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

  1. #101
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    Re: Please check my translation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    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 disagree on that point (which I think might turn into a very interesting discussion of it own), but since it has very minor practical implication on the translation, I wouldn't insist.

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil

    During rare/the few minutes when another dose of viral phage had lowered the toxin level in his blood and his senses were returning to him Kay was thinking in the sterile cleanness of his empty ward. His delirium ended; his consciousness was clear albeit sluggish. At this point he could only recover or die if the viral phage that was administered in huge doses would have mutated and confused his flesh for virus. Soft manipulator paws washed him, changed his bedclothes, injected drugs and turbid liquid nutrients.
    When a woman wearing a green medical suit entered the ward with a raised visor he understood that he had survived.
    “My name is Isabelle.” she said as she was sitting on the bed.
    “A beautiful name.” noted Kay moving his disobedient tongue with difficulty. “You’re a blond angel.”
    “What is the name of your wife?”
    “A pretty nice/A pretty name too.” the woman nodded. “I am your doctor. Are there any gaps in your memory?”
    There was ice in the blue eyes of this woman. There were/They showed a long life and a long service for the Emperor. In some way, she was a doctor indeed, a surgeon that cuts off unnecessary cells of the social organism.
    “No… I think not… I can/Can I lose my memory, miss?”
    “We’ll see.”
    And they had seen. Kay told her about his childhood, about Uncle Raul that had left him a small inheritance, about the Endorian climate, about him evading taxes time after time, about his meeting with Karin and about Arthur’s birth.
    “He’s a good boy… he didn’t desert his father… Is he all right, miss?”
    “The Emperor doesn’t leave his subjects in distress.” informed Isabelle with dignity. “How did your ship perish?”
    “We started from Endoria in/on the evening of the thirteenth, on the sixth decade of eastern winds…”
    “… interphasers don’t usually play pranks, but …”
    “… Arthur was torn to pieces, Lord! One wouldn’t want to see things like that again.”
    Isabelle’s face remained straight. She had seen things much worse than a boy torn to pieces.
    “…the aThan did work, after all. I didn’t believe it would till the end, to be honest…”
    “…we found this shed and there was a dead old man and some tractors in it…”
    Isabelle put her palm on Kay’s throat and said without any emotion:
    “It is not good to lie to the servants of the Emperor… We want the truth, the whole truth… Kay. Your life is still too fragile… and you’re lying.”
    “Miss…” Kay was wheezing, “He fired at us, what could I do? God, they are all nuts here…”
    Isabelle wiped her hands on the bed sheet and smiled:
    “It’s better now. The Emperor doesn’t get concerned about the deaths of insurgents and bandits, but he likes sincerity.”
    Kay started nodding hastily.
    “You wiggled out of trouble pretty slick, Kay Ovald. The whole harvester is covered with blood from wheels to roof, as if it had gone through a slaughterhouse.”
    “Miss, I couldn’t think coherently when I was driving it. There were attempts to stop us… I didn’t hurt the Emperor’s people, miss, did I?”
    “You were lucky you didn’t.” Isabelle replied coolly. “You are a very lucky person. A mere merchant… and such prowess … People that go beyond their profession always stir my curiosity. Your business is commerce, not military deeds.”
    “We, the Ovalds have always been serving Emperor Gray hand and foot!” said Kay raising his voice. “My grandfather Arthur whom I named my son after fought in the Feud War…”
    “Drop it, Kay. I’ve heard enough about your grandfather’s deeds from the boy. They don’t concern you. Have a rest.”
    At the door Isabelle added:
    “We will report to Endoria about your lucky escape. Shall I tell something to your wife?”
    “Tell her that I love her… and tell her not to worry.”
    “The latter could be a bit premature.”
    The door closed and Kay lowered his head on a pillow. He could only hope that the old sly fox Curtis had envisaged everything. That he was smarter than this old woman from the Imperial Security Service.

    Sitting in her office, which was furnished plainly as was proper for an Imperial serviceman, Isabelle Kahl was preparing the weekly report. She took pleasure in a routine job that according to tradition was unloaded onto the Deputy Regional Commander. There were simple figures about civilian casualties, expenses of the Service and the numbers of recruited agents. But there was so much work, so many lives and even more deaths behind them.
    There was so much power!
    A message from Endoria came only by the evening. Isabelle browsed through the official information, watched the video that was shot by an agent in the Ovald’s house. Karin Ovald, a tall thin woman broke into tears after seeing Kay’s peaked and half-mad face on the photograph. But she quickly put herself together and pressed the agent with questions: “How to get in touch?”, “Why didn’t they pass on information earlier?”, “We’re not the last people on Endoria!”, “Will the Service pay for a flight to Incedius?”
    “What a gaunt bitch” concluded Isabelle as she stopped the record. This trader had no taste whatsoever. There is more to a woman than a beautiful face. It is clear now at least whom his son had inherited his features from. “Arthur Ovald. Surveillance.” she commanded.
    The screen came to life again but Arthur wasn’t in the small room.
    Arthur Ovald was in the shower. Isabelle was eyeing the boy closely leaning her head sideward. A handsome whelp. His father was not bad too but he was ruder and simpler…
    Meanwhile the boy sat on the bottom of the shower and started doing things teenagers sometimes do, for which shower had always been a perfect cover.
    Kahl felt herself as she started to get excited. Work had been leaving her little time for sex.
    Isabelle turned on the screening and took a dildo from the bottom drawer. Still looking at the screen she put her legs onto the desk…
    Arthur had been taking the shower long enough so that Isabelle Kahl could get all the emotions she desired. She brushed herself up, turned on the automatic secretary and said:
    “The Ovalds family. Cancel the red mode. The yellow mode for a week. Field supervision… Luis Nomachi. Video surveillance… video surveillance remains on me.
    She liked the recent sensation. The things she had to do with the Service Director Kurt brought little satisfaction.

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil

    On the next day Arthur Ovald was permitted to visit his father. Kay in a reclining posture was eating oat gruel. Its taste was just wonderful compared to the warm mineral water which they had allowed him to drink the day before.
    Kay silently handed the plate to a nurse, a red haired girl with a slim figure. He and Arthur looked at each other.
    “I’m glad you didn’t put your grandfather’s name into disgrace/didn't bring disgrace on your grandfather's name.” said Kay.
    Arthur smiled.
    “You look far better, dad.”
    “No wonder here.”
    Arthur squinted at the nurse and said:
    “They got in touch with mom… we were talking. I told her that there was no need for her to come. You’re going to be discharged in three days and we’ll fly home, right?”

    That old sly fox Van Curtis, he outsmarted the Service and I really have got a house on Endoria and a wife named Karin…

    “We will have to go, son. Someone at our spaceport needs a good scandal. We’ll shake everything out them… for the ship and for all this trouble.
    The red-haired nurse smiled as she was turning away. This big guy was very overconfident. The spaceport technical services had become very skilled in such scandals.
    Then again, this Endorian is very stubborn and lucky. Perhaps he would be able to squeeze some amount out of them … in a couple of years.
    “Arthur, bring me a normal sandwich…” whispered Kay Ovald behind her back. Here he is too. As soon as patients get the ability to move they immediately start dreaming of breaking the rules…

    …Luis Nomachi was a man of deceptive appearance. He was plump as a donut and very cheerful. He seemed to be glad at/about anything that happened. His ability to promote his career caused a few raised eyebrows among his colleagues. Luis was regarded as a stool pigeon; there were talks about some high-ranked patrons. But this was not the case. Luis simply could accept any rules of the game. Such as him survived on the occupied planets, persisted beyond resignations of their superiors, and went higher and higher, slowly but steadily. Their growth had been limited by the/their lifespan before but it was their time now, it was their opportunity. They could adapt to everything, sustain victories and losses, they were growing on the body of the Human Empire like a thorny weed. One couldn’t even call them immoral. They just corresponded too well to the current moment.
    Nomachi had some/an uncomplicated task this time – the controlling of two Endorians who were presently under a yellow mode – the father and son who made it from the regional aThan office to the spaceport. A lucky miss! Kahl did some initial checking and shuffled the case to him. Some passive surveillance, data checking – what could be easier?
    But why had Isabelle Kahl took personal interest in the Endorians? Why had she kept them in the red mode until she could talk to Ovald senior and query information from their home planet? Nomachi lacked Isabelle’s beastly intuition and seventy years of experience. But he trusted someone else’s experience and had persistence that was sooner peculiar to a door-spring rather than a man.
    He was crouching at the computer terminal and constantly chewing crackers from the package and opening one file after another from the “Endorians case”. There was a report of the outer perimeter guard lieutenant, a medical report, interrogation transcripts of the boy, a record of conversation between Isabelle and Kay, a report from the Service on Endoria. The average information authenticity evaluation is eighty six percent. Great! The golden middle… not too little and not too much to raise suspicions. They were lying about something, of course. Just like any other honest man would do.
    But Isabelle Kahl didn’t entertain doubts about them.
    Luis got back to the operative information. Here are the photographs of Kay and Arthur… Stop! They don’t look all that much alike. Karin Ovald cuckolded her husband? Possible… Luis queried the file with Karin’s brief description. The portrait… Well if she was the boy’s mother and Kay was his father… Luis ran a physiognomic analysis.
    Firty two percent. Arthur could be the son of them both, he could be born from another man, or he could be adopted. Then again it was an average result. Well, let’s try it differently: what is the probability that Arthur is Karin’s son… what is the probability that Arthur is Kay’s son…?
    Twenty percent. Six percent.
    Nice. The program found something wrong. The boy that had been the son of Karin and Kay could be neither Kay’s son nor Karin’s son. How extraordinary…
    The program could have a glitch. Karin could have cheated on her husband. The adoption bureau could have used the same equipment when it was selecting a baby and picked out a suitable child for the couple and not for Karin or Kay separately. It was totally unnecessary to begin the investigation…
    But the spring man couldn’t stop halfway. There were checks on Endoria, there were local checks. What was left out? aThan? An everlasting eyesore of the all-seeing Service. An everlasting shame. They were using aThan on a common basis and sometimes after some mutually successful exchange of fire they were resurrected side by side with their killers. Curtis Van Curtis’s Empire was a state within a state. It was very humiliating to know that all secrets of the Service could be downloaded from the memory of a deceased and generously resurrected executive. In spite of Curtis’s assurances he had been giving/that he had given to the Emperor himself, in spite of its outward friendliness, in spite of its reduced rates aThan continued to keep its secrets…
    But even the strongest armor had its weak spots.
    Luis made an inquiry for reactivation of the agent that had been recruited from amongst aThan employees. He sent it without motivation, hoping that it would be rejected. He didn’t want to waste time on this case… but he simply couldn’t stand falling back.
    His inquiry passed.
    “So be it.” said Nomachi to the computer terminal. “Let’s scan you all the way through in due order. You don’t pay taxes for nothing, do you…?”

    …Kay was exercising. The body didn’t weaken much; apparently his muscles were stimulated artificially during his illness. Kay was concerned more about possible surveillance so he had to restrain himself. The fact that the gym of the small hospital was perfectly equipped added to his vexation a lot.
    Having finished with yet another weight machine Kay looked for Arthur who was sitting on some framework that resembled a torturer’s workplace. His arms were fixed on some hydraulic springs.
    “Go, go, go.” encouraged mister Ovald to his son “wet your shirt while we’re paying this lot of/this much money anyway.”
    “Uh-huh” promised Arthur as he was slowly raising his arms.
    Kay went to the sauna and lied down on the bench feeling as his sweat was drying up. It was against the rules but it was so relaxing. Then he perspired again and waited until this sweat would dry up too.
    Arthur came and settled on the lower bench. After a while he said:
    “Mom must be worrying. When are we flying home?”
    This was a key phrase. Arthur was afraid of something, or just hurried to get to that Graal of his.
    “In three days there will be a flight to Ilion. We’ll be a stone's throw away from there.”
    “And the flight to Epsilon Volantis flies off tomorrow evening. We can fly it… I counted…It’s going to be faster.”
    “We should count money too, son” said Kay in a tutorial manner. “You know what situation we’re in. It will take some time to extract the cash from the skinflints in our spaceport… I’m going to the swimming pool and you stay and sweat duly.”

    Sixty kilometers away from the Imperial spaceport, not far away from the aThan compound, Luis Nomachi was speaking to its agent.
    “Are you sure our meeting is safe?”
    “The screen is secure.” said Luis with contempt.
    “You don’t know what our security systems are capable of…”
    “Yet you know of ours!”
    The golden haired creature of indeterminable sex made its angel-like face and said in a whining tone:
    “Such extensive demands… I’m ready to serve the Emperor, but…”
    “You have some ‘buts’ for the Emperor?” inquired Luis “I haven’t heard of such things yet.”
    The creature went silent.
    “I don’t give a damn about your problems. I’m sure that you @@@@ with every other man and woman in that hell-hole of yours. And I’m even surer that the video where you mash the genitals of a bulrathi would just fascinate them.”
    “L-listen, you have to u-understand me as one man understands another…”
    Luis burst into good-humored laughter.
    “What a droll little fellow you are. You should have been born a reusable stretching condom – you would have been in the place you belong to/in a place where you belong.”
    “My sexual life has only just begun forming into something stable…” said the thanatologist with a broken voice.
    “Form away, and remember the more information you dig up on the Ovalds the longer the period that you will be left alone. My regards to your lovers.”
    Luis walked to his flyer. He wasn’t afraid to turn his back on this sort/type of person. It was great that the majority of people find interracial sex unacceptable. This makes the minority very useful for the Service…
    As he was getting into the cockpit he thought also that should interracial contacts ever get legalized they would need to indispose the people towards something else: masochism, homosexuality or kisses in/on the lips. These would be nothing more but details.
    One cannot afford to lose so convenient a stratum of informants.

  4. #104
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    Re: Please check my translation.


    Arthur opened his eyes. Above him, there was a white ceiling with webs at the corners and a large round lamp shade hanging on the wire. He was lying on a bed, undressed and covered by a thin blanket. Sunlight was stroking his face like a warm hand.
    “Kay?” Arthur whispered.
    The room was very small. Its walls were covered with wallpapers, the only window was ajar and cool wind was blowing into. The only furniture consisted of his bed, a hard chair with a high back and a broad low polished black cupboard. Natural wood didn’t tally well with the overall shabbiness… but Arthur had seen many places that were ever stranger than this.
    “Kay?” repeated Arthur louder this time as he cast away the blanket. He stood and looked out the window having twitched the tulle curtain aside. It wasn’t high, so he didn’t see anything but trees. He looked at the dark-green foliage, at some fruits that resembled apples, at the yellow sunlight that penetrated the branches… Either chilly wind or some bad premonition gave Arthur a little shiver. It all resembled Terra too much.
    His clothing was folded on the chair. Arthur put on his jeans and come to the door. He touched it and the door wings, which were also made of wood, swayed a little.
    He wasn’t locked up at least.
    Very carefully Arthur opened the door and froze as he heard an unfamiliar voice. The voice was crackling and senile.
    “I didn’t like it on Maretta, no. Snow’s everywhere, how do you suppose to live there? In the last year we had snow lying here for two weeks. They said it was the new base in the mountains that caused it. We thought we would never recover. The gardens were frozen out so we didn’t even gather the first harvest, simply plowed it into the ground and forgot about it…”
    “Awful indeed!”
    Arthur smiled and leaned against the doorpost. He recognized Kay’s voice.
    “You’re used to this sort of things, naturally. What can I say if you’ve gotten out of the collector?! Still, I suppose you’ve got nothing growing on Maretta?”
    “Why? We have moss, icy grapes… we ship it to the Emperor himself.”
    “Not too bad…” said Kay’s partner in the conversation sounding not very convinced, “Of course, a real fruit…”
    “But we have fish instead. You would not even imagine the places we ship our fish to.” Kay said with inspiration, “You are yet to taste it if the business’s good.”
    “We would, I suppose.” promised the owner of the senile voice with no particular enthusiasm, “You could offer our apples on Maretta too…”
    “We’ve also collected much plankton this season!” Kay interrupted, “And not only the upper one… you know… it’s like small worms. We swept the sea bed too. You wouldn’t believe how much the bottom one had bred up during the warm period! It’s like… it looks like bugs but they live in the water. And what’s amazing – they don’t die when you dry them! Just drop them into a glass of water, let them soak a little and they’re playing again, little devils!”
    Arthur bit his hand in order not to laugh. There was a pause behind the door and then the stranger coughed and started over tentatively:
    “Here, in my gardens…”
    “I’m sorry, but it’s time for having some food” Kay said in unexpectedly strict voice, “my faith doesn’t permit me to commit this shameful act in the presence of strangers.”
    “Uh… well, have a good appetite.”
    “Humiliation cannot be good.” Kay informed sadly.
    There was a noise of shuffling steps then Arthur heard:
    “If your kid’s illness persists rub his skin with vinegar. It’s the best remedy against fever, believe me…”
    “I’ll pickle him.” Kay promised somberly. The closing door sounded as if it was frightened too. Arthur was shaking with silent laughter.
    “Come in” Kay invited from behind the door, “Let’s humiliate together while the food is still warm.”
    Arthur pushed the door. This room was noticeably bigger with a soft carpet that covered the whole floor, a long sofa along the wall and a glass cupboard with chinaware. Kay sat by the round table in the center.
    “I see you managed to get rid of the old man finally?” Arthur asked.
    “She’s an old woman. It was not that easy, by the way, she’s a rare sort. She was an obstetrician in the Imperial assault troops.”
    “An obstetrician, sonny. There were plenty of women there. Good morning, by the way.”
    “Good morning, dad.” Arthur looked out the window. “Trees, sunlight, clear sky. Where are we?”
    “Tauri as intended. The main supplier of fruits in this sector. We are from Maretta, dealing with fish and plankton.”
    “I gathered already.” Arthur made an attempt to sit by the table, but Kay shook his head.
    “See that door? Hygiene for a Marettian is above all. Then the next door – there you’ll find a fry pan on the cooker and the cutlery in the dresser.”
    Arthur washed his face in haste and went to the kitchen. The windows were wide open and Arthur saw gardens stretching to the horizon. He took the fry pan of impressive size from the stove. The stove was either very expensive or very old – it used open flame for cooking.
    “And the bread!” shouted Kay from the room.
    Arthur put the fry pan before Kay and was going to sit down again.
    “A well-mannered youth should serve his father while he eats.” Kay stopped him. He removed the lid and there was fried fish in there. It was very delicious, judging by the smell, “he should stand behind in order not to see the disgusting act of chewing. Then he’s permitted to eat the remnants, not disregarding the bony pieces…”
    Curtis stood behind Kay’s back obediently. He felt good. He was even ready not to disregard the bony pieces.
    “Sit down.” Kay said mildly, “You can forget about good manners, we don’t eat in the presence of strangers anyway.”
    “Did we absolutely have to be from Maretta?” Arthur asked while picking a piece of fish.
    “We could have come from Bootis, but I can assure you that you would care for your responsibilities even less.”
    They ate fast tearing the fresh bread with their hands and drinking somewhat salty water from the decanter.
    “Kay, I remember you carrying me a little…” Arthur hesitated but finished the phrase, “Thank you for saving me, but why did you take off my jacket?”
    “Because I could put it on myself, under the coat.” Kay answered calmly, “the synthetics are stretchable – it was very convenient.”
    Arthur said nothing.
    “Boy…” Kay caught Arthur’s chin and lifted it up, “romantic books where the weak are given warm clothing are very nice, I suppose, but I had to get us out of there. A light chilblain would have done little harm to you – the doctors patched you up in twenty minutes while you were still unconscious. Retaining the ability to move for me was more important otherwise we would have returned to Terra, do you agree?”
    “What are we going to do?” Arthur parried the question.
    “You’re going to rest. And I will go to the capital and buy us a ship. Don’t make faces, they have a good transportation network here, I’ll be back in no time.”
    “I don’t know anything about Maretta…”
    “Water, ice, fish, trawler ships. It’s like the compensator where we got into yesterday. The prevailing nationalities are the Kazakhs and the Mongols. These are the Asian types, very scarce. The Lithuanians and the Latvians live there also… but I don’t know what they are. There is also a small Meklon enclave … they mostly repair the trawler ships. The religion is a local variant of the One Will that distinguishes Nasar the Prophet as a godlike figure.”
    “Is that all?”
    “There is a terminal in my room. Spend about five minutes and look for yourself. See you.”
    Kay rose up and patted Arthur’s back. He walked towards the door and said:
    “Don’t walk far away from the house. The garden is huge – you can get lost.”
    “Are you going now?” Arthur exclaimed with a slight panic in his voice. Kay smiled at him from the door:
    “Arthy, it’s the safest planet in the Empire. I’ll tell you about it tonight… just believe me for now.”
    “There are no such things as safe planets!” Arthur glumly said to the closed door.
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  5. #105
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    Re: Please check my translation.


    Arthur Curtis dutifully watched a documentary about Maretta. It took him half an hour, so now he knew something about his temporary homeworld. He didn’t like the planet – there really wasn’t anything but water and ice. Such worlds usually gave refuge to the people who had sold their former territories or lost them due to natural disasters. The only interesting thing in the movie was the part about the Meklon enclave. Being members of the Tripartite Alliance they had been granted the right to live on the Human worlds. During thousands of years of artificial evolution these cyborgs preserved their semblance with six foot lizards. They looked ridiculously on the snow and their noticeable nervousness in near the cold water stirred involuntary feeling of pity for them. Having suffered a crushing defeat in the years of the Feud War, the Meklons became ardent admirers of the human race. By replacing their mechanical parts with ones of imperial manufacture they intended to become one with the Humans – an odd practice but it was encouraged by the Emperor.
    Arthur switched the terminal off and came by the window. From Kay’s room he could see not only the infinite garden but also the flickering barrier around the compensation zone. It gave the boy a shiver.
    He vaguely remembered as Kay picked him up in his arms and carried him through the snowstorm. It was a short moment for freezing Arthur, but it must have been infinite hours for Kay. He also remembered Kay’s swearing, confused faces, injections, a bathtub with regenerative gel… Then there was another injection – apparently a soporific.
    Kay got him out. But he borrowed his jacket with no hesitation and this fact vexed Arthur for some reason.
    “I beg your pardon…”
    Arthur turned around. He saw an old woman standing in the door. She was tall, gaunt, and wearing a short pink skirt and silvery t-shirt. The warm climate dictated its fashion to all ages. Her grey hair which was too lush to be real was decorated by a coquettish flower.
    “Good afternoon.” said Arthur Ovald, an exemplary son of a merchant from Maretta.
    “Well, it’s quite a different look.” the woman said with satisfaction, “you were barely alive when you were brought here in the middle of the night… I am Henriette Fiscallocci, my husband is a supervisor of the climate facility. You can call me auntie Fiscallocci.
    “Thank you, auntie Fiscallocci, I am Arthur.”
    The former obstetrician of the Imperial assault troops eyed Arthur openly with elderly curiosity.
    “It’s my husband’s fault, of course.” Fiscallocci continued, “it’s his duty to control the space over the zone… but who knew you would land right into the collector? All these express-capsules should have been banned years ago. I cannot remember worse a design, except for the ‘Needle’ perhaps… but they had been decommissioned after six months of operation. All right, all is well that ends well. Have you finished your meal, boy?”
    Arthur nodded. This old woman caused some obscure feeling of unrest mixed with curiosity.
    “If you get hungry I’ll be on the third floor. I’ll prepare and go away, don’t worry, I know of your customs. You have a strict planet, don’t you, Archy?”
    “It’s ordinary. But I’m not Archy, my name is Arthur.”
    The woman threw her hands up in the air.
    “It’s the memory, memory… I’m nearly one hundred and fifty years old, boy. It’s time already… but I still hang to something…”
    She turned around preparing to leave.
    “I’m sorry, auntie Fiscallocci, can I go for a walk?” quickly asked Arthur.
    “Go ahead… Pull some fruits. You haven’t tasted them when they are right from the branch, have you? You are the guests and my husband has blundered too. If you get lost go towards the collector – there is a path to the house there…”
    Henriette Fiscallocci left muttering something. Arthur gloomily watched her go. There were many things he didn’t like. Firstly, the fact that the old woman didn’t attack the new helpless listener with her talks of the gardens of Tauri. The second thing was her mentioning of the ‘Needle’. During the time when he had not yet begun his travels to Graal he collected models of old ships. Astonishingly beautiful and even more fragile the ‘Needle’ class small reconnaissance boats had never been in service in the Imperial assault units.
    Arthur walked to his room and put on his shirt. Then obeying some obscure feeling of protest he put on his jacket. It still held the shape of Kay’s body and it started to shrink on his shoulders adjusting to the boy’s figure.
    Send me a PM if you need me.

  6. #106
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    Re: Please check my translation.


    The whole house was made out of wood – all three storeys of it. Any man of Terran origin would be amazed at that but Arthur Curtis had seen even greater a luxury.
    He came down to the ground floor into the roomy hall. There were nobody there, the Henriette’s husband, apparently, was very enthusiastic about his work… or the company that gathered in the climate control facility. One wide and low armchair was occupied by a dozing black cat. In reply to Arthur’s quiet ‘pss, pss, pss kitty’ it rewarded Arthur with only a contemptuous gaze.
    There was a heap of magazines on a transparent table – gardening, social life of the Empire and Tauri, fashion and more. The collection was usual for a wealthy Taurian woman who expected the forthcoming aThan. Only the latest issue of the ‘Imperial military digest’ that was looking out from under ‘The Gossiper’ was falling out of the grand picture. Arthur wanted to browse through the magazine but he felt shy of this desire for some reason.
    He judged that he would certainly have the time for it later. Arthur opened the door (unlocked!) and exited the house.
    And in the next moment he was in the middle of an infinite garden.
    Tauri was always a paradise. It had a soft climate, fertile soil, numerous calm rivers and small lakes, and two not very big oceans. The planet was colonized shortly after the Feud War by hundreds of millions discharged veterans. They felt no particular desire to return to the Old Worlds that were overburdened with factories and poisoned with industrial waste. They colonized a paradise and improved it to their liking.
    Gardens separated by purely decorative fences, family estates, small settlements and cities that were the centers of culture and education – all of this was Tauri. The ISS on the planet was staffed with locals only. The Imperial spaceport looked like a parody to the planetary transportation center where infinite chains of ships were outbound carrying fresh fruits, frozen fruits, jams, vines… everything that could be sold. No planet of the Empire had so many liberties, no world participated so little in the empire-wide projects and paid taxes this small.
    But Emperor Gray remembered whose shoulders carried him to power and who defeated the armies of the aliens. He rewarded the military elite that survived the Feud War. Forever. And those who served in the Imperial military now knew this.
    Arthur walked along the path that was paved with stones by the flower-beds with unfamiliar flowers and looked over at the house. Its wooden walls were nearly white with slight touches of amber. The house looked as if it had been built only recently. There were no sounds except slight rustling of leaves. The air was infused with a sweet odor.
    “Hey, Marettan!”
    He looked around. A girl of his years… his apparent years, was hurrying towards him. She was swarthy with a thin ponytail on the back of her head, wearing a short skirt and a white boyish t-shirt. A heavy metallic disk hung on a sling that ran over her shoulder.
    “Hi!” said the girl as she approached him, “Was it you who got into the collector yesterday?”
    Her tone carried no offense. It sooner expressed some envy of adventure that fell on him so he didn’t argue.
    “My name is Rachel. And I know you are Arthur.”
    “How do you know?”
    “My father was at the climate facility yesterday when you were brought in.”
    “Does he work there?” inquired Arthur.
    “No, why? They just hang in there with cedar and VR. They have powerful computers here on the station so they play there…” Rachel went silent eyeing Arthur. Then having made up her mind she tossed her fringe, “would you like to go with me?”
    “You’ll see. Come on, this will be interesting!”
    Curtis junior hesitated. He wasn’t afraid of a probable trap – the girl didn’t look dangerous and Kay was quite sure in his safety too. Arthur simply had a formidable experience of excursions with his female coevals. Usually he had to listen to a boring nonsense about local points of interest and, not too infrequently, to answer an awkward and slobbery kiss.
    Yet, Rachel carried herself quite freely. Either she did not intend to perfect her future coquetry on the ‘Marettan’ or… her kiss might not be all that bad.
    “Let’s go.” Arthur agreed.
    Rachel led him finding her way by some sixth sense. In a couple of minutes all directions disappeared for Arthur. All that remained was the blue sky above his head like on Terra, the equally spaced trees and the ground which was soft due to leaves that had been falling on it for centuries. And there was silence, silence from everywhere, even rustling of the grass under his feet was sharp to his ear.
    Tauri knew no wars and Kay said even crimes here were rare and insignificant. Perhaps it was due to the fact that the planet was populated by the people who grew tired of killing.
    “Will you stay here for long?” Rachel asked.
    Arthur shook his head.
    “Pity.” the girl seemed really upset, “I don’t have many friends here… and they all live far away.”
    She sounded as if she never doubted that they would make friends. She didn’t allow herself to worry too much about it though.
    “Did they permit you to pluck the fruits?”
    “Pluck me an apple. That yellow one.”
    Arthur jumped up bending down the twig, broke the flexible stalk and silently handed the apple to the girl.
    “It is not customary to pluck anything without permission in other’s gardens.” Rachel explained biting off a piece of the apple, “Thanks.”
    “How about picking them up from the ground?” Arthur defiantly kicked an apple that looked no worse than the one he had just plucked off. Rachel laughed.
    “Well, you can pick them if you like, but who would do that? They don’t even gather them for selling. Arthur, why are you wearing a jacket?”
    “I didn’t get warm enough after the compensator.” Arthur growled. They didn’t treat natural products so barbarically even on Terra. Military contracts had undermined the ecology of the Old Planets.
    “We’re almost there.” Rachel informed ignoring his tone. “Hear that?”
    Arthur did hear a steady noise of running water.
    “I wanted to swim.” she said, “but I can’t swim alone. There must be somebody with a ‘leash’.”
    It finally came to Arthur what was that disk that hung on the girl’s shoulder. The ‘leash’ was an inertialess generator of a ‘flexible’ force field. If a button on a handle was pressed an invisible and ultra-strong force field pulled a man towards it. This device was used at construction sites, by mountain climbers… sometimes parents insisted that their children swam on a ‘leash’. But Arthur had never met a sane twelve years old person even though a girl that would agree to put on a ‘leash’ willingly.
    “Do you know how to use it?” Rachel asked and handed him the metal disk. The noise of running water was closer and a strip of blue sparkled through the trees.
    “I do.” admitted Arthur gloomily. Descendants of the Feud War heroes must have degenerated pretty well if they didn’t swim without a ‘leash’ on their cozy planet.
    “Don’t let me down.” Rachel said seriously, taking off her t-shirt on the move. She was wearing an orange swimsuit – a strong tie and a little bit (since more wasn’t particularly necessary yet) of fabric. A small ring for the ‘leash’ carbine gleamed on the tie.
    They came onto the river and Arthur froze.
    Its banks were made of concrete since no soil or sand would have remained there for long. The ‘river’ rushed out from the violet glimmer of the compensation zone. Thirty feet below them, spreading icy chill around, there raged a swirling and seething flow.
    “There’s little water today.” Rachel said with concern, “It must be shallow…”
    “Are you going … down there?” Arthur pointed down with his chin.
    “Yes, where else can I swim? The only alternative would be a branch duct filled with fertilizers.” Rachel pulled down her skirt, “there’s a shoal hundred yards down the flow.”
    Arthur saw the shoal. It was made of concrete plates that gradually rose from the water to the bank. The river narrowed at this point and spun into a whirlpool disappearing below the ground. Other channels appeared from below the ground fifty yards away around that point resembling blue spokes of a huge wheel. The water in them was calm and muddy. The channels stretched far to disappear in the gardens.
    “Attach the carbine” Rachel asked turning her back on him.
    “Could you jump right after the collector?” Arthur asked making no move.
    “Are you crazy? The water is icy – you can stay there for no longer than a minute! Buckle it.”
    Arthur extracted the small nickel-plated carbine from its clamp and decisively passed his hand under the tie of her swimsuit.
    “You’re asking for trouble!” the girl promised calmly.
    “You’re a fool.” Arthur pulled the tie “Are you sure it will hold?”
    “This is not my first time.”
    Arthur fastened the carbine. Rachel watched as he turned on the power.
    “Its charge is low.”
    “It’ll be enough for a couple of pulls. I’ll try to make it to the shoal, but if I get into the whirlpool then activate it. Do you see well?”
    “Better than an Alkaris.”
    “Then watch…”
    The girl took a run and jumped down from the concrete bank with a squeal.
    “What a crazy fool…” whispered Arthur peering into the foamy water.

    … Rachel had gotten completely dry by the time Arthur carefully descended down the concrete plates. Only her feet were covered with water droplets from the roaring whirlpool.
    “Will you bag some rays?” she asked.
    Curtis junior started undressing. He asked:
    “Do you have the aThan at least?”
    “You’re funny. Who would put the aThan on children?”
    “Curtis Van Curtis.”
    “I haven’t gotten around into getting acquainted with him yet.” Rachel laughed, “Do you want to swim?”
    “What would I attach the carbine to? My ear?”
    “Your tongue! We’ll think of something…” Rachel suddenly hid her face into the hot concrete and proposed through the laughter, “I could borrow you my…”
    “No way!” Arthur declared.
    Finally they decided that the belt from his jeans, if goodly tightened on his chest, would hold the pulling of the ‘leash’. In an hour or so Arthur knew that for sure. His shoulders ached till the evening though.
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  7. #107
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Re: Please check my translation.


    Formally, it was a free zone of space. Beyond the Silac star system Terran ships could be attacked by the Silicoids… but their mere presence here wasn’t a hostile act. Such were the laws of the galaxy after the Feud War.
    The Silicoids paid no attention to the unwanted guests as yet.
    “The armada is regrouping.” reported the captain of the ‘Persecutor’, “They are redirecting ships to different bases… which one should we follow?”
    Kahl’s plans didn’t trouble him much. The instructions he had received from Lemach allowed him to avoid combat. The captain had no intention to participate in the suicide that woman from ISS must had conceived.
    Isabelle didn’t answer. While they had at least some chances of success on Layon, the assault of the Silicoid homeworld was absurd. There were too many orbital stations, planetary bases and warships…
    “Are there all of them here?” Kahl asked.
    “What do you mean?”
    “The armada dropped a small ship near Tauri. Probably a reconnaissance droid or a scout ship.”
    “Could you be more specific?”
    “If they were Terran ships I would surmise a drop of an express-capsule.” the captain started to lose his temper. To his surprise though, Kahl was satisfied with his answer.
    “We’re going back. The destination is Tauri. I need that capsule.”
    Her words expressed no emotion. Let the time had been lost! What could she do if no communications were possible in the hyperspace?! One chance out of thirty two thousand was not all that bad. Here, on Silac there were no chances at all.
    A sense that can only be called scent often helped Kahl in the past. She invested too much effort and too much nerve in the pursuit. Arthur Curtis simply could not have perished in the hands of the Darloks or the Silicoid torture chambers. She will catch him… the boy that knows too much.
    Neither her subordinates nor the troopers showed any surprise when the three ships had entered the hyperspace again. They were beginning getting used to the pursuit for the sake of pursuit itself.

    The flyer landed on the clearing – a transparent ellipsoid attached to the disk of the gravity drive. Kay opened the door and jumped onto the grass. The yellow house was a hundred steps away in the trees. A sweet and gentle scent hung in the garden. It was moderately warm but not hot.
    If Kay Duch could fall in love with any planet it would have been Tauri. Maybe that was the reason why he had left it twenty years before.
    Kay visited a couple of stores in the town and now he was dressed according the local fashion. He knew that neither his variegated shorts nor the loose-fitting collarless shirt could make him look like a local. But at least he wasn’t dripping with sweat in his business suit anymore and his shoulder holster with the ‘Bumblebee’ was well hidden by the shirt.
    Kay came to the house whistling out of tune a melody which only a native of Shedar the Second would recognize. The cheerful anthem of the dead planet was one of the few things his memory desperately clung to.
    He usually remembered his homeworld only in big trouble.
    Arthur looked as if he was waiting for him. He was sitting on the hand-rail of the porch and Kay noted that he was barefooted and without his shirt. Tauri could relax people whoever they were be that a fish trader or a co-owner of the aThan empire.
    “Hi!” shouted Arthur.
    Kay smiled involuntary. Curtis junior was more a child now than he had been ever before, however Kay Duch almost loved this boy now without even knowing why, but having already realized this feeling.
    He wasn’t even afraid of losing his professionalism.
    “Kay did you see their channels?” Arthur asked. He was high on emotion and desired to share it.
    “We’ve got problems kid.” Kay preferred not to beat around the bush. Arthur’s smile faded… but not completely.
    “What happened?”
    “I found a ship in the port… it wasn’t bad and the price was quite acceptable.
    “I couldn’t buy it. We spent too much money on Incedios – clothing, weapons, medical services, tickets to Volantis…”
    Arthur frowned.
    “The aThan card was not refilled with money. No amount came since our hmm… departure from Terra. We’re far from poverty yet bur we cannot afford buying a ship.”
    “Money should have…”
    “Not a single credit. You can check the card yourself if you don’t believe me. Arthur, have you agreed upon such situation with Van Curtis? Can it be some signal to retreat for example?”
    “No.” Arthur jumped off the rand-rail, “The signal to return is different, Kay, honestly!”
    “Don’t worry, I believe you. The question is – what does it mean?”
    Curtis junior looked at his feet as he was digging the ground with his foot. The he raised his eyes:
    “This means that your contract with Van Curtis is terminated, right?”
    “Right.” Kay confirmed flatly.
    Arthur looked somewhere through his bodyguard then he asked:
    “Can I claim some money? To get to Graal by regular routes?”
    “Wait.” Kay put his hand on Arthur’s shoulder, “I made the contract not only with Curtis senior. I promised something to you also, right?”
    Arthur didn’t answer.
    “Kid, I will get you to Graal. But if Van Curtis had changed his plans we would have to negotiate the new terms of the contract. This is a fair offer.”
    “What do you want, Duch?” Arthur asked wearily, “What can I possibly give you? The immortals have no heirs. I will never own aThan. Even if I grow up a beard I would still remain an eternal boy.”
    “I want three things, Arthy.” Kay squatted down and looked up at Arthur, “I want information, a guarantee and a promise. You will redeem the promise only if you would be able to.”
    “Speak up.”
    “I want to know what the god from the machine and the Dreamline are. In general outlines at least. And I want to be sure that if we die then Van Curtis would keep his word…”
    Arthur shook his head.
    “… and resuscitate me if only for eternal torture at his residence. Can you describe my behavior in such a way that he would desire revenge?”
    “Are you a masochist?”
    “I want you to promise me that as soon as the opportunity presents itself you would help me to escape. The rest is up to me. Your obligations would end there.”
    “Kay, the words about tortures weren’t an empty threat. Two of my guides are already having that eternity.”
    “The easier it would be for you.”
    “Kay I don’t want you to be tortured.” the boy said seriously.
    “That’s nice. You will help me to escape then. I wouldn’t have been rewarded in any case, right?”
    Arthur thrust out his hand and said:
    “The information will be most general. Do you agree?”
    They shook hands.
    Curtis junior looked about and sat onto the grass beside Kay.
    “There is a portal to another space on the planet Graal.”
    Kay waited.
    “There is something that can be called god.”
    “Why ‘something’?” Kay asked quickly.
    “This is not a living being. I did say that it is a god from the machine.”
    “Why ‘god’?”
    “He… it… created our world.”
    “Be more specific, Arthy”
    “That’s enough.” Curtis junior cut it short, “I didn’t promise you full information.”
    “This is something at least. All right. What is the Dreamline? Why the Silicoids decided that it would do harm to the humankind?”
    “It wouldn’t do harm. It would just direct its development to another way.”
    “What is it?”
    “A technical device…” Arthur went silent biting his lip, “Kay do you want to know it out of pure curiosity?”
    “Of course not. I don’t like the Humans very much, Arthy. But I like the aliens even less. If the Dreamline weakens the Empire then I would terminate our contract.”
    “And kill me.”
    “I promised not to do that. And killing you wouldn’t help, right? So, what is the Dreamline?”
    The boy closed his eyes and asked:
    “Kay, let’s do it another way. If we reach Graal I would tell you everything and then you will decide…”
    “What would it change?”
    “I would relieve you of the promise you had given. Having learned the truth you may kill me.”
    “I don’t like uncertainty.” Kay said seriously, “To protect you without knowing whether it’s worthwhile – this is not what I call a good way to do business.”
    “Life itself is a total uncertainty.”
    Kay Duch nodded.
    “All right. Let’s consider this agreed. If I would have to do it…”
    “Then you would do it painlessly.” Arthur smiled.
    “As circumstances would permit, kid. But anyway, I will miss you.”
    “Are you serious?”
    Kay stood up and raised Arthur from the grass. They stood looking into the eyes of each other – a super from the destroyed planet and a clone from the ancient homeworld of the Humankind. A man who got used to killing and a boy that had been born for death.”
    “Come on, let’s see the channels.” Kay said, “Tell me how you dived.”
    “Have you been swimming in them too when you lived here?”
    “There’s no other water on Tauri. The whole planet is terraformed. Gardens, compensators, channels… four cities…”
    “It’s scary at first, isn’t it? And the water is icy…”
    “Everything is scary at first.”
    …Henriette Fiscallocci watched them go from the window in her room. She liked strong people and these two were very strong. Such men don’t trade fish from the frozen planets and such boys don’t grow up in patriarchal and clannish societies.
    The legend must agree with the personality in the first place and only then with the outer likelihood. She was taught so… many years ago.
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  8. #108
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Re: Please check my translation.



    The next morning was clear and warm as every other morning on Tauri. Arthur woke up with a slight pain in his back – even the local mild sun could burn careless boys, but this didn’t disappoint Arthur much.
    Henriette prepared a breakfast. It was a real Taurian breakfast: sweet fruity squash, toasts with jam, soft-boiled eggs and refreshing tea.
    “Are they vegetarians?” Arthur asked Kay.
    “No, but meat is usually served twice a week. It’s expensive.”
    “Will we stay here for long?”
    “Three days. Tonight I’m going to buy tickets to Cailis.”
    Arthur put the tea away.
    “To Cailis?”
    “The planet where you’ve been killed?”
    Kay nodded.
    “I don’t like it.” Arthur shook his head, “If you decided to get even with somebody along the way…”
    “My ship remained on Cailis.”
    Arthur Curtis looked at Kay skeptically.
    “This is Althos’s ship and he’s dead. How do you suppose to get it?”
    “I never register my name when I park the ship. Sometimes you have to get out under a different name. All is needed to get onboard is to enter the code.”
    “Kay, are you trying to say that you aren’t going to take revenge upon the man who killed you?”
    Arthur hesitated.
    “You too should visit Cailis.” Kay dropped, “You’ll see why.”
    “Okay.” the boy surrendered, “Just check the account balance when you are in the city. If there is money then we’re not going to Cailis.”
    “I’ll check it.” Kay rose from the table, “What are your suspicions about the local Service? Are they showing any interest in us?”
    “I don’t know already whether we’ve been suspected on Incedios or not, Kay. But Henriette…”
    “She’s clever.” Kay agreed, “But she doesn’t give a damn about the Service. All her speculations are just an exercise for her brain.”
    “She knows what the ‘Needle’ is!”
    “So do I, still I’ve never served in terror-groups. Arthy, if a man had a troublous life and then settled on Tauri that means he had enough intrigues and skirmishes. Do not worry. Henriette isn’t going to surprise us.”
    Kay had three more hours to think so. Arthur had less.
    “Do you need a gun?” Duch asked from the door.
    Arthur shook his head.
    “Have a good time.” Kay advised walking out, “Tauri is an ideal place for it.”

    Curtis junior had been training for nearly an hour on his porch. He was doing that for no particular reason, he had no premonitions. He was doing even exercises of the Synthesis Yo-Do which were oriented for defense. Yo-Do required no particular physical strength and was an ideal martial art for an adolescent.
    “Hey, Marettan!”
    Arthur looked out the window. Rachel stood by the door with the ‘leash’ disk over her shoulder. Having seen Arthur she beamed and waved her hand:
    “Let’s go for a walk!”
    “You’re going to like it!”
    Arthur closed the window and put on his shoes. He wasn’t accustomed to walk barefooted and had sore feet since yesterday.
    … Some five steps further Rachel felt as somebody’s heavy hand lowered on her shoulder. She turned over.
    A silvery mask with crystal eye lenses smiled at the girl. The pink human lips moved:
    “Be quiet girl.”
    A cold plastic palm smothered the cry. Marjan Mookhamadee knew how people reacted on her appearance. She dragged Rachel to the nearest apple-tree. Without removing her palm she pointed the stunner at the girl.
    Usually the ISS operatives were recommended not to use weapons against children. But Kahl let it be known that the rules were suspended this day.
    “Bye, bye” Marjan said and walked to the house. Cadar was already opening the door and his ‘Argument-36’ moved its barrel slightly poking at the narrow opening.
    “Clear” Cadar decided and entered the house. Marjan hurried after him. She heard a panting of the bulrathi behind her. She didn’t want to miss the party.
    At this very moment Arthur Curtis started walking down the stairs and Henriette Fiscallocci who was dozing in the hall raised her eyes from the ‘Women of Tauri’ magazine. She saw an emaciated man with intellectual polycharger of the latest model, a mechanist girl and a bulrathi looming behind them.
    “What the hell!” Fiscallocci exclaimed.
    The barrel of the ‘Argument’ was put against her forehead.
    “Shut up, old trout.” the mechanist stepped forward, “ISS. Where are the man and the boy?”
    Henriette Fiscallocci looked at the stairway where Arthur froze, still invisible to Marjan. Her gaze was clear and serene.
    “Girl, who is in charge of your group?”
    “I am” a white haired woman wearing powered armor pushed the bulrathi aside and entered the house.
    “Get out! I am a retired colonel of the ISS. My house is exterritorial.”
    Arthur Curtis suppressed a desire to sit on the footsteps.
    Isabelle hesitated for a fraction of a second.
    “Akhar, hold the old woman, she’s raving.”
    The bulrathi put a clawed paw on Henriette’s face and diligently made a humanlike smile.
    “Check everywhere.” Kahl ordered. Her voice quavered – she felt the taste of victory.
    Marjan slipped down the hall. She cast a quick look at the stairs leading up – there was nobody there. A faint sound made her change her plans.
    “Upper floor, Cadar.” Marjan turned her back on the stairs and looked at the door made of colored glass. There was another sound. Marjan Mookhamadee walked through the door without bothering to open it.
    It was a long, well lighted room. There were bookstands along the walls; optical disks gleaming from a transparent rotating stand. The screen was showing landscapes of Terra – must be an educational program. A big black cat was sitting in a deep armchair and looking at the screen.
    Marjan pointed the stunner at it.
    The cat hissed and jumped out of the open window resembling a negative of a lightning. It managed to hit the power switch on the player with its paw at that. The screen went blank.
    Mookhamadee laughed. The old hag had been entertaining herself by neural stimulation of animals. Well, the laws of the Empire were rough on this issue. Hardly the former employee of the Service would risk lodging a complaint upon the actions of her colleagues.
    She walked towards another door. The fragments of colored glass were falling onto the floor from her shoulders.
    Luis Nomachi entered the house. He looked with surprise at the bulrathi who was holding the paw on the face of an old woman sitting in the armchair.
    “Relieve Akhar.” Kahl ordered, “Our hostess is raving. She thinks that she is a retired ISS colonel.”
    Luis frowned. He didn’t like to enter conflicts with fellow-servicemen, let from other planets, let retired. But he liked arguing with Kahl even less. He came to the old woman.
    Akhar walked towards the stairway.
    “You won’t get away with this.” the old woman informed coldly.

    Cadar went upstairs. His ‘Argument’ twitched its barrel nervously. Cadar looked into one room, then another… He found neither Kay nor Arthur.
    Perhaps they were on the top floor?
    He saw a porch through an opened door. It was quiet and empty. He hesitated but chose to check this floor through. He passed by a table with plates served for two persons (they’re here!) and came to the porch. He immediately saw the outline of a small body on the bed. The ‘Argument-36’ lowered its barrel having acquired the target.
    Arthur Ovald. One less. Cadar pointed the polycharger at the head of the boy. The ‘Argument’ twitched in protest. Must be the blocking circuits installed by some egghead humanists? Cadar didn’t know that for sure. He had never shot at children before. He turned off the intellectual module and switched the ‘Argument’ to the stunning mode. The polycharger became firm and solid.
    Cadar pulled the trigger and moved his chin switching on the intercom device fastened on his chest.
    “I took one of them, my superior.”
    “The boy. Either he was sleeping or decided that nothing was threatening him under the blanket.”
    “Check his condition.” there was a triumph in Kahl’s voice.
    Cadar bent over the bed removing the blanket. He saw a rolled jacket, a crystal vase and a dozen of large orange apples. This unsophisticated still life made Cadar go numb for some reason. Nobody fooled him so easy before.
    A kick in the knee persuaded Cadar that his misfortunes had only just begun. He fell and Arthur slipped from under the bed and applied a simple painful hold. Before Cadar could remove his hands from this groin Arthur had snatched the polycharger from his hand.
    The most tragic thing for Cadar was the fact that he had switched off the intellectual module on the ‘Argument-36’. Now this weapon obeyed everyone just like the ordinary gun.
    “You need me alive.” the boy said and switched the polycharger to plasma fire with frightening skill, “And I don’t.”
    Cadar made a squeal. He wasn’t even afraid, only ashamed. As if answering to that squeal the glass burst in behind Arthur. T/san threw a somersault and flew into the porch. His huge body instantly made the room cramped and fragile. A flexible paw with many joints snatched the ‘Argument’ from Arthur’s hand, another one winded round his waist and held him close to its metal body.
    “You little brat…” Cadar whispered rising up. He was trembling out of humiliation he had just undergone. He didn’t even thank the meklonian. He lifted his hand and punched the boy in his face with all his strength.
    “Easy, Cadar.” Isabelle said coldly from behind his back. Akhar stood by her side with a predatory grin on his face, “It’s your own fault.”
    Arthur bit his lip and looked at them. His cheek was on fire but there were no tears in his eyes.
    “Where is Kay?” Isabelle said in a completely different tone.
    The boy didn’t answer.
    “Shall I question him?” Cadar asked readily raising up his polycharger.
    “You did your best already.” Kahl cut it short, “T/san, stun the boy.”
    The meklonian didn’t need any outer weapon. The scales of his armor opened and there was a blue flash. Arthur’s body became limp.
    “Search for the adult.” Isabelle said as she was taking the boy in her arms. Her size in the powered armor was nearly as big as meklon’s and Arthur looked small and weightless in her arms, “This order concerns everyone.”
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  9. #109
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    Re: Please check my translation.


    The town on Tauri was small and patriarchal. Kay spent a couple of hours in the quiet café which he loved staying at many years ago. It didn’t change at all. They still served splendid coffee and wonderful chicken grills, a couple dozen sorts of fruity ice cream here. Kay even thought that he recognized a couple of patrons.
    Then he booked two first class tickets to Cailis. He didn’t need to pose a skinflint this time. He only needed to buy a ‘Convoy’ for Arthur. He didn’t like that the boy was unarmed.

    “You’re in trouble.” Isabelle said, “You gave harbor to dangerous criminals.”
    “And you trespassed a private property, girl.” informed Henriette coldly.
    “I’m no younger than you are, bitch!” Kahl exploded.
    “The years didn’t add to you wits.”
    Isabelle and Mookhamadee exchanged glances.
    “What about the cat?” Kahl asked ingratiatingly, “A little black cat which likes to watch educational programs?”
    “Nonsense.” the old woman replied dryly.
    “Oh really? What if I ask the meklonian to find the cat and dissect it in order we could see its brain?”
    “You dirty mean bitch! Chasing children and animals is not a great valor!”
    “Don’t…” Henriette’s voice quavered, “I… lift all the claims.”
    Kahl looked over her subordinates triumphantly. Cadar put on a servile smile. Luis who was holding the still Artur’s body nodded approvingly.
    “Where is Kay Ovald?” Isabelle turned to the old woman again.
    Henriette didn’t answer.
    “Tsk, tsk, tsk, that will never do.”
    “He’s in the town. I don’t know when he gets back.” the old woman averted her eyes.
    Kahl didn’t think for long.
    “We’re leaving. We don’t need Kay all that much… he’s lucky.”
    “Isabelle!” Luis was the only one who disapproved her decision, “It’s only a few hours… this won’t change anything. We must complete the operation!”
    Isabelle was preparing to put the brash assistant to his place when a wonderful thought came to her head.
    “Perhaps you’re right. Akhar and Cadar! You wait for Kay Ovald here. Take him alive… preferably.”
    The bulrathi’s muzzle didn’t show any emotion. Cadar looked surprised.
    “This is your chance to rehabilitate yourself.” Kahl informed pleasantly, “Akhar will control your actions. He’s in charge.”
    Now the bulrathi couldn’t hide a content smile. His race sustained terrible losses in the Toucano conflict where Cadar had put himself on the record. The moment of triumph was sweet… like a slab of rotten meat.
    “We’re going to wait on the ship one standard day.” Kahl dropped as she was leaving. She didn’t even look at the old woman. She was not interested in the splinters of somebody else’s pride. The others followed after her.
    When they passed by paralyzed Rachel who was swarmed all over by the industrious ants Marjan said:
    “Is it worth the risk? Kay Altos… unlike Kay Ovald is a professional.”
    “Cadar is a cheapskate, but the bulrathi will deal… with Kay Ovald.”
    Marjan stopped.
    “We should get the girl father from the house…”
    “They’ll take care of it.” Kahl answered with an unexceptional voice. It was time to shorten the number of her assistants.
    …They encountered the line of Lemach’s troopers who were blocking the perimeter a hundred of paces further. The troopers were also a problem, but Isabelle preferred not to think about it as yet.

    They waited in silence. Akhar stood by the window, Henriette was sitting in her armchair and Cadar paced the room up and down nervously.
    “Hey you, coward!” the old woman called suddenly.
    Cadar turned to her in fury.
    “Whom did you call a coward?”
    “The one who responded. You are a coward and a cheapskate. Kay will soon finish you off, prepare to die.”
    Akhar made a grunting noise and asked without turning away from the window:
    “What about me, old woman?”
    “You are another matter.” replied Henriette quietly.
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  10. #110
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    A sharp nosed, swarthy girl sat under the tree. She looked like she was taking a rest. But her awkward attempts to reach her face with her hands gave away the truth.
    Kay bent over the girl. He was lucky he had landed his flyer on the clearing again. They seldom stunned children on Tauri and it wasn’t hard to draw a conclusion.
    “Don’t try to talk.” he said, “The superior functions will return a little bit later.”
    He put her skirt in order with one hand and removed ants from her face with the other one. His movements were almost tender.
    “You’re Arhy’s friend, aren’t you?”
    The girl nodded.
    “He was taken away?”
    The girl nodded again weakly.
    “There is an ambush in the house?”
    There was uncertain gesture either it was ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
    Kay took the metal disk from the girl’s shoulder. It was an inertialess power ‘leash’…
    “Do you want to help me?”
    The girl started nodding.
    “When I enter the house, slowly count to ten and activate the ‘leash’. All right?”
    Kay put the girl’s hand on the button and unlocked the safety switch. He could only hope that his belt was really made out of natural leather and it will hold the pull.
    “Don’t be afraid. They don’t have anything against you. Just push the button, okay?”
    In the silence of infinite gardens Kay Duch walked to the house to kill.

    “Stand by.” Akhar said. His metallic skirt rang when he occupied a position near the door. Cadar stood before it. His ‘Argument’ trembled as if it had felt the nervousness of his owner.
    “Only fools need intellectual weapons.” said Henriette Fiscallocci.
    The door opened and Kay entered the hall. He saw a skinny man with a polycharger that was pointed at his forehead, the owner of the house who was peacefully sitting in the armchair, and a bulrathi that froze by his side.
    “Don’t move.” said the man with the polycharger.
    “I surrender.” Kay said, “Don’t beat me!”
    Henriette raised her eyebrows in surprise. Cadar grinned. Bulrathi made a disappointed growl.
    “Where is your weapon, human?” the bulrathi asked.
    “It’s in my belt on my back.”
    Akhar slowly walked behind Kay and passed his paw along his waist.
    “No weapon here.”
    “It’s there, it’s there.” Kay said reassuringly. The bulrathi started to suspect some trick and froze.
    “He’s got something in the pocket of his shorts… and under his armpit.” Cadar said looking at the screen of his ‘Argument’. But the bulrathi hesitated.
    “There’s a metallic fastening on your belt.” he said at last, “What is it?”
    “I’ll explain.” Kay smiled joyously at the man with the polycharger. The man was very edgy and it could prove fatal. What the girl is waiting for?
    He shouldn’t have trusted the child.
    …For the third time Rachel tried to push the button. The muscles responded slowly and her finger slipped over the smooth surface. She bit her lip so that the blood came out and sharp pain spurred the numb nerves.
    The ‘leash’ vibrated generating a thin thread of the force field.
    “Shoot” the bulrathi ordered. Cadar pulled the trigger.
    At this moment an invisible rope reached Kay. A sharp jerk made him bend over. It was risky, of course, to attach the ‘leash’ to the belt.
    But the game was worth the candle. The mountaineer’s ‘leash’ didn’t just pull the falling man but also generated a force shield capable to hold a formidable rockfall. The bulrathi who was standing behind Kay’s back received a blow as if he had run into a stone wall at full speed. The field dragged him before Kay applying him against every corner on their path. The stunning beam emitted by the polycharger lost in vain.
    Henriette Fiscallocci, a retired ISS colonel laughed boisterously looking as Kay had disappeared with the alien. Cadar regarded her with an insane glance and rushed to the door.
    “Don’t… beat me…” the old woman repeated Kay’s words. She was convulsed with laughter again. Nevertheless, she stood up and minced towards the window.
    The ‘leash’ dutifully delivered Kay and the bulrathi to Rachel’s feet. The girl tried to crawl away when the furry body having dug a deep furrow smashed into the tree. Kay who was covered by the shield along the way jumped on his feet first. His ‘Bumblebee’ fell out of the holster somewhere near the door, but the ‘Convoy’ which he had bought for Arthur was in its place oddly enough. He pointed the gun at the bulrathi.
    Akhar, albeit nearly unconscious, remained still a bulrathi, the most fearsome warrior among the organic life forms. Before Kay could shoot, Akhar thrust his paw and grabbed Rachel by her waist. Blood came out where his claws touched the body. The bulrathi held the girl in front of him shielding the most vulnerable parts of his body with her.
    Kay was clenching the ‘Convoy’ in his outstretched hands and rapidly shifting his aim trying to point at the organs hitting which might cause an instant death. The bulrathi locked his diamond-shaped eye pupils on Kay and was synchronously shifting the limp body of the girl. This strange duel continued for no longer than three seconds but told them both everything that could have been said about each other.
    “Haey bool.” Kay said, “Uhronh-a bool? Meet Kay.”
    A shadow of surprise slipped over the bulrathi’s face.
    “Seech khomo? Ahhar meet, khomo.”
    “Ahhar? Jet? Dort Ahhar, Val Ahhar, Sheevookim Ahhar? Mit Kay Duch, Shedar-nek.”
    The bulrathi rose from the ground still holding the girl in his paws.
    “Sheevookim Ahhar, Ursa. Kh’haa neet.”
    “Release the child.” Kay said, “I will drop the gun and we will continue.”
    “Drop it.” the bulrathi agreed.
    “Sheevookim Ahhar, din Ursa.”
    “I swear!” the bulrathi said.
    “Meet din Ursa, khomo.” there was fury in the piping voice of the bulrathi. Kay swung his arm back and threw the ‘Convoy’ away. The bulrathi threw the girl onto the ground with the same easiness.
    “You shouldn’t have done that.” Kay said.

    Cadar didn’t believe his eyes. Kay Althos and Akhar walked side by side between the trees and having come onto a small clearing they separated and turned to face each other.
    “Holy Will!” whispered Cadar, “Scuffles is all he thinks about!”
    He raised his ‘Argument’. The polycharger started to acquire the figure that was partially concealed by the trees.
    “I will finish you.” promised Cadar to Kay, “I will, not you.”
    “Yes, I was mistaken.” replied the old woman from near the window. “Kay will kill the bulrathi, not you. And do you want to see how you will die?”
    Her tone was more convincing than her words. Cadar turned trying to point the polycharger at Henriette. Alas, the intelligent module, having acquired Kay, didn’t understand this move. The ‘Argument’ stubbornly bent its barrel tracking the previous target.
    “This is how.” concluded the woman. She was clenching something resembling a short pencil in her fingers. It clicked quietly and a thin jet of flame stroke Cadar in his face.
    He cried until his throat could cry. But it didn’t last long.
    “A weapon shouldn’t be smarter than a man.” Henriette mused trifling with the hot pyrocartridge, the old tool of the Imperial terror-groups, “It doesn’t take much to be smarter than this one though.”
    She dropped the pyrocartridge onto the beheaded Cadar’s body near the ‘Argument-36’ that was twitching hysterically. The disposable flamethrower contained nothing of value – a thin ceramic casing, pyrogel, a focusing sprayer and a primer. It was manufactured even at macaroni factories – in times when weapons had been more important for the Empire than macaroni.

    “Before I kill you,” said the bulrathi, “Tell me, who are you, Kay Duch from Shedar the Second?”
    “A super.”
    Bulrathi bared his teeth.
    “This complicates…”
    He didn’t finish the phrase and advanced forward. He moved simply, without feints and false moves – a quarter ton of muscles, hard hair, and instincts sharpened by evolution.
    With the same ease Kay made a series of short blows into the body paying attention more to the speed rather than the effectiveness. Two blows reached its target but the bulrathi simply ignored them.
    Kay never hoped he would.
    “Khtar” the bulrathi said. He slowly pressed Kay from the clearing. He would have received a critical advantage in the trees in spite of his formidable size. His ancestors lived in the woods.
    Kay Duch stopped. It looked like the deadly insult threw him off balance. Bulrathi grinned and ran. He wasn’t afraid of the blows the overconfident man could deliver before his death.
    There was only one blow in the junction of the rib plate and the left supporting belly muscle. The bulrathi made another step and stopped. His paws stretched for a deadly embrace started trembling.
    “O-o-o-oh…” he half-groaned and half-sang.
    Kay looked at him for a second. Then he pushed him slightly in his chest. The bulrathi heavily fell on his back. His body was shaking in convulsions.
    “Feeling good?” inquired Kay as he crouched over the prostrated opponent.
    “Lim…” whispered the bulrathi.
    “Whom do you work for?”
    “Nrap po.”
    Kay didn’t know who the ‘Ever vigilant’ were but it wasn’t hard to deduce. However he asked to be sure:
    “Who took Arthur?”
    “Isabelle Kahl… the ISS of Incedios…”
    Kay whistled. The white haired bitch found their track fifty parsecs away through the Darlok imprisonment and the Silicoid assault!
    They usually don’t search with such eagerness for a couple of men who broke from passive surveillance.
    “Bravo, Kay. Bravo.”
    He turned over. The old woman nodded approvingly:
    “I haven’t seen the aliens treated this lovely for a long time. And do you know about the shock points?”
    “I do.” Kay rose because the spasms of the bulrathi became too wide, “Where is the second one?”
    “In the ‘aThan’… or nowhere. I think that he’s nowhere for some reason.”
    The bulrathi’s agony ended.
    “I didn’t bring them, Kay” Henriette said, “I don’t deal with the aliens… or the ones who deal with them.”
    “Was there somebody else?”
    “A meklon, a mechanist girl… heavily modified, a thick-headed little fatman, and a white haired girl as their commander… Will you be cutting off the ears?”
    “What?” Kay looked confused.
    “The ears. The bear’s ears. It’s a legitimate trophy… a valuable talisman. They say they increase a man’s potency.”
    “I had enough of my own. Damn!”
    Kay kicked the bulrathi and ran to where Rachel was lying.
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  11. #111
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    “Endure” Kay said to the girl. He held her head on his knees and Henriette was busy removing her clothing and applying bandages on her wounds. The sofa which the girl was laid on was covered with brown spots.
    “What a beast, the alien beast…” murmured Henriette, “ripped the kid… don’t be shy, my dear, and don’t be afraid of anything. The bulrathi is dead, completely dead. Uncle Kay killed it, it won’t do it again.”
    “The aunty was up and doing too.” Kay noted looking at the charred door frame. Even though they had removed the corpse and dropped it in the manure pit, the smell still remained.
    “It’s nothing to worry about.” Henriette continued her cooing, “The wounds are shallow. They just look so scary. We’ll heal them in a week or so and then we’ll deal with the scars. Aunt Fiscallocci knows how to heal… you’ll be a beauty as before.”
    “Is this really necessary?” Kay asked “All this baby talk I mean? I did notice you using quite another vocabulary.”
    “Uncle Kay is rude” Henriette informed, “Rude although good. We have a quiet planet here, we’re afraid of such people. We’re peaceful people… the aged ones and the kids.”
    “Yes, because the young usually serve in the Imperial military.” corrected Kay. He gave a wink to the girl who was patiently enduring both the treatment of her wounds and chattering of the old woman. She winked back rather freely. The stunning effects were wearing off.
    “And here goes the last plaster…” sighed Henriette, “I wish I had herbs, still, hardly they would help with wounds like these.”
    Kay only shook his head. He asked the girl:
    “Have you tried speaking?”
    She moistened her lips and whispered:
    “Rachel. This is my name.”
    “I am Kay. Thank you for the ‘leash’.”
    “Will you rescue Arthur? Ouch!”
    Henriette jerked back her hand guiltily and shook her head:
    “Hey, you’ve got a broken rib… have you been enduring that?”
    “I have.” Rachel admitted, “You don’t need to hurry with a doctor… if you need time… I understand.”
    Kay and Fiscallocci exchanged glances.
    “Such girls as she delivered children between the raids” Henriette said, “because the Empire needed soldiers. And then they were running under fire.”
    …The little bastards always creep under the nozzles…
    Kay Duch shook his head as if he was trying to shake out the memory and said:
    “I have to go. And you need to call a doctor.”
    Henriette hesitated.
    “Rachel, honey, will you wait for another fifteen minutes?”
    “Make it an hour if you like.”
    “Only a quarter. Kay, you need to drink a cup of coffee.”
    “Well, if I have to...” Kay lowered the girl’s head on the pillow and said:
    “I will rescue Arthur, you can be sure of it.”
    “There was a woman… with a silver face.”
    “I will make earrings out of it and send them to you.”
    “I would prefer a ring.” the girl said after some thinking, “My mother doesn’t permit me to pierce my ears. And… it would be more interesting this way. Will you came back?”
    “Of course. To lick the wounds. Or to recruit cutthroats for a little war.”
    “Sign me in.” Rachel said without any irony.

    The coffee was prepared in accordance with the local customs – without sugar, with cold cream, and with ice cubes in it. Henriette generously added some harshly smelling liqueur into their cups. Kay had not seen such liberties before but chose not to argue.
    Honestly speaking Kay would have preferred a glass of cognac. But Fiscallocci didn’t offer anything else even though the bar in her room was full. The room itself would sooner be suitable for a terrorist mercenary rather than an aged gardener.
    “Reminders about hard deliveries, huh?” Kay nodded at the weapons that hung all over on the walls. There was even an ‘Ultimatum’ and Kay smiled at it as to an old friend.
    “Your irony is idle.” Henriette put away her cup and stroked the cat that perched on her lap, “I was also an obstetrician.”
    “So you’ve been working for both life and death?”
    “It wasn’t hard. The war lasted for seventy years as you remember.”
    “I was born later.”
    “Oh really? You so easily hit the sigmoid gland…”
    “My teacher was really good.”
    “Why was?”
    “He died. And I didn’t cut the ears either.”
    “Kay, Kay…” Fiscallocci shook her head, “what a rude boy you are.”
    “Why did you help me?” Kay asked directly.
    “I was a colonel in the ISS terror-groups. My house is untouchable for the Service. This is a privilege granted by the Emperor himself… and no rejuvenated cow has a right to break it.”
    Kay knew the name of the only female colonel during the short and dark history of the terror-groups but he preferred to leave this knowledge for himself. The woman that had sent a hundred and fifty thousand aliens and a couple hundred humans to hell had a right to live under any name whatsoever.
    Moreover, under her true name, she wouldn’t have lived long. When the Meklons and the Bulrathi were signing the Tripartite Alliance pact with the Humans they had specified the list of humans whom they remained at war with. This old woman who called herself Fiscallocci was in this list.
    And what she had just said was a sign of a great deal of trust… or a dose of poison in his coffee.
    “…I don’t like it when humans are being hunted by the aliens.” the woman continued calmly, “and I liked you and your so called son for some reason.”
    “I must go.” Kay said. Henriette lowered the cat onto the floor and nodded.
    “Yes, unfortunately… I wish I could talk to you for a couple of evenings, but… Kay, remember what I’m going to tell you…”
    He was listening for seven minutes. It was brief, very precise characteristic of each of the raiders that had appeared in the Henriette’s house, “…ductile and direct. He will squeeze anything out of the standard situation, but … she needed the boy only… when he was captured… a meklon having the most advanced modifications, it would have grinded you to dust, but its limbs move asynchronously in its travelling transformation. It’s a sure sign of a bad splicing of mechanical and organic parts… decide for yourself whether it will help… disregarding physical strength she is more dangerous than the meklon. She has great ambitions…”
    “Should I repeat?” Henriette asked.
    “I have absolute memory.”
    “I see. I am sure of their direction, they went south-east. The distance you will find yourself. Your ‘Bumblebe’ is in the flower bed with forget-me-nots – pick it up. What else… let me remember… Heavy weapons?”
    Kay looked at the wall.
    “Everything is loaded and working. But there are only old models. Nostalgia, you know…”
    “The ‘Argument’ wasn’t all that persuasive.” Kay noted while eyeing the weapons.
    “I wish there was an ‘Excalibur’. Alas, I don’t have it… And my armor is too small for you… you shouldn’t have grown up shoulders that big. And don’t take the ‘Ultimatum’! Even you will get exhausted with it!”
    “I will take the ‘Chance’” Kay decided and unfastened it from the wall.
    Henriette nodded approvingly and said:
    “It’s great to see that not all of the young has gone nuts. Take it. It is a good ‘Chance’.
    “Yes.” Kay agreed, “One of a hundred.”
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  12. #112
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    Arthur didn’t remember how he was brought onboard the Service ship. Either the meklon miscalculated the power or it deliberately dosed him with a greater stunning charge than it was necessary. He woke up with pain in his chest.
    He was in a tiny square room which was a copy of his cell in the Darlok prison. The only difference was the fact that it was not transparent… from inside. There was a toilet bowl, a washstand, and a polyurethane mattress on the floor. He was lying naked and a man in a powered armor was sticking electrodes to his chest.
    “Are you awake?” Nomachi asked without stopping his work. He inserted yet another platinum needle under his skin and applied a fixing plaster over it. “Do you know what is it?”
    Arthur shook his head.
    “It’s easy, my little friend. This is a reanimation complex. If you try to stop your heart or cease breathing then the complex will take control over these functions. Is that clear?”
    The cell door opened and there was Isabelle Kahl standing in the door… a woman who questioned Arthur on Incedios. She was wearing the same blue skirt and white blouse with broad sleeves. Curtis didn’t recognize her in the house when she was in the powered armor, but now he was very proud of himself. His intuition didn’t fail him. They escaped Incedios just in time… but the Service managed to catch up with them anyway.
    “Have you finished, Luis?”
    “In a moment.”
    “Do it then and go to the cockpit. It’s too cramped in here.”
    “I would better perspire for a little more in the armor than let the kid get away.” Nomachi said sounding slightly offended.
    “Okay, never mind.”
    Luis glued the controlling chip to the boy’s skin. Then he produced a fixing spray tube and carefully covered Arthur’s chest with transparent film.
    “It’s done.”
    “Go then.”
    Nomachi rose, cast the last satisfied look at Arthur, and clumsily went out. Curtis junior and Isabelle Kahl remained alone.
    “Well, we’ve met again.” Kahl said as she squatted down beside Arthur. Her voice was nearly tender, “Do you know what I need?”
    “A good psychotherapist.”
    Isabelle laughed. Her voice was clear and happy.
    “No, this is not necessary now. You are Arthur Van Curtis. Are you going to deny that?”
    “I’m not going to answer your questions.”
    “Oh, we know how to ask them, Arthur. You have lost and you don’t have any choice.”
    “Where is Kay?”
    “So, you want to ask questions instead? Okay, I will answer. Kay will soon be brought here.”
    “Ha ha.” Arthur said it with the most offensive tone he could express.
    “You think so much in his abilities? I’m not going to argue. Having a bit of luck a well-trained man can escape from a bulrathi… or even kill him. But I don’t need Kay very much. He was a pawn that defended the king. And the king…” Isabelle extended her arm and patted Arthur’s hip, “the king was stalemated.”
    “You know.” Arthur said thoughtfully, “I don’t even feel shy before you.”
    There was a strange expression on Kahl’s face that quickly changed into a smile:
    “You’re not a twelve years old boy, my friend. Your resourceful father drove you through the aThan in order to fool everyone. But you are sixteen… I think you had enough girls to get used to that sort of things…”
    “No,” Arthur smiled, and Kahl didn’t like this smile, “I am a shy person. But I don’t give a damn about you. You are already dead. You’ve been dead from the moment you had set your gang on us. I don’t have complexes before corpses.”
    “I will have to prove that I am alive to you then.” Kahl’s voice didn’t promise anything good. But her hands, it appeared, were living a life of their own.
    “You won’t have the aThan, you won’t have a job, you won’t have a home…” Arthur continued, “You’ll be exiled to some hole that doesn’t even have a name yet. By personal orders of the Emperor… he… will agree… with Van Curtis.”
    “Well, am I alive still?” Kahl laughed.
    “You really need a psychiatrist.” Arthur said.
    “No, kid. I need the aThan, and you’re going to tell me how your father carries out the final stage of the assembly. I need the instruction on how to kill people with a neural grid. And the last thing that I need…” Kahl bent over the boy and whispered, “… is the truth about where you are going. What is Curtis’s business which he sends his son to see to?”
    “You’ve got a foul breath.” Arthur said.
    “I’m tired of you.” Kahl informed. The cell door opened and she rose from her knees. Marjan Moohammadee calmly looked at them, “It’s good you have come. Work a little with the boy.”
    “To which degree?”
    “Three A”, Kahl winked at Arthur, “You’re going to like it.”

    The ‘Chance’ wasn’t a heavy weapon. The six barreled automatic laser fire system also known as Matynenko fan laser, or simply a ‘saw-mill’ resembled a multi-barreled machine gun from the dim past. Its six barrels were assembled in pack on a rotating spindle. Each barrel diverged slightly. The rotating lasers activated for short periods of time in random order which allowed them to cool down and provided a wide effective range of fire. This was a weapon akin to the ‘Ultimatum’ – the weapon of the Feud War which was designed for poorly trained users… or for combat of a single professional against many opponents.
    Kay preferred to think of himself as of a single professional.
    He didn’t know how many men or non-men were opposing him. Henriette saw four but this didn’t mean anything. Anyway, the meklon should be counted for dozen as well as the mechanist girl.
    He was walking in the garden trying very hard to spot any tracks... but in vain. He was after the professionals that were equal to him. It was quite possible that the Service ship was already in the orbit… and a burned launch site was all he was going to find.
    Then Kay felt a burnt odor. The wind carried it from the west and Kay understood that he nearly missed his target. The ship landed very close to the house.
    “I hope your garden is insured… Vanda Kahowsky…” Kay said unlocking the safety switch on the ‘Chance’. The barrels of the beamer sang quietly as they started to rotate. There was no vibration – the fan laser was perfectly balanced and Duch nodded with satisfaction.
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  13. #113
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    Chen Chamree stood twenty paces away from the ship where the burned ground was changing into the burned trees. Kahl didn’t ask to set out the guards but such laxity sickened the Imperial sergeant so he drove six privates out the ship and posted them sentries. Satisfied, he simply enjoyed the scenery.
    Chen was born on Mentar, a hot and arid planet, but having some strange charm of boundless desert. Now Chen was trying to figure out about whether he liked it on Tauri or not. There were more contras than pros so far: many trees, the sky was too dark, and the climate was rather cool (for a Mentarian).
    The only thing that Chen liked was the abundance of fruits. He plucked a strange fruit that looked like an apple, but had the taste of a strawberry and walked towards the silvery cone of the ship.
    “Hey!” somebody called from behind. Chen turned.
    He recognized Kay Ovald immediately. He also recognized the weapon in his hands, the fan laser. They knew how to use ancient equipment in the Assault Troops.
    “Don’t be crazy.” Chen asked, “Drop down the weapon and they will spare you.”
    The man whom Kahl pursued so hard didn’t answer. Chen sweated. The six barrels of the ‘Chance’ were idly rotating pointed at his belly.
    “Your son is all right,” Chen made a step towards Ovald, “The Incedios Service has some questions to you, that’s all… lower your weapon, you’re just a merchant!”
    Kay Ovald laughed. The easiness he held the multi-barreled weapon with made Chen realize the absurdity of his own words.
    “You’re not going to assault the ship alone, are you?!” Chen shouted. The nearest sentry was fifty yards away… they surely had heard him.
    “No, I am not.” replied Kay activating the fan laser.

    The ships of the Service weren’t designed for combat, particularly for the planetary one. One could listen to telephone conversations on the other side of the planet… but couldn’t scan the surroundings.
    “What’s happening?” Isabelle broke into the cockpit. T/san and Sergeant Ralph Gordon were already there.
    “Slaughter.” T/san turned his head, “Deputy Commander Kahl, I suppose Kay Ovald has some heavy weaponry at his disposal. I request permission to exit the ship.”
    Kahl didn’t answer as she looked at the screens. The gardens of Tauri burned poorly, only plasma charges of personal ‘Cobras’ made some trees to catch in flames. Still the amount of fallen or chopped apple trees was enough to fill a formidable timber-yard.
    “Have you seen the ‘Chance’ in the house?” Kahl asked.
    “Yes, it was in the collection on the third floor. I presume Cadar and the bulrathi are dead.” T/san started to move towards the exit.
    Ralph was looking at Isabelle quizzically. His dark skin changed color to grey.
    “I’m leading my men out.”
    “Don’t” Kahl half asked and half ordered.
    “I’m not a subordinate of yours.” Gordon didn’t try to conceal the contempt in his voice, “I am not leaving my men.”
    Isabelle raised her arm and the metal gleamed from under her sleeve.
    “My regards to Lemach.” she said, “Tell him we’re coming soon.”
    A plasma charge from the ‘Guardian’ threw Ralph onto the floor. His hand clenched the pistol handle but he didn’t have time to take it out.
    “Hhrooz.” the meklon said. His imperturbability had its limits too, it appeared.
    “T/san, take Moohammadee and take care of the others.” Isabelle ordered.
    “I have a right to disobey that order.” the meklon sad coldly. “Being an associated Imperial serviceman I protest against the attempt of mutiny.”
    “This is not a mutiny.” Kahl lowered her hand. It was stupid to contend with the meklon having only a low-power ‘Guardian’ as a weapon, “I will present all the explanations later. Our actions would be beneficial for both Terra and Meklon.”
    T/san hesitated.
    “I will take the ship off and you will take care of the soldiers.” Isabelle repeated, “They all have the aThan, it’s not a murder even. We need our hands free, T/san.”
    The meklon left without saying a word.

    Kay was lying in the black water of the irrigation ditch and watching the ship taking off. It stopped and hung in the air two hundred feet above him and was swaying on the orange crown of flame.
    “So are you in for some ironing?” Kay asked the invisible pilot. Water could protect him against the plasma exhaust and even against the gravity strike… if somebody would be careless enough.
    The cone started to shrink in the distance.
    Kay Dutch lay in the ditch for several more minutes. He didn’t intend to assault the ship alone, this was too naïve. Kay was only interested in Kahl’s reaction on his attack.
    The reaction was the most disappointing – she ran away. They let him know that the Service had no interest in him. They left him alive. They even ignored the seven bodies… not to mention the bulrathi and the man with the polycharger.
    The blond woman from Incedios simply watched his reaction.
    “You really show more interest in the process rather than the result.” Kay said as he sat on the ground, “We’re very much alike in this.”
    The ‘Chance’ weighted down so he put it onto the ground. It will be found by the local Service operatives and returned to Henriette. Kay had neither time nor any reasons to wait for their appearance.
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  14. #114
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    Re: Please check my translation.


    Cailis greeted Kay with a rainy and dark morning. The almost forgot how autumn looked like… only a few planets were as rich as Tauri or Terra to afford the full climate control. The passengers, scarcely thirty, were standing under the belly of the liner in expectation of the transport. The spaceport staff was unloading containers from the cargo hold not very far away from them.
    “They practically spit on us.” muttered a man that was standing beside Kay, “Don’t you think?”
    Kay only shrugged his shoulders.
    “It is always so. Should you only take on the cargo-and-passenger flight from Tauri…”
    Duch looked at the rain. Broken mirrors of puddles covered the grey concrete that stretched on to the horizon. It was damp, it looked like the rain intended to pour seriously and for a long time. The warmth that was radiated by the hot hull only made things more unpleasant.
    “The imperial ship flies off only in three days and the price… Do you happen to know why did they raise the price?”
    The liner soaked completely at last and small black spurts started to fall down from its sides. It looked like somebody had shut the dark curtain around them.
    “I don’t know I came here incidentally.” Kay said.
    “Oh don’t you know that all prices went up. For all destinations, all kinds of transfers. This is…”
    “A war is coming.” Kay replied drily. The man went silent thinking it over. Then he forced a laugh:
    “You’re just a pessimist! They say it is caused by the series of sabotage on the fuel refineries.”
    “So that’s why I’m saying that the war is coming.” Kay explained patiently. The orange spaceport bus slowly wheeled under the liner.
    “You are a pessimist.” the man repeated sadly.
    “And you’re a chatterbox.” Kay took his bag and walked to the bus. He spent five days of the flight without leaving his cabin. He was feeling bad. He failed. He miserably failed as a bodyguard.
    Yet, he was still not bad as a killer.

    The Taurian liner landed not in the local spaceport where Kay’s hyperboat waited for him, but in the Imperial one which had a standard design, the same for any world. Its bleak violet domes may have looked grandiloquent and old fashioned on Tauri, but they fit very well on Cailis that was muffled up in the rain.
    The bus was moving across the spaceport field in sophisticated arcs driving around occasional ships. Kay was sitting beside the window and looking at a lighter that was taking off in the distance. It was old and overloaded judging by how it was gaining the altitude, slowly and heavily. The local bureaucrats seemed not to care much about the ships condition.
    At least, nobody crept under the nozzles here.
    The customs controls turned out to be a simple formality. A standard test for infections, a thin booklet with laws – some local additions to the Imperial Code, a declaration that permitted to have a two weeks supply of drugs for personal use and asked sternly whether he had in the luggage some mysterious ‘Angarian memorandum’ in any reproducible form.
    Kay had to pay a little charge for the ‘Bumblebee’ and the ‘Convoy’ but there was no questions about the weapons. He had the impression that even if he had brought the ‘Chance’ with him they would have allow it through as well.
    Cailis appeared to be a very liberal planet. Kay had noted this fact already during his previous visit here.
    He had a cup of coffee in a small restaurant on the upper floor and forced himself to finish a chop of meat that reeked synthetics. He was offered several cars in the rent bureau and he chose ‘Mizan-Tornado’, and inadvertently attained sympathy from the bureau staff by doing that. ‘Mizan’ didn’t look all that luxurious but it had a powerful engine under the plastic hood and a user friendly control system that was made under the Meklon license. There were flyers for rent on the adjacent pad but Kay didn’t need to go very far. All he needed was in Angobad, the capital of Cailis.

    Narasin Hun had been working at the hotel ‘Bad weather’ for six years. It was a period long enough to learn how to select a suitable room for a new client, the most expensive one he would agree to take.
    With this client, the receptionist felt neither money nor their absence. Only big trouble.
    “I need your shift relief.”
    “Which one?” Narasin’s desire to argue evaporated for some reason.
    “Thick, about my height, with scanty beard.”
    “Well…” Narasin caught the gaze of the man and went silent. The stand he was receiving clients behind was high enough and he needed only to push a button in order to raise the armored glass. But Narasin didn’t think it would help. There was a very big holster on the man’s belt and he looked like he had been breaking armored glass at morning exercises, “You must be looking for Gierge Savane?”
    “You know better. Where is he?”
    Narasin helplessly looked at the hotel detective. He was sitting in the far corner of the hall at the surveillance monitor and was very fascinated with the things that were taking place in some room…
    “Don’t make me kill the old man,” the man said calmly, “What do you like more, three bodies including yours or the one that doesn’t concern you?”
    Narasin Hun made a desperate attempt to gather all his courage.
    “What are you trying to involve me into, mister? What bodies? We have greater penalties for aiding the criminals than for murder itself…”
    Surprisingly, it had some effect.
    “The sooner I find your shift relief the greater are his chances to survive.” the man informed calmly, “You are not in trouble yet.”
    “He’s in the room one hundred seven, it’s along the corridor to the right.” Narasin made up his mind. “He’s been working all the night and now is having a rest.”
    “Thank you.” the man walked away from the stand then turned around and said in a confidential tone:
    “Bear in mind, I have the aThan.”
    There was an old but reliable ‘Style’ laser pistol in the Narasin’s drawer, and the communicator allowed him to call to the room number one hundred seven in a matter of seconds. But he sat still eyeing the detective who was still busy peeking at someone. AThan was a very strong argument for a poor receptionist of the modest hotel. Gierge Savane had never been his friend… and it looked like he would never be.

    Kay was knocking at the door for three minutes, not very loud but monotonously. He even thought for a moment that the receptionist had lied to him.
    Then the door opened.
    “This is a staff only room.” said the bearded man, “What do you…”
    “You’ll find out soon.” Kay said as he grasped Gierge’s pajama. There was a sound of fabric being torn as he pushed the dumbfounded receptionist in the room.
    “You bastard…” Savane broke free and froze looking at Kay’s face.
    “It’s me. Didn’t you recognize me?”
    “Mister…” Gierge’s face displayed a whole specter of emotions, “I’m very glad… your belongings are safe… I took the liberty…”
    “Oh, you’re stealing also.”
    Kay hit in the receptionist’s belly understanding at the last second that he was delivering the ‘delayed’ blow of the Bulrathi. Gierge Savane was writhing on the floor, but without making any sound. The pain was very strong but he expected things much worse.
    “I’m not going to beat you anymore.” Kay promised, “If you be reasonable.”
    “Mister… Kay Althos?” he made a wry smile from the floor. He was an expert brawler and knew the distinction between an amateur and a professional, “This is not my fault, mister Althos. I will return all your belongings, everything!”
    “Really? And what will it be?” Kay was ill at ease. He didn’t want to kill the receptionist… to kill him with the blow he learned from the alien.
    “Clothing, personal items, thee hundred credits in cash, a ‘Bumblebee’, a credit card…” Savane started to jabber.
    “Clothes even? What did they bury me in I wonder?”
    Gierge rose carefully. He had no experience in talking to people who had undergone the aThan… The rich never stayed at ‘Bad Weather’.
    “This was a tragedy for the hotel, mister Althos. It’s been nearly two years since the last murder. It was very unpleasant, believe me…”
    “Stop it, guess whom do I look for?”
    The receptionist started nodding.
    “The boy?”
    “The boy.” Kay agreed, “A nice little boy with an algopistol.”
    “He escaped through the window… it’s not very high, you see…”
    Kay shook his head.
    “No, I don’t. I have a debtor on your worthless planet. It would be either you or the boy.”
    Savane’s forehead got covered with sweat.
    “I know nearly nothing, believe me! He said that he had called you up… yes, I took five credits from him but how could I know?”
    “Even in this hole of yours nobody simply walks in the hotel. What documents did he show beside a fiver with the Emperor’s portrait?”
    “A school ID, but I don’t remember the name.”
    “And I thought you were very good at remembering names.”
    Savane surrendered.
    “Yes, I think I remember, it was probably a fake, but…”
    “Oh, I see, you also extracted money from the boy. For your silence?” Kay Duch shook his head. “You lifted the burden from by soul, thank you. And now tell me his name.”
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  15. #115
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    Re: Please check my translation.


    Tommy Arano, a student of the third round of the general educational program walked out the school. He was thirteen years old and, and according to Cailis laws, he couldn’t drive even a motorized bicycle yet. It would have been unfair to tell that Tommy grieved very much about it. He liked rain. A square of the schoolyard which had always been dusty and crowded was clean and fresh now. Lilac twilight that came after the noon heat made the loathsome school buildings look mysterious and unfamiliar.
    Ahmadee, his acquaintance from the fourth round, was unlocking his bicycle on the parking lot. Having seen Tommy he waved his hand.
    “Hey, hero! Need a lift?”
    Tommy waggled his head. Ahmadee shrugged his shoulders and started the engine. Driving slowly past Tommy he dropped:
    “You’re going to get wet.”
    “No, I’m not.” Tommy replied as he pulled his hood over.
    “That’s right, because I will give you a lift.” someone said behind his back. Tommy turned around. The long overcoat with a high collar and the hat that had been drawn over the eyes prevented him from recognizing the man whom he had seen only once. When he had finally remembered him, sooner by voice rather than by anything else, it was too late.
    Kay Althos put his hand on the boy’s shoulder and said:
    “I told you I would return, remember?”
    Tommy couldn’t answer – his tongue simply failed to obey. His legs became numb too, but he managed to remain on his feet. His worst nightmares were becoming real. The man he had killed returned to life and came back to revenge.
    “Let me have you hand.” Althos said. Tommy raised his hand numbly and Althos snapped a wide bracelet over it beside the cheap electronic watch. Then he demonstrated his wrist with an identical bracelet.
    “These are linked power handcuffs. We are now inseparable, understood?”
    Tommy didn’t reply and Kay started to rummage through the boy’s clothes with slow and skilful moves. Then he inspected the contents of his bag.
    A car that was driving by slowed down. The window lowered slowly and Daniar Vasade, the teacher of ancient history, stared his myopic eyes at his best pupil.
    “Tommy, is everything all right?”
    Althos slowly took the gun from his pocket and aimed it at Vasade’s forehead saying:
    “Everything is perfect. You will go home and live a long a happy life.”
    The struggle in the teacher’s soul continued for several seconds and Kay considered him a very courageous person.
    “I’m sorry.” Vasade said either to Kay or to the boy as he averted his eyes from Tommy’s pale face. The window went up and the car increased the speed.
    “When we’re speaking about life and death, kid” Kay said thoughtfully, “your friends decrease in numbers. Without mentioning the acquaintances. Their quantity becomes even less than zero.”
    He made a few steps as if he had forgotten about Tommy. A jerk of the power bracelet threw the boy onto his knees, onto wet and rough stones of the pavement.
    “Wake up.” Kay said and moved his hand forcing Tommy onto his feet by pulling the invisible chain of the force field, “Isn’t it frustrating to be someone’s marionette?”
    The jerk has made the hood to fall down from the boy’s head and now the rain was pouring onto his face. He was glad at that… he didn’t like to cry. Kay Althos put his hands in his pockets and looked at him.
    “I have been somebody else’s jumping Jack too, but decided to open a theater of my own,” he informed cryptically, “You’re going to be a leading actor in it.”
    He started walking away from the school again and this time Tommy ran after him. The bracelet on his wrist was warm, nearly hot, but he wasn’t happy about this warmth.
    Luck smiled at Tommy Arano beyond the school campus, where rows of featureless apartment buildings stretched along the roadway. Even the rain didn’t make them look any better. A dozen of motorcycles were roaring on the parking lot where Kay had left his ‘Mizan-Tornado’. Rays of headlamps were idly crawling in the darkness and made the raindrops sparkle in their light.
    “Guys!” Tommy shouted. The headlamps turned at them flooding them with iridescent light.
    “Stupid.”, Kay said as he stopped, “But I’m glad you didn’t become completely numb.”
    They were approached slowly by someone who tried very hard not to get in the circle of light. A hoarse cracking voice asked:
    “Do you have any problems with this man, hero?”
    Kay suddenly grinned and said confidently to Tommy:
    “I bet I know where this nickname came from…”
    The boy didn’t answer. He immediately understood that he had just made a mistake. Althos stepped into the darkness.
    “Remain where you are!” shouted a boyish falsetto. Kay stopped and said in a good-natured voice:
    “He’s got problems, kids. But these are only his problems.”
    “You’re wrong.” replied the owner of the cracking voice, “you are now the only one with problems. Tommy, come here!”
    “Explain to them.” Kay asked.
    Tommy Arano raised his hand. The darkness replied with many-voiced swearing at the sight of powered handcuffs. Generally, this was the effect Kay wanted to produce.
    “Guys…” Tommy was squinting helplessly in the light being as much blinded as Kay was, “He is that man whom… whom… he had the aThan!”
    Kay started to move. He didn’t expect that mentioning of his aThan would stop the teenagers. He only needed a moment of confusion.
    The rest was simply a matter of skill. He was constrained by Tommy who was chained to his right hand but even a full loss of his one arm didn’t make the professional of his class ineffective. Kay Duch, a super from Shedar II spent less than a second to accommodate his sight then he simply moved silently through the darkness.
    There were seventeen of them – many motorcycles carried more than one rider this night. There were three girls and two boys in the age of ten – Kay didn’t beat them even, he simply hurled them away. Too hardly perhaps since they didn’t try to rise. But two teenagers with hand lasers who made futile attempts to take an aim in the darkness left Kay little choice.
    Tommy was dragged behind him in the dirt like an anchor, unusual but hardly effective. Kay moved through the weak bodies too fast. He was breaking hands with clenched knuckle-dusters, stabbing the boys onto their own knives, and blocking occasional awkward blows. The two older ones with the guns, about seventeen years old, fell before they could shoot. Kay knocked them senseless in a manner that might even appear sparing.
    A boy of Tommy’s age carrying a gravity baton was the last of them. He was turning around, maddened by what was happening seeing nothing already. Kay simply walked to him took him by his thin hand with the weapon clenched in it and hit the boy with his own baton.
    The night was crying, weeping and groaning with voices of the children. Kay raised Tommy by his collar and shouted:
    “See what you’ve done.”
    The boy didn’t answer as he was chocking with tears which Artur Curtis had never been capable of. Kay ducked him into the car, wet and dirty from feet to ears, and started the engine. The cries remained behind and the only sounds heard were Tommy’s sobbing on the back seat.
    “You bastard, animal, bastard…”
    Kay ignored him completely. He dialed a two-digit number on the keyboard and said quickly:
    “An educational center number seventeen, at the exit. A street bovver, many injured, send intensive care units.”
    “Who’s speaking?” the dispatcher didn’t sound very shocked.
    “A witness.” growled Kay and disconnected. He cast a glance at Tommy and added: “A happenstance witness.”
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  16. #116
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    Re: Please check my translation.

    concerning part 9

    second sentence, lampshade is one word.
    I would rewrite this ....
    Its walls were covered with wallpapers, the only window was ajar and cool wind was blowing into
    The walls were wallpapered with an intricate floral pattern, (or some kind of description of pattern or color.) and a cool breeze was blowing through the room's only window.

    I would rewrite,
    He looked at the dark-green foliage, at some fruits that resembled apples, at the yellow sunlight that penetrated the branches
    The yellow sunlight penetrated the branches. He looked at some fruits that resembled apples in the dark-green foliage.

    What can I say if you’ve gotten out of the collector?!
    Using a question mark and a exclamation point is not correct. use either one or the other.

    I would rewrite
    "We’ve also collected much plankton this season!”
    "We've also had a great plankton harvest this season."

    We swept the sea bed too.
    We swept the seabed, too. seabed one word, need comma.

    it looks like bugs but they live in the water.
    it looks like bugs, but they live in the water. (comma)

    I would rewrite...
    “I’m sorry, but it’s time for having some food”, Kay said in unexpectedly strict voice, “my faith doesn’t permit me to commit this shameful act in the presence of strangers.”
    "I'm sorry, but it is time to eat. My faith doesn’t permit me to commit this shameful act in the presence of strangers," Kay said in unexpectedly strict voice.

    I would also rewrite.
    “Uh… well, have a good appetite.”
    “Uh… well, have a nice lunch.”

    “Humiliation cannot be good” Kay informed sadly.
    “Humiliation can't be good” Kay remarked sadly.

    If your kid’s illness persists rub his skin with vinegar.
    If your kid’s illness persists, rub his skin with vinegar.

    An obstetrician, sonny.
    If Sonny is a man's name is should be capitalized. If he is being referred to as sonny, a little boy, then it is probably ok to be lower case.

    I would rewrite
    Tauri as intended. The main supplier of fruits in this sector.
    In Tauri as intended. Tauri is the main supplier of fruits in this sector.

    Then he’s permitted to eat the remnants, not disregarding the bony pieces…”
    Then he’s permitted to eat the remnants, as long as he doesn't ignore the bony pieces.

    He was even ready not to disregard the bony pieces.
    He had no intention of ignoring the bony pieces. He was very hungry, and had eaten much worse.
    ( I used a little literary license there. You might add something about the real nasty things he may have eaten during hard times like, grubs, locusts, snake or any such thing to emphasize that eating bony fish is no big deal)

    They ate fast tearing the fresh bread
    They ate fast, tearing the fresh bread (comma)

    finished with #9

    Lampada asked me to look at this. I'll look at more later.

  17. #117
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    Re: Please check my translation.

    . It took him half an hour, so now he knew something about his temporary homeworld.
    homeworld is two words, home world

    Being members of the Tripartite Alliance they had been granted the right to live on the Human worlds
    rewrite (Being members of the Tripartite Alliance, they had been granted the right to live on the Human worlds)

    During thousands of years of artificial evolution these cyborgs preserved their semblance with six foot lizards.
    rewrite (During thousands of years of artificial evolution, these cyborgs still resembled six-foot lizards.)

    They looked ridiculously on the snow and their noticeable nervousness in near the cold water stirred involuntary feeling of pity for them.
    rewrite (They looked ridiculous on the snow to Arthur, and their noticeable nervousness near the cold water involuntarily caused him to feel pity for them.)

    By replacing their mechanical parts with ones of imperial manufacture they intended to become one with the Humans
    rewrite (By replacing their mechanical parts with ones of imperial manufacture, they intended to become one with the Humans.)

    From Kay’s room he could see not only the infinite garden but also the flickering barrier around the compensation zone.
    rewrite (From Kay’s room he could see not only the infinite garden, but also the flickering barrier around the compensation zone.

    It was a short moment for freezing Arthur, but it must have been infinite hours for Kay.
    rewrite (It was a short moment for freezing Arthur, but it must have been an eternity for Kay.)
    He also remembered Kay’s swearing, confused faces, injections, a bathtub with regenerative gel
    rewrite (He also remembered Kay’s swearing, confused face, injections, a bathtub with regenerative gel)

    Her grey hair which was too lush to be real was decorated by a coquettish flower.
    rewrite (Her grey hair, which was too lush to be real was decorated by a coquettish flower.)
    If you get hungry I’ll be on the third floor
    rewrite (If you get hungry, I’ll be on the third floor.)

    “I’m sorry, auntie Fiscallocci, can I go for a walk?” quickly asked Arthur.
    rewrite (“I’m sorry, auntie Fiscallocci, may I go for a walk?” Arthur quickly asked .

    Pull some fruits
    rewrite (Pick some fruits)
    You haven’t tasted them when they are right from the branch, have you?
    rewrite (I'll bet you haven't tasted the fruit picked fresh from the branch.)

    Henriette Fiscallocci left muttering something. Arthur gloomily watched her go
    Henriette Fiscallocci left muttering something and Arthur was left with a feeling of apprehension.

    Firstly, the fact that the old woman didn’t attack the new helpless listener with her talks of the gardens of Tauri.
    First of all, the fact that the old woman didn’t attack the new helpless listener with her talks of the gardens of Tauri.
    (Firstly, secondly, etc.. are obsolete usages)

    The second thing was her mentioning of the ‘Needle’.
    Second was her mentioning the 'Needle'.
    During the time when he had not yet begun his travels to Graal he collected models of old ships.
    He collected models of old ships before his travels to Graal.

    Astonishingly beautiful and even more fragile the ‘Needle’ class small reconnaissance boats had never been in service in the Imperial assault units.
    Astonishingly beautiful and even more fragile, the ‘Needle’ class small reconnaissance boats had never seen service as imperial assault units.

    It still held the shape of Kay’s body and it started to shrink on his shoulders adjusting to the boy’s figure.
    It still held the shape of Kay’s body and it started to shift on his shoulders, adjusting to his boyish figure.

  18. #118
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Re: Please check my translation.

    Well, I think that soon I will be able to continue my translation. It's been too much work to do. So if anyone cares, this translation will be definetely continued.
    It would be a shame to give it up when more than half of it has already been done.

    But for now, I have some questions:
    I need an idiom, as close as possible for "Армия сожрёт нас с дерьмом" (Literally: The Army will eat us with our sh@t)

    And kahless, about picking apples from the branch. There were two options before Arthur - to pick them from the ground or from the branch. In Russian, different verbs are used. Is there any way to express that difference in English?

    Another questions about floors.
    It is unclear to me how should I number the floors in a house. In Russian, the first floor means the ground floor (standing on the ground). The second floor is immediately above the ground (first) floor. So imagine there is a three storey house. What would be the numbers of each floor? The first floor, the second floor and the third floor or the ground floor, the first floor, and the second floor?

    The next question is about the best way to translate "Имперский десант". This question is indended more for Russian speakers that know English well enough to understand my problem. I chose to write 'Imperial assault units' but I don't like it all that much.

    And one more thing:
    Quote Originally Posted by kahless
    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    It still held the shape of Kay’s body and it started to shrink on his shoulders adjusting to the boy’s figure.
    It still held the shape of Kay’s body and it started to shift on his shoulders, adjusting to his boyish figure.
    It shrunk. Kay is bigger than Arthur so when Arthur put it on after Kay it shrunk.
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  19. #119
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    Re: Please check my translation.

    Hi Ramil
    In English, if you take a fruit from the tree, you are picking it. We even call the migrant workers who pick the fruit 'fruit pickers'.
    If we picked it up off the ground, we would call it 'picking it up'.

    sh@t, I assume this means dung? If this is so, I need a broader description of what the proverb means. as such, it makes no sense to me.

    We would call the first floor of the house, the first floor. Second floor, third floor and so on. When you refer to how many floors in a house, you would say it is a 3 story house.

    I rewrote the 'Imperial assault units sentence for you for grammatical smoothness, but as a military term, it should be changed. I have to go to work now, so I'll continue later.

    The thing about Kay's jacket is I was struggling to come up with something other than 'shrink', which my solution did not satisfy me, and I was going to look at it again anyway.

    Take a look at what I did this morning about the bony pieces of fish in part 8, and let me know what you think.


  20. #120
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    Re: Please check my translation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    The next question is about the best way to translate "Имперский десант". This question is indended more for Russian speakers that know English well enough to understand my problem. I chose to write 'Imperial assault units' but I don't like it all that much.
    Imperial (space) marines?
    Or, perhaps, "Imperial commandos."

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