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Thread: S. Lukyanenko. The Dreamline . Proofreaders are welcome )))

  1. #81
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    Re: Please check my translation.



    The lighting went off about ten minutes later. The distant rumbling they had heard before continued without stop. Layon was pounded at heavily. Kay’s first thought was that somebody had finally gotten around into seeing to the prisoners.
    But no attack followed. They sat in the corner, Arthur was still holding at Kay and Kay didn’t remove his finger from the trigger. Once in a while the paralyzed darloks started stirring and Kay fired into the darkness thus giving the aliens new doses of stun-radiation.
    “Why nobody knew about it, Kay?” asked Arthur after another shot.
    “Because they didn’t surrender and their flesh decayed immediately after death of the carrier. It was called the neural destruction syndrome and considered to be caused by the psychotropic alteration of the mind.”
    “So nobody knew?”
    “Those who knew weren’t human already.”
    “Then it’s a miracle.” Arthur said seriously. He seemed to have stopped sobbing but his face remained wet.
    “If we have gotten out of here then it would be a miracle.” Kay pushed Arthur aside and stood up, “Follow me and try to keep pace.”
    They walked along the wall. When they stumbled upon darlok bodies Kay stepped on them trying to inflict maximum damage.
    Finally, Althos felt a small slit in the wall. After a minute’s search he found a rough pad. It was clearly a sensory lock.
    “Stay here” Kay walked into the room. This time he didn’t step on the paralyzed darlok but pressing its thin arm with his foot against the floor he began tearing its finger off. The absence of at least a knife drove Kay wild. It would have been easier with a human body… but Kay didn’t want to bite at the flesh of the alien. He worked for several minutes dismembering the joint. The darlok started croaking – the pain had penetrated even the stun.
    “Wouldn’t it be easier to bring him here in one piece?” Arthur asked from somewhere in the dark. It was not hard to realize what Kay had been doing.
    “Maybe, but it’s much more interesting this way.” replied Althos as he finished doing his dirty work. He came by and put the finger he had torn away on the sensor pad. It clicked. The lock had an independent power source but the motors that opened the door were powered by mains. With some effort Kay pushed the door into the side slot.
    A long corridor with a low ceiling was illuminated by orange lamps. Kay thought right from the outset that these weren’t emergency lights and there was a reason for this room to have such lighting. The walls of the corridor were transparent and the same dim shadow prevailed behind them.
    It was a terrarium. There were fine yellow sand, and black flat stones scattered here and there, also scarce thorny bushes. And there were snakes, hundreds of green snakes. Some were lying motionless enjoying the warmth of the sand. Others were crawling around half eaten lumps of meat. As distinct from their symbiont hosts which had been considered the Darloks before, the snakes were flesh eaters.
    “Are they… intelligent?” Arthur asked from behind his back.
    “I don’t think so.” Kay said while still looking at the Darloks behind the glass. “All by themselves … hardly… Let’s go, Arthur, I’m not a biologist.”
    The second door that they had opened with the same ‘key’ revealed much more. It had no independent lighting but instead there was a window onto the terrarium. A dim light passed through it. The roomy hall resembled a store or a props room in a theater. There were rows of hanger racks with carefully laundered and ironed clothing and assorted footwear under them. There were also weapons lying on a long shelf.
    “How careless.” noted Kay putting away the stunner. He picked an ‘Ultimatum’ – a human weapon that had remained unchanged since the Feud War. A shoulder strap helped holding a twenty pound device made of ceramic metal. Its two side handles carried all the control elements on them.
    “Turn away.” ordered Kay as he pointed the ‘Ultimatum’ at the terrarium window. The darloks that were basking in the sand began to stir. Having as weak intelligence as they might have they still did understand what weapon was.
    “Pooh!” the ‘Ultimatum’ sighed as it emitted a thin white beam. It wasn’t a shot per se – a laser impulse burned out the molecules of air along the line of fire clearing the way for antiparticles.
    The glass burst raining fire into the terrarium. In its place, there was a raging wall of blue fire – the ancient makers of the ‘Ultimatum’ didn’t believe in firing accuracy of poorly trained soldiers. A heavy wide-band disintegrator was a weapon that had turned the tide of many planetary battles in the past. It incinerated everything in the area of impact.
    “Now I am ready for close encounters” Kay said stepping away from the wave of suffocating heat. Arthur took a ‘Bumblebee’ from the shelf and backed away too.
    They didn’t find other doors and they didn’t know how to activate the hypertunnel. Then Kay burned one wall through. In a short flash they saw a dark hall that stretched far into the darkness. Before leaving, Althos took a gun from Arthur and dismembered all paralyzed bodies.
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  2. #82
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    They presumed that they were underground. There were no windows and a feeling of many tons of stone above their heads. They crossed the hall of unknown purpose – it was absolutely empty. They illuminated their way by shooting the ‘Bumblebee’ and found two corridors. One of them had an alarmingly low ceiling and a damp floor of raw dirt. The other one was tiled with stone slabs was more suitable for humans. They went along the latter one stumbling upon the walls every now and then – the corridor kept turning at fancy angles.
    “…like burrows, huh” muttered Kay as he advanced forward, “cozy, narrow burrows… what an idiot!”
    The last remark was obviously related to himself. He stopped switched something on the ‘Ultimatum’… and Arthur saw a pale blue glow over the gun.
    “It has a night vision device.” Kay explained, “… I worked with it seldom… forgot everything…”
    Arthur decided not to ask where Kay had worked with the ‘Ultimatum’, a weapon that was allowed to Imperial troopers only. All stress of the last few days had gathered inside him now. He grasped his bodyguard’s belt in order to keep pace. The corridor slowly went upwards… but they didn’t know how deep they were transported by the hypertunnel.
    “Why did you change your mind about killing me, Kay?”
    “I liked the idea of a miracle” Althos said as he continued walking.
    “Tell me.”
    “Do you know about the carrot and the stick your father had promised me?”
    “I see.”
    “Well besides… I didn’t want to lose your friendship.” Kay added.
    “Did it really manifest somehow?”
    “Is it really necessary?”
    They walked for another half an hour. Kay’s breath became heavy – the ‘Ultimatum’ wasn’t known for its light weight. Then he stopped so abruptly that Arthur knocked against his back. In the weak light of the little night vision screen Curtis junior saw the intense face of Althos. He spotted something but didn’t shoot.
    “Don’t move!” Kay shouted in the darkness. And quiet voice that resembled a multi-voiced choir replied:
    “I’m motionless. Who are you?”
    Arthur had no need to look at the screen. He knew the species that spoke with their whole body.
    “Kay Althos and Arthur Van Curtis!” his bodyguard replied without hesitation.
    “It is good.” rumbled the silicoid. He chose not to imitate human emotions and it was a clear indication that he had enough emotions of his own, “We’ve been sent after you. Can I approach?”
    “Yes. Keep your body vertical. Any deviation would be considered an attack.”
    The silicoid floated near them – a dark pillar with dancing sparks under its base. He asked:
    “May I create light?”
    “Not a bright one.”
    A little fireball appeared over the silicoid. It could have been a weapon but Kay chose not to protest.
    “We intend to take you off Layon.” said the silicoid.
    “Why? You are not at war with the Darloks and you don’t support the Humans.” Kay didn’t lower the ‘Ultimatum’.
    “Interests of the Basis.”
    “We care not about the interests of the Basis of Nous” Kay was eyeing the silicoid. Its appearance was unusually gaudy – its stone body was covered with a golden coating which was alternating with charred spots, “What will happen to us, boulder?”
    “A conversation onboard the ship. Most probably death afterwards.”
    “Let’s go.” Kay lowered the weapon.
    “Go along the corridor, you’ll be met. I will remain here.”
    “I sense the presence of the darlok symbionts that are following you. Hurry up.”
    “Ah, that’s how you did find us.” said Kay with satisfaction, “Have a joyous battle and an easy death.”
    “My body is unsuitable for the symbiosis with darloks and my death would be easy” answered the silicoid with dignity, “Go now.”
    They continued their way leaving the silicoid behind. The golden pillar was floating motionless in the middle of the corridor. When the humans hid around the corner the silicoid extinguished its light. About five minutes later they were caught up with a blast wave.
    “Lay in the Basis and find peace. It’s time for reflection. Once to be one becomes many things. And the world will strengthen…” intoned Kay.
    Arthur didn’t understand these words but the silicoid would have been as pleased as it would have been surprised probably. The farewell will of the Basis of Nous had never been translated from the language of electromagnetic oscillations into any acoustic speech.
    Then they were joined by three more silicoids who were all charred nearly black. Only few remnants of their golden armor gleamed here and there. Arthur thought that the smell of burning was coming from them but he was mistaken. The smell was coming from above.
    In their company they came onto the surface – into the black noon of Layon. It was nearly dark although the sun was trying to penetrate the clouds of ash. The air was reeking smudge. There were silicoids floating between the smoking ruins to gather near a huge ship. This area remained relatively intact – no heavy weaponry was used here apparently.
    “Nice work” said Kay. Arthur started coughing – he could barely walk. Kay swung the ‘Ultimatum’ to his back and picked the boy in his arms.
    For some reason Kay thought of the Three Sisters. Shedar’s Second looked differently after the human bombardment… there was much water there and instead of smoke there was vapor.
    Nevertheless Kay thought of his burned home.
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  3. #83
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    “This is impossible.” Kahl whispered. She bent over the strategic table looking at the hologram that was created by the battle computer. Layon was displayed as coal black sphere, only in a few places there were light green spots. Where once had been planetary bases there were two mile deep craters. It was difficult to make out though since the silvery dots of ships which were orbiting Layon blocked most of the view.
    “About thirty two thousand ships” the captain of the destroyer was looking at Kahl from the screen. “They have overrun the defenses in a couple of hours. It must probably be the whole of their fleet.”
    “The Basis of the Silicoids is at war with the Darlok Unity?” asked Kahl rhetorically.
    “They are now.” replied the captain with evident pleasure.
    T/san who was lying at the corner burst in hoarse laughter which imitated a human one. The Meklon has its score to settle with both the Darloks and the Silicoids.
    Yet no race in the galaxy was free of any claim from the others.

    Arthur and Kay were led along the passages of the silicoid assault ship for nearly half an hour. There were neither lifts nor transporters since this race didn’t need them and their way turned into a series of jumps and pull-ups. The silicoids that accompanied them changed periodically. Some of them disappeared in the side passages; some new ones took their place. They communicated on some frequencies that were unavailable for humans and their actions seemed totally spontaneous.
    Their convoy stopped by yet another door. Kay felt as the shoulder strap of his ‘Ultimatum’ started to slip down and raised his hand thus allowing the force field to disarm him. Another silicoid extracted the gun from Arthur’s belt with the same virtuosity. The only race that lacked even the semblance of hands didn’t experience any difficulty whatsoever because of it.
    “Should we go in?” Kay asked. They didn’t answer. It could be so that these troopers simply didn’t know the Standard. Kay kicked the door and it obediently folded under the ceiling.
    This cabin was prepared for the humans. There were two seats – a bit clumsy but equipped with safety belts. Near the wall hovered a silicoid over the grating disk that protruded from the floor. Ignoring him, Kay put Arthur in the seat, fastened him, then sat and fastened himself.
    Obviously the silicoids were waiting only for them. Immediately, the ship trembled, then there was a sharp jerk and the acceleration force pushed them into their seats. The silicoid ships weren’t equipped with gravity compensators.
    “May I ask you what are you doing?” Kay inquired.
    “I’m participating in the acceleration of the ship.” sang the silicoid.
    “Ah… Is it true that you had been flying the hulls that had no equipment whatsoever before? And you borrowed the idea of independent engines from us?”
    “Yes. We adopted the idea of independent engines just as well as the idea of external weapons from the Humans.”
    “Well, never mind. What were you doing on Layon?”
    “Saving the galaxy.” informed the silicoid briefly. The acceleration force increased for a minute so that Althos went silent. But as soon as the invisible press had weakened he spoke again:
    “Can you communicate now?”
    “Yes, these functions are carried out independently.”
    “Fine. May I ask you what your name is?”
    “It sounds like Sedmin for the human ear.”
    Kay closed his eyes and said:
    “That’s interesting. I always thought that your names are inseparable from your social rank. And only the Foot of the Basis can have this name.”
    “You are right. In our society I hold the rank equal to the Emperor of the Humans.”
    “I’m flattered.” was the only thing Kay could say at the moment.
    “Death is always death no matter who caused it, be that the Emperor or a soldier.” disagreed Sedmin.

    “They’re retreating…” Kahl said to no one in particular. There were all of her men and non-men in the cabin, and also sergeants of the assault group given by Lemach. Everyone’s eyes were locked on the situation hologram. The silvery dots over the planet were whirling as they disappeared one by one – a flock of metal butterflies that had flown onto the lamp and extinguished it.
    “The planet was of little strategic value for the silicoids.” noted Nomachi, “Destroying it was sensless.”
    “Perhaps it was not the planet they were interested in…” Cadar dropped a remark.
    “What is it then?” Kahl turned over to him. Cadar held her gaze.
    “I think you are in a better position to judge, my superior.”
    Now everyone was looking at Isabelle. Everyone except Nomachi who made a wry smile and walked aside.
    “That’s nonsense!” said Isabelle sharply, “Our goal is rescuing the prisoners whom the silicoids don’t care for. T/san can you suggest anything?”
    The meklonian straightened its limbs taking a pose which resembled a stance of a hound. Its prolonged reptilian muzzle didn’t show any emotion.
    “The notion about our similarity with the Silicoids is erroneous.” he reported, “We have never stopped being organic creatures and couldn’t understand the stone race.”
    “But you fought three wars with them.”
    “The bulrathi fight with them still.” with these words T/san reverted from the pose of conversation to the pose of rest. He added, “What concerns me personally, I have too many parts made by human hands. The Meklon decided I am no more a full-fledged representative of our race. My psyche is closer to one of esteemed Marjan Moohammadee…”
    The bulrathi raised its heavy gaze and said with reluctance:
    “The silicoids had attacked us during a period of fullest flourish when our fleet was preparing for subjugation of the Human Empire. Their policy is dictated by the law of the Basis of Noos – to maintain the power balance. Perhaps the Silicoids considered the Darlok had become too powerful.”
    “And attacked an outlying unremarkable planet?”
    “Who would know what was down there now?” the bulrathi’s paw pointed at the hologram displaying a black scorched sphere.
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  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil

    They remained in the ditch for another half an hour waiting for the rustling and whistling to cease and seeing small groups of men had started falling back to the cottages.
    “How did you manage to persuade them?” asked Arthur while turning over on his back. He didn’t pay attention to water anymore. It seemed warm to him probably/most likely.
    “A little bit of flattery, a little bit of threats, showing off, a bribe and a pinch of nationalism.”
    “Well, there’s a drop of Russian blood in me. I played on it… “the Russians don’t kill the Russians.”
    “Is it true?”
    “It’s nonsense. Quite the contrary, it’s in their tradition. But it flatters and helps to save one’s face. I’ve been repeating this phrase for at least twenty times by changing only nationality. It works usually/It usually works… if your opponent needs an excuse to back away. You see, nationalism is always just an excuse. And it could be used in both ways: ‘we are peaceful’ or ‘we are courageous’, ‘we’re hard-working’ or ‘we’re lazy’. You can shrug off anything/You can shrug anything off to national or race traits and get away with it.
    “That’s amusing.” decided Arthur after thinking it over.
    “Yes it is… Give me your gun; you go with the stunner. Cover our rear.”
    Kay rose and started walking away from the settlement. Arthur followed him looking about. They weren’t shot at.

    Somewhat three hours later they got to a good concrete road and followed it while it matched their direction. At that moment/By then the rain had washed off all the dirt from them and much of their inspiration from victory.
    “It’s a total wasteland no further than thirty kilometers from the capital.” Kay was cursing quietly “And they’re fighting over the right to fight for some islands! Did (Do ?) you see them on the map, Arthur?”
    Kay turned around and shook his head.
    “We need rest. But not here. Go forth Arthur, Graal awaits thee… What have you got there, by the way?”
    “A half-credit penny.” Arthur answered gloomily.
    After another hour of plodding through sown but not harvested fields (of a local thorny cereal grain that seemed to be unaffected by the rain and soaked ground) they tumbled upon a house fenced by metallic chain link. The building had nearly no windows, it was low and gray, and seemed uninhabitable.
    “The everyday work of a farmer.” said Kay while looking at the building. “It must be a pigpen or a barn. Do you like bacon?”
    “What’s so funny?”
    “I am working, Arthur, let’s go.”
    They crept under a bent fence onto the territory/yard and found the entrance – the rolling metal doors.”
    “Knock-knock!” Kay said loudly while rolling the door to the side. A beam flashed from the darkness inside.
    They jumped to either side of the door. No more shots followed. Kay waved his hand slightly to the right and back. Arthur took off his cap obediently, put it on the barrel and moved it in front of the opening. As the next shot inflamed the poor headdress/cap Kay slipped into the darkness.
    Arthur didn’t have to wait for long. A series of impulses illuminated the shed with violet flashes. Then Kay shouted:
    “Come in, Sir Arthur, for everything is in order. The wrong has been righted. My strength has served the right.”
    “Hey, you do know about King Arthur and the Round table!”
    “I should not argue with you.” answered Kay as he dragged the body out of the shed by the legs. The smell of burned flesh made Arthur turn away.
    “At least we have solved our problem with food.” Kay said as he stooped by the door.
    “I won’t” Arthur replied quickly.
    “There is a bag near the wall, you fool. Ransack it while I…” Kay continued his work. The dead man was old and his long grey hair dragged in the mud clotting into black icicles.”
    Arthur was opening the tin-cans when Kay returned.
    “It’s the only food and a couple of beer cans here.” he announced.
    “The deceased wanted to survive but we wanted the same.” resumed Kay. “It’s not a bad place, isn’t/is it?”
    The shed turned out to be a farmer’s garage. By the walls there stood heavy and bulky machines and there was the grey cube of a recharging device in the corner. Kay examined it and shook his head, climbed into one machine then into another one…
    “Will you eat, Kay?”
    They ate canned meat and drank a bottle of beer. Then Kay built a fire out of wooden panels which he had mercilessly torn out from the walls. Meanwhile Arthur fixed a metal grating of unknown origin by the fire and hanged his wet clothing on it. Kay followed his example.
    “What was he shooting with?” asked Arthur looking into the fire.
    “A laser rifle. He was a rich farmer … by local standards.”
    “I hope he had the aThan.” Curtis junior said seriously.
    Kay laughed quietly but didn’t say anything. They were sitting for some time slowly getting warm. Rain was tapping on the closed door and under the ceiling hung a blue-gray cloud of smoke.
    “What is it, Kay?”
    “I’m going to ask you one question… no, not now.”
    “Why not, go ahead.”
    “No, you’re going to lie and I want to know the truth.”
    “One doesn’t really need to know the whole truth.”
    “You’re too clever… We’ll spend the night here. There’s no point in roaming about in the dark.”
    Arthur didn’t understood but chose not to say anything. Kay put on his clothing that was still damp, climbed into the nearest harvester and started examining the control panel. Arthur looked at him from the floor, in the light of the fire his indistinct figure was flickering and grotesquely distorted by the cockpit glass.
    “Splendid.” said Kay with satisfaction. “That’s why the old man didn’t use fire…”
    “Listen, dad…”
    “Why do you hate children? I know you had a hard time in your childhood but that’s not the reason.”
    Kay sat on the cockpit floor with his legs dangling in the air.
    “Truth for truth, frankly?”
    “As it was with the silicoid. Come on.”
    “I’ve never been a child. I have always been forty years old, Arthur. It’s very hard not remembering yourself being a careless boy. To try to be like your age-mates, to envy them… Too good a childhood turns a kid into an adult quicker than a bad one.”
    “Did you have a good childhood?”
    “My father was a senator on Shedar the second. I did have a very good childhood indeed. I turned seven on the evacuation day … and I wasn’t a child anymore. I saw as assault capsules were landing on the sandbanks… only at the port our last base was still holding/defending the sky. My father remained on the planet with the guerilla groups. They still believed that the Empire would come to help. They were probably alive when Emperor Gray had ordered/had given the order to scorch the planets. I’m not saying he was wrong. An assault would have taken far more lives than there were guerillas on the occupied planet… the planet that wasn’t amongst/among the most obedient ones in the Empire to begin with. Altos harbored us and we survived. They didn’t leave us our surnames, I stopped being Kay Lacitis. We became children of the Empire. But I couldn’t become a kid again and everybody felt that. Such children are adored by their parents but they have no friends. I tried, Arthur, I tried hard. The housemaster of our block “G” was a very good man, a person of many sides, the author of many TV-series for kids that were broadcast over the networks on Altos, not a sadist or pervert/nor a pervert unlike many who like such jobs very much. He sincerely believed that children should be guarded against the adults. He always talked about friendship and kindness… but he couldn’t understand why his tight-knit pupils disliked little Kay. For him, I remained a touching kid with a thin neck …”
    Arthur smiled inadvertently.
    “… and sad eyes. My classmates saw that I was different and defended against me as they could. When I understood that I couldn’t turn back into a child I became an adult. One night… it doesn’t matter. I tagged along with a traveling circus. It was one of those places too, but they treated me almost humanly. I mopped the floors, sold tickets, and was an assistant to the clowns. For a year I was the living target for Redgar Red the man-gun…”
    “Did you kill him too?”
    “What? No, Arthur, Redgar taught me everything: how to shoot, how to throw knives, how not to close your eyes when you’re getting shot at. Then he said that the circus for me was just a staging post and made me work with Diana, his girlfriend. She was a trapeze artist. I liked it until she fell and got her neck broken. I was passed from artist to artist and worked a little bit with everyone. Our clowns Yacek and Narek gave me more therapy than a dozen psychologists could do. Still they had never tried to drag me into their big double bed even though they were gay as clear as day. I know how animals look when preparing to attack and how to defend from a psy-mutated tiger. I should be grateful to Jassan for that. He was the only Mrshhan among us. He also taught me to have a knack for wines…”
    Kay went silent.
    “You hate children because you had no childhood yourself.” Arthur said without mercy. “You envy them. You think that the child’s envy of adults is stronger even than women’s envy of men. You constantly consider yourself being hated.”
    “Then you ask.”
    “Is it difficult to try to be an adult while remaining a child?”
    “Of course it is, Kay.”
    “Let’s sleep now, Arthur Van Curtis.” Kay jumped down. “Get in the cockpit and close the door. I turned the heating on and there is a broad seat inside.”
    “And you?”
    “I’ll look for another tractor. Good night.”

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil

    When Arthur woke up Kay was already preparing breakfast. Furthermore he had driven one harvester out of the row and parked it near the gate. Arthur looked skeptically at the clumsy machine – it had a drum tiller in front of it, four huge wheels and an automatic packer behind. There was no hull as such; all the parts were clearly visible. The cabin that protruded on its thin supports looked like anything but reliable.
    “I wouldn’t call this a good idea” noted Arthur while taking his ration.
    “There wasn’t anything better…” Kay looked critically at the wheels. “Speed is up to forty five kilometers per hour and this is in the harvesting mode. Its charge is nearly full. How was your sleep?”
    “Like at home.”
    “And I got cold. There must have been something wrong with the climate controller.”
    They finished their breakfast and threw the bag with the remaining cans into the cabin. Kay handed the laser rifle to Arthur, a nickel plated device with a cumbersome side magazine, and ordered:
    “Get in the cabin.”
    From the glass bubble Arthur watched as Kay opened the gates. He stood for a while and said in a loud voice:
    “Would you look at this beauty? The rain is over and the dew has fallen… The arrish will muck up I’m afraid, sonny!”
    “Kay, I asked you not to call me ‘sonny’!”
    “All right, sonnie.” Kay said while climbing into the cabin. “It’s time for some thrashing, right? Move over.”
    His eyes glistened with excitement. Arthur got out from the seat in perplexity and sat on the cabin floor. Kay put his hands on the levers.
    “Watch and learn. There’s no such thing as useless skill.”
    The harvester roared and rolled out of the hangar splashing the dirt around. Kay laughed. The thorny cereals were stretching up to the horizon.
    “The/That bread has been standing for too long, wouldn’t you say?”
    “This is not wheat, Kay.”
    “I know, Arthur,” Kay’s face had lost its foolish expression for a moment. “Fever, euphoria… then there will be hallucinations. It’s the doom-virus/doom virus. Let’s go!”
    The tiller made a howling sound as it lowered to the ground. The harvester drove through the fence and rolled across the field. The packer started champing as it was throwing out the plastic packs with pressed grass behind them.
    “How much time do you have?” asked Arthur quietly.
    “About three hours. Then there will be a period of unmotivated aggression and then the heart stops. I will try to make it, kid.”
    They were going in silence for almost an hour. Arthur was looking through the window holding the rifle on his knees. Kay was singing frivolous songs. After a while Kay asked:
    “What did they want?”
    “Those people… riding horses… wearing hats with blue stars on them…”
    “I didn’t see anyone…” answered Arthur averting his eyes.
    “Ah… If I call you Leshka then shoot. Okay?”
    “I promise I will.”
    Sometimes Arthur saw pillars of smoke in the distance… Sometimes Kay steered around something or in pursuit of something invisible. Arthur didn’t say anything.
    Then there was an attempt to stop them. A small bunch of armed men, probably the same that they had encountered near the exit, opened fire at the harvester.
    “A hailstorm.” noted Kay dryly. Arthur never understood whether he was joking or he didn’t perceive reality already. The harvester veered and headed into the crowd. Arthur half opened the door and began shooting the rifle – it had a remarkable rate of fire and a sizable magazine.
    “No foul weather will stop me from harvesting my last crops.” declared Kay when bullets started tapping against the cabin. The glass pretended to be bulletproof – it got covered with cracks but didn’t yield. Kay had finished his harvest to the end and then returned to his former course. The plastic bags were all used up and some monstrous cannibal stuffing of flesh mixed with grass was pouring out from behind the harvester.
    “It is very indicative that you don’t even get sick.” noted Kay while casting quick glances at Arthur. “Your daddy deserves killing but it’s impossible unfortunately.”
    Arthur didn’t understand.
    They scudded along the suburbs of Kitezh past a wooden church that was in flames, past houses that were ruined by artillery fire and past monuments that were carefully covered with protective casings. The monuments were numerous.
    “A nation that doesn’t remember its past is doomed.” Kay commented this fact. “Thus our nation is immortal.”
    When towers of the spaceport appeared ahead Kay asked in a dull voice:
    “Shall we fly over the river, what do you think?”
    “Let’s go.” agreed Arthur looking at the approaching highway. They crossed the highway and drove towards an iridescent force field barrier. A couple of combat vehicles of the imperial infantry idly rolled out of the gates and turned their turrets in their direction/toward the harvester.
    “We’ll die together Leshka” said Kay squinting “things could turn/could have turned out better, right?”
    Arthur took his stunner and carefully fired at Kay’s temple. Then he dragged the numb body from the seat and stopped the harvester. It was more difficult to find the controls for the tiller. The soldiers didn’t approach until Arthur had stopped it.
    Curtis junior jumped from the harvester and ran towards the guards. He was only twelve so they didn’t shoot.
    “Help my dad!” shouted Arthur. “Help, he has the doom-fever/doom fever, I had to stun him! Help, we’ll pay! We are from Endoria, the home planet of the Emperor! Help!”
    He cried too naturally and the lieutenant of the Imperial military had children too. The lieutenant nodded to his soldiers and two of them having lowered their visors headed towards the dented up with bullets and blood stained harvester.

  6. #86
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    Re: Please check my translation.


    Acceleration effects ceased half an hour later when the assault cruiser had jumped into the hyperspace. Sedmin was still hovering over its disk, probably communicating with other silicoids.
    “I know my question is naïve” Kay began, “but I’ll ask anyway. Have you got some organic food? Or water at least?”
    “We have” replied Sedmin briefly and a niche opened in the wall. Kay unfastened and took a couple of packages from it. He glanced at the packing.
    It was dated twenty two hundred thirty eight. The food had been prepared more than a hundred years ago. Kay wondered what ship or what laboratoriy the silicoids obtained this stuff from.
    At least it became clear that they had no intention to kill them immediately. The stocks were enough to provide them for a couple of weeks… if the food wasn’t spoiled.
    Kay opened the packing and released the conserving gas. Every course was packed in a separate pail and all it needed was to turn the activator. The technology was practically identical to the modern one.
    When the pails had warmed up Kay handed one pack to Arthur and took another for himself. He removed the foil from the biggest pail – there were meat with peas… and a small sheet of polymeric paper over the food with stains of gravy on it which rolled itself up under the heat. At first Kay thought it was a napkin, but then he saw the letters…
    “Dear soldier! Fight the alien scum hard, defend Earth. Call me after the war: 09453376n76. Ann.”
    Arthur looked at Kay inquiringly, Kay handed him the sheet and asked:
    “Do you know what Earth is?”
    “Yes, it’s the old name of Terra… but why the number is so strange?”
    “It’s the old coding system. Such notes were often sent to the Space Marine Corps during the Feud War and the bloodbath on Toucano. Factories were operated mostly by women.”
    Sedmin looked as if he wasn’t even noticing their conversation. Submitting to a sudden impulse of protest, Arthur carefully folded the sheet and put in into his pocket. They ate in silence for several minutes.
    “We talk now.” It sounded half as a question and half as a command.
    “We can” said Kay as he was finishing his coffee. It was perfect… perhaps it was even real! “Why have you attacked the Darloks?”
    “To have a talk with you.”
    “Is it worth a war?”
    “I don’t know yet. But there will be no war. The Darloks cannot conduct diversionary operations against us and it negates their main military advantage.”
    “Let’s talk then.”
    “Kay Althos, you were resuscitated and charged with the task of protecting Arthur Van Curtis. Is it so?”
    “What does Curtis need on Graal?”
    “I don’t know.”
    “It’s probably truth.” Sedmin decided after some pause, “It doesn’t demean the facts. Kay Althos, do you know that Arthur Van Curtis has been trying to reach Graal for the last five years already?”
    Kay didn’t answer.
    “You see… Curtis Van Curtis had become whom he is now by bringing the aThan into the world. This technology has changed the balance of powers… The Human Empire now dominates in the galaxy.”
    “The Mrsshans use the aThan and the Psilons also. They invented it.” Kay objected.
    “The Psilons didn’t invent neither the neural grid nor the molecular replicator.”
    Kay glanced at Arthur and he averted his eyes.
    “No race has ever created a technology capable of repeating the aThan. Its working principles go beyond the most fundamental views on this world.” the Silicoid’s voice-choir became sad, “Kay Althos, according to information we possess, Curtis Van Curtis had visited a planet which was later named Graal during the Feud War. And he brought the aThan from it. Till present day, every new aThan has been undergoing a final assembly stage under personal supervision of Curtis Van Curtis. Without him, the aThan is just a set of non-functional equipment.”
    “I didn’t know that.” Kay said sincerely.
    “Now you do. This is why the Emperor of the Humans had agreed to grant Curtis a special position that de-facto put him above the law.”
    “Why are you telling me this?” asked Kay sharply.
    “I’m telling you this so that you could think whose side you are on.”
    “I still see nothing wrong with it, Sedmin. Wherever Curtis had obtained the aThan, it serves a good purpose. And it’s not for the Humans alone. The Mrsshans and…”
    “Kay! The mankind has been always a strong race. It survived in the Feud War when all civilizations of the galaxy opposed it. But short life and numerous species of little value were putting restraints on you. Everything changed when aThan had appeared. The most talented and strong individuals were granted the immortality. Not just infinite prolongation of life, but a resurrection after accidents and illnesses. Your science advanced – the scientists were unrestrained by shortness of life. Your soldiers were ready to die since they knew they would resuscitate. And the most important thing – you’ve been granted a new evolutionary factor. Not a negative one when failing species do not breed, but a positive one when successful ones continue themselves over and over again…”
    Arthur shriveled in his seat. Sedmin was ignoring him completely. He was talking with Althos only.
    “So what are your fears?” Kay shrugged his shoulders, “Yes, we live longer… but you have always had this advantage. The Empire hasn’t been in any war for a long time. We had enough problems of our own and every race can find plenty space where to expand – beyond the explored space.
    “Yes, you have lessened your former aggressiveness.” Sedmin agreed, “Thus, we didn’t take any action. We waited. The Basis of Noos had been shattered but the Humans passed the test of immortality.”
    “So what is it?”
    “A new factor, Kay. What does Curtis need on the planet Graal? Another aThan? Some new technology that would be unavailable for other races?”
    “Asking me about that… asking Arthur even is pointless.”
    “Kay Althos, the Humans have exterminated the Sakkras whose fault was mere a uncontrolled reproduction rate. Now it’s the Darloks’ turn whose defense methods are unacceptable for you. What’s next? Aggressive Bulrathis, arrogant Alkaris, or impulsive Mrsshans? Perhaps the Basis of Silicoids which is obsessed with the idea of the balance of powers?”
    “Our policy…”
    “…is dictated by nous. The Human Empire is stronger than any other race but a combined force of eight civilizations is too much even for it. What happens if Curtis would grant humans The Power? If a single human would be capable of destroying the whole star fleet?”
    “This is nonsense! You suppose…”
    “We suppose everything. The aThan technology denies logic. Another ‘aThan’ may bring no immorality to the galaxy but death.”
    “Where did it come from? Some precursor race?” Kay allowed a smile.
    “There were no precursor races in the galaxy. The most ancient races are the Darlok and ourselves. Does it really matter where would trouble come from is one can simply block its way.”
    “Then you’ve burnt the wrong planet.” Kay said quietly.
    “Graal is unavailable for us” Sedmin suddenly swayed, floated from his disk and approached Kay, “The ships of the Basis leaving for Graal never come back. And that of humans that lives on Graal has never, ever seen them. The ships just didn’t exit the hyperspace jump.”
    Althos whistled and turned to Arthur:
    “Is it perchance your daddy’s work, Arthy?”
    “Curtis has nothing to do with it, unfortunately.” Sedmin continued to ignore Athur. “Presently a squadron of bombers is flying to Grail at relativistic speeds. Their flight will last for another forty six years. Besides… I doubt they would succeed. They will simply disappear just like all the previous ones did.”
    “What do you want then?” asked Kay wearily, “To kill us? But the aThan wouldn’t allow it. You should have left this chore to the Darloks. Or the Basis is capable of beating the no-one-knows-whose-a-technology? To erase our memory preventing the neural grid from activation? To screen our psy-field? Ah! Another option! To hold us prisoners for life? To make our life very long leave us no ability to kill ourselves? How much will you give me for the idea?”
    “Nothing. Everything you mentioned has been tried already. There was no effect.”
    Kay was staring at the silicoid perplexedly.
    “What has been tried? What do you mean?”
    “I think your companion can explain this to you better than I.” dropped Sedmin, “Believe me, these methods are impractical. The best practice up to date is simply to kill Curtis that would throw him back on Terra and gain us time. But we cannot risk forever. We must make a decision. A total war with the Humans could be the result of such a decision. If nothing else helps we would resolve to this.”
    “You would resolve to genocide? To extermination of another three of four races we would destroy before we are done with? Are you ready for this?”
    “No. Not yet. That’s why I am talking with you now.”
    “You were talking with me alone this far.”
    “I’m tired of talking with Curtis. Kay Althos you differ from the other guides. Even the death which brought you to Terra was unusual… do you understand? Kay Althos, you’ll be given time to think it over. A long time. If Curtis chooses to tell us the truth, if we know what Graal is, then the decision of the Basis of Nous would be made.”
    The doors opened and Kay saw two silicoids. They had golden film of armor gleaming on their bodies.
    “You’ll be taken to the premise that was prepared for you.” Sedmin informed, “I’ll be waiting… I know how to wait. Go now, we need to remove the excess oxygen from the ship’s atmosphere.”
    Althos grabbed Arthur by the shoulder and jerked him up on his feet so that the pails with food scattered on the floor and said:
    “Let’s go, son. We have much to discuss. You’re a grownup already and you have to learn where the idiots do come from…”
    Sedmin stood without move. The humans left his cabin but he continued hearing Kay’s voice:
    “When two adults need an idiot, they pick the first person they come across and tell him just a little bit of truth…”
    The Foot of the Basis made a light sound which only a good radio receiver could hear. Strange it may seem, but it would have sounded then quite like a sigh. Sedmin couldn’t understand why a simple discontent must be wrapped in colorful speeches.
    And he couldn’t understand also why Kay’s emotional aura expressed such anger and Arthur’s was full of embarrassment and confusion.
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  7. #87
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    Re: Please check my translation.

    Хлеб/хлеба, которые в поле — это никак не bread.

  8. #88
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    Re: Please check my translation.

    Quote Originally Posted by translationsnmru
    Хлеб/хлеба, которые в поле — это никак не bread.
    А что тогда? Cereals?


    It was a good premise. The armchairs, beds and the table must have been taken from some Terran ship. The silicoids thought even of aesthetics. A panel painting on the wall pictured several animals, bears presumably, that were frolicking among the fallen trees in a forest on some terran-type planet.
    “What is it with you, Kay!” exclaimed Arthur when they had remained alone. Althos let him go.
    “I’m tired of being an idiot, Arthy. A bodyguard cannot work blindfolded. You or your father should have warned me about this.”
    “About what?”
    “About the silicoids. How should I interpret Sedmin’s words?”
    “I don’t know!”
    “Stop lying to me, Arthy!” Kay grasped Arthur’s shoulder again, “You’ve been going to Graal thirty six times. Who stopped you?”
    “It’s none of your business.”
    “This is my business, boy. I have an eternity at my disposal.”
    “You think so?” Arthur smiled. His smile was a bit wry since Kay’s fingers were clenching him too strongly, “Let go off me, you bastard!”
    Kay released his grip and slapped Arthur’s face. One… two… three times… Arthur’s head was jerking with each slap and his cheek became red. He tried to kick Kay in the groin but Althos offhandedly blocked the kick. Arthur cried out and sank onto the floor.
    “Don’t hold me as your pawn, boy.” Kay bent over him, “You risk nothing but I have been shrugged off right from the beginning as it appears. I don’t like this way to do business.”
    “You’re a psycho.”
    “You’re an angel though. Boy, what’s the worth of blood on my hands? I am only an instrument for you… just like those who protected you before me.”
    “And I am Van Curtis’s instrument.” Arthur replied while still sitting on the floor.
    “You are his son.”
    Arthur’s face twitched.
    “You idiot… I’m not Curtis Van Curtis’s son.”
    Kay sat onto the floor and went silent eyeing the boy’s face. Then he averted his eyes.
    “Curtis Van Curtis has no children.” Arthur said.
    Kay remained silent.
    “He has no need for children. It’s immortal… and Graal would accept only him.”
    Arthur’s voice was trembling – he wept.
    “I… I am a clone. I’m as much an instrument as you are… or they were…”
    “I’m sorry.” said Kay.
    “I was created for this only purpose… to go this way through…”
    “Please, forgive me.” Kay apologized again.
    “I am a clone… According the Imperial law I have no rights whatsoever.”
    “Hi Arthy.”
    The boy raised his eyes.
    “Hi Arthy.” Kay repeated, “I’m Kay Duch from Shedar’s the Second. This world did not recognize the Genetic Moratorium of the Empire. I am a super in the third generation. According the law I should be sterilized and undergo a series of downgrading operations. Senator Lacitis’s wife gave me the documents of their son who had died after the Sakkras’ first attack. But even this name was denied for me.”
    Arthur sobbed wiping his tears and asked:
    “And what kind of super you are?”
    “Visual memory, linguistics, reaction rate.”
    “Hi, Kay Duch.”

    The Silicoids’ Foot of the Basis Sedmin was watching as Arthur wept on Kay’s chest for a long time. Then he transferred his perception onto the Memorizing ones and ordered to lift the surveillance.
    He already knew what Curtis would tell Kay about.

    “I always have known it, for the whole of my life.” Arthur said. He was sitting on the berth with his foots on it. He was no longer weeping. Kay Duch-Althos was rummaging through the cupboard. Having found a triangular flask he looked at its label, nodded with satisfaction and sat in the armchair.
    “This… this seemed normal somehow. Casual. Officially, I am Curtis Van Curtis’s son but his exact biological copy in reality.”
    “What about memory? Consciousness?” Kay opened the flask and drank right from the bottle. The brown liquid parched his throat. The Higarian brandy had nearly sixty percent of alcohol.
    “The memory is my own.” Arthur replied dryly.
    “Why worry then? Does it really matter what percent of your genes match Curtis’s – fifty or one hundred?”
    “It doesn’t for me, but it does for the Empire…”
    “Forget about the Empire. What does Curtis senior need on Graal?”
    “The Dreamline.”
    Kay took another sip and looked at Arthur inquiringly.
    “I don’t know what it is. I know only how to get there.”
    “You’re lying. Is that some kind of a new technology?”
    “Whose one?”
    “Kay you don’t want to know about it.”
    “Was Sedmin right about the precursor races?”
    “There were no precursor races. Kay, leave it already…” Arthur’s lips started to shake.
    “Take some” Kay handed him the bottle, “But not much.”
    Arthur obediently made a gulp from the bottle, winced and returned the flask.
    “What did Sedmin mean when he spoke about throwing you back on Terra?”
    “I can only guess.”
    “Guess away.”
    “Do you know how the aThan works?”
    Kay didn’t answer thinking that the question was rhetorical. But Arthur was waiting patiently so Althos sighed and began:
    “A molecular replicator copies any biological object. But such objects remain dead… unanimated. The Church of the One will was so pleased with this fact. Only when the original dies and the neural grid releases the Psi field information it can be planted into a new body…”
    “No, not quite like that. The neural grid cannot transmit so huge amount of information. It works continuously in the real time mode.”
    “The information is accumulated in the company’s computers. When the signal terminates the man is assumed dead. So the screening of psychic field would lead to the only one result – a creation of a new personality.”
    “A fully fledged one?”
    “No. It would be a human vegetable… an automated human, to be precise. He would be able to eat, drink, answer the questions, and carry out orders but he wouldn’t have a psyche. Man is not only the sum of body and memory.”
    “Your words would have pleased the Patriarch.”
    “And why do you think the Church has blessed the aThan? We proved that soul exists.”
    Kay gulped some more brandy and said quietly:
    “This means that the silicoids…”
    “No, they cannot destroy us. If they screen the psychic field, this is possible by the way; then two zombies of Arthur and Kay would be created on Terra. But as soon as the original we would die the zombies will come to their senses. Something that stands above the psychic field would find the new bodies without any aThan. We call it the ‘Psi-factor’. The races of Darloks, Alkaris, Klackons lack this very factor that makes aThan useless for them.”
    “I see.”
    Arthur’s face became redder and his speech grew faster.
    “The silicoids cannot destroy us completely. Screening of the psychic fields would lead to the one result only – for some time there would live a couple of zombies on Terra. As soon as we find the way to kill ourselves they will inherit the consciousnesses. Erasing our memory would lead to the same result. I’m not sure, but… the Darlok symbiosis would have probably released the Psi-factor too.”
    Kay didn’t believe in the last remark. Arthur was too frightened on Layon. But he decided not to say this aloud.
    “Have you been through this already?”
    “Y-yes.” Arthur faltered, “A year and a half ago I was taken prisoner on Hentar-2. There were a group of humans, but then a silicoid appeared among them. They put me into some chamber… it must have had some screening systems. The aThan worked. For two months, I’ve been … out of my head. Then the consciousness returned – apparently I had killed myself.”
    “Or your personality was erased.” suggested Kay cautiously.
    “My personality was erased a year ago on Sigma-T” Arthur shuddered and forced a laugh “I’ve been laid under some antennas… there was pain at the temples and that’s all. There were only humans there. We suspected the Ramds company… the silicoids remained in the shadow…”
    “They would try to rally all races of the galaxy against the Humans” Kay lay down on his berth. His head was dull but his thoughts remained clear. Brandy didn’t besot him, “Is Graal really worth all this?”
    “Graal worth nothing, but the Dreamline does.”
    “I would like to sleep, Arthy” Kay closed his eyes.
    “Sleep then.” Arthur agreed.
    Althos was nearly asleep when Arthur asked him:
    “You don’t feel disgusted that I am a clone?”
    “And you don’t feel disgusted that my embryo was assembled under a microscope?” murmured Kay.
    “Good night, Duch” Arthur was tossing and turning in his bed, “I’ll think what we can do.”
    “Thank you, My King” Kay said as he covered his eyes with his hand. It didn’t occur to the silicoids to put the light switches inside their cabin… Or they chose not to.
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  9. #89
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    Re: Please check my translation.

    I have some doubts regarding the translation of "Подножие Основы" as "Foot of the Basis."
    First, I'd like to propose the translation of "Основа" as "Foundation."
    I'd suggest using "The Base of the Foundation."
    What do you think?

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    Re: Please check my translation.


    “I must ask you, Lemach” said Isabelle. The admiral was sitting reclined in his armchair and looking at her wearily and silently – his health must have taken a turn for the worth lately, “Let me continue the operation, admiral.”
    “Changes are coming, Kahl…” Lemach said quietly, “Big changes. I cannot trust it to the hyperspace transmision… but the Empire can’t afford a conflict with the Basis of the Silicoids right now.”
    “There will be no conflict.”
    “Oh, really? Well, I cannot give orders to the officer of the Service anyway. You can act on your own discretion.”
    “But I would be helpless without your ships…” Isabelle forced herself to admit it.
    “All battleships must return to their bases. This is not my order and I cannot question it.”
    “But ‘The Persecutor’ is not a warship…”
    Lemach threw his hands in the air in mock surrender.
    “Kahl, you… intrigue me very much. What’s happening?”
    “I cannot trust it to the hyperspace transmission.”
    “All right.” Lemach agreed surprisingly easy, “The convoy must return, but support ships will remain at your disposal. But I have a favor to ask… if by any miraculous chance you happen to succeed, I would be the first person you would visit.
    Kahl nodded.
    “I’ll mention it to the assault group that remains on your ship just so you don’t forget about it.” Lemach added, “Good luck.”
    The screen went blank. Isabelle was sitting still with her head in her hands and staring at the dead glass.
    “What may be the Silicoids’ interest in Arthur Curtis?” asked Nomachi. They were alone in the cabin – the only members of the crew who knew about their real goal, “What makes you think that they have him?”
    “I don’t know…” Kahl admitted, “But it’s the only possible option that would satisfy me.”
    Nomachi swore in his thoughts. He was tired of his tiny cabin which he needed to share with close-mouthed Cadar, he was sick of sublimated food; he didn’t care for insane and exhausting sex with Isabelle. Silently he cursed the moment he had decided to compare the portraits of Arthur Ovald and Arthur Curtis.
    He secretly hoped that the little brat had perished for good in the Darlok hands or during the bombardment of Layon.

    “I want to talk with Sedmin” Arthur said.
    “Are you sure?”
    “Then keep repeating it aloud.” advised Kay who was wiping his face with depilating napkin. His week’s old bristle was coming off like a grey dust.
    “I need to talk with Sedmin” Arthur said into the empty air. He was still lying on the berth apparently having spent the night without bothering to take off his clothing, “I want to talk with Sedmin…”
    Kay finished his shaving and opened a cup of tea. He took a sip, but didn’t swallow it but gargled instead and spat it on the floor. Then he began to sing quietly:
    “Are you all right?” inquired Arthur.
    “I’m going to change the profession.” informed Kay, “will go for the Imperial Opera… A-a-a-a… How do you find my voice?”
    “You sound like a wounded bulrathi.”
    “That’s just splendid.”
    During the next couple of hours Arthur kept repeating his desire to speak with Sedmin. Kay continued his vocal exercises. Finally the door opened and a silicoid appeared in it.
    “The Foot of the Basis Sedmin awaits Curtis for a conversation.”
    Arthur jumped off his berth and stepped through the door. He only dropped to Kay:
    “This is for Sedmin’s ears only.”
    “A-a-a…” Kay sang in reply, “Tell me if you happen to find an ear on the silicoid. A-a-a…”
    Curtis junior left in firm belief that his bodyguard was going crazy.

    …Their small squadron separated in the Layon star system. The destroyers jumped to Dogar and ‘The Circle of Silence’, ‘The Persecutor’ and the unnamed corvette of the Service followed the tracks of the Silicoid armada. This wasn’t difficult – thirty two thousand ships left powerful disturbances in the hyperspace metrics.
    Kahl had no idea about any possible good use she could find for the planetary nullifier, but she had grown accustomed of using everything she had at her disposal. This was the case not for people alone but for the ships also.
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  11. #91
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    Re: Please check my translation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crocodile
    I have some doubts regarding the translation of "Подножие Основы" as "Foot of the Basis."
    First, I'd like to propose the translation of "Основа" as "Foundation."
    I'd suggest using "The Base of the Foundation."
    What do you think?
    I wouldn't like to use the word 'Base' since it may cause ambiguity (planetary base, orbital base etc)

    So you propose:

    Основа Силикоидов - the Silicoid Foundation (the Foundation of the Silicoids)
    Основа Разума - the Foundation of Nous
    Подножие Основы = the Base of the Foundation
    Интересы основы - Interests of the Foundation
    Встать в подножие (Основы) - to stand in the Base (of the Foundation)
    Тридцать девятая Основы - the thirty ninth of (in) the Foundation

    What would the natives say? What is better: the Foot of the Basis or the Base of the Foundation? Or something else?

    And I'm about this fragment:

    Это разговор с глазу на глаз.
    - А-а-а... - пропел Кей. - Если найдешь у силикоида хоть один глаз, сообщи. А-а-а...

    I don't like my translation:
    “This is for Sedmin’s ears only.”
    “A-a-a…” Kay sang in reply, “Tell me if you happen to find an ear on the silicoid. A-a-a…”
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  12. #92
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    Re: Please check my translation.

    Exactly! That's the whole complexity here. Initially, I was thinking more in the direction of "The Foundation Root," but the Silicoids wouldn't have plants and thus wouldn't call their leader "The Root." But, for sure, the Silicoids wouldn't have feet, so by no means can they call their equivalent of Human Emperor "The Foot." All words describing stone-like creatures have to pertain to the stone-like structures, haven't they? Also, I'm still awaiting for your translation of "Пусть Основа не дрогнет, когда разум придёт в движение." As to myself, I can't just pull the adequate translation out of my sleeve, I have to admit ...

  13. #93
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    Re: Please check my translation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    What would the natives say? What is better: the Foot of the Basis or the Base of the Foundation? Or something else?
    Foot/Base of the Foundation, either one sounds good to me. Considering the other translations you have given "Foundation" sounds better than "Basis".
    Instead of "stand in the Base" it sounds logical in English to say stand at the Base or Foot of the Foundation.
    And I'm about this fragment:

    Это разговор с глазу на глаз.
    - А-а-а... - пропел Кей. - Если найдешь у силикоида хоть один глаз, сообщи. А-а-а...

    I don't like my translation:
    “This is for Sedmin’s ears only.”
    “A-a-a…” Kay sang in reply, “Tell me if you happen to find an ear on the silicoid. A-a-a…”
    Your English sounds perfectly fine and makes sense.
    But if "eye" must be in it, then maybe:
    This is a private/tête-à-tête conversation.
    . . . Tell me if you happen to find an eye on the silicoid . . . .

    глаз . . . eye;
    с глазу на глаз tête-à-tête
    Collins Russian Dictionary 50 (2003)
    tête-à-tête . . . a private conversation between two people . . . [< French, "head-to-head"]
    Encarta(R) World English Dictionary [North American Edition] (2007) ... %AAte.html

  14. #94
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    Re: Please check my translation.

    tete-a-tete is 'head to head', so if I mention 'eye' in the next sentence it would be illogical.

    As for the Silicoids I'd stop at the Foot of the Foundation then.

    Crocodile, 'foot' does not always mean some body part.

    the foot of mountain
    the foot of a column

    The only alternative I could think of is 'bottom'
    The Bottom of the Foundation. I've already explained why I don't want to use the word 'base'.
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  15. #95
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    Re: Please check my translation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crocodile
    "Пусть Основа не дрогнет, когда разум придёт в движение."
    Let the Foundation not tremble when the Nous stirs.
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    Re: Please check my translation.


    “Follow me.” said the silicoid.
    Arthur was absent for two hours. When the door opened Kay expected to see him, but it was just a guard.
    “It’s my turn, right?” Kay asked as he exited the cabin. The silicoid didn’t answer. They walked along the corridors that were immersed in darkness. Only a ball of light made by the silicoid helped to find the way. The air was too fresh and too dead at the same time – it had been enriched with oxygen only recently. The silicoids were content with as little as three or four percent so they had to change the atmosphere for their prisoners.
    Sedmin wasn’t alone this time. There were three silicoids floating in the middle of the cabin. They were either communicating on their radio frequencies or simply thinking of something. Arthur was sitting in the armchair and looked stressed like a hunted animal.
    “Hi, the Foot of the Foundation” Kay said as he came near his ward, “I hope you weren’t too hard with the boy?”
    “He chose to be sincere by his own will.” hummed the silicoid that was floating in the middle of the small group.
    “And so you are satisfied?”
    “Yes. Now I’m going to ask you questions and you’re going to answer them. What is the Dreamline?”
    “Alas, Arthur wasn’t so sincere with me” Kay sat on the armrest of an unoccupied seat, “It appears that this information is for the royalty only.”
    “He doesn’t know.” said Arthur quickly, “It wasn’t necessary.”
    “I believe you.” agreed Sedmin as he closed in, “We can feel when the words bear truth and when they do not.”
    “You promised that …” Curtis junior began.
    “I remember. Kay Althos, we received valuable information from Arthur Curtis. It changes our views on Graal.”
    “So you decided to let us go?” Kay made a slight bow, “I thank your ancient and wise race.”
    “We nearly decided to let you go.” the silicoid said paying no attention to the tone. Kay stopped short and looked at Arthur inquiringly. Arthur nodded.
    “The situation is unclear.” Sedmin said, “Adoption of the technology which Curtis named the Dreamline by the Empire should lessen its threat for the Foundation of Nous. The probability of the Human aggression would be close to zero…”
    “Maybe I’d better stop you myself?” Kay asked Arthur.
    “However,” the silicoid continued, “the weakening of the Humankind may provoke other young races. The balance of powers would be upset one way or another. We don’t know how to act.”
    “Do you have any choice?” Kay inquired.
    “Yes. We can delay you… for a long time. You will be alive, but would never leave the Silicoid space. This will give us time… time needed for making a decision.”
    “To delay us? Oh really…” Kay patted his chest, “I can stop my little motor at any second. I can stop breathing and so does Arthur.”
    “You would have neither hearts nor lungs” said Sedmin with no trace of threat in his voice, “Just your brain. And it will live… for a very long time.”
    “You’re bluffing.” Kay said feeling as his blood ran suddenly cold.
    “No, Kay Althos, born as Kay Duch. We can preserve biological objects separated. Within three minutes should I only give such an order your bodies would be disassembled. Your brain wouldn’t have time to die. The aThan wouldn’t work.”
    “You’re bluffing” Kay said again knowing already that Sedmin was speaking the truth.
    “Do you want to check it?”
    There was no threat in the silicoid’s voice. Even the deadliest enemies of this race have never accused it for being excessively cruel.
    “No.” Kay surrendered, “I believe you.”
    “A wise choice.” a note of sympathy in Sedmin’s voice could be false, but it could also reflect his true feelings – that equivalent of a sympathy a silicoid could feel towards a human.
    “What are you waiting for then?” Kay eyed the three silicoids. Consisting of silicon and crystal structures and having force fields rather than hands they were completely invulnerable against an unarmed human.
    Or so everybody thought.
    “We are deciding, Kay Althos. Curtis junior told us the truth or a part of it at least. Having let you go we would lift the threat the Humankind poses to the galaxy. But there are too many unaccounted factors. If we delay you this would give us some time. A small time, unfortunately. Van Curtis would create a new clone. Besides, his plans may change.”
    Arthur shivered but didn’t say anything.
    “Decide then.” Kay said, “Let the Foundation not tremble when the Nous stirs.”
    “You know much.” Sedmin wasn’t surprised, “You are a human who tries to understand other races… while hating them at the same time.”
    “My feelings regarding you are neutral.”
    “We are too different… Kay Duch, what would you suggest us to do? You don’t know the truth about the Dreamline so the knowledge wouldn’t affect your decision. Speak up.”
    “Will you listen?”
    “Not necessarily.”
    “All right.” Kay roused himself up either to flex his muscles or simply arriving to a decision, “Sedmin, when you stood at the foot of the Foundation, you had succeeded Granid on this position.”
    “This happened.”
    “Was your way considered being more true for the Foundation?”
    “No. It was unclear then. We have entrusted ourselves to the stability of creation.”
    “You fought, to put it simply.” Kay concluded. He was a bit interested in whether the silicoid felt any emotions when he remembered his ascension (or descent?) to power.
    “You offer is absurd.” Sedmin swayed his body and Kay felt as something invisible passed in the dangerous proximity from his legs, “There are no supporters of either decision among us. There is no one to determine the truth in a fight.”
    “My offer is even more absurd than you think, boulder. I will fight with one of you. The winner will decide.”
    Sedmin looked as if he simply couldn’t understand what had been said. He floated around Kay as he scanned him through using any means available to him before he asked:
    “And what weapon would do you like to use?”
    “No weapon. An unarmed combat, as it is customary for trials of unknowable truth.”
    Arthur turned away. Speaking with the insane was futile.
    The silicoids were silent.
    “I propose a trial by the stability of creation.” Kay said.
    “Your plan is naïve, Kay Althos. You wouldn’t die, we shall save your brain” Sedmin must have considered Kay’s offer a trick.
    “Who will challenge me?”
    Sedmin slowly moved aside. He ordered something apparently since another silicoid followed him. Only one alien remained in front of Kay – a half ton of stone floating in the air.
    “Kay Duch, Shedar’s the Second” Kay said and made a formal bow, “I bear you no malice.”
    The silicoid bent its body in a grotesque bow and sang:
    “Meezar, the thirty ninth of the Foundation. I bear you no malice.”
    Arthur Curtis looked at his bodyguard. He knew what was going to happen to him and what was lying in store for them afterwards. To fight unarmed with a silicoid was even more insane than attacking a tank with a knife, but Kay Duch-Althos was already assuming the combat stance.
    The boy put his hands on his head as if this could defend him from the silicoid surgeons who were preparing for trepanation of their two sculls. He closed his eyes.
    Meezar began its heavy move onto Kay. He jumped aside and gave a long scream that resembled a night yelling of a cat in the spring.
    Arthur Van Curtis who could recognize death in any disguise made a mistake this time. He decided that Kay Duch was dead.
    The silicoid apparently thought the same. The stone pillar flew in semicircle and an invisible wall knocked Kay down. He fell unable to breath. The silicoid was approaching – unemotional and deadly like a rock fall.
    Kay Duch jumped on his feet and delivered a blow at the stone body. His hand exploded in pain.
    Meezar made no sound and fell onto the floor. His pillar body was nearly round so it rolled rumbling towards Sedmin. But this move has nothing to do with his mind already.
    Unable to generate the force field the silicoid turned into a thinking stone.
    “This… is… very… impressive.” Sedmin said very clearly. Meezar stopped caught in his force field.
    Kay was not listening as he came to Arthur and took him by his hands.
    Curtis junior looked at his bodyguard his eyes blinking frequently.
    “What do you decide, Kay?” asked Sedmin. Somewhere beyond human perceptions there was raging a storm. The information was circulating over the huge ship – the Humans have learnt the Bulrathi’s trick. The Humans can kill the silicoids with their bare hands.
    Kay Duch-Althos was looking at Arthur. The boy had the mysterious Dreamline behind him which would make the humankind peaceful and safe and wouldn’t unsettle the balance of powers. It would make the humankind such as the aliens want it to be.
    “Decide Kay.”
    Behind Sedmin there were dismemberment and their brains hidden in a bottle. Perhaps they would allow them to keep the eyes.
    “The hell with the humankind…” said Kay and mussed Arthur’s hair, “Let us go, Sedmin. Please.”
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  17. #97
    Завсегдатай Crocodile's Avatar
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    Re: Please check my translation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    Quote Originally Posted by Crocodile
    "Пусть Основа не дрогнет, когда разум придёт в движение."
    Let the Foundation not tremble when the Nous stirs.
    Not bad at all. However, in another place you said: "But this move has nothing to do with his mind already." Can't we use "the Mind" and not "the Nous" or at least use them consistently? As to the usage of "stirs" ... I like the word, but can't we say something closer to the original: "Let the Foundation not tremble as the Mind is set in motion."

    Also, "the stability of creation" seems to me more like "the stability of the Universe", or "the stability of the Existence" for the word "creation" implies someone who created that world. And even though the Creator's existence becomes apparent when the meaning of the Dreamline is unveiled, the Silicoids wouldn't know that in their philosophy. (And the reason why I think they wouldn't is because they mentioned earlier that aThan's existence is not consistent with their model of the Universe.) And so, they call their world "Мироздание" (= "здание мира") which is more neutral with respect to the Creator's existence. I think many of their important terms would have their roots in the stone-made objects as buildings, structures, etc. What do you think?

  18. #98
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    Re: Please check my translation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crocodile
    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    Quote Originally Posted by Crocodile
    "Пусть Основа не дрогнет, когда разум придёт в движение."
    Let the Foundation not tremble when the Nous stirs.
    Not bad at all. However, in another place you said: "But this move has nothing to do with his mind already."
    So? This only says that his mind couldn't control the body.

    The word Разум can be translated differently. (The same with разумный).
    1. Greek Philosophy. mind or intellect.
    2. Neoplatonism. the first and purest emanation of the One, regarded as the self-contemplating order of the universe.

    I think this word albeit rare fits very well in here. But using it in narration is unnesessary I think. That's why the synonyms are made for.

    Can't we use "the Mind" and not "the Nous" or at least use them consistently? As to the usage of "stirs" ... I like the word, but can't we say something closer to the original: "Let the Foundation not tremble as the Mind is set in motion."
    (passive voice implies that somebody or something had set it in motion).
    ... comes in motion maybe.

    But I like 'to stir'. Look:
    to stir in one's sleep
    stirred curiosity
    to stir imagination
    etc. The Nous is not really a movable thing. ))) You can say that it was set in motion only figuratively while you can really stir it if you try.

    Also, "the stability of creation" seems to me more like "the stability of the Universe", or "the stability of the Existence" for the word "creation" implies someone who created that world.
    Мироздание - is not 'здание мира' I think it's more like 'созданный мир'.
    Universe is bad, Existence is better but it means "всё сущее" and not "мироздание".

    And even though the Creator's existence becomes apparent when the meaning of the Dreamline is unveiled, the Silicoids wouldn't know that in their philosophy.
    They could have the philosopy (or religion) of their own. They have at least one 'saint' here: Прощальное пожелание Основы Разума as a proof.

    I think many of their important terms would have their roots in the stone-made objects as buildings, structures, etc. What do you think?
    I doubt it's that easy, why do you assume that they have something to do with buildings and structures? The fact that they're made of stone doesn't really prove anything. A living stone does not need shelter after all.
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  19. #99
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    Re: Please check my translation.

    Interesting thoughts.

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    Re: Please check my translation.


    Express capsules were used very widely some time ago. They were dropped by ships flying in the hyperspace having calculated the course in such way that the capsule entered the real space in immediate proximity to a planet. An expendable engine allowed to decrease speed and the parachute system provided landing. Its freight compartment could house about a ton of cargo or five to six unduly optimistic people.
    The only thing capsules didn’t provide was reliability. There wasn’t enough space in a flattened ceramic sphere for a backup engine so capsules burned in atmosphere. There were no spare parachutes and they crushed on impact with surface. There were no space for a stand-by navigation system and capsules missed the planets completely to drift in space forever.
    “I hope nothing wrong happens or we would end up on Terra.” Kay said as he was making himself comfortable in his seat. Arthur didn’t like his tone, but he chose to ask about something else:
    “Have you ever been on Tauri?”
    “Yeah, I have.”
    “How did you like it?”
    “It’s a good planet. You’re going to like it too.”
    “Uh-huh.” grumbled Arthur with doubt.
    A tiny intercom screen that didn’t even provide a stereoscopic view lightened up. They saw a silicoid.
    “Kay Althos. The Foundation has decided.”
    “Thank gods… Speak up.”
    “The Silicoid Foundation cannot make a final choice. Therefore it entrusts your fates to the stability of creation. No silicoid will undertake any action that would help or hinder you except for this particular moment. Curtis’s success in reaching the Dreamline would be accepted kindly as well as his failure. We entrust you to your fates.”
    There was a sharp jerk and the force of acceleration made them groan.
    “You had to entrust us… so rough… hadn’t you?” Kay whispered.
    The capsule was vibrating violently like an off-road vehicle. The picture on the screen disappeared since no communications were possible between ships in the hyperspace.
    “If we got drawn into the ship’s swirl we’ll end up a couple of parsecs away from the star.” Kay informed.
    “You’re telling me…”
    Vibrations ceased. The screen displayed a dance of digits as the navigation system started its orientation. Kay narrowed his eyes as he looked at the small lines.
    “What shitheads!”
    Kay’s fingers started flying across the control panel. Gravity disappeared then appeared back. Then the capsule turned around and a sharp whistling sound filled the cabin.
    “We will land in seven minutes.” Kay removed his hands from the control panel, “If our engine doesn’t fall to pieces at overload, and if the gravity compensator would absorb all the g-force.”

    Operators of the Persecutor’s sensors detected a capsule drop in the Tauri star system. This was odd enough, but the standard instructions recommended continuing the pursuit of the main group. The choice between thirty two thousand ships and a tiny capsule seemed easy – they simply didn’t know whom they were after.
    Three Terran ships continued their way.

    The express capsule had neither external cameras nor view ports. Silence signified the end of deceleration phase. When the gravity compensators were dumped there were a few seconds of weightlessness and there was a sharp jerk when the parachute has opened. Then there was only swaying in the air as they descended.
    “We’re going to land, after all.” Kay said with surprise, “Arthy, if you wanted a miracle then here it is.”
    “I don’t want anything…”
    “It’s a bad sign. Arthy, you don’t want to tell me about the Dreamline, do you?”
    “No, I don’t.”
    “You’ll have to.” Kay promised.
    There was another jerk of the capsule.
    “Happy landing.” said Althos as he was unfastening his seat belts. The capsule landed askew so that they had to climb to the hatch in the ceiling. This was foreseen by the makers and several step irons were provided on the wall for this purpose, “Do you know that such capsules were used in the Feud War for planetary assaults?”
    “Hardly believable.” said Arthur as he was releasing himself from the seat. He looked at the display and asked suspiciously “Are you sure that I’m going to like this planet?”
    “Yes, why?” Kay released the last lock and opened the hatch. Heavy snowflakes and icy wind burst into the cabin.
    “Minus twenty three degrees.” informed Arthur as he zipped up his jacket.
    Kay looked in the hatch opening with astonishment. There was darkness filled with snowstorm.
    “This is impossible.” he said quietly, “Tauri is a garden planet.”
    Kay pulled up and sat on the edge of the hatch, blinked for a moment getting used to the darkness. Untouched, deep snow was everywhere except for around the capsule where it melted a little. No stars were seen through the dense clouds.
    “You haven’t confused Tauri with some other planet?” asked Arthur as he was getting out too. The cold gave the boy a friendly embrace and made him shiver.
    “I had been living here for two years, after the labor camp. There are no winters on Tauri. It’s been terraformed to the ‘Eden’ class…”
    For the first time Arthur saw Kay being confused, frightened even. His bodyguard was afraid of no real danger. Althos was afraid of the unknown.
    “What is that light, Kay?”
    A dim violet luminescence was barely seen through the falling snow. It resembled a wall of light rising into the sky…
    “I’ll be damned!” Kay burst in laughter, “We managed to land within the compensation area, Arthy!” optimism returned to him surprisingly quickly. He grasped Arthur’s belt and jumped down onto the snow.
    “What are you doing?”
    There was cracking from under the capsule. The burnt sphere trembled.
    “I see.” Arthur said running farther off. They stopped thirty feet farther watching as the express-capsule disappeared beneath the ice. There was a splash of dark water that froze instantly. Snow started to cover the fresh ice.
    “Can you walk three miles?” asked Kay.
    “Let’s go.” replied Arthur hiding his frozen hands into his pockets. He needed no additional explanations – the compensatory zones of planetary terraforming facilities were six miles in diameter. An eternal summer that according to Kay prevailed on Tauri was provided by a hundred or so areas of eternal winter.
    They walked fast at the beginning. Snow was the only thing that hindered them as it sometimes went up to Arthur’s waist. Kay advanced forward and started clearing the path like a bulldozer. The shock from rapid change of recent events prevented them from feeling the cold to its full extent.
    “You did a nice job on the silicoid.” said Arthur.
    “Shut up and breathe with your nose.” Kay cut it short. His figure was becoming clearer as the eyes grew accustomed to the dark and the grey fabric of his suit was gradually covered with snow.
    As luck had it they walked into the area free of snow. There was only ice, smooth as glass. Apparently, this area of the compensatory zone had been cleared recently and the excess water was taken to the irrigation system. Kay fell two times, Arthur did three. By waving his arms Curtis junior gradually caught the trick of maintaining the balance. But in spite of everything, walking on the ice was much easier.
    When they hit the snow again Arthur felt that his numb fingers weren’t responding. It cost him quite an effort to put his hands back into the pockets but it didn’t help much. Then he fell. His legs refused to bend for some reason.
    “Kay I won’t hold much longer.” Arthur said as he was rising from the furry snow. It seemed very soft… and inviting.
    “According to my expectations you should have given up at the midway.” Kay said dryly as he turned to him. His face was white and cold as ice.
    “See you on Terra?” Arthur asked and sat on the snow.
    “Probably.” Kay Althos watched as the boy closed his eyes then he looked at the violet luminescence that surrounded the compensation zone. It was still slightly less than two miles away.
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