Page 8 of 9 FirstFirst ... 6789 LastLast
Results 141 to 160 of 172

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

  1. #141
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Other Universe
    Posts
    8,501
    Rep Power
    28

    Re: Please check my translation.

    Quote Originally Posted by basurero
    fritted (my dictionary tells me such a word does not exist)
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/fritted

    Metal melted under laser fire then hardened again.

    Sintered maybe?

    Any alternatives? Anybody?
    Send me a PM if you need me.

  2. #142
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Other Universe
    Posts
    8,501
    Rep Power
    28

    Re: Please check my translation.

    6

    The ‘Seraph’ was the best armor model Kay had ever worked with. He’d been training for five hours in a row not because this was really necessary, but because the process itself was a pleasure. Tommy was training in another gym with Family instructors. Kay wasn’t too overconfident to rely on his teaching skills.
    Saker appeared when he’d started to remove the armor. She looked around the room critically – crushed wall panels, grinded rock all over the metal floor, bent pipes of the exercise machines, and the fixed armor plate in the center. There was a hole melted through the three-inch thick armor plate that repeated the contour of a human body.
    “Let me help you,” she said.
    The gray ceramic plates were heavy and hot. As she was aptly unfastening one piece after another Duch emerged gradually from under his fancy shell. He was streaming with perspiration, tired, and having unusually soft eyes.
    “Got used to it?” Lika put her hands on Kay’s shoulders. While still sitting on the floor in the middle of the scattered segments of armor, he threw back his head submitting to her touch.
    “It feels as if I’d been born in it. Only my legs are aching.”
    “I’ll order to adjust the boosters,” Saker had finished with his shoulders and started massaging his neck.
    “Don’t. I must feel my weight. So, speak up.”
    “Kahl is onboard Lemach’s orbital base. The Meklon and the mechanists are with her. The boy is in the interrogation center of the base.”
    Kay stood up, tenderly put his hands on Lika’s shoulders and simply said:
    “Thank you. I will never forget this. Tell them to prepare my ship.”
    Saker was silent for a moment eyeing Kay and then asked:
    “Did Curtis promise you so much, my landsman?"
    Kay’s face didn’t falter.
    “It’s not about Curtis anymore, sister.”
    “Will you tell me?”
    “The ship!”
    “It’s being prepared, Kay. Can you tell me anything?”
    Duch shook his head.
    “Kay, the Imperial military base is not a rural prison. They have guns against your armor and armor against your guns, and several hundred professionals also.”
    “I know. How much time do I have?”
    “Five hours. Don’t make faces, your barge is being equipped with a cloaking device and an additional engine. You’ll reach Dogar in twelve hours. You simply can’t get there faster. Besides, I need time to elaborate the plan… logic has never been your finest point.”
    They left the hall together – Lika Saker in a long dark dress and half-naked Kay Duch. The technicians had already started attending the armor – the ‘Seraph’ needed a thorough checking and recharging.
    “Kas/s/is and Andrew are going with you. I trust them.”
    “Metal against metal?”
    “Do we have any other choice? I’ll give you a couple of grunts. They have suppressed self-preservation instinct so you can take full advantage of it.”
    “All right. Lika, who is your doc?”
    The woman winced.
    “What do you want?”
    “Everything you can give me.”

    The doctor was young, with a short beard and idle gaze from under his glasses. His movements were very slow. He examined Kay, then having left him lying on a diagnostic couch, he took his time monitoring the lines that were running on a display.
    “You are completely healthy.”
    “I know, but that’s not enough.”
    “How much time do we have?”
    “Nearly no time at all.”
    The doctor leaned back in the armchair eyeing Kay with calm curiosity.
    “Don’t you care for yourself at all, pal?”
    “No. Suggest away.”
    Saker who was standing in the corner nodded slightly. The doctor shrugged and adjusted his glasses. Then he warned:
    “I won’t recover you afterwards.”
    “I understand.”
    “Is it a one-time mission?”
    “Yes. Two, maybe three hours.”
    “Good. We’ll implant polymeric cytostims into your muscles, also subdermal keroplast, cardiodriver and hormonomodulator. Plus the usual combat cocktail.”
    “Get to work,” Kay said closing his eyes.
    Saker was quietly watching as they were administering injections into his muscles. The turbid yellow liquid was hard to inject even through the thickest needles. Then the cybernetic surgeon that looked like a large metal spider, apparently of the Meklon manufacture, plunged a hollow tentacle into Kay’s chest between the third and fourth rib on the left. The tiny capsule of a cardiodriver slid along the tentacle and sticked to the myocardium.
    Saker left the room.
    “How long will it take?” Kay asked. The doctor who was busy programming the pharmacologic synthesizer shook his head:
    “Half an hour.”
    The cybernetic surgeon swept a blood drop from his skin, sprayed with fixing gel on it and crawled off.
    The doctor produced a small device from the glass cabinet – a glossy brush of narrow needles and a transparent bottle with some opalescent liquid that was fixed over it.
    “It’s going to be painful,” he informed and put the ‘brush’ against Kay’s body.
    The device made a click and the needles plunged into the skin for a moment.
    “I could have guessed,” Kay said.
    He didn’t make a sound during the whole operation that inspired doctor’s involuntary respect. But that was definitely not easy.
    Send me a PM if you need me.

  3. #143
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Other Universe
    Posts
    8,501
    Rep Power
    28

    Re: Please check my translation.

    7

    The hyperboat was unrecognizable with all that equipment that the Family technicians had mounted on it. The extra engine cylinder made it look like an ancient shuttle of the end of twentieth century. The cloaking equipment container had to be mounted on the living module and Kay could only shake his head after he’d imagined the new aerodynamics of his ship.
    “I did my best,” Lika said.
    Wind was blowing in the canyons – a season of rains was about to begin in the southern hemisphere of Gorra. The brown-green heavy clouds were flowing over the rocks carrying water and fertile silt that were raised by hurricanes in the deltas of polar rivers. The granite field of the landing pad that was large enough to harbor a couple of cruisers looked abandoned years ago.
    “Thank you,” Kay said. He was feeling bad, his muscles filled with cell stimulants were aching, his skin soaked with ceroplastics was itching, and his liver that was trying to neutralize the alien tissues was in pain.
    Kay Duch was unaccustomed to feeling sick.
    “Is it really so important for you?” Saker asked.
    “Yes, it is.”
    He looked at the woman that ruled the Family, smiled faintly and saw her smiling in reply.
    “I can’t tell you anything,” Duch said.
    “You don’t need to, Kay.”
    “You’ll be in trouble because of me.”
    “Don’t think about it.”
    Kay Duch touched her lips in a passing farewell kiss and stepped back to his ship. He raised his arm, his fingers were clutched together save the thumb that was pointing sideward, and said:
    “Shedar.”
    “Shedar.”
    He started to the open hatch and the woman remained wrapping her body in a short velvet jacket. Saker didn’t bother to step beyond the safety circle and the ship took off ten yards away from her – a grayish black metal hornet ascending on an invisible pillar of the gravity field. The ship flew vertically and the only sound was made by the cracking stone of the launch pad. A hundred meters from the ground the ship slowed down – the pilot switched off the gravity drives and turned the plasma on. Saker remained looking at the flaming flower that was fading in the sky. When the ship disappeared in the clouds she turned around.
    Her assistant was standing nearby – a young girl whom she had taken from the Haxian ghetto. The communicator headband on her head looked like a sophisticated decoration.
    “The Eldest Son’s ship will land in seven hours, Mother,” said the girl.
    Saker nodded.
    “Might I suggest…” there was nothing except adoration and anxiety in the girl’s eyes, “the commander of the Equatorial Base is currently under our mental control. If he acts by instructions the ship wouldn’t reach the surface of the planet.”
    Lika shook her head.
    “The Eldest Son is furious,” the girl said quietly, “we have gone against the ISS and the army… he might call up a Family meeting.”
    “The Mother doesn’t kill her children,” Saker said. For the first time there was something like irony in the girl’s eyes:
    “And can children kill their mother?”
    “It’s their right.”

    Kay’s ship was not designed to carry six passengers. It had neither space, nor life-support resources. Fortunately, both the Meklon and the cyborg required a lot less oxygen and food than humans and their flight promised to be a short one.
    The grunts that Lika gave him turned out to be two young fellows as like as two peas in a pod – either twins… or some very impudent clones. Kay talked with them a little, watched them control the ship and left them in the control room with a safe conscience. The guys were well prepared, pity they had chosen to join the Family.
    The Meklon and the cyborg were sitting on the cabin floor. They were either chatting on frequencies unavailable to humans or were playing some game in a virtual space.
    “A question, Kas/s/is,” Kay said. The ugly reptilian head turned to him.
    “One of our opponents will be a Meklon. Do you have any problems with that?”
    “Do you have any problems with the prospect of fighting human opponents?”, the alien asked in reply.
    “Good. Another question. Your compatriot has asynchronous movement of his limb in travelling transformation. What does it mean?”
    The Meklon was silent for a couple of seconds. Then it said:
    “Either there was inaccurate concretion of neural circuits on the cyborgization phase or it was deliberately enhancing its primary function.”
    “I don’t understand,” Kay admitted. The Meklon made almost human a shrug:
    “The surgeon had butter fingers, got it? This is the first case. And the second one – our opponent was trying to achieve maximum efficiency in one of its transformation. A combat one, for example. It chose to ignore the little inconveniences in the rest pose and other transformations.”
    “And what’s in it for us?”
    “The former gives me an advantage in a fight, the latter is the other way around.”
    “And for me?”
    “It doesn’t matter for you,” the Meklon informed him confidently, “If you don’t shoot first – you’re finished.”
    “Thanks.”
    “You are welcome.”
    “Can you rest here?”
    “Of course,” Kas/s/is felt that the conversation is over and turned to the cyborg that had never said a word during the whole conversation.
    In his cabin, Kay shooed Tommy away from his bed, dropped the thin mattress on the floor and took clean bed-clothes from the cabinet. Then he said:
    “You’ll sleep on the floor tonight, all right?”
    This lack of hospitality didn’t surprise Tommy. But Kay’s clear intention to go to sleep immediately did.
    “We are going to fight soon!”
    “We? ‘We have arrived’ said the fly in the cargo hold,” Kay smirked as he was making himself comfortable, “You’ll have the only task – not to get under fire. And it’s still eleven hours till we fight.”
    Tommy chuckled and settled on the floor obediently. Then he asked:
    “Aren’t you afraid at all?”
    “I am. Ship!”
    “I’m listening, my friend,” there was a hoarse reply from the ceiling.
    “Do you like these pilots?”
    “They are all right. The one that has just left to sleep was better, but the remaining one is not bad at all too. Aren’t you jealous?”
    “For god’s sake, have fun… And what about this metalware they had attached to you?”
    “The engine is a bit stupid but obedient… The cloaking device has opinions. We’ll see how it works.”
    “We’ll see,” Kay agreed, “Turn off the light. And wake me up in eight hours… or if the boy tries to kill me.”
    “I’ll make him regret that,” the ship promised bleakly, “Sleep well, master.”
    Oddly enough, Duch managed to fall asleep only half an hour later when Tommy had already been breathing steadily having lost the fight with fatigue. Kay was afraid and his skin was itching too.
    Send me a PM if you need me.

  4. #144
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Other Universe
    Posts
    8,501
    Rep Power
    28

    Re: Please check my translation.

    8

    The freighter loaded with frozen meat approached the orbital base several hours ahead of schedule. The officer on duty mentally swore at the pilot who thought he was a speedracer – there wasn’t enough room left on the landing deck. But it was futile to explain the meaning of the word ‘punctuality’ to the civilians. The pilot could easily dump the cargo container and drive his old freighter ‘down’ to the simple entertainments of Dogar.
    The officer ordered to drive a passenger shuttle that had been awaiting a group of Endorian tourists to the parking zone and stared at the screen gloomily. The decades of peace had turned the military station into a Lord knows what – into a terminal point for civilian ships, an orbital warehouse, or a cheap parking lot for screwy pilots…
    The freighter docked surprisingly easy as if the huge container with mutton was empty… or there was no container at all.
    The officer looked at the control panel again – everything was in order. The pilot answered all the required questions, reported his number and the standard password, transmitted the authentication code… and even provided the magenta clearance code. It was more than enough.
    After a moment of hesitation, the officer demanded the red clearance code. The automatic responder of the freighter provided it after a short delay. In a minute it obediently provided the white one as well.
    The officer was still thinking about how the civilian freighter could possibly know the codes that were intended for military ships of the cruiser class only and whether that was too good for to be true when shots sounded from the landing deck.

    The meklon was first to exit the ship. Immediately after it followed the twin grunts. Kay chose not to ask about their names. It was foolish to allow any hint of human feelings for the pawns.
    Duch jumped out the hatch and heard a shot even before his legs touched the frayed floor plates. The meklon who didn’t require any external weapon activated its plasma generator.
    The faltering flame made a sigh and Kay could see a spider-like machine writhing in it. Unfortunately, each dock of the military base had a sentry robot. Unfortunately, it clearly had the time to sound the alarm.
    “Here goes!” shouted one of the twins. The ancient war cry of the kamikaze pilots sounded ridiculous, but a series of laser charges smoothed the impression over. The Family hitman swept through the hangar corners with the beam – the internal control sensors were usually mounted there. There were clouds of vapor of the moisture that had condensed when the docking hatch was open.
    The second fighter ran around the ship in a businesslike manner and stopped. The fusion rifle in his hands was twitching its barrel slightly – apparently this was an intellectual model.
    “Kas/s/is, the door!” Kay ordered belatedly. The meklon who looked like a hexapod horse on its hind legs was already hanging over the armored door plate.
    Tommy exited the ship which now looked like an old freighter. His armor was programmed to follow Kay so it came to Duch and stopped behind his back. The boy stared at the burning robot through the blue ice of armored glass.
    The door started to slide into the floor with no apparent effort seen from Kas/s/is. As soon as the gap width was about half-meter wide, the meklon changed its transformation and jumped over it. There was a slight noise behind it.
    Cyborg was the last who emerged from the ship. He started walking towards the door slowly, but so efficiently that he reached it in the moment it had opened completely. There was a wide illuminated corridor that stretched to the base store holds. The meklon was standing five meters away from the door. Under his fore legs there was a still human body. Bluish flashes of working neural emitter were struggling with the white light of ceiling lamps. Kas/s/is was firing barrages along the corridor.
    There was no need to talk anything over. The twins were already running along the corridor and the meklon was moving between them like a small tank. Kay followed them – the ‘Seraph’ carried four hundred and fifty pounds of its weights with a grace of a young bulrathi. The ‘Excalibur’ that they had handed him before his departure seemed weightless in the manipulators of his powered armor. It looked like an ordinary emitter either neutron or tachyon… only the enormously thick barrel didn’t conform to the ordinary design of human weapon.
    Duch was sincerely hoping that not everything that Saker had said about the ‘Excalibur’ was a joke.

    The last thing that the cameras had transmitted from the hangar put the officer in shock. The sentry robot was in flames, the meklon froze before the door and some men wearing powered armor were shooting at the survey sensors.
    He struck the general alert button and shouted:
    “The base is under attack! The intrusion through the seventeenth cargo dock!”
    The junior shift officer was already running to him from the auxiliary controls. This was a breach of regulation, but there was no time to react on this. The officer was hastily answering the questions that were appearing on the screen. The main computer of the base was developing a plan of repelling the attack and every bit of information could decide the outcome.
    “The intrusion by a ruse…”
    A passenger shuttle which was heading for the base was ordered to change its course on penalty of immediate destruction.
    “Meklons and humans…”
    The cabins with aliens in were locked up. The meklon who was exercising in the gym received a radio order to adopt a submission pose and the automatic turret took an aim on it.
    “Heavy weaponry, powered armor…”
    The red sector of the armory was unlocked.
    “Numbers are unknown…” all personnel having the right to carry arms were on alert.
    “No contact with the aggressors…”
    The door to the control room exploded filling the room with shrapnel of molten steel. The officer had only noticed a human figure in a powered armor before the whole room was engulfed in flame.
    The sentry robot whose line of fire was blocked by a flaming body of the junior shift officer made the only possible choice. A plasma blast stopped the man’s agony and struck in the attacker’s armor.
    The ‘Seraph’ held the blow, but it knocked him off foot. He was thrown away from the door, dragged all the way to the opposite wall and hit hard against it. For a moment the Family grunt was lying still. Then he rose with a quiet giggle. The room behind the wrecked doorframe was in flames. The servomotors were humming a little bit louder than usual and the movements of his left leg became a bit awkward… but these were small things and of no moment.
    Send me a PM if you need me.

  5. #145
    Завсегдатай
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    3,216
    Rep Power
    15

    Re: Please check my translation.

    The ‘Seraph’ was the best armor model Kay had ever worked with. He’d been training for five hours in a row not because this was really necessary, but because the process itself was a pleasure. Tommy was training in another gym with Family instructors. Kay wasn’t too overconfident to rely on his teaching skills.
    Saker entered the room when he’d started to remove the armor. She looked around the room critically – crushed wall panels, ground rock all over the metal floor, the bent pipes of the exercise machines, and the fixed armor plate in the center. There was a hole melted through the three-inch thick armor plate that had the shape(?) of a human body.
    “Let me help you,” she said.
    The gray ceramic plates were heavy and hot. As she was aptly unfastening one piece after another Duch emerged gradually from under his fancy shell. He was streaming with perspiration, tired, and his eyes were unusually soft.
    “Got used to it?” Lika put her hands on Kay’s shoulders. While still sitting on the floor amongst the scattered pieces of armor, he threw back his head submitting to her touch.
    “It feels as if I’d been born in it. Only my legs are aching.”
    “I’ll order to adjust the boosters,” Saker had finished with his shoulders and started massaging his neck.
    “Don’t. I must feel my weight. So, speak up.”
    “Kahl is on board Lemach’s orbital base. The Meklon and the mechanists are with her. The boy is in the interrogation center of the base.”
    Kay stood up, tenderly put his hands on Lika’s shoulders and simply said:
    “Thank you. I will never forget this. Tell them to prepare my ship.”
    Saker was silent for a moment ,eying Kay, and then asked:
    “Did Curtis promise you so much, my landsman?"
    Kay’s face didn’t change.
    “It’s not about Curtis anymore, sister.”
    “Will you tell me?”
    “The ship!”
    “It’s being prepared, Kay. Can you tell me anything?”
    Duch shook his head.
    “Kay, the Imperial military base is not a rural prison. They have guns against your armor and armor against your guns, and several hundred professionals also.”
    “I know. How much time do I have?”
    “Five hours. Don’t make faces, your barge is being equipped with a cloaking device and an additional engine. You’ll reach Dogar in twelve hours. You simply can’t get there faster. Besides, I need time to elaborate the plan… logic has never been your finest point.”
    They left the hall together – Lika Saker in a long dark dress and half-naked Kay Duch. The technicians had already started attending to the armor – the ‘Seraph’ needed a thorough checking and recharging.
    “Kas/s/is and Andrew are going with you. I trust them.”
    “Metal against metal?”
    “Do we have any other choice? I’ll give you a couple of grunts. They have suppressed their self-preservation instinct so you can take full advantage of them?.”
    “All right. Lika, who is your doc?”
    The woman winced.
    “What do you want?”
    “Everything you can give me.”

    The doctor was young, with a short beard and idle gaze from under his glasses. His movements were very slow. He examined Kay, then having left him lying on a diagnostic couch, he took his time monitoring the lines that were running on a display.
    “You are completely healthy.”
    “I know, but that’s not enough.”
    “How much time do we have?”
    “Nearly no time at all.”
    The doctor leaned back in the armchair eying Kay with calm curiosity.
    “Don’t you care for yourself at all, pal?”
    “No. Suggest away.”
    Saker who was standing in the corner nodded slightly. The doctor shrugged and adjusted his glasses. Then he warned:
    “I won’t treat you afterwards.”
    “I understand.”
    “Is it a one-time mission?”
    “Yes. Two, maybe three hours.”
    “Good. We’ll implant polymeric cytostims in_ your muscles, as well as subdermal keroplast, cardiodriver and hormonomodulator. Plus the usual combat cocktail.”
    “Get to work,” Kay said closing his eyes.
    Saker was quietly watching as they were administering injections into his muscles. The turbid yellow liquid was hard to inject even through the thickest needles. Then the cybernetic surgeon that looked like a large metal spider, apparently of the Meklon production, plunged a hollow tentacle into Kay’s chest between the third and fourth rib on the left. The tiny capsule of a cardiodriver slid along the tentacle and stuck to the myocardium.
    Saker left the room.
    “How long will it take?” Kay asked. The doctor who was busy programming the pharmacological synthesizer shook his head:
    “Half an hour.”
    The cybernetic surgeon swept a blood drop from his skin, sprayed him with fixing gel _ and crawled off.
    The doctor produced a small device from a glass cabinet – a glossy brush of narrow needles and a transparent bottle with some opalescent liquid that was fixed over it (?).
    This is going to be painful,” he said and put the ‘brush’ against Kay’s body.
    The device made a click and the needles plunged into the skin for a moment.
    “I could have guessed,” Kay said.
    He didn’t make a sound during the whole operation and that inspired doctor’s involuntary respect. But it was definitely not easy.
    This story is rather difficult to follow...
    By the way, sentences like "Saker was quietly watching as they were administering injections into his muscles" don't sound very good and should be used sparingly. I would prefer "Saker quietly watched as they administered injections into his muscles".

  6. #146
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Other Universe
    Posts
    8,501
    Rep Power
    28

    Re: Please check my translation.

    Thank you, basurero, your help is much appreciated.

    9

    The sound of the intercom was loud enough to wake up not only Lemach, but Kahl also.
    “What?” Isabelle couldn’t see the admiral in darkness, only a slight rustle suggested that he had just half-rose in the bed. The very tone of the signal seemed to promise nothing but trouble to the admiral.
    “Red square.”
    Lemach jumped off the bed. Kahl heard him muttering a curse and asked:
    “Trouble?”
    “Armed assault on the base,” Lemach replied after a moment’s hesitation.
    Isabelle turned on the bed lamp. Lemach was already dressed and was fastening the intercom disk to the collar. The informer’s whisper was scarcely audible.
    “They’re after the boy,” Kahl said.
    “Nonsense! Curtis wouldn’t risk it.”
    “It’s Kay Althos.”
    Lemach silently took his sidearm from the safe and girded it to his belt, then he produced an emitter that was unfamiliar to Kahl – with an unusually broad barrel.
    The rejuvenated admiral apparently wanted to shoot a little.
    “I’m going to the prison block,” Kahl said as she was putting her skirt on, “so do my men.”
    “Only men, Isabelle. There is a meklon among the attackers – all aliens on the base were isolated. You can use my hypertunnel.”
    “But I need T/san!”
    “That’s too bad.”
    “Lemach!”
    “This is ridiculous, Kahl!” Lemach said and ran out the cabin.
    “A xenophobe…” Isabelle hissed as she was gathering up her hair on the back of her head and fixing them with a clasp-pin, “an old fart…”

    As it was expected, they met the first serious opposition on the boundary between technical and living decks of the base. Kas/s/is, having just turned around the corner, immediately rattled back resembling a fiery fireball. Drops of molten metal were dripping from the transparent force field bubble that shielded its head. Its left paw was pressed tightly against its belly.
    “Many,” informed the meklon.
    The twins jumped to the corner without talking. The one with the intellectual gun tried to stick the barrel around the corner. The gun made a squeaking sound and jerked back. To his surprise, Kay even felt a moment of sympathy towards this dead metal thing. The fire-swept part of the corridor resembled nozzles of a launching cruiser – varicolored beams and overpowering heat, even though he couldn’t feel it through the armor but it was physically real nevertheless. The barely audible sound of exploding ceiling lamps accompanied the scene.
    “The wall behind your back, Kay,” the meklon said, “Work, I am self-repairing.”
    Kay glanced at Andrew just to be on the safe side – the cyborg, like the meklon, kept the detailed plans of the base in his semi-electronic memory. Andrew nodded while still looking at Kas/s/is. Its damaged limb disappeared somewhere in its belly under the scales. It looked like the cyborg envied the alien.
    The ‘Excalibur’ fired. In a violet flash, a segment of the wall turned into a reddish puddle on the floor. Still, there was nothing new – Kay used to work with tachyon emitters before. Through the darkness of the opened gap he could see a narrow corridor filled with cables and pipes.
    “No dangerous communications,” kindly informed the meklon.
    Kay stepped over the smoking puddle that had started to get hard again. He tore a cable with his hand and tried to bend a thin annulated pipe. It turned out to be surprisingly resilient and he activated the combat mode of his armor with a slight movement of his chin. Tiny white sparks started dancing on the armor plates engulfing Kay in the light that was hard for his eyes. The stubborn pipe melted in his hands and a jet of compressed gas spurted out of its torn ends.
    “I sense someone approaching,” Andrew said flatly, “Three in armor.”
    Kay walked straight through. Pipes were exploding and melting, the assorted liquids that came out in fountains were making hissing noises. Electric sparks added to the illumination.
    The meklon stretched, resembling now a five-legged steel worm, and trotted after Kay. The rest were moving behind. A small water trickle reached the puddle of molten metal and exploded with a cloud of vapor which made the cyborg that was going last to give a startled jump.
    “How is your paw?” inquired Kay in a couple of minutes. The technical corridor they were walking along was twisting and turning but still led them in the right direction.
    “Better already. Don’t touch this pipe.”
    Kay ducked under the pipe wrapped in fibrous insulation and asked:
    “Why?”
    “Liquid nitrogen. I’m afraid to catch cold.”
    The corridor ended in a round shaft. There were plastic step brackets on the wall… unfortunately those who had built this base did not foresee repair technicians wearing powered armor.
    “Up,” the meklon decided, “it has to be clearer and fresher there.”
    Kay deactivated the combat mode of his armor and carefully tried the bracket. It held.
    “Your species used to have no sense of humor at all,” he said to the meklon. He carefully lifted his weight bending off the vertical pipe with his back.
    “Simply our sense of what is funny differs from the human one. But since your humor was a major factor of military victories we try to adopt it.”
    “Another two or three generations and you’ll succeed.”
    “We think the same.”
    One bracket broke and Kay was about to fall on the meklon’s head. He stopped talking after this.
    He was turning at Kas/s/is indications, breaking through some obstacles and carefully avoiding the other.
    They had been moving so for fourteen minutes when Andrew who was at their rear informed that the pursuit was getting closer.
    Send me a PM if you need me.

  7. #147
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Other Universe
    Posts
    8,501
    Rep Power
    28

    Re: Please check my translation.

    10

    Arthur woke up. His diseased and drugged unconsciousness was hardly a normal sleep but he was deprived of anything else. He was shivering – he had already got used to this feeling and his head was aching.
    The doctor was sitting by his bed. It was a middle-aged man in a pale green robe with a very serious and knowing face. He slightly resembled Hari Nerisyan who treated Arthur in his childhood – and that was unfair somehow.
    “He’s awake,” the doctor said looking at the boy, “We’ve made a full blood transfusion and a ray treatment of his bone marrow. I think, his immunity has gone, but I advise to wait a bit with your questions.”
    “Thank you, you may leave.”
    Arthur saw Kahl. She was wearing a light armor that was as appropriate in the white ward as a pile of manure on a computer keyboard.
    “I will kill you,” Arthur said. The doctor left casting a quick glance at him.
    “I don’t think you will ever accomplish that, boy.”
    “I’m tired of you.”
    Kahl stretched her arm and patted his cheek. Arthur had no strength left even to turn away.
    “You know, your friend is trying to free you,” she informed.
    “So what?”
    “I think you will see him soon. Not for long though,” Isabelle looked over Arthur at somebody staying at the bed-head, “We have another ten or fifteen minutes. I will try to get T/san… we’re going to need him.”

    Kay Duch didn’t like killing. The fact of death of certain men per se pleased him sometimes, but he had never liked the process itself.
    The way of killing that the ‘Seraph’ offered was definitely not to Kay’s liking.
    He unclenched his armored fists. The plasma sparks licked the scorched body for the last time and disappeared. It was the body of a young fellow who wasn’t even wearing armor with some weak emitter that he’d never had the chance to use…
    They exited the technical corridor the same way they had entered it – by melting through the wall. They appeared in the barracks with nobody else but the orderly soldier – everyone else were busy looking for them.
    “The pursuit is approaching,” Andrew said. He was busy mining the hole in the wall – it was probably as futile as before. They had left a dozen trip-mines behind them, but none exploded. Cyborgs were not the only ones who had fine sensors.
    “Mine the body,” Kay ordered. He walked along the neat berths and carefully cracked the door open. He saw a large hall with the walls overgrown with lianas and the grass that grew right through the soft porous floor. A pretty but not very convincing hologram of the sky masked the ceiling.
    “Some recreational zone?” the Meklon inquired. He quietly produced his damaged paw from his belly and now was trying to step on it.
    “Yes.”
    “It is two hundred and forty meters to the prison block.”
    Tommy walked by. His armor was still following Kay. He stopped holding his ‘Argument’ at the ready apparently thinking that he wouldn’t have the chance to shoot it.
    “Let’s go,” Andrew stepped back from the dead body and quickly walked towards Kay. There was no emotion in the cyborg’s voice, just a hint of pride for the well done work.
    They ran along the recreational zone. Andrew sometimes stopped and fixed small disks on the trees, pushed them into the floor or threw them through the ‘sky’. The disks immediately stuck, changed colors to fit the surroundings and spread over the surfaces.
    “It would be wise to leave an ambush,” suddenly said one of the twins – the one that destroyed the control room, “My right-leg servomotors are damaged and I can’t maintain the necessary speed.”
    “You’ll have to,” Kay said.
    There were doors leading to a couple dozens barracks in the recreational area. There were orderly soldiers there as well most probably, but, to their luck, the soundproof walls didn’t allow them to hear the steps and die.
    There was the only exit – a broad corridor leading to the transportation node of the living sector of the base. The corridor from the prison block led to the same place.
    “By using more boarding operations we would have beaten the humans,” the Meklon noted. His voice was flat, the reptilian cyborgs had long since separated the functions of speech and gas exchange, “Your bases are defenseless.”
    Kay didn’t answer, unlike the Meklon he had to spare his breath. They ran into the corridor. It was empty and quiet. Too quiet. They covered fifty meters in seven seconds – even the wall sentry niches were empty. The square hall of the transportation terminal looked abandoned. The elevator doors were open, there was nobody in the adjoining corridors.
    Too quiet, too empty.
    A deadly luck!
    “Keep back,” Kay shouted readying the ‘Excalibur’. The Meklon stretched its limbs with a rattle and switched into the combat transformation. At this very moment those who had been waiting in ambush were ordered to attack.
    Personal warpspace devices were the brand-new technology unavailable even to the Family. The clapping of disabled generators joined into a steady noise and people in powered armor started to appear everywhere – past them, in other corridors and in the terminal hall. One of them materialized in the very place where Andrew was standing and the cyborg was thrown aside under the Meklon who now looked like a huge spider.
    Nobody wanted to take them alive, apparently.
    Kay took two hits before he opened fire – without looking at the enemy and heavily hopping from place to place. The ‘Seraph’ held perfectly. A cloud of strange iridescent vapor appeared over the point where a laser beam had hit. A plasma blast seemed to inflict no damage at all.
    The attackers were too many. They avoided using heavy weaponry in order not to hit each other. And their tiny party got a small chance.
    The Meklon galloped in a funny manner along the perimeter on his hind legs, its plasma gun that protruded from its chest was firing without stop. Its fore paws tirelessly delivered awful blows to the attackers.
    It was the most dangerous foe and, as it happens frequently, made their opponents to forget about the others.
    Andrew and Tommy were the first to open the return fire. The cyborg, lacking emotions and having unhuman reactions fired an automatic laser connected to his nerve circuits directly. The boy only needed to pull the trigger to make his ‘Argument’ start delivering plasma to everyone who was not in the ‘friendly’ list.
    The eight-seconds’ fire exchange taught a perfect lesson to the commander of the soldiers. Kay noticed that the enemies started to retreat into the corridors and those who were blocked activated some devices that were attached on their belts and simply disappeared in local space wraps. They were clearing the battlefield for some new character… and there was too much open space for his appearance.
    “To the walls!” Kay shouted backing away. His armor was still working perfectly but there was no such thing as ideal armor.
    Kas/s/is fired a short series of charges after the retreating soldiers and, without stopping, jumped to the wall. In a moment it was already crawling at the ceiling. Its head was extended to maximum and was swinging back and forth. It wasn’t hard to deduce what will go into action next… and the only thing that could help them now were the Meklon’s reaction and its unusual position.
    Andrew rose and moved its laser from side to side. There was something wrong with his armor – it smoked and there was flame on the scales. It didn’t look like the combat mode of the ‘Seraph’ – more likely some stuff had managed to set fire to the metal ceramic scales. They didn’t even have time to put out the flame…
    Kay saw one of the twins on the left. He was battered, but intact. The second one was lying still near the soldiers’ bodies. His armor was scorched.
    Tommy was the luckiest one. Even his armor seemed intact.
    “Watch the corridors!” Kay shouted. He suppressed the urge to fire after the soldiers disappearing around the corner. The enemy could appear at every moment and he needed full reaction rate the perceptions of a super could provide.

    “You shouldn’t have called back the assault group,” Lemach said. The base commanded gave him a malevolent gaze.
    “The six of them aren’t going anywhere already, admiral. You can throw people to death on your ships, but I prefer to lose machines.”
    Light ripples appeared on the screen showing the terminal hall, apparently someone, perhaps the Meklon, was jamming the signal, but it was unable, of course, to suppress all internal surveillance systems.
    “I wouldn’t rely too much on machines,” Lemach said. He was sitting behind the base commander at the backup control post. The controls must have been locked – the relations between the base commander and the admiral weren’t what one might call friendly.
    “You don’t have to…” the commander touched the intercom button, “Why the ‘Hunter’ lingers so long?”
    “It has its own logic,” the invisible counterpart replied without any particular respect, “it has to pick the right moment.”
    “Speed it up!”
    “It’s pointless,” Lemach said, “pointless.”
    He’d been watching the man who appeared to be in command of the attackers for over a minute already. If one chose to believe Kahl, this was Kay Althos – the bodyguard of Arthur Curtis. The powered armor (not just some armor, but the newest ‘Seraph’!) concealed his figure and its lowered visor shielded his face. But he could clearly see his weapon – the ‘Excalibur’.
    Lemach beckoned the orderly officer and whispered:
    “Call off our men from the prison block and the corridors leading to the docking bays.”
    The young lieutenant gave Lemach a quizzical look. The admiral sighed:
    “The inner security think they are tough. They are mistaken. Call of our men.”
    Then he made himself comfortable and prepared to enjoy the show.
    Send me a PM if you need me.

  8. #148
    Завсегдатай
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    3,216
    Rep Power
    15

    Re: Please check my translation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    7

    The hyperboat was unrecognizable with all that equipment that the Family technicians had mounted on it. The extra engine cylinder made it look like an ancient shuttle from the end of the twentieth century. The cloaking equipment container had to be mounted on the living module and Kay could only shake his head when he imagined the new aerodynamics of his ship.
    “I did my best,” Lika said.
    Wind was blowing in the canyons – the rainy season was about to begin in the southern hemisphere of Gorra.
    _Brown-green, heavy clouds were floating over the rocks, carrying water and fertile silt _raised by hurricanes in the deltas of polar rivers. The granite field of the landing pad that was large enough to harbor a couple of cruisers, apparently (?) abandoned years ago.
    “Thank you,” Kay said. He was feeling bad, his muscles, filled with cell stimulants, were aching, his skin, soaked with ceroplastics ,was itching, and his liver, which was trying to neutralize the alien tissues, was in pain.
    Kay Duch was unaccustomed to feeling sick.
    “Is it really so important for you?” Saker asked.
    “Yes, it is.”
    He looked at the woman that ruled the Family, smiled faintly and saw her smiling in reply.
    “I can’t tell you anything,” Duch said.
    “You don’t need to, Kay.”
    “You’ll be in trouble because of me.”
    “Don’t worry about it.”
    Kay Duch touched her lips in a passing farewell kiss and stepped back to his ship. He raised his arm, his fingers were clutched together save the thumb that was pointing sideways/to the side, and said:
    “Shedar.”
    “Shedar.”
    He started off to the open hatch and the woman remained, wrapping her body in a short velvet jacket. Saker didn’t bother to step beyond the safety circle and the ship took off ten yards away from her – a grayish black metal hornet ascending on an invisible pillar of the gravity field. The ship flew vertically and the only sound was made by the cracking stone of the launch pad. A hundred meters from the ground the ship slowed down – the pilot switched off the gravity drives and turned the plasma on. Saker kept on looking at the flaming flower that was fading in the sky. When the ship disappeared in the clouds she turned around.
    Her assistant was standing nearby – a young girl whom she had taken from the Haxian ghetto. The communicator headband on her head looked like a sophisticated decoration.
    “The Eldest Son’s ship will land in seven hours, Mother,” said the girl.
    Saker nodded.
    “Might I suggest…” there was nothing except adoration and anxiety in the girl’s eyes, “the commander of the Equatorial Base is currently under our mental control. If he acted (?) according to the/our/his instructions the ship wouldn’t reach the surface of the planet.”
    Lika shook her head.
    “The Eldest Son is furious,” the girl said quietly, “we have gone against the ISS and the army… he might call up a Family meeting.”
    “The Mother doesn’t kill her children,” Saker said. For the first time there was something like irony in the girl’s eyes:
    “And can children kill their mother?”
    “It’s their right.”

    Kay’s ship was not designed to carry six passengers. It had neither space, nor life-support resources. Fortunately, both the Meklon and the cyborg required a lot less oxygen and food than humans and their flight promised to be a short one.
    The grunts that Lika gave him turned out to be two young fellows as alike as two peas in a pod – either twins… or some very impudent clones. Kay talked with them a little, watched them control the ship and left them in the control room with a safe conscience. The guys were well prepared, pity they had chosen to join the Family.
    The Meklon and the cyborg were sitting on the cabin floor. They were either chatting on frequencies unavailable to humans or were playing some game in a virtual space.
    “A question, Kas/s/is,” Kay said. The ugly reptilian head turned to him.
    “One of our opponents will be a Meklon. Do you have any problems with that?”
    “Do you have any problems with the prospect of fighting human opponents?”, the alien asked in reply.
    “Good. Another question. Your compatriot has asynchronous movement of his limb in travelling transformation. What does it mean?”
    The Meklon was silent for a couple of seconds. Then it said:
    “Either there was inaccurate concretion of neural circuits on the cyborgization phase or it was deliberately enhancing its primary function.”
    “I don’t understand,” Kay admitted. The Meklon gave an almost human shrug:
    “The surgeon had butter fingers, got it? That is the first possibility. And the second one – our opponent was trying to achieve maximum efficiency in one of its transformations. A combat one, for example. It chose to ignore the little inconveniences in the rest pose and other transformations.”
    “And what’s in it for us?”
    “The former gives me an advantage in a fight, the latter is the other way around.”
    “And for me?”
    “It doesn’t matter for you,” the Meklon informed him confidently, “If you don’t shoot first – you’re finished.”
    “Thanks.”
    “You are welcome.”
    “Can you rest here?”
    “Of course,” Kas/s/is felt that the conversation was over and turned to the cyborg that hadn't _ said a word to during the whole conversation.
    In his cabin, Kay shooed Tommy away from his bed, dropped the thin mattress on the floor and took clean bed-clothes from the cabinet. Then he said:
    “You’ll sleep on the floor tonight, all right?”
    This lack of hospitality didn’t surprise Tommy. But Kay’s clear intention to go to sleep immediately did.
    “We are going to fight soon!”
    “We? ‘We have arrived’ said the fly in the cargo hold,” Kay smirked as he made himself comfortable, “You’ll have the only task – not to get under fire. And it’s still eleven hours till we fight.”
    Tommy chuckled and settled on the floor obediently. Then he asked:
    “Aren’t you afraid at all?”
    “I am. Ship!”
    “I’m listening, my friend,” there was a hoarse reply from the ceiling.
    “Do you like these pilots?”
    “They are all right. The one that has just left to sleep was better, but the remaining one is not bad at all either. Aren’t you jealous?”
    “For god’s sake, have fun… And what about this metalware they had attached to you?”
    “The engine is a bit stupid but obedient… The cloaking device has opinions. We’ll see how it works.”
    “We’ll see,” Kay agreed, “Turn off the light. And wake me up in eight hours… or if the boy tries to kill me.”
    “I’ll make him regret that,” the ship promised bleakly, “Sleep well, master.”
    Oddly enough, Duch managed to fall asleep only half an hour later when Tommy was (?) already _ breathing steadily, having lost the fight with fatigue. Kay was afraid and his skin was itching too.

  9. #149
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Other Universe
    Posts
    8,501
    Rep Power
    28

    Re: Please check my translation.

    11

    The ‘Hunter’ was a counter-terrorist robot that was designed specifically for working onboard spaceships or space stations. It was in fact very close to being ideal.
    Its three independent laser turrets were powerful enough to penetrate any armor. Its targeting systems ensured nearly one hundred percent accuracy, its reactions were even higher than of the Meklons and its logical circuits had a free model of behavior.
    Now the ‘Hunter’ was lashed by a direct order – to speed up the destruction of terrorists. This was wrong – these people had not yet relaxed after the fight, they were still ready…
    An ‘eye’, thin like a spider-web, that was extended around the corner was studying the opponents. Together with the feed from the inner surveillance systems it ensured a full picture of the situation.
    A Meklon is on the ceiling. The head segment is extended and is moving in random directions. Unfavorable, but it wouldn’t have time to react upon the attack when it is looking in the directions opposite from the Hunter’s.
    A man in the armor with a fusion rifle. He is looking at one of the dead bodies. Unlikely to react in time.
    A small man with an intellectual gun. Might react but his emitter is low-powered.
    A cyborg (the robot sensed the pulsation of electromagnetic fields) with a heavy laser repeater. Dangerous, but he is looking in the opposite direction and his armor is on fire. The performance must be lowered.
    A tall man with a powerful tachyon emitter. The movements are very fast and precise. Very dangerous.
    The ‘Hunter’ designated three primary targets: the Meklon, the cyborg and the man with a tachyon emitter. The heuristic circuits have made the computation – the enemies had no chances at all.
    Six powerful paws, a copy of the Meklon technology, prepared for a jump. The laser turrets started moving and the ‘Hunter’ jumped. The enemies had no chances.
    The robot flew out of the corridor seeing how the man was slowly raising his emitter, and the Meklon with the cyborg were turning. They were late. Too late.
    A tachyon beam, slowed to the speed of light, appeared in its nerve center. The robot ignored this fact for being simply impossible. It was still trying to execute the order to open fire despite the fact that its metal body had already failed to obey. Its quasi-intelligent emitters were still awaiting the order to fire.
    Then the blows from the fusion rifle and the Meklon’s plasma gun turned the ‘Hunter’ into hundreds of scorched pieces. This was understandable and explainable. The robot ceased to function without any emotions which it had been never programmed for.

    “No!” the commander cried out, “NO!”
    Lemach suppressed the laughter. There was nothing good, of course, in the destruction of the ‘Hunter’ but this insolent smart-ass required a lesson.
    “Why?” the commander asked being quieter this time. He turned to Lemach and said imploringly: “How did they manage to beat the robot?”
    “I never rely on machines,” Lemach noted in a vindictive tone. His young and healthy body demanded emotions, fights and intrigue. He should have undergone the aThan long ago…
    “How?” the commander repeated in a dead voice.
    “One of them has an ‘Excalibur’ apparently,” Lemach informed.
    “So what?”
    “The tachyon weapon has special relations with time,” Lemach tenderly patted the barrel of its own ‘Excalibur’. You know, this gun fires nearly a second before you pull the trigger. Don’t you have clearance to the information classified under the ‘Blade’ label? I’m very sorry.”

    The survived twin broke down. Kay understood that immediately, even though the man didn’t say a word when his brother was killed. He reacted too slowly upon the appearance of the robot and too indifferently he accepted their success.
    It could very well be that the suppressed self-preservation instinct made his own death unimportant for him, but the death of his brother had stronger effect.
    Andrew was not doing very well either. His armor stopped burning, but its functionality lowered a great deal. The worse of all was the fact that all the sensors that were mounted on his armor were lost. He was still walking at their rear, but it was a coercive measure now.
    Tommy was the only one whom luck continued to smile at. He had shot his fill, he didn’t receive any serious hits and seemed to have lost his grip on reality completely. Key mentally noted that but there was no time to bring Tommy to reason.
    In spite of everything, they had easily made it to the prison block. There were a couple of shots at great distances and several closed hatches on their way which Kas/s/is blew out with its gun.
    The last door had to be melted with all their guns – the prison was solidly built. But there weren’t anybody behind it. There was a round hall with empty chairs for the guards and control equipment that still worked…
    “Anyone can put a paw into plasma,” the Meklon said showing a good knowledge of Bulrathi sayings, “but seldom one can pull it back intact.”
    “We are already up to our ears in… plasma,” Kay said as he was walking to the control panels. Nobody shot at him. There was nobody to shoot – the prison was surrendered without a fight.
    Andrew followed him making creaking sounds and dropping small chips of his armor on the clean floor along the way. He took off his glove with some effort and put his hand on the interface panel. Then he said:
    “Thirty seconds to remove passwords.”
    “We have plenty of time,” Kay grumbled looking around.
    “Twenty.”
    “Shoot me before you tell me the boy isn’t here.”
    “I’m forbidden to kill you. Ten seconds.”
    “Kas/s/is, destroy the detectors,” Kay asked
    “I’m doing that as well,” the cyborg noted.
    “Never mind.”
    The Meklon studied the room then it rose on his hind legs stretching up nearly to the ceiling. A thin barrel appeared from under its chin. For a few moments Kas/s/is explored the room then its laser started working, melting small holes and craters in the walls and the ceiling.
    “I am in the local network,” Andrew said, “Standard regime… no… disciplinary regime… no… special regime… no…”
    “Damn it,” Kay said feeling as failure loomed over him.
    “Infirmary… yes.”
    “Infirmary?”
    “He’s been under the Four ‘C’ interrogation. I’m forming a corridor.
    Kay held a curse. Four ‘C’! It wasn’t even crippling forms of interrogation – it was a methodical vivisection on the edge between life and death.
    Whatever lay audience might say about the ISS and the army, Kay had never heard about a fourth level interrogation being applied to a child.
    “Will you fit through the corridor?” he asked Kas/s/is looking at the expanding wall.
    “Probably yes.”
    “We two will go then,” Kay looked at Tommy. It would have taken too long to switch off the following program, “Three of us. Andrew, wait here. Try to hold the passage and prepare the retreat.”

    Lemach, now at the main control panel, looked through the disposition of his forces. The prison block was secured both by armored soldiers and the robots that had disgraced themselves. Kay Althos will get his charge… but that wouldn’t change anything. The only thing that worried Lemach were the inner surveillance systems within the prison block which were all blocked. Either it was the Meklon’s work or there was a cyborg among the attackers who could drive the computer networks crazy.
    “Maybe we should commit Meklons and Bulrathis?” the commander offered tentatively. Lemach smirked.
    “Maybe we will.”
    “Or… we could use gas?”
    “They are all in armor.”
    Lemach contacted the sergeants of the assault groups and issued several orders. The ring around the prison block started to tighten. Losses were inevitable of course; particularly in view that Althos had to be taken alive. But the guys will manage. Lemach knew his people and didn’t doubt their training.
    He just could not understand why he allowed the attackers to enter the prison block.
    “Admiral…”
    Lemach turned over to see his orderly officer, but Isablelle Kahl had already pushed him aside holding the ISS badge in her raised hand.
    “What does it mean?”
    “We are taking them,” Lemach replied coolly. She shouldn’t have spoken in a tone like that with him… and Kahl changed it.
    “Admiral, there are my people in the prison block.”
    “Marjan and Luis? I’m very sorry. Still they have all the chances to fulfill their duty.”
    Kahl was looking at the admiral and biting her lips. Then she shook her head:
    “Things can come to a head in games like that, admiral. They shouldn’t have been allowed near Arthur… they could kill him.”
    “I don’t think so,” Lemach relaxed. He suddenly realized what he was trying to achieve. It was a little thing – he just wanted the masque of a victor to be off Kahl’s face. He wanted their little living prize be theirs… equally theirs.
    A funny thing – once he got younger he started doing foolish things like an enamored youth.
    “Take that Meklon of yours and come to the prison block,” Lemach said, “I’ll be there in six minutes. We’re going to take them all. Together.”
    Send me a PM if you need me.

  10. #150
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Other Universe
    Posts
    8,501
    Rep Power
    28

    Re: Please check my translation.

    12

    One couldn’t escape from a prison like that. The cells didn’t have doors – they were formed remotely only if necessary.
    The corridor was narrow and wasn’t designed for the Meklon, so it changed its form once again.
    “Why didn’t they block the controls?” Kay asked rhetorically, “It looks like they have deliberately let us in.”
    “Perhaps,” Kas/s/is agreed, “But should we ponder about that now?”
    The door was locked, but the melkon didn’t even spend a charge on it. It just pressed hard with its fore paws against it and broke through.
    In a small white room, they saw a doctor at the desk. Having seen the Meklon and two armored people coming in he stood up in haste.
    “I am a civilian employee and I have the aThan,” he said quickly, “It is not necessary to kill me. I’m not even obliged to render any opposition… and I’m certainly not going to do that.”
    Kay looked around the room. There were three doors and a row of closed glass cabinets. There were medicines, medical tools all around, and a half-disassembled medical robot on a diagnostic stand.
    “Where is your patient?” Kay asked.
    “The boy? He’s in the intensive care. He can’t be transported, he’s very unstable.”
    “You tried hard, as it appears”, Kay said, “where?”
    The doctor pointed at one of the doors.
    “Is he alone?”
    He nodded again, but too hastily this time.
    “Kill him, Kas/s/is,” Kay asked.
    The Meklon swung its ugly paw and the doctor’s neck made a cracking sound. He slowly fell on the floor with his head turned at unnatural angle.
    Kay and the Meklon exchanged glances.
    “We’ll try it,” the Meklon decided and graciously walked to the indicated door. Kay stopped two paces to the left. Then he ordered Tommy without turning back:
    “Stay behind the door. Watch the room. If anything happens – go to Andrew.”
    He turned the plasma mode of the ‘Seraph’ and carefully touched the wall. The plastic was melting like ice in the fire.
    “Let’s go,” Kay said.
    The Meklon blew the door inwards with a single blow and was already half-way inside. At the same time Kay stepped through the wall.
    Arthur was lying on a high and cumbersome bed due to many devices attached to it, covered with a bed sheet. At his head, a bulky man in a bright orange shirt was sitting with a sneer on his face. He was unarmed except a tiny cylinder that he held tightly pressed against the boy’s forehead.
    “Hi,” the man said, “Did you kill the doctor? I must admit he deserved that.”
    Kay and Arthur silently looked at each other. Kay somehow knew that the boy recognized him, even through the visor of his flaming armor.
    “I have a shock grenade here with the safety pin removed,” said the man, “if I die his head would crack like a peanut. Is that clear?”
    Arthur’s face was of pale green color and with sunken cheeks. Even his eyes changed somehow… there weren’t the imperiousness of the little prince in them any more.
    “You will die too.”
    “So what? I have the aThan, thanks to Curtis. But you need the boy alive, right? He doesn’t want to die himself… for some reason.”
    “Kay…” Arthur said quietly, “Kill him… we’ll start once again. I promise that we’ll go together.”
    The fatman’s face faltered.
    “We’ve got options to consider, as you see,” Kay said in a friendly manner, “Well, shall we make an exchange? The boy’s life against yours.”
    “No more options,” someone said from behind his back, “lower your weapons and slowly turn around. Slowly, especially you, lizard. Bear in mind that I will react on the opening of embrasures.”
    For the first time that day Kay Duch felt that he had lost. He turned around, slowly as the unknown enemy required… unknown, yet having a familiar voice.”
    The mechanist with a silver face had them in her sights. Both of them – she had an ‘Ultimatum’ that was jauntily clutched in her left hand. A small pistol was in the right one. Her light armor sooner emphasized her figure rather than concealed it.
    Tommy was lying at her foot. His gun was lying nearby.
    “You can’t demand too much from a child,” the mechanist said, “he was so fascinated with your conversation… and the stunning ray goes perfectly through metal ceramics. Do you know, Kay, why I didn’t stun you from behind?”
    Kay shook his head.
    “My name if Marjan. We used to work together.”
    “Hi, Mookhamadee,” Kay said, “You’ve changed.”
    “Hi, Althos. Our people are on their way and I’m sure you won’t do anything foolish. I don’t care about the lizard, I’ll burn him if it moves. It would be a pity that you too won’t survive… Luis, don’t relax yet!”
    “Never intended to!” the man with the shock grenade replied cheering up. The Meklon didn’t turn around, it only turned one of is eyes so that he could see behind.
    “You’re doing well up to the mark, generally,” Mokhamadee continued, “You work honestly and stick to the client till the end. You shouldn’t have gotten here, of course, but business is business, I suppose. Have you been dying often?”
    “I have.”
    “Have you seen anyone of our people? I broke out touch a long time ago.”
    “I saw Nick,” Kay said, “He left the League and gone into commerce. He’s on Kulthos now… married.”
    “What a lump,” Mookhamadee judged, “How about Dinara?”
    “I don’t know. Can I turn the plasma off?”
    “Hot, isn’t it? Go ahead.”
    The flames went out. Kay stood still not trying to raise the ‘Excalibur’. If it didn’t fire then he wouldn’t have time to pull the trigger… Right, Mister Martynenko?
    They allowed to catch themselves so stupidly, so shameful!
    “You got above yourself, Kay,” Mookhamadee continued, “It’s too much for you to handle. You should have guarded rich old ladies and…”
    There were two flashes. Marjan’s hands exploded in fountains of flesh and metal. The ‘Ultimatum’ that was clutched in her left hand flew to the corner and the pistol simply melted. The next moment Kay was already upon the swaying and shocked mechanist that had lost all her dreadful beauty.
    Kay delivered a blow into her chest, feeling the power of the armor with delight. The ribs broke and the woman was thrown back to the wall.
    There was a rumble from behind and he heard two merging cries – a thin voice of Arthur and Luis’s shriek.
    He kicked Marjan into her chin (there was another cracking, thanks to the servomotors) and dashed to the Meklon. Andrew who was standing at the door continued to aim at the mechanist. He must have had a high opinion upon the vitality of his like.
    Kas/s/is didn’t require any help. He was finishing crumpling with its fore paws something that had been a human body a few moments before. One of its middle paws rested on Arthur’s head. There was a smoke over the bed and a small crater in the wall.
    “Many humans have high opinion about the role of hair in their appearance,” the Meklon noted without stopping its exercise with an improvised ball, “Whilst we think that hair is an atavism that is unworthy our human friends. The boy should adopt this way of thinking.”
    Kay removed the Meklon’s paw from Arthur’s head. Curtis junior wasn’t crying anymore, probably because he had not enough strength left to cry. His hair was burnt and the skin on his head reddened and was covered with blisters.
    But, considering the circumstances, the Meklon’s shot that vaporized the shock grenade could be called masterful. Luis didn’t consider the simple fact that the shock grenade didn’t contain any explosive material – just an infrasound generator. If he had anything else in his hands the Meklon wouldn’t be able to do anything.
    “Endure it, kid,” Kay said. He stretched his arm to the boy’s face and stopped. The armor was still too hot, “Endure it, kings don’t cry… I will get you out.”
    “Perhaps, but for the time being it will be I who will carry him,” the Meklon noted calmly.
    “Put him to sleep.”
    There was a blue flash.
    Kay averted his eyes from the slowly relaxing face. Then he said:
    “I’ll take the other one.”
    “Are we deviating from the original plan?” inquired Kas/s/is.
    “Yes.”
    “Can I know the reason for it?”
    “They don’t look like each other anymore.”
    “Well, well,” the Meklon said with an intonation so human that it made Kay to shudder. He walked to the adjoining room past the dead doctor, past stunned Tommy and past Andrew who was overlooking the corridor. He bent over Marjan who was lying in a pool of blood. A new passing through hole appeared in her chest.
    “Just to be on the safe side,” the cyborg explained, “she had an organic heart.”
    “Really? Well, I’ve got an order for a piece of silver…”
    The mechanist’s ears were metallic too – her masque would have fitted some evil goddess. Kay Duch tore off the ear lobe and said to a still body:
    “I could jump above my head indeed… but you are metal for scrap now.”
    Marjan didn’t answer, but not because she was dead, as Andrew and Duch thought. Her reserve blood pump which usually activated at high physical exertions was working desperately, providing blood flow to the brain and liver. Its valves were shutting the torn arteries and the electrodes that were implanted into her brain were suppressing the intolerable pain.
    Andrew didn’t know that heart had stopped being a vital organ for some mechanists already.
    Send me a PM if you need me.

  11. #151
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Other Universe
    Posts
    8,501
    Rep Power
    28

    Re: Please check my translation.

    PART SEVEN. THE LAIR OF GOD

    1

    T/san was furious. After twenty five years of service in the ISS he’d been held locked for the whole half an hour. They didn’t trust him! And all of this was just because there was another Meklon among the attackers.
    They’ve made it to the prison block in time. Lemach had not yet begun the attack. Kahl had to pass three security posts and present her ISS badge three times on their way here – each post had three men in powered armor and a ‘Hunter’ – nearly an impregnable barrier. Kahl thought that if Lemach had shown such a zeal right from the beginning, Kay and his party would have been stopped in the mid-way.
    The admiral was standing in the middle of his orderly officers at the portable control post. Down the corridor, where melted doors were seen, there was a group of armored men.
    “Do you want to go?” the admiral inquired, raising his eyes from the screen.
    Isabelle shook her head.
    “You’re right… You may begin!” he commanded.
    A metal wave rolled along the corridor. Kahl had to narrow her eyes when attackers’ armor flourished with plasma lights and laser beams struck at the door opening. One of the attackers that ran too far ahead fell under the shots of his comrades either dead or in an attempt to survive.
    “Losses are inevitable,” Lemach said squinting at Kahl, “But nearly all of them have the aThan.”
    The attackers broke into the prison block. The majority went through the doors, but some other groups entered it through the holes melted in the walls. Kahl knew that the soldiers were entering the prison from all sides… but even those fifty men who acted in front of her eyes seemed to be capable of breaking down any resistance.
    Shots ceased.
    “That’s all,” Lemach said and turned over to Kahl. He smiled and put a hand on her shoulder. Isabelle’s face was distorted with fury:
    “All? And what if the boy died?”
    “My men…” Lemach started. The orderly officer who relieved him at the control panel stepped to the admiral.
    “I’m sorry…”
    Lemach stopped short.
    “They aren’t in the prison block, admiral. There were three bodies of our men… and that’s all.”
    Kahl pushed Lemach aside and ran towards the door opening. T/san rushed after her.

    Kay had never overestimated his powers. Neither had he relied on luck.
    Now he didn’t have any choice than to rely on both.
    They left the prison block very simply – using the same way which the base commanders used when they were interrogating prisoners. This part of the Saker’s plan seemed the most questionable one, but the hypertunnel did in fact continue to work. It didn’t occur to anyone that prisoners could escape from one prison into another one.
    But by using this way of escape, they received a tiny chance instead of none.
    “A cozy place,” Andrew said when Duch carrying Tommy in his arms walked through the hypertunnel.
    Kay knew what the cyborg meant. The room was someone’s office – there were a multifunctional control panel with a comfortable armchair and a panoramic screen. On the wall, there hung an ancient tapestry with a collection of assorted weapons. It would have been interesting to stay and explore… if they had a couple of hours to spare.
    “Any detectors?” Kay asked as he stepped down from the receiving pad.
    “Probably none.”
    Kay looked at Tommy. The boy was still paralyzed, but his eyelids started to shake. The mechanist gave him a full doze from her stunner.
    The hypertunnel worked again and the Meklon appeared in the office. In order to fit the transfer zone it had to stay on its hind legs, resembling something like a monument to a standing mantis. It held Arthur against its chest and Kay felt a sting of pain when he looked at his pale-yellow face.
    “Will you rummage through the machines?” he asked both the Meklon and the cyborg.
    Kas/s/is stepped back and replied:
    “I wouldn’t risk it.”
    “Neither would I” Andrew said, “We are even farther from the dock than we were before, but we have a very good corridor running from here.”
    The hypertunnel worked for the last time. The grunt remained in place which was quite reasonable since while staying in the receiving zone he was blocking the passage.
    “Let’s undress,” Kay said and lowered Tommy on the floor, “Kas/s/is, attend to the door.”
    The armor was heavy as hell, even though they helped each other out, they lost seven precious minutes. Before getting out of his ‘Seraph’ Kay gulped from a tube near his mouth. The liquid was astringent and bitter and had nauseous rancid odor, but then again, ‘combat cocktails’ had never taken any prize on taste contests.
    “Now I have two more hours,” Kay said.
    “This will be enough both for death and for running away,” the Meklon chose to comment that as he was attaching a badge of the high-ranking ISS officer to its chest.
    “There’re going to be three more rooms, according to the plan. The last one is probably guarded. Then, there will be a transportation terminal number eight and the corridor to the docks.”
    Kay smoothed his uniform. It had been sewn only a day before, but it didn’t appear new. The captain’s shoulder straps and the ribbon bar ‘Servant of the Empire’ of all four grades completed the picture.
    The grunt was a sergeant and the cyborg was a junior officer of the ISS. Tommy had a pale grey pajama that resembled the one Arthur was in. Kay patted the boy’s cheeks, but there was no reaction.
    “It’s time,” Kay said and swung the ‘Excalibur’ on his back, “Let’s go, Andrew, take Tommy.”
    They went through the open door. The four piles of their armor remained on the floor. Perhaps, Kay did say ‘thanks’ to the metal ceramics plates, but even he wasn’t so sentimental to say that aloud.

    Ian Dumbowsky remained on the secondary post not because he was a bad soldier. He was expecting a sergeant’s arm patch in the near future and a transfer to the elite first regiment that was subordinate personally to Lemach.
    The lone fact that he had not yet raised enough money for his first aThan stripped him of the opportunity to participate in the assault on the prison block. Ian could have afforded immortality after three years of service provided he didn’t spend much… but his parents lived on beggary Haxia. Their son’s money who was lucky enough to join the army allowed them to bear their existence on the planet that had been long since qualified as ‘unpromising’.
    Ian carried thirty pounds of his light armor with such easiness as if it had been a shirt made of natural silk which he couldn’t afford. The impulse raygun that rested on his elbow seemed to continue his right arm.
    Generally, Ian was quite pleased with himself and thought it wouldn’t be all that bad if in his evening mail he would tell his parents about the terrorists in such a manner as if he had participated in their capture personally.
    Dumbowsky’s post was situated in front of Lemach’s apartments. Ian hovered in a wall niche that provided him a good overview of the corridor and even some partial cover. The door opened and an unfamiliar captain appeared from it shaking off his sleeve.
    Ian straightened. He’d taken up the post only two hours before and he didn’t know if somebody was in Lemach’s apartments. The admiral used to work at nights quite often.
    Still he pointed his emitter at the stranger. The officer frowned.
    “Your ID,” Ian said in neutral voice.
    The captain silently reached in the pocket of his uniform and handed him the card. Ian took it with his free hand and quickly browsed through. Then he said:
    “I’m sorry, Mister Shivaki. The emergency situation…”
    Niazo Shivaki the interrogation specialist committed to the Endorian Task Force, put his documents away and asked:
    “Is the stir still going on, soldier?”
    Usually Ian could not stand such officers – indulgent and well-disposed towards soldiers. He wanted to talk to somebody this time, however:
    “They broadcast it over the common network that the terrorists are blocked in the prison block. Lemach himself is there.”
    Shivaki shook his head apparently in disapproval of the admiral’s desire to be in the middle of action. Then he told confidently:
    “We’ve only just arrived and immediately got into trouble. How do we get to the infirmary? These brats felt seedy after a single ampoule…”
    “Third level,” Ian replied. He started to get nervous. The captain’s documents were in order, but…”
    “Hey, sergeant!”
    A white haired guy with a pale unemotional face appeared from the door.
    “Get the boys or they’ll kick the bucket before the admiral arrives.”
    A human cyborg carrying a limp child’s body in his arms and a Meklon with an exactly the same burden appeared from the door. The young guy wore the ISS uniform, the alien had the token on its chest.
    “I must check the documents,” Ian said. He felt suddenly cold and drops of cold sweat ran down his back. Everyone knew that a teenager carrying some secret information was detained, but Lemach didn’t carry out interrogations in his office… and there was a Meklon among the attackers.
    “Go ahead, check them out,” the captain agreed.
    For some reason, Ian was sure that everyone’s documents were in order, even the alien’s. And they will walk past him, but not to the infirmary, of course, but to the transportation shuttle that will deliver them to the hangar deck in a couple of minutes.
    Ian also thought that if he spat upon the regulations and let them go (but gave a warning to the terminal post) he wouldn’t be brought before court-martial, but simply dismissed for violating the guard duty regulations. He would work again in the Haxia mines… and his brother would have to quit the college and join him in a couple of years.
    Ian pulled the trigger.
    He was ahead of the Meklon for half a second. His beam slashed the white haired guy and amputated his right arm at his elbow. Then Kas/s/is’s plasma blast provided Ian Dumbowsky’s parents with a due pension from the Empire.
    “Damn it…” Kay Duch whispered looking as Andrew, having lowered Tommy on the floor, bent over the fallen grunt. His face was distorted with a grimace of pain, but there were no fear in his eyes. The Family doctors knew how to suppress the self-preservation instinct.
    The Meklon approached Kay.
    “The plan has failed. If even this youth understood who we are then the posts on the transportation nodes won’t let us through.”
    “He was alarmed by the fact that we came out of this room…”
    “He was alarmed by me. What are we going to do with the grunt?”
    Kay didn’t answer and walked to Andrew. Andrew stepped back and Kay looked at the wounded guy. For a moment their gazes met and Duch averted his eyes.
    “Do it… quickly…” whispered the guy.
    “I’m sorry,” Kay said and raised the ‘Excalibur’. He felt a wave of heat from the silent flash and then Duch pulled the trigger. Andrew was already picking up Tommy.
    “We’ll go with the alternative plan,” Kay decided.
    Send me a PM if you need me.

  12. #152
    Завсегдатай
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    3,216
    Rep Power
    15

    Re: Please check my translation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    Thank you, basurero, your help is much appreciated.

    9

    The sound of the intercom was loud enough to wake up not only Lemach, but Kahl also.
    “What?” Isabelle couldn’t see the admiral in darkness, only a slight rustle suggested that he had just half-risen/sat up in _ bed. The very tone of the signal seemed to promise nothing but trouble to the admiral.
    “Red square.”
    Lemach jumped off the bed. Kahl heard him muttering a curse and asked:
    “Trouble?”
    “Armed assault on the base,” Lemach replied after a moment’s hesitation.
    Isabelle turned on the bed lamp. Lemach was already dressed and was fastening the intercom disk to his collar. The informer’s whisper was scarcely audible.
    “They’re after the boy,” Kahl said.
    “Nonsense! Curtis wouldn’t risk it.”
    “It’s Kay Althos.”
    Lemach silently took his sidearm from the safe and girded it to his belt, then he produced an emitter that was unfamiliar to Kahl – with an unusually broad barrel.
    The rejuvenated admiral apparently wanted to shoot a little.
    “I’m going to the prison block,” Kahl said as she was putting her skirt on, “so are my men.”
    “Only men, Isabelle. There is a meklon among the attackers – all aliens on the base were isolated. You can use my hypertunnel.”
    “But I need T/san!”
    “That’s too bad.”
    “Lemach!”
    “This is ridiculous, Kahl!” Lemach said and ran out of the cabin.
    “A xenophobe…” Isabelle hissed as she gathered up her hair on the back of her head and fixed it with a clasp-pin, “an old fart…”

    As_ was expected, they met the first serious opposition on the boundary between the technical and the living decks of the base. As soon as Kas/s/is turned around the corner he immediately jumped (?) back, resembling a _ (redundant - fireballs are always fiery) fireball. Drops of molten metal were dripping from the transparent force field bubble that shielded its head. Its left paw was pressed tightly against its belly.
    “Many,” said the meklon.
    The twins jumped to the corner without talking. The one with the intellectual (?)gun tried to stick the barrel around the corner. The gun made a squeaking sound and jerked back. To his surprise, Kay even felt a moment of sympathy towards this dead metal thing. The fire-swept part of the corridor resembled the nozzles of a launching cruiser – multicolored beams and overpowering heat. Even though he couldn’t feel it through the armor, it was physically real nevertheless. The barely audible sound of exploding ceiling lamps accompanied the scene.
    “The wall behind your back, Kay,” the meklon said, “Work, I am self-repairing.”
    Kay glanced at Andrew just to be on the safe side – the cyborg, like the meklon, kept the detailed plans of the base in his semi-electronic memory. Andrew nodded while still looking at Kas/s/is. Its damaged limb disappeared somewhere in its belly under the scales. It looked like the cyborg envied the alien.
    The ‘Excalibur’ fired. In a violet flash, a segment of the wall turned into a reddish puddle on the floor. Still, it was nothing new – Kay used to work with tachyon emitters before. Through the darkness of the opened gap he could see a narrow corridor filled with cables and pipes.
    “No dangerous communications,” _the meklon kindly informed them ("inform" is transitive in this meaning).
    Kay stepped over the smoking puddle that had started to get hard again. He tore a cable with his hand and tried to bend a thin annulated (?)(spellchecker doesn't like this word) pipe. It turned out to be surprisingly resilient and he activated the combat mode of his armor with a slight movement of his chin. Tiny white sparks started dancing on the armor plates, engulfing Kay in a light that was hard on his eyes. The stubborn pipe melted in his hands and a jet of compressed gas spurted out of its torn ends.
    “I sense someone approaching,” Andrew said flatly, “Three in armor.”
    Kay walked straight through. Pipes were exploding and melting, the assorted liquids that came out in fountains were making hissing noises. Electric sparks added to the illumination.
    The meklon stretched, resembling now a five-legged steel worm, and trotted after Kay. The rest were moving behind them. A small trickle of water reached the puddle of molten metal and exploded with a cloud of vapor, making the cyborg that was going last (sounds a bit weird, maybe) _ give a startled jump.
    “How is your paw?” inquired Kay after a couple of minutes. The technical corridor they were walking along twisted and turned ("was +ing" makes it sound like they were actually in motion) but still led them in the right direction.
    “Better already. Don’t touch this pipe.”
    Kay ducked under the pipe wrapped in fibrous insulation and asked:
    “Why?”
    “Liquid nitrogen. I’m afraid to catch cold.”
    The corridor ended in a round shaft. There were plastic step brackets on the wall… unfortunately those who had built the base did not foresee repair technicians wearing powered armor.
    “Up,” the meklon decided, “it has to be clearer and fresher there.”
    Kay deactivated the combat mode of his armor and carefully tried the bracket. It held.
    “Your species used to have no sense of humor at all,” he said to the meklon. He carefully lifted his weight bending off (?)the vertical pipe with his back.
    “Simply our sense of what is funny differs from the human one. But since your humor was a major factor in military victories we try to adopt it.”
    “Another two or three generations and you’ll succeed.”
    I agree/I think so too .”
    One bracket broke and Kay almost fell on the meklon’s head. He stopped talking after this.
    He turned at Kas/s/is indications, breaking through some obstacles and carefully avoiding _ others.
    They had been moving like this for fourteen minutes when Andrew, who was at their rear, informed them that their pursuers were getting closer.

  13. #153
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Other Universe
    Posts
    8,501
    Rep Power
    28

    Re: Please check my translation.

    2

    Bodies marked their way to the dock. The transportation terminal post had not yet been informed that the terrorists broke outside the prison block and there weren’t any problems there. But when the capsule was carrying them through the base Lemach had already had all the information – the two posts that didn’t answer calls clearly marked the path of their retreat. The units that were concentrated near the prison started moving towards the docks. Every second counted. Kahl and T/san had disappeared somewhere, but Lemach didn’t even notice that. He remained at the control post – his accurate command was now more important that his presence. All able-bodied base personnel that were situated near the docks were assembled in the terminal hall. The short corridor led from here to the terrorists’ vessel. They had to be stopped here.
    Lemach realized his main mistake – he had allowed Kay to liberate the boy. Now they had lost the opportunity to use heavy weapons in order not to harm Arthur. Only stunners and intelligent weapons with humanity circuits activated remained at their disposal – not bad, but Lemach wished he could use more than that.
    He had to rely on their numerical superiority. Two dozen men that were situated all over the terminal hall were too many to be destroyed all at once.
    The transportation capsule was big enough for all of them, even the Meklon. The small tramcar with mirror walls flew through the base on the soft cushion of electromagnetic field. It had an independent power source and controls – the combat reliability requirements now played against the defenders of the orbital station. There wasn’t any way to stop the capsule.
    Kay looked in the neat mirror and adjusted his uniform. This simple masquerade had already played its part and took the young fellow at the first post off guard. Armor would have suited them better now, but alas, it was being kicked in helpless frustration by the troopers who had broken into the Lemach’s office.
    “Arriving in twenty seconds,” the Meklon informed. It stood by the broad door carefully shielding the less defended humans, “Begin the transmission.”
    Kay took a small one-use transmitter out of his pocket and pushed the button. The small spiral of its antenna started glowing slightly. A couple of extra roentgens couldn’t do them much damage while their very life depended on the power of the signal.
    “If your ship hears us,” Kas/s/is said, “it would be an incredible luck.”
    Kay discarded the transmitter and took the ‘Excalibur’ at the ready. Andrew carried two kid’s on his metal shoulders and was now as unfit for fight as he was in his damaged armor.

    The hyperboat still had the appearance of a freighter. The armor plates around the hatch were smelted a bit and a small handful of ash on the floor marked the result of someone’s attempt to get inside. The vessel was left alone for the time being and only two ‘Hunters’ stood guard against some hypothetical enemies that could be hiding onboard. Their automatic systems were a match for the mechanisms of the ship and they wouldn’t have missed any new opening of the battle embrasures.
    When the hum of starting machinery reached their sensors the robots’ emitter turrets immediately started tracking the source of the sound. But the ship wasn’t trying to engage them in a laser duel – it simply started its engines.
    The sentry robots weren’t programmed to combat spaceships.
    The gravity drive started first. The thrust vector was oriented to the opposite direction so the robots didn’t act. The massive doors of the airlock trembled and bent under the virtual mass but held. The vessel started a slow crawl along the transportation corridor.
    The movement lasted for only fractions of a second right until the plasma booster started. It was a monstrous violation of safety requirements onboard the station. After a moment’s hesitation the ‘Hunters’ considered it an attack and six laser beams stroke at the nozzles. Perhaps, if they had more time they would eventually cut through tritanium, but the fire storm raging in the dock knew no mercy.

    … At first, only a roar was heard in the terminal hall. Some soldiers who stood still waiting for a capsule with terrorists to arrive risked turning around. They saw a looming heat haze that flew out of the corridor. Then they saw two smelted metal balls. Only a laser beam from one emitter that remained miraculously intact gave away that these were the ‘Hunters’.
    Then the death came.

    The capsule door opened reluctantly with jerks. When the embrasure width reached five inches they sensed a burnt scent. Kas/s/is took hold of the doors and forced them apart, the capsule doors first, and then the outer ones that were partly melted and stuck dead. Nothing but reeking semidarkness was seen beyond.
    “Dear Gods,” the cyborg said suddenly.
    The air was hot and suffocating – everything that could burn in the terminal hall had burned and everything that could melt had melted. The gratings of the climate control system sticking out from the walls that were now stripped of decorative panels sucked the swirls of thick and acrid smoke in. Only this made them able to breathe.
    And there was also a smell of burned proteins.
    They got out of the capsule – the Meklon first, then Kay and Andrew with the boys on his shoulders. The soles hissed as they touched the floor and even Kas/s/is had to trot. Everywhere around them were burned human bodies that sometimes were pressed down by smoking armor that failed. Some bodies were still burning.
    Kay was taken with a fit of coughing. The cyborg was already moving down the corridor that lead to their dock. The Meklon was looking around as if assessing the strength of this non-traditional weapon.
    “They won’t forgive you,” it said quietly, “Kay, you’ve outsmarted yourself.”
    It produced thin claws out of its paws and trotted across the hot floor. It stopped looking at the pile of metal from which a thin, visible only in the smoke, beam was projected onto the ceiling. One of the surviving lighting panels exploded and it grew even darker.
    Kay ran after the Meklon. Andrew had already disappeared in the corridor and a weak child’s moan let it known that one of the boys had returned to consciousness. The temperature there was probably no less than a hundred degrees – the largest oven in history… if one doesn’t count the planets bombarded with meson bombs.
    Kay stopped before the corridor to pump the hot air in his lungs. The ‘battle cocktail’ had already started its course through his body. His chemically augmented muscles allowed him to cover the distance in two or three minutes, but he didn’t want to breathe along the way.
    At this moment an explosion struck behind him.
    He turned around quickly enough to see as a plasma charge exploded one of the doors leading into the terminal hall. The damaged sector of the station was sealed, but it didn’t stop the attacker.
    Perhaps, Vanda Kahowski did notice the asynchrony of the Meklon from ISS, but it seemed absolutely perfect to Kay. The strangest thing about its appearance was the woman – the familiar white haired woman in a light armor who sat on the alien’s back. Kay had never seen Meklons allowing such liberties before.
    He raised the ‘Excalibur’ as fast as he could and he was even faster than the Meklon. A violet flash forced the alien to jump. His grotesque rider barely maintained her seat. Then Kay pulled the trigger.
    It was very vexing to shoot having already seen the miss.
    “Take them, T/san!” Isabelle Kahl shouted and jumped onto the floor, “Alive!”
    The plasma charge of the Meklon who was changing into the combat transformation exploded the barrel of the ‘Excalibur’ into hundreds spattering drops of white hot metal.
    Send me a PM if you need me.

  14. #154
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Other Universe
    Posts
    8,501
    Rep Power
    28

    Re: Please check my translation.

    3

    The target was single – the man Kay Althos. T/san ran towards him on his hind legs like a huge mantis wrapped in metal and plastic. Its eyes being much more complex than of a human fixed every Kay’s move.
    The man nearly killed it. Technology, that damned technology – that was in what the Humans have managed to excel the Meklons. It was much more difficult to make implanted devices more sophisticated than to perfect the outer weapons. The Humans compensated their slow reactions with semi-intelligent weapons and now they also had tachyon emitters that defied the causality principles. The Meklons had long since have stopped regarding the Humans as enemies – thus was decided by The Perfect and it had become so. But T/san knew a nice workaround – to hate not the Humankind as a whole, but only some of the humans. This notion was once suggested to him by Akhar and the Meklon considered it sound.
    Now it had a worthy object for its hatred – a man in a military uniform that was still holding the butt of his damaged tachyon emitter. He clearly intended to use it as a club, but it was impossible to hold it by the hot remains of the barrel.
    T/san jumped flying over the man and its stunner that had been already aimed released a full charge.
    For the first time in its life the Meklon had met a man whose reaction was a match for its own. Kay started moving at the moment of the alien’s jump dashing to the side with unexpected speed. The stunner charge missed him and the man delivered a blow with his damaged weapon. His strength was of a Bulrathi and combined with the speed of the Meklon’s jump the blow had the astonishing effect. The dent in the breastplate damaged some organic organs and destroyed the protruding stunner.
    Stopped in midair the Meklon momentarily turned around keeping the adversary in sight. The man clearly had abnormal reactions – possibly the result of the Imperial genetic experiments which the Meklon counterintelligence had exposed many years ago. The stimulants were probably also present – his body looked unusually warm in the infrared specter. The man was burning himself turning in to a war machine nearly as perfect as the cyborg itself.
    The Meklon delivered a blow – its fore paws crisscrossed trying to cut Kay’s legs off. He couldn’t evade its claws but instead he simply stepped towards the alien so that his legs were struck not by the sharp claws but plated flesh. Normally his legs would break but Kay’s skin sprang the Meklon’s paws back like solid rubber. At the next moment Kay ducked under the alien and kicked it in its armored belly.
    T/san felt as six hundred pounds of its mass were lifted in the air. The kick wasn’t very strong, but it was unexpected. It rolled towards the smoky metallic pile at the corner of the hall and made a groan as the hot metal touched its scales. Then pain, sudden and sharp, inflamed its fore paw. T/san darted off realizing that it had just lost its limb. The destroyed sentry robot continued to emit the laser beam that disappeared in the smelted funnel on the ceiling.
    Kay tried to reach for the gun on his belt but having caught the Meklon’s gaze on him stopped his hand.
    “I want to kill him,” T/san said. Kahl who was keeping a bead on Kay only shook her head.
    “No, his ship won’t fly away while he’s alive.”
    “I…,” the Meklon started again.
    Kas/s/is darted out of the furnace of the corridor nearly undistinguishable to a human eye from T/san. Even his false ISS token gleamed on the same place.
    T/san, having immediately lost all interest in Kay, dashed towards the new opponent. Kay was on their paths but Kas/s/is reached him first and threw him into the corridor with a single sweep of its paw.
    Kahl managed to shoot twice before the Meklons twined in combat. Both had the plasma gun embrasure opened but neither one risked a shot knowing that equally deadly a retaliation will follow. She dashed towards the two reptiles rolling on the floor trying to count their limbs, but a series of shots from the corridor made Kahl retreat to the bleak company of burned bodies.
    Now she could only wait for the boasted Lemach’s troopers to arrive.
    Kay made it through the corridor in one minute and a half. The ventilation worked at full power and the temperature dropped a bit. He didn’t feel any pain in his legs but he knew that his whole body will swell by the evening (if he would have this evening).
    The hatch was open. Kay broke into the cockpit. Andrew was here alone; the boys were probably fastened to their berths.
    “Twenty seconds,” Kay said quickly seeing that Andrew’s palm was on the launch control panel, “Give Kas/s/is a chance.”
    “Shall I start on plasma?” asked the cyborg in a quarter of a minute. Duch was looking at one of the screens that displayed the dark burned corridor. It was unlikely that Kahl would escape… the death will delay her a bit.
    “Start on the gravs,” Kay ordered, “Ship, dump the cloaking block after the start. Let them have two targets instead of one.”
    “This base has enough for twenty,” Andrew assured him, “I used to serve at one of those.”
    A laser beam cut through the outer hatch and the ship floated into open space engulfed in whirls of the frozen air.

    “Two targets,” the operator informed, “the ship on the seventeenth coordinate is a fake. Its mass is much less than standard.”
    Lemach looked at the screen.
    “Shall we open fire?” the officer asked impatiently.
    “Can you cut its drives off without damaging the cabin?”
    “They’ve got good shields. We’ll have to use tachyon beams… It will be blown to dust.”
    “Destroy the decoy.”
    The operator’s gaze expressed everything but understanding.
    “Execute the order!”
    Lemach turned to the orderly. That one showed a better discipline – his face expressed no hint of doubt.
    “Prepare the ‘Seeker’ and my destroyer. Start the repairs. All information about the incident is to be classified secret. That’s all.”
    The orderly started away.
    “Wait, how many dead beyond recall?”
    “Twenty seven men, admiral. The others have the aThan.”
    “Prepare individual condolences to the relatives… and don’t forget to give them to me before sending. I’ll sign them personally.”
    In the course of his long life Lemach had learned the value of true humanity.
    Send me a PM if you need me.

  15. #155
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Other Universe
    Posts
    8,501
    Rep Power
    28

    Re: Please check my translation.

    4

    “Give me something to drink,” Tommy said. Kay handed him a glass without stopping sprinkling the anti-burn spray onto the boy’s body. Tommy’s legs were still numb but he was already feeling his arms.
    “Blisters will start to appear within an hour,” Kay informed without much compassion, “but nothing serious.”
    “Did we get away?”
    “Yes, we’re already in hyperspace. Get dressed.”
    Tommy sat on his bed and started putting on his shirt being careful to avoid the burns. Then he asked:
    “And where’s Arthur?”
    “He is in another cabin with Andrew. He’s even better a doctor than I am a killer.”
    Kay appeared to go through the ‘furnace’ unharmed. The keroplast pumped under his skin protected him not only from the Meklon’s blows but from high temperature as well. The inevitable carcinogenic effect seemed not to worry Kay very much.
    “Did I fail you?” Tommy asked.
    “Moderately so,” Kay sat in the chair and looked thoughtfully at the boy. Between them there stood a wall of solid ice both of them could feel.
    “Shall I play some music, master?” inquired the ship cautiously.
    “Be silent! You may ask, Tommy.”
    The boy carefully put his legs down on the floor. He tried to stand, but without success and reclined against the pillow again.
    “Kay, why did you change your mind? Why didn’t you leave me there?”
    “How did you understand?” inquired Duch.
    “I used my head. I was useless, even more than that. If you needed another fighter you would have asked one from the Family. Wouldn’t you?”
    “Yes, I would.”
    “Then you wanted to use me for something else. We were rescuing my double so you wanted to leave me there instead of him. With my body still there nobody would have pursued you.”
    “Sound thinking,” Kay agreed, “but I didn’t intend to kill you. I promised you, remember? I only wanted to put you to sleep.”
    “Thanks.”
    “Oh, I recognize the family politeness. You’re welcome,” Kay rose to his feet, “I’m going to Arthur. His condition is far worse than yours.”
    “You didn’t answer,” Tommy said and suddenly Kay really heard the Curtis’s intonation in his voice.
    “Well, if I say that I felt pity for you would you believe?”
    “No, of course I wouldn’t.”
    “Don’t believe then.”

    Luis phoned Kahl right from the ‘aThan’ office on Dogar. He informed that he had renewed his contract and asked to send a shuttle for him. Isabelle cut the line. She had enough problems of her own. A whole team of medics and technicians were busy with Marjan, and both T/san and its congener were now lying on the operating tables of Meklon surgeons. Nomachi could get to the station by himself, his ISS token allowed him enough.
    She also was frustrated with Lemach’s mindlessness. The admiral was busy inspecting the repairs and conducting negotiations with the planetary administration and the General Staff who were alarmed by the incident. His reputation and recent events allowed him to smother up this scandal. Kahl had no doubts that all the blame would be imputed to some Darlok terrorists.
    The admiral summoned her only at night – it was transparent enough. Kahl appeared in his office ablaze in fury and was met by a glass of vermouth.
    “We have to relax a bit,” Lemach said, “The army and ISS don’t get their noses bloodied like this every day, do they?”
    “Someone’s nose was sticking too high in the air,” Isabelle said and accepted the glass. She couldn’t afford to quarrel with Lemach in this situation but she was certainly not going to restrain her sarcasm.
    “I’m not going to argue that,” the admiral was in a peaceful mood, “Still, what an impudent rascal he is? I am in awe before this Althos of yours.”
    “He isn’t mine.”
    “Neither he’s mine, unfortunately,” Lemach sipped his wine, “Kahl, you’re wasting your nerves. What did we have? The boy that dumbfounded the whole interrogation system. The boy that could endure any amount of pain and turn drugs into shit. I don’t think that our doctor has found a reason for his endurance. Besides, Arthur had the aThan and I doubt we had covered any possibility of suicide. He simply was too sure of himself.”
    “And what do we have now?” Isabelle asked with irony in her voice.
    “Now we have a clear track of the ship which is carrying the boy directly to his goal. We’ll fly in the morning and stick on their tail. Curtis junior won’t last long, you know it. But he is determined to fulfill his father’s mission. He’s got to hurry.”
    “We’ll fly in the morning,” Isabelle said looking somewhere through Lemach, “In the morning…”
    “Are you all right?”
    Kahl roused herself and smiled at the admiral, and for a moment, in her face flickered that helpless naivety of the long forgotten schoolgirl who used to hang the portraits of the Feud War heroes over her bed.
    “I’m tired, Lemach,” she complained, “I should have killed Althos on Tauri. The boy was so strong because he believed in him. One shouldn’t leave people the belief in their friends. They become strong.”
    “What friend? Just a very good mercenary who was promised a mountain of gold and free aThan.”
    “You didn’t see him fighting with T/san. A mercenary would have surrendered or died covering the retreat. And Kay fought to win and escape. He had an incentive… And he escaped.”

    Even the cyborg looked tired. He went out of the small bedroom (there was no separate medical block onboard the ship) and having discovered Kay at the table sat nearby.
    “Speak,” Kay said as he was finishing his second cup of coffee.
    “He will die.”
    “I understand. When and of what?”
    “Within a week. It’s not because of the torments. His bone marrow is damaged. It appears that their aim was to fully sterilize his blood.”
    “Are there no chances at all?”
    Andrew shook his head.
    “Are you upset with something?” Kay asked. There was a surprise in the cyborg’s look.
    “Of course. We failed the mission. The Meklon died.”
    He didn’t even mention the twin grunts.
    “The boy has the aThan.”
    The cyborg was thinking for a second.
    “Then why did we carry him to the ship?”
    Kay drew close to the cyborg’s grotesque head and whispered confidently:
    “So that he could die properly.”
    Andrew slowly rose on his feet.
    “I’ll take control. Where are we going to?”
    “To Ursa.”
    “To the Bulrathi?”
    “Yes. To the Imperial enclave, of course. As far as I know, the ISS there has enough problems of their own to control the ships passing through. You will board some liner headed for Gorra there and we will continue our journey.”
    “All right.”
    “Andrew!” Kay said to his own surprise, “We have a mission success, really. Everything is all right. Tell Lika I’ll contact her… whenever possible.”
    The cyborg nodded and asked:
    “Do you require any medical aid?”
    Kay couldn’t understand what is was – either a sudden irony or some sign of sympathy in return.
    “No, thank you.”
    When Andrew had disappeared in the cockpit, Kay stood up and quietly entered the Arthur’s cabin.
    “Hi,” the boy said quietly. Somehow Duch was sure that Andrew had given him a sedative before he left and Arthur’s words caught him off balance.
    “Hi,” he replied, “Are you feeling better?”
    Nearly all Arthur’s body was covered with pink jellylike cream. He had an automatic injector on his left arm, and a cardio driver that rested on his chest with its spiderlike paws sunk in his skin.
    “Oh yes, and soon it’s going to be even better.”
    Kay sat on his bed and touched the boy’s hair.
    “Who is that boy?” Arthur asked.
    “You are.”
    “I see. It was him after whom you were so eager to go to Cailis?”
    “Yes.”
    “Can I talk to him?”
    “Tomorrow. You can do everything tomorrow. Do you want to sleep?”
    “I’ve been doing this all the time… between the interrogations.”
    “I’m sorry it took me this long.”
    “We’ll deduce a hundred years from your immortality… as a punishment. Kay, how soon will I die?”
    “In a week.” Duch said without hesitation.
    “Will you go with me? I will explain everything to my father, you’ll see.”
    “We’re going to be on Graal in a week.”
    Arthur smiled and the cream on his face was trembling like jelly.”
    “Kay, I’m nearly a corpse.”
    “Have I ever lied to you?”
    The boy didn’t answer.
    “Everything will be all right.”
    “Are you sure?”
    “We have fifty chances out of a hundred. Exactly.”
    “This is much,” Arthur said seriously.
    “Of course. Now sleep. You’ll need strength. If you don’t hang on for another week, we would have to start from the beginning.”
    “I’ll try,” Arthur promised.
    “Try. I’ll sit here until you’re asleep.”
    He did sit near Arthur for another hour. Then he returned to his cabin and cast a bleak stare at Tommy who occupied the bed, and finally settled in the armchair.
    In a couple of hours, however, when the action of the ‘battle cocktail’ anesthetics had ceased he had to wake up anyway.
    Send me a PM if you need me.

  16. #156
    Завсегдатай sperk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    США
    Posts
    2,285
    Rep Power
    15

    Re: Please check my translation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    4

    “Give me something to drink,” Tommy said. Kay handed him a glass without stopping sprinkling the anti-burn spray onto the boy’s body. Tommy’s legs were still numb but he was already feeling his arms.
    “Blisters will start to appear within an hour,” Kay informed without much compassion, “but nothing serious.”
    “Did we get away?”
    “Yes, we’re already in hyperspace. Get dressed.”
    Tommy sat on his bed and started putting on his shirt being careful to avoid the burns. Then he asked:
    “And where’s Arthur?”
    “He is in another cabin with Andrew. He’s an even better a doctor than I am a killer.”
    Kay appeared to go through the ‘furnace’ unharmed. The keroplast that had been pumped under his skin protected him not only from the Meklon’s blows but from high temperatures as well. The inevitable carcinogenic effect seemed not to worry Kay very much.
    “Did I fail you?” Tommy asked.
    “Moderately so,” Kay sat in the chair and looked thoughtfully at the boy. Between them there stood a wall of solid ice that both of them could feel.
    “Shall I play some music, master?” inquired the ship (I hope some previous context makes this clear) cautiously.
    “Be silent! You may ask, Tommy.(I don't get that)
    The boy carefully put his legs down on the floor. He tried to stand, but without success and reclined against the pillow again.
    “Kay, why did you change your mind? Why didn’t you leave me there?”
    “How did you understand?” inquired Duch.
    “I used my head. I was useless, even more than that. If you needed another fighter you would have asked for one from the Family. Wouldn’t you?”
    “Yes, I would.”
    “Then you wanted to use me for something else. We were rescuing my double so you wanted to leave me there instead of him. With my body still there nobody would have pursued you.”
    “Sound thinking,” Kay agreed, “but I didn’t intend to kill you. I promised you, remember? I only wanted to put you to sleep.”
    “Thanks.”
    “Oh, I recognize the family politeness. You’re welcome,” Kay rose to his feet, “I’m going to Arthur. His condition is far worse than yours.”
    “You didn’t answer,” Tommy said and suddenly Kay really heard [s:2iba73q6]the[/s:2iba73q6] Curtis’s intonation in his voice.
    “Well, if I say that I felt pity for you would you believe me?”
    “No, of course I wouldn’t.”
    “Don’t believe me then.”

    Luis phoned Kahl right from the ‘aThan’ office on Dogar. He informed him that he had renewed his contract and asked him to send a shuttle for him. Isabelle cut the line. She had enough problems of her own. A whole team of medics and technicians were busy with Marjan, and both T/san and its congener were now lying on the operating tables of Meklon surgeons. Nomachi could get to the station by himself, his ISS token allowed him enough.(enough what? You can't let the word enough dangle like that. One possibility: he had enough left on his ISS token to make it.)
    She also was ("was also" sounds better) frustrated with Lemach’s mindlessness. The admiral was busy inspecting the repairs and conducting negotiations with the planetary administration and the General Staff who were alarmed by the incident. His reputation and recent events had allowed him to [s:2iba73q6]smother[/s:2iba73q6] cover up this scandal. Kahl had no doubt[s:2iba73q6]s[/s:2iba73q6] that all the blame would be imputed to some Darlok terrorists.
    The admiral summoned her only at night – it was transparent enough. Kahl appeared in his office ablaze [s:2iba73q6]in[/s:2iba73q6] with fury and was met by a glass of vermouth.
    “We have to relax a bit,” Lemach said, “The army and ISS don’t get their noses bloodied like this every day, do they?”
    “Someone’s nose was sticking too high in the air,” Isabelle said and accepted the glass. She couldn’t afford to quarrel with Lemach in this situation but she was certainly not going to restrain her sarcasm.
    “I’m not going to argue that,” the admiral was in a peaceful mood, “Still, what an impudent rascal he is[s:2iba73q6]?[/s:2iba73q6] I am in awe before this Althos of yours.”
    “He isn’t mine.”
    “Neither [s:2iba73q6]he’s[/s:2iba73q6] is he mine, unfortunately.” Lemach sipped his wine, “Kahl, you’re wasting your nerves. What did we have? The boy that dumbfounded the whole interrogation system. The boy that could endure any amount of pain and turn drugs into @@@@. I don’t think that our doctor has found a reason for his endurance. Besides, Arthur had the aThan and I doubt we had covered any possibility of suicide. He simply was too sure of himself.”
    “And what do we have now?” Isabelle asked with irony in her voice.
    “Now we have a clear track of the ship which is carrying the boy directly to his goal. We’ll fly in the morning and stick [s:2iba73q6]on[/s:2iba73q6] to their tail. Curtis junior won’t last long, you know it. But he is determined to fulfill his father’s mission. He’s got to hurry.”
    “We’ll fly in the morning,” Isabelle said looking somewhere through Lemach, (through Lemach to somewhere distant) “In the morning…”
    “Are you all right?”
    Kahl roused herself and smiled at the admiral, and for a moment, in her face flickered that helpless naivety of the long forgotten schoolgirl who used to hang [s:2iba73q6]the[/s:2iba73q6] portraits of the Feud War heroes over her bed.
    “I’m tired, Lemach,” she complained, “I should have killed Althos on Tauri. The boy was so strong because he believed in him. One shouldn’t leave people with the belief in their friends. They become strong.”
    “What friend? Just a very good mercenary who was promised a mountain of gold and free aThan.”
    “You didn’t see him fighting with T/san. A mercenary would have surrendered or died covering the retreat. And Kay fought to win and escape. He had an incentive… And he escaped.”

    Even the cyborg looked tired. He went out of the small bedroom (there was no separate medical block onboard the ship) and having discovered Kay at the table, sat nearby.
    “Speak,” Kay said as he was finishing his second cup of coffee.
    “He will die.”
    “I understand. When and of what?”
    “Within a week. It’s not because of the torments. His bone marrow is damaged. It appears that their aim was to fully sterilize his blood.”
    “Are there is no chance[s:2iba73q6]s[/s:2iba73q6] at all?”
    Andrew shook his head.
    “Are you upset with something?” Kay asked. There was [s:2iba73q6]a[/s:2iba73q6] surprise in the cyborg’s look.
    “Of course. We failed in the mission. Then Meklon died.”
    He didn’t even mention the twin grunts.
    “The boy has the aThan.”
    The cyborg was thinking for a second.
    “Then why did we carry him to the ship?”
    Kay drew close to the cyborg’s grotesque head and whispered confidently:
    “So that he could die properly.”
    Andrew slowly rose on his feet.
    “I’ll take control. Where are we going [s:2iba73q6]to[/s:2iba73q6]?”
    “To Ursa.”
    “To the Bulrathi?”
    “Yes. To the Imperial enclave, of course. As far as I know, the ISS there has enough problems of their own [s:2iba73q6]to[/s:2iba73q6] controlling the ships passing through. You will board some liner headed for Gorra there and we will continue our journey.”
    “All right.”
    “Andrew!” Kay said to his own surprise, “We have [s:2iba73q6]a[/s:2iba73q6] mission success, really. Everything is all right. Tell Lika I’ll contact her… whenever possible.”
    The cyborg nodded and asked:
    “Do you require any medical aid?”
    Kay couldn’t understand what this was – either a sudden irony or some sign of sympathy in return.
    “No, thank you.”
    When Andrew had disappeared in the cockpit, Kay stood up and quietly entered [s:2iba73q6]the[/s:2iba73q6] Arthur’s cabin.
    “Hi,” the boy said quietly. Somehow Duch was sure that Andrew had given him a sedative before he left and Arthur’s words caught him off balance.
    “Hi,” he replied, “Are you feeling better?”
    Nearly all Arthur’s body was covered with pink jellylike cream. He had an automatic injector on his left arm, and a cardio driver that rested on his chest with its spiderlike paws sunk in his skin.
    “Oh yes, and soon it’s going to be even better.”
    Kay sat on his bed and touched the boy’s hair.
    “Who is that boy?” Arthur asked.
    “You are.”
    “I see. It was him after whom you were so eager to go to Cailis?”
    “Yes.”
    “Can I talk to him?”
    “Tomorrow. You can do everything tomorrow. Do you want to sleep?”
    “I’ve been doing this all the time… between the interrogations.”
    “I’m sorry it took me this long.”
    “We’ll [s:2iba73q6]deduce[/s:2iba73q6] subtract a hundred years from your immortality… as a punishment. Kay, how soon will I die?”
    “In a week.” Duch said without hesitation.
    “Will you go with me? I will explain everything to my father, you’ll see.”
    “We’re going to be on Graal in a week.”
    Arthur smiled and the cream on his face was trembling like jelly.”
    “Kay, I’m nearly a corpse.”
    “Have I ever lied to you?”
    The boy didn’t answer.
    “Everything will be all right.”
    “Are you sure?”
    “We have fifty chances out of a hundred. Exactly.”
    “This is much,” (Not clear, perhaps: Those are pretty good odds) Arthur said seriously.
    “Of course. Now sleep. You’ll need strength. If you don’t hang on for another week, we would have to start from the beginning.”
    “I’ll try,” Arthur promised.
    “Try. I’ll sit here until you’re asleep.”
    He did sit near Arthur for another hour. Then he returned to his cabin and cast a bleak stare at Tommy who occupied the bed, and finally settled in the armchair.
    In a couple of hours, however, when the action of the ‘battle cocktail’ anesthetics had ceased he had to wake up anyway.
    Кому - нары, кому - Канары.

  17. #157
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Other Universe
    Posts
    8,501
    Rep Power
    28

    Re: Please check my translation.

    5

    “They do head into the Bulrathi space,” Lemach said thoughtfully. The hyperspace coordinates were rather relative, but the intercept course happened to be susceptible to computation.
    “Will we make it to Ursa before them?” Kahl was nervous. She felt uneasy on the bridge of the destroyer. There were assorted screens, short reports of operators filled with slang. All of this spoke much less to her than to the admiral.
    “No,” Lemach shook his head, “They must have an augmented drive so our advantage in speed is minimal. We will be late for five or six hours.
    “If Curtis plays games with the aliens… let them be the members of the Alliance even…” Kahl swallowed a lump in her throat, “I will be obliged to warn the ISS of the enclave, otherwise it will be considered treason.”
    “Put your mind at rest. Does your planet Incedios deal with the Bulrathi?”
    “Of course, they are long standing partners. Our relative coordinates are very close…”
    “Do liners go to Ursa often?”
    “Almost every day.”
    “Then why Curtis and Althos flew to Volantis instead?”
    Kahl shrugged her shoulders.
    “They’re bound somewhere else…” Lemach switched something on the panel and his screen displayed a schematic flat map. Tiny flags indicated the colonies of various races. To a degree, this primitive scheme reflected the distances between stars, but not the absolute ones which were meaningless in practice, but hyperspace relative.
    “Frontier worlds,” Lemach touched the screen and the part of the map where the stars were marked with the Imperial bicolor, nearly indistinguishable on the dark violet background, grew larger, “Two dozen of underdeveloped worlds. If Arthur Curtis is headed there then his choice of Ursa as an intermediate point is justified.”
    “What will he do there?”
    “You’re overestimating me. If I could guess it I wouldn’t have permitted putting the child under torment.”
    Lemach touched the flags one after another and they displayed small notes containing the most general information about the planets.
    “Keeta, Rayon, Selia, Graal… it can be any of these stars. If we don’t intercept them and they start from Ursa we would be able to tell more precisely.”
    “And what then?”
    “We’ll meet them in the orbit, that’s all. Simply, our conversation with the boy and his loyal bodyguard will take place at the very end of their journey.”
    “If they won’t escape through the aThan.”
    Lemach put his hand on Kahl’s shoulder, arrogantly, like her superior, but she chose not to protest.
    “No, they won’t. I don’t know why, but they seem to be afraid of the aThan. This is rather odd for Curtis’s son… but it’s very useful for us.”

    From the altitude of one hundred kilometers Ursa resembled Terra more than the majority of Human colonies. There was the same balance between water and land, the same spirals of the clouds…
    Kay had been on the ancient Bulrathi home world only once before and couldn’t resist the temptation to land the ship personally. He replied the orbital bases requests (a courier vessel of the ‘Setico’ corporation, passing through, requests landing for rest and refuel, no merchandise and heavy weaponry onboard, staying within the Imperial enclave). They were provided with the landing corridor and nobody seemed to show any further interest to their tiny ship.
    The Human enclave was situated on the small archipelago far away from the central continent. The Bulrathi didn’t like water very much and, by allowing half a million of enterprisers on uninhabitable land, they extorted maximum gain out of it: incidental interracial contacts were rendered nearly impossible and there was no need upkeep the fishing industry. Those Humans who risked appearing first on the planet of the yesterday’s enemy made fortunes on fish trade in the following years.
    Kay led his ship to the stratosphere boundary on the plasma drives, and then he switched to the clean gravity engine. The Bulrathi were a bit obsessed with the ecology which was normal for the race whose planets had been seldom assaulted but bombarded with all known poisons and toxins instead.
    There was only one spaceport in the enclave – the Imperial one, according to the treaty. They were provided with the landing zone in the far corner of the landing field among the other small crafts. There were Human and Meklon yachts, hyperboats, small freighters. Kay thought he also saw a tiny disk with distinctive marking of the Alkari Union – a rare guest on the Alliance worlds. There were no military ships – they were serviced on the orbital bases.
    “Will you stay here for a while?” Andrew asked when their ship had touched the concrete. Kay shook his head. With the augmented drive they could reach Graal in three days… and God help Arthur to live on through them.
    He could hear the crackling of the hot hull – turning the force shield on during landing would have been a direct insult to the Bulrathi. Kay looked at the external view screen – maneuvering around scattered ships on the field there was an open service car approaching them. It was warm here, and rare clouds seldom poured rain thanks to the efforts of the Bulrathi meteorologists.
    “I can handle all the formalities if you want,” Andrew offered, “you can walk a bit… I’m not in a hurry.”
    Kay suppressed a desire to refuse. He knew that the ship wouldn’t launch without him. It was unlikely that even the cyborg could override all the rules he programmed.
    “Three hours,” Kay suggested.
    “Full refueling and service will take twice as longer.”
    “Can you wait?”
    “Yes.”
    “And will you wait for my coming back?”
    Andrew turned to him. There was something pitiful in the barely audible sound of his synthetic muscles – the cyborg’s neck and nearly whole torso were artificial.
    “In the time when I had still the ability to feel,” he said, “Lika Saker was my lover. I can’t feel the past emotions, but I remember them. The Mother of the Family has ordered me to help you in everything… Kas/s/is had its own reasons for its loyalty, I had mine. If you believe her you can go without fear.”
    “Tell her, you helped me well.”
    “I’ll tell her. I have neither conceit nor humbleness, but I’m glad to remain useful.”
    Kay left the cockpit with a cold shiver running down his spine. Curtis junior could be a swine, but the aThan that spared the humankind from this particular path to immortality redeemed all his sins.
    Except for those which he had not yet committed, of course.

    “Thanks,” Arhtur said, “I’ll try not to pester you with such requests.”
    Tommy shrugged his shoulders. Their one day relationship had attained a strange quality that would have made any psychologist happy. If Arthur was maimed physically, Tommy was maimed spiritually. Sometimes they understood each other without words, but sometimes any attempt for explanation resulted in nothing but spite against each other.
    “Come on… the cyborg gets off here, you wouldn’t ask Kay, would you?”
    “Do you know what he’s up to?”
    Tommy shook his head.
    “Yeah, that’s quite a bodyguard dad has found…” Arthur made a weak laugh.
    “It was I who’d found him first,” Tommy answered in the same tone.
    They were still giggling when the door opened and the subject of their conversation appeared in the cabin. Kay wore a white suit with a lotus flower embroidered on the side of his chest – the emblem of ‘Setico’.
    “Having fun?” he asked and his question caused more laughter. Arthur, having disposed of the restorative gel, was half lying on the pillows and Tommy was sitting nearby. Before, he had seemed much weaker than Arthur, but now it was the other way around – Tommy looked strong and healthy.
    “Will we stay here for long?” Tommy asked finally.
    “Half a day at the most…” Kay was eyeing his charge. Arthur looked too unconcerned, too careless… either Andrew overdid things with tranquilizers or Curtis junior did in fact believe his bodyguard’s promises, “Arthy, will you let your friend to the city with me?”
    “To the enclave? Whatever for?” Arthur looked really surprised.
    “Imagine he’s never been there. It’s his first visit to the alien world.”
    “Ah… will you go?”
    “I will,” Tommy didn’t hesitate. He didn’t want to impose his company upon Arthur. Kay noted mentally that the boys went out of their way not to call each other by name. This impersonality could be either a sign of a slight mutual contempt or quite the opposite – some strange manifestation of delicacy peculiar more to adults rather than children. More likely it was the latter – Tommy slightly stroke Arthur’s palm in some effort to cheer him up as he was standing up.
    “Buy a rouepp in the port!” Arthur recommended.
    Send me a PM if you need me.

  18. #158
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Other Universe
    Posts
    8,501
    Rep Power
    28

    Re: Please check my translation.

    6

    The service car resembled a SUV with its large wheels, massive seats and a strong base. On the flat plain of the spaceport it looked ridiculous. It occurred to Kay only later that the vehicle was simply intended for a bulrathi driver.
    The driver was stripped to his waist (his blue uniform was laying on the back seat). He was a young good-natured fellow of Asian type. At first he was only casting probing glances at them, and finally inquired:
    “Are you on business or vacation?”
    “I mix,” Kay replied shortly.
    “Nice,” the driver agreed. “You might like to stop over in the ‘Morning’. Alla sings there tonight.”
    Duch nodded as if the name of a local singer meant something to him. The driver dropped them off at the customs control and disappeared in the labyrinth of parked ships.
    “It’s like Terra,” Tommy assumed tentatively, staying close to Kay, “Isn’t it?”
    He seemed to lose all of his newly acquired confidence. His pale shirt was wet with perspiration – the boy had plenty of time to accommodate to the cool climate of Cailis.
    “Not really,” Kay said as he was pushing Tommy to the doors, “Rain is a rare occasion here. Wetting one’s fur is unpleasant, wouldn’t you say.”
    “How should I know?”
    They weren’t any problems with the customs control. A lot of Imperial routes passed via Ursa and customs inspectors had enough work to do. Baring his teeth at them, a Bulrathi officer quickly checked their documents with a hand scanner, twiddled the ‘Bumblebee-M’ in his paws and returned it to Kay. ‘Setico’ was a respected corporation and its officers had a right to carry arms.
    “Why do we have different surnames?” Tommy asked quietly when they went out of the pavilion, “I thought I will be your son, like Arthur.”
    “One should change the legends once in a while. What? You don’t like your probable status, do you?”
    “Yes!”
    “When you were going to kill me this didn’t seem to bother you much,” Kay could not help saying it.
    They went along the shady boulevard planted with some local species of trees having bluish thick foliage and sturdy trunks. Rows of tall buildings (land was expensive here) had gleaming polarizing fields that reflected the infrared portion of the sunlight. Unfortunately, this made the air in the streets even hotter.
    The town lived by the interests of the spaceport only. In the other settlements of the Human enclave people could be involved in fish trade or joint research projects. Amicitia, how the first settlers named the town on the new ally’s planet, was oriented primarily on tourists and flying personnel. There were numerous small shops with fake souvenirs, luxurious supermarkets where one could find true and unique items of other races and lots of tiny bars that usually offered not so much strong drinks and drugs as assorted refreshments.
    Ten minutes’ walk in the sun simply forced them to drop in a shop. The air was cooler there and its personnel, much to Kay’s pleasure, wasn’t importunate at all… it was a trick that worked even better than excessive servility.
    Tommy was fascinated by a large showcase that looked like a glass coffin with an ‘Original Feud War Bulrathi combat suit’ in it. To Kay’s judgment, the suit had too many armored elements to be worn by the overconfident Bulrathi of that time and too many decorative engravings to be a combat suit. He left the boy staring at the suit which was put on a human mannequin for some obscure reason, and walked to the wall where ritual knives of various Bulrathi clans were displayed. They were fake, of course, but masterly made. A sales assistant appeared like a shadow behind him:
    “Are you looking for something in particular?”
    “Yes, I need a knife of the Sheevookim Ahhar clan, but an original one.”
    “We are not permitted to sale the original knives,” the attendant said politely.
    “Nobody is permitted to, but they do sale them anyway.”
    Greed was struggling with caution on the attendant’s face.
    “Can you come back tomorrow evening?”
    Kay shook his head.
    “Alas then…” the attendant looked relaxed. The Imperial laws were severe to those who dared to threaten the interracial treaties.
    Tommy had finally walked away from the showcase and came by.
    “Do you have a rouepp, mister?”
    The salesman’s face brightened:
    “A rouepp? Of course. It’s an excellent souvenir from Ursa for a young man. You do have things to remember, don’t you?”
    Kay paid without words, the price wasn’t too high, and Tommy became a happy owner of a four inch ball made of opalescent glass.
    “An item from one of the Bulrathi’s religious cults,” the salesman said proudly as if it was he who’d been the central figure of that cult, “It’s a very good psycho-stimulant… even though our scientists deny that. Have you been practicing Jeng, young man?”
    “I… had.”
    “Excellent! Looking into a rouepp during meditation allows one to live through the pleasant memories again, to come back in time… if one believes, of course.”
    “Thanks,” Tommy said bleakly looking at the colored ball. Kay put his hand on the boy’s shoulder and asked quietly:
    “What’s wrong? Arthur’s made an ill joke?”
    Tommy raised his eyes.
    “Oh, no. Quite the opposite. Mister, do you have some Bulrathi exercise equipment? To become strong?”
    The salesman beamed a smile at him.
    “Of course, young man.”
    Kay had to pay also for an elastic plaited cord. Its only redeeming qualities were the rich green color and the fact that it could be worn as a belt. It was unclear to Kay what he was paying for – either the boys’ mockery at each other or some subtle tokens of friendship forming up between the two.
    They went out of the store and Tommy gave Kay a questioning glance.
    “Shall we find the ‘Morning’ and listen to a local star?” Kay offered.
    “Let’s go,” the boy agreed gladly, “And you will buy me some cola. Two bottles.”
    They found the bar without much difficulty. It wasn’t, strictly speaking, a bar, but a small restaurant. At the storefront Kay suddenly burst into laughter, having read the full name of the establishment: “Morning in a pine forest’. Tommy didn’t understand the reason of his laughing. Only in the evening, after Arthur had enlightened him about the ancient painting and even showed him a reproduction of it in the computer arts encyclopedia, Tommy agreed that Duch wasn’t all that wrong when he laughed looking at the stage made of crude wooden logs where, accompanied by two Bulrathi adolescents playing pipes, sang Alla – a young Bulrathi female.
    Someone in Amicitia had a very keen sense of humor.
    Send me a PM if you need me.

  19. #159
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Other Universe
    Posts
    8,501
    Rep Power
    28

    Re: Please check my translation.

    7

    Arthur’s condition worsened on the second day since their departure from Ursa. He felt rather good in the morning – he chatted with Tommy and, having asked the rouepp, looked in it for a long time. Kay had had to browse through all the data prepared by a cybernetic diagnostician before he came to a conclusion that there would be no miracle. The boy was dying, slowly because half of his blood was already replaced with universal hemoliquos, but surely – the experiments of the army medics destroyed not only his bone marrow, but his kidneys as well.
    At least, Kay got the slight confidence that they would be able to make it to Graal. He allowed himself a short sleep and two calm hours in the cockpit with the only company of grayish hyperspace darkness on the screens and the tranquil voice of the ship reading an old book.
    Tommy burst into the cockpit when the ship had interrupted its reading and informed:
    “We’ve got trouble, Kay. The boys…”
    “Arthur’s dying!” Tommy cried out clutching at Kay’s hand, “Kay, he’s really dying!”
    “He can’t really die,” Kay noted as he shook off his hand, “Relax.”
    But the boy was right in a manner of speaking.
    Perhaps Andrew who had been both a doctor and a killer would be able to explain what was happening, but Kay lacked his experience and the cybernetic diagnostician could only point out the symptoms, but not the reasons for them – massive decomposition of erythrocytes as if the remnants of Arthur’s own blood had rebelled against the neighborhood with polymeric hemoliquos.
    That greenish cast on his skin that Kay had seen on the orbital base was there again. Arthur didn’t moan or cry – he was just gasping and heavily rising on the bed as if he was trying to reach for something elusive and invisible.
    “Hang on, my king,” Kay said and took his hand, “Don’t you dare to surrender, you hear me?”
    Everything the computer could suggest had already been done: the pump was sobbing nearby forcing Arthur’s blood through the labyrinth of filters and cleaning it from the products of decomposition. At the same time, more and more ampoules of hemoliquos were administered – there had been already no other choice but to replace the whole volume of blood. The ship, following the recommendations of the medical computer, raised the oxygen content in the cabin so Kay felt a little dizzy.
    “Do you hear me, Arthy?”
    The boy’s lips moved: “Yes.”
    “Hang on for one more day, boy. Hang on, please…”
    There was another movement of the lips – a silent whisper: “Then?”
    “Then everything will be all right. I promise. Remember, you wanted a miracle? A sign that would grant you passage? There will be a miracle, just don’t die. Arhy!”
    The boy opened his eyes.
    “Don’t sleep.”
    “Will he die?” Tommy asked quietly from behind his back.
    “Get out!” Kay ordered without turning, “Arthy, do you understand what is it with you? Is it not the consequences of radiation exposure, isn’t it? What else can we do?”
    Arthur did have a few hunches about his present condition. The symbiont bacteria, an invisible inner shield that protected him from assorted drugs, poisons, and viruses, weren’t killed by the radiation. They hid deep within his tissues, the capillary tubes, in the brain cells. They waited out… and then started to refill the vessels again dutifully attacking all foreign substances.
    But now his own blood was just a residual element in the solution of hemoliquos. The irony of the situation was in the fact that the only thing that could help Arthur now was a new portion of bactericide radiation. Anyway, Kay had no necessary equipment for it and Arthur had no strength to explain all this.
    “Don’t fall asleep,” Kay repeated, “You live as long as you struggle.”
    “Shall I increase the speed, Duch?” inquired the ship.
    “Is it possible?”
    “Well, this will wear down the engine, but I can squeeze another five percent or so from it,” the ship assured him.
    “Make it ten percent.”
    “Five, Kay. I’ll try.”
    Kay nodded keeping his eyes on Arthur’s face. He seemed to breathe easier – the air in the cabin was sweet and besotting like a wine. One day. Just one more day, even less if the ship will keep its rash promise.
    “Arthy, do you remember Rachel?”
    Arthur blinked ‘Yes’.
    “She sent her greetings to you. She’s a good girl, isn’t she? She even helped me… a little.”
    A weak smile.
    “Hey, boy… Don’t sleep. We can stop by on Tauri if you want, after you are dealt with this god of yours. If Van Curtis lets you go… but we can stop there on our way back.”
    Arthur shook his head, weakly, with doubt.
    “What? He won’t? Or your task demands that you sacrifice yourself to some higher powers? Bear in mind that I do not agree to that. This would ruin my entire work.”
    He spoke to the boy through the whole night, a relative nighttime on the ship, which nevertheless couldn’t be any shorter. Kay had his issues with that little death – sleep that turned easily into a real death. Duch was shaking the boy, lulled him in his lap – he did everything to prevent him from falling asleep. And he talked and talked without stop…
    “You know, when I was of your age, sixteen at the most, I was the biggest glutton on the planet. My body started its reorganization, just as the genetic engineers had planned. The weak and sickly fellow I had been turned into a big bully. Everything I earned I turned into chocolate and cheese that you don’t like so much…”
    “… the terror groups burned the city in three hours. When the Alkaris broke into their henhouse there was nothing there but ashes and burned omelet. And there was a road sign from Xendalla in the middle of the town with the word ‘Gideon’ written on it. So that they would know why. There were eggs of the Sky Lord in the town… According to their laws he wasn’t permitted to lay eggs for the next forty years. Half of their officers who were held responsible for the breakthrough were cast down from a cliff with pinioned wings. The Lord was raging and killing his own army. That’s quite an old lady, wouldn’t you say? And I was telling her tales about fish and plankton…
    “… an interesting armor, I don’t like powered systems, but melting through a wall with your forehead…”
    Arthur neither fell asleep nor died. Kay allowed him to doze off a bit in the morning, but put on one of the most dissonant Mrsshan marches he could find just to be on the safe side. It was still ten hours… ten more hours to Graal. He went out of the cabin and found Tommy sleeping in the armchair with a half-bitten apple in his hand. Tommy woke up immediately.
    “He’s still with us,” Kay answered to the silent question, “Don’t’ get vexed at me that I drove you out. But death is like a judge – it likes two witnesses to be present. Consider me superstitious.”
    “Shall I go to him?” Tommy asked.
    “Go. Talk to him, shake him. Help him if he needs anything… then again, his kidneys don’t work anymore.”
    The boy stepped towards the door.
    “Wait. Tommy you got along pretty well, that’s good. Who is Arthur for you?”
    Tommy shrugged his shoulders:
    “A brother maybe.”
    “What brother?”
    “A younger one,” Tommy replied seriously.
    As he was entering the cockpit Kay thought that if Arthur starts another journey to Graal he would never get rid of that role. A younger brother, a king in search of god…”
    He also was trying to understand whom Arthur had become to him. And he couldn’t find the answer.
    Send me a PM if you need me.

  20. #160
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Other Universe
    Posts
    8,501
    Rep Power
    28

    Re: Please check my translation.

    8

    Luis Nomachi, the man who identified Arthur Curtis, changed after the aThan. Kahl didn’t notice that. She continued to sleep with Lemach and besides she was under unceasing stress.
    Luis was consumed by fear. He damned the moment he watched the records of Kay’s memory. He hated himself for his rash suggestion to Isabelle to intercept the boy on Volantis and not to go on with the official routine. He damned himself for being so spendthrift.
    How could he make so big a mistake…
    Moohammadee didn’t speak to him. She had fully restored and it appeared that she managed to put all the blame for their failure on Luis somehow… even if that was true only in her imagination. And Kahl didn’t hurry to make any conclusions.
    When Lemach’s destroyer had entered the orbit of the planet Graal of which little was known, Luis felt a dark premonition with his sixth sense. He had never experienced such flashes of intuition and the cold in the pit of his stomach filled him with terror.
    He locked himself in his cabin and drank cheap brandy – now he avoided extra expenses. He was waiting for the alarm signal that would become his funeral knell. He didn’t understand how Kay Althos could possibly harm him, him being concealed deep within a mighty warship. He simply felt the approaching of death… as if it had somehow missed its appointed victim before.

    Kay carried Arthur into the cockpit. The stimulants worked and the boy was in clear consciousness even though it didn’t show. The ship was trembling slightly – it was decelerating too fast jumping out the hyperspace. Tommy was casting uneasy glances at Kay, it appeared that the loss of his memory didn’t affect the family sense for trouble.
    “We’re going to be near the planet in a quarter of an hour,” Duch said, “Do you want to know what will happen next?”
    Arthur nodded and replied quietly:
    “Problems. I don’t know which, but there will be.”
    “Perhaps. Arthy, I and Tommy acting as your double have renewed our aThans.”
    The boy thought over his words for several seconds then nodded.
    “Do you understand what I want to do?”
    “Yes. And Tommy?”
    “He’s going to have the ship, the space and a long life ahead.”
    “Don’t you want to ask me first?” Tommy said.
    He and Kay eyed each other for a second as if they had just met for the first time. Then Duch shook his head:
    “I was thinking it over. But not even Curtis Van Curtis would predict the outcome here. Ask Arthur if you don’t believe me.”
    The trembling ceased and the grey haze on the screen was replaced by the bottomless black of normal space. At this very moment the ship’s voice, dry and official, put an end to their argument.
    “Kay, it appears that there is a welcoming party there.”

    The destroyer floated over the planet – a three hundred foot long metal body bristling with emitter turrets.
    It was built for interception of enemy fighters near poorly defended planets – an ideal ship for capturing a tiny hyperboat that had just jumped in the normal space.
    “They don’t have a chance,” Lemach said, “being so close to the planet they wouldn’t have power enough to jump back into the hyperspace.”
    “They can just ignore your guns and proceed with landing. We can’t destroy the ship and Kay knows it.”
    “The assault groups are ready. Do you want to reinforce them?”
    Kahl looked at her men. Nomachi was slightly drunk and Lemach’s offer struck him like a blow. Marjan nodded – unlike Nomachi she was eager to have a chat with Kay Althos. The mechanist was fully operational again, only the lobe of her ear was still missing for some reason.
    “Let your specialists work,” Kahl decided, “can we talk to them now?”
    “If they would want to talk.”
    Isabelle nodded:
    “They would… trust me.”

    Kay was expecting trouble, but of another kind. Something that would go beyond the reality limits and block Arthur from reaching the planet with the same efficiency as it was with the ships of the Silicoid Foundation.
    But the destroyer that appeared several thousand kilometers in front of them wasn’t a product of some mysterious higher power. It was an ordinary imperial ship that could burn fighters by dozens and turn them inside out in search of the crew if necessary.
    “I won’t be able to outrun them,” the ship informed.
    Kay didn’t even bother to reply. He got up from the pilot’s seat and looked at the boys. Arthur didn’t look surprised and Tommy… Tommy even looked glad.
    “The ship, the space and a long life? Ha!” he said smugly, “Are you going to leave me to them? I will kill myself... myself.”
    Kay took the ‘Bumblebee’ from its holster and looked questioningly at Arthur.
    “I don’t know,” the boy replied, “I really don’t know. Let the things go… as they go.”
    It was very difficult to take an aim at Arthur for some reason. And it was totally unthinkable to pull the trigger. Kay moved his aim at Tommy – he closed his eyes and clutched the seat arms, without making a sound though.
    “I took the liberty to change the course and increase the speed,” the ship said and Kay lowered his gun, “I think this would be the best of our options.”
    Arthur laughed quietly.
    “You seem to imagine that you too have the aThan? Lay adrift, I still need the ship,” involuntarily Kay looked at the screen.
    “Artificial intelligence is forbidden in the Empire, Duch. I do not have other choice either, Duch.”
    “You’re just an imitation,” Kay said feeling as something has stuck in his throat, “Just someone a lonely man can talk with. Stop being ridiculous.”
    “Silly you,” the ship said and went silent. The course didn’t change.
    Kay Duch put the gun on the seat. There was a blinking light on the panel – someone was calling but the ship despite all the rules didn’t even bother to inform him about that. Kay pushed the button and smiled at Isabelle.
    “This is going to be a hot reunion,” he said to her and disconnected before the woman could say anything.
    The boys were looking at him. Kay walked behind Arthur’s back and put his hand on the boy’s shoulder. The destroyer, wrapped into the force field haze, grew larger and larger on the screen. Its bluish grey shape still looked very tiny compared to the planet.
    “Graal is beautiful,” Kay said, “I love planets where there are no cities yet.”
    “Take Tommy’s hand. He’s scared.”
    Kay took the boy’s hand that was wet but cold as ice and even had time to ask Arthur:
    “And you?”
    No time remained for the answer.
    Send me a PM if you need me.

Page 8 of 9 FirstFirst ... 6789 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


Russian Lessons                           

Russian Tests and Quizzes            

Russian Vocabulary