrestricted possibilities for such people like him: all the multi-billion humanity, even not suspecting this, is their guinea-pig. Like inadequates intended for experiments.
  The Coordinating Board of reproduction of mankind - the former headquarters of the resistance to cutting down the rejection - now was the headquarters of the resistance to Dan. But still besides discussing possible measures they took none steps. Just followed the affairs' development tensely using information which Yorg supplied regularly: waited for an opportune moment.
  Today, having reported received news and the behavior of his post-graduate student, Yorg offered without delay further to inform Dan of the revealed by him cause of death of the child. The coordinator and the Board, having discussed his arguments, approved the proposal.
  Together they worked plan for carrying out. Dan must be pre-prepared: it is necessary to start with the transfer him of the child's body, which isn't needed to be utilized. Let him do with it what he wants: seeing the son will relax, soften him. Then Yorg will tell him the cause of the death. And will point out unobtrusively objective evidences of his being wrong.
  Then they started immediately acting. The corpse of a child which was handed over to Yorg for genetic examination was subjected to a cosmetic processing, and it has got the same look as in the day when Dan handed personally a transparent box with him physicians of the meeting commission. Meanwhile, it has been thought out in detail and prepared that, depending on the situation, Yorg could use to impact on Dan.
  ... Dan was informed that the work on the elucidation of the causes of the child death was over. What to do with the corpse: they have no resoluteness to pass it to the usual utilization. Maybe Dan and Eya want to save it?
  'I am touched by your attention.'
  'We have decided to transfer it to you. It is possible even tomorrow - on Wednesday. Or - next Monday: so, as not on a day off.'
  'Okay: tomorrow.'
  
  Tomorrow! He must tell Mom. They must inform that tomorrow Daughter will be absent in school. Tell her and Son, who is today here, and the conversation with whom has not ended yet.
  And won't be finished today - it must be put off. The serious, unexpected conversation.
  ... Friday Son went with friends for erotic games.
  'Why? You did not want before. And now you have Layla.'
  'But I needed: I had never seen inadequates and therefore could not answer many of the questions of the guys, when I said them what you told me - there was very much unclear for myself. And Layla has said that I may go and just look.'
  No, of course - he did not have sex with any houri, not even drunk wine. He was only singing, dancing and tried to talk with them. It was felt that he had been dumbfounded. They are tender, submissive, all - quite beautiful, but to talk... To talk with them was almost impossible. Incredible, amazing ignorance, misunderstanding everything. Stunning primitiveness of their ideas, terrifying poverty of their language.
  'They so little resemble normal people.'
  But what is even more terrible: they seem pretty happy.
  One of his comrades pestered him:
  'Take some of them. Well, at least this one: she knows how to do very well - I know.'
  'No. I do not need it.'
  'Want to know Layla only? Do know another woman else!'
  'Stop it, please.'
  'Listen to me, Lal, and you won't regret.'
  'I demand you to stop! Until now, you were my friend.'
  'But you're wrong. You know one side of relationships with women, we do the other one. Do you want us to know what you do, but do not want what we know.'
  Then he went away from there. To calm down a little, to understand the chaos of impressions and thoughts, he walked. Not knowing - where, seeing almost nothing. He woke up when almost bumped into walking towards a man who and hugged him laughing.
  'Hello, my dear! You, I see, begin already to obtain the quality of a very genius: a complete detachment when immersed in his thoughts. You have not even noticed Uncle Arg, who prepares you a wonderful present.'
  'Huh? What? What present?'
  'A super hyperexpress. You will fly away by it toward the Earth-2. And even will be its captain. You want to fly again there, don't you?'
  'Yes, very much. As soon as possible! I desire to go back there.'
  'What?! You have become sick and tired here so quickly? There is a lot of nice, is not it?' he smiled slyly.
  'But too much of incomprehensible!'
  'Come on, reveal what's the matter.'
  And Son was happy of the possibility to tell him everything. 'He is really your most favorite pupil. And he's so smart and funny, and treats so kind me and Sister. We love him'.
  Arg listened attentively to the excited telling of Lal.
  'It is so, my boy: it is too much not easy. Of course, Lal Senior was an amazing man, but it seems to me that your father and my teacher was purely too fond of him, his closest friend, so he believes and wants to carry out what that thought. Your father is also an extraordinary man: I can not compare with him; besides, I have too little dealt with the inadequates. But still, I also have lived a lot - and my ideas of them are similar to those that you just told me. They are really primitive, because are stupid since their very birth and are not capable of learning. What they could make machines and robots do much better and faster, and before the mankind started to use them, they were just useless burden. Everyone considers so. And I - too, although I can not imagine that my teacher Dan can understand something worse than me.'
  'It's strange, Uncle Arg, but they do not seem unhappy, as they should be.'
  'And will they be happier if something will change for them - also, in my opinion, it is hard to say. Anyway, there is some profit of them. But if to refuse the surgical repair, it is imperative to create a system of continuous monitoring - SCM. Can you imagine what is it? Much more complex one than the Systems of industry management. To switch to this a part of the human and productive powers? To drug out the construction of the super express and hence the settlement of the Earth-2 - but this is now the main thing. For everyone. Moreover - the Contact. You yourself - what do think?'
  'Sure: the settlement of the Earth-2 and the Contact - do be the greatest tasks.'
  'I'm glad, sonny, that you and I understand each other.'
  'But what about Dad?'
  'I'm telling you: he just was too fond of Lal. We, his pupils, it were even offended sometimes. In any case, now it is not the time to do that.'
  ... And so, today Son came to him. Only today, but not immediately, as before. To talk, in fact, they haven't managed: Son had just told him everything, as they informed about the possibility to pick up Kid.
  
  Son came back from the next room. Dad's view struck him.
  'Has something happened, Dad?'
  Dan answered not immediately:
  'Tomorrow we will get back Kid.'
  Then he called Eya - told her. She came home immediately. After a while Daughter appeared, too.
  They sat in silence for a long time. Even Daughter: did not shed a single tear.
  Tomorrow they will get back Kid!
  ... Then Mom said:
  'So, why has he died?'
  'I did not ask.'
  'We'll probably learn tomorrow.'
  'Where will we keep a box with him?'
  'Nowhere. We'll commit his body to the earth and remember him alive: bury in the mountains near our home.'
  'So be it, Mom.'
  'Today I'll stay with you - not fly to Layla.'
  'Layla? Sure, Layla: let her tomorrow be let along with us. Tell her. So it is necessary - if only because she will play Agnes. And let be Paul and this incomprehensible, eternally silent, Rita, and other actors.'
  'It is necessary to inform Eve.'
  'And my disciples.'
  'And my comrades.'
  'Anyone who wants to share our grief.'
  
  Dan held himself perfectly firmly, and what he felt only a trained eye could see - by the way he clutched tightly to him the small transparent box with the son's small body and how carefully carried it to a rocket plane.
  A lot of people came, and among them Dan immediately noticed Yorg.
  'This one is here, apparently, not without reason,' he thought. Lal's enemy, the killer of Eve's child. 'Okay, let him look!'
  The funeral procession was flying high above the clouds. In the first rocket plane, in the middle of it, the transparent coffin stood; only they four sat next to it. In the other ones those came for the long-unseen funeral flew. Yorg was flying in a second rocket plane.
  ... The day came that might solve much. Everything was prepared and went so far well: the forewarned edition of 'The News' has sent several correspondents. The senior of them, with a telephoto lens and a microphone, fixed to the forehead, turned to Dan for a permission to make a broadcast:
  'This was not for long on the Earth, senior.'
  'Certainly,' Dan replayed.
  'And besides, we ask to allow make it worldwide.'
  'I don't mind.'
  Yorg was contented: let see those whom the view of Dan's children was able to seduce even a little. Let them know what may be else. This live broadcast won't be in favor of Dan, if to come to an agreement isn't successful. However, if he did not allow broadcasts, it could also be later used against him.
  ... The small coffin stood on the platform at the grave dug by a robot. Dan with Eya and Children were standing near him. Behind them Eve, Arg, Leah, Layla, and Paul.
  Music started to sound: a requiem. ''Requiem' by Mozart : who had thought, who took care of that?' Dan thought gratefully. Suddenly he saw Yorg near the sound equipment. Dan shuddered inwardly: 'Why he?' He pointed his eyes at Yorg - Eya pressed silently his hand.
  The people in long procession moved slowly past the coffin with the child, leaving flowers near him. Then there were just the closest ones - the rest retreated at some distance. There was silence. They looked, bent over him - at his still unusually white forehead with a dark lock of hair. The sister was crying silently; rare tears flew down his brother's cheeks - the parents' eyes were dry.
  A robot lowered slowly the coffin into the grave, and everyone threw a handful of earth.
  They stood a little more near the grave hill and moved to the rocket planes. Yorg walked the last. He stood on the side, waiting for when Dan had finished to say goodbye and shake hands, and walked up to him after all.
  'Accept my condolence, Academician Dan. I was the last one who was looking for the cause of his death: I succeeded to find it. I can tell you all minutely.'
  'When?'
  'Any day.'
  'Thank you: we will not fail to take advantage of your kindness. Desirably - today. Where are you more comfortable to talk to us?'
  'I would prefer in our institution, in my office. If you do not mind.'
  'Not at all. Please, wait a few minutes.'
  ... 'You must fly without us,' he said to Children and those, who stood today along with his family at the grave. 'We're going with Yorg to his institute.'
  'Take Deya with you,' Eya asked Eve.
  
  They were silent during the flight: Yorg said, it is worth to rest a little, to gain strength - the reason is not too easy, and they have to have a long conversation. They sat, trying as much as possible not to look at each other.
  Both of them - he and she - looked calm. But who knew what was going on inside of them? It is unlikely, of course, the talk will be easy - therefore Yorg prepared himself in the morning: did electro massage, ate seeds of the Schisandra.
  So far, it was only unpleasant the appearance of Eve at the funeral. They can already know how he forced her to have an abortion. If they've seen before, it is too possible. But he did not know about that yet. Also he did not know anything new about Eve and her supporters, except that none actions and speeches on their part since then were not.
  Could he somehow gain their favor? It seems that no: he stayed purposely near sound equipment to be noticed - but he doesn't see, they are some grateful to him for this service.
  ... Familiar surroundings of the Institute gave a confidence.
  'Well, here we'll talk. I understand your condition: the reverse side of joy - is sorrow.'
  'So!' Dan noted. 'What the next?'
  'Unfortunately, the case of your boy is an extremely rare and difficult. Everything - since his birth in the conditions of the Far Cosmos until the last moment, when he was in the suspended animation - is unprecedented. As the causes of death it was possible to suspect many things - but the carefully conducted study found nothing until we, genetics, included in it. From the beginning, I had reason to suppose the presence of genetic character causes: you yourselves understand, why. Let me show you what the point is.'
  He turned on the Kid's DNA scheme. Not flat - on a screen, but a three-dimensional holography, that looked much more effective. Using it, he began to explain minutely - even in excessive details - the nature of the detected deviation of the gene.
  'What is really the cause of it? One could suspect the Far Cosmos and the vicinity of the hyper apparatus ruined once Tupac. But for the same reason as before, I assumed a trivial, but, from my point of view, more likely source: heredity. The assumption was confirmed to such a degree that the need to explore other reasons disappeared entirely.'
  Yorg included two holograms more.
  'The gene of the mother bears no signs of deviation, but it is recessive . The dominant trait passed from here suppresses it,' he pointed to a section of the second scheme.
  'In other words: this gene belongs to me,' Dan said.
  Yorg shook his head:
  'No. Him,' he switched on the screen.
  The man with the body, familiar to the smallest detail - the body of Dan, but with a different face, suddenly - also familiar. With the face of Deya!
  'Do you recognize?' Yorg asked. 'It's your donor, Academician Dan.'
  Dan looked eagerly at the screen: it seemed he was distraught.
  'You have forgotten that he has transferred you his genes, too. This unpleasant fact you have not taken into consideration,' Yorg put it quite cautiously. 'I understand that everyone may make mistakes - but it is necessary to make opportunely appropriate conclusions.'
  'What ones?'
  'The reproduction must be made on the basis of existing scientific methods. With proper, based on the achievements of genetics, selection, using the whole genetic fund of the Earth, carried out by sorting and processing the entire array of information with a super computer.'
  'And it protects against the unwanted consequences?'
  'Yes, it does with a very high degree of reliability. But in your case - one of the children, if not perished, would lag behind in the development.'
  'For sure?'
  'Seventy percent of probability. Quite a lot. I do not deny that the current method of the selection has not also an absolute guarantee - but still, it is much safer. You're hard to argue against that!'
  'Nevertheless - I'll try. How can you explain the stably high percentage of the inadequates' appearance that existed prior to the limitation of the rejection? One of ten, is not it?'
  'Yes. Much less than in your case. But it was inevitable: the laws of genetics are of a statistical nature and can not be otherwise. You do know that. Besides, the level of requirements to people's intellectual capacities is unusually high and can not be reduced - on the contrary, it is rising continuously.'
  'How to explain the decision about reducing the rejection?'
  'As a forced tribute to still persisting emotions that during the crisis could not be afforded. The return from those who will do normal work just due introducing the rejection restriction isn't sufficient to compensate the efforts to draw them to a necessary level. It will have to understand.'
  'It will have to understand not only this. And what is a human, what he may and what should not be under any circumstances. And what is necessary for him. To do understand all of this - once again. And maybe, not the last time.'
  'It was quite a sore point in every epoch.'
  'But always - inevitable one.'
  'And every time that will be resolved in different ways. Conditions are changing - and along with them the attitudes, philosophy and morality.'
  'But - not boundlessly. There is a boundary that may not be crossed - ever.'
  'But to move farther the very boundary? If this is reasonable? Even despite the emotions that interfere? After all, the mind surpasses emotions - the human should not be guided by them.'
  'Without them, he would be much stronger?'
  'Undoubtedly.'
  'And would cease to be the human. He would become a soulless robot.'
  'I do not accept the word 'soul'. It is suited only for poetry. I - for the reason. The pure one, that gives the unlimited dominion over the nature.'
  'That's not all, Yorg,' Dan said somehow quite gently. 'Not everything that a human needs. The world was not only outside, but also inside him.'
  'But...' Yorg was somewhat confused. 'But we have left what I started to tell you. That I have to say completely, because it tells me my professional duty. Listen, Academician Dan, and try to understand me. Like you, I think about the people of the Earth, about their future. Many things of what exists now, appeared in the crisis times, and that is why some people believe that after its ending, which we owe to you, they also have to disappear. Not realizing the benefits that these things bring and can bring any more.
  That what I started saying - the existing on the Earth order of reproduction of the mankind - is optimal, because it ensures the most healthy and able offspring; specialist-teachers exclusively bring up children, and others, including women, are exempted from this for working productively.'
  'We have known it too well since childhood, Yorg.'
  'But for some reason you want to destroy it: want the same that your friend desired to do - Lal.'
  'Quite true. Apparently, you know this.'
  'Yes: it has come to my attention, what you're saying and what calling for. But whether will people be happy about it? Looking today at how you buried your son, I said to myself: no.'
  'Nothing comes for free, Yorg. You have said: the reverse side of a joy - is a sorrow.
  I say: a sorrow - is the reverse side of a joy. You saw today also other our children.'
  'Dan, you are our greatest scientist: the crisis is over just because of you. But do you not assume that beyond your science you can be mistaken? You have believed implicitly everything Lal has said you, but it was characteristic of him to be carried away: he was a writer - a person of art, but not a science.'
  'You are wrong: none on the Earth knew the history better than he - and therefore could see what he was able. Lal opened my eyes to what I was himself aware vaguely of.'
  'But how many people agree with you?'
  'Not many. But - there are such ones. There will be more.'
  'But even more ones will be against you. They will let you do nothing.'
  'Like you? I know: you do be able to. Eve said, how.'
  'She violated the law.'
  'We did, too.'
  'But you know too well: you may do a great deal of what others may not. Just because you are Dan!' Yorg forced to say.
  'And therefore a lot of people listen to me. Further there will be more. People will succeed to understand that an injustice, on any basis - is unacceptable, that the inhumanity destroys them selves. It is inevitable.'
  'Do you think it will be easy for you to succeed?' Yorg looked at Dan already openly hostile.
  'I do know: not. You won't too easy give up. But I will not stop, too. The time - in favor of me; of Lal, whom here on the Earth, you could compel to be silent; of Eve, whom you have not let to become a mother. And we will never agree with you!' - he smiled, staring into the icy eyes of Yorg.
  
  Part VI
  
  IF NOT NOW
  
  51
  
  They carried on their propaganda with even greater zeal. The important role was assigned in it to the impending production of 'Brand'.
  The premiere was to be on Friday. The play began in the morning: it was decided to show the play all at once, rather than in two nights, as once. The premiere was with Layla, and billions of people filled to capacity auditoriums with holographic stage or sat at home in front of screens switched on the walls. Only the lucky ones, just a few tens of thousands, took thanks to the lot places in a huge theater.
  They waited for the start. Are talking to each other, sharing that little what they knew about the play. The noise was replaced by silence: Dan, Eya, and their children entered the hall. And immediately the silence gave way to a standing ovation. Only when they settled down, it got silent - the performance began.
  Opened unknown, surprising world, where weaved a high impulse and low routine. And it seized, absorbed completely, forced to forget about absolutely everything.
  How was it possible to put the sunny joyful Lal in the severe Brand? It turns out it was. It was really, if to listen for hours Dan telling about him, if to become imbued with the most wonderful, what was in him: the love for people. Only by understanding this it could create Brand - the very Brand. The man inspired by his love to the people in its highest sense; a fighter, sacrificing both self and the dearest to him people.
  And his wonderful wife - Agnes, performed by the greatest actress of the Earth, the desire to see whose playing made almost all of the humanity to abandon entirely the other: trips, excursions, tours. She was surprising - like the play they saw. It was she - but not she. Unusual, and as always, unlike all the actresses of the Earth, she today as if reached the acme, which everything previously played by her was just a long continuous preparing for.
  'Why is she such?' the completely shocked Eya asked herself. 'What happened? I saw her so many times in rehearsals, and even yesterday she was not like that. Such a natural, exact in every movement, every intonation, as if she does not play. As if she is just such; if she knows all what Agnes must feel and experience. What an amazing accuracy of all details! As if she knows how to be a wife and a mother. How close she is to me now!'
  Exactly so! Just she alone understood completely Agnes - only she has passed through and experienced like that. The rest had yet to understand what they saw right now. And the past appeared before her eyes: she again found herself on the Earth-2, in front of the stereo player. 'Brand' is on, and she still resists what will become her greatest happiness and the meaning of life, without which she does not imagine now.
  But Layla was not there along with her - how could she so deeply understand everything, so infinitely confidently embody by herself Agnes? To thrill so much all with the show of what was completely unknown to them? So that they seem to understand and believe her?
  ... In the beginning just of the first intermission, Paul called Dan:
  'Well, how??'
  'Do not worry: everything is going as it should. You see really!'
  ... And then, finally, the scene with the gypsy: Agnes gives away her son things - all, to die after that. Eya felt a lump rose in her throat, making difficult to breathe: the funeral of the baby appeared before her eyes. But the pain did not prevent noting with admiration how this scene was conducted by Layla, who seemed to have read everything that was going on in her soul - Eya's. And she managed to convey these feelings to the audience. How - was unknown, but when the intermission several people came up to her and Dan and handed flowers silently: Eya smiled gratefully them wiping tears.
  Son, leaning toward her, said quietly:
  'Mommy, go, please, to Layla: she is waiting for you.'
  Layla was alone in her dressing room. Pale, but at the same time, for some reason, did not seem tired. She got to meet Eya.
  'Thank you, Layla!' Eya said. 'How wonderfully you played!'
  'Thank just you, Eya!'
  'What for?'
  'For what you have taught me. What have given me.' She close, very close came up to Eya. 'I will have a child, Eya. I together with Lal.'
  'What?!'
  'I am pregnant. A cyber-diagnostician discovered this morning. I, too, will be a mother, Mom.'
  'Layla!' Eya embraced her, pulled to herself, and Layla cuddled up to her. Here it has happened! It will appear their grandson: the child born by its mother - here on the Earth. Soon! 'That's the answer you, Yorg! The woman who loves my son will give birth to it'.
  'Does Lal know?'
  'Of course! He is so happy. But to you - I wanted to say myself.'
  'Layla! My dear!' - Eya more closely pressed her to herself.
  Well, Yorg: you will not be able to do Layla the same as did Eve - we do not let you! However you would try!
  'Layla, you along with Lal need to live with us. It would be better: we will able to look after you and tell in time the necessary. And - to teach you everything you need to know when it will have born. All right? So it will be calmer for you and our grandson,' - she felt Layla trembled. 'You will be fine with us.'
  'Yes: I will be fine with you,' - Layla pressed her face against Eya's chest. 'I will be very fine with you!'
  'The wonderful of mine! If you only knew how it is imperative, not only for us - what you will have done.'
  'I - decided this long ago: I should be the same like you.'
  'I'll say Dan: make him happy!'
  'Yes, sure, go to him, tell! And I will rest still a little.'
  'Relax, dear. Lie down, and if you can, go to sleep: you now have to take care of yourself.'
  'Thank you! I won't sleep - just lie down: to see the play until the end.'
  They kissed as two close people; Eya left.
  'That's why she is such today, why she's understood completely what Agnes could be. The baby! Wonderful!'
  Dan gave her a bottle of tonic:
  'Refresh yourself, Mom.'
  'I don't need: I feel without it quite cheerful. Because of joy - a great joy. Listen, Dad: you and I will have a grandson. Or a granddaughter. A child of our son. Layla told me right now.'
  'She - is expecting a baby?!'
  'Yes. And they will live along with us: she agreed immediately when I told her that it would be better. I first of all want to protect her from Yorg.'
  'You're right, Mom: he's too smart and careful to repeat to her what did to Eve, but can think up something else. It is not known whether the news of Layla's pregnancy will push him of the decision to 'move farther' the boundary of what is permitted. Let it be with us: we will help her in everything.'
  'Listen, you will soon be called a grandfather. Me - a grandmother. And I feel like completely rejuvenated. What day!'
  'Wonderful one! You see what is happening: this performance as though merged all together. I do not see anybody who would have remained indifferent. They look and believe. More than us. Art affects them more strongly than our propaganda: we're trying to work on their minds, and they - on their feelings.'
  'You actually knew it: you self have used it - on me.'
  'Yes, Mom. 'Brand' will wake them up, help to begin to understand us.'
  'And here Children are!'
  They walked arm in arm. Dan and Eya turned to them, and by Mom's happy smile Son realized immediately that They knew already.
  
  Whether to tell this Milan? She was disarrayed. The further, the more difficult she felt. Her not accepting categorically of what Dan and Eya were carrying with themselves - somewhere behind. It is behind the complete lack of understanding and unwillingness to understand. What she had to hear from them penetrated imperceptibly into her mind and settled there; what she saw made her think and begin to compare many things.
  An important role has played her participation in 'Brand' which she agreed for only at the insistence of Milan. Dan and Eya flew at rehearsals, and she had many occasions to hear their telling and answering endless questions of Paul. A general mood and an unusual character of the performances were affecting. And at some point she felt almost frightened in the middle between those and these: Dan, Eya, Layla - weren't already strange, and their ideas - hostile.
  Today, especially. It stood before the eyes scenes and scenery, heard the words and the music that accompanied the performance. They stood on the stage - and she along with all, together with them, one of them. A heap of flowers. And again the storm of ovation - when Paul came with an armful of flowers to Dan and Eya and held it out to them. Everything seemed to have merged in a single impulse.
  Despite the enormous fatigue, the mood was such that it was impossible to part, to go away. They occupied entirely a big cafe: behaved noisy like at the banquet.
  Rita felt pleasure. She remembered neither about Milan, nor about his Yorg. All the present: Dan with Eya, their children, Paul, Layla, actors, extras - seemed to her the closest. She wanted to say to everyone something pleasing. And to look at Dan, sitting next to Paul.
  They talked softly, then went out together. Eya remained in the hall - so they were somewhere nearby.
  ... Yes, they were near the entrance: Paul sat in a chair near the bushes, Dan paced around.
  '... And what's next?' reached Rita.
  'I do not know, my father. I will look for a new play.'
  'I - not about that.'
  'About what? I do not apparently quite understand: sorry, I'm very tired.'
  'Your staging will make a lot: it has already awakened in people new thoughts and feelings - I watched all the time, I have seen it. They must now listen more attentively to what we and those who have listened to us say.'
  'I'm glad.'
  'But you - yourself?'
  'Me?'
  'Yes, you. Will you join us? Will become the most important for you what is our main goal - or are you just going to sympathize with us, and only?'
  'Yes. I will be together with you - completely.'
  'Do you not have to think again?'
  'No. I waited only for your asking: I have already decided it firmly.'
  - Have you a good understanding of how it will be difficult?'
  'I'm not scared. Tell me - what have I to do?'
  'So far - only the possible: to disseminate Lal's ideas.'
  'I see! But I would want to fight for them with my means.'
  'Of course!'
  'We need to find another play like 'Brand'. But they - even 'Brand' - are not exactly what we need. It would be good to attract to our affair some playwrights!'
  'Undoubtedly, it is necessary: do it.'
  'And some more: to enter into the repertoire plays by Lal, make staging of his books.'
  'You told me a good idea, Paul. It is necessary to obtain access to his personal archive. He was too long forced to remain silent, and we may find out what they can not now to prevent us to stage.'
  'Great idea, father! Has he told you about any unpublished works?'
  'Strangely enough, no. Only about one - yet conceived. He said at the night of his dead. There, on the Earth-2.'
  'You told me: he wanted to use what you have told him.'
  'Yes. A terrible story.'
  'Will you tell it me?'
  'Not now.'
  'Okay: I'm too tired.' Paul paused in thought. 'So, we will be three?'
  'Three?'
  'You, Eya, and me.'
  'No. There are else.'
  'Are?'
  'Are. Eve...'
  'That one, who led the struggle against the rejection?'
  'Yes, just she. Met already with former members of their movement, to encourage them to join us. And Lee, her pupil.'
  'The space rescuer No.1?'
  'Yes. He joined us still there, on the Express. He promised to propagandize in the Near Cosmos.'
  'And is it still all?'
  'No. There is another person who is going to do right now the most essential: Layla.'
  'Layla? Of course: just from her we learned for the first time the ideas by Lal.'
  'What she will do - is the most important thing. You should know: Layla is pregnant.'
  'What?!'
  'She will give birth to a child. On her own: on the Earth - the first. Then and others - primarily from among former participants in the struggle against the rejection, dreamed about it - will dare, too. Now they do not dare to do it: are still afraid of what was made to Eve.'
  'To Eve?'
  'You do not know, do you? However, certainly: where from? Eve tried to have a child herself, and the geneticist Yorg used her attachment to Lee: with the threat of the boycott not only to her but also to him. Yorg knew Lee never would join the boycott of his 'Mom Eve' and so forced her to have an abortion.'
  'Will he not try it to do something and Layla, too?'
  'To force her to have an abortion with a threat a boycott he cannot: understand that I won't let. He won't even try to. It's a clever enemy. Dangerous one. He was one of those who forced Lal to keep silence. Now, he has tried to render harmless me. The body of our Kid was then given to us not by chance: they wanted, having rubbed salt in our wound, to weaken - in order to persuade. Yorg just after the funeral invited me to his institute - under the pretext of explaining the cause of kid's death. We have had out with him - openly enough: he hates me like before Lal - he knows how to hate. More than to love.'
  'Moreover! Layla...'
  'She will live with us: me and Eya. So it will be more secure: both for us and for her. All we need to do we know and can do. After all, apart from anything else, this will be our grandson. Or granddaughter!' he smiled.
  'I will watch too, in order no one could... What does it matter!'
  'And, besides, in order Layla herself did not do what she must not. Including - overwork.'
  'Of course, I see.'
  'I'll acquaint you with needed. But you're quite tired: even spoke with difficulty. Isn't it time for us to go back?'
  'Yes: now we'll go.'
  Here is the news! Rita felt how much her heart was pounding: hidden with the thick trunk of an old tree, she could hear their entire conversation.
  If now they go back, they will be sure to run into her! And she decided to approach them on her own.
  'You know, that just Yorg decided to do us a service: he took with him to the funeral sound equipment with mournful music recordings. Nobody really thought - just he: stood near it, until I noticed. He switched on playing Mozart's Requiem - only those parts that enhance the sadness and despair: Requiem and Lacrimosa - Weeping. Let now the news of the pregnancy of Layla sounds to him as Dies Irae - Day of Wrath.' He bent down and tore some blade of grass, began to rub it with his fingers.
  Rita came out from behind a tree.
  'Ah, Rita!' Dan smiled and handed her the grass - she felt the smell of sagebrush. 'You're really a fine girl! How you shouted: 'The priest has escaped!' I did become not quite myself.'
  'Yes, it is surprising: worked out! But when Layla brought you, I didn't believe that something of you would succeed. I confess!'
  'When - began it to work out?'
  'After that night - when we both were to them.'
  'So, now you are satisfied with me?'
  'Oh, yeah! If you were my graduate-student, I would suggest you for defending your dissertation. Honestly! I am ready with you to die in an avalanche once again.' Paul took her hand, but she moved away gently.
  'Let's go back.'
  'Yes, really! It is already time to go away.'
  ... So, to tell or not to Milan? There is news no less than it was for the first time, and they are no less important. But for some reason, she did not want to tell anything them.
  Especially, Yorg. What can he undertake? Against Layla. Against Dan, who watched at his daughter so, that it is impossible to forget. Dies Irae - the Day of Wrath: yes, just so the news of Layla's pregnancy will sound for Yorg. This thought caused her satisfaction.
  Let him know! Just she will tell. This will help not to lose his confidence: then she will be able to find out in time if they intend somehow to harm Layla - to have time to prevent, not to do that.
  And she called Milan.
  'Congratulations! With such talent as yours, even such ravings become entertaining.'
  'There is news.'
  'Really?' he pricked up his ears immediately.
  She informed him about Layla. Grinned internally, seeing he began to grow pale immediately.
  'Must I wait for you?'
  'No. You do understand I have now no time for this.'
  About Eve and Lee she did not tell a word.
  
  52
  
  The production of 'Brand' has done its job: aroused wide interest and stimulated conversations about the meaning of life, about bygone phenomena - motherhood, family. They compared the past with the current. In conversations, they mixed the names of the characters of Ibsen and the living contemporaries: Brand and Dan, Agnes and Eya. Under these conditions, the Lal's ideas, coming from those who had heard about them from Dan, welcomed the increased interest and spread further: to know them more and more people became acquainted with them.
   It was impossible to say that these ideas were met understanding immediately - the existing state of the inadequates seemed to vast majority quite natural: everyone must do what he can. Interests of the humanity as a whole - are first and foremost! Both then, when it racked to find a way out of the crisis, and now: the rejection of the use of the inadequates just will create unnecessary, besides - quite unjustified difficulties.
  The critic of new ideas given in replay was carefully argued and seemed convincing for most propers. The repulse had the character of pre-organized cause - Dan saw it clearly: Yorg and his comrades-in-arms did not lose time in vain.
  However, they could not stop the spread of Lal's ideas completely. Although it was still too early to say about the appearance of supporters of these ideas, many were introduced to them. So far - introduced only: learned what they were not interested in before, what even had almost no idea. Compared with the time when they did not even want to listen to Lal, it was not a little.
  But in their speeches both sides did not use the global mass media. Dan considered that being still premature - his adversaries did not want, as before, to attract too much attention to social issues, trying to stop possible discussions and debates. Something they succeeded really: after some time, the interest in new ideas began to wane.
  
  Just at this time, Dan obtained an unexpected ally.
  Looking through the 'newspaper' ads in the cabin, rushing through an underground overpass, Dan even at once did not believe himself, seeing suddenly a list of works by Lal: books, movies, essays and articles. In the end - 'The reminiscences of Lal'. The author - Marc. It seems Lal has mentioned this name. Finding himself on the surface, Dan made immediately a request to a computer. Marc - a former editor in chief of 'The News', now - just one of their employees. Yes, exactly, this is just the chief of Lal in 'The News' - Lal told several times about him, quite warm.
  Dan made the call. On the small screen of the radio bracelet a man appeared with a completely gray head.
  'Good afternoon!'
  'Excellent day, Dan!'
  'I want to talk with you.'
  'For us - it's time long ago. We can today: where do you prefer to meet?' - and Dan named the place: in the park - where he once the first saw Lal. Despite his busy schedule, barely waited for the evening and came there half an hour earlier.
  The stump, on which he was sitting then, conserved well, preserved hitherto - Dan was sitting on it, being deep in memories of when on the track among old trees self-propelled chair appeared.
  Marc let the chair away and came up to Dan; the latter moved to give him a place side by side.
  'You wanted to have a talk about Lal?'
  'Yes.'
  'Then let's go better. I love to walk - it helps to think.'
  'Me, too.'
  'Just we must go far: the conversation will be long.' They started along an alley.
  'I once used to walk here,' Dan started speaking after a few minutes of silence. 'There,' he pointed toward the stump, 'I was waiting for Lal the first time.'
  'He was then one of the best journalists of 'News'. So I commissioned an interview with you to him.'
  'He was quite young - and I was surprised by how much he knew. Somehow, I felt immediately that he was just not like the others.'
  'He was then already an unusual - head and shoulders above the others. Yes: he knew incredibly much. I think who he was - the most: a journalist, a writer, a historian?'
  'A thinker.'
  'Yes: in the first place - it. I met him at defending his doctoral thesis; he hit with his understanding of history. As the history of social relations - as it was understood in the former epochs.'
  'He told me that the work in 'The News' has helped him to familiarize with the inadequates and then collect material about them.'
  'Yes. He wrote about them his first book then, but I dissuaded him from its publication. He agreed with me then, but he continued to think mainly about them. He could not otherwise: because began to realize that nobody could and wan to. Me, too.'
  'He was forced to keep silence then.'
  'I knew it: he showed me materials that collected, but we did not publish them. And when he tried to speak, he was not wanted to listen. I sent him then to the Near Cosmos - he came back unchanged, although stopped completely talking about his views on the inadequates.'
  'We were together at that time.'
  'He then gave all the power to the recognition of your remarkable discovery.'
  'And he said nothing about his one. Not a word even to me.'
  'He then joined the movement against the rejection, but in his statements went far beyond it. I was afraid that they would deal with him - subject to prolonged boycott. Very afraid. Fortunately, a wide publicity was disadvantageous to his opponents, and he escaped the boycott, was instead exiled to the Near Cosmos - under the guise of a business trip of 'News'. I was afraid for him then, too, and when you after your renovation helped him come back: was afraid that he would do the same. Perhaps, relying on you. I asked him to contact me while approaching the Earth; he knew that I was very worried about him - did it. 'Be prudent,' I said to him then, 'you may be right, but your time has not come yet'. And he promised me.'
  'He found a more true way.'
  'I immediately saw it when you came back with the children. But without him!' he said bitterly. 'Why did you not succeed to save it? Everything, everything tell me!'
  
  They walked and walked, often speeding up the step and not noticing that. Dan was telling, Marc listening - eagerly. About the last years of Lal: our Lal. Dan saw: this man listens and understands him, as up to now except for Eve - nobody.
  It got quite dark; the stars were in the sky.
  'Soon the night will be, but we still have a lot to talk about.'
  'Do you want to sleep already?'
  'No, of course. But my family was waiting for me.'
  'It's a pity!'
  'No, you have not understood me. I invite you to fly along with me. To my home. You'll see my family; we will have supper all together and then we continue our conversation. Do you agree to be my guest today?'
  'Guest? The ancient word: guest, - a forgotten word. I accept gratefully your offer. Call the air car.'
  ... 'I brought a guest, Mom,' Dan said, leading in Marc. 'This is Editor Marc, the former head of our Lal.'
  'Welcome, senior!' Eya put together her hands in front of her chest; the same way others welcomed him.
  It was an unusual for Marc supper - the first such in his long life. They all sat at a large table on which a large jug of milk and a dish with flat cakes stood. Eya was sitting at the head of the table and poured the milk into earthenware mugs. They ate in silence, but by how they looked occasionally at each other and exchanged a few words, it was felt, how intimate they are. Such Marc has seen just among astronauts.
  The children of Dan caused in him a particular interest: a serious red-haired youth next to the great actress Layla and girl sitting opposite him and smiling sometimes at him - and he could not help smiling back.
  After eating, they still sat at the table - then Dan said:
  'You must go to bed, Daughter.'
  The girl began to say goodbye. Kissing parents, she went to Marc and said:
  'I most likely will kiss you, too, Granddaddy!' and embracing his neck, she kissed his cheek.
  'You would, too, go to bad,' Dan turned to Layla when the girl was gone.
  'Dad, but I'm not little at all,' Layla smiled.
  'He would not any way leave you alone, believe me: I have experienced that myself. But in general, he is right: you need to go to bed early,' Eya said, too.
  And Layla was also gone, and the young man with her.
  'Layla is expecting a baby,' Dan said to a few stunned Marc. 'So they live along with us: we have decided that it is better.'
  Marc nodded: it's clear that better - he did not need any explanation.
  Dan took him to the terrace. Eya also came soon with a blanket.
  'Cover yourself up,' she said to Marc, 'you can be cold.'
  'Thank you!' he said, touched by her concern.
  'I have told him about Lal, Mom, and about all what was from the time of our departure and before the return. Now you are: tell him about Eve.'
   ... 'Yorg, Yorg,' Marc mused. 'He was among those who hunted Lal. Smart, cautious, makes rarely mistakes. He has tremendous authority: in fact, the coordinator of the largest researches, leading by geneticists; a great explorer himself, the author of a very large number of works - yes, very prolific. A man, for which the existing method of reproduction is an absolute, being beyond doubt. Typical of those for whom nothing exists outside of science, which he is engaged in - Antilal. And he knew how to hate.'
  'The story of Eve confirms that he has not stopped. But he may also fear.'
  'That I know: therefore he really is cautious. Once he came to me with an offer to send Lal on a long busyness trip to the Near Cosmos. He said that it is a pity that such a talented writer because of his not stopping antisocial statements will be subjected to a boycott. If I want to save him, we must hurry. And I hurried: they did not know mercy - I knew it all too well.'
  'Like now, too. Therefore, we preferred Layla to live with us now.'
  'You're right: they are capable of much.'
  'Even more than everyone thinks.'
  'To hell cross the boundary of the permitted?'
  'Wait a little,' Dan turned on the directory and found almost immediately the desired record.
  'But to move farther the very boundary? If this is reasonable? Even despite the emotions that interfere?'
  'The voice of Yorg,' Marc said.
  'He said that when he tried to persuade us - just after the funeral of Kid. Do you want to listen to the whole record?'
  'Very much.'
  'Are you not tired? It's very late.'
  'But you don't sleep.'
  'But your age?'
  'Let it not worry you. Your daughter kissed me,' Marc smiled, 'and I got younger immediately.'
  'Children feel good people,' Eya said.
  'Thank you, Eya. Don't be anxious about me. Drink your coffee, but my age gives one advantage - the ability to manage without it.'
  He listened intently to the record, his fists clenched sometimes.
  'Right, Dan. The time is in favor of us - of Lal. They will agree with us never. It will be a fight: for the return to what became once due to the progress of science and technology.'
  'The inequality that existed on an economic basis disappeared then - because everyone had just enough. But it came quietly back, penetrated again - this time on a completely different basis. And it must again be destroyed. Lal has said that.'
  'Yes, Dan, so. We must to publish as soon as possible all his works.'
  'Have you not done that?'
  'Me? I have only given a compilation of what has been published once - but my memories just written. I have something else: what he brought me a long time ago and his last book 'The Inadequates: who they are - and we?' which he brought shortly before the departure. I've read them many times when you were absent on the Earth. And I thought. I had more than enough time. It's time to publish them: to transfer to the Central Archive. I was waiting just for a talk with you to do that.'
  'Great!' - a new ally did not expect his instructions: he knew on his own - was telling what to do.
  'But what else there is in his archive? It is necessary to gain access to it. Of this just you have the priority right.'
  'I have already done an inquiry.'
  'So what?'
  'I have not yet received a reply.'
  'Repeat the inquiry. Warn that in the event of a negative decision you will put immediately the question to a worldwide vote.'
  'You're right - and I will so: Yorg dislikes making a stir.'
  'With this, it is necessary to hurry. Let everyone read what he has written - you have acquainted with his views not too many people.'
  'Lal taught me: when it is necessary - not to hurry. His views have gradually to penetrate into people's minds.'
  'But to speed up this process is already possible. It is necessary to prepare a situation when you will be able to appear on the world translation - in order to they could understand you by that time.'
  'It will be not soon - at least, not before Layla has given birth to a baby. My premature action is inadmissible: it will only benefit the present conservatives - Yorg and others. I understand how hard it is to wait, how much you want to implement what Lal called upon. But he taught also patience.'
  'I - once said to him: 'Maybe you're right, but your time has not come yet'. It was long ago. I do not know if I understood him then completely. Not, probably. Today, I felt it when I found myself among you, had supper with you, with the children, and the girl smiled at me. For the first time the child kissed me. I was too good, because it was necessary for me, but I knew that never. But Lal knew. He knew from the very beginning: it was already in his doctoral dissertation. Understanding what is necessary for me, each, everyone - the warmth and intimacy. It's a pity that I realized it too late to be able to do anything for himself.'
  'Come to us as often as possible. We will be glad to have you. Our daughter will say each time: 'Granddaddy has come!''
  'Thank you, friends of mine. And in fact - everyone has forgotten those excellent words: love, kindness. And without that it has become worse. But Lal... Yes, Lal...'
  'Father, say: did you love him much?'
  'Yes. I felt like he was dear to me, even when it is not yet understood. Now I know: it is coming his time. It will begin a dawn.'
  'And literally - too,' Eya said: 'Soon.'
  'Huh? Yes, really. Stars are going out, the night ends. But you have not slept at all!'
  'And you, too.'
  'What matter it made for me? I've never been good like today. And so - the night were not in vain.'
  
  It appeared in the 'newspaper' more the titles of Lal's works - those Marc had: he acted.
  Dan made a new request for disclosure of the personal archive of Lal, which the complete copy of was made before flying to the Earth-2. He made his request exactly as advised Marc, and now, without delay, received the answer: the archive of Lal was passed him - for this there was a good reason.
  They became completely occupied with studying it. The three - with the very active participation of Marc. What Dan and Eya told others from memory, they found being recorded there. But the most valuable thing was in the monograph by Lal 'The inadequates: who they are - and we?' - the book, left by him to Marc. This was the fundamental work, which he, for some reason, did not acquaint them there with. It was in that part of his archive, which he did not have time to rewrite into their shared one. But it was big, and they chose for beginning to publish his other books and articles. They transferred them to the Central Archive, rewrote in its memory. And the next day their titles and annotations appeared in the 'newspaper'.
  'How fast can you get it: does no one really hinder to do?' Dan marveled. Marc replied, 'Lal had many friends, not like-minded people - just loved him: they do not refuse to help right now.'
  Then the turn of the incredible amount of factual material and statistics data came. It faced a long work on their sorting out.
  At the same time Paul and Layla rummaged in the archive: they looked for his literary works not known yet. And they had found nothing: there was only that Lal had published or produced before the departure. It seemed strange: his views, he apparently did not tell either in one of his works of art. Why?
  'He did not have time. He was going to write a big book about this time. He said this to me there - just an hour before his death.'
  'He wanted to include a story told by you that shocked him,' Paul recalled. 'You promised me to tell it. Maybe it is something just what we need?'
  'Okay. After supper.'
  Because of that the supper was fast. Only Deya, seeing that no one was going to disperse, became obstinate, not wanting to leave for her room:
  'I, too, will stay with you a little bit.'
  'Come on, let's go!' - Marc took her by the shoulders. 'Be fine!'
  'But have you found for me some interesting book?'
  'I have: with this chip you can open it immediately,' - he took the girl away. They had to wait until he returns.
  Dan thought over - how to start: from what point? All looked eagerly at him. He took them with his eyes: Eya, who knew well the story of his saving; Paul, Layla - with the become heavy figure and a little bit ugly face: but that was why she seemed him touchingly beautiful; Son, sitting next to her: he had no time to finish their conversation, to talk to him - maybe the story of Chamomile will answer his doubts. Now Marc will come. And all will be together but Eve and Lee - all those who still make his circle of like-minded followers of the ideas by Lal.
  The past rose before his eyes. That terrible time that was a beginning of changes that they have now to complete. Another memory wove in it: how he told his story out there for many light-years away, stared intently by Lal. Dan looked up: just so intently, too, all looked at him this time.
  ... It seemed to Paul that every word stuck into his brain. All that Dan told appeared clearly before his eyes. The terrible history. Seeming unbelievable. One cannot imagine such.
  What has he done to gain her trust? Nothing - he was bad, weak, and miserable. But she was able - to feel sorry: a houri, inadequate, uneducated, not understanding a lot - too much of what the propers know. But the feeling of pity - a deep human feeling, almost forgotten by the propers, is characteristic of her, like of many of such like she.
  The pity - a compassion suffering for others, the desire to make it easier, to help. But the propers really when the need appears make haste to help the other. First of all, doctors and rescuers - those who continue to wear shoulder straps; it is their duty, for which they may even sacrifice themselves, as it was often with rescuers. They are capable of it, but what a pity - they do almost not remember.
  Previously, the word was in the title of one of the professions. What one? It is necessary to remember! For example: doctors, nurses, sisters ... Yes! Sisters. The Sisters of Mercy! And the Brothers of Charity. Mercy - another name of pity.
  But how does she know that feeling? Who told her about it? Nobody! She had been taught only to satisfy the lust of anyone who would want it. But she - does know: this is in her, deeply. In her nature, remained humane, despite the fact what she has been turned into. 'You feel bad, darling?', 'It is not good to tell about this, darling, but you feel bad, and I know nothing more'. And even: 'Sorry for the fishes, too!' It turns out, she can a lot: forgetting about her self, her life, her appearance being the guarantee of her living - not to let committed a terrible, to struggle desperately, and then with her cut up hands to clasp to her bosom his head and cry over him.
  So she was able to give him the opportunity to get over being weak - and to make the greatest discovery of his epoch. If not she: if instead of to throw all her weight to hang on his hand, squeezing the sharp piece of glass - she took fearfully refuge in a corner, covered her face in fear! But really she could not understand who he was - what he was. Simply: a worn out 'darling', whom she pitied very much, and he must not cut himself with a glass like houris who scream 'I do not want any more!'
  She pitied - and therefore could make the good: it was not zero in comparison with the propers. Thanks just to her - Dan survived then.
  But she? She herself? The houri with disfigured, cut his hands?
  'Even now, I do not know what happened to her: I won't be answered.' Dan paused, felt to thinking.
  ... 'This is a material, a very powerful - for a book: Lal was right!' Paul violated a long silence.
  'He has called this story an evidence of the Social theorem of a human essence of the inadequates. And for me it was the reason why I accepted immediately what he thought about them.'
  'But I was much harder to do that: I thought, like everyone else. Dan told about Chamomile, arguing with me. Before that Lal showed us an old movie: 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' - about the Afro-American slaves. I was indignant at how the white owner treated his slave, who was more educated and wiser than him. 'How could such exist?' I asked Lal. And Dan said that - he - was surprised that something like this could exist in our time. 'What do you mean?' I asked him, and we had a first discussion on the social divisions in our society. However, we have already told about this.'
  'You omit the details: they may be currently very significant,' Paul said.
  'Have you decided already? To make its production?'
  'I'm already thinking how to do. So, it will be called: 'The Houri'. Even better: 'The Heavenly Maiden'. No: 'The Girl of the Paradise!' Huh?'
  'All right! It's impossible to call better: the hell - in the paradise for others. It will be understood,' Layla supported him.
  'But I need details. Entirely everything as it was. Tell them. And do not be afraid to repeat selves.'
  'Okay. It was the next - according to the on-board clock - the day after the hypertransfer: Dan declared it a holiday. We had a rest after the baths, and Lal suggested watching 'Uncle Tom's Cabin'. He fulfilled with this his promise given the day before: Dan told him that for some reason he kept all time something unsaid; Lal agreed, but then did not want to say that - promised to do so later.
  Then - to my question 'What do you mean?' Dan answered: 'That there are we, the propers, and they - the inadequates; what is even worse than slavery, because the slave could become free'. Do I tell correctly, Dad?'
  'Yes, Mom. Continue, please.'
  'I listened to what they talked about the inadequates, and it seemed to me that they are wrong. My ideas did not differ from the common ones.
  The inadequate - just victims of the natural cause: low intelligence having since the birth of; this is impossible to fight with, and existing their position - is the only way for them to be useful to the society. Anyway, they aren't capable of anything: they are terribly primitive. 'They are stupid and totally insensitive', I said - and Dan shouted: 'No! They are primitive? Sure. But they really were taught almost nothing: we gave their abilities up for lost in the childhood and calmed down. But they - aren't insensitive. No! I know. I know it definitely exactly!''
  
  All were so carried away that did not pay any attention to him. Even Layla. And this is okay: no one sees and understands what is going on with him.
  A beautiful planet - the Earth! What he knew only from books and films, he has seen with his own eyes: forests with the unimaginable variety of trees, shrubs and herbs; insects pollinating flowers; birds, which flight he follows, being unable to look away. The air to breathe easily. And most importantly - billions of people: it is a planet of people.
  The planet native for all. People appeared here, and they have nothing for them to be more natural and habitual than the Earth. Dad and Mom longed for it there. And Sister likes the Earth-1 more than the distant Earth-2.
  Only he began soon to yearn for it. Even in the mountains - before they appeared in the large world. For its silent, deserted expanses and young forests - for all that was familiar and utmost clear.
  There is much beautiful on the Earth. Here Layla his. His university mates. Soon it will be a baby, whom Layla will give birth to.
  But here the same problems are also that there were not before. How simple and clear it was there, on the Earth-2. And all that Dad said then was beyond doubt. Here, on the Earth, a great much turned out to be not the same like from a distance: when familiarizing closer, his former confidence in what he knew before became shaky.
  Dad did not spoke with him after the funeral of Kid. He was busy completely, and he himself lost a keen desire. Wanted to try somehow to investigate on his own. To understand why Dad is right, what in general he had no doubt.
  But this desire was not the main: Arg, with whom he met often told about the imminent start of construction of a hyperexpress. The flights back to the Earth-2, with a large number of settlers - these thoughts of him were primarily about: he seized up everything that might be needed, be useful there; planned what he had to have learned before departure.
  ... After all, Dad has replied to him. Now. With this telling. Wittingly or unwittingly, he has told him the principal thing. He realized that not everything is on the surface: to comprehend properly, you have to look deeper. He was staggered when heard that Mom also said once: 'They are terribly primitive. They are stupid and totally insensitive'. It is clear that he was wrong when after a single contact with them began to think the same way. He isn't right - they are: Lal Senior, Dad, Mom.
  But it was clearly also something else: in spite of the rightness, the cause which they have devoted themselves entirely cannot be his principal. What he can devote himself - is just the Earth-2, wonderful, still deserted. The cause of his parents - won't become his: he does not reject the teachings of Lal Senior, but cannot become a collaborator of Dad. Just it turns out, they have different paths in life, and none of them can do differently.
  It filled him with bitterness. Until now he has not imaged himself apart from them: from Dad and Mom; he was with them a single entity, even when Layla came in his life. And in the future - all pictured together: the Earth-2 and his parents with Sister - they all would come back there. And Layla along with them.
  Now it is clear that this is not so: he won't be able to wait until they achieve the victory of ideas by Lal Senior; they - won't fly away without achieving it, not seeing through to the end their principal cause. For a long time - certainly long. And it may be they will never leave the Earth. So, they will have to part: for a long time - or forever. Just Layla will fly with him. Sister? Hardly. She will stay with Parents.
  And while he's here, he will support Dad: he must not act differently, despite the fact that their goals interfere with each other - here Arg is right. But he will be able to do for Dad nothing more: the preparation will require him all entirety.
  The came clarity brought no relief. Conversely. He felt extremely sad.
  
  53
  
  'At last!' so Tsoy met Layla and Paul in his office. 'I hope you can please me with something?'
  'You have guessed.'
  'Got something still in the archive of Lal?'
  'No, unfortunately. We have not found anything - for us.'
  'This you've come to please with?'
  'Do not hurry. There is - other: not worse.'
  'Well, come on! Do reveal.'
  Paul tried to tell briefly the story of Dan.'
  'In details, you can learn by the record.'
  'But it is clear now: a stunning material! In my opinion, just what we need. 'Brand' was good for you only for a start. Agree in it too much could be taken only with reservations: its purpose, in general, ill-defined, vague.'
  'Ibsen wasn't really our contemporary.'
  'And because of that, both those and others can use it.'
  'In what way?'
  'Just such one: your former Vogt is producing the 'The Wild Duck'. Also Ibsen - but it's 'Brand' on the contrary.'
  'Do they rehearse today?'
  'Yes. You will be able to come - to see. Ibsen - against Ibsen. Not stupid, I must say.'
  'The retaliatory move.'
  'The next one will be again yours.'
  'How you on your own treat this?'
  'Me? I prefer you and Lal. Of course, I have terribly little time, but something still reaches me: it seems true. But now - let's go to the point. The scenario - you don't have?'
  'I have a framework; the rest will be in the course of the production. The material is such that nothing can be either added or changed.'
  'A number of performers?'
  'How it will be possible. The minimal variant - just two. Me and Layla.'
  'Do you really want to play, Layla?'
  'But what? I am not suit for this role?'
  'No, not that: I just thought you have permanently eliminated from our ranks. Even - let the faithful followers Lal forgive me - thought that is better when the birth givers deliver such as you from that.'
  'Don't worry: I still may. Why are you staring so?'
  'You've changed.'
  'My stomach and bust? She, that houri, was portly.'
  'Not only that.'
  'Have grown ugly?'
  'Even for the houri too beautiful. That's not the point: you became to smile very well - I like you now much better. You had before such sad eyes!'
  'I'm now happy.'
  'I'm glad.'
  'I will do play.'
  'When you want to start?'
  'As soon as we define the possible cast. Today, we try to talk with anyone we will able to.'
  'Okay. If necessary, I'll help to persuade.'
  'First, we will try on our own.'
  The task was too uneasy - in contrast to the previous one, 'Brand', it faced a completely unusual production: inadequates appeared in none of the modern plays - as if they did not exist at all. Therefore, in the extreme cases, it was provided a chamber version, which they told about: only two protagonists - He and She, the houri. All the action takes place in his unit: the story of houris, accompanied with a sound recording of his voice, then his attempt upon the life of him and rescuing by her; everything else - his monologue. The variant that limits largely the possibility of staging.
  So, if there will be the wanted?
  'If we offered it immediately after the premiere of 'Brand': what enthusiasm was then!'
  'You're right, Layla. We'll really start with those who played in it.'
  ... Attempts ended in failure one after another: the thought to appear as an inadequate frightened everyone.
  'We have apparently to turn for help to Tsoy.'
  And then on the bracelet of Layla alarm call appeared. She switched on the small screen: Rita was smiling on it.
  'Good day, seniora!'
  'Nice day, Rita!'
  'I just have been said that you are here. I want to talk with you: may I?'
  'Well, of course! We are waiting for you - in the lobby of the directorate.'
  'Let's us to make a last attempt: if it will end in failure, we'll turn immediately to Tsoy.'
  Rita almost ran out of breath in the hall, when they had barely come there.
  'Good afternoon, senior!'
  'Hello, girl. It's nice that at least someone is so eager to see you.'
  'I really need to talk with you very, very much. Is it true: you are preparing a new production? Very unusual? So I just have been said.'
  'And - that no one has agreed to play in it?'
  'Yes. But I want. May I?'
  'You, girl! What a clever person you are.'
  'I want to work with you again. Very much!'
  'Well, you - are the first!'
  'But I'm crazy: I'm - Gerd.'
  'A gorgeous Gerd! Right now, I will acquaint you with the content. Just do not stare like everyone at Layla.'
  'Yes, certainly! Sorry.' She was listening to Paul - and her face became serious.
  'Well, that: you have scared, too?'
  'Me? No, I haven't: it's amazing! I really, really want. What role will you give me?'
  'It has been taken only two ones: His - by me and Houri's in the main scene in the block of him - by Layla. All other roles until, alas, are available. You're the first and only expressed a wish yourself: I'm ready for it to give you any role. Of course, if it suits you,' Paul corrected immediately.
  'I, too, would like to play Houri.'
  'Houri of the second plan - in scenes of her telling him, quite young at first. What: she will probably fit! How about you, Layla?'
  'I think, yes.'
  'I need now such, large enough, the role very much. As completing my post-graduate study.'
  'Okay: take it. But so far there are only three of us - help, if you can.'
  'I'll try: I think that it will be a success.'
  'We haven't succeeded - do you not overestimate your potentialities?'
  'But you have turned to fairly well-known actors: you are looking for not where necessary.'
  'Let's hear, Layla: truth saith the mouth of infants.'
  'It is necessary to turn to the young ones: there there is more interest in your views - I had already been convinced.'
  She was asked in the company of post-graduate students - actors and producers - to tell about Dan, Eya, their children. They listened greedy - it urged on to tell as detailed as possible. All that she had seen and heard. Suddenly, she caught herself on the fact that she said like their supporter; she was surprised how well remembered all that she had heard about the views by Lal. 'So what?' she thought quietly immediately. They argued pretty heatedly, and it was possible to speak of the beginning of the emergence of empathy; she unwittingly contributed to this.
  'Young people are less inert: the new attracts them always.'
  'But everyone refused until now: to play inadequates - it seemed to them too much.'
  'You will really see!'
  'Then come on: not put off!'
  And Rita started immediately to act with her radio bracelet. She called one by one, explained in a few words his proposal and assigns them a meeting. And almost no one refused. To the surprise of Paul and Layla, among those who gave almost immediately consent, were their own post-graduate students.
  
  The help of Rita was so much invaluable, and because of this it could not even be thought, how difficult situation she had found herself in.
  It seemed, in their absence at the studio, she escaped as from the glamor of the influence of their words. The pleasure of meeting with Milan having again become very frequent suppressed the memory of what she had seen. Again he seemed to her closer than them. And then she did what was possible to consider hitting secretly them.
  As a post-graduate student, she had to make a thorough analysis of each the role played by her and the play which she had participated in. And doing an analysis of the role of Gerd and 'Brand', she became to familiarize with all the works by Ibsen.
  The idea of 'The Wild Duck' struck her. What Brand appealed for - the courageous open knowledge of the truth - wore among ordinary people only harm and destruction. The truth was beyond their powers: the character of the play, Gregers Werle, who preached the need for it, seemed both absurd and inhumane. 'Brand' and 'Antibrand' - had really written both by one person? And what people, shaken with 'Brand', would think watching this play - by the same Ibsen?
  And she could not yield to temptation: share her thoughts with Milan.
  'This is really interesting! That would be the confusion of minds: for those who watched 'Brand' - like a bucket of cold water. Huh? It is interesting to try! Listen, if he had anything else - like this one?'
  'I don't know.'
  'Why you, for some reason, don't want sometimes to do what I ask.'
  'You think unjustly. I just started to deal with it - you do know, Ibsen isn't almost staged.'
  And she has herself could not further resist a temptation. She stumbled across another interesting work by Ibsen 'Emperor and Galilean'.
  In it, a real historical person operated - the Roman Emperor Julian, who tried to revive pagan religion that gave up its place to the Christianity. The paganism seems to him better - but the time is over: rituals restored by him are superficially only similar to the previous ones - they are not supported with the faith. Julian is absurd in their vain attempts to return the bygone forever. He is doomed: 'You have won, Galilean!'
  'Bravo, bravo! Ibsen will now preach not what the alive shadow of Lal along with the maestro Paul desire. Imagine what will their faces be?'
  For a moment she felt as if being wrong. And then it disappeared immediately. It seemed that she was now ready to do anything for him. It has not yet passed from the languor after the previous possessing each other, and a new wave of desire rose in both; his hand was clutching tightly her breast. And there was no one being more intimate than him all around the world.
  ... The news of the adoption of the production of 'The Wild Duck' rose an impatient desire to know - who whom?
  'Ibsen will crush just them. Raised the sword shall perish by the sword.'
  'Just immediately will they perish?'
  'If only: you're right. It would be better Layla has played a hundred more Agnes, but isn't about to give birth. But no problem: we'll also think up something,' - his eyes began lighting up ominously.
  And she was frightened: no, not just that! She won't let, will prevent! It may not! Why? She did not know. She just had felt this, like in the evening after the premiere of 'Brand' when she heard about Layla's pregnancy.
  But as long, it concerned only productions, and she undertook nothing. She still was waiting with a suppressed interest: whose truth would win?
  However, the meeting with post-graduate students, brought her in a cafe after a seminar, turned again everything back. When she spoke, that new - people, their ideas, relationships - again appeared, vividly, clearly, before her eyes. And for some reason it drew her irresistibly to them. But - after what she had done, giving Milan a weapon against them - she did not dare to contact neither Layla, nor Paul.
  Milan, waiting patiently then for her return home, he was somehow different than usually. Instead of a violent passion - an affectionate tenderness. He was quiet and thoughtful.
  And she again caught herself at a thought, that she had become very used to him. He - and that new, what she kept thinking still at the moment, intertwined oddly with each other. The relationship of Dan and Eya, Layla and Lal Junior - for her and Milan. And maybe even a child, in order Milan looked at him like Dan did then.
  Well, really!
  ... So, they knew nothing about her dual role. They considered her one of the most active his assistants. Addressed to her as a like-minded person.
  It started a preparatory work - a huge, difficult. What Dan had told had to show. Collecting specific material required for the creation of scenic images of houris was given their observation in the erotic games: there the actors noticed many typical characteristics of their style of behavior, vocabulary and intonations.
  And at one of these visits, Rita saw Milan, dancing with a very young, thin houri. He spoke with the girl and ignored the others. Looked at her, though, not so, as he looked always at her, Rita. Still, it was somehow too unpleasant. Her mood was spoiled, she left immediately.
  What was the matter: he might be intimate with anyone - just like she. And suddenly, she found to her surprise that she was intimate with no one but him. Yes, it was - maybe, from the time her visit to Dan and Eya.
  Then she imitated unconsciously them? And that was why, despite all the fluctuations of opinion which seemed to have to alienate her from him, he was getting dearest and dearest to her?
  He, just he. For her: whose indomitable temperament wove previously her fingers with so many men - who awakened instantly her passion. The meeting with the astronauts was not in vain!
  How so? Her head was burning. She imagined again him embracing the houri, and bitter pain filled her heart.
  
  The production was delayed despite the frantic pace of work.
  But meanwhile, the premiere of 'The Wild Duck' took place. The audience was stunned.
  'No problem, 'The Virgin of the Paradise' will be the answer them,' Paul said quietly.
  'While we dawdled, they will succeed to stage also 'Emperor and Galilean'. Also by Ibsen,' Rita blurted unexpectedly. And not to be suddenly asked how she knew this play, she became to narrate its content.
  'Yorg keeps vigil.'
  'But who could just point out to him 'The Duck'? He did not begin really on his own to study Ibsen, I think.'
  'Perhaps, someone has told.' - They did not pay attention that Rita got red.
  And Milan confirmed soon that the 'Emperor and Galilean' is about to be passed to the statement.
  'Do you really doubt it? Do you know how much we have supporters, real ones? Much more than these - who are listening to Dan and his associates. They want to reverse the history back - let Julian's example make them think about that: let them know what has happened to who did not want to understand that times have changed. The only pity is nobody knows what it is your merit: both 'The Duck', and 'Emperor and Galilean'.'
  She listened in silence, resting her head on his chest. His praise caused just bitterness.
  'What's up with you, my girl? You became recently again some strange.'
  'I do not know,' - she had no wish to answer. The main thing is that he was there, beside her. About that she had seen him whirling in the houri's embrace she tried not recall. It was night: as always, he came to her late. From some club or cafe, where he met with supporters or counter-propagandized.
  'You are tired of working too much. They probably think: you try for the same that they do. In my opinion, they trust you more than before. But you reported little of interesting. Today - as well.'
  'Do you really date me just because of this?'
  'You do know that's not so.'
  'Today it was like yesterday or the day before yesterday. We rehearse. If you want, I'd rather tell you something again?'
  'What for?'
  'I told you not all - only what is considered interesting for Yorg.'
  'New details? Well, come on!'
  She began to talk about her first meeting with Dan and Eya. About the evening in the cafe 'Aquarium'. About their home. About the sleeping girl and Dan beside her.
  'I know already all this really', he thought, but today, for some reason, did not have a wish to interrupt her. It was good to hear her voice, and what she told him again did not cause the usual hostility.
  And she kept saying: maybe he will understand something?
  'Do you ever have to deal with children?'
  'Yes, of course! Do you think that I use only the data collected by others?'
  'And do you like it?'
  'Yes, certainly! They make not get bored: interesting people.'
  'How they treat you?'
  'Normally. Especially boys: I understand them better. They take me in their game: I also want to rush the ball.'
  'And are there ones - who you know for a long time?'
  'Of course: my objects of continuous monitoring. I see them often enough.'
  'Does something besides scientific interest connect you with them?'
  'Naturally: I need not everything in their lives for my work. And I'm used to them.'
  'Really?'
  'It is very interesting for me to associate with them. They're really - people already: their problems do not seem to me nonsense. They like to ask questions, and I try to answer. We need only to remember what we were at their age, and to be honest with them: they feel that immediately.'
  'Say, just what I told you about Dan - namely, about his attitude to his daughter - do you understand?'
  'Probably, I do. He is really just used to her - this is the main.'
  'Would you in his place behave the same way?'
  'Probably. I also want to see my children often. I even miss them sometimes.'
  'Milan, but if you had your own child?'
  'Me? This is in a style only of Dan and his biblical tribe.'
  'Well, but if we suppose? It's yours, and you know that?'
  'A boy?'
  'Why just a boy?'
  'I understand them better.'
  'Let a boy. A son.'
  'He and I would be friends.'
  'Do you think so?'
  'I'm sure.'
  'How about me? If I were his mother?'
  'Well, you know!'
  'Well, let's suppose. We'll just try to get their point of view. In order to fully understand them.'
  'It is reasonable, but how may you and I be connected with that? Isn't really our relation the best that can be? Do you remember what you have said to me: a great pagan joy of a physical merging - a free, not constrained by any unnecessary demands?'
  'I remember. But it seems to me that since that time an eternity has passed: I know too many of what I did not know then. Now I have also other questions. To myself. And to you. Tell me, my desired, whether it appeared by you even for a moment a thought that me - just me alone and none other could make everything: the joy and meaning of your life? Only I need you to be happy? In order you focus on me all what you can feel to women?'
  'What for?'
  'I do not know, my nice. I just catch myself at the fact that you are becoming too dear to me.'
  'You are actually poisoned by them! This is not necessary. Do you understand? Not necessary. Either for you, nor for me - for no one at all.'
  'He has understood nothing!' she thought bitterly. Now he would get up and leave. And come again never!
  But not: he continued to lie, still holding her head on his chest and hugging her.
  'I don't feel so good together with anyone as with you,' he said at last. 'I do not understand why so. Why are you crying?'
  
  54
  
  What happened to him? Why the clear, unquestionable confidence in what he still considered necessary to defend by all means disappeared? A chaos in the head, a confusion of thoughts and feelings. And everything - after that night.
  How did it turn out? After all, he knew really that Rita, who had endlessly to communicate with those, coped hardly with the influence of them on her, and he was sure that at any time was able to cope with her hesitations, would help to overcome them. And suddenly - something did not hold out within himself.
  Rather than argue and persuade her, he just listened. And answered her questions as if admitted the correctness of what was absolutely unacceptable to him.
  She as if tore him - among her and Yorg. Before that all that the latter said was undeniable - differences with him concerned only tactics. He was, like all the young, tired of the endless waiting, the absence of direct actions. Why to ban mentioning the name of Dan in their counter-propaganda? Why to delay the opening of direct polemic? A very ostrich behavior! But the very basic provisions that Yorg defended, but the greatest scientist of the Earth Dan tried in his delusion to overthrow - the basics of what had to exist, what gave a huge advantage to the mankind. And without them genetics would not be a one of the greatest sciences, by which mankind was formed - strictly correctly!
  And he always told her about it. At first, she herself did not doubt it. Then, when she started to hesitate - agreed quickly with him. And helped: thanks to her they were so knowledgeable about the actions of Dan. And else: 'The Wild Duck' and 'Emperor and Galilean'.
  What she did to him this time? Indeed: he did not argue - was silent and listened as if not he but she - knew and understood something better. And what was the worst: she seemed being right. She: Rita, whom only the indomitable temperament of a bacchante and similarity of literary tastes attracted him at first of.
  But why - why did he not argue? Did not say at least that he had found the novel by a writer, who lived later than Ibsen - 'The Master and Margarita'. There, too, there is a love that excites her imagination so much.
  He and she - all for each other: they need no one else. They - just they alone. To be forever together - absolutely alone. Having died before, because otherwise it is impossible. And it was also the love - a light feeling, how it was proclaimed always: was really able to be something more awful? How was it possible - to be happy this way? One can imagine nothing more dismal, horrible!
  Everything should be balanced reasonably: the attraction of the man and the woman - not to be excessive, like the unbalanced force of gravity, turning a star into a 'black hole' .
  He had what to say to her. But he... Why? Because he really was too good to be along with her at that moment. Her head lay on his chest, and his heart was overflowed with something incomprehensible, what he was afraid to admit himself. He did not stir for fear of scaring away this incomprehensible. And much of what she said aroused interest instead of protest.
  How to cope with what is happening to him? Alone - because he cannot share that with anyone. With friends? Impossible. With Yorg? He will despise him.
  Everything is clear always for Yorg. A man with no hesitation, without any visible display of emotions. The occupation with his science - everything that exists for him. Just it. He even did not like to associate with someone without a special necessity. He is always by the computer which processes the observations collected on the living material usually by others for he is very rarely present anywhere other but the laboratory. Living people to him - are also just a source of needed data.
  Should Yorg like ever to caress a child, as Rita asked him then? If she had seen how the eyes of the great geneticist became glassy! Does he know really any joy except occupying with genetics? Hardly!
  But however, is he only such? After all, Dan lived once the similar lifestyle. By the way, Rita has said that Dan is an excellent musician, playing an old instrument - a violin. He loves best of all ancient composers, especially Beethoven. And Yorg also loves music, and the same - the old composers, especially Wagner.
  Maybe such must be really a very great scientist? Will he, a boy, a post-graduate student for whom the physical joy still prevail over the spiritual one, be able to become the same over time? As a matter of fact, only so, having renounced anything that interferes, it is possible to serve a science, to create something weighty. And for this he must force himself to become strong.
  But what he feels being along with Rita only weakens him. He would like to be together longer, and then it is difficult to think about the work, about the cause. And most importantly: no wish to object to her words!
  An outrageous weakness: it is necessary to get rid of it, otherwise... Exactly, otherwise you will become limp. Certainly not!
  It's necessary to undertake something - immediately. That's enough of delaying - the policy of waiting will lead only to the fact that the hostile ideas will penetrate too deeply: they begin to affect even him, the closest disciple of Yorg.
  Everything must be such as it is - all! The human must live so that nothing prevented him from practicing the main - science, work, did not distract his time and power. The existing order of things has been created to provide this maximally and must be saved completely!
  And if his relationships with Rita interfere to continue the struggle, he must, without delay, to change them. He needs a woman? There are other women, a lot of them, who are not worse at all than Rita - intertwine your fingers with them. As before.
  And even today he must not have a date with her. Yes: today - houris exist, they are always available for you.
  ... But in the hall for erotic games, changing endlessly houris at dancing, Milan felt that none of them provoked his lust. Angry with himself, he went to the lounge, sat in a deep armchair in the dimly lit corner. Became thoughtful, trying to cope, incline himself to lead some houri away from the hall.
  A light touch to his shoulder made him lift his head.
  'You, Milan!' - a duty, post-graduate-sexologist stood in front of him. 'What's the matter, my friend? Here - but so cheerless!'
  'No matter, it'll pass soon.'
  'Has something happened? Or just tired?'
  'Probably.'
  'Shall I give you something exciting?'
  'Will not give up.'
  But in the office, where she brought him, he did not hurry; a sextonic in the glass remained intact.
  'Come on, drink!'
  'I have time still.'
  'Well, as you want,' - it was not in the habit of sexologists to be persistent with the guests. True, Milan was not only a guest: they knew each other for a too long time; it was intimacy, too, but in the past - now they are closely linked by interests in a common cause.
  'What about our Professor Yorg?'
  'Still the same. I'm tired badly of that!'
  'Have you tried again to tell him that it's time to move from words to deeds?'
  'What for? Dan has not let to persuade himself - he was forced to confess to that.'
  'Had he not thought up anything new yet?'
  'Apparently, we must wait for a long time. The counter-propaganda! Only the counter-propaganda! A urgently need is such that stop this infection until it is too late. But not like our wise old men accustomed to, who have once managed to stop the situation just with retreating considerably.'
  'This is no time to quarrel: will serve only Dan's purpose.'
  'Just this restrains me still.'
  A cautious knock on the door interrupted their conversation.
  'Come in!'
  An alarmed instructor-houri entered the room.
  'Tell!'
  'They behave improperly!'
  'Took you them away?'
  'No - not houris!'
  'What?! Who?'
  'Guests. Quite young ones.'
  'What have they done?'
  'When houris were told, 'Let's go!' they began not let to and started asking: 'But does she - want on her own? She - has intertwined her fingers with you?' Why did they do that?'
  'We have ended up!' - Milan jumped up: along with the sexologist, he almost ran down the hall.
  They did not have to ask the instructor-houri who - those arrested attention immediately: three young men, university students, in the same vests with the image of the hemispheres of the Earth-2. Another five ones in exactly the same vests were not far from them, but they embraced houris. But these - the three - were standing next to each other: pale, but with sparkling eyes.
  'I ask you to go out with me!'
  'Why, seniora?'
  'You behave inadmissibly!'
  'We are not doing anything wrong, seniora.'
  'If you don't like anybody - go away, do not disturb others.'
  'We won't leave!' one of them said emphatically.
  'Her it is not accepted to argue.'
  'Anyway, we will not!'
  'Please stop! Do you hear? What do you want?'
  'What others do, too.'
  'Why did you then run inappropriate conversations rather than dance or take houris with yourselves?'
  'Because we do not know whether they want to on their own.'
  'They are not asked about that: you know it.'
  'We do not like it. They are people too. Like us.'
  'What?!'
  'Why is it allowed to do them what you want, without asking their consent? They are - slaves, don't they?' - That was really...!
  'Either you leave now, or I'll be forced to tell the university in order to deprive you of the possibility of visits.'
  'All right! My name is Yves.'
  'Mine - Uno.'
  'Mine is the longest: Alexander.'
  These three clearly feel heroes. The other five did not intervene, but looked with admiration at them.
  The duty confused. And then Milan, who until then was silent, intervened.
  'They don't want to understand the words!' He turned to those who did not belong to the company of these students, 'We are not guilty: they force to apply to them the power!'
  He stretched out his hand to those standing next - they clasped their elbows; others began immediately to join them, and a closed chain moved to the three. The other five students threw houris and hurried to his comrades. They also grappled elbows.
  'To the column!' one of them shouted: they would be enough to encompass it round. But they were not given: approaching - chest on chest - a chain of guests, led by Milan, closed up, squeezed them, separated off from the column, deprived any possibility to resist, dragged to the door.
  And houris stood and watched. Some ones - pale with excitement, with eyes wide; others giggled nervously.
  The door slid open: the human ring with the students squeezed tightly inside disappeared. The music started to sound again.
  Those who brought away brawlers began to return. But it was impossible to settle the evening down: the guests, gathering in groups, were discussing the incident - to houris they did not pay attention. The duty, not leaving the hall any more, along with Milan was coming to them, asked quietly not to talk about that in the presence of the houris. And then the guests began to leave. It was a little over twenty-one hours, and no one remained: an unprecedented event.
  'What horror! Thank you, at least you helped to cope with them. Instructors must do that never.'
  'Of course! We might not allow at all that inadequates used force to them - even though they are guilty. Here - the result of tactics by Yorg is. Enough! I won't even talk to him about anything. It is time to act without him: let him face an accomplished fact.'
  'What exactly are you going to undertake?'
  'Just that I do not know yet. But I will do! Dan must understand that we can give him a rebuff not only in the theater.'
  'We will have to isolate the houris.'
  'But not to liquidate them?'
  'There is no need: the instructors will manage to make them not to talk too much.'
  'But the instructors themselves - are absolutely reliable?'
  'Well, of course: houris would not otherwise have been done them. They are accustomed to obey without question and know how to have houris in their clutches.'
  'But the incident will be known: it's impossible to force guests keep silence. With your houris, it is apparently easier.'
  'Yes: till the end of life they will not come into contact with other houris - that's all. But these - the young boys!'
  'The company Lal Junior. They all wear these vests - with a map of the Earth-2.'
  'The son of Dan.'
  'Exactly. Has not just Dan advised them? Who knows!'
  'This Lal-2 was with us.'
  'Yah?'
  'Imagine this!'
  'And what?'
  'Nothing - absolutely. He has spent some time and gone away without sex, though - I've heard - one of his friends tried to persuade him. Apparently, he came here of just curiosity: after Layla he needs none houri.'
  Layla! Just who is expecting a baby. Who decided first to follow the example of Foremother Eya here now. Layla, just Layla!
  He rose:
  'Well, I have to go!' - and left quickly. Before she had managed to ask him about something. And then she noticed the glass of the intact sextonic standing on the table.
  
  Milan did not see Rita a few days, only contacted her - to announce that will be busy. He spoke with her very little - not to betray myself: it could not be said to her that he decided to do - it was too clear.
  But he had not to tarry, too: the same Yorg, who - even if had heard from someone about the university students' trick - yet did not say anything to him, could prevent.
  Rita was pleased when he told her that he would be today with her again, - he saw that. She obviously had missed him. He - frankly - too, though did not want to confess to that.
  He tried to be passionate and tender as ever, and she had noticed nothing: the joy of seeing him overshadowed all the little changes in his behavior. She told again, and he listened willingly and attentively and asked her questions, so she began to feel that he was also beginning to understand something.
  'It would be interesting to hear them selves. Arrange it somehow.'
  'Do you want this?'
  'Oddly enough I do very much.'
  'Dan appears from time to time at our rehearsals. I'll ask Paul to allow you to bring you to the room. But - at the end of the rehearsal.'
  'Can it be - tomorrow?'
  'I'm not sure that Dan will have flown.'
  'It will be enough for the beginning to listen to Layla. For I'm afraid: will bury myself again in the work - I have another material approaching soon.'
  And she agreed. Paul allowed - he felt obligated to her.
  Rita seated Milan in the back row, in order his presence did not hinder. The rehearsal was about to be over. They developed some minor scene: he saw nothing interesting. Layla did not participate in it, sitting in front - the back of her head was visible. Dan was not present - just that suited Milan.
  He had to wait not long. Everyone stood up and began to go away. Rita led him to Layla and Paul, presented as her friend.
  'I must urgently disappear: Tsoy is waiting. Wait for me,' Paul said to Layla. 'We'll fly together; I need consult Dan about something. Rita, stay you with Layla for her not missing.' And he went away.
  'And me along with you, if you allow, seniora,' Milan asked.
  'Of course! Welcome.'
  They took an available dressing room.
  'I'd desire to talk with you, seniora. Rita told me so much.'
  'I will be glad to answer your questions.'
  The robot brought juice, fruit, and raw vegetables.
  'I need more vitamins now,' Layla explained.
  He nodded. It's clear! The same, as pregnant birth givers. And the fact that she is pregnant - is very, too much: her abdomen and breasts protrude, though not too much; even her face has changed. He stared at her, trying to do it fairly imperceptibly.
  The conversation turned quickly to what he had heard from Rita.
  'All this is too unusual. So forgive me, seniora, if my questions may seem to you too straightforward.'
  'It is not very clear what you mean. But you seek to understand, and that excuses you in advance.'
  'I hope so.'
  Initially, he tried to be careful to gain her favor and make to be as frank as possible. Rita almost did not intervene, listening to them, pleased clearly with the interest shown by him.
  ... 'But the existing order of things has many advantages.'
  'Simplifying intimate life impoverishes whole it. Just in times of the crisis it was not very important for people: it vanished almost that was absolutely necessary to preserve. It is still not too late now to return to what we have lost.'
  'If it can truly be called a return. I'm not quite sure.'
  'What raises your doubts?'
  'It's just time!' he thought to himself.
  'I do not know if you will want, still, to answer. Because it may be as hard for you to answer some questions as for me to ask them.'
  'I will try to.'
  'I compare the ideas that I hear and the facts which I have learned. And besides, what I know from the books of the time, when things existed which you propose to return to.'
  'And what?'
  'Seniora, I will have to talk about yourself, about your personal life. This talk is not accepted.'
  'Very well! I allow.'
  'In the literature of the time of the existence of the family, it is said the following: for a family based on love, the ideal and the norm approaching it - was an only family for entire life. And because of that, the age of spouses differed slightly. The big difference in their ages was considered a deviation from the norm: it was most often the result of material interests, but love.' He saw Layla cringed: so he had guessed where it should be her sensitive spot.
  'You mean me and Lal, don't you?'
  'Yes, seniora. And I see the difference between what was considered the norm and that is in this case.'
  'Was really the age difference not felt much stronger then? The life expectancy was less almost three times, and youth passed quickly,' Layla said, trying to stay calm. The question he asked lived all the time in the depth of her mind, and considerable efforts were needed to restrain it there, to leave it for the time being.
  'But you know well about such things!' she said.
  'Of course! Do you know how hard I was preparing? You won't escape! I won't let to. Rita is a fine girl: is silent. In vain, probably, I have given her up for lost.' The blow had reached the goal - he saw that. Now more!
  'Now the status quo does not put such problems.'
  'It only reduces everything to the bare physical passion. But we are not animals and primitive savages. It is inhuman to deprive highly intellectually developed people of the most beautiful feelings. Or you judge differently, because you have no idea about this?' inadvertently, she struck him a quite good retaliatory blow, although did not even suspected about all his difficulties and agonizing thoughts caused by that unknown what appeared in his relation to Rita. This angered him.
  'But what is more humane? To create painful problems that will hinder in living? You can really say about yourself: what will make your Lal, when, unfortunately, an old age will come to you much earlier than to him?' he hit sharply. 'And then - when you have gone, but he will still continue to live?' he repeated blow. 'What then? He - in your opinion - has to love just one woman throughout all his life; otherwise it would be a betrayal of the ideal. And do not know the others. Then, when he will still experience a natural physical need that you consider not so lofty,' he went on to strike it blows upon her sensible spot. 'Does the most sublime and beautiful of the feelings allow you to condemn him to it?'
  He beat skillfully - where just this ability came from. Layla felt she begins to lose power, and only a huge effort of will managed to maintain consciousness. Deathly pallor overspread her face, and then she saw not a moment Milan's eyes glared gloatingly.
  But he did not succeed to say a word more - Rita, as if like waking up suddenly, ran to him:
  'You!!! Do not dare! Go away! Immediately!' - she was like mad. 'Go away!' she screamed, pushing him toward the door. 'How dared you? I do not want to know you any more!' - swhe tore off his chip from her bracelet, put it him.
  'So? Well, remember, I - do not change my beliefs as easily as you.' He went away deliberately slowly.
  ... 'You are bad, Layla? Bad, huh? Drink, do drink water!'
  Layla's teeth knocked on the edge of the glass.
  'Who is: he?'
  'A geneticist. A disciple of Yorg,' - Rita did not look into her eyes. Layla nodded, said nothing more, and wrapped her arms around her abdomen.
  'That's what: we won't say anything to anybody,' she said quietly later.
  Rita hung her head low, trying to hold back the tears.
  
  The news of the incident with the university students reached Yorg much faster than Milan thought. The report of the duty-sexologist was handed to him two days later.
  The symptom was disturbing. Not less alarming was the fact that Milan did not report anything to him: it was becoming increasingly difficult with him. It needed to follow this beloved disciple, to talk with him, if in the coming days he does not come and tell anything.
  And not having waited him, Yorg himself sent him a call - just at the time when he went from the studio: Milan even flinched.
  'I need to talk with you. I look forward to as soon as possible.'
  'Unfortunately, I can come to the institute in about half an hour.'
  'You're so far away?'
  'Yes, dear teacher, I just got out of the studio of the Theater center.'
  'Why do you meet with Rita there?'
  'I was not because of her. I wanted to see Layla and talk with her.'
  'With Layla?'
  'Yes. Has already talked.'
  'About what?'
  'Half an hour later I'll tell you about it in detail.'
  'Not to delay, please.'
  'No, no! Do not worry, teacher.'
  ... This young boy is becoming less manageable! What he spoke to Layla about? Why needed he that?
  But Yorg pretended not that interested him: it was necessary to bring down Milan's self-confidence - in the first place.
  'What happened at the erotic games?'
  'Obviously, you know, teacher, if you are asking.'
  'I want to hear the details from you. The more that you did not do it in good time - it isn't clear for me, why.'
  'For your pretending again that nothing had happened, and forcing us to do the same?'
  'I'm waiting not for an excuse, but information,' not raising his voice, Yorg said.
  'Boys, university students from one group to the Lal Junior: they were in their form. They did not let to take with someone the houris... But you know everything!'
  'It does not matter. I'm waiting for your detailed report!' And Milan was forced to tell all the details.
  'To put them out the door was easy. The lousy boys!' he repeated. 'But what does it mean? We need more drastic measures.'
  'I've heard this already.'
  'How long can we delay? It's time to begin ever to act openly.'
  'Fool's haste is no speed!'
  'Any way: we will do have to! And pretty soon.'
  'Speak clearer!'
  'The trick of the boys - is not the worst: if Layla does give birth to a child...'
  'How - practically - is it possible to prevent that? She is under the protection of Dan.'
  'No matter how!'
  'You have not tried to persuade her not to do it, have you?'
  'What for? It is enough to attempt to persuade Dan. I - have not tried: our conversation was of a completely different character.'
  'It does be interesting!'
  'We talked with her - about love.'
  'The topic you are interested in?'
  'Even too much. Especially because at the end of the conversation I was able to ask her some questions.'
  'What ones exactly?'
  'How he ties her love to the son of Dan with that at her age she is suitable to be his mother.'
  'The details!'
  'Willingly!'
  Not switching on his record, he told everything - missed nothing.
  'Do you realize what can happen to her? Are you really not aware of this?'
  'On the contrary, this is what I had in mind. From the very beginning. What: do not you think that we should prevent her birth?'
  'Perhaps. But not in this way.'
  'But how? What could you suggest?'
  'Do you realize that if she throws the fetus, Dan will immediately fall upon us?'
  'The sooner, the better! Otherwise, we will continue all the same. It's time to start talking openly until this infection has not penetrated too deeply. I have already myself felt how it can affect. What can we say about the others?'
  'Yourself?'
  'Just myself, exactly! Rita recently at every opportunity told about them - again and again: all she has seen and heard. I listened and had not wish to argue, - until I caught myself on the fact that besides her I want none woman. So, I start to think like them. Me! Is that really not scary?! So I decided to act immediately - before it is too late!'
  'But do you realize what's waiting for you?!'
  'I do: just the court. The global one. Okay! This is a golden opportunity to say openly what we think when all of humanity will listen to me.'
  'But - you yourself? Most will be on the side of them.'
  'Yes: all right. Let the boycott - and the death would not scare. I'll know that has sacrificed self for good reason. Are we worse than them? Was Lal afraid then?'
  'He kept silence when it was necessary. For many, a lot years.'
  'But he did not spare his life, to give Dan a chance to save himself. You self said, he not only helped his friend to save. Lal knew that Dan could here do more than he did. That was imperative!'
  'Yes: what was. For them. And what have you done? Your action will set against us too many people: Dan will use this to sweep away with us all that we must have let not abolish.'
  'I won't give them this opportunity. I'll tell how it was: that you were not involved in that.'
  'Do you really think I'm afraid for myself? Oh Milan, Milan! You do not understand and, I fear, continue not to understand much, too much. Do you think I gave up to them even a bit, if I did not know what their power was? If I did not understand long ago that all that Lal preached had not appeared by chance? That the cause of it did be what was peculiar to nature of people, and what had not succeeded to become obsolete?'
  'I think I understand it now.'
  'Everything really? Sentient beings tow along with themselves, as ballast, needs associated with their animal origin. What they are necessary for the humanity for? Do they make it stronger? Not at all! Distract only from the most principal thing, the most wonderful: the pure service to science, which one should be the purpose and meaning of life. Everything else - love, a parental instinct - should die away and disappear. They are just rudiments. Unnecessary absolutely. For a long time. We underestimate the importance of the great epoch of the crisis, which helped the mankind to free largely from them. It is a pity that it has ended prematurely. Earlier than the remains of instincts have disappeared completely.'
  'You - consider that the crisis was a boon?!'
  'Yes: I do! Every cloud has a silver lining. And the crisis has given more good than harm. Dan appeared prematurely. Any discoveries happen sooner or later: hyperstructures, anyway, would be open. And maybe a hundred years of this great crisis - and humanity would have left it completely free from unnecessary animal instincts. Dan, the greatest genius of ours, the deliverer from the crisis, the savior - what an objective harm he has caused! And now, he completes it by following the atavistic views by Lal.
  Oh, my boy! Yet at least one hundred years would be. And that's it! Then return to that could not be. Time - that's the main thing: we must win it. Through thick and thin! We have to lose never. In a straight fight we cannot win. But the main thing - time - we can win, making concessions: small, large ones - any that will be required, but provided that not to let them destroy completely what exists now. And if we can save something, let them think they have won, let celebrate - what remain will serve as the basis for the future.
  I'm unlikely to live up to see it: you have to understand everything completely to lead the fight, when I will be gone yet. Not to despair. To believe firmly that sooner or later what we have to defend today will triumph finally. You must be my successor - you, being ready for a boycott and even the death. And if you're not able to live up to the complete victory, to prepare those who will obtain it.
  So you have to have saved yourself for that future. None unjustified actions must be more, do you hear?'
  'If there is not enough of what I did today.'
  'Let us wait: will Layla have a miscarriage? But maybe - won't? It is necessary that Rita kept us informed continually.'
  'We cannot expect this any more.'
  'You're right, probably. Layla did not forgive her for you.'
  'Rita is now together with them entirely. Against us. That's it! '
  And he suddenly felt very sick. So much that all the other retreated from it. Rita! Her head, lying on his chest. Her hand touching him gently. Her voice. All that filled him with an incomprehensible warmth. It will be never already!
  And next to it, what Yorg said in his impulse of candor. Blessing crisis!!! The period, which seemed the most terrible in history. To everyone who have lived it through, and to those who have already just heard about it. To him - Milan. It turned everything. What seemed unquestionable until now, for which he was ready to sacrifice himself, sounded from the lips of Yorg for some reason ominous.
  'Will I ever become like him?': the halo of Yorg scientist, shone like always brightly for him. But in his subconscious Rita and her warmth were. And suddenly, an unexpected thought appeared in the brain: 'But does it be necessary - to be such?'
  
  55
  
  About the incident at erotic games Lal learned from one of those five, who rushed to the aid of his three companions. The next day he gave to everyone who wanted from their group Dan's invitation to come to his home.
  They filled the room, sat on sofas, put with a robot, and the carpet on the floor. Kept respectfully silence, looking at Dan.
  'Lal could invite you long ago.'
  Lal looked down. Since that time, when he has promised to introduce them to his father, passed several months, but he did not speak about that. And - about the inadequates: they were becoming familiar with the views of Lal Senior on their own with the book 'The Inadequates: who they are - and we?' published already. It seemed, for Lal Junior only Earth-2 existed: everything that was connected with it, its development. They loved him - and, sparing, did not remind of the promise.
  'You really were very busy, senior,' Uno, one of the three, stood up for him.
  'It's true - but I would try to find some time. Well, all right. Let's talk.'
  What about? Most of them - both boys and girls - dreamed to fly in the future to the Earth-2.
  'But on the Earth, do you have nothing to do? I've heard some of you have managed to do something here. How was it? To me it is too essential to know everything at first hand,' - he seemed alarmed with something.
  Those three were shy of talking about themselves - one of being along with them told.
  'Generally speaking, well done: I am glad that you, young people, sympathize with the ideas of the revival of equality. It is a pity only that you did not imagine possible consequences.'
  'But we were deprived of the right to go there - that's just all. Well, we will use houris never. This is unacceptable, inhumane!'
  'I'm glad of that, I repeat. But it's not about you - I'm afraid either the houris will have to pay for that: they have to know nothing like that. Lal, the Senior, told us that once there were attempts to explain to donors their actual situation - and then who had listened were isolated and killed first. This is not impossible now, too. I asked to learn what happened to them then.'
  'We really - did not think about that.'
  'Henceforth you have to: it is too serious. It is still almost impossible to prevent doing them anything.'
  'No! We won't allow: we'll go there and not let!'
  'Stop! Wait a little: I will soon be informed, as the case is - then we'll decide what to do. Patience! Learn from Lal - the Senior!' And he began to tell them about him. This soil was fertile: in their eyes, he read an ardent faith.
  But those three, barely listened. So, they do care the fate of the houris - not just bravado, the desire to show off them before their mates governed them then. Dan himself was not calm, though outwardly did not showed at all.
  A calling on his radio bracelet: finally! The guys pricked up their ears.
  'What, Marc?'
  'All right, Dan: all of them haven't disappeared - are alive.'
  'Come quicker: here the heroes of this event are.'
  'Come on, show me! How many of them! But you said that just three made.'
  'Exactly three. These ones!'
  'I see! Okay, wait. I'll come and tell you everything in detail.'
  ... 'I sent there one of our correspondents. Another sexologist was on duty. He answered the question what were going to do with the houris: to isolate - it is now not the former days.'
  'Before they could even kill.'
  'I was not sure that not now, too. They only deprived them of possibility of their presence on the common festivals and competitions. But, after all, they all will be alive!'
  'We have not thought about it that: we did not know.'
  'You wished them well, but it needs to know how to do - it's not easy.'
  'And what was your instructor's reaction?' Marc asked the guys.
  'He explained how we were wrong, then banned temporarily to participate in erotic games.'
  'But we will go for them never.'
  'Let be the girl who like us self be along with us.'
  'But will be there such ones?' Marc smiled slyly.
  'Certainly!' one of the girls said laughingly. 'I do already - especially just him.'
  Everyone's mood rose.
  
  The young people stood up: it was time to leave. Dan invited Yves, Uno and Alexander to stay:
  'I want to talk with you about something else.'
  It began to appear Dan's family members, his friends. The boys did not feel very confident, sat silently side by side on the sofa, eyeing carefully everyone. How many wonderful people at once!
  The very Dan. Lal's mother, Eya, who, having said a few words and smiled, seemed immediately a long and close known - like a beloved teacher. The great shipbuilder Arg, gray and cheerful: to him the girl, Lal's sister, released from her room, rushed immediately: Lal pushed her soon - sat down beside Arg and started a quiet conversation.
  The last were the chief producer of 'Brand' Paul and the young actress Rita, who played in it Gerd, strangely silent. Together with them, Layla - the very Layla, exciting their curiosity most of all: but they dared only to glance at her rarely. For some reason she was not as beautiful as before - with the odd plump figure. Like Rita sitting next to her Layla also kept silence almost all time.
  'Why are you such today?' Marc turned to Layla.
  'Tired,' Paul answered instead of her.
  'Do you feel not too comfortable?' Eya asked.
  'No big deal: just a little.'
  'What's up?' Dan alarmed.
  'Do not worry, Dad. You do know, I was such, too.'
  'Anxiety feeling, Layla?'
  'Will you leave her in peace?'
  But after supper, instead to talk with the students, Dan came to Eya.
  'Listen, Mom, sing to us today, please. Do you remember the songs and arias that you sang for Lal and me?'
  'I do, Dad. Do you want me to do it for Layla?'
  'Yes. This will calm her.'
  He accompanied her. The voice of Eya few faded a little since then, but the depth of feeling in her performance compensated for everything. What she sang, was not performed for a long time.
  Layla had never heard singing Eya. What wonderful things! Why almost no one had heard them? And if...!
  ... It was already time for all to leave. Arg hurried first: wonted to work a little before going to bed; Lal, having apologized, went to see him off. Then Marc got up.
  'Let's go together!' he offered the youths.
  'Wait a moment: I'll go along with you,' Dan asked.
  'Do not: stay. I'll talk with them.'
  ... 'Good friends Lal has, somehow I like them for some reason,' Paul said already at the door.
  'Wonderful guys! Listen to what they have done. At erotic games they began to ask those who led off the houris, 'But she wants it? Has she weaved her fingers with you?' And said to the duty-sexologist: 'What are they - the slaves?' Just so!'
  'Well done! And what it ended with?'
  'They were thrown out from there. There some man,' Dan from the words of the guys described him, 'offered the guests to bring them out by force. By force!'
  'They will now not be permitted there for long.'
  'They self will go there never.'
  Rita eyes met Layla's ones - they have without words understood each other by the description: it was clear who suggested using violence - Milan. He again! Not just today. Rita bowed her head.
  'Wonderful the songs were,' quietly, so that only she could hear her, Layla said. 'It is a pity that they do not know them.' She put a hand on Rita's shoulder 'I will arrange the concert: will sing them - let everyone hear!
  Rita nodded in understanding, 'And they - Milan and Yorg, too! Let them become convinced that could nothing do to you!'
  
  Somehow it was hard to go, even though he tried not to pay attention. But he had to move slowly even to take a seat on a bench sometimes. His age must be making feel itself. Fortunately, the boys did not see that.
  'The main thing now - is to disseminate as widely as possible the ideas by Lal Senior. Many of the university but you are familiar with his works?'
  'Some people read. We have started because Lal had previously introduced us that he had heard from his father.'
  'And then he informed that you had published the books by Lal Senior.'
  'Lal told you this? I thought that it ceased to be interesting for him long ago.'
  'Do you blame him?'
  'He is the son of Dan.'
  'But he can not be everywhere at once. Do you know how much he was studying: as if is afraid not to have time before returning to the Earth-2.'
  'Returning?'
  'He was born on it. Lal - is an integral person: he cannot devote something by halves. You see, senior, he was not and will never be against what is principal for you. And for us, too. But he understands that the struggle for social equality will require a human entirely, without a residue. And to sacrifice his main goal, he could not.'
  ''And for us, too' - so the three of you do not desire to fly away along with him?'
  'Later. Now our goal - is participating in the great work of revival of justice. How can we do better?'
  'What are you doing now?'
  'We try to introduce others to the books by Lal.'
  'What ones?'
  'Mainly - 'The Inadequates'.'
  ''Who are they - and we?'?'
  'Exactly. And more - just talking with whom we succeed to.'
  'And they listen to you?'
  'Not always, actually.'
  'It is necessary to unite those whom they evoke sympathy in. To organize a circle of joint studying the works by Lal. To conduct seminars, inviting to them everyone wanting.'
  'Clear. Will we able to invite you and Dan to it?'
  'Of course: a good tho... Ooh!'
  'Senior, let's sit down a little,' Alexander, who had been silent so far, said: Marc realized that further to hide that he is very bad is useless.
  Hastily, he sat on the very first bench. But he did not become better - a sharp, acute pain squeezed his heart. In order not to fall, he grabbed someone's shoulder.
  'Senior! What's wrong with you?' He could not even answer - just clenched his teeth.
  'He is too bad!' Alexander grabbed his arms, supporting, and Uno, opening the fan-screen, began to fan; Yves sent a radio call to a doctor.
  In two minutes on the lawn next to them an air car landed, and a man with red strips on the shoulders popped out, ran to him - after him a robot rolled.
  'How has it happened?'
  'Suddenly! '
  The robot, rolled quickly up, put immediately forward a lot of tentacles that wrapped the body of Marc from all sides. The screen lit up with the readings of devices, sent in an air car to a cyber diagnostician.
  'Clear: the heart,' the doctor said. Almost immediately on the screen diagnosis appeared. 'Exactly!'
  He turned on the command of drug injecting: a thin trickle came under great pressure from the end of a tentacle, and then pierced the skin of Marc. His face began to turn pink, breathing becomes calm.
  Ten minutes later, it seemed to him that nothing had happened.
  'Your heart works badly,' the doctor said. 'Apparently, it is worn too much: it's time to change it.'
  'I had it for the first time.'
  'See your doctor tomorrow. It will be better to go home on the chair: so is calmer for the heart.'
  'We will stay with him,' Alexander said.
  'If you wish: there is no special need. Otherwise, I would send him to the clinic.' The doctor said goodbye and flew away.
  'We won't leave you alone today, father.'
  'You must not, guys. Have you heard what the doctor did say?'
  'But if, suppose?'
  And he conceded. The robot placed in its box two beds: the boys were in turn on duty all night.
  ... In the morning, before they were about to leave, he told them:
  'Well, you see: everything is fine. A trifling matter - I don't want Dan to worry because of me. Let Lal have learned nothing.' They bowed their heads as a sign of that they will fulfill his request.
  The morning was wonderful: clear, sunny. And his mood was well matched with it. Just the reason of that these boys were. This night he's not jealous of Dan: as if his home filled, where he felt so lonely whenever returning from Dan, where the girl who called him a grandfather remained.
  
  Layla was preparing for a concert.
  'You have not enough of rehearsal, haven't you? You must take care of yourself in every way, but not overwork!' Dan tried to prevent.
  She did not argue, but continued doing. Rehearsed still a lot, but for a concert prepared in the evening. Forced Eya endlessly to sing:
  'I have to sing like you!'
  'But you sing incomparably better!'
  'Vocal is not important now - I still do not understand these things as proper as you.'
  'You will soon understand!'
  'If she did not hinder herself!' Dan growled, leaving.
  'Do not worry, my dear: he was with me the same, too. Everything will be fine! But maybe, in fact, you should delay this concert until you've become a mother?'
  'We ought not, Eya! I have to make it as soon as possible.' And she worked like possessed one. Along with her Eya did. Almost always Rita was present also, perching herself silently in the corner.
  ... It seemed to Layla that she had never worried as before this concert; but at that moment, when she came on the stage, no one already could see her agitation. The theater was, as always, full; tens of thousands of eyes in the room and several billions before screens were staring at her in amazement: she was unrecognizable. Not so dazzlingly beautiful. And something new has appeared in all of her, her eyes, her smile. A wide dress does not hide a big belly, which seemed she carried with pride.
  It has reached only a very few people that she is expecting a baby: they reported it in whisper to ones sitting next. But at the first moment, all were so staggered that a tense silence greeted her instead of the usual applause.
  Layla sat down and pulled to her a harp-orchestrion. He looked in thousand eyes. Would they understand? Here probably also those were present - enemies, being at one with them - Yorg and Milan, who tried to kill her child. Let them see!
  She began to sing:
  'Sleep, my darling, fall asleep...'
  And the concert hall froze. With the sound of her voice, something new, unusual was coming into them and thrilling uncontrollably. A maternal love - tender, touching. Who knew anything about this?
  What did she know about them that they did not know just about themselves? Why excite them that unusual, what she sings about? Why makes to feel that they have never experienced? Where from, what recesses of the soul, extracts she this incomprehensible excitement?
  In their eyes reflecting what they felt Layla saw - she had found the way to their souls. She sang one after the other arias, romances, countless lullabies created by peoples disappeared long ago. And she could stop no longer. Breaking the promise given to Dan, she was singing again and again. Unaware of time, without feeling tired. Like in one breathe.
  ... Yorg called Milan during the concert. He responded immediately.
  'Where are you?'
  'At home.'
  'Do you listen to this pregnant siren?'
  'Yes.'
  'Apparently, nothing has happened to her.'
  'Apparently, nothing.'
  'You - like me - wasn't lucky. But you, at least, are now out of danger, that I am glad of.'
  'Thank you. Good night, teacher!'
  He had no wish to talk with Yorg - even his view on the screen caused an unconscious irritation. Milan turned on the broadcast of the concert again.
  Layla sang about love, binding the souls of a man and a woman. He listened - he knew: Rita stood in front of the eyes, and the acute yearning brought him down completely. It wanted to scream, to cry; to drop everything and to run to her - to see, to touch. To hear the voice: hers - not of Yorg.
  
  56
  
  'Lee!' - Deya running hung around his neck. 'How long have I not seen you!'
  'Hello, hello, my little sister! Yes, you've grown!' smiling happily, Lee held out his hands, greeting the others.
  'Hello, Lee! Hello, Eve! And what is your friend's name?'
  'Guy,' - a giant in the space-rescuer uniform presented himself.
  'How are you, Lee?'
  'As if all right. I came to the Earth for the final treatment.'
  'Has everything grown together?'
  'It seems so. Maybe I'll even be able to return to the rescue service.'
  'He will to, of course: how will we manage there without him?'
  'I must - even if not a rescuer. I have not still succeeded too much.'
  'Judging by what you reported during the communication sessions - not little.'
  'You bet! He conversed continuously with all those who had the opportunity to visit him. He told so great! Our professor of justice.'
  'Come on! A professor! I just could nothing to do, so was glad to chatter with everyone.'
  'Listen to him again: to chatter! I'd sweated with chattering so in a moment. He worked - to his utmost!'
  'Well, okay, okay. But Capitan, the guys were not worse: they disseminated all I explained to them. And then everything went further along the chain - from one to the other. But how well they understand and accept is hard to say: we are scattered there - it's impossible to say not much during sessions. Still, there is something: just this miracle of the Cosmos - the naughty Guy, who was summoned to be judged.'
  'Your friend could do something wrong?'
  'He has succeeded. Though you will probably praise him: he not only passed all my words, but even came into an open conflict with geneticists. Hasn't let to perform experiments on inadequates!'
  'Why did you not start just with this? How did this happen?'
  'Come on, tell on your own, Guy.'
  'It was at the station 'Darwin' - its orbit is located beyond the Uranus. Well, we arrived there: I supposed, we'd refuel and fly away - what was to do there? But dispatching orders didn't come: instead a couple of days we stuck for nearly a week. Okay, I thought, I will not waste time: will talk with whom it is necessary. At the station, there were a few people; mainly genetics.
  I began to talk with the service engineers - then found out what these sweet guys, geneticists, were occupied there with: mutational changes in the organism under the influence of different doses of cosmic radiation. Whom can only on: drosophilae, mice, guinea-pigs, dogs, monkeys. Plus - on inadequates. Experiments - are not inoffensive: their waste, as one of the engineers of that place put quietly it - was considerable. Dead bodies and carcasses were burn then: their use can yield unexpected results.
  I became interesting in it. He had showed me unknown to geneticists two corpses lying in a glass chamber. Externally - something quite dreadful: abnormal proportions, enormously hypertrophied body parts. Even to look was scary! It was not clear - how really they could move.
  I asked him about it.
  'Moved somehow. But with the help of their semen, they receive descendants with the hypertrophy of the needed organs. The best material for transplants. It is now the main direction of work here. Previously, there the geneticists performed on them only experiments on space security measures and the creation of individuals with an increased resistance to the conditions of outer space.'
  'How long ago was a theme replaced here?'
  'Perhaps, about thirty years ago - after the beginning of the rejection restriction.'
  He told me a lot. I asked him how he treated all of this. He just shrugged his shoulders: it was needed for the surgical repair - how were able there to be any questions? I answered him: commented what he knew from our point of view. Nonsense, he said, just sentimental delirium and nonsense, not a sober, rational approach to the phenomenon. But he became thinking.
  I did not disturb him for a couple of days. Then I saw that he began to surrender. An excellent guy: an astronaut. The essentials were that he had talked with other engineers. They argued among themselves and asked me to tell them as minutely as possible - what and how. They listened to me - and someone started comprehend something.
  They began to talk also with some geneticists, bring them to me. Also - different guys. Most of them had believed always that everything was correct - and there was nothing for complicating matters. But three of them, however, listened to me.
  Just then the cruiser came from the Earth: it brought a new batch of experimental inadequates.
  'Well, what now?' I asked those who were at least in somewhat agreed with me. 'These will be the same?'
  'Why do you ask?'
  'You know, pals, I'd stick in your noses rings and in the head feathers and paint your bodies possibly brighter. Quite naturally you would look then!'
  'What we are: primitive savages?'
  'But who really? With your views, one can with clear conscience remove a scalp from the living person.'
  'But just we are not engaged in these experiments,' the engineers replayed.
  'But you are seeing - but being silent.'
  'Well, you, too: are seeing - but being silent!'
  How could I endure? Me - a space rescuer? We hurry always to help when people are perishing. And there people were: others killed them - ruined them for their own especial needs.
  All the proper population of the station gathered together only on Thursdays: for a banquet. Not a very suitable time, but there was no other opportunity: when the turn came up to me to make a toast, I expressed them all what I thought and demanded to stop the inhuman experiments. What began then! But most of the engineers that did not expect me to make up my mind to such got on my side.'
  'Astronauts have always been more human than people living on the Earth,' Eve said.
  'And even two geneticists joined me. We are isolated the rest of the geneticists from the inadequates - newcomers and used already, stopped performing on the latter painful experiments.'
  'And what happened then?'
  'We sent a radiogram to the Earth with a message about it and the appeal to stop experiments on them everywhere. In response a direction to the engineering staff came to stop uncoordinated actions, and to me - the order of a rescue flight. Not to carry out it, I could not - especially since I had already caught 'SOS'.
  While I was flying, from the Earth to the 'Darwin' another staff came. All the engineers and several geneticists were summoned to the Earth. I was, too.'
  'So, they are going to judge you?'
  'Let them: I will have what to say at the trial. I knew it would end just so: all that I have seen and heard - has been recorded, and this record was always about me. You rewrite it, Captain - it will prove useful to us.'
  'Undoubtedly!'
  'But what is going on the Earth?'
  Dan was telling - and at the same time thinking that the events might about make him speak on a worldwide broadcast - to declare the open war against Yorg. The trial of Guy would become a trial of what the crisis had generated.
  But will there be enough strength to win today? Lal's Doctrine began only to penetrate into the consciousness of the people. There are many of those who refuse to accept it; even more - an incredible number - of those who are not interested in it at all. How few still of those who will go along with them! But to wait, when they constitute a sizeable majority, will not succeed: the flow increases - it can't be helped.
  'And how are you doing?' he asked Eve.
  'All the same!' she said with vexation. 'I wish so much Layla bore soon!'
  'Not before a time agreed.'
  'But still they are waiting. We met after the concert by Layla - I said, 'Well, what? Have you seen? But we?' They - looked away. And when I talk to each about bearing a child, her eyes becomes sad, too. The fear after what they did to me has not disappeared yet.'
  'What do you mean, Mom Eve?'
  'Later, Lee.'
  'Later!' The word that can be scary. The appearance of the mothers should not be then, not after the beginning of the open public appearances on the worldwide broadcasting. Immediate results of them are very vague: their opponents may prevail at first, and obtain banning birth children by proper women. But this is the principal thing now! And from this point of view, rebellion arranged by Guy was premature.
  
  The court, however, did not take place: Guy was summoned urgently to the Cosmos - to fly with over maximum speed, what only he, the space rescuer No.2, was able to do due to the disability of Lee.
  Now, before the trial, which had been forced to delay, Layla will have time to give birth. And if the ban on birth is adopted, the number of women-teachers who will have time to decide (if they will!) will be able to abandon the abortion because the ban comes after they became pregnant. And it will be possible to fight for their right to raise their children on their own.
  Now Layla's childbirth - is the most important thing, paramount one. And before it - the premiere of 'The Girl of the Paradise': Dan troubled particularly in it the attempt at suicide scene - a fight, a push, the fall of Houri.
  
  The play anew. Crowded again to overflowing by lucky people the theater hall. Full holographic showrooms. Activated screens of the entire Earth.
  The light goes out, and many-voiced chorus starts sounding 'Jericho, Jericho!' The psalm of Afro-American slaves.
  Two - He and She - watching an old movie - 'Uncle Tom's Cabin'. A planter with a rough face mocks his slave, which is clearly superior to him intellectually.
  'What an abomination!' She is outraging. 'How just could such a thing exist?
  'Are you surprised at this? But I am more surprised just by the other.'
  'By what exactly?'
  'The fact that something like this can exist today.'
  'Today? What do you mean?'
  'What you know, but are not be surprised by. The fact that we - the proper - and they - the inadequate - exist: what is even worse than slavery, because the slave could escape.'
  'But they really are mentally inadequate. They are primitive, stupid and totally insensitive.'
  'No! Not at all!!! They are primitive? Sure: they are really thought almost nothing. But they are not insensitive - not at all! I know: I do know - quite exactly.'
  And His story begins: they sit on the platform at the edge of the stage in a spot of light amid the darkness. On other platforms another He appears - Paul, in His unit. It's night.
  The story sounds about how he - a scientist, approached the incredibly great discovery - by overexerting himself brings him to complete mental exhaustion. Unexplained anxiety and insomnia prevent him from being alone. He makes a radio call.
  Houri appears - Layla: stout, with a big belly. He and Houri; she offers herself to him, he shakes his head negatively. They sit side by side in silence. And something flashed in the face of Houri, gazing at him, helpless. She hugs him, cuddles in her arms.
  'Are you very bad, darling?'
  'Yes, I am. Speak! Tell me something,' He is asking.
  'What to tell, darling? I do not know anything.'
  'Anything - just speak.'
  And she, cuddling him to her, begins his story. A light appears on the main stage: there is a third plan. There Houri, the second - Rita is.
  An elementary school and rejection of her. Then another 'school': for inadequates. And finally, the third one, where she is prepared to become a houri.
  She - as a houri already. One by one stages of their life: orgies of erotic games, a trip on call, the song in the circle of friends. Their primitive speech sounds.
  'It is bad to tell, darling, but you feel bad, and I know nothing else.'
  Layla's voice sounds, and Rita is moving around the stage. The voice sounds quietly: Houri does not imagine a different life. On the screens, where both close-up faces, of Layla and Rita - there are disgust and pain, replacing the dull look, the usual obsequious smile of houris. And a quite different smile turned to the boys-houris whose instructor she becomes for a short time.
  And the scary: just how houris, having become older, go away somewhere and do not return any more; how they do not want to go when called, but still go because they are afraid to leave the usual circle of friends.
  'And it happens also so...'
  Houri-Rita writhes on the stage, shouting: 'I do not want any more!!!' and smashing a vase, cuts herself with a piece of glass.
  'Then there is a pity!'
  It is a pity! But the voice of Layla tells already a story about their joys: their holidays when the houris, women and men, choose each other on their own; about the competitions in which they see a lot of other houris. And this all is going on the stage.
  ... An intermission! Dan took breath. What he only knew once, what he had told them, they as if told him - just about him. Differently - they exposed what escaped from his mind: he looked without interrupting as if learned it all the first time.
  The audience was buzzing around: they were discussing, arguing; and some of them - were grimly sullenly, and their eyebrows were knitted.
  Something he should remember! Ah, yes: Marc had not come to the performance, did not use an invitation of Paul and Layla - this is strange.
  Dan called him:
  'Why have you not come?'
  'Decided to see at home: I'm a little out of order.'
  'What exactly?!'
  'Ah! Just the age: nothing serious.' He tried to look cheerful in order Dan did not think that it isn't just a slight indisposition.
  Another heart attack began at a time when he called a cabin to go to the raketodrome. The doctor stopped it quickly and went away. While sitting in a chair - it is so-so, but if you get up - start to choke.
  'So long, Dan! Go behind the scenes: you are waited there for sure,' and he turned off the connection.
  ... The second act. Dan sits watching tensely Layla.
  'Maybe, you will sleep a little, darling?'
  'No - tell me further.'
  'I do not know anything else. Maybe you want me? Also, not? Shall I sing to you?'
  'Yes. Just what you together with your friends sing for yourselves.'
  The voice of Paul - His second sounds: 'What atrocity this is: to take a living human being and to have trained her to meet their needs, which we do not consider elevated - to turn into a sexy toilet and only in this to see the sense and the justification of their existence among us! To deprive of the right to manage herself - to turn her into a thing, into an inanimate robot', 'Who we are?', 'Does intelligence give the right of inhumanity?'
  The words fall into the hall. The accompaniment of loud feverish heartbeats. He, the second, is now on the very stage - sits, leaning his forehead on his hands. Houri sings a drown-out plaintive song.
  Blood knocks, and His internal cry repeats in the dynamics: 'I don't want any more!' The aquarium lights brightly; huge shadows of fishes move on the walls. Here is the way out! With the feast hit He breaks the glass and seizes a sharp splinter. And then: Houri hangs on his arm.
  'Oh, darling - you mustn't!!!'
  Dan strained to the limit, following their struggle. No: they did not overdo it! Instead flinging Her, He tears himself away and, looking at his hands stained with blood, throws the splinter. Dan was relieved: they did exactly as agreed.
  Houri sits, resting his head on his chest, hugging him with her bloody hands, and cries. It starts sounding quietly music: an unknown instrument, very similar to the violin register of orchestrion. But the sound of it is deeper, sharper: it is a violin - genuine one. The record of Dan's performance. It cries, tears the heart. And sometimes it sounds through sobs: 'Oh, darling!', 'Oh, bad!', 'Sorry for the fishes, too!'
  It comes the morning - She leaves. Forever. Doctors come to Him and take away along with them. He lay on his bed in the hospital.
  Then He again - well - in his unit. Calls Houri.
  'She is not available any more. But other similar examples are,' a sexologist replayed.
  'What happened to her?!' - no answer!
  He is at the computer: works, thinks. And on the big screen - the view of the starting hyperexpress.
  But suddenly, displacing the solemn music, again the violin sounds.
  ... A long, terribly long silence. Then the explosion: a burst of applause. And many people - have tears in their eyes.
  Only in one hour the audience began to disperse, and Dan with Eya went to the backstage.
  He embraced both performers of Houri:
  'How wonderful you played!'
  Rita pressed her forehead against his shoulder. Dan's hand held her, and this was so good that she wanted to cry. She closed her eyes, and it seemed to her that it was the other's hand - of the one whose name she did not want to remember.
  'But you will now play no longer!' Dan said to Layla.
  'Okay, Dad,' - she felt herself what effort this performance was needed.
  'The theater will miss her,' Paul sighed.
  'Rita will be along with you: with her you'll be able to produce everything without me. How great you played today, my girl!
  Rita nodded. Rare tears rolled down from her eyes. She freed gently from the hand of Dan.
  
  57
  
  Milan also watched the performance. Sitting at home, of course. He watched without stopping, since the very moment when Rita appeared. She! She - her face, her voice! He looked, he listened to her. He felt that he believed; that can not help but believe everything seen by him.
  He did not analyze her performance: it seemed to him immediately the height of perfection. How much of feeling, of freedom was in expressing what she represented: he felt all the nuances put by her into playing.
  A pathetic houri -- inadequate, primitive. But - a human being! A human with all his senses: the same feel pain and insult, responds to kindness - Rita represents all so precisely and so ingeniously simply. He has seen houris hundreds of times, but not a hundredth part of that in them what she has succeeded to understand - to play one of them. Yes, she is really - a great actress!
  Rita! The same Rita, who has given him so many wonderful moments, which all the significance of he became to understand entirely only after he lost his right of them. He understands now more and more clearly, how it is hard without her: he wants almost howl.
  What a pity that she did not appear in the second act. However, he could not already but to watch longer.
  Now only Layla. With the bulging abdomen: he was unable to hinder her. 'Oh, darling!', 'Sorry for the fishes, too!' She cries, clutching with her bloody hands the head of the man rescued by her. Who made cuts in her - how few chances she had not to be killed: Milan knew exactly - there were almost none of them.
  The violin cries - and he is surprised to discover that his face is wet. Something turned over inside: he felt hatred - for those who have the right to kill Houri.
  And a hatred for themselves. He remembered terribly clearly with what calculating cruelty he threw in the face of Layla words that he aimed with at the child inside her; he beat exactly, methodically, trying to hit more painfully. How Rita could not hate him, - such!
  Rita and Layla - two Houris stand embracing on the stage, and people lay and lay flowers to their feet. Rita! He desired unbearably to see her. Today! Now!
  He almost could not remember how he called a cabin, how sat in a rocket plane. He woke up in the City of Moose raketodrome.
  She does not wait for him. He has thrown his chip to him, but forgotten to take away her one: he can at any time to call her - but she won't talk with him. It's hopeless!
  It does not matter! He must see her - without fail: must wait until she comes back home. To hail, come. And let be what may!
  Milan waited for many hours. Time passed agonizingly long. He located behind the bushes, where he could see her from when she appears. Was sitting on the ground, watched and thought. About everything. About her. About himself. About Yorg. These hours helped clarify a lot.
  ... To judge - he should know. On his own. To know deeply enough - to understand, rather than to rely on ready estimates of others.
  What they showed - is the truth: a lot of that he was able to see on his own. Repeatedly. But - what lay low in this he did not understand. Sure: 'Does intelligence give the right of inhumanity?' And then, in what they themselves become - proper intellectuals: dehumanization, what terrible depth they showed. Yorg only can rejoice at this: for him the ideal - a human without human feelings. And he almost became himself the same.
  But everything is on the contrary: different, human joys, which Yorg does not recognize, are not a hindrance - but a necessary addition to the joy of the creative work. To live like Yorg further - is impossible. The joyless existence, a dead thing - not this the mankind should go to. Not of course: the crisis was not the good!
  Unfortunately, it has come to this, having lost Rita already. How difficult everything turned out: they were like-minded - completely - in the beginning; then she had understood before him what he considered totally unacceptable - but against his will penetrated into his consciousness. And he fought: against her, against himself - and lost her.
  'I do not change my beliefs so easily'. Later - she was no longer along with him, but he argued mentally with her, turned over in his mind all that she said in those happiest nights in his life. His arguments, for some reason, expired more and more; he felt that everything was formerly undoubted, he did not perceive with the same faith: the desire to critically analyze everything appeared. To better comprehend, he even started reading works by Lal Senior.
  The old opposed, not letting admit the collapse of his previous views. And just today all collapsed finally: he realized that is able no longer to defend what the mind and conscience Lal Senior and Dan rebelled against. He has - comprehended! But not too late? How could she trust him after that irreparable, what he committed? But without her he cannot - either live or work: he found that too soon.
  But now the protection of the old - is a betrayal of him self. And about this he has to tell Yorg. It's scary to think! How many friends will with contempt turn away from him! What have he to do?
  To tell it! Otherwise - you will lie to themselves and to others. Pretend that you believe - and know that you hate. You will despise yourself. There is nothing worse than that.
  Just to tell Yorg! To collect his entire strength - and to tell! And until you have done this, you may not approach her. Until you have done!
  ... Her appearance caught him napping, even though he waited just for this: she appeared in the distance - walked slowly along the path, like did all the time when they met each other here every night. She had not changed this habit: she could really get just his unit by a cabin. Despite the very late hour.
  She is too little visible, but he knows that this is she. The best - the only one in the whole world. He can not believe - it is she, in reality. You can look at her - only! But - hail? No: it is impossible. You may not! So far, he has no right.
  She slowly walked past. He watched with bated breath until she disappeared behind the entrance door.
  58
  
  Dan and Marc delved in the archive of Lal. Most of the work had already done: almost all, even unfinished, Lal's works had been published - transferred to the Central Archive. But there was still a considerable amount of factual material collected by him - they devote a considerable part of the free time to sorting of it.
  'Listen,' Dan turned to Marc, to share interesting finding, but Marc was sitting with his eyes closed, gripping the arms of the chair with his hands - his face was white like chalk. 'What's wrong?'
  Marc just groaned weakly. Dan laid him immediately and drove a cyber-diagnostician prepared for Layla's giving birth.
  The heart! Dan did not call for a physician - injected the drug and waited until Marc's cheeks began to turn pink. Then he asked:
  'How do you feel?'
  'Not bad: stopping.'
  'How long have you got this?'
  'The first time,' Marc lied first in his life. But Dan was not satisfied: requested the medical records of him.
  'The third, but not the first!' he said reproachfully.
  'Such one - is the first. Those ones - were not strong. What do you want: my age.'
  'You should go to the clinic. The heart is much worn.'
  'I'll heal. Just not in the clinic: I'll manage without it.'
  'You overexerted much lately.'
  'No more than you.'
  'But my body is much younger than yours.'
  'What can I do? I'm not really an academician. But if I were, then I would not allow killing a donor for me. And you, too.'
  'But transplanting a heart...'
  'A heart just of a donor: the same. These conversations are impropriate for you and me.' To end the dispute, he closed his eyes, and Dan left him alone.
  
  Till Layla's birth remained a little, and Dan let do nothing, but engage in training for it. Opposed resolutely her participation even in the discussion of the new production, which began to prepare Paul: 'The Rainbow' by Wanda Wasilewska - Eya prompted it. Rita had a major role in it - of the partisan-mother Olena.
  It was impossible to oppose Dan. Eya comforted her with the usual 'He treated me the same', but such, inactive, life burdened Layla. And she found a way - but such one that Dan could not argue. She combined business with pleasure: met regularly with friends, inviting them to visit her at home.
  Dan was surprised that they came in pairs: a man and a woman.
  'They are who live together,' Layla explained to him. 'I have a lot such of friends.'
  He understood her purpose: among people who were more likely than others to become parents, these couples were the most probable. And he began to help Layla.
  They have achieved something: what they saw affected them noticeably. Dan and Eya were, like them, a couple living together, but... But Dan and Eya had something they did not have: the children. The son, who, along with Layla, waited appearance of their child; a teenage girl, cheerful and sociable. 'The main point of our campaign', Dan recalled the words of Lal.
  People have seen not just the big belly Layla, but could feel also joyful anticipation felt by her and all the others. They could compare life of such the family and of their one - concentrated on them two.
  Dan believed that this meeting will result. But perhaps, after his grandson is born. He knew exactly that Yorg will be then also forced to keep silence: the events developed not in his favor. As a matter of fact, the production of 'The Girl of the Paradise' was the first global appearance, which results affected immediately: now hardly anyone was not familiar - at least in general terms - with the doctrine by Lal. The discussions of his books were going throughout accompanied by fierce debates. Visiting erotic games decreased. The number of supporters of the views by Lal was already noticeable.
  It is now principal the children began to appear before the court of Guy. Fortunately, it is delayed so far. Although - how to understand this fortune: Guy was injured badly during the rescue. Now his life is already out of danger, but a week ago it was impossible to guarantee and scare to look at Lee. Rather dear price for the procrastination of the court. But yet, no matter how sorry him, the misfortune happened to him - is the blessing now. Life is so complicated!
  Just a grandson will be born soon, and some of women, convinced with Eve's words and example of Layla, will conceive. Their number will first be very small. But they will be really - and someone will follow their example, too, and mothers in the world will become more and more. People will see the children every day, and the time will come when almost no one will be able to imagine the life without them.
  But you won't be able to prevent it, Yorg! Who has killed the child of Eve.
  But certainly, he will try. His strength is still great - his supporters are those who consider the existing order of things the best from a wide variety of points of view. First of all - the most profitable: the inadequates must not be a burden of the intelligent humanity. Even more - with the necessity of the prompt decision of the agenda of ambitious planes: the settlement of the Earth-2 and the Contact. For the present, this - and only this seems to be the main thing to the overwhelming majority of people. They are a chief asset of Yorg; they will put their votes on his scale. Among them - the favorite pupil of Dan, Arg, is.
  The great tasks, the great problems! What a terrible side they are able to turn out with when people cease to imagine clearly what they may and what may not sacrifice for the sake of them in order not to lose themselves by this.
  Until this has been understood - it is too early to go to the Contact: the humanity is too unattractive in its present cast of mind. At first - justice and humanity: which the return to is an immediate task. It should not be delayed: the other great tasks will appear endlessly. Only the creation of the 'Dyson sphere' , which they begin to talk again about, will last out for centuries.
  Great goals: among those for whom they are the main - his Son, Lal Junior, and it fills the mind with bitterness, though it is impossible not to respect the Son for his integrity. But how will he behave in the decisive moment, would not vote against the destruction of all that is based on the new slavery - the existence of the inadequates: the diversion of forces for that can delay significantly the departure to the Earth-2.
  And one more worries him badly: the condition of Marc. He has become noticeably weaker, walks with difficulty, but does not want to go to the clinic - doesn't wand even to talk about that. He takes some medicines - and limited just with this. And continues to work - does not spare self: the habit of an entire generation, who lived during the crisis.
  
  The new attack occurred at Marc again while working on archives of Lal. At this time it was so strong, that Dan, rushed up to him, had to call a physician immediately.
  Prior to his arrival he managed to inject the medication. The attack subsided, but the condition of Marc was worrisome.
  'Ah, my old acquaintance!' the doctor glared at the screen cyber diagnostician. 'How started?'
  Dan told what he injected. The doctor nodded: Dan did everything absolutely qualifiedly.
  'I told him then to go immediately to his doctor. Why has he still the old heart?'
  'He...'
  'The clinic is essential! If a heart attack occurs - it can be very extensive. We must have time!' - he called a special ambulance cabin, which the half-conscious Marc was laid in carefully. The doctor sat down next to him, turned on the cabin of the gentle mode of delivery: all city traffic through the pipes was adjusted for the doctor with the patient movement without obstacles.
  ... Dan was in the lobby of the clinic - without a doctor none foreign person was allowed going farther. But the doctor, who took Marc with him, ran soon out to him.
  'Your friend is behaving strangely. He woke up and, having learnt that we are going to perform immediately a heart replacement, flatly refused,' he was excited. 'What is he afraid of? An elementary operation - nothing special!'
  'It is - not afraid. Can you take me to him?'
  'Of course! Will you have persuaded him?'
  'I don't know. Let's go!'
  It was awful to look at Marc. It appeared that another attack started. But he was conscious.
  'Marc!' - Dan leaned over him.
  'Dan,' Marc opened with an effort his eyes. There was a wild pain in them. 'Tell them I forbid them to transplant to me a heart of a donor,' - his voice was barely audible.
  Dan went into the next room, where doctors were waiting for him.
  'Persuaded?'
  'No. It will be done never. Help him by other means.'
  'With what ones? Other means - any - are good only as temporary. You do know!'
  'Has not really been created anything effective recently?'
  'What for? We perform transplantation - and that's it! Why is it needed something else?'
  'But transplantation he won't let to do.'
  'Okay - we'll try to help with drugs, but... To guarantee something we cannot.'
  Dan went back to the lobby. He sat down in a chair: to wait.
  The doctor went out to him not too soon.
  'It seems, so far everything turned out all right. He's sleeping. But the case is too difficult: it's none the heart, but rags. It's impossible to hope that things will sort themselves out.'
  ... Dan spent a sleepless night. Nobody knew at home anything: he was afraid that the news might reach Layla. Running out for exercises without Eya, he contacted immediately the clinic.
  'Sleeping still.'
  'The night was quiet?'
  'Fortunately, yes. But really there's no hope of anything. If not to make transplantation, he left to live short.'
  'He has my chip. When you need me - use it.'
  He did not go into the pool. And almost could not eat at the breakfast. Waited.
  ... Marc was still very weak, but could speak.
  'Persuade him, do not let him die,' the doctor said again before to let him into the ward.
  Marc's eyes warmed when Dan went up to the bed of intensive care device.
  'I'm sorry to trouble you,' Marc said quietly.
  'Have you not changed your mind? The situation is critical.'
  'I know. But I said then yet: I won't repeat. I do not have the right - and I do not want.'
  'We need you now too much.'
  'All the same: this may not be done.'
  'Your refusal won't change anything in the meanwhile.'
  'But my agreement will change for sure: I will lose the right to look openly into the eyes of my boys.'
  'I myself - have the body of the inadequate.'
  'You did not know then yet.'
  'A quarter of Lee's body is taken away from donors. But he succeeded to have propagandized almost entire the Near Cosmos.'
  'From an interview of Lee at the publication, it was eliminated one sentence: 'When I think that my salvation has cost the lives of other people taken without their consent, I want to die'.'
  'Marc...'
  'You must not, Dan. You know that you should not say that to me. All - or nothing, Dan. I will be ashamed to live with a heart taken away from the donor.'
  'Marc, they may not save you.'
  'Let it be so. My death will have a meaning. Please, sit down, Dan. Lal would have understood - I cannot do differently. Though I prevented him a lot from talking quite openly.'
  'You have saved him.'
  'I did it only because of a fear of him, I loved him - but thought that he was mistaken.'
  'Do not blame yourself.'
  'I have understood him too late. I left to live, anyway, not much - but I have done too little for him. For all of us.'
  'You have published his books.'
  'You would have done it without me. No, not at all: if I die now, then knowing that I succeeded to do something essential. People will rather believe in our ideas - the ideas by Lal. As the ancient sage Hillel has said: 'If I am not for myself, who is for me? And being for my own self, what am 'I'? And if not now, when?''
  Marc closed his eyes: he got tired of the talk.
  'Sit with me a little,' he said in a whisper.
  Then he opened his eyes, smiled slightly:
  'But maybe, it will work out somehow. I will succeed to see your grandchild. Well, now go! Just tell the doctors to leave me alone: let them not pester with a transplant.'
  At the entrance of the clinic Dan ran into of Son's comrades: Yves, Uno, and Alexander.
  'Senior, you were now with him?'
  'How is he?'
  'How do you know he is here?'
  'The doctor said.'
  'The doctor? Why is that?'
  'He saw us before. When we accompanied Grandfather from you.'
  'Whom?'
  'The editor Marc: we call him so.'
  'It was occurred an attack of him. That doctor flew by call.'
  'Ah, old acquaintance!' That's when it was.
  'Why do not you report it? At least - to Lal?'
  'Grandfather did not tell.'
  'May we see him?'
  'I'll let you know,' he did not say anything more to them.
  ... Marc was a bit better the next day.
  'You do see: it has worked out again. They raised panic early. Are accustomed to, you see, if anything occurred - to hurry with their favorite transfers. That's good that I has not let.'
  Dan did not argue.
  'His improvement is temporary - we should expect a new attack at any moment. And then a heart infarction will happen: it can mean just his death,' the doctor told him.
  But he did not tell about it Marc. And did no longer try to persuade him.
  'Layla - does not know about me?'
  'No.'
  'It's good: she must not worry.'
  'I've told only Eya. And your three guys know: that they are coming here.'
  'And they are now here?'
  'Here.'
  'Nice guys. You ask to admit them to come to me.'
  'You need rest.'
  'I feel good with them. They came to see me at home, I got used to them.'
  'You know, they call you Grandfather.'
  'I know,' Marc smiled. 'Ask: let them come.'
  
  Marc every day became slowly better; he laughed softly at the fears of doctors - but they did not take their eyes off him.
  The worst thing that could happen none the less delayed. Another concern once again took first place: Layla had to give birth any day now, and Dan kept her under almost constant supervision. He had to deliver a baby.
  'He has a lot of experience - is the first class obstetrician,' Eya cheered Layla.
  ... Dan connected Marc - apologized for not being able to visit: Layla went into labor.
  'It's wonderful. You must not go to me. Let me know when it will be born - I'll wait.'
  And here Dan is holding a newborn. Now - just his grandson. Eya assisting him is next to him.
  After treating the child, he brought him to show Layla. Then he called Son and Daughter.
  'Hold him!' he said to Son. 'He's yours!'
  'Our baby!' - Daughter shone.
  In a broadcast a message went immediately: the baby is born! To Marc, Eve, Lee, Paul, Rita - and the thousands of others who waited impatiently for this news.
  And immediately after the joyous occasion, occurred in the afternoon, another one did. At night: a myocardial infarction - of Marc. Dan went immediately to the clinic.
  Layla was lying, sometimes waking up and looking in the direction of the children's chamber where the newborn was sleeping. Lal was on duty near his son. They both weren't informed about Marc.
  
  Marc was bad: the heart infarction, a fairly extensive - though to a lesser extent than doctors expected. But they did not hide the fear that it may be followed almost immediately by a second one. Marc was lying motionless; but his condition seemed to have become better again.
  'Actually, before the application of transplantations the most did not die of a heart infarction,' Dan said to the doctors.
  'With the heart - it was succeeded rarely to save. The next infarction can kill him immediately. He sacrifices himself to his own views.'
  'We have the right to do so: not to spare them selves only. We are against the use of killed donors. We will be more and more numerous, and you should look for other means of treatment.'
  'It's complicated.'
  'But the continuous monitoring system?'
  'Of course: it does be the most effective what can be. But we can still only dream of it. You know how it is difficult to create.'
  'I know that.'
  'Therefore, it is necessary still to save the people by existing reliable way.'
  'No: it is inhumane. We have to fight for the creation of CMS.'
  'At this, we are ready to support you.'
  'Physicians - are representatives of the most humane profession. I trust you will understand that we can not save the life of ones, taking it from others: the physician - may not be simultaneously a killer.'
  'But now - we cannot save your friend otherwise.'
  'He is a little better again.'
  The doctors shrugged their shoulders.'
  Marc was lying motionless. His sight went somewhere inside: he thought about something. Almost could not speak. And asked only
  'How is the baby?'
  Dan told him; however, he has seen his grandson too little.
  'It is a pity that I won't see him without a screen!'
  ... Dan told this Eya.
  'If we could bring the child to the clinic.'
  'How is he?'
  'In my opinion, he weakens continuously.'
  'We must fulfill his last wish.'
  'How to tell this Layla?'
  'I'll do that. And you prepare Marc.'
  ... Layla held out her son to Marc. He watched eagerly: the little, wonderful man. From his presence, feeling of inevitable, imminent death was gone suddenly somewhere: the kid had driven it.
  But that wrinkled his face and began to cry, uttering ridiculously clearly: 'Lah, lah!' Marc's eyes appeared puzzled.
  'It's time to feed him soon,' Layla said, 'he started shouting prematurely. We'll have to leave.' Eya saw Marc became sad immediately.
  'Feed here!' she said.
  The kid was sucking vigorously. Marc was looking, and one could read at his face increasing peace, his eyes shone brightly with warmth.
  'All right!' he whispered when Dan leaned toward him, saying goodbye. 'Great! If I still do not recover, I'll die calmly. Tell the guys that Grandfather is waiting for them today.'
  'Grandpa! You will recover - we'll put him in a baby carriage and go for a walk together,' Deya said, kissing him at parting.
  'Sure, my girl!'
  At night, the signal of an emergency call woke Dan.
  'Hurry, senior!' the duty physician said. 'The second heart infarction.'
  A large group of physicians was standing beside Marc's resuscitation chamber. Operating robots were on call. Screens and indicators of a cyber-diagnostician were lighting - but it was obvious without them how bad the situation is.
  Marc's absolutely white face was contorted in pain. For a moment he opened his eyes:
  'Dan! You've come?'
  'I am here, Marc.'
  'I have not passed, Dan. All clear. Do not be afraid: I will die peacefully. I've seen the baby, bid farewell to Deya and you all. And seen the guys. I felt fine. All is fine. Everything will be fine. Give me your hand. Farewell, Dan!' - despite the pain, he did not close his eyes, looked at Dan eagerly.
  And suddenly the pain disappeared from his face - it began to appear the same serenity with which he looked at Layla breastfed her baby.
  Peaks of lines on the screen of the diagnostician were gone; the alarm display started flashing. A heart massager worked intensively; stimulants were injected immediately, and oxygen supply enhanced. Doctors waited tensely.
  It took seconds, minutes. Lines were as smooth as before. Like then. When Kid did not wake up. That's it!
  The physicians did not give up for a long time. Electro stimulator! To no avail. More doses of stimulants in the veins! Oxygen! The massager! Only Dan stood perfectly motionless - knowing that their means were already useless.
  'That is it!' the older of the physicians said finally, taking his cap off; the others did the same.
  Dan continued to look at the newly departed friend. It seemed that Marc just fell asleep: peace was poured over his face. Dan on his own closed Marc's eyes.
  'Let's go,' the senior doctor said. 'He does not need us any more.'
  They sat in the lobby chairs and kept silence - depressed, shocked with the just occurred death.
  How short he has known Marc. And how close he became immediately, how much has succeeded to do. The man who has saved Lal: standing still at the beginnings of what he has sacrificed without hesitation his life for.
  'A wonderful death!' the senior doctor broke the silence suddenly. 'Wonderful - if it may be said so about death.'
  Dan felt a lump in his throat prevented him from speaking, replying the doctor.
  'Do you feel bad?' that asked. Dan was silent.
  'We have to give him twenty milliliters of ethanol - to relieve tension a bit.'
  'And I need also,' one of the doctors said.
  'And me.' Everyone would like to take some ethanol.
  The robot brought a flask with it. The senior doctor poured it out.
  'Let's recall the ancient custom: remember him. May his memory live for ever!'
  Everyone swallowed silently an unpleasant-tasting liquid. But it helped for a short time to relax a little bit.
  'I see such for the first time. Even at the very last moment, we would have saved him, if he gives his consent to the transplant.'
  'I said: he could not - do this.'
  'They are amazing people - your followers, Academician Dan. It makes to wonder. To do that!'
  'He has done as a Human,' Dan said.
  Something prevented them to disperse immediately. Finally, Dan stood up - all doctors accompanied him to the exit.
  He walked home. The sun rose, everything was fresh and bright. It was hard to believe that Marc had just gone.
  They waited him at home. Expected and feared the terrible news - and therefore did not connect to him.
  Dan's face told everything: no one asked questions. Crying, Daughter ran away.
  The baby with raised legs was sleeping placidly stretching out his arms with clenched fists. Dan came up to him. But even the sight of his grandson has not helped at least a little calm down.
  'Marc!!!' unexpectedly for himself, he growled somewhat indistinctly.
  And the baby opened his eyes suddenly. As if his grandfather called his name - and he responded.
  
  Part VII
  
  On the EVE
  
  59
  
  Despite his firm decision, Milan put off a long his explanation with Yorg. Anew and anew, he thought over just what he would have to tell him.
  Yorg needs him. As an active assistant in the impending battle - he won't want to lose him: will try to persuade - will prove his rightness. Only not having let Yorg to overcome at the dispute, having stood up himself - he may part with him. This conversation should be the only one.
  But there was no hesitation: a desire to leave everything as it was appeared never - it was impossible any more.
  It was the evening when he told himself: 'Tomorrow!' All night he did not close his eyes. In the morning called Yorg, arranged a meeting.
  Yorg was waiting for him, as always, at the institute.
  'Good afternoon, Milan. Any news?'
  'Good afternoon.'
  'I'm waiting.'
  'I have no news. I just need to talk with you.'
  'What about?'
  'About the too serious: I have stopped believing - in what I struggled for along with you.'
  'But you say that there is no news! This, perhaps - is the most unpleasant of all those you reported. Have you thought enough before you say it?'
  'Yes: sure.'
  'So! Why is that?'
  'I have analyzed carefully what we defended, and - what they suggest to restore them: I had the opportunity to become convinced of the correctness of their comprehension of the human nature.'
  'Come, come, go on! I'm listening to you carefully.'
  'I have understood that much of what they tell about is necessary - to me self: because without that it is impossible to live.'
  'What, for example?'
  'For example - what they call love, and what we laughed at.'
  'Excuse my too frank question: is Rita involved in this?'
  'Involuntarily: after my deed with Layla, I did not see her. But I had the opportunity to think through all what I had heard from her, and compared with what I felt myself.'
  'This is a temporary weakness, my dear. It is necessary just to wait, and you will gain back the confidence in our rightness and the strength to continue the struggle. The open battle is coming irrespective of Dan on his own wants it now or not: those who listen to him give us this opportunity with their actions. I still had only to restrain you - I will not soon have to do it.'
  'You won't,' Milan responded.
  'Undoubtedly,' Yorg continued, pretending that he has not noticed. 'It is a pity, after all, that you could not cause anything to Layla. But the case of this space rescuer was more convenient for us. Just too inopportunely, he was summoned in the space: we haven't succeeded to use the court at him before she has given birth. And they continue to act. Are you aware?'
  'Aware of that?'
  'Today there is another demonstration over the worldwide broadcast. Another funeral - in the meanwhile they have nothing else to show: of their hero and great martyr, the former chief editor of the 'The News' Marc, who guarded Lal under his wing once. The victim of not our malicious intrigues, but his own ridiculous views: he refused flatly a heart transplant and died of a heart infarction. By the way, they should start,'- he switched on the big screen.
  A large glade in the mountains, which the other funeral was aired before from - of the youngest son of Dan . An open grave next to another one - of the child. Rocket planes are sitting down at a distance one after another. A procession appears, walking slowly to the grave. On the shoulders of going ahead - the coffin with Marc.
  They stand at open coffin: Dan and Eya, Eve and the space rescuer No.1 Lee, Layla with a baby and Lal Junior, the weeping daughter of Dan, three young university students, several journalists from 'The News' - colleagues of Marc. And else - Paul and Rita. Rita! Milan stared at her uninterruptedly: Yorg sneered scornfully to himself.
  'So, they gathered here almost all. Just that rescuer, whom the trial awaits, is missing.'
  'No, teacher. Not he only. I am missing there.'
  'This - does be too much!' - Yorg switched off the screen and turned to Milan. His nostrils swelled, but he was silent: it seemed, could not immediately find the needed words.
  'I want you to explain to me everything what's happening to you!' he said at last.
  'This is just why I have come to you.'
  ... 'But do you not think that you are ready to go over on their side only to earn her forgiveness?'
  'No, it is not so. But that is - also: I am not ashamed of that. There are things that proved to be needed. Vitally. I have already told.'
  'Love?'
  'Yes! Because it makes life complete.'
  'And for that you're willing to renounce everything?'
  'What exactly?'
  'The science and its clean, high joys.'
  'But that is not all. This is just one of the aspects of our lives. It is not in any way contrary to what I have got: a personal happiness and creative one complement each other harmoniously. And I renounce only what seems unnatural and therefore inadmissible: our dehumanization - how is it possible to call differently what we do with the inadequates?'
  'You start to say like Dan - or just Lal.'
  'I have read all of his major works: to comprehend what they want. This is the terrible truth for all of us: Lal first realized it. The facts that I know only confirm this truth.'
  'Do you understand, what may expect you? You will have no place in our midst: none of those engaged in science, which you devoted self to, won't deal with you. They announced their boycott of you.'
  'I know. But - I can not already other ways. And if Rita does not forgive me, I still won't get back to you. She isn't the only point now.'
  'But do you know how the will call your act? A betrayal!'
  'Let them call so - those who do not want to understand the truth that I really can not betray.'
  'But how can you - just you? You - Milan? Who knew no fear, no doubt. The only one, whom I dared to reveal entirely all that would have seemed almost sacrilegious to too many of who do not have the strength to hear out boldly the sober dictates of reason, and what - therefore - everything must know never.'
  'And with this you gave me the opportunity to understand fully what I defended along with you. As a token of gratitude for that, I will never use your candor, when I will no longer in your midst: I see you're afraid of that. Those words of you no one will hear from me. I would desire even to forget them.'
  'To forget?'
  'Exactly! If to accept the truth that you have told, people should become cyborgs as soon as possible. So: I think we've said all to each other. It's time to bid farewell.'
  
  'How, however, to explain to you?' - Eya became thoughtful. 'No - perhaps I won't convey you in words everything entirely. Let's better flight to us! You have to see the baby closely - not on the screen.'
  Until now, they avoided contact of the child with not members of their family - the exception was made only for the dying Marc. Rita the first after him was to see the son of Layla.
  ... Layla breast-fed the child. Rita felt that began to understand just what Eya had found difficulty to convey in words.
  The child had finished sucking, and Layla stretched him out to her:
  'Hold it a minute, please. Just take it as I did.'
  Rita took the little cautiously. Amazing tiny man! The warm one, and he smell of milk. Something rolled over in her chest.
  'Now you understand, right?' Eya entered the room asked her.
  Rita nodded.
  'You're looking at him as if you want to give him your breast. Like me, when I was given the first time to hold a baby.'
  And suddenly the tears began to flow down on the cheeks of Rita. Eya hurried to take his grandson and go with him away.
  'What happened to you, my girl?' - Layla sat down next to Rita, hugged her.
  'I ... I ... I thought: he - he could not be born. Because of...'
  'You must not remember it now.'
  'Yes! I have - to tell you: I am so guilty - in you all! You could not even guess.'
  'Well, if you need to - tell me: do not suffer. I'm listening to you.'
  Exciting and stumbling, Rita began to tell. Everything: how she was the spy of Yorg; that told them about 'The Wild Duck' and 'Emperor and Galilean'.
  'But it was not only that, right?'
  No, not only that. Still - the first visit to this home, when something budged inside her. How gradually their words, their thoughts penetrated into her. About excruciating hesitations between them and Milan.
  'True, it began to seem to me that he was beginning to alter - as I did. I began to tell him a lot - not what was only needed for Yorg: my impressions of you. He listened. Did not argue, did not mind. And it seemed to me more and more that he was different - not such he still turned out to be after all. I became so glad when he asked to introduce him to you. If I had known that he planned!'
  'Do not devour your heart! You came to us by the hard way.'
  'You - for some reason - trusted me always!'
  'Right. I liked something of you: I trust my intuition. You had from the very beginning some inclinations, but in 'The Girl of the Paradise' you staggered me: now I understand why you could play so great. Tell me, do you love him so much?'
  'What?! Whom?'
  'Milan.'
  'I love? After he has almost done to you what Yorg to Eve. I hate him!'
  'It is hard for you.'
  'Yes...' - Rita sat, bowing her head low.
  'It is - a blessing for you: both your love for him, and your present-day pangs - without them you would not become a very actress. Maybe for a long time else. We have no other choice: to play for real, we need to have experienced too much on our own. Do not hang your head, girl! Life is a complicated thing, - and love, too.'
  'I can not forgive him...'
  'He - was not like Yorg when that quietly disposed of Eve: I have heard the record of her telling. But Milan, I've noticed, was excited: did not feel confident. What if he forced himself to do it? Trying to overcome the hesitations that you have, perhaps, inspired him with. His way can be harder than yours. Do not hurry!'
  'Why are you defending him?'
  'I say again: I trust my intuition. And he's smart: understands many things. Otherwise - so exactly - he would not have defined my most vulnerable point: just what he said sat inside me. In the very depths: I forced myself not to think about it - because I was afraid. Yes: for some reason, I have liked him, after all: he has for sure something good. Tell me about him: of course, if you want.'
  ... 'He likes children: you do see!'
  'You are defending him again. What for? After all, he's the enemy!'
  'And you, it turned out, were also an enemy. He, like any other - may understand our truth. We must fight for everyone. And then...'
  '?'
  'I know myself as it is not simple to love. And I want to help you - I want to see you happy.'
  'Like you?'
  'Like me. Do you want to have your baby?'
  'Apparently, I do!'
  
  Rita returned home. On the raketodrome he sat in a cabin, but like always lately, got out, having not got to the house, and went on foot. A silly habit related to the fact that before he was here somewhere waiting for her without fail. Especially, it is very silly to look around, as if he, after all, is here, and she - wants to see him. Not, of course!
  But maybe - yes. Perhaps, yes - to be perfectly honest with yourself, not to deny what Layla has been able to make out once. She looked back once again, stopping just in front of the entrance.
  And suddenly, a barely audible voice sounded hoarsely:
  'Rita!' she shivered. Nothing was visible, but it seemed to her that she was not mistaken.
  'It's you?' she said with a deliberately calm voice, loud, and then he came out of the bushes.
  'Why have you come?' she tried to put in his voice as much as possible of hatred.
  'To see you.'
  'Have you forgotten what I said to you then?' - she turned to leave.
  'I need to talk to you. Do not go away, wait!'
  'We have nothing to say: we are enemies. I'll never be along with you both: with you and Yorg.'
  'I came to say I have broken off with him.'
  'It's strange: you do not change your beliefs as easily as I do!'
  'Do not say so, I beg you.'
  'I must to: once you've deceived me. What do you want? To pretend now their supporter to act the same like what I have given up? And at the same time to be along with me?'
  'No. I'm not an enemy. And not a spy. I need you more than anyone else - no one is dearer to me than you: I know - that I cannot live without you; but if you do not forgive me, I'll still not be together with Yorg . Do not go away: you always have time to do it. Hear me out!'
  'Well, I'm listening to you,' she said dryly.
  They sat down on a bench. He began to speak: to tell all that he had thought and taken hard since parting from her. She was not looking at him - but listening.
  Then he fell silent: was sitting waiting obediently for what she would say to him. Conflicting feelings struggled inside her: she had to push him away, but for some reason, wanted to believe - what he told. Layla - for some reason - believed that he had some good attributes: 'He likes children: you do see!'
  Rita looked up: he sat being deeply in thought, not seeing even her. A thought pierced her brain: if his coming to her is not a gambit of Yorg - his situation is unenviable! A boycott of his colleagues: an inability to work together and exchange opinions. Besides, Yorg is his supervisor of post-studies: who will now agree to bring him to defending his dissertation? It's hard to him: not about that is he thinking?
  If everything is really so - he is lonely, terrifying. All his friends, all his former like-minded people will break with him. And he has no one else - but her, her only: he came just to her. And is waiting obediently - not asking, not persuading. As someone who is deeply conscious of his guilt. 'Tell me, do you love him so much?' - Layla's question got to the point: she knew what Rita did not want to admit to herself.
  What have she still to do? To have trusted? Not to? For he is actually - one of those who made her pretend. Maybe it is now the same thing? How to learn, to check?
  What for? 'I know myself as it is not simple to love'. Here he is: sitting - keeping silence and waiting. And you want to believe. To say that all is okay, to hug him. Be happy together with him. You want so much to be happy! 'I want to see you happy. - Like you? - Like me. Do you want to have your baby? - Apparently, I do!' The child in her arms, a little, warm. 'You're looking at him as if you want to give him your breast'. A very limit of happiness!
  And at the same time - a test of his veracity!
  'Today I was holding the baby. Just whom you failed to kill. I've never had to hold them on hand. I also - want to have a child. Will you help me?' she glared at his face: now he will give him away.
  'What?' - he was not frightened by what she asked. Even in the semi-darkness, she saw how he smiled - too good for a spy. 'So... So, we will have a baby? Maybe a son.'
  'What: you do want to?' she did not even believe it.
  'Rita! I desire to be along with you: today, tomorrow, always - for entire life. I love you - I know what this word means. And I want - we have a child. How many times I have seen them - quite little: I know what they are. I desire that we have a child: yours and mine - ours!'
  'Silly,' Rita smiled with eyes bedimmed with tears, 'but why do you want just a son?'
  
  Yorg behaved rather strange: it seemed nothing had happened - there were even none the slightest changes in the attitude to him in the institute. Those who he was the ringleader in carrying out the counter-propaganda, did not, for some reason, even notice his non-participation in this affair: however, this was somehow possible to explain with the intense work.
  But yet: why Yorg keeps silence? He still hopes that Milan changed his mind and come back? In vain: he will soon realize that!
  Rita is pregnant! All the signs are obvious - he has only to do tests to be convinced completely. Now he just will do this. On his own.
  When they were ready, he called Rita:
  'Confirmed! Nine months later, we will have a son. I kiss you!'
  She smiled at him from the screen:
  'But if a daughter?'
  'The same like you? I agree.'
  Quiet steps behind the door, which apparently was not closed completely. And at lunchtime Milan felt that something has changed in his colleagues' attitude to him. Wary glances, a silent or an unnaturally lively conversation at his appearance.
  So: someone has overheard his conversation with Rita. Or - Yorg told about his apostasy. It is possible that the second happened after the first. And it is about to happen what awaits him.
  He's ready. For a long time. And the best - if Yorg keeps still silence - is that they learn everything just from him: he must intercept the initiative.
  He came resolutely to the table where sat several of the most active of his former associates.
  'It is necessary to gather.'
  'Everybody?'
  'Yes - the more, the better.' He walked away, accompanied with sights: someone apparently knew already something. Others - were still smiling as before.
  The same was also after lunch, when he went along with them to the office for meetings.
  ... Right now the leader should inform the pack that he no longer wants to be a predator.
  'So, we are waiting. Why have you mustered us?'
  'To tell you: I refuse to continue the struggle for the preservation of the existing social order. I consider now being right what is taught by Dan and the works of Lal Senior.'
  'Why?'
  'Exactly: why?'
  'I have read them and compared it with what I know too well. And I have realized - what did not understand before: it made me reconsider my views.'
  'Not another reason really pushed you into this?'
  'I have not finished speaking. You can not wait to say out loudly what someone has overheard: I'm not going to do the mystery out of it. We, I and Rita - are expecting a baby. Let everyone know that.'
  'Are you aware of what you're doing?'
  'Sure! I want to live like that, and I will to - and not differently: because I did have to live so. And others.'
  'You have not just come out of our fight - you have done a lot more than other supporters of Dan. You're not only an apostate: you - a traitor! We will judge you, and exclude from our midst!'
  'Think again until it is too late!'
  'It is.'
  'Do not complain!'
  'I can only feel sorry for you - until you have seen the light, realized how terrible that I defended together with you and what you are appealing to me again for. In vain! I have decided once and for ever: nothing other do not expect from me. If you are more interested in something, I am ready to answer.'
  'Not just to us! Now we are going to judge you. Go!'
  ... The conference hall of the institute was full. It means everything was prepared in advance: he has forestalled them only for half an hour.
  Hundreds of eyes glared at Milan. The synod of the gods of genetics - the members of the Coordinating Border of reproduction of the mankind; Yorg among them, for some reason, was not.
  One of who brought Milan went up to them:
  'We have not succeeded to persuade him to abandon the delusion: he rejected categorically the proposal to do that.'
  'So: we will judge!'
  The oldest of the leading geneticists stood up:
  'We will judge Milan, a graduate-student. The charge brought against him: treason to our cause. He refuses to admit his guilt. Let the prosecutor say.'
  He was one of the closest associates of Milan.
  'Milan, we blame you! You committed treason: you have taken the side of those who reject the based on our science mode of reproduction of the mankind. You have been the most outspoken advocate of this method, now you are - an active enemy of it. You began to act against it: you are a father of the child, whom a proper woman has to give birth. Until now, no one but just Dan and his son made that. I ask: do you admit your guilt?'
  'No! I've told this before.'
  'Let say the prosecution witnesses - Professor Yorg, the supervisor of the graduate-student Milan.'
  Yorg came out from a far row in the hall, got up on the podium.
  'Colleagues, I have to carry too hard duty: the accusation of my disciple. Moreover: of my best student. Until the last moment I hoped that I would not have to do that - he would understand and repent. Alas!
  I'm his teacher: the part of responsibility rests with me. I did not dare sit on the podium: had to come out here to explain what makes a pupil of mine - why, how.
  Who was and who became Milan? He was: fearless and resolute, staunch supporter of the reasonable order of reproduction, which we - geneticists - follow. Ready for anything. Intransigent. I was proud of him.
  Exclusively by chance, he has just the first learned that the children with whom Dan returned to the Earth had appeared not casually - under the influence of Lal, whose name was for Milan as hateful as for all of us. Lal tried to express his atavistic views once: we silenced him. Now Dan, after coming back to the Earth, wants to spread the ideas by Lal and to achieve their implementation: for this he and his girlfriend gave birth to children, taking advantage of the fact that they could not be prevented.
  Milan learned it from the known to you actress, Rita, who was present at Layla's telling about her visiting astronauts and conversation with them. The heard then caused the natural protest of Rita: to prevent them, she came into close contact with Layla, and through her - with Dan. Thus we learned promptly about them a lot of important things.
  But communicating with them began to affect her detrimentally. Sharing her observations with Milan, she has infected also him with hesitations. To get rid of them, he made a desperate attempt to prevent Layla from giving birth that ended in failure.
  This attempt was the reason for Rita's break-up with him and her complete transition to the side of Dan. But she infected him not only with doubts - also with what they call love, which, according to his own words, they laughed before at. It seems that just to make it up with her, he renounced all that was sacred for him, and what became necessary for him he elevated to the rank of the absolute truth.
  I knew him till now as a hot champion of our - genuine - truth, whose indomitable desire for immediate action I sometimes even had to hold back. Because of that I put his sudden decision down to his turbulent, emotional nature. After all, he was closer than we all in touch with those who challenged us: just temporary fluctuations, I thought - it should be allowed him to think more, and he will be together with us again.
  But it turned out differently - he started to act actively against us: how otherwise is it possible to interpret the fact that he and his girlfriend are going, to give like Dan birth to a child? He understands too well what it means. Let then him know that we won't let him do that.'
  'You are able to prevent no longer - like with Eve once. Just as you could not prevent Layla to bear a baby.'
  'It was also your failure. But you set an example on your own: it can appear no less hot than you to repeat it,' - Yorg looked at Milan with his icy eyes. A fear penetrated for the first time in Milan: it became difficult to breathe, though Yorg as python squeezed him with his rings. The fear not for himself: for Rita and their child. And after it hatred appeared:
  'You were afraid to trouble Dan, Professor Yorg you will have to deter those who might dare to do something to Rita. Otherwise, I have to break my promise to you,' - he looked straight into his eyes, and Yorg casted them down. The rings weakened: even here, among like-minded people, his views would seem blasphemous: Yorg descended slowly from the podium and went back to his seat.
  'Who else will witness for the prosecution?'
  'Enough!'
  'Yorg has said everything!'
  'Who wants to defend Milan?' - the hall responded with silence. 'What do you say to this, Milan?'
  'That I did not expect anything else. But I do not need an advocate: I will say for self on my own.
  Yes: I have made what you accuse me of - and I do not consider myself guilty at all. While I believed what there was, I fought for it - now, making sure that the truth is in the opposite, I became on the side of it.
  Yes: I learned what love is - it makes a human being happy. That feeling - isn't an atavism: it is in our nature, our essence. And the children - are the fruit of its natural continuation of it. This is just what I need, without which I can not imagine my further life; it is what all you need - and sooner or later everyone will realize it. And you - including.'
  'Your Dan wants not only that!'
  'I know that: in order to understand what was happening to me, wanting to be convinced of the truth of what I defended with you, I have read many works by Lal Senior. I compared what I had learned from his books with what knew for a long time. I also watched 'The Girl of the Heaven' - the truth about the houris whom I have used repeatedly. The inadequates of our time and the slaves of past - what a terrible analogy. This it is impossible to leave! And I have hated what defended, and what you call me back. I said everything.'
  'Questions to the accused.'
  'My question is such: the topic of your thesis does not correspond to what you call your new beliefs. How do you resolve this contradiction?'
  'I will work on another topic - appropriate to them.'
  'No one will agree to be a supervisor on such a topic.'
  'I will become to work alone.'
  'You will not even be allowed to defend your thesis.'
  'Let be.'
  'Without doctor degree - you won't be able to work intensely.'
  'That is to say: I will not receive any necessary equipment or resources of supercomputer time?'
  'Of course: exactly so!'
  'I will try to do without them temporary.'
  'Temporary?'
  'Your order will not last forever - it will disappear.'
  'Are you so sure?'
  'Yes!'
  'Think again, Milan: it is not too late to correct the error committed by you, you know.'
  'Not me - you have to correct the biggest error!'
  'Enough! Enough! Too clear! A traitor!' screams rushed from all sides, the faces of the screaming distorted with hatred.
  He stands with his arms folded before the chest on his podium. One - absolutely alone against all. Pale, with sparkling eyes.
  'The verdict! Announce the verdict!'
  'It is proposed to declare a professional boycott on the graduate-student Milan. More propositions?' - complete silence of the hall. There are just the green dots on the scoreboard: the hall voted unanimously for the boycott.
  No: not entirely unanimous! An only red dot - against, and an only blue one - abstained. They did not change things - but were: the unity and another unity on the scoreboard next to the hundreds.
  Milan looked into the hall, trying to find these two: really wanted to see them. Ah, here they are - by the wall. One looked depressed, but his face is not hatred, - the eyes of another one lit with delight.
  'You, Milan! We announce to you our professional boycott. Since now, none of us will work together with you, help or advise you; you won't participate in our discussions, meetings and conferences; none of us will be your scientific supervisor. We stop all communication with you: you do not exist for us. Do you accept the decision of our court? Or you demand an investigation by the court of another composition?'
  'I accept: I need nothing else from you - we have different ways. I'm leaving: good-bye for the moment!'
  'Why: good-bye for the moment? Farewell for ever!'
  'No: good-bye for the moment - with those who will inevitably realize the same thing I have done.'
  
  That's it! Now he is alone - as a geneticist: they expelled him from their midst.
  A professional boycott is a measure no much more frequent than a general boycott; - in contrast to the latter, it is - not a civil death. One can continue to do what he wants, to use absolutely everything what others do. Go everywhere - even in the laboratories of the Genetic center.
  You can not only communicate with colleagues - those people who are able to understand your thoughts and ideas related to your work, your science. You are like in a vacuum, which sounds fade away in: no one understands you properly. You can work - totally alone. Or change the profession.
  Now, he has nobody but Rita. She is only - on the whole Earth. And the little man who will come into the world. Little or a lot? Everything! More than ever before; more than the lost touch with colleagues - the former colleagues. All - to the brim: completeness, unity of their souls; the happiness, for that what he paid today - is not the excessive price.
  It scares other: that the same as it was still will try to harm Rita, to kill their child. Milan clenched his fists: he will not let - if necessary, will be with her permanently.
  It's possible to refer to Dan. To ask for help for Rita. For nothing more. It does not matter if they want to associate just with him; she is their friend, they won't refuse helping her.
  A call signal. Rita: who else?
  'Milan! Are you busy?' - on the bracelet screen her face, her eyes, her smile.
  'No, Rita! Free: absolutely,' he grinned to himself.
  'Come in the City of Muses: the rehearsal will end soon. We both are waiting for you in the studio.'
  'Both?'
  'Yes! Layla wants to see you: I've told her everything already.'
  'Layla?!'
  'Yes, yes! Hurry up - we'll talk about the rest here.'
  ... 'I am guilty in you, seniora, - I am very sorry of that I tried to do.'
  'It is not necessary to remember: the more you have redeemed it,' Layla smiled, continuing to embrace Rita's shoulders. 'Well done, truly! First time I could appear here - and have such a wonderful surprise. We should tell Dan and Eya as soon as possible. Or - different: you both will fly along with me now to Starstown.'
  'Me?' - Milan did not believe it right away.
  'You, you! Come on, let's go.'
  ... The unit, which Rita told him about so much. Dan, Eya with the tiny Marc in her hands, Lal Junior, Deya - the yesterday's enemies. Milan stood at the door, not daring to go farther.
  'Listen you all: I'm with the news,' Layla blurted immediately. 'She is expecting a baby!!!'
  'What?! - Dan stepped to Rita. 'Well ... Ritty! You really... Let me hug you!'
  'And this is Milan: he is the father of the child.'
  'Milan? Somehow familiar name. Wait: Milan?!'
  'Yes: Milan - a geneticist, a graduate-student of Professor Yorg.'
  'Who was involved in the active counter-propaganda against us?'
  'That exactly. Not only in the counter-propaganda: I have tried to prevent the child of your son to be born.'
  'Milan, do not!' Layla stopped him.
  'What? When? Layla, you did not tell me anything!'
  'I still would tell you nothing, Dad. All is over. This man is now along with us: he broke with Yorg. And he's the father of her child.'
  'Of our one! I'll tell you, senior, as I tried to prevent her from birth. I do not want - to hide anything from my past.'
  'Have you come to us completely?'
  'Yes. If you agree to take me.'
  'But you're a geneticist - they are all against us: you will be expelled out of your midst.'
  'They've already done that today. But they also - are not all against you.'
  'Do you think so?'
  'When I was judged, two men did not vote for approval of my boycott.'
  'Who they are?'
  'I do not know.'
  'Pity!'
  'Unfortunately, I cannot now find out.'
  'Maybe they will make themselves known.'
  'If they have the courage.'
  'But you was not afraid.'
  'Then - was not.'
  'But now?'
  'I am. For Rita.'
  'You're right. What are you going to do?'
  'To be always along with her - until our son has appeared.'
  'Son?'
  'I want a son.'
  'Well said, 'I want a son'.'
  'Let them live with us,' Eya said. 'We'll set just one more block. Especially - Rita needs to prepare for motherhood.'
  'Thank you!' Milan said. Rita came back, put her hand on his shoulder.
  'And you, Mom, can deal in that with her. At the same time she will see how we busy ourselves with Marc.'
  'Just there is one difficulty, Ritty: Dan will certainly begin to take care of you and ensure adherence to your routine. But what it is - we, Layla and me, have experienced well.'
  'I'm not afraid,' - Rita turned to Dan. 'I will obey you implicitly.'
  'Amazing people' Milan thought. 'Rita could not but be attracted by them.' It was unusual, but their treating each other, Rita, and even him affected soothingly: the today's trial seemed like a bad dream, gloomy thoughts went.
  ... After dinner, Dan took him to the terrace.
  'How do you think to continue your studies?'
  'For the present, I have to stop them.'
  'And in the future?'
  'I do not know. They will not give me a supervisor.'
  'There are other sciences, where you could find a place.'
  'For me, just one science exists: genetics. I'm going to be engaged in it regardless of whether or not I have a doctorate. Not the degree is the point, right?'
  'Of course. But without it, you will have very limited technical abilities.'
  'I know - but I won't leave the genetics. I'll take temporary a break: I will look for the topic for me. Then I'll start working without a supervisor of studies.'
  'If you do not mind, I can offer you something at this time. I need an assistant: to sort out Lal's archive. I did this with Marc, - you know, who died recently,' Dan grew dark. 'Think about it, okay? At the same time we will be able to talk about many things.'
  'Thank you, senior!' Milan said the second time.
  
  60
  
  Friday. A rocket plane flew toward the mountains. All went: Dan's family with its full complement and Rita with Milan, who have never been there. They flew not just to spend time: it had appointed a meeting with a group of women-teachers - Eve had to bring them.
  ... They went down to the house, when Lal saw suddenly several figures standing at the burial mounds.
  'Our guys!' he recognized them by the same clothes as on him. 'Hey!'
  They turned, and went to meet him.
  'Good afternoon, seniors!'
  'Hello, guys! I did not expect at all to see you here.'
  'We came at the grave of Grandfather,' Yves said, one of three Grandchildren of Marc - they were all here, and along with them another youth and two girls. 'We brought them to swear an oath of allegiance to the great cause which Grandfather died for. But...? This senior - with you?' - all three of them looked with surprise at Milan.
  'Yes. But what: do you know him?'
  'They do: I once sent them out of the palace of erotic games,' Milan recognized them immediately. 'What I ask to forgive me for, right now I would not do that.'
  They looked at Lal.
  'Seriously, guys: he is now one of us.'
  They nodded, but tried not to look at Milan. The situation was defused by Marc: the young people surrounded him. The kid did not sleep - Layla, showing how to do this, gave it to hold in turn.
  Teachers weren't late at all. And here Marc became immediately the center of attention: they took the baby from the girls and passed him to each other, until he tried to scream; shared their comments, very qualified, about his development, gave Layla some advices.
  'I have a surprise for you,' Dan led to Eve Rita and Milan. 'Or perhaps just two. Do you know them?
  'Her - of course: the famous actress, known over the world. But a young man - I don't.'
  'Milan, the former graduate-student of Yorg. Former!' Dan repeated. 'Has broken up with him. And now - he and Rita are expecting a baby.'
  'Is that clear?' Eve turned to the flown with her. 'Have you heard? Actresses are not afraid, but we - the teachers? Who the first started to speak about that - have done nothing at all. A shame!'
  'But you yet...' one of the educators tried to argue.
  'But what of that? Say you: will your teacher dare again to do the same thing like with me?' she turned to Milan.
  'My former teacher,' he corrected discreetly her. 'He won't be able to: the situation is different, and he understands it too well. Now Yorg can no longer count on the unconditional approval of the boycott of who on their own gives birth on her own.'
  'He did not react to the birth of Marc,' Eya added.
  'He's afraid of the authority of Dan. And he does not like to risk.'
  'But unlikely your former teacher will keep endlessly silence and do nothing!'
  'Not, of course - he's waiting for the most opportune moment, but he may be forced to speak openly before he wants. Perhaps Yorg will take something when our son will be born - at the same time to get even with me for breaking with him. It is necessary to succeed for taking advantage of his silence: the more women become mothers, the more hard he will achieve anything.'
  'Do you hear, friends? Well, are we really worth nothing already? We continue to tremble with only one name of Yorg - who began first the struggle against the rejection. Though you know others are not afraid now! Here she is,' Eve showed at Eya. 'She has made that where from the Earth - it's scary to think how far. And was not afraid to pay for it the most terrible loss: you're standing just at the grave of her son! And these,' she pointed at Rita and Milan, 'he's a geneticist, it is unlikely they forgive him that: Yorg is not such. They've already done something to you, sonny?
  'Yes, seniora: announced the professional boycott.'
  'It means, you have sacrificed both study, and work, and a brilliant future, he was a disciple just of Yorg. And he,' she showed on the grave of the senior Marc, 'sacrificed everything. Only we...' - her voice broke.
  'Do not, Aunt Eve!' Deya hugged her.
  'Let them go away! Her there is nothing to do for those who have no courage!'
  This outburst of indignation at the Two Graves has taken effect: in several weeks Eve reported the pregnancy of one of her colleagues. Then of another one. Then - just three. She was jubilating: the case moved finally from the dead point.
  But the conversation on the clearing has affected not only teachers.
  
  Again, Layla developed an energetic activity. It began anew to appear those frequent visitors who lived in couples, and she showed them her Marc and introduced the pregnant Rita and Milan. The child provoked a smile and an interest: it seems that looking at him, they became thoughtful. But the results had not been yet.
  'Patience - is the most necessary quality, Layla: the example of Lal teaches this,' Dan said.
  'Which one of? I doubt of your son and my husband: he can not wait - for leaving the Earth.'
  Lal, who was sitting, as usual, with an open screen, looked up when he heard his name. Instead of having to answer to a remark of Layla he said:
  'Dad, Yves and Lique are very eager to see you. They say that for some very important conversation.'
  'So, you would invite them to us straight away.'
  'They told me just today.'
  'Let them come at night. Are you waiting today for the guests, Layla?'
  'Just several pairs.'
  'The guys, I think, won't interfere with your reception?'
  'Maybe, even the opposite. Lal, you've told about them, they are always together, haven't you?'
  'Yes. They almost are not seen one without the other.'
  'Then - especially desirable.'
  ... Like the others, the guests were shown Marc, introduced to Rita and Milan. The impression of the guests of all seemed to be the same as the previous: it was impossible to expect to results for sure.
  Then Yves along with Lique came - both pompous and solemn. Dan led them to the terrace.
  'You want to talk to me, don't you?'
  'Yes, senior. About very important thing for us. Lique and I love each other. We desire to be together for life: to weave not fingers but arms; to become a wife and a husband, like you with Lal's mother. Once the custom existed - to celebrate the day when the two became them: it was called a wedding. Their friends and kin assembled for feasting. We want to arrange a wedding and take an oath of love and fidelity, as then. About this Grandfather told: but he died - so only you can help us.'
  'You know, we unfortunately did not have the wedding,' - Dan was confused. 'But - here many people are present who live together for many years: maybe they have done something? Let's ask them.'
  Layla looked up immediately as soon as they appeared in the room.
  'A moment of attention, please,' Dan said, pointing to the youth and the girl. 'These two want to become inseparable for life. They want to celebrate ceremonially this event and ask us who live in couples tell us how it's doing. Unfortunately, we, Eya and me, did nothing that called the wedding. Maybe it was different by even somebody?'
  Just helpless shrug. Nothing was: they just became to live together when had wanted it. And that's all.
  'What to do?'
  'I will try to learn. Sure! Will you help?' Layla appealed to one of the couples - historians.
  'We'll try. But I do not know how it will suit today, as it did once.'
  'We will take what may be good - the rest we'll come up on our own. How, Rita?'
  'Of course! And Paul - he will certainly help.'
  'I also want - to help,' Milan asked.
  'And we. And we,' others talked surrounded animatedly the university students.
  'And you all will come to our wedding!' Lique invited immediately.
  'The wedding will be great, you'll see!' Layla hugged them both.
  'But will the university allow us to live together then? We want to just like you: that we have children, too.'
  'I will myself to ask for you,' Dan promised them. 'What you intend - is wonderful: the first wedding in hundreds of years!'
  
  The same cleaning where he saw two funerals. So far, just the funeral. Today, it is going the broadcast of their holiday - some ridiculous kind of 'wedding': not the funeral of someone of them again. That's really pity!
  Lots of people dressed up a lot more magnificent than for the New Year carnival. People of any kind: university students and professors; Eve with her gang of teachers and faithful sunny Lee; lots of couples of men and women - obviously, those who live together for a long time; and, of course, Dan's disciples with their graduate-students. Great Paul led the chorus of his actors - participants of 'The Paradise Whore' must be - singing solemnly epithalamia - quite smoothly, by the way. A lot of people with telephoto lenses and microphones on headbands: it's not amateurs who want to capture forever the very 'wedding' in their records - no wonder so many operator bridges there are on the clearing. All is organized by friends of a buried there Marc and Dan's abettors: they have informed in advance that the wedding will be broadcasted by 'The News'. It is clear: Dan wants the 'wedding' to be seen by a huge number of people.
  Everything is thought out, calculated, orchestrated. From the two rocket planes girl in a flowing white dress and veil, accompanied by Eya and a guy in a white toga - accompanied by Dan are going. The bride and groom with their proxies: a speaker is telling ecstatically that the historians have found a mention of such in some national wedding ceremony. They are processing slowly to the tomb of the great martyr Marc where the most-most honorable participants in this farce have lined up: Madonna with Child - Layla with another Marc in her arms and also another Lal, the rector of the Star University and the other two hooligans with whom coped once still normal then Milan.
  By the sacred grave they stop. Layla, passing her sunny to Lal Junior, and the rector put on the bride and groom huge wreaths of white flowers; Dan and Eya connect their hands. The choir stops to not hinder them to utter words of the oath:
  'By the blessed memory of Marc, our Grandfather, we vow to be together forever! Be faithful to each other! Continue our love in the birth of children!' Wow!
  The bride takes in her arms the child, stretched to her by Layla, and then transmits him to the groom. But then the other distracted attention: Milan, embracing his Rita and looking at her so, that all flips inside. He - the former: the most talented and beloved disciple - a deserter, a traitor! He has been infected with their madness: is admiring these babies, decorated with flowers, like the Polynesian savages.
  And the whole ritual is wildly absurd: that an oath for life - and they're going to do, if the desire to live together is gone, or someone appear who inspires in one of them a passion?
  But this is quite charming. A huge long table, the two in the middle of it, and the jester, proclaiming toast them, tries wine and said: 'Bitter!' The rest look puzzled at him, and he to them - explanation:
  'According to one of the wedding customs, wine at a wedding was considered a bitter until the young couple has kissed. Let us shout: 'Bitter!'' - and their wail shakes the clearing, while these have not started kissing each other. Oh, how touching!
  Why just they have not remember all the rites. Pagan priests would be here and slaughter victims, at least pigeons, as in the 'Emperor and Galilean', and sprinkle with the sacrificial blood the young spouses. It would be perfectly nice!
  All right, the jester: speak, propose your toasts! A toast to Dan and Eya - the proxies, the faithful friend of Lal Senior, having the first recalled about that beautiful that existed once on the Earth, what is forgotten undeservedly and almost disappeared. Still quite correctly!
  The toast in honor of the mothers: Eya and Layla. And a toast to their children: Lal, Deya and a little Marc, sleeping in the house. Already more openly!
  But now, in honor of expectant mothers: the dearest Rita, near whom Milan smiling blissfully is seated, and then one after another - the teachers, associates of Eve. The old enemies, from which nothing else could be even expected. And the appeal to others: let them give birth to children, let know the happiness of motherhood!
  Quite openly! Almost - a direct appearance, if to take into consideration that it is transmitted by the world broadcast.
  Well, okay! The enemy takes a fighting stance and intends to start a non-stop attack. It's time to show him that he has gone to the line, where he will be met by those who do not need delusions of Lal. Their number is much more than that of your supporters, the genius Dan: you will be able to see this immediately. Until now, we did not hinder - have let produce the plays, publish the opuses by Lal. Well, but what? The majority of people have responded to them too indifferently - many people have not even noticed, continuing to think only about their work.
  But it is time to stop them. Now, after this appearance - the very right moment is. It is necessary to require the arrival of the rescuer Guy to the Earth. For some reason - his treatment continues strangely long.
  But at the clearing it sounds a toast in honor of the university instructors - the teachers of the newlyweds. The rector rises:
  'I drink to my young students, whom I wouldn't mind to learn something self from. Something joyful, wonderful is returning to the Earth: they are participants of this - the students were at all times participants in the struggle for all the pure that was happening on the Earth.' And he started singing the ancient university hymn: 'Gaudeamus igitur juvenes dum sumus!' It joined in by the university students and professors, followed by the chorus of actors - and then almost everything. Loud sounds are echoing in the mountains.
  Yorg sees and hears all it. Here's another enemy - an old mate at the university.
  ... But he does not hear something other. Lee, sat down to Dan, asks:
  'Captain, may it alloy Guy already to go back?'
  Dan looks at him puzzled:
  'Has he recovered?'
  'He could get better for long ago. They apply to him until now the possibly slowest treatments.'
  'That is?'
  'You've said that a premature judgment of him may prevent the possibility of bearing children by proper women: I sent Guy and doctors a request to slow his treatment. Our opponents know nothing: we have not used radio - all was delivered in person, by astronauts flying to the Near Cosmos, and further along the chain of our supporters. There there are more of them, Captain, than here. And all has been done as I asked, and the same way reported to me to the Earth.'
  'You're doing fine, Lee!'
  'I could not only deal with my treatment, Captain. But they are waiting there for my further instructions: the treatment of Guy will fail to prolong further.'
  'Let him come back. Before the coming back and the end of trial of him, Rita and the rest - already pregnant - will succeed to give birth; yet more women will get pregnant. This will be sufficient. Communicate this to Guy.'
  'I will as soon as possible.'
  'But now let's go into the circle - to dance!'
  
  Layla has applied herself for good reason: about fifty pregnant women happened just in the first month after the wedding of Yves and Lique. And several weddings of people of different ages.
  It was what to start acting with. Lee sent to Guy through the astronauts instruction to delay no longer. It went away in three weeks with a cruiser flying to the Uranus: it had to take on the way there about two months, because the flight was not an emergency - was carried out with a minimum expenditure of energy for a cargo megagram. From one to two months could still pass until the news could reach Guy. Then it was possible to count on the month of ending of his treatment in the Cosmos, two months of the delivery to the Earth and a month of being here at the sanatorium. Only then they could begin the trial which he will testify in.
  The shortest time before the trial was seven months - the time that is sufficient for Rita's having given birth yet; a maximum possible one - eleven months: besides her five women more succeeded to give birth. Altogether, in addition to Lal, Junior, and Deya, two or seven children more will able to serve as a significant burden on the judicial scale.
  
  61
  
  Milan experienced a difficult time. That is what he did - the analysis of the archive of Lal, despite the great value of everything that was learning, could not fully replace the familiar, beloved job.
  Will he succeed to return to genetics? When?
  He did not tell Rita anything about it: she was preparing for the too important event. Dan set over her the most stringent control, and Milan saw to it that she abided by his instructions. But to be along with her always and everywhere for her safety Dan advised against: his anxiety could pass to her. Paul knew that at the studio she must not be alone - Dan has warned him; sometimes with her Layla was.
  About genetics he spoke only with Deya. She had not yet own scientific interests - so listened attentively to adults. Including - him also. Then him - more than others. He saw that he succeeded to arouse in her a considerable interest: it seemed that over time the girl could become a geneticist. To answer questions that she bombarded him sometimes with was sometimes not easy.
  'Why it's impossible to help inadequate children improve their skills? You said: genetics - is a very powerful science.'
  'Not infinitely, unfortunately!'
  But her question, of course, was not meaningless. Indeed: is it possible using existing and future achievements of genetics and related sciences, to reduce the number of children backward in abilities? And does it make ever anything in this direction?
  He delved deep into searching. For a long time it resulted in nothing. Later he still found - a small report: a part of it was related to the formulation of the question about the possible impact on the pace of development of children diagnosed with a lag. Probably not even a formulation of the question, but its timid attempt of it. A very limited material which it was based on: it seemed that the just begun work was ceased sharply. Was it really by chance? Hardly.
  The work was made just fifteen years ago; its author, Jin - though Milan did not know him. It would be better he was not a geneticist - one of those who could not communicate with Milan.
  The negative conclusions of the author were not convincing: in Milan's opinion, that small number of factual material, which he operated with, it could try to give also a different interpretation. The essential was what more was - the impression alarmed that the work was cut short just at the very outset.
  He told the girl about the report found by him. Deya listened attentively.
  'But what are you going to do next? To work at this on your own?' she asked in the end.
  'Me?'
  'But who else? - And then he added: 'And I'm together with you when I have grown up: I'll become your pupil.'
  'Do you want to become a geneticist?' - 'In the current situation - when and how?'
  'Of course. You said what a great science is, in fact. And I want to help these people: they're not guilty, that they were born such. Will we deal with this?'
  'It is not too simple: I have to think about.'
  'Maybe you should talk with Dad?'
  'No, Deya. I must think before alone.'
  ... Dan along with Eya delivered the baby of Rita. When she gave Milan his son, his hands were trembling: he strained himself greatly to cope.
  The child in his arms. The son. His one! And Rita's - their son! Ridiculously tiny - and filling with self all. And suddenly some unusual calm has arisen in his soul, gave confidence that everything will be fine - everything will be successful, all will work out.
  Milan gave the child back to Eya and went to Rita, took her hand. He wanted to say to her much, but she was still very weak: the birth was difficult. Besides, she understood him without words: he saw it when she opened her eyes for a moment.
  And Milan, gone out with Dan on the terrace, started talking about what he was thinking lately - what the unexpected question of Deya suggested to him. That listened carefully.
  'I'm happy for you. And for my daughter. A wonderful goal! But - incredibly difficult also. You may need to do your entire life.'
  'It may be insufficient.'
  'A huge goal - incredibly important in our cause. I want to believe that you will manage to succeed.'
  'A huge one,' Milan repeated. 'Too much, perhaps, that I alone or then with Deya only was able to achieve quickly anything. This is - the biggest difficulty.'
  'It will not be so always: sooner or later, other geneticists will also join us. Besides, in this case not only genetics will be needed.'
  
  By the time Guy has come back to the Earth, three women managed to give birth; the number of pregnant women exceeded one thousand - their preparation for motherhood became the main occupation of Eya.
  This could not help but disturb those who were against - in the first place, geneticists and sociologists. Everywhere there were going discussions - without stopping, not abating gradually as before. But they have not yet passed into the open fight: still there were no personal attacks, no involvement of the worldwide media. Yorg seemed hiding completely: nothing was heard about him. Guy's arrivals, a soon trial of him - had to put immediately an end to it.
  ... Guy appeared at Dan together with Lee. He looked already quite normal.
  'Ha! During this time, I could even be altered entirely. Ready to fight, Captain!'
  They began immediately to discuss the course of Guy's action on the investigation. Only the Global Court and a commission of interrogators designated by it - Guy must declare just straight away.
  'We must make them understand that we are not afraid of this. Now - we really do not fear: we have in our active now, besides mine, five children and one thousand and twenty-seven pregnant women. They - won't mind, of course: they are looking forward impatiently to the trial of you to hit us in the most essential - the issue of bearing children. The trial of you will immediately become a duel between us and them.'
  'They started preliminary actions,' Guy said. 'I've got in touch with the two genetics that have supported me at the 'Darwin': in a week a geneticists' trial on them will take place - they both are threatened with a professional boycott.'
  'They want to make Guy to understand that he is also threatened with a boycott. But now - just a universal one. Maybe - he will be scared, admits his action wrong: to obtain indulgence. Whom they want to intimidate: the space-rescuer? A very mental retardation!'
  'Do not get excited, Lee: they try to use any slightest possibility - everywhere. But these genetics: what they want to get from them?'
  'A plea of guilty - to use then as witnesses for the prosecution against me. The older one won't do it - not such a man. Another one, still a doctoral student - is staggering.'
  'Two, two,' - Dan thought: genetics, two. He tried to remember. Genetics! Well, exactly: at the trial of Milan - one voted against, and another one abstained.
  He called Milan.
  'How looked those two that did not support the claim to your boycott at the trial?'
  Milan described them.
  'They are?' Dan asked Guy a question.
  'They exactly!'
  'Thank you, Milan,' - Dan switched off the screen.
  'Who is it?' Guy asked.
  'The former disciple of Yorg. He has gone over to us and been subjected to the professional boycott.'
  'Ah! I know: from Lee.'
  'Now listen. Milan conceived a cause that is very significant and too necessary: to find ways and means which it will be possible by to help to fix the lag of children.'
  'Great!'
  'He has dug up a report in which there is the mention of some research in this direction, carried out fifteen years ago. The author of the report is a geneticist, whom neither Milan nor I can reach. He may have the necessary material, which he has never published - in his personal archive. Ask these geneticists to contact him - try to talk with them.'
  'I see, Captain. Just tomorrow.'
  
  'He wants the impossible!'
  'Why?'
  'Performing his request will cost us a professional boycott. What then?'
  'The same as for this graduate- student. You did not actually vote for putting the boycott on him, did you?'
  'But I can not imagine my life without genetics!'
  'He - too. As you see.'
  'To work alone?'
  'Even so!'
  'How? You really - have a doctorate: you can get the approval of your theme without the knowledge of the Reproduction Board. But me - still a doctoral student? I won't be able to defend - get a laboratory.'
  'But he - this Milan? Generally, just a post-graduate student.'
  'Dan supports him.'
  'He will help us, too.'
  'What: you want to join Dan completely?'
  'But how else? I do not understand just why you then took part at the 'Darwin'?'
  'I haven't been able do otherwise.'
  'But now - you can? You did not also vote against Milan.'
  'I abstained. This - is his business.'
  'Whose supporter you want to be?'
  'While - no one's. Neither ours nor their. Separately from both. To be engaged in genetics - and nothing else.'
  'You won't be able to. You have either to be still along with all the genetics and to testify against Guy or to leave them. Out of all you won't be let stay.'
  'But you? You - have already decided everything, haven't you?'
  'I think so. I'm reading the books by Lal Senior: it really happen terrible things -- and we, the genetics, are the most active participants in this.'
  'I have to think.'
  'Just hurry: the time is allotted not too much. But think, think again: I want you to decide, like it was then, at the 'Darwin' - and we would be three.'
  'You mean Milan?'
  'Sure. I'll take him as my graduate-student. Both of you will be able to defend your theses without the knowledge of the Reproduction Board: it will be required only their conclusions - this they will be obliged to do.'
  'They will be negative!'
  'But the decisions won't be already not their.'
  'But if just that Milan did not want to?'
  'Why?'
  'We all - dream of fame. Me, too. And he does. It means too much for everyone - like wealth for the people of ancient epochs. Why need he the materials of fixing the lag of children? After what he did, does he not see in the solving - made just by him - this problem the only possibility to achieve fame, which he expected, while still a graduate-student of Yorg?'
  'Fame or idea?'
  'Exactly! Before sacrificing what I can now, I would like to know: whether is it a so great cause that they are ready to sacrifice for it that very fame?'
  'If they are?'
  'If so, I - will be together with them.'
  'And me.'
  'But: will you be together with them if - they don't?'
  And the older fell in thinking, lowered his head.
  'Well: let's test them,' he said dully finally.
  
  Dan, Lal, and Milan were running to the swimming pool. Dan - the last. Running did not distract from the obsessive thought, which came suddenly late in the evening. After calling by Guy.
  The talk related to Milan. The geneticists wanted to know if Milan wants to start a conceived work together with them and led by the senior of them - the doctor, Ald? Guy said: they asked to answer as soon as possible.
  At first, Dan did not attach any special significance to their question. Milan will be delighted for sure: he self has said that the task is too huge for achieving quickly anything alone. But then suddenly, he felt anxiously that this is not just a suggestion - even the form of the question was not accidental.
  Looking at the back of Milan running ahead of him, he thought that would, perhaps, have to go through not a too easy test. This guy is used to take first place - and not without reason: is really very, very capable - Yorg not by chance made him his graduate-student and pinned so many hopes on him.
  The fact that he came to them - is a feat. But having sacrificed all that he had to his love and new beliefs, he has not lost confidence that in the future he will accomplish great scientific achievements, and tormented until he found a target worthy of the scale of what regarded self intended.
  Will he cope? Let's see.
  But if suddenly: no? If he won't cope - what then? Then... Dan kept still silence, pondering the upcoming conversation.
  He started speaking only when they sat down after swimming with a morning glass of juice on the bench. Lal was gone, swallowed in one gulp juice. And then Dan said to Milan the offer of the geneticists-rebels that Guy transferred to him.
  And the dark-complexioned face of Milan became quite dark: he hung his head, hiding his eyes from Dan. Dan got silent, not wanting either to push him, or to help.
  Will Milan pass this test or not? He is silent - sitting with his head down, not looking up. Only free hand gripped tightly the bench.
  To come to the aid? It's a pity for him: he is not guilty, it is his inherent. Not guilty! But still.
  What a pity he felt for Mom, then just Eya, almost broken with the terrible, unexpected death of Lal. And no one but he could come to her aid. Alone, just two - he and she - on the alien planet, terribly far from the Earth. There was no one else to regret her, but he did not do it. He could not afford, though was very anxious: he knew - that he had not to. They needed strength, mental, to accomplish what they were there for: she had to cope for that on her own.
  Now it is not easier. The fight started, and there is no place for the weak. Let him suffer: let! Either - he will make the right decision, or... Dan won't blame him, but further they will go their separate ways.
  Milan looked up.
  'Can I think about?' he asked quietly.
  Dan shook his head:
  'The time is only just enough. If you do not give an answer immediately, they will not have time to contact him before their trial.'
  'Yes, I see,' - and Milan fell again silent for long.
  Dan was waiting. They were sitting not noticing anyone, until the pool got empty completely.
  Finally, Milan looked up. Dan strained himself to his utmost, glared at him. They understood each other without words, 'Come, come: what?' Milan read in the eyes of Dan.
  'Inform Guy: I'm glad that I will have the head. Just let them contact Jin in haste: a material that he may have, it is very necessary to me...' he paused, 'us.'
  'I'll tell it immediately. Let's go to lunch.'
  'I'm sorry: I want to go home - to breakfast together with Rita.'
  'Okay. See you at night! I am waiting for you: we'll talk.'
  ... 'I thought that everything is already clear with respect to me. It proved - not yet. And there is no certainty that such will not happen again.'
  'You have now enough strength to cope with self.'
  'It proved not easy.'
  'It is never otherwise.'
  'Now I understand. But then! As if someone has encroached on something that just I had the only right of. Why? You know, the idea for which I was hooked occurred to Deya. And they really - wanted to understand what was more important for me: the posed scientific challenge by itself or the fame of who had solved it?'
  'Right.'
  'I comprehended it later. Just decided then that the cause - was first and foremost.'
  'That's right: it means that, in principle - you have already understood everything.'
  'Not very clearly. I think then during the whole day trying to understand myself: I did not go to breakfast - went to the park and walked there almost until the evening.
  Why it has seemed to me - after your words - that they encroached on something exclusively mine? After all, even not I has hit upon this. But - still!
  I do not know, but I think that today I have something really understood. I desired fame and dreamed about it, could not come to terms with the idea that I do not achieve it. In spite of everything - even that I would have to work long alone. And all within me protested. I thought if you had the right to demand from me giving up the seemed indisputable fame - just you who have already achieved it. Sorry for such a candor.'
  'No problem. Go on!'
  'I worried deadly until I thought of all the others - that everyone was eager for fame, strived to obtain it. For fame without fail. Well, how could it to be called...'
  'Vanity.'
  'Vanity?'
  'Yes: the desire for fame as a means to rise above the others and self-affirmation because of it. A hidden alternative to equality.'
  'It is very true, Dad,' he called the first time Dan so. 'You say what I thought then - not, perhaps, just felt, because my mind was not clear as your words now.'
  'It is not important so much. The main thing is that you have understood it on your own. It means you have not come to us by chance.'
  They were silent for long, then Dan offered:
  'Let's go back to the others!'
  'If possible, let's talk. About the same.'
  'Okay. You wanted to ask me some questions?'
  'Yes. Do you think that what you called vanity - is awful?'
  'Till this day I almost did not think about it. But what my best friend Lal just before his death said: 'Has not just a vanity of generations, who desired to be not inferior in a set of statues in Memorial to their ancestors, caused the general depression?''
  'So.'
  'I self thought something, when we talked: that vanity - is now the only source of egoism.'
  'But if suddenly - not the only one?'
  'I hope you will have enough of the strength in the future for all. Have you not felt stronger today?'
  'Yes, but...'
  'You're a little sad?'
  'Somehow.'
  'Let's go - to ours. I'll play the violin: specially for you. Do you want?'
  Milan nodded, silently.
  
  62
  
  'You see, he's agreed without hesitation. Well, what now.'
  'There's nothing to discuss any more: let's communicate with Jin.'
  ... 'What are you interested in?'
  'You are engaged in the problem of correcting the development lag, aren't you?'
  'I just tried to start.'
  'But you have published something, senior.'
  'So what?'
  'We are interested in the unpublished part of the materials.'
  'What for?'
  'To continue.'
  'Who will let you do it?'
  'We won't ask a permission of the Reproduction Board.'
  'You will be awaited with the same as me, if I have not stopped that work.'
  'A professional boycott: we know it. It awaits us inevitably in the coming days all the same.'
  'For what?'
  'We participated in the events at the 'Darwin' with the space rescuer Guy.'
  'Really?'
  'After a few days you will be cut off from us. We wanted to manage obtain the materials from you and to hear out you self.'
  'I have to think.'
  'But...'
  'I have to think!' Jin repeated. 'Leave me, just in case, your call addresses. - And he turned off the feedback.'
  ... And again the great hall of the Institute of Reproduction, full of geneticists - like then, when they sat among others, judged Milan: today they are where he stood.
  'Traitors!'
  'They must have no place among us!'
  'Now, when we more than ever need to be united in the face of an attempt on the great principles based on our science, it is necessary to clear our ranks of people like them: such ones - may not be geneticists!' uttering these words, Yorg looked at them with scathing look.
  But Ald replied immediately:
  'You are wrong: we were, are and will be them!'
  'What can you do without us, let me know?'
  'Your former pupil suggested a good idea: correcting the lag of children development. We three of us - along with him - will be engaged in it.'
  'A hopeless task!'
  'No!' - the cry was from the back row, and a man moved from there to the dais. Jin! 'The task - is not hopeless! You know it not worse than me, Professor Yorg.'
  'But just our report... '
  'I am ashamed to remember it now. You've done everything that I myself stopped the study and covered my retreat with this shameful report. You threatened me then with a universal boycott - like then the woman-teacher made the first an attempt to become a mother. Why now do you not threaten with this them? Why, Yorg?'
  'You...'
  'I will be together with them. I will acquaint them with what I managed to do once and what I thought and then was able to understand. They won't start from scratch. No: not they, but we - because I will come back to this work, will do it together with them. You may put to the vote the declaration of a professional boycott and me, too. I'm not afraid anymore - now I won't alone.'
  'Jin, you yield to your momentary impulse!' - Yorg was pale: Jin was not like these two - it was terrible to lose such one.
  'I'll give you the opportunity to see in the future how deliberately I am doing right now. Do vote!'
  'He knows too much of what Dan will try to use against us,' was pounding in Yorg's temples. 'Too, too much!' He did not expect such a stroke.
  
  'Our ranks have swollen, Captain: receive the enforcement!' Guy said funny, letting pass ahead three men unfamiliar to Dan. 'The same genetics. Call Milan: let him come!'
  'Excuse me: but you said only about two?'
  'I beg to forgive him,' the eldest of the entered people said to Dan. 'He did not know: I just joined them today.'
  Milan appeared almost immediately.
  'They are!' he recognized happily those who refused to vote for the boycott to him. 'But the senior - is unfamiliar to me.'
  'Jin, colleague. Let's get acquainted!'
  'Jin?! The same one?'
  'Exactly. What surprises you? You have conceived the matter, which I once started to deal with - and I decided that I should also return to this. Do you mind?'
  'Me?!'
  'You! As I've heard, this idea occurred to you without my help.'
  'With her,' Milan pointed at Deya who stood behind Dan.
  'I thought you did on your own.'
  'Not, actually: that idea was hers. She asked me if someone was bad, was not science obliged to help them?'
  'Bravo! So, we - are not four, but five already. You're going to deal with it, girl?'
  'Sure! When I have grown up.'
  'But we now find you a deal - to help with your questions: what if a great idea occurred to you again?' Jin smiled finally.
  A call alarm appeared soon at Dan's bracelet: Eve and Lee reported that they were flying to Starstown.
  ... Eve was excited happily - and started immediately talking about the reason. Apparently, it has found a successful way to solve the main pedagogical difficulties that arose after the rejection restriction - a sharp increase in the teaching load associated with the need to work additionally with least able children.
  'What have you thought to do of?'
  'That's just the point that we have not thought - but met: the ancient method used yet in the nineteenth century - the Lancaster mutual learning. The teacher teaches the most able pupils - those, in their turn, do the less able ones. We use this system partly: we carry all major classes with all of them, but in additional ones - pass a tangible part to the more able pupils. The results, in general - are encouraging.
  However, until now such a system has been tested only in the early stages of teaching - before the children are distributed to schools according to their level of ability. In order to implement the found system consistently it is required to exclude making up school groups on the level of ability - they will have to sacrifice that more capable students can finish the training before the others. It is needed a complete reform of the educational system in this regard.'
  'And you see in this a radical way of the elimination of disagreement among teachers?'
  'Yes, of course! Most of them will be together with us again, like in the struggle against the rejection. But what?'
  'I see another perspective, not least important: misunderstanding of people of different levels of ability will disappear. We did not pay enough attention to it: too much is originally rooted in a similar grouping during training.'
  'It is necessary to seek the introduction of co-education. Let it will be for teachers a continuation of the former movement.'
  'Before - the more radical issues, but that we also will not forget: what you told us is the second lucky today.'
  'And what is the first?' Lee asked.
  'He will tell you,' Dan nodded in the direction of Guy.
  The conversation turned to the upcoming trial of Guy, and Ald began to tell about the experiences carried out at the 'Darwin'. Jin commented sometimes briefly on his words.
  'Not only in space they carry out similar experiments. And - not only over the inadequates.'
  'That is?'
  'Taking advantage of almost unchecked control over the reproduction of the mankind, they perform selection of pairs so that to keep the required quality of the offspring.'
  '?'
  'It is supported more or less consistently the emergence of the necessary number of people with developmental disabilities - who can be rejected. In my opinion, their number exceeds the probable minimum that can be obtained by selection. It looks like made specially - in order to the proper functioning of the society, as they say. However, this is just a guess: I have very little evidence - only what survived from the time before the appearance of that ill-fated report. Then I was removed from the direct involvement in the reproduction.'
  'If we obtain the possibility of entry into the Archives of reproduction, could you prove your hypothesis?'
  'Probably, yes. But will that really make sense? They will have then many counterarguments.'
  'What ones exactly?'
  'The reproduction entirely without genetic selection of pairs unlikely will result in a smaller proportion of children lagging behind in their development, - I am afraid, they will be right about that: it's too likely.'
  'Tell me, Jin: what do you think, why they strived to keep the required number of the inadequates due the rejected ones but not the hereditary? The hereditary ones provide higher functional quality, don't they?'
  'Undoubtedly.'
  'But still...'
  'It's hard to answer your question, Academician Dan. But I think the point is that the pre-emptive use of the hereditary is not currently possible yet. You self have repeated many times what Lal Senior said: the existing inequality is not taken as a social phenomenon. Externally: the former system based on universal social equality, which has become the inalienable part of the consciousness of all the humankind - remained. The inadequates - are just a sad exception. Arisen only because of their lack of ability, which allows becoming proper members of the society: it - is their misfortune, and nothing more. They are born, like everyone else, and at first do not differ from others in their probable future. And due to this - it keeps the illusion of the existence of social equality. To consider otherwise - is still impossible.'
  'But how you think: with time - if the existing order does not disappear - the predominant use of the hereditary may get possible?'
  'I'm afraid that it may. The social equity will able already to be ceased to seem inherently essential principle of the human society. But now - too little time has still passed for this. Yet - the illusion of the existence of universal social justice lasts,' Jin repeated. 'You are smiling, why?
  'Apparently you repeat the words just of Lal.'
  'I have really thought a lot about it. For some reason I wanted to help those people who can not become proper.'
  'And you had - these thoughts - even before you had learned the ideas by Lal?'
  'I had. But his ideas have allowed them to gain clarity. If I was not afraid to become alone... Do not misunderstand me: what I'm engaged in is so specific that understand it really my colleagues only can. And Yorg then still managed to break me - fortunately, not completely.'
  'You spent very many too hard years.'
  Jin nodded: he seemed to run out all of his strength today, and even it was difficult to speak for him. Perhaps he should go home and fall asleep, but he continued to sit: did not want to go away - today as never before he did not feel badly lonely.
  'You have come to us just importunately: what you said will help me in the speech at the trial. You understand much: perhaps even something that Lal was able to guess only. I hope you won't refuse me to answer some more questions?'
  'Just not today.'
  ... Milan almost did not take part in the common conversation, so almost no one paid attention to him: nobody noticed that his eyes flashed when just he heard the first words of Jin. If he was not bound by the promise given to Yorg, did not consider himself obliged to conceal what that revealed in a sudden burst of candor!
  Sure: Jin did not even suspect just that - only suspected by him - Yorg had been aware clearly long ago. And perhaps - he not only. But Yorg - desired. To extend the existing social order: in order the idea of equality had managed to become an anachronism.
  Then - it became possible to move to the preferential use of the hereditary. Or to the total one. And those - who, nevertheless, have lagged behind in development, even if the system of selection of pairs managed to reduce their number to the utmost possible minimum? They would: continue to be used? Or, counting too little proper in comparison with the hereditary just be destroyed? It is quite possible! Feeling pity - what such ones as Yorg do not know at all: an icy look in his eyes suddenly came alive in memory.
  But - in spite of his, Milan's, silence - the truth will find a way out: already is finding! Even if Yorg an only time in his life, to him only, opened his credo - the essence of it following from the doing affairs can not help but get clear.
  Lal knew too much, but, not being a geneticist, could only guess some things - Jin able to prove them. Milan looked at him with admiration; the hesitations, the thoughts about his own priority, of the fame - seemed terribly far, incomprehensible: he was not wanted to remember.
  
  63
  
  Yorg did not try to fall asleep any more. But it is so necessary: tomorrow the beginning of the trial of Guy takes place - he needs the strength for this first day of an open battle. Forcing yourself to fall asleep will result in nothing: that he knew too well. He avoided also using any artificial means: they can have a relaxing after-effect. The infusion of schisandra in the morning - it will be a lot better.
  Tomorrow both he and Dan will start speaking absolutely openly - tomorrow it will begin the end of all previous innuendos. It will be crossing the arms of their words, evidences, arguments. The battle starts, and each of them will call his opponent. The war: cruel, merciless - even though bloodless. Dan - is the attacking side; his, Yorg's, cause - are the defense and counterattack. There is awfully lot of similarities with the real wars of long ago bygone epochs.
  The last time Dan and his company have performed what could be compared to the massive artillery preparation. The premiere of 'The Rainbow' and preceding it series of the worldwide broadcasts of 'The News': selected and edited by Paul newsreels in the World War II. Yorg saw too clear their hints: especially in frames of the experiments that have been made by Nazi physicians and scientists on the people.
  However, in their broadcasts it turned out to be something useful for him. The mention of Nietzsche - a philosopher who knew only a few people: just those who were engaged in the history of philosophy. This forgot in vain thinker interested him greatly. However, time is only just enough to get acquainted with his works quite minutely, but just that very little he could see was of considerable value.
  On the main substance of his views could not help but agree. The right of the strongest person. Just not in the sense which the followers of Nietzsche with their delusional racial theories understood him in. Only now, when the humanity has reached the greatest level of intellectual development, the meaning of Nietzsche's ideas - in a form purified of the vulgar accretions - gained importance again.
  Not everyone can have the highest intellectual level, and the accordance with this level of intelligence - is that true power, which gives an absolute right to use completely those who are inferior to him. Because this - is for the benefit of all the mankind. As a species. So the nature orders. And in this sense he accepts the views of Nietzsche.
  These thoughts reassured him a little. Then again, the shots of the chronicle of the Second World War flashed in memory. The escape of Einstein - because of the persecution of him as a non-Aryan: an occurrence of barbarism - the supreme law of intellectual power had not yet been understood and recognized. But did understand it then just by geniuses, just by Einstein? And having surveyed that part of the card-index of his archive, which he kept a lot of having almost none relation to his work, Yorg found and opened the Einstein's portrait image.
  And he closed his eyes immediately: no, Einstein recognized none - his own, superior - right! His eyes, sad for some reason, said it too emphatically. And smile, such... As they like to call it? Yes, exactly: kind one. And terribly similar to someone else's. To Dan's one!
  Yorg opened his eyes. Errors were not! Indeed: something alike in the looks both. Dan - is the genius of the same value as Einstein: the nightmarish paradox is that just against him, who has due to his genius the most right to dominate, obliged more than any other to protect the status quo, they have to fight.
  He - has broken with his premature discovery the situation that has given the rise to the process of the humanity transformation, so beneficial despite the excruciating conditions that created it. And then started consciously fighting against it to destroy and abolish everything.
  But let him not expect to win! Its asset: the huge popularity of the greatest genius of the Earth, having wrested the mankind from the scientific crisis, the transformer of the Earth-2, who first came into the Contact - and still persisting atavistic needs created his supporters. But - it is against everything what people have already accustomed solidly to. Dan is unlikely expects just an easy victory.
  But - yet - they will have to give up to him something. The main thing is - to prevent them from a complete victory: he said once about this to Milan under the influence of inexcusable impulse.
  The fact that Milan, knowing these thoughts, is among his enemies - despite the promise to keep silence, what he will surely do - complicated greatly the situation of Yorg. He will have to be doubly careful, to avoid even some inadvertent word to express what the people will not soon be able to recognize clearly and acknowledge as the only true: they have not matured for this yet. What - the first - he only has understood is still able to push them away from all that exists - against what Dan fights. What he has in any case to defend and preserve.
  It is terrible also that Jin is now together with him. That understands too well what geneticists are occupied in. And he is not restricted like Milan with a promise to keep silence.
  ... The night seemed agonizingly long.
  'But whether Dan is asleep?' - Yorg thought when the sky has already begun to turn a little gray. Only now he noticed that did not close the portrait of Einstein.
  After becoming hurriedly this, he switched playing one of the most favorite things: the overture to 'Tannhäuser'.
  
  They arrived home late: one of the last public meetings of supporters of Lal's ideas, held in these days everywhere, was arranged in the other hemisphere.
  He lay motionless, so as not to disturb Eya until had understood by her breathing that she was not asleep, too - then stirred.
  'Sleep, Dad! Tomorrow you must be full of energy,' Eya said softly.
  'I will, Mom!'
  They are talking no longer - lying silently holding each other's hand. But oblivion came just before the dawn - and immediately filled with a dream.
  ... Dan was alone. In the control room of the starship, somewhere in the Far Cosmos. His hands hold the violin, and from somewhere Lal appears. But not alone: Chamomile is along with him - carrying in her arms a child, similar to her and Lal.
  'We both understand surprisingly well each other, Dan,' she says.
  He tells them just what he had learned from Jin.
  'I did not know all this, my elder brother: you do remember!' Lal repeated thoughtfully several times, listening to him.
  And Chamomile, too - was listening attentively: by her eyes it was evident that she understood it. It was quite a different Chamomile - without the primitive language and such a facial expressions that distinguished so disadvantageously, despite their beauty, houris from intellectual women. Sometimes she was smiling - with a marvelous, happy smiling, looking at her baby.
  'Be strong, Dan,' she says. 'Do be!'
  And all it melted away, leaving after itself a feeling of joyful ease.
  ... He opened his eyes: Eya lay nearby and looked at him.
  'Why were you smiling in your sleep so joyously?' she asked a question.
  
  
  
  Part VIII
  
  The BATTLE
  
  64
  
  A giant Congress Hall filled quickly up. Rocket planes flew and flew - from a variety of cities from all over the Earth, bringing those who were to attend the trial immediately.
  The rest, on the Earth and in the Near Cosmos, leaving the work and switching on screens, will follow the course of the court on the worldwide broadcasting. Only few of them: physicians, duties, participants in the experiments, which it was impossible to stop, could learn it later from the record. Everyone participate: the event was extraordinary.
  An amphitheatre of the Hall was divided into two parts: the left one filled with defense witnesses, dressed in white; the right one - the prosecution witnesses in black.
  It was just once in the rare practice of global trials: only one side of the hall was filled with witnesses - the black one; in the white one - only one person was. Also dressed in black, with a white bandage on his head only: appointed rather than voluntary, the defense witness. When the planet judged and sentenced to physical destruction the incorrigible alcoholics and drug addicts: no one dared to justify leaving the painful problems of the crisis for an artificially induced madness. Even the accused: in black also.
  This time, the white side is very full. But not entirely totally as Yorg noted with satisfaction. But the black one - is full to capacity: geneticists and sociologists, surgeons, sexologists, biocybernetics. The Reproduction Board - with its full complement.
  But four of geneticists are also there, in the white side. Milan has come, though Yorg hoped till the last moment that he will not appear. Jin - that is sitting just next to Dan. Yet two outcasts - Ald with his accomplice Oleg.
  The foremother Eya is also here, of course. The mothers No.2 and No.3 - Layla and Rita. Paul and his actors. The son of Dan, though, as Yorg heard, he did not take part in the affairs of his father. Many graduate-students, institute and university students, - they came and came, and along with them their professors: it is possible that they will fill to capacity the seats on the white side. A large group of journalists there - in contrast to only three ones in the black side.
  In the middle of each side - a circular monitor stands: those who watch outside the court hall can tune in to any of them - as if to sit along with one of the parties, numbering himself among it. For those who still can not determine his position - the third monitor in the middle of the hall.
  ... The observer of the Supreme Border of coordination, dressed in bright red clothes, went on the dais - announced the opening of the trial and proposed to elect its presidium.
  Each the side offered its candidates; among them there was neither Dan, nor Yorg - both were the main witnesses - one of defense, the other - of prosecution. But then Yorg flinched internally when Dan nominated Jin.
  All presented in the hall and outside it on the Earth voted, but those who were in the Near Cosmos, not to lose time because of the delay of the arrival of the signals, had to vote only if without them any nominee would receive an equal number of pros and cons.
  The vote went off quickly. The results lit up on the scoreboard: it was taken in the presidium two thirds of the members of the prosecution; of the defense - only one. Yorg was satisfied yet - but the mood spoils that Jin is still passed to the presidium. They took their places on the dais.
  Guy was invited in the hall. Slowly and quietly, he went to the place of the accused to a separate black dais. Totally in white: a sign that he pleaded not guilty. The charge against him was not proclaimed: it was transferred together with the declaration of the global trial to a personal archive of each and every.
  'You have given up a different composition of the court and testifying to its commission. Do you agree to give evidence now?' the observer of the Supreme Border of Coordination asked.
  'Yes: I'm ready to give them right now!'
  'Do speak!'
  'I am accused of committing uncoordinated actions: the stoppage of important experiments. So I will tell and show you what these experiments are. The objects of them human beings are.'
  'The inadequates!' sounded from somewhere in the ranks of the prosecution.
  'According to the terminology having become habitual and seeming natural. By the word 'inadequate' is never added the word 'human'. And therefore - it is considered confidently that it is allowed to use them without any restriction. I'll tell you and show you just how, although it applies only to the facts that I have learned at 'Darwin'.'
  'May I say?' a member of the Reproduction Board, sitting in the presidium, rose. 'I consider a demonstration of the objects of carrying out experiments at 'Darwin' inadmissible. What is caused with the huge need not always makes a normal impression on those who do not have a direct bearing on this case. It is enough that the station staff bears the brunt of impression - being aware that performs heavy, but, I repeat again, a necessary imperative. And the rest - do not need to see it: as well as those who eat meat - to watch the process of slaughter.'
  'I reject an objection to a demonstration of the seen by the defemded,' - Jin retorted immediately.
  It was a disagreement in the presidium of the court: the issue was then usually decided with a vote of its members. In this case the result of the vote was known in advance. Therefore, Dan found it necessary to break the accepted order.
  'As the main defense witness, I consider, because of the importance of the reason of the current trial, to decide the issue of the display of records made by the defendants at the 'Darwin' with a worldwide vote.'
  'It is a violation of the order of global courts,' the observer of the Supreme Border of coordination said.
  'I consider it justified. And insist on my proposal.' - A noise originated in the hall.
  But suddenly, Yorg rose, and when the noise stopped, said:
  'As the main prosecution witness, I do not mind the arguments of the main defense witness and ask you to accept his proposal.'
  His statement was unexpected for the prosecution witnesses: he did it without having agreed with anyone - believed that the matter is urgent. Especially the result of the election of the presidium gave a confidence that it will be considerably like a negative decision. But he was not also afraid of the opposite: it was clear that Dan will inevitably try to use every opportunity to prove that they not just do not want to but are afraid of showing. And he will succeed to do it sooner or later - when people's curiosity will be warmed with their resistance of demonstrations. Yorg realized this earlier than others.
  He continued to stand, looking towards Dan, showing his entire confidence in a success. And he did not flinch when the majority of votes - though very negligible, just a few per cent - passed a proposal to allow the show.
  Guy became to tell thoroughly and in detail what he saw on the 'Darwin', accompanying his words with the demonstration of his records. There were many: he unlikely showed all of them - it was obviously selected that must have made the greatest impression and, moreover, overlap with the chronicle shots of the Second World War. Yorg noticed it immediately.
  The hall kept strained silence. They listen and - especially - looked too attentively: many of them looked suppressed.
  'Therefore I could not help but do just what I am accused of. I am - a rescuer: I could not see indifferently as just people treated inhumanely those whom they did not want to consider human beings. I was not agreed with the doing evil.'
  'Your disagreement did not give you any right to take unauthorized action!'
  'I am - a rescuer, - Guy repeated again. 'I'm used to come immediately to the aid of those who need it. I could not wait - before just those who relentlessly crippled these poor have understood the same what I already have known.'
  'What do you mean?'
  'What it is already known to many: the truth about what is happening on the Earth. The terrible truth about us, disclosed by Lal Senior.'
  'Who has introduced you to his views?'
  'My best friend - Lee.'
  'Does the presidium have any other questions?' - there were none.
  'I ask to listen to the testimony of the two participants of the events at the 'Darwin',' Dan said.
  'The prosecution did not object!' Yorg said, again without agreeing with anyone his statement: there was no sense to prevent them from appearing.
  But first, it was decided to take a break.
  
  Yorg was eating leisurely, sitting at a table in the dining room, and tried to listen to what was said by the sitting beside him.
  Many of them were arguing, but some were silent, lost in thought, seeing nothing. These ate almost mechanically or just drank a glass of something: drained at one draught or sucked through a straw painfully long, as if choking - Guy had spoiled appetite of too many. But for how long?
  Yorg paid attention to a group talking animatedly - but differed somehow immediately. He listened: they were talking about nothing of the kind - about a visit to a concert of smells. It was a recent innovation: the sound of music accompanied by the changing continuously gamut of odors produced by special equipment - their emotional impact was unusually strong. And the entire group discussed with animation the impression made upon them by this concert.
  They were not present in the court - but they, like all, just watched the beginning of the trial, listened to Guy, saw those records. But there was not a word about this: as if it did not concern them so that they had almost immediately forgotten. Only smelling music!
  Yorg smiled: these are - albeit not major - the allies, too. Involuntarily. The existing order of things is natural to them: they do not care about some inadequates at all. Hardly any of them voted for the proposal of Dan. Or rather, perhaps, did - pro: like, for sure, the majority of those, whom thanks to Guy was allowed to demonstrate its heartbreaking material - because of curiosity. If what they have learned has not affected them so that the smelling music continues more to interest says just how habitual and stable is all what protects he, Yorg, defends.
  
  After the break, listening to the testimony of genetics cosmists took place; Ald spoke mostly. He added almost nothing to the real materials displayed by Guy: told about the purposes and amount of experiments performed before Guy's arriving at the 'Darwin'. And gave detailed, professionally substantiated comments; Jin helped him from time to time asking the right questions.
  His companion, Oleg, said only that he had nothing to add to what has been said: only confirmed as the witness the accuracy and the truth of testimony of Guy and Ald.
  The thorough testimony of the defendant and his two witnesses took away much longer than anticipated: the today's court session was decided to finish with this.
  Neither Dan nor Yorg have yet had time to exchange with direct attacks. Both were preparing for the next day.
  
  65
  
  'It is calling upon the chief witness for the prosecution Professor Yorg to speak!'
  Yorg, having got up on a dais, looked around the hall. All seats are now filled to capacity: not only for the prosecution, like yesterday - on the side of the defense, too. Being yesterday empty places are taken by women whose protruding abdomens say clearly who they are: future mothers.
  Dan did purposely not brought them here yesterday: it is bad to see what Guy showed; even, perhaps, suggested to them not to watch this part of the broadcast. He took care of them - as the most principal, the most important his asset. Their appearance, their existence was far worse than that which Guy was judged for, which - allegedly - they have gathered here for.
  However - at the beginning he has to say about Guy: to take his actions as a starting point - to strike a blow upon Dan from this. And Yorg started speaking about what was reported at the trial yesterday.
  '... It makes unpleasant impression. Alas, yes! It is undeniable: it may be called disgusting - if ... If to forget suddenly for some reason: for what it is being done! But all know and remember - for what exactly. For the unprecedented in the previous epochs duration of life of those whose labor unprecedented also power and the level of human development has been created with. Just what enabled immediately after having overcome the painful for all crisis the accomplishment of unprecedented in scale tasks: building the starship-hyperexpress, opening the Earth-2, preparing for its settlement, entering the contact with extraterrestrial intelligent beings.
  All this would be impossible without our accumulated production potential established during just the scientific crisis - despite its being tormenting. Just what mankind had the courage to permit in those conditions - the measures that reallocated reasonably functions and responsibilities of people depending on the inevitable difference of their abilities level - has made it possible.
  But here a man appeared who under the influence of the views of bygone epochs considered these measures absolutely unacceptable. From the point of view of ethics. The ethics of bygone epochs - not our one.
  Time is going - conditions are changing. Ethics, too - can not freeze, must conform to time and changing conditions: obey the inevitable laws dictated by nature and comprehended by reason rather than with emotions.
  Emotions - are a bad adviser. The mankind has already managed to make a big mistake, having yielded them. I mean the sharp restriction of the rejection of inadequate children carried out once. What is the result of that? Instead of using maximum power, as before, for scientific researches, we had to spend a quite practically unjustifiable number of proper people, suitable for normal work, on teaching, at the same time increasing greatly the burden on absolutely all teachers. For the level of requirements that could not be reduced, demanded now from those who would have previously been rejected, is too high for their ability to achieve it on their own. The result: spending a huge amount of work to those who are not able to compensate it with their work in the future - the loss, but the acquisition of the whole humanity.
  Apparently, it was clear from the outset, when a small group of teachers of the early stages started the campaign for the restriction of rejection. Exclusively under the influence of emotions, which they were unable to control.
  And along with them a man was for whom it was not enough - he desired to change all the existing order: who found it unacceptable - a journalist Lal. Nobody has supported him. Even - those along with whom he came out. Got alone, he left the Earth and after coming back from the Near Cosmos devoted himself wholly to the great cause - the flight to the Earth-2 for the preparation of its settlement with us. All thought so: but were wrong!
  His goal was - not just the oxygenizing of the Earth-2. He flew to convert the greatest scientist of all our epoch, who was his friend, into an instrument of his plans, which he decided to implement where no one could prevent. Did he ask himself the question how much is ethical such a way of action? Hardly!
  Unfortunately, he has succeeded: Academician Dan has come back to the Earth apparently with the sole purpose - to implement all what Lal intended. Moreover: Academician Dan violated deliberately one of the basic laws of the Earth - the law of reproduction. There on the Earth-2, he and Eya bore children. It could understand this as an exception to the general rule, caused with exceptional circumstances. But it was not: they di