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

  1. #161
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    Re: Please check my translation.

    9

    When the hyperboat struck the ship’s force field Kahl cried. There was a white flash on the screens in which all her hopes had been destroyed.
    “No! No!” she repeated.
    Lemach, looking old again, crooked over the console ignoring the reports of the crew and messages of the central computer that were changing rapidly on the screens.
    “Send out men!” Kahl shouted as she was shaking his shoulder, “what are you waiting for?”
    “Sent them out where? To catch photons?” the admiral slowly turned to face her, “They’ve turned into energy… and gone to the aThan. In an hour Curtis Van Curtis will know about our little hunt for his son and in two he will be talking to the Emperor. They’re already on Terra, you fool!”
    Kahl eyed the bridge with a mad stare. Then she looked at the planet that floated slowly under the ship.”
    “Into the aThan… they have the aThan here too… Lemach! They could be on Graal! They only needed to get close to the planet… the resuscitation takes place in the nearest branch… Land the ship Lemach!”
    “This is not a shuttle, Kahl. It can’t land on the planet,” living notes seem to return to Lemach’s voice, “we could use landing boats but all of them are mothballed.”
    Isabelle groaned inwardly having imagined the hours that would be spent on this procedure… all this time Arthur Curtis will be on the planet he desired to get onto so greatly.
    “Let’s go after them, Lemach…”
    The admiral raised his head:
    “Kahl you’re going mad.”
    Isabelle turned to look at Marjan… pity the mechanists refuse the aThan. Then she shifted her gaze on Luis and unbuttoned her holster. Her voice was soft like velvet.
    “Nomachi, we will have to go after them. Through the aThan.”
    Luis stepped back and raised his hand as if he wanted to protect himself from the beam. Then he started babbling slowly as if he was asleep:
    “Kahl, I was short of money, the prices were high on Dogar and…”
    “I will pay you for this aThan,” Kahl said and pulled the trigger. Nomachi collapsed on the floor and in a second Isabelle fell too under a heavy blow from Lemach.
    “Are you out of your mind, you idiot! Shooting in the cockpit!”
    “Your hardware is reliable. Much more reliable than humans…,” Kahl giggled shifting her gaze from Lemach on two officers who were aiming at her, “Help me, admiral.”
    Fury and reason were struggling in Lemach now. He looked at the sentry sergeant who had just run up to them and ordered:
    “Shoot her. For the attempt of mutiny onboard a ship in combat situation.”
    “With pleasure,” Ralph Gordon said. His first shot incinerated Kahl’s legs, the second one exploded her chest and only the third one hit her head.”
    “My shooting skills seem to be deteriorating,” Ralph noted putting away his gun, “I’m sorry, admiral.”
    “Three days in the disciplinary cell,” Lemach said looking at the still twitching remnants, “For poor training.”
    Ralph saluted and turned away. Even if the admiral heard him saying “Make that thirty three, I don’t care,” he ignored it completely.
    Moohamadee was still standing over Luis’s body. Lemach looked at her for a second then said:
    “Marjan, I would like you to help with the demothballing of the landing craft. I think you’re good with the equipment.”
    “I will be glad to help,” the mechanist stepped over Luis’s body and walked to the door.
    She did increase the demothballing of the boat. With her help the technicians would have completed the operation in three hours, but two hours later a communication from the operations staff of the Dogarian task force was received. Lemach listened to the report of his deputy; issued several orders and the ship left the planetary orbit. The acceleration was short since the destroyer was not restrained by the lack of power. It jumped into the hyperspace when the planet was still looking like a small disk.

    Graal couldn’t afford a full sized branch of aThan. The company has built a minimal complex here – only three modules. Truth to be said, even two simultaneous clients was a rare occasion here on Graal. Save only a team of miners who had happened to stumble upon a Dzoth crystals deposit, earned enough to buy the immortality and then were unlucky enough to get under a rockslide.
    This day was going to be something to remember for the company personnel.
    “A signal!”
    Karen Braudy was jigging in excitement by the console. Kay Ovald, a trader from Endoria, what could possibly bring him here, she wondered. A landsman of the Emperor… they say all Endorians were strikingly handsome and true aristocrats too. Like in “The Ice Throne” series.
    She was born on Graal and very young. She still had that characteristic naivety and optimism. There were two more signals on the auxiliary terminals but there was nobody here to work with them. So Karen noticed them only several minutes later and rushed to the videophone to call the second shift up.

    … Kay Duch realized that he was alive again. His eighth death was easy… unlike the previous ones. Just a moment of darkness and there was no more pain in his overworked muscles and no itching of his skin that had been turned into armor. Only fear remained.
    He opened his eyes.
    “Everything is all right. You are alive,” said a tiny girl in the aThan uniform, “You’re safe, don’t worry.”
    She herself could be calmer. Kay looked at the display board on the wall – “Graal”.
    He made it. His aThan was paid up and despite Curtis’s plans the replicators were activated not on Terra alone. Now he had two bodies to replace a single one that was lost in the inferno of nuclear fission. Curtis Van Curtis had one of them; another one was on the planet where God dwelled according to Arthur. Only one of them could gain a full consciousness – the one that had been created first.
    “Thank you for your promptness,” Kay said and the girl blushed. Then she put on a serious face and started speaking officially:
    “What is your name?”
    “Kay Ovald, Endoria, the code is three, nine, six, three, one, four, nine, one. I’m all right. I have a full memory and a clear consciousness.”
    Kay lowered his legs from the cold disk, found the cheap clothing and started putting them on. The girl was looking at him in perplexity.
    “Thank you, I mean it,” Kay made a grateful smile, “I’m not new to this, miss. It’s my second time.”
    The girl nodded seeming to calm down a bit.
    “I was not alone,” Kay said feeling as his heard started pounding heavily, “Is everything all right?”
    Nothing could be all right, nothing. Two neural grids with identical numbers transmit simultaneously two different signals. Nobody checks the structure of the number of course – a long row of meaningless digits, but how the computer would interpret such signals? As an error? But the aThan knows no errors. As a single signal? Probably.
    Arthur and Tommy, how are you going to get along in a single head?
    And who was going to find this out – Curtis Van Curtis or Duch?
    “Your boys are alive,” the girl seemed deeply touched by all this. Of course she was, children seldom have the aThan.
    “The boys?”
    “The process will soon be finished… or has already finished. I’m sorry, mister Ovald, is that some kind of Endorian custom to give the twins identical names?”
    “Probably so,” Kay whispered.
    The machines. Just the machines that are incapable of making mistakes. Nobody had ever programmed them to compare simultaneously incoming signals. Arthur Ovald, twelve years old, the aThan is paid. And once more – Arthur Ovald, twelve years old, the aThan is paid. Commit the resuscitation. Both of them. Right?
    Kay felt there was a logical flaw somewhere. No, impossible…
    But this did happen. The cards are dealt and there are two jacks of trumps on the table. And nobody seems surprised.
    Who’s going to have the twin cards?
    You are very nice, miss, what is your name?” Kay asked.
    “Karen,” the girl blushed again. Gods, what planet is this… some last sanctuary of innocence?
    “Take me to the children, Karen, I’m worried about them.”
    Unlike the woman from Incedios Karen didn’t start talking about the rules.
    “Let’s go, mister. Did you die… er, sorry, did this happen in space?”
    “Yes, we crashed into an asteroid,” Kay answered bleakly. For a girl that was familiar with space only by TV programs this reason was as good as any other.
    They left the reanimation module and got into a small square hall. Each wall had identical doors save the one that apparently led to service areas.
    “There and there,” Karen said and added apologetically, “we have only three modules, the woman will have to wait. Her signal came later.”
    “The woman?”
    “Oh, you weren’t together? I thought… It was right after you… there were another two signals. A man and a woman from the ISS. But the man’s aThan wasn’t paid so… It’s really frustrating when a man could continue living but couldn’t pay…”
    Kay didn’t listen and stepped towards the closest door. Well, Kahl was still hot on their heels. It’s good that she was alone at least.
    “Wait a moment, we have a touch sensor lock here…,” Karen put her palm onto the sensor plate and Kay entered the module. He appeared just in time to see as the framework of the aThan emitter was going upwards revealing a small naked body that was lying still on the white disk. A woman who looked older than Karen but nevertheless resembled her in some fashion bent over the boy casting a quick disapproving glance at them.
    For a moment Kay thought that he had still lost. The body (Arthur’s? Tommy’s?) remained still. Then the woman said:
    “Everything is all right, my little friend, everything’s good. You’re alive. This is the aThan company.”
    The boy rose on his elbows and Kay caught his glance. Arthur? Tommy? The women will accept only one answer.
    “My son! Arthur!” Kay cried out and rushed to the boy, “Arthur, you… you… Arthur!”
    “Father, please leave,” there was irritation in the older woman’s voice, “Boy, do you remember anything? What is your name?”
    “Arthur,” and Tommy blinked at Kay. Duch started to back away then he took Karen’s hand and they left the module.
    “My mother’s going to say some things to me about this,” the girl said, but with no particular alarm in her voice, “Don’t you see – the aThan is flawless.”
    “Please.”
    Karen silently opened the second door but remained outside this time. But Kay had no intention to enter – he saw Arthur sitting on the edge of the disk and saying something to a small dark skinned aThan employee.
    “Thank you. It was very kind of you.”
    He took Karen by her shoulders and kissed her in her lips. The girl didn’t resist. She was still intoxicated by that strange erotic charge that surrounds all newly resurrected people. This is why so many sexofiles sought jobs in aThan.
    “Our psychologist is on his way…” Karen said slowly releasing, “I doubt you need him, but…”
    “We’re very pressed for time,” Kay shook his head, “It’s our right to leave immediately, isn’t it so?”
    “Yes, but it’s…”
    “What? A war?”
    “Gods, no. Night. It’s night outside!”
    Kay roared with laughter while still holding the girl. A night! Just a night! Yes, he could have some supper and catch a few hours of sleep, not to mention Arthur, no doubt.
    But in just a few minutes this naïve girl was going to resurrect Isabelle Kahl who had a right to carry heavy arms and could alarm the whole ISS on Graal however slow and provincial it might have been.
    “I’m sorry, Karen, but we are really in a great hurry,” Kay said, “so that we are even willing to sacrifice that splendid free meal you offer.”
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  2. #162
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    10

    The car was old and Kay wouldn’t have trusted its automatic driving system even on a well maintained urban highway. The road condition was deteriorating with each passing minute. Apparently the first few miles were built by the aThan company while the rest of it was clearly built by the planetary government.
    “There’s no need to go to the capital,” Arthur said, “I marked a motel on the map where we can buy some food. Then we’ll go straight into the mountains as far as the car would go.”
    Despite Kay’s expectations it was Tommy who fell asleep on the back seat wrapped in a plaid. Arthur was sitting in the front seat beside Kay. He looked fresh and content. He was checking with the map only occasionally – most probably he remembered it by heart.
    “We have no time to change the car.”
    “I see.”
    They bought the car at the rent shop near the aThan complex. They had to wake an elderly and incurious keeper and Kay honestly paid the full cost of that bucket of bolts knowing that it was unlikely that he would be able to return it. They got clothing and weapon (a ‘Convoy’ and a stunner) at the aThan store. There was no attendant of course, and they were served by Karen. In spite of that spark of sympathy that had flashed between them Kay failed to persuade her to sell him a ‘Bumblebee’.
    He didn’t intend to fight anyone though. Running was a better option and Kay was extracting as much speed from the old and pounding engine as it could possibly give.
    “May I take some chocolate?” Arthur asked.
    “Of course.”
    The boy managed to stretch his legs forward to the windscreen and was nearly lying on his seat. He was staring into the night and rustling the wrapper foil. Yellow fans of the headlights were sweeping the empty road.
    “If I brake you’re going to fly through the windscreen,” Kay cautioned.
    “No I buckled up, but slow down anyway, we’re going to hit the dirt road soon and we can miss the motel.”
    “Are you hungry?”
    “Terribly. But this is due to memories. During the last two weeks I had nothing but injections… I’m very tired of that diet.”
    “I did hurry.”
    “Come on, everything worked out well. We both blundered on Tauri.”
    Kay Duch squinted at Arthur. He was finishing his chocolate bar and was slowly moving the tip of his shoe over the windscreen. He chose the same clothes as on Incedios for some reason and Tommy simply repeated his order.
    “You grew older, my king,” Kay said.
    “Really? Why do you think so?”
    “You avoided death which has always been your easy escape route out of the trouble.”
    “I had to die anyway.”
    “Yes, but we chose the time and place ourselves.”
    A weak orange lights of the motel appeared on the horizon. Kay slowed down and said:
    “There is one thing I cannot understand though – why both of you have resuscitated? The computer doesn’t care that a single person dies twice simultaneously, perhaps so. But the aThan was paid up only once!”
    Arthur laughed.
    “Kay you’re forgetting a small detail. In the aThan premises the resuscitated persons acquire temporary immortality.”
    “Damn…”
    “When the computer had confirmed that one of us had a right for resuscitation the temporary immortality rule was automatically in effect. Therefore while processing the second signal the computer permitted resuscitation because of that. It will report this case as ‘a death in the company premises from unascertained reasons’ in its statistical report. A rare case… but even if there had been seven of us they would have resuscitated all.”
    In the motel, a squat wooden building with several trucks parked nearby, Kay woke up the owner and delivered the second blow on his purse. The local food was cheap on Graal, but the fusion rifle that had been sold around the law cost him a triple price.
    “I can drive if you wish,” Arthur said when Kay had returned with a heavy bag.
    “Go ahead.”
    Duch moved onto the back seat which was large enough to accommodate both him and Tommy. It was warmer here since the engine was on the rear. Tommy grumbled something in his sleep and moved closer to Kay.
    “By the way, your contract is already fulfilled,” Arthur noted, “I am on Graal and even in two copies.”
    “Are you sure that you won’t need my services?”
    “Quite.”
    “I still would like to accompany you to the end. Do you remember our little agreement?”
    “I do.”
    Arthur drove very smoothly and soon Kay fell asleep. He was very tired, terribly tired. His client considered their contract fulfilled, but Duch was sure he wouldn’t get the promised reward. He had no more money, no ship and no immortality.
    He had to conserve his strength at least.

    On the small and poorly illuminated parking lot of the rental shop Kahl quickly examined a dozen of cars which were slowly rotting in expectation of rich immortals. Then she entered the owner’s hut and appeared outside again several minutes after.
    The air was clean and cool and it was refreshing like a cup of a strong coffee. Kahl was sitting on the hood of a sporting ‘Torero’ and looked through the sky in search of a quick and large star – Lemach’s destroyer. The Milky Way shined over Graal resembling diamond dust.
    “So lucky,” Kahl said to the sky, “Why is he so lucky? Ah?”
    The sky didn’t reply and only sparks of meteors flashed over her head.
    “Even the fools are seldom unfortunate,” Kahl continued, “Exactly in the time when you need them the most. This fat bastard didn’t pay for his aThan… Fancy that!”
    She heard a steady humming from the direction of the town that they called capital here. Isabelle waited for the ambulance flyer to land and then jumped from the hood. The medic was struggling with his bag that got stuck behind the seat.
    “What happened here?” he asked as he cast a brief glance at the woman. In a liquid light coming from the cabin his unshaven face looked even sleepier than it actually was.
    “The old man died.” Kahl said.
    “Are you sure that his insurance… hey, what the hell? Who do you think I am – a coffin maker?” the medic turned to face her leaving his bag alone. The woman walked by close enough that he could see her eyes.
    He saw only madness and death in them.
    “No, you are his client,” Kahl said. A rapid fire laser gun in her hand spat fire. Kahl moved her gaze at the pilot and saw his trembling face.
    “Miss…”
    “Get out.”
    “Why?”
    “Move!”
    The pilot left his seat on the stump legs. He was so obedient that he even walked away from the flyer following the woman’s nod. The lamps of the aThan underground complex were shining nearby – a joyous shining of infinite life, forgotten fears and new hopes. This was the last thing he saw in his life.
    “I need this flyer,” Kahl said as she was getting in a seat that was still warm either to the sky or to the men she had just killed. She could commandeer any vehicle on Graal but her badge remained on the ship.
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  3. #163
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    Re: Please check my translation.

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    The dirt road soon dissolved in rocky hills and the wheels of their car raised fountains of white dust as they went. Arthur had been driving the vehicle until dawn then he stopped and woke up Kay and Tommy. They ate some smoked meat which was sealed in rude plastic bags and then Arthur fall asleep and Kay sat on the driver’s seat again. He drove for another five or six miles chatting idly with Tommy and listening to the radio. There appeared to be only two channels on Graal – the planetary channel and the imperial one. At noon the music stopped and they heard the address of the Emperor. Grey only said what Kay had been waiting for the last ten days – a war with Darlok had begun. The cause of the war was the explosion in the Imperial embassy on Nardia – the central planet of the Darlok Unity, but Duch only laughed at that, remembering Vyacheslav from the special group ‘Shield’. He didn’t expect any particular shocks from this war – the only ally of the Darloks, the Alkari Union, had many problems of its own. The Tripartite Alliance, based on the Imperial fleet, the Bulrathi shock troops and the Meklon war equipment, was undoubtedly the strongest in the galaxy. Perhaps, if the Emperor had wanted a full extermination the ancient race this war would have been joined by the Silicoids and the Psilon Confederation and the flame of a new total war would have consumed the universe. But Kay was sure that this war would cease with the destruction of the enemy fleet and occupation of a half-dozen planets.
    Kahl who was circling her flyer seventy miles behind them (by some quirk of fate she had checked another road first) heard the Emperor’s speech too. She had probably understood that Lemach’s destroyer was already in hyperspace enroute to the rendezvous point with the main armada, but it was hard to tell – her consciousness was sinking fast into her own distorted reality. In this world there was no Emperor, no Lemach, and no Incedios where her position had already been announced vacant. There was only Graal with its emerald green lowlands and barren rocks in the mountains. There were also scattered villages where she could ask about an old car with three passengers. There were only Kay Althos and Arthur who had mysteriously multiplied himself in two.

    The car had served them till the evening when the hills changed into a highland besprent with huge boulders. At first Kay thought of the glaciers but the boulders had no characteristic traces of abrasion – the edges were sharp and ragged. He stopped the engines and quietness wrapped the ancient car like a shroud.
    “This place is marked as Evil land, though the locals prefer a swear word.” Arthur said.
    “Why.” Kay inquired.
    “Too many accidents happen to those who come here. Close to one hundred per cent. Exacerbations of chronic illnesses, accidents with guns, falling from rocks. Another five or six years and the local government would have investigated this place more closely. That’s why we had to hurry.”
    “How would you call the Evil land?”
    “A doorstep. Don’t worry Kay, you have the key. Two keys even. You knew that somehow otherwise you wouldn’t have gone after Tommy,” Arthur got out of the car, walked to a nearby boulder and shouted from there: “But try stay close to one of us, all right?”
    They abandoned their vehicle and walked South across the barren wasteland, getting over the small rocks and walking around the big ones. Kay divided their belongings into three parts and the boys silently distributed the packs in their pockets. Kay had neither the strength nor the desire to talk, moreover, Duch noticed that he started to confuse Arthur with Tommy. The identity of their bodies and clothing was now reinforced by the frightening similarity of their behavior. Either it was Tommy who involuntarily conformed to Arthur or, strange as it might appear, it was the other way around.
    In the evening Tommy slid from the unstable rock and scratched his cheek. Kay felt a strange relaxation at that. It was getting dark and they stopped for the night. They used the slipcovers from the car seats as blankets. The polymeric ‘velvet’ held the warmth perfectly and Kay fell asleep nearly instantly.
    In the morning he discovered that both boys’ cheeks were decorated with identical scratches.
    “I got up at night to take a leak and bumped into a rock,” Arthur explained.
    “In front of a mirror, no doubt,” Kay could only say.
    They ate and continued their walk. Arthur was on the lead – he knew the way as if he’d been walking on it hundreds of times. Twice they had to turn aside in order to fill their flasks with water from tiny cold springs.
    Kay was silent as they walked. For the first time in the past month he found himself useless – it was a familiar feeling at the end of the work but this time it became sharper and more painful.
    “Duch, did your ship was really intelligent?” Tommy asked him when they had stopped again to have some rest.
    “I programmed it to be quasi-free in choosing the course of action.”
    “And what’s that supposed to mean?”
    “It tried to appear an individual. Any priest or a programmer can prove that this has nothing to do with real intelligence. Just an indistinguishable imitation of it.”
    “What’s the difference then?”
    “None at all…”

    They reached a small level area between the rocks by the evening when it was starting to get dark. Arthur stopped and looked at Kay with that slight irony that Kah had seen in his gaze only on Terra.
    “Shall we stop here for the night, Duch?”
    Kay looked at the rocks under his feet. They were slightly darker than they should have been and looked as if they’d been seasoned with water, wind… or fire.
    “No, I don’t think so. Small corvettes of that time had very dirty engines. I bet the rock radiates.”
    “You understood,” Arthur stated.
    “Curtis landed here,” Kay continued, “He was deliberately picking such empty planets that belonged to nobody in order not to encounter the enemy. He was very skilled with computers and his flight logs never aroused any suspicion. Free hunters didn’t take orders from anybody and didn’t report to anyone particular – very convenient.”
    “Stop it.”
    Duch continued to look at the melted rock.
    “A plasma torpedo to destroy an enemy transport, two neutron guns to fight off the interceptors and three grams of anti-helium in a magnet trap to dump it onto an enemy planet. It was a very successful design, these ships turned out to be more useful than the battleships. Thousands of ships, thousands of pilots. There were plenty of cowards among them. Be at ease, Arthy.”
    “What is he trying to say?” Tommy took Arthur’s hand. They stood before Kay like two reflections in an invisible mirror.
    “That our father is a coward.”
    “Arthur, Curtis Van Curtis is not your father. It’s you, but having lived through a different life. Van Curtis was nineteen years old then. He had no aThan, no money, no power. And he didn’t want to die.”
    Arthur made a why non-childish smile and said:
    “Neither do you, I bet. Let’s go, there’s a groove by the river.”
    The river was quiet with the grown-over banks unlike any mountain river Kay had seen before. The promised groove turned out to be a dozen of low trees covered with juicy orange seedpods.
    “They’re poisonous,” Arthur cautioned, “you can eat the thorns, but you’re not going to like them.”
    Kay built a fire from the dry wood lying on the ground. They had some meat and stale biscuits that were seasoned with some bitter spice. Tommy fell asleep almost immediately without asking questions and indifferent to the next day, Duch idly thought that the boy apparently had begun a game of his own.
    “We had an agreement,” he said to Arthur. Curtis junior looked at him through the fire.
    “Do you really want to kill me?”
    “If I have no other choice. I want the truth.”
    “Would you wait until tomorrow?”
    “Why?”
    “Even the words have different color at night.”
    “They don’t if one doesn’t play too much with them.”
    “Tell me a story, Kay. For the last time.”
    Duch dropped the seat cover on the ground and lied onto the thin fabric. The sky of Graal floated over him – a cold and shining canopy. Arthur lied nearby.
    “A long time ago,” Kay said, “a boy that was afraid to die had found the god. The god was old and he was very bored. He created this world long ago, but this world had no place for him. He asked the boy what he wanted and the boy answered. He wanted to become the master of life and death.”
    “I know this tale,” Arthur said, “There’s nothing interesting in it.”
    “The funniest thing,” Kay continued, “was the fact that the boy didn’t believe in god. He believed only in machines that served him. And therefore his god was a machine, even life and death which were surrendered to serve him as well turned out to be machines.”
    “And why did the god make such a present?”
    “Because his infinite power and knowledge left no place for desires. And the boy’s desires became the desires of god. The boy left with silicon scrolls which contained the designs of life and death. He had grown old before he could incorporate them in something real… Sleep Arthur, I’ll wait until the morning.”
    “Why have you changed your mind?”
    “Because this night has its own color too and I want to remember it well. Tomorrow one of us is going to die, right?”
    “Yes,” Arthur agreed.
    “It’s a shame. I’ve become very attached to you.”
    “It’s mutual. You’d better leave, Kay. Take Tommy and go.”
    “I’m responsible for you.”
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  4. #164
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    Kahl didn’t even land near the abandoned vehicle. The flyer circled around it illuminating the area with a cone of light then it continued the flight.
    “I’m coming,” Isabelle said, “You didn’t really expect to run away, did you?”
    There was reeking stench in the cabin. Kahl had not been bothering herself with landings to satisfy her sanitary needs and this seemed quite natural to her.
    “I don’t need you at all,” Kahl continued, “I do not care about the aThan and I don’t give a damn about what you are seeking here. Right, Lemach? You didn’t care either, it’s a worthless thing then...”
    Lemach that existed only for Isabelle Kahl nodded from the second seat. He was old again as he should have been. The heroes of her childish dreams did not need the aThan.
    “And I know how to kill an immortal too,” Kahl continued this time for Luis’s benefit who had subtly replaced the admiral beside her. Nomachi guiltily lowered his head. “A fool will die himself,” Isabelle continued peering at the small night vision screen, “you only have to treat him like a smart guy and he’ll die. And you can always break the smart one. He’ll lose interest in life. And you wouldn’t want to live too, boy…”
    She squinted at the seat, but Arthur didn’t appear there. The whelp was waiting for her somewhere below along with his double from nowhere and his loyal bodyguard dog.
    “I’m coming,” Kahl said almost tenderly as she was descending her flyer lower to the ground, “coming…”
    That invisible thread that formed the woman’s disintegrating mind established a bond between them as strong as it happened sometimes between two loving people. Without even knowing this, Kahl too had the key, and her flyer didn’t fall onto the Evil Land where accidents became the regularity.
    It was nearly dawn when Kahl saw a dim spot on the infrared screen – a trace of fire that had died out not long ago. She giggled and adjusted her hair. Then she landed several hundred feet away from that place so that the humming of engines didn’t disturb even the lightest of sleeps. She got out of the cabin and dragged a laser gun by the belt ignoring the pain in her numb legs and the cold wind that cut through her light dress.
    Patches of fog floated over the river and some stubborn star was still shining in the light blue sky. Kahl approached the water and drank greedily standing on all fours like a dog. Then, obeying a sudden urge, she undressed and washed herself.
    She felt better. She put on her dress and came to flyer. Wrinkling her nose she took a warm plaid from the litter in the cargo hold. Inside the doctor’s bag she found a flask with alcohol and took two full gulps. Then she simply sat on the bank and waited.

    Arthur woke up first. In his sleep he drew closer to Duch and Kay embraced him with his arm. Tommy, having his expertise in the peculiarities of adult-child relationships that he learned about on Calilis, would have immediately released himself. Curtis junior from the other hand had learned to feel the difference when others touched him during the years of his travels. He lied for another minute looking at Kay’s face that didn’t reflect anything but fatigue that ground deep into his flesh, then he carefully removed his arm. Kay didn’t wake up. Arthur rose onto his feet and walked to the river.

    Kahl was sitting motionless like a statue that had been wrapped in a plaid by some humorous fellow. Arthur walked past her without noticing her among the trees in a dim light. Isabelle stood up silently and followed him keeping the distance.
    For a moment her mind cleared up. She watched as the boy was washing his face, snorting from the cold water and forcing laughs as if he was feigning something funny before himself. Melancholy, tender as the motherly love itself, lived now in her eyes.
    The boy turned and finally noticed her.
    “You caused so much trouble Arthur,” Kahl said.
    He didn’t reply. He simply couldn’t talk at this moment.
    “I know I was mistreating you as well,” the woman continued, “but it was you who has started this game. You should have given up earlier, but you continued your struggle, you kept winning… What now?”
    “I won,” the boy said, “I’ve become an adult.”
    “You? That is what this was all about? The initiation ritual of the Curtis’ family – to beat the ISS and the army? All right, this doesn’t matter any more. You are not an adult yet.”
    She stepped towards Arthur and he stepped back into the icy water. Kahl raised her laser gun and informed:
    “I don’t want your secrets. You may have them for yourself. You know these girls at the aThan are so nice. They worried too much that Althos didn’t prolong the immortality neither for himself nor for his kids… You won’t die anyway, am I right? Your daddy will resurrect you on Terra. Live then. Travel again.”
    “Don’t,” Arthur said, “Please.”
    “I was right then,” Kahl made a clean smile that had died in her many decades ago, “You can be broken after all. Break then. I’ll kill the second you too. And I’m going to let Kay live. This will be interesting.”
    She pulled the trigger and a thin white beam struck Arthur in the chest.
    “Number one,” Kahl said.
    Arthur was still standing. Vapor was rising from his jacket as if it just had been ironed. Kahl pulled the trigger again and this time the beam struck Arthur in the face.
    Still Arthur was standing.
    “Fall down,” Kahl shouted, “Fall down, you are killed!”
    The madness was starting to boil again in her like a furious black vortex. She fired again.
    Arthur laughed.
    “One is down,” Kahl informed and fired a whole series of shots at the boy, “Number two.”
    Then she put her gun on the ground and looked at the groove thoughtfully.
    Curtis junior stopped laughing when she walked past him, stopped for a moment, touched his shoulder and kissed his forehead with a light farewell kiss.
    “This was necessary. Sleep well.”
    The flow was quiet. Kahl had waded several steps in the water before she was overthrown and dragged over the rocks. She could swim up, but it appeared to Arthur that Isabelle didn’t intend to struggle with the flow. There was a last flicker of hand over the water and nothing more.
    Arthur was standing in the water for a long time. The aThan healed only the body; the diseased mind remained a medical problem. He didn’t feel pity for Kahl of course, but he wasn’t glad either.
    Then Kay’s hand touched his palm.
    “Do you want to catch cold?”
    “Kahl was here,” Arthur said, “She has gone mad and… killed herself.”
    “You’re lucky, my king.”
    Arthur looked at his bodyguard.
    “Come on, Duch. I’ll tell you everything. Tommy must hear this too.”
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  5. #165
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    Re: Please check my translation.

    13

    Curtis junior removed his shoes and wrapped his jacked around his bare feet. Kay arranged his shoes near the newly built fire to dry up.
    “Father found this planet first,” Arthur said with some strange kind of pride in his voice, “Say what you will about him being a coward, but they used to forgive greater crimes for discovering a class ‘A’ oxygen world.”
    “Did he inform the colonial service?”
    Arthur lowered his eyes.
    “Go on.”
    “He spent only one night on the ship. In the morning he… something called him out. He didn’t even take his weapon. He simply walked towards the river to this very place…”

    …Curtis Van Curtis, a new conscript who’d been drawn into the military service by the new law that cancelled all previous exemptions, stood on the bank. He didn’t know what brought him here. He must take off and fly to Terra where he will be rewarded for discovering a world that was suitable for colonization. He shouldn’t have risked jumping from one rock to another in search of some local animal.
    He waded across the river and headed for the rock that looked just like any other boulder – a lifeless piece of granite. Curtis wasn’t even afraid now although fear had become his shadow in the past. This thought would have brought him satisfaction if only he could feel emotions now.
    Like a bipedal robot Curtis Van Curtis approached the stone and the world disappeared, turned into a blinding darkness without time and space. He became a part of something so enormously huge that the five pounds of neurons in his fragile scull started meaning less than the dust in the wind. He felt completely open but felt neither approval nor judgment. He was negligibly small for that.
    But at the same time he became the only stimulus for everything that surrounded him. For a second he saw himself through the alien eyes. It was a gaze that came from everywhere at once. This tiny human was strong enough to think of his goals but too weak to really have them.
    Curtis Van Curtis felt the gaze of God.
    And then the darkness dispersed and he could see Him at last.

    “Father doesn’t know,” Arthur said, “Maybe there’s a planet there or maybe a whole universe. The universe of God… he couldn’t have created this Universe without being equal to it.”
    “An iron planet with factories that light up the starts,” Kay looked across the river. There were many rocks on the other bank and he couldn’t see the Door between them.
    “Of course not. The father called it machine because it was real physically. He didn’t explain it, but I’m going to see it myself.”
    “Curtis couldn’t have seen another God. He needed something to stand on, something to speak with and something to see with. He found only his personal God.”
    “Really? So what, Kay? Perhaps he saw only a part, a part he was capable of seeing, so what? You have to be equal to see everything.”
    “You are right,” Duch agreed. He looked at Tommy who was sitting nearby. What this boy would have seen – some shining perhaps in a shapeless cloud like on frescoes in churches of the One Will or a man filled with inhuman strength?
    And what he himself would have seen?
    “Father says that this being doesn’t have desires of its own,” Arthur continued, “This is where you were right with that tale of yours. It had created this world and didn’t interfere any more. This is meaningless for a god. And when the father came through the door he became that part of the universe which still had desires. God offered a world to him.”
    There was too much boredom in these worlds for Kay to doubt them. Arthur Curtis had grown up with this knowledge. God granted his father – him a whole universe.
    And he refused the gift?
    “Still I cannot say that this world is a world of Curtis Van Curtis,” Kay noted.
    “Not this one. This world is already made and cannot be changed. Even the things that have not yet happened are preordained. God showed the way though – father calls it a Line of Dreams, the Dreamline. This way can be seen and is passable. At the end of it father would have gotten a new world, a new universe which would have been created for him alone. A universe of his dreams.”
    “And he refused?”
    “He asked for more time to think it over. Unlimited amount of time to become aware of his dreams. So he got the aThan instead. But now he wants the Dreamline too.”
    Kay laughed. He leaned back onto the cold stones and looked in the sky that had been created by someone. Several hundred feet away from him there was drowsing a phlegmatic god who had made a present to his first pilgrim. Curtis Van Curtis awaited the designs of his dream on far away Terra.
    “God said that he would have to return,” Arthur continued with a slight resentment in his voice, “He said that father would have to come back no matter old or young. And he has come. I have come to God.”
    “Will you dream for Curtis?” Kay asked. He felt relieved – the drama turned into a farce. Duch was quite content with a notion of god that didn’t interfere. He wasn’t interested about the world Curtis Van Curtis had dreamed for himself.
    “Everyone has his own dreams. The father will choose his… and I will choose mine,” Arthur reached out and took his shoes from the pegs that were stuck into the ground near the fire.
    “Think of what you want, Kay.”
    “First of all I didn’t want to kill you,” Kay said, “And I’m glad that I don’t have to.”
    “So do I, because you wouldn’t be able to kill me here.”
    Arthur put his hand into the fire. Then he slowly grabbed a handful of coals. Tommy gasped.
    “Try it, you can do that too,” Arthur said to him and pulled his hand from the fire, “This is the Door, only the chosen ones can stand here. We are protected. Father suspected it but he wasn’t sure.”
    Coals were smoldering on his palm – a reddish black pile. A bluish smoke was rising from it. Kay slapped his palm and the flying sparks bit his skin.
    Arthur’s palm remained clean and untouched by the heat. His skin didn’t even turn red.
    “Don’t worry Kay. In the world of your dreams you can become as invulnerable as I am here. It would be your world that answers to your wishes. If you want the Sakkra ships would be burnt on their way to Shedar. Make a wish and there would be no aliens at all there.”
    “I wasn’t granted with the Dreamline,” Kay said while still holding the boy’s hand, “I came too late.”
    “But the Dreamline was granted to us.”
    Now Kay understood.
    “Will it be like with the aThan?”
    “Yes, the worlds on the counter. Pay and go. A real world, not the illusions of a drug addict, not a virtual reality. A world where you can become an Emperor or a slave, an immortal or a day-fly butterfly. Everything you want. No limits whatsoever.”
    “Now I understand Sedmin,” Kay said, “The aThan was an evolution plus… the best of men continued living. The Dreamline is an evolution with three big minuses. At first the most talented would go, the ones who had realized their dreams. Then the weak and impatiens will leave – the ones who grew tired of the struggle. Everyone who is worthy and who can pay.”
    “Father gives people freedom.”
    “He sells degradation to the humanity.”
    Duch picked up the rifle from the ground keeping his eyes on Arthur and removed the safety lock.
    “I don’t think you will succeed,” the boy said.
    “Neither do I, but it’s worth a try.”
    “You’re wrong, Kay,” Arthur didn’t look frightened. The power that had protected him from a laser beam would hardly make an exception for plasma, “Talk to father, he thought much about it.”
    “I’ll have to shout too loud.”
    “Not necessarily. This is the Door, Kay. Many paths lead from here…”
    Duch didn’t notice anything, no movement of lips, no stress in the gaze, nothing. Just a shadow of remoteness on the boy’s face.
    And Curtis Van Curtis, dressed in a formal suit appeared near them. Kay didn’t even have the time to show a surprise.
    “Nice to meet you, boss,” Duch said, “We are talking about dreams. Don’t make any fast moves and everything will be all right.”
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  6. #166
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    Re: Please check my translation.

    Just tried to see what it’s like doing all that stuff you’ve been so persistently doing for quite a while now.
    PART SEVEN. THE LAIR OF GOD

    1
    T/San was furious. He, who had served 25 years at ESS, was held behind the locked doors for half an hour. He wasn’t trusted any more! And all that due to one of the offenders being a Meclon.
    They made it to the prison module just in time – Lemak hadn’t yet gotten to his assault. Kahl had to present her badge to the guards three times on her way there – four men clad in power armor and a “Hunter” were almost an impregnable barrier. “Had Lemak displayed such a vigor from the start --, she thought, -- Kay and his companions would have been captured halfway.”
    The admiral circled by several of his aids stood in front of the control panel tripod. Down the corridor, at the end of which melted doors were showing, armored people were making a formation.
    “Going further down? “, inquired the admiral turning back from the screen.
    Isabelle shook her heard.
    “That’s wise of you…OK, do it!”
    It was as if a metal wave swept through the corridor. Kahl squinted her eyes when the armor of the attackers blazed with plasma flames and the doorway was struck by laser beams.
    One of the soldiers who had gone too far ahead got hit by his own men and fell down either dead or going to ride out the assault lying on the floor.
    “Casualties are unavoidable, - said Lemach, casting a sidelong look at Kahl, - but nearly everyone of them has aTan”
    The charging crew broke into the prison module, most of them through the doors and some through the openings in the wall. Kahl realized the Lemach’s soldiers were now rushing into prison from all sides…but just those of them she saw operating before her eyes seemed to be capable of breaching any resistance.
    The shooting subsided.
    “This is it”, said Lemach, turning around to face Kahl. Smiling he placed his hand on her shoulder. Isabella’s face distorted with rage.
    “That simple? And what if the boy got killed?”
    “My men…Lemach began. His aid who had taken his duty at the control panel made a step towards the admiral.
    “Excuse me, sir…
    Lemach choked.
    “Nobody in the prison module, just three of our men, dead.”
    Karl pushed Lemach aside and made for the melted doorway, T/san followed her.

  7. #167
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    Re: Please check my translation.

    14

    Curtis Van Curtis had been waiting for this moment for four years. Since the very first time when Arthur, still a real twelve years old boy back then, went through the aThan to Graal.
    That time he was accompanied by a man who surpassed Kay Althos in all respects. He was a genetically enhanced killer who could overcome a bulrathi in a single combat and could be faster than a meklon… They died at the spaceport on Kulthos right after they had bought a ship. It was a terrorist attack and Arthur became its accidental victim.
    Then accidents became the regularity like it was in the Evil Land where only the worthy ones could come. If Curtis had not been so sure that the God wasn’t interfering he would have taken it as a sigh from the skies and went there himself. If there was a slightest chance that there had been no enemy agents in aThan branch offices he would have ignored his own rules and ordered to resurrect Arthur on Graal.
    All of this however became impossible after the first attempt to abduct the boy. Someone had learned about his plans and Curtis’s only hope was randomness. It was impossible to predict the planet where a man who died on Terra will be resurrected. One cannot cover all the possibilities so he continued to recruit one guide after another. Althos was good but nothing more. Curtis expected their failure immediately after he had learned that they were resurrected on Incedios. But time passed and their neural grids continued transmitting the signals without interruption. Then there was this Althos’s strange act of renewing of his aThan contract and sending him a letter. Then there were three zombies. And finally was Graal.
    Curtis Van Curtis stood on the planet he last visited more than a century ago. Not at the Door, but very close already. He still had to approach the Door though. Kay Althos, the luckiest of his servants was aiming at his boss. Two boys were sitting nearby, identical like two prints from the same negative, with identical scratches on their faces and dressed in identical cheap clothes… as if Curtis had returned suddenly to his own childhood.
    One of the boys looked at him seriously and calmly, the other one was smiling and was clearly expecting something from him.
    “Don’t be a fool, Kay,” Curtis said.
    “Never intended to be…,” Althos moved his rifle aside, but didn’t lower it down.
    Curtis Van Curtis looked at the boy with a serious face and said:
    “Hello, son. As I can see we’re in trouble again.”
    Despite his expectation it was the other boy who replied:
    “Hi, father. I was wondering whether you would recognize me.”
    Curtis sat on the ground beside Arthur and looked at Kay. Kay seemed to be so fascinated with the flow of the river that he ignored anything else.
    “You’ve changed,” Curtis admitted and cheered the second boy with a smile:
    “And you must be from Sigma-T? Arthur with erased memory?”
    “Bravo,” Kay said, “His name is Tommy, but he is a clone of yours too.”
    “How much does he know?” Curtis asked his son.
    “Everything. It was necessary.”
    Kay Duch waited for Tommy’s answer but he didn’t reply. Curtis spoke first:
    “Well, you exceeded the task, Kay. And perhaps you are willing to discuss the new price?”
    “Yes, I want to know of two things.”
    “I’m listening.”
    “What’s behind the Door?”
    “God.”
    “The machine that had created this world is still not a god.”
    “Kay you could have understood me only if you were there yourself. But the path there is open only to me, Arthur… and Tommy.”
    “So you do need me?” Tommy spoke for the first time since Curtis’s appearance.
    “Of course,” Curtis seemed to have lost all interest in Althos, “Does your fate worries you, boy? I see. It appears, Kay spoke a great deal of my cynicism. Yes, I do need you. Even if that new personality of yours is completely different from the original one this doesn’t change anything. You are my flesh and blood. You are more than a son and I need comrades.”
    Tommy nodded and Curtis patted on his shoulder. Then he asked:
    “And what is another thing you wanted to know?”
    “Why do you want the extinction of the humanity?”
    Curtis frowned.
    “Don’t look at me this way. A hundred years ago when the Empire was collapsing and its border planets were burning, when children were put to pilot kamikaze interceptors you have refused the most generous gift in history. You refused a world, a real world that would fulfill all your dreams. I would have walked through the Dreamline probably if I were you. But you have returned to the Army, and continued your combat missions having kept the coordinates of this planet to yourself.”
    “Althos, you are contradicting your own words.”
    “I don’t think that you were driven by patriotism. You could return for the Dreamline after the Tripartite Alliance had been forged. But even now you need it not for yourself, but for sale.”
    “I have already created the world of my dreams,” Curtis replied seriously, “That’s all. I don’t need the Dreamline, but if I can get profit by bringing happiness to millions…”
    “Don’t make me laugh, Curtis. The finest part of the humanity will leave via the Dreamline. Science and arts will die; stupid warlords will command imbecile soldiers. Then perhaps you will go as well and then aThan and Dreamline will probably stop working. And our Bulrathi friends will remember their former ambitions, the Psilons will stop its self isolation and the Alkaris will stop finding ways to get to another galaxy and remember the planets that had been taken from them instead. The Empire, the whole human race will die. Why?”
    “You won’t get the answer, Althos,” Curtis said quickly and looked at Arthur expecting some support, but the boy looked too confused to say anything.
    “I have to try…” Kay said and raised his rifle again.
    Curtis’s face trembled. He even tried to rise but Duch pulled the trigger.
    This was a very old model and the exhaust of the plasma blast sounded like an explosion. A fire flower bloomed on Curtis’s chest and threw him back onto the stones.
    Duch was impressed more than anyone. Arthur only shook his head, cast a glance on his lying father, and asked:
    “My turn?”
    “I’m sorry,” Kay said.
    “Go ahead then. We have spoken of this possibility and you are free from any promises you gave me.”
    Curtis Van Curtis moved and rose on his elbows first then he struggled onto his feet. His face was pale and his tie was ruined. Aside from that he was perfectly intact.
    “You didn’t take a long enough pause, dad,” Arthur noted, “I wanted to see if Kay would kill me or not.”
    Duch carefully put his rifle near the fire and stood up. Curtis had already come to his senses, but his anger was directed more at Arthus rather than at his failed killer.
    “You… you knew that we were under protection… you little punk… an experimenter…”
    “Dad, I’ve been shot at hundreds of times. This is an interesting sensation and I wanted to share it with you.”
    Tommy stretched out and picked up the gun.
    “Give it to me!” Curtis said sharply. The boy obediently handed him the weapon and Kay thought that the boy had finally chosen his role. Perhaps Curtis thought of this as well. He patted Tommy’s cheek and aimed the gun at Kay.
    “Don’t,” Arthur moved between Kay and the gun.
    “Arthur, I have two sons now,” Curtis noted drily, “And I find the second one much more obedient.”
    “And the first one is much more grateful. Kay brought me here, father. This is that only matters, don’t you think?”
    Curtis lowered the gun and eyed Kay thoughtfully. The anger started to disappear from his face.
    “Althos, do you agree to work for me for some more? I can be forgiving.”
    “If God makes such presents to you I’d sooner worship devil.”
    “It’s your right,” Curtis turned away losing all interest in Kay.
    “Come on boys, we’re wasting time.”
    “I know why you want the Empire dead,” Kay said, “It reflects someone else’s dreams, not yours.”
    There was no reaction, but then again, Kay didn’t expect it anyway. Curtis Van Curtis had strong nerves. He was waiting for at least a glance from Arthur. A glance of farewell, pity or approval – anything, but Arthur didn’t look back.
    Kay shrugged his shoulders and watched them walk away. Near the edge of the water Curtis stopped and shouted:
    “Have a nice trip back, Althos!”
    “Don’t get your feet wet,” Kay replied.
    Curtis didn’t get his feet wet. He walked on the water. After him, hand in hand, walked Arthur and Tommy. Kay Duch stood in the middle of the Evil Land and waited. If his aThan had been paid up he would have shot himself. But now he was as poor as he was in the beginning of his career.
    The aThan was not allowed for the poor, neither would be the Dreamline. So Kay preferred to hope. In the middle of the river the three stopped. Kay didn’t hear the words but he could see Curtis’s gestures. The conversation was a short one and then Curtis raised his hand.
    The sound of the slap was clearly audible.
    Kay had been picking up the dry wood while one of the boys walked back. He fed the dying fire and pinned the remaining meat on wooden twigs. He didn’t believe in the quality of local canned food. The meat should have been roasted at least.
    The boy stopped several paces away from him.
    “I knew you would return,” Kay said.
    “Really?”
    “Well, I was sure… almost certain. To tell the truth I was hoping that Tommy too would disappoint Curtis. But he hates me too much. It’s understandable at least. Besides, his new status is very appealing… Let’s have some breakfast and leave. Kahl couldn’t have caught up with us on foot. There’s bound to be her vehicle somewhere here.”
    The boy didn’t reply.
    “Curtis did not understand that you had grown up,” Kay continued, “He doesn’t see the difference between Tommy and you.”
    “And there isn’t any.”
    Kay tossed away his improvised barbecue. Then he approached Tommy and took him by his shoulders.
    “Why did you come back?”
    “Well, if I say that I felt pity for you would you believe me?”
    “No.”
    “Right. I did understand it too. Why Curtis wants to destroy the humankind I mean. I don’t like it”
    “And did you understand how to destroy Curtis?”
    “It’s your job to think of the way.”
    Duch laughed. In the distance Curtis Van Curtis and Arthur were walking to the Door. They were already on the far bank. Kay even thought he had guessed at which rock their path would end.
    “Tommy, you could have picked a better partner. And an easier goal. Why?”
    “If I had stayed I and Arthur would have become enemies.”
    “And now you’re friends?”
    “Now we are.”

    Two men walked across the rocky plateau of the planet Graal that was lost on the outskirts of the Empire. Kay Duch, a super from Shedar the Second and Tommy Curtis, a clone of the master of life and death with erased memory. They chose not to use Kahl’s flyer – it reeked strongly of death and shit. After all this wasn’t the most difficult journey in their lives, it was just the beginning of it.
    Hundreds of parsecs from Graal, Lemach’s armada had just entered the Darlok space and was supporting the Bulrathi assault transports with covering fire. This was a good and honest work. Marjan Moohammadee who was still an ISS officer remained onboard the flagship. She had the patience of the deceased Nomachi and much firmer grip on reality than Kahl’s.
    Isabelle Kahl who was now dressed in grey oversized pajama sat in a small ward of the only asylum on Graal. The doctors had not yet lost their interest in her but had already given up all hopes for her recovery. Kahl simply didn’t want to come back to the real world. She was quite content in the world of her own dreams where Arthur Curtis and his double were lying on the riverbank. Dead. Dead forever.
    Kas/s/is and T/san, separated by a transparent barrier, were looking at each other. Or perhaps they were talking as well. Nobody had ever managed to eavesdrop to a conversation that was held over the direct beam. One of them was to be brought before an interracial tribunal and the other one had to answer before the ISS top command. They didn’t look very worried about that however.
    Lika Saker was standing before a mirror. Andrew, equally indifferent to her cosmetic efforts and her nakedness held a thin web of her silk dress. Tonight the Family was going to meet with the Mother. Many sons wanted to become orphans today.
    Their car was waiting for its owners where they had left it. People avoided the Evil Land. Kay had spent half a day before they found the road and things got easier after that. They reached the motel by the evening.
    Kay stopped the engine and they got out. In the dim light the motel looked even attractive. Twilight concealed the rude wooden boards and the holes in the doors, cast some blue on the dirty windows and dropped deep shadows on the piles of garbage. An artfully set voice was heard from an open window – somebody was listening to the Imperial channel.
    “… managed to avert the meltdown of tritanium and luckily the number of victims didn’t exceed fifty thousand. Humanitarian aid of the Bulrathi Democratic Union started to arrive on Endoria. Emperor Grey said in his address…”
    “And all of it was somebody’s dream,” Kay said. I want to know who had gone via the Dreamline to create our world. I’d like to tell him of the Three Sisters, of Incedios and Darlok prisons.”
    “And I’d like a plate of soup and a pile of sandwiches.”
    “Come one, you troglodyte,” Kay put his hand on Tommy’s shoulder, “We can still afford some dinner…”
    At the doorstep he stopped and looked at the lights of the small town, the capital of Graal. It was quiet and calm here, the Imperial ships were burning very far away from this castaway planet. And somewhere far away some other cities were now in flames and Bulrathi troopers who were born to kill were marching into battle somewhere else.
    If Curtis Van Curtis gives the Dreamline to humans all of this would be repeated millions of times. Tauri will be scorched instead of Shedar, the Meklons would be exterminated instead of the Sakkras, but the main point would remain the same. God was making his presents but people were dreaming of the same things. Power and might. Life and death. Love and hate.
    Whoever would go via the Dreamline the new world would become a happy place for this person alone. Like this world that had fulfilled somebody’s dreams did not become happy.
    “I’ll wean you away from your dreams,” Kay Duch said.
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  8. #168
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    Re: Please check my translation.

    THE END.

    This work is finished. It was difficult and took almost a year to complete. I've learned much and I want to say a million thanks to everyone who was helping me along the way. Your help was invaluable, guys. There are still many errors that I'll try to weed out and you are still welcome to correct, suggest and criticize.

    P.S. This is the end of the book, but not the end of the story.
    The story of Kay, Tommy and Arthur does not end here. There's the second book which is called 'The Emperors of Illusions'.
    Maybe I'll even look into translating it too some day.

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  9. #169
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    Re: Please check my translation.

    А вот интересно, спрашивал ли Лукьяненко разрешение на использование рас, придуманных создателями "Master of Orion" у авторов игрушки? Да, и респект за проделанную работу, Рамиль!
    Please, correct my mistakes, except for the cases I misspell something on purpose!

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    Re: Please check my translation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Basil77
    А вот интересно, спрашивал ли Лукьяненко разрешение на использование рас, придуманных создателями "Master of Orion" у авторов игрушки? Да, и респект за проделанную работу, Рамиль!
    Скорее всего, разрешение не требовалось, так как названия рас не были зарегистрированы в качестве товарного знака. Я, кстати, тоже у Лукьяненко разрешения не спрашивал на перевод.
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  11. #171
    Завсегдатай Basil77's Avatar
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    Re: Please check my translation.

    Ну так ты ж не в коммерческих целях его делал, а Лукьяненко на этой книжке немало бабла срубил, надо думать.
    Please, correct my mistakes, except for the cases I misspell something on purpose!

  12. #172
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    Здравствуйте.

    Сохранилась ли у кого-нибудь копия перевода?
    В главе 5 части 1 (пост #18, исправления в посте #28) и в главе 6 части 3 (пост #67) утеряна часть текста.
    Моя догадка - что движок форума спотыкается при обработке буквы "i с двумя точками" в слове "наивный".

    ---

    Greetings.

    Does anyone have a copy of the translation and/or of its corrections?
    In the 5th chapter of the 1st part (post #18, corrections in post #28) and in 6th chapter of the 3rd part (post #67) some text was lost.
    My guess is that the forum engine crashes when it comes upon the "i-umlaut" symbol in the word "naive".

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