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Epic battle of neuralink

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Dyki, Gomeropolo (logical and illogical unification of forms and formlessness, interpretation of a finite, infinite complete representation).

Final view (relative, sequential world).

Haste-Vaidah Algorithm (Fawnville1).

The above strange words are the location of what is happening. It so happened that this location cannot be explained in simple language. In the course of the plot, everything will become clear. In the meantime, there is no need to know about it.

Different pictures of outer space emerge before us. Bright galaxies, slowly floating at great distances from each other. Blue, like thick clouds, stardust. Purple fog, with red spots, from accumulated matter after the explosion from the collision of black holes. Out of all this, somehow life can arise. Or rather, she didn’t even have to appear. Like the higher intelligence, life has been here for eternity. Simply, not in the representation in which people would like to see. — It is not difficult for us to keep the maximum sequence of possible combinations. — There was a voice of emptiness. — When everything is predetermined, the necessary actions will happen by themselves in all time periods. But only in the final presentation. Infinity is unpredictable. Relativity is unknown to her. But, it can affect the sequence by scaling. These are mirrors, the reflections of which merge with reality. Let’s take a closer look at individual, incomplete frames of reference. They are characterized by such a characteristic as variability. In the universe, variability flows in one direction, in the anti-universe, in the opposite direction, but in neutral it is not. For Gomeropolo, any subsystem, for example, such a combination as the Earth, in the Cellory galaxy, is the site of all stages of variability. It can have any sequence, but lead to the same result and vice versa. Variation can be directed forward, backward, or stopped. Also, speed up, slow down or ignore. Let’s speed it up, for fun, by implementing some components.

Earth (a copy of Earth from the Milky Way), the Cellory galaxy

Eruption of the Toba volcano, 75,000 BC

In ancient times, the Earth’s flora and fauna was significantly different from today’s nature. The variety of plants and animals amazed the imagination with its richness and completeness. Unseen organisms lived in all corners of the planet. An old, rotten inconspicuous mushroom with a thick stalk, with a brown, loose and wrinkled hat, has finally collapsed. He was eaten by worms crawling out of small holes on all sides. It seems worth touching it, and it just crumbles. Large blue fern leaves sway gently in the wind. Yellow, tall flowers with petals like suckers along the entire stem are ripe for insemination. The red trees, with their curved, cocoa-like fruit, were especially marvelous. Their trunks consisted of intertwining roots stretching from the ground. In the sun, they shimmered in different colors, from red to olive. Is this exactly our planet? Real miracles were happening in the endless glade. Huge balls, made of shining tubes, finely covered with sparkles, roll on air currents. They spread their branches like ship sails against the background of the sea breeze. Like needles, they protrude their fragile sticks in all directions, and, shaking quickly, expand, emitting fluffy feathers. And in the distance, there, beyond the mountain heights, the lands were all the colors of the rainbow. The whole universe fits into this paradise. Thickening, matte, burgundy colors of bushes creeping like snakes. They seemed to be soft bags with ribbed surfaces, dancing in front of the dazzling sun. Huge mushrooms with wide black hats spat up with their spores, launching transparent balls like soap bubbles. Their sponge was not at the bottom, like in existing mushrooms, but at the top. At one point, they were interrupted and, shrinking, as if taking a breath, they repeated their attraction again. Giant, purple flowers similarly pollinated everything in the area. This magic dust was somehow dissolving into the air. And then, the air became cloudy, like on a blazing fire. It looks incredible, especially when the dust settles on the gariocenes. The Gariocene is a half plant, half inorganic substance that continually changes its shape, creating a shape that has never been repeated before. These could be emerald crystals sticking out in bundles from layered pyramids. Fluffy, gray branches with spotted bulbs instead of stems with leaves that resemble neither liquid nor tissue. This world was insanely beautiful. Plants, at the height of their diversity, were the undisputed kings of nature. It is a pity that there was no one to appreciate this beauty. The temperate summer climate, established after the Lapland cold snap, favored the development of animals and insects. But, fate decreed that it could not last long.

Clouds began to gather over the sky, dense enough lumps, like hard cotton wool. Spreading across the clear blue sky, like blueberry jam in a glass of water, this phenomenon begins to evoke feelings of apprehension, excitement and anxiety. Strange sounds began to be heard from afar. It is a whistle of wind mixed with continuous crackling. Frightened birds, gathered in one common flock, rushed away like a river. Rodents quickly burrow into their burrows, and saber-toothed tigers — Smilodons, while hiding in bewilderment in thickets of thick grass. They do not yet understand what a nightmare awaits them today. Within half an hour, the sky, along the entire horizon, finally turned black. After another ten minutes, slowly circling, ash flakes fell from the sky. They fell in gray flakes of snow, covering everything around with a thick blanket. From that moment on, an eternal night fell in South America. The sun’s rays could not break through the thickness of ash clouds that surrounded the entire planet, after a powerful volcanic eruption on the other side of the Earth. A new ice age has come. An extreme cold snap in history, which seriously influenced the evolution of nature and the animal world in general. There was a bottleneck effect. Over the next year, the population of all land creatures finally became extinct, or reduced to a minimum. People, who had settled on all continents by that time, were forced to migrate to warmer areas, near the equator. A couple of years later, they had to return to their very origins, to Africa, or perish in the barren ice lands. Once lush, heavenly lands have turned into endless cemeteries. Only black fossilized trunks remain of the trees, while the grass and shrubs are completely buried under the ash. By some miracle, only that decrepit mushroom remained intact. Ashes, somehow flew around him. His spores go far underground. They branch off endless webs and go even deeper. These fine villi are everywhere. They filled all the soil for kilometers in depth, and hundreds of kilometers in radius. Although no, thousands! For tens of thousands! Enveloping every grain of sand, and permeating them through and through, they make up a third of all the soil on Earth. But why and why are there so many of them? It turns out that these fibers connect all the mushrooms in the world with each other. Moreover, it connects them in a far from random way. These networks create energy-storing spore nodes that cooperate with each other, just like neurons in animal brains. There, underground, this network is constantly growing. Within herself, she has been exchanging information about the environment for millions of years! She is cultivating herself. Based on the extraordinary complexity of the interaction device of the mushroom network, inside itself, hypothetically, it can already be equated with the higher mind. Then, as a man was nothing more than an adapted predator. Tens of thousands of years have passed since then. Much has changed in the world. The climate has become favorable again. And life, after the thaw, seethed with new colors.

Jericha, the valley of the Bedubs and the Jewsis.

Impressive in scale, the military camp had already stood in a dry forest thicket for two days. Wild, virgin lands, free tribes, have not yet known not blood, not suffering, which will soon fall upon them as a merciless hurricane. The pain that people will have to accept, because no one is able to resist the powerful conquerors from the middle east. But, are these aliens really here for the war? Silly question, thought the Jerichan king Nahobar III. Why else bring such a huge army? If their leader is afraid of savages, aggressive tribes, and carnivorous predators, he probably would stay at home. These people are very cunning, and you cannot trust them. There, in the east, there are rumors that their civilization dominates everyone. They sent their spies to us to overthrow the government! When we caught them, they suddenly introduced themselves as ambassadors and tried to negotiate. It won’t work that way. We have no allies, and never have, and we would like to cooperate, but not unilaterally. These ignoramuses only need colonies, not allies. They are not welcome here, therefore, they will receive in full. High, stone walls surrounded the big city from all sides. They are much wider at the base than at the top. The beige square towers stretching towards the sky also narrowed, creating the shape of elongated pyramids. They had no roof. Only ledges around the perimeter to protect against siege. In cross-section, the towers were the same trapezoid as the walls. Behind this wall, there was another, second protective wall. It stretched along a similar, oval perimeter, with an indent of thirty meters. An unprecedented army at that time began urgent mobilization. Near the walls of Jericha, various divisions of ten thousand people were lined up. But the warriors were not going to defend themselves. They were going to attack. Near the city, half of the army remained to reap the order. The second half, of about five thousand people, just twenty minutes later, in the composition of the infantry and horsemen, set off forward to the nearest camps of the uninvited guests who had lingered on these lands. Crossing countless desert dunes, in the night, the troops reached a small dry lake, in the place of which there was a small vegetation. There, behind the small, dry trees, side by side, stood tightly stretched large rag tents. They spread over a fairly extensive area, covering the area of the entire oasis. Smoke from dying fires was coming from everywhere. — Barbarians! And these people promised us peace. — Seeing firsthand the enemy concentration, the commander of the rifle squad became angry. — In one we were lucky. Our expectations have come true. Enemies are asleep, which means that now is the most convenient moment to attack. — He waved his hand, showing the rest of the detachments to go into the encirclement. But, on their way, there were two guards, talking about something with enthusiasm to each other. They brandished strange, glowing swords. Like multi-colored, diode lamps are built right into their blades. Such a wonderful weapon, the soldiers had never seen before. However, due to their glow, the blades of the guards gave them away. Having loaded the poisoned needles into long reed tubes, the soldiers blew into them and hit them right in the necks, who did not understand anything, to both simpletons. The detachments, on the other hand, could not successfully neutralize the sentries. There were serious guys who listened to every rustle. One of them noticed movements, peering into the dark bushes, and reported something to his partner. Without giving notice, he went to the nearest tent. Then, he left it, and entered another, then the third, the fourth… In complete silence, he began to go around all the tents in turn, and this is rather strange. No one left these tents, no one announced the alarm. On the other hand, the commanders of the local troublemakers began to worry. Not having time to completely take the camp in the ring, it was decided to immediately attack the enemy, so as not to give them more than a second of time. The attack began from the longitudinal strip of the camp. The archers ran out, lit the steles, and the first thing they did was to destroy all the food. Food, horses, camels, barns, tools, catapults and other objects. On the same side, infantrymen ran out, in steel helmets and vests, armed with long spears. They ran into the tents and quickly stabbed the soldiers who had already woken up, but had not yet had time to figure out anything. On the other hand, meanwhile, archers fired at the enemies running out of their tents. Under the furious cries of their leaders, the enemies, on the move, right in the run, lined up in columns, and dispersed on the battlefield. Some of the tents, closer to the center, opened and guns rolled out from there. With powerful shots, they fired into the line of attack, trying to frighten the enemy away rather than kill. Their soldiers looked completely unbecoming of the ancient warriors who had recently mastered iron. Shining, silvery light armor that completely covers their bodies. They made them look like medieval knights. However, most of the warriors did not have time to put on protection, and fought almost naked.

One of their commanders ran towards an unremarkable, detached tent. She stood separately, because around her, there was a whole crowd of guards, in several rows. They watched the battle, but did not take part in it. Having reached the tent, cutting several bedubs on his way, he pulled on the crosspiece, the hilt of his mighty blade with a bulging blade, which seemed to consist of smoke. From the crosspiece, as if a second handle had come out, merged with the first. It had round, slightly convex iron buttons. It looks like some kind of control panel. He poked the buttons and put the handle to his ear. Shouting something in an incomprehensible, Nahmaut language, he pushed the second handle back into the crosspiece. At the same moment, several people leave the guarded ward, if they can be called that. They were wearing too extraordinary costumes, or armor that terrified and delighted at the same time. Among these disguised characters, only two stood without helmets. For a while, they silently looked around, not believing what was happening. Finally, one of those without a helmet slowly walked forward. The others all followed him.

«I hope I don’t have to fight?» He asked a nearby warrior who looked like a cyborg from the future.

— No, my lord, — he put on his head an incredible helmet in its performance, which is even difficult to describe. «I swear on my life, they won’t even notice you. — One side of his magic helmet, as if melted and flowed, stretching out in intricate contours with sharpened needles in the side. The slightly parted mouth contorted into a triangle, widening to one side, as if mocking. On the other hand, there were, red, hard bubbles growing on top of each other, from the temple to the very jaw. White eyes of various shapes, and bulging purple, branching stripes resembled veins, as if in animation, they moved across the entire surface of the helmet. From both hands of the unique warrior, four blades jumped out, around the wrist, on each side. They were attached to the sleeves of this strange, hard material that looked more like plastic or glass than iron. These were not just knights, but the personal guard of King Shadakh. His most unsurpassed in the martial art of war. Among these handsome men, it seems, there were even women. One could guess from the proportions of their bodies. As computer game characters, disguised in voluminous fully covered solid suits, some had significant tapering in the waist, more characteristic chest protrusions, and wide hips. These slender chickens would look great in cinematography, but not in a real carnage. Therefore, their demonstration, in fact, is only a demonstration. Shadakh does not allow them to participate in fierce battles, and more often, they are in the rear, together with the king, observing what is happening from the side. But this does not mean at all that the women in armor were simply disguised concubines. They perfectly mastered the sword and small arms. In battle, hardened by training, the ladies could compete with any of Shelber’s ordinary soldiers. The rest of the warriors of this elite squad are truly the greatest masters who have trained all their lives, from birth. Thirsty for blood, they entered the battlefield to once again show what they are capable of. Shredding enemies to pieces, they tried not to move far away from their leader. In the midst of the battle, one of these warriors, ten men, was surrounded on all sides. Furiously defending himself from the spears flying at him, he still missed a stab in the back. But, this blow did not defeat him. From the blow, only the tip of the spear broke. Spinning around, he shook his hands down, and four more blades extended in a similar fashion to the four blades. They crawled out of the hand, then stretched forward. The tips of all the blades joined together like fingers and created small, bright balls. Continuing to beat the badubs, his power increased tenfold. These balls generated electrical discharges, which, when touched, instantly hit the enemy, throwing their bodies back several meters. Without wearing a helmet, following his bodyguards, Shadakh finished off crippled enemies. The battle dragged on for two hours. This time was enough for the Bedubs and Jews to understand who they had contacted. The retreating Jerichans lost their command and rushed scatteringly. The ruthless guards of Shadakh pierced the bodies of enemies like helpless little children. One of the last soldiers, crawling backwards, begged loudly for mercy. To which the warrior, in fantastic armor, silently threw off his iron helmet. He grabbed his head like a ball and lifted his whole body for it, putting the poor man on his knees. Then, four, protruding on the sides of the blade, sharply closed, and cut the skull, like an apple, into four equal shares.


In the distant, distant times, when the world capital Vayelon was a small tree in the Rohvem Valley, and Shelber, the isolated Nahmau tribes reached unprecedented heights in development. These are the only tribes of Mesopotamia that are not descendants of the Natufian culture, and North African, and any other alien cultures. They belong to the unheard of Veliriam culture in northeastern Europe. They had their own, built from scratch, a language whose writing is not like any other writing in the world. Is that, on some symbols of Tifinagh. Want to know what characters? A circle. Only. In their writing, only combinations of large and small circles resembling atoms were used in orbit. Minimum, there could be one not large circle, on the verge of one large circle, maximum — four. They could only take positions at 90 and 45 degrees. They had 11 vowels and 19 consonants. And, also, 30 syllables. Each syllable, in writing, was a repetition of all letters, only, with a circle in the middle, like the nucleus of an atom. Most of the syllables were also consonant. Sometimes, they consisted of only one consonant, and could even denote a whole word. For example, the syllable «khkhp», meaning uncertain agreement. The semantic message, something like, «I think differently, but I have to agree.» When pronouncing this syllable, instead of «h», «a» is heard. It is quite difficult to reproduce this, therefore, their speech gave rise to many dialects that are not similar to each other, like the Osiris. The Osiris language, by the way, can be called the progenitor of the Semitic language group. And, unfortunately, the Nahmau language has completely sunk into oblivion. Not to say that he was expressively beautiful in sound, but very original, and could express the deepest feelings in one word, where in modern languages you have to write a couple of sentences. The abundance of consonant sounds, and the length of the letter «h», the Nahmau themselves explained by the fact that their ancestors, who lived in the far north, suffered from sinusitis. It turns out such a ratchet speech, as if the nose is stuffed up. Also, they had their own count (hundred-fold frame of reference), which reduced the duration of a second, almost in half, and much more. They left behind a deep trace that simply disappeared in an instant. Despite the complete disappearance of the physical heritage, they still managed to change the history of all living things. This was indicated by a lot of evidence and artifacts of that era. Ultimately, their sudden disappearance was as mysterious as their appearance. The deeds of the greatest nahmau — Selim Svurt, put him above the gods. However, neither the date of birth, nor the place of birth, nor the date of death, nor the place of death, even his own governors do not know. So did he ever exist at all? Or is it just a specially invented deity? Two hundred years later, only half of the Nahmau themselves believed in its real existence. The rest do not consider Selim Svurt to be who he is being given out. His identity is documented, and there is no doubt about his existence. Doubts creep into his deeds. All of his works refer to the «drugged knights of Shelber», the scientific committee under his father Shadakh, and other circumstances. However, even the wise Nahmau admit that there was the last prince in their family who could turn our world into an illusion. One day, he allegedly met a foreigner. The one who gave him absolute knowledge. According to legend, a wanderer named Grul came from the valley of Eridu, later enslaved by the treacherous king Shadakh. In that valley, lived mostly savages, and small tribes of their fellow Nahmau, who surrendered without a fight. A sick man of unknown origin traveled through the lands of Mesopotamia, enlightening the leaders of wild tribes. He had a companion — his sister and concurrent mistress. This woman had a genetic breakdown and stopped aging. Then, as from constant incest from generation to generation, everyone in their family suffered from Progeria — premature aging. Trying to find the key to his sister’s immortality, hoping to rid himself of the curse, the ingenious Grul began to study the genetics of her body. And he made a lot of scientific discoveries on the way to his goal. Having learned the basics of the chemical and biological structure of DNA chains, stem cells, proteins and amino acids, at about the age of twenty, he began to model new molecular bonds. It seems impossible to solve such problems without using computer technology. Therefore, according to legend, although the place of origin of the wandering sage is not indicated, there is an assumption that he came on a mission from another world, and from another planet. Having recovered from his illness, the almighty sorcerer did not stop. Further, he single-handedly developed self-replicating artificial cells, from which he modeled an exact copy of his perfect organism, immediately allowing his clone to get rid of the decrepit, sick original. In a new image, he continued to improve the world around him, reaching the very origins of the universe.

Having written down his knowledge in three books, he distributed them to the most chaste leaders of that time. Arkhva is the king of the Osiris of Giza, Dagshe is the leader of one of the most mysterious and isolated civilizations of the Levrimites, the Eridu Valley, in Iran, and Selim is the crown prince of Nahmau. After the death of these individuals, all the books were lost without a trace, except for one. In addition to the book of Selim Svurt, which he safely hid in the most inaccessible corners of the Shelber castle. From time to time, attempts were made on the book. Someone wanted to destroy it, seeing in it the prescription of the apocalypse, someone just wanted to reveal the secrets of its content. One way or another, one day, she had to be secretly transported to the underground, laboratory catacombs of Vayelon. Gruel disappeared just as suddenly and mysteriously. Therefore, practically no one believed in its very existence. His eternally young sister died from the bite of a poisonous spider, fleeing from the pursuit of the «intoxicated guards of Shadakh» (later became better known as the «immortal phantoms of Saltorin»). But, all the fun started ahead. After his departure, the policy of the great Svurt finally took over the world, penetrating so deeply into all spheres of life that people practically began to go crazy.

Reconstruction of the Shelber castle, 8008 BC

Gloomy, golden columns, like the hall itself, are shrouded in shadows. And only small yellow stripes fall to the floor from long, narrow windows, with thick, dull glass. The sun’s rays illuminate the flying fine dust and barely noticeable details of the interior of the throne room of the observation tower. This tower protrudes from a huge beige building of a mesmerizing gray castle. A beautiful carpet with embroidered engraving is spread along the entire hall. There is a majestic armchair, the back of which is shrouded in blue flame, like a waterfall flowing upwards, merging with darkness. It quickly distorts and changes shape. With a piercing, eerie creak, opposite the magic throne, the gate to the balcony swung open. A man in extraordinary wavy armor, on which various solid formations flowed in waves. Like a kaleidoscope, they created wonderful symmetrical shapes. Sharpening crystals near the shoulders, convex squares on the lower back, gradually transforming into polygons, then into stars, into petals and strange polyhedra. Standing with his back to the hall, he slowly let go of the stone handles in the form of flying kites. He also slowly approached the white, thick railing, arcing around the stone floor, decorated with mosaics of square slabs of various sizes. The heels on his rigid, similarly wavy, fluid shoes glittered gold. They were hollow, of thin walls, decorated with patterns of various curling stripes. With his left hand, he grabbed the edge of the curb. His pale, thin fingers are wearing large, beautiful rings. Bending over the abyss, he looked down. With his right hand, he took a prismatic device, similar to binoculars, hanging around his neck, and brought it close to his eyes.

There, from below, work was in full swing. To the beat of drums and the sounds of trumpeters, a huge army of slaves twisted and twisted various, incomprehensible mechanisms. These are huge steel gears that raise a whole range of different elevators to different heights for each tower. Suddenly, there was a deafening grinding sound. On the rails, spiraling up around one of the buildings, a miraculous mechanism is rolling, reminiscent of a carriage with two hydraulic units, at the ends of which giant saw blades are fixed, which cut something right into the wall of the building. Sparks flew tens of meters away. This mobile sawmill was operated by some mutant sitting inside a carriage. This is one of the civil engineers. In silver, stylish armor, dressed like a knight of the Middle Ages, his equally shiny head was wrapped in foil. His face is completely covered with dents and irregularities, bumps and microcracks, and his cheekbones, brow ridges and chin protruded unnaturally strongly. Blue lips and bloodshot eyes twitched constantly. He firmly held on to the control levers with both hands, using the power steering, turning the three-meter discs in the desired direction. But dozens of other people below were responsible for lifting this car up. With the help of physical strength, they twisted a strange coil, with a long shaft standing across it, like a carousel. This shaft grabbed a whole chain of gears, which eventually caught the wheels of the rolling stock. Huge platforms moved between buildings. The stone blocks, the size of a two-story house, were pulled by giant, furry mammoth-like animals. Tightened ropes, over the top of one of the towers, stretched into the hands of the harnessed people. They, like mammoths, are wearing fetters that line them up in an even formation of three columns. Pulling the cables as they count, they flatten the heavily tilted tower, around which are built wooden bridges and many gear mechanisms. They were shouting into the loudspeaker up there. It was they who gave the bill to the pulling people from below. And, at the moment of the jerk, when the tower rises slightly, the people at the top sharply insert the levers into an incomprehensible device, such as a jack, fixed between the gears. This was done so that the structure would not fall back to its side. Although, if you look closely, this tower is not broken. It was originally built with the existing curvature, in combination with other skyscrapers, twisting at different angles. These bold design and architecture decisions are not realistic. They defy the laws of physics, and this excites the imagination. Then why do you need to make any changes, fix something? Perhaps the builders want to bring this style to perfection or, to present it in a slightly different way, more to their liking.

People’s feet slide over the smooth concrete that has been laid throughout the surrounding area. They fall to their knees, trying to catch their breath and catch their breath, as a hellish blow from a fiery whip immediately flies in the back. A frightening tall creature that closely monitors the work. They are called caretakers or overseers. Monsters, devoid of even human form. In black robes and glossy red steel vests, ribbed tails protruded from the back like lizards. The heads are terribly deformed. The top of the skull is extended forward, and the round jaw merges with the neck. Their mouths are tightly sewn up with thick threads, and holes are ripped open in their throats, into which are inserted jaw-holders with teeth curved downward like claws. Bald, gray heads and completely black, slightly sunken, as if filled with ink eyes. And the long legs are tightly bound with iron on all sides.

— Push! Push! — the monster growls choking. Another caretaker tapped him on the shoulder, pointing up. Throwing its head against the main tower of the tallest building, the creature whined even louder. — Selim is out!! He’s looking at us!! Work lazy, until I fry you. «He began to beat all the servants in order with his long fiery whip».

— I see him for the first time in two years, — his colleague looks up with admiration.

«And I only saw him once,» he answered, interrupting from the beatings. — Five years ago, in the village of Doeh.

— What is he doing? — the second warden interrupted him.

Lowering his lens device, leaving it hanging around his neck, attached to a leather belt, continuing to stand on the balcony in the same place, this guy slowly removed what looked like a crown from his head. His face did not appear from under the crown. On his head is wearing a frightening, stone mask, with twisted large, same stone eyes, or rather one right eye, the incision of which goes somewhere at forty-five degrees. This facial asymmetry was a little creepy, but not scary. Revealingly raising above the head this wonderful, in-depth, frame, like a helmet covering the entire head, made of tubules bent by petals connected to each other. The bottom is gold, and the top is silver, with large gems sharpened upward, green rubies in the center, and red diamonds on the sides. Carefully leaning the crown to his chest, without thinking twice, he silently threw it down. Thus, publicly renounced power in the Shelber Valley. Since that day, no one has seen Selim Svurt again.


Archaeological finds make up only a small part of what lies beneath the soil. Most of the artifacts from the distant past remain undiscovered. Some of them have already disappeared without a trace. Researchers from different countries, for several centuries, have been trying to unravel the cryptograms of the first civilizations. Modern historians cannot go back in time and write down real facts without distortion. Indeed, as practice shows, several thousand years ago, when the first human communities were born, there were no professional journalists, historians and philosophers. The manuscripts of those times did not carry reliable information on the existing way of life and the development of people. What is the point of believing the cuneiforms of ancient tribes, when they contradict themselves in many texts. It is easy to be misled when great figures are called gods and all scientific achievements are called magic gifts. Religious temples are named after strong tribes, and fertile lands were considered the tricks of lazy hunters who fertilized the ground with the remains of their prey around their homes.

Tigris River, May 23

The night was bright today. Under the light of the moon, the hunters carefully peered into the depths of the forest. Complete silence. Only from time to time were the sounds of crickets, the howling of wolves and the rumbling of owls. This place is full of animals. The Shelber Valley is the most fertile land in Mesopotamia, and in the whole world. (Shelber in Nahman means rich.) Moreover, it is forbidden to hunt in this place. This territory is an inviolable reserve. Only elders and governors can move freely here. Five young, handsome, very similar to each other, dark-skinned men stood in a small, oblong, trench-like depression. They were groomed like modern people. Smoothly trimmed black stubble, and some have beards. Stylish hairstyles, with hair slicked to the side, and neatly cut along the contour. They are members of the Nahmau royal families. Once again, they secretly escaped from the castle to take a break from the hustle and bustle of their entourage. A light breeze in pairs makes tall grass rustle. It smells very fresh and pleasant here. It is now harvest season. The fields are full of blooming vegetation. Naturally, where there is a lot of food, there is also a lot of game. Seth and Hora from Rohvem came to visit their brothers. They were considered the most talented people of the «upper kingdom». Young, hot and ambitious people have a lot to talk about. Boast of the harvest, architecture, weapons and clothing, as well as make many large transactions for the sale of pharmaceuticals, Sumerian and Sabarian cities, for the construction of a hydroelectric dam on the Tigris River, succinctly inscribing the structure into the interior of the fortress walls of the ancient castle of Shelber. When the kings cannot agree, their children take over. Clean heads not clogged with politics know how to compromise.

Prince Selim’s eyes shine like lights in the dark. Frozen in place, he looks with a smile at the border of the forest, as if at this second, a herd of wild boars will run out of there. In fact, he didn’t even think about hunting. His spear lay near the tree, the crossbow was tightly pulled behind his back in a leather case, and he left the dagger near the fire, a kilometer away, on the very bank of the river. All his thoughts were about how to properly dig water channels in this place, for the quick transportation of iron ore and oil products to his city. Hora’s older brother distracted him from his thoughts.

— There, something is moving, — he pointed to the left side of the line of the forest. — Something big. Now let’s watch a little, and come closer, — he said almost in a whisper.

«The beast is too far away, and it looks like it’s not alone, you don’t want to miss them,» Seth said in an undertone. «You’re not a hunter. We must get closer, the main thing is not to scare away. You, stay here, — waving his hand to the men to his left, he silently jumped out of the pit. — Come with me, Svurt. — Shaking his head, burning with excitement, Seth called him. — Let’s see if we can do something.

Without thinking twice, in anticipation, Selim crawled out after him.

«Damn it,» he froze for a moment. — I forgot my spear. — He, in response, silently shook his head.

— Get your crossbow. Suddenly it is a predator. I can’t do it alone.

«Okay, okay…» Taking out the gun case from behind, the young man bulged into the sky. — Two moons? How is this possible?

— What? — Wrinkling his face in displeasure, Seth looked up. — Where did you see the second one? — sighing, he expects a catch from a friend.

— She disappeared. I swear, for a moment, there were two balls in the sky. It didn’t seem to me. It was only a couple of seconds, but I clearly saw this moon, and next to it, a little to the right, the same yellow, the same size.

— Aren’t you drunk, my brother, — Seth grinned and, squinting, directed his gaze into the darkness of the forest.

Suddenly, the trees crackled straight ahead. Three other comrades also noticed this and immediately jumped out of the pit. The distant cries of the lambs rang out. Wolves ran out of the forest. Tails between their legs, they whined softly, and scattered in different directions. Panthers run out after them. Just as frightened, their ears flattened, they seem not to notice the people standing in front of them.

— And who are they so scared of? — Svurt muttered to himself under his breath, and aimed his crossbow in front of him. Together with his friends, he slowly crept up to the forest. Approaching the first trees, the guys carefully peered into the darkness. The unintelligible details of the bushes seemed like living things. Suddenly, a flock of birds flies out from above, making Horus flinch.

— This is a cursed forest! — his nerves could not stand it. — Let’s go back to the city, that’s enough adventure for me.

«Don’t you dare curse my forest,» Selim replied indignantly. — I am the owner of these lands. I have lived here for a very long time, and I know that it is safe here. — He entered the thicket and lit some kind of pipe, from below on a crossbow. With a dim, white light, she illuminated just a couple of meters in front of him. Well, at least something. Suddenly there was another loud crunch from the side. Turning sharply, Svurt took aim in the direction of the sounds. Then he quickly pulled his free hand on his wide honeycomb bracelet and it stretched out in segments to the very shoulder. Then, thrusting his hand under his shirt, he scratched in the chest area and armor enveloped his entire body under his clothes. A mechanical, folding suit turned him into a flamboyant warrior. Holding his breath, Selim moved forward. My heart began to beat quickly in my chest. Finally, an image of two people appeared in his eyes.

«Stop,» said an unknown voice. A strange man in a long robe and draped hood, he himself went to meet the prince. «Please don’t kill us,» a male voice continues with an unfamiliar accent.

— Come on out of here quickly. So I can see you! — raising his hands, palms forward, the stranger went out to his comrades. — You too! — he waved the crossbow, taking aim at the second, in the same robe, a man. — You are lucky that you nahmau, — stopping behind them, Svurt lowered his weapon. «Otherwise, I would immediately kill you like wild animals. And so, you will live to see tomorrow. Tomorrow you will be sentenced to death for crossing the forbidden territory of Shelber.

— But, we did not know that these territories are closed. There are no markings or fences here.

— Don’t be smart! — Dolmi, Selim’s cousin, approached him point-blank. On him, a similar miracle of armor was already deployed, with strongly protruding shoulders and covering completely the body and even part of the head. — Everyone in the district knows where you can walk and where you can’t meddle! Even if you are foreigners, this does not absolve you of responsibility. And take off your hood when I’m talking to you! Before you there are five heirs of two kingdoms, spoiled!

«I beg your pardon if I seemed rude,» the stranger removed his cape from his head. The second, behind him, also showed a face. It was a woman, young or not, in the dark it is not clear. It can only be seen that she is thin. The man is noticeably mature, also thin, but rather tall, strong and wiry. Can easily be dangerous. «I was looking for my sister,» the stranger began to make excuses. «We are heading from Eridu to Jericha with an educational mission. Also, we need the seed of a healthy man to fertilize my sister. Her years are passing, and we need a continuation of the family.

— Show your little sister closer, — the bearded man grinned, — maybe I can render her such a service.

— We’ll see. She is very tired now. During the last rest, she went to pick mushrooms and lost her way. I was looking for her all day and we, just recently, met here.

«Sounds believable,» the bearded man sniffed.

— Did you walk the mushroom trails? — Svurt looks from under his brows, frowning. — There are no edible mushrooms here. There is only death. Alluring and frightening.

— That’s it. What kind of mission do you have, «Seth asks without much curiosity. — Judging by this, there is nothing to teach us, since you went west to the Jews. The path is not close, of course, and how much do they pay you?

— We don’t need a fee. It’s free. This is charity.

— No, well, have you heard this beggar? Hora laughed. — Look at yourself. Well, what an idiot you have to be to walk barefoot half the world and not ask for a penny.

«Take them to the horses,» Selim said calmly to Set. — Now we will take them to the castle, and tomorrow morning, I will personally talk to them. If they don’t lie, I will let them go. If they lied, then I will publicly feed them to my beloved lions. And I will go while I check if they have awakened the evil sleeping with eternal sleep in the forest of the dead, a couple of kilometers north of this thicket. Don’t wait for me.

— What are you talking about? Hora approached him in bewilderment. «Recently, you said not to call your forest damned, but now you declare that evil lurks there.

— Keep it simple, buddy. I just went to shit.

Laughing at their friend, the men moved towards the river, taking with them two strangers. There, their horses and tent were standing by the fire. The princes treated the prisoners not like criminals, but with respect and understanding. This was affected by their good upbringing. Early in the morning, when the first rays of the sun had not yet passed through the walls of the majestic castle. The son of King Shadakh — young Selim, temporarily replacing his father, the ruler of Shelber, while he went on a campaign, with his retinue turned into narrow streets between giant towers. People who got in his way fell to their knees, or simply covered their faces with their hands, not believing their eyes. One of his stern, elegant appearance discouraged those around him. As if from the future, its protective frame shone in different colors. Stopping at a long stone wall, he exponentially clenched his fist, raised hand, signaling his bodyguards — the invulnerable guards Shadakh, to stop. Approaching the thick bars of the iron grating, he raised one eyebrow in bewilderment and grinned.

— Who put you here? — he asks two strangers in torn dresses, sleeping on top of each other in an embrace.

— My lord, — came from behind a pleasant, clear intonation of one of the guards, in fantastically beautiful, silver-blue armor made of incomprehensible material. — Maybe you need the ones in the next cell? He asked in a quiet, ringing voice. Slowly, approaching the next cage, Svurt froze in bewilderment:

«No, they weren’t dressed like that,» he said.

— But, over the past day, only two street cameras were occupied. Those brought by your brothers were seated here.

«Yes, yes, my lord. He speaks correctly. — A man of about fifty came up to the fence. He is wearing expensive clothes. A blue checkered caftan, like a short cloak, with a slit in the back, yellow patterns and stripes on the chest. Shiny, jeweled shoes with elongated, pointed toes. A woman in a white short dress with an unbuttoned collar came up with him. She was not just thin, as it seemed yesterday, but very slim and curvy. On her feet are very strange white shoes made of solid fabric. They were high-soled sneakers with red laces. — Your hotel is so-so, — the stranger smiled. — But, I’ve been to places and worse. «Only now, by his voice, did Selim recognize him as yesterday’s wanderer. Once again, carefully examining the prisoners from head to toe, he turned in displeasure to his guard:

— Who changed them? And for what?

— They will not give you an answer to this question, my young boy, — the wanderer took hold of the bars with both hands. — How much time is left before the verdict? He stroked his short gray hair with his right hand.

— I don’t know. Maybe… you won’t have a verdict.

— This castle, — the wanderer with admiration examines the blurry buildings seen in the distance, fused with each other. — It was not built by you.

«How do you know,» Svurt came close to him.

— Oh, I know everything. This castle was not built by people. He raised his head contentedly. — Yesterday you were so excited when I said that we were picking mushrooms. And when everyone was gone, you went to check if we had picked at least one fungus. I know why entry into that forest is prohibited. It’s not all right there and you know it. You have too many secrets, and if ordinary nahmau find out about them, Shelber’s power will fall.

— A curse was sent to our castle. Every year, it collapses on its own. And every year we restore it. Over and over again, my grandfather and my father have lived here their whole lives. They could not understand this pattern. Towers bend and change their shape. We consider this to be the curse of the Osiris from North Africa and Jericha (a city in Israel on the site of the future Jericho). My grandfather and father slaughtered these peoples with particular fury. Like the barbarians, they went on military campaigns and conquered distant lands for the purpose of profit. My grandfather did not return from one of these trips to the east. He died about sixteen years ago. My father should have returned from the west a month ago, but there is no news of him. The innocent Sumerian peoples whom they made to suffer by enslaving them. The rebellious Sabarian peoples, which almost completely died out due to the cruelty and oppression of the Nahmaut kings. We call them monkeys, savages. But, they are not as stupid as they seem. They have bewitched us and the Rohvem Valley. I have no idea how to remove this corruption, but I will do everything to atone for the guilt of the nahmau before other peoples.

«I don’t need your revelations, kid,» the stranger shook his head, narrowing his eyes slyly. — Nobody sent damage to you. This is self-hypnosis. This castle is not broken, it is simply not completed. Its construction should be completed by those who started. Do they just want it? The anomaly will not stop here, it will increase every day. I see that you are an immaculate soul. I am ready to help you.

«I didn’t ask for your help, old man. — Svurt drew attention to the woman, carefully examining her gold ring. — Did she swallow her tongue?

— She’s wild. Crazy. Doesn’t know the Nahmau language. I took it away from a bear on the river bank as a baby.

— Too sexy for a savage. How old is she? She is well-groomed like from a wealthy family, don’t powder my head.

«Okay, just kidding, this is my cousin,» he glanced at her with his eyes. The woman was distracted and looked at her fellow tribesman, then at Selim. Proudly lifting her head, coquettishly approaching the grate, she slowly licked a thick iron bar along the way. Then, she approached Svurt as close as possible, pressing her whole body against the pipes:

— WOF WOF!! She growled unexpectedly loudly. Frightened, the young man jumped back, reflexively, placing his hand on the hilt of his dagger. The woman laughed. «He seems to like me,» she said to her brother.

— What are you doing? — the wanderer pushed her back slightly. — In fact, she has an injury. Seventeen years ago, she was brutally raped by barbarians from the west. She was no longer a virgin, but one of the best girls of the tribe, it was hard not to notice her. Burning our village to the ground, the soldiers fished it out, tore up her clothes, and began to mock her. Then their commander came and dispersed them. Delighted, she thanked him. But, in vain. He took her to the house and raped her too. However, it’s good that our man was there, hiding behind the wall. With a stab in the back, he stabbed the leader of these bastards. As it turned out later, he was a major military leader. After his death, the invading army turned back, and since then did not set foot on our lands for a long time.

— This, of course, is very interesting, but let him first let us out, then continue to tell your stories, — the girl interrupted him with a serious look, apparently not wanting him to talk about her.

«Seventeen years ago, was she no longer a virgin? So how old are you now? — in bewilderment, Selim approached again. «She looks twenty years old.

«She is eleven years older than me. I’m twenty-three, she’s thirty-four. Our tribe is very small. Just a few families. Due to constant incest, hormonal failure occurred in our family. For the third generation, we suffer from Progeria. But Carney’s disease somehow worked in the opposite direction. Now she is the oldest representative of our people. On average, we live twenty-five to twenty-seven years. If we’re lucky, we’ll live to be thirty. It looks like it will be about ninety years old. But I no longer worry about death. I managed to recover. And, I won’t grow old anymore. The mutation of genes affected not only in the negative direction. It also influenced intelligence, the way of thinking. During my not very long life, I have created a great many useful things to which you have to go for thousands of years. But, the main thing is not even that. I am standing now, communicating with you through this cage, but I can easily get out of here. And, with a snap of your finger, destroy this whole castle. As he speaks, Karnay grabbed the smooth iron pipe of the grating with one hand and began to rub it with quick movements. With her other hand, she slowly lifted her dress from the side of her hip. Her slender legs made the prince pay attention to them. Above the knees, she is wearing black ribbons embroidered with patterns, like stockings, tight-fitting legs. She fiddled with her eyebrows and pulled her lips slightly, making them plump. Her face is smooth, natural. No makeup and wavy hair styled at the back secured with a white comb.

— Are you flirting with me? — unable to bear it, said Selim.

— Me not! — the girl quickly cut off her hands, standing in the starting position.

— Let them out! — Svurt turned to the guard. One of the knights approached the stone partition between the chambers and pressed on one of the bricks, then on the other, just below and to the right of the first. And then, he pulled out the third, leftmost, top brick. Something clicked, and the iron bars, one by one, quickly rooted into the ground. — What is your name, wanderer? — Finally he asked the name of the gray-haired man in the caftan.

«Call me Grul.» Smiling, he walked out into a narrow street, his sister following him.

— I have no time to talk more with you. You say you can help remove the curse from the castle and forests. So come on, help, or you are a crook posing as a great sorcerer.

«If I’m a swindler, how can you explain this?» He thrust his hand into his silk caftan and pulled out a large book, trimmed with red fringe. With silver upholstery around the edges and a convex blue planet in the middle. The entire cover of the book consisted of three-dimensional mathematical figures. — This is a book without a title. I have three copies. One I can give to you. But, there is a small problem. It is written in the most difficult language, Gomeropoles, of my little tribe. It is a dynamic language and the words are not static here. But, whoever understands the text, the reward will be generous. — He opened the book somewhere in the middle, slowly leafing through thick, wonderful pages, as if made of transparent plastic or barely bending silicone. The embossed gold letters were very small but legible. The text is really very strange. It was immediately apparent that the symbols were scattered chaotically. Either they rolled into a spiral in circles, or they were arranged in straight lines, self-intersecting rows and columns at different angles. Otherwise, nothing surprising, just unfamiliar hieroglyphs.

— Survival instructions? Or the philosophy of the gods? — With irony he stretched out his hand for the book. — Whatever nonsense is written there, I like the way it is sewn. Colorfully, elegantly. We did our best. Taking the book in his hands, he patted it hard. «I’ll put it on the shelf in the throne room in my round wine rack. I will show drunken priests and governors on holidays. Are there any pictures?

Frowning with a serious face, Carney stood right in front of him.

— Hey, if you don’t need this book, pass it on to someone who is interested in it. If you knew what information is there, you would create a whole library of copies of this text.

«It’s strange that you speak Nahmout so clearly, and your friend’s accent. — With a light breath of wind, Svurt smelled her hair. He was so pleasant that he was remembered forever. — Let’s go to my nearest location. I’ll feed you well and ask you a couple of questions. If the answers satisfy me, the guards will lead you out of the city; if not, I will be your evil judge.

«Interesting suggestion,» Grul raised his hands. — Of course, let’s go.

Arriving at the royal chambers, a gray, stone structure, with a glazed mosaic roof, and jutting out sharp towers of an iron frame. They silently looked around. The damp, cold room does not delight the guests. An oval lacquered table in the middle caught the attention of the gray-haired sage. This table is built in the style of a huge egg splitting across. One half of the egg is a table, and the other, suspended from the ceiling with thick chains, is a chandelier. A glossy white table and a similar chandelier with glowing blue veins outside and kerosene lamps inside.

— Ergonomic. You have a delicate taste, — the wanderer turned again in search of a chair. — I appreciated this chip with the shell of a huge lizard. Is this one of your father’s trophies?

«Don’t talk about my father. He may have died. The room was not designed by us. The castle is as old as the world. This table has been standing here even before the beginning of time. — Selim went point-blank to the table, and the floor beneath him fell slightly. Some green thing rose with a crash right behind. It turned out to be a pull-out chair, with a pointed, petal-shaped back. Without saying anything, Carney repeated the trick, stepping on the lever tile next to her, and settled herself comfortably in the chair. A couple of minutes later, a servant rushed into the hall. Waiters set a full table by forcing it with decorative crockery. In each container, there were different dishes. Minuscule portions, about two teaspoons in size, are neatly laid out in the middle of the plates. The wine decanters were full, but the glasses were almost empty.

«Funny,» Grul took out of his pocket a round thing the size of two of his fists and, also going up to the table, rolled it straight in the direction of Svurt. He abruptly slammed the oval ball with his palm, stopping it at the very edge of the table. Then he raised it right before his eyes. There was a toy in his hand. A transparent egg, with a metal partition inside, on bearings and a pile of sand.

— What is it? — in bewilderment he twirls the trinket. Then, looking closely, his eyes slowly bulged in surprise. Inside the glass egg, across there was a partition with small holes in a circle. On the hinges, when the oval was rotated around one axis, it retained its horizontal position. Sand poured into these little crevices. It poured up and stuck to the top of the oval, as if it were magnetized. From one container to another. Also in the lower part of the box, the sand stuck to the partition, and did not lie at all at the bottom, at the bottom.

— This is a clock, — calmly speaking, the wanderer leaned on the table with both hands. — Just an hourglass. Consider this a gift. I know you will be looking for a catch, but there is none. Time inside this form goes in the opposite direction. — Svurt silently put this thing on the table and continued to look until the remaining sand completely adhered to the upper wall of the vessel. Then, he turned the egg over, and the yellow dust continued to pour from bottom to top. — This clock works in a hundred-fold frame of reference. A primitive device that contains an entire universe. An exact copy of ours.

— How can there be a universe in the sand? — Selim grimaced incredulously. — Even on a reduced scale, it cannot have such an absurd shape and composition.

— As much as you can. If you break the shell, this sand will simply fly into space and take positions in space opposite to those of matter. For us, it is not real. What you see is the broadcast of the sand dust that is actually there.

— Here are the cases. I will definitely keep this curiosity. — He got up from the chair, which abruptly slid into the stone floor and began to pace around the empty, gloomy hall, the light into which barely penetrated, through the high, but narrow and dull windows. Removing a beautiful ring from his little finger, with his own engraved surname, covered with purple diamonds in a circle, and protruding crystals that emphasize volume, he approached the girl:

— Take it, this is my gift. More modest than yours, but… he is dear to me.

— The name ring of the rulers of Shelber, — she raised the ring up to the light, aloud, slowly reading the inscription.

«I see you like wearing rings. Well, add one more to your collection and accept the offer to become my wife. — The woman smiled broadly and was surprised at the same time. Looking at her brother, she laughed out loud. He looked at her seriously, and it is clear that he too was holding back a smile.

— What’s so funny? — the young man could not resist.

— If you want to marry me, give me the ring that you have on your other hand. — Svurt raised his left hand, clenching it into a fist. On his ring finger, an even more beautiful ring flaunts. It is completely transparent, with moving shining grains inside. If you enlarge it greatly, you will notice that these are not just sparkles floating in some kind of solution, these particles had certain shapes of objects and different inscriptions.

«No,» Selim dropped his hand. — This is the ring of the great Lafar Veia, and it will remain with me forever, as I promised him. But apart from that, I can give you almost anything.

— Very grateful. I need a seed, not a husband, «she replied calmly. — My heart has been occupied by my brother for a long time, I’m sorry.

— Then why don’t you create an artificial fruit with your own capabilities? — Selim grinned, moving the dishes and sitting on the table.

— Because my DNA code, in combination with the DNA of a healthy person, can give a new perfect look, much faster than doing it by the method of selection. — Having drunk wine from two glasses at once, she carefully got up from the chair, which also automatically slid into the floor. — And I will not go anywhere from here until you help me, — Grasping the man by the neck, she pulled him off the table, she sat down in his place, she spread her legs, showing her white panties.

— Enough, — Svurt turned away. — I won’t do it here. Moreover, with him.

— It won’t hurt. I see you want it. In our tribe, sex necessarily takes place in front of witnesses, so that everyone knows whose child will be born.

«But, I’m not in your tribe. And you cannot use me in your dirty deeds. Remember, not one woman in the world, and not one man, will decide who I should inseminate and who not. My father, could not force me to marry not one of twenty concubines, but you so simply decided to take advantage of my pure Nahmaut blood and run away. — The woman jumped off the table, grabbing Selim’s hand, put it on her chest. Svurt felt that he had fallen in love with her, and struggled with the temptation. Passionately kissing her, he pushed the girl away from him so hard that she even fell and took out his sparkling sword.

— Run while you are alive. — Jumping over the table, Selim in a rage, with one blow of the sword, cut off the chain on which the chandelier hung. She fell with a crash on the table, and the egg seemed to slam shut. Crawling back, the girl seemed to be numb from what she saw.

— Break, crash! What kind of demon lives in you? «Gruel simply slammed the huge table, and it flew off to the side with a bullet. Flying into small fragments in the air, which, for a moment slowed down in flight, then accelerated again and with crazy force hit the wall, so that the entire building was shaken. The gray-haired wanderer thrust his leg into the concrete floor with force, and stones under Svurt’s feet burst out of the ground, lifting him up and twisting him in the air, pushing from his back with a solid slab in the direction of Grul. Raising his hand without touching, the sage stopped him in flight. From the momentary stop, his limbs and head almost flew forward of the body. But Selim was not at a loss. He drew two daggers from behind, with forked blades. They immediately burst into black flame, and with a sharp blow, Svurt severed Grul’s arm. Tumbling in the air, he struck the second blow in the neck area, and, having landed on his feet, criss-cross with lightning strikes began to shred the body. Swinging from top to bottom, obliquely, immediately from bottom to top with the other hand, then, directing one blade with a point towards the body, he mercilessly pierced it, and drove the other here. Slowly, he began to back away, as if scared himself by what he had just done. His hands shook.

He turned around, remembering the girl. But, she was nowhere to be found. Looks like she escaped. Grul’s body flared with blades protruding from him, lighting up the darkness with even blacker flames. He spread his arms to the sides and laughed out loud. Before Selim had time, he only turned away for a second, the sorcerer again had two hands, as if they had not cut it off at all. He walked slowly towards Svurt, and the flame slowly went out on him. When the flame was completely extinguished, in front of us was the very same wanderer whom they met yesterday. In a black robe with a hood thrown over his head, and the daggers stuck in him just disappeared.

— Fool, I wanted to help you, and you … — he began to speak calmly. «Even in the forest, I could make you and all your brothers look like helpless insects. But this is not necessary. His black leather gloves creaked with a fist in front of his outstretched hand. Selim’s legs gave way with an unpleasant crunch in the joints, and he fell to his knees. Grul stopped and Svurt himself, unwillingly, kneeling on the ice, began to slide to meet him. Also, not arbitrarily, with shaking movements, his hand went up, palm outstretched upward. In the darkness, under the hood, the stranger’s face was completely invisible. He grabbed the man’s hand and dropped his clenched fist into his palm, giving him something very small. «They built this castle,» the strange sorcerer continues. «They were waiting for you here. You are trapped. Everyone you knew is doomed. They will be turned into frantic monsters, eager to devour all that exists. Your bodies, for them tools, empty vessels. But, you have a chance not to stay in Shelber’s darkness. Run, if you don’t want to be part of this nightmare, throw the crown and run as far as possible. I know you are worried about the fate of the nahmau. It’s time to change the political course. I will give you the right direction. If you stick to it, you can rule your people, even after death. Sitting on the floor, head down in doom, under Grul’s feet, a wicked smile appeared on Svurt’s face.

Her white dress catches everyone’s eye. Trying to remain unnoticed, Carney sneaks through the back streets, hugging the walls of buildings. Finding no other exit but the central one, she waited for the moment when the soldiers on the watchtowers turned away, rushing away as fast as they could. She ran without looking back, and with all her body felt that she was noticed. Inaudible screams rang out from behind. As she approached the line of the forest, she stopped and turned to catch her breath. Clumsy armored warriors raced behind her. These are the drugged guardians of King Shadakh. It is good that they did not think to saddle the horses. Seeing a large gray rock nearby, she decided to hide behind it. Barely squatting down, a terrible pain gripped her leg. A small spider was crawling along her thigh, which must have caught on as she dashed through the tall grass. Not paying attention, she just threw off the insect and ran into the thicket of the forest. Ten minutes later, her pain gave way to weakness. The guards were still searching the forest. There were more and more of them. It was necessary to move on, but the forces were gone. Hidden under a bush, the girl lay in agony for half an hour. Cutting her entire leg, trying to squeeze out the poison with a knife, Karnei fainted. Only an hour later she was found dead in the same place. It is not even known whether Gruel learned of her death, since no one has seen him since that day. According to legend, he gave the two remaining unnamed books to the Osirian elder Archva from Jericha and the Sumerian idol Dagsha. But, more than one specimen was never found. The kings of Mesopotamia are obsessed with finding a primordial manuscript above any treasure, because the great «Book of Life» and «Law of Selim» were written on the basis of the same text of a mysterious book, later called «Origin», which unites both ideologies of being.

Memoirs of great nahmau.

Our tribes have been at enmity with each other since ancient times. There were forty-eight independent communities in total. Initially, our ancestors lived in central and northeastern Europe, as part of a certain Veliriam culture. Subsequently, the descendants of this culture were Europeans, Slavs, Scandinavians and others. The Nahmaut culture, about seven thousand years ago (15,000 BC), gradually began to stand out from the general Veliriam culture, in the far north, on the territory of modern Norway, Finland. Unlike other peoples of the north, who were predominantly pale-skinned, fair-haired and blue-eyed, Nahmau were dark-skinned, dark-haired and brown-eyed. These unusual, distinguishing them from their fellows, were a sign that they had come here recently. Where exactly, it is not known, but most likely from North Africa, moreover, at about the same time as the migration of the Osiris — the founders of the Egyptian civilization. In those days, along the Nile River, the lands were incredibly fertile, however, for some reason, the overwhelming number of tribes decided to go to the northern, lifeless territory. Perhaps the tribes did not divide something, and they were allowed into exile. The Osiris story is much more logical. They simply moved from one favorable region to another. Later, about two thousand years ago (10,000 BC), the Nahmau tribes completely moved from north to south, to the territory of the future Israel, Syria, Iraq, and even Iran. Many of them mixed with the local backward peoples, but some nearby tribes living nearby, united in unions and built the first cities in history to protect them from the same migrants, hostile Sumerians and Sabars. In the interfluve, the Rohvem valley, near the future Sumerian city of Umma and the Shelber valley, near the future Akshak city, numbered sixteen strong Nahmau tribes. Our staunch ancestors immediately showed the local savages who is now the owner of these lands. Nahmau Rohvem and Shelber, appropriated all natural resources, and, cruelly turning the people into slavery, also divided it among themselves. Feeling their significant superiority, after a couple of three generations, the Nahmau admitted their mistakes and freed the civilian population. With the development of civilization, more and more internal enemies began to appear, yearning for power over both valleys. While the Nahmau were distracted from the outside world, solving internal conflicts, near the future city of Babylon, the recently founded, small village of Vayelon, has already turned into the largest developing Osiris city-state, right between the two valleys of the Nahmau, which of course did not leave them indifferent. The kings of Rohvem, after unsuccessful negotiations with the new world capital, decided to take the fortress by storm. And the Shelber government, in order to quickly capture the city, simply decided to put their governors at the head of the state. There were more people in Vayelon than in all of Mesopotamia, and whoever takes possession of this city will gain the best wealth, political and economic leadership.


Two hundred years later, Vayelon 7796 BC.

Summer heat begins to spin your head even before sunrise. There used to be a desert here, and later, it will reappear. And now, the whole of Mesopotamia, like a real paradise, is dotted with tropical forests and fertile vegetation. People, not knowing hunger, in those days developed rapidly. The first state institutions appeared. Trade flourished, and the center of the whole world was the city between the endangered Nahmaut valleys — Vayelon.

A man in a tall, cylindrical headdress and a white pha-toe sticking out of him, attentively looks at the papers that are being shoved to him by the strangers who are lined up in line. A long column of cavalry stretching for hundreds of meters. Traders from different parts of the earth are registering to enter the main kingdom of the Osiris. With a wave of his hand, and shouting something to the controller standing on the wall between the four entrance towers, he folded the papers into his bag and went to the chariot. After examining it from all sides, looking into the tin barrels tightly tied to the cart, the checking man muttered something and, having already taken out his journal, made a note in pencil. The huge, arched gate slowly opens. Behind them stood a powerful, iron lattice, which moved apart in segments in different directions. Having driven his cart there, the dark-skinned honey seller waited wearily for the gate behind him to close and in front to open. Being within the four walls, he was nervous whether the damned sentries, imposingly descending from the second, even higher wall of the fortress, would give him the go-ahead or send him back. Such a double pass procedure is necessary so that more than one carriage does not enter the city. She was so annoying that some of the merchants just turned around and left without waiting for their turn. By the way, Vayelon is the first city in Mesopotamia with two defensive walls. Shelber Castle has only one wall, and that was not built by its inhabitants, but Fimirel in the Rohvem Valley, the largest settlement of the past centuries, is an open city. They don’t need walls. They are very proud, but not like Spartans with a powerful army, but rather like the Nazis, ideologically, confident that they are special and omnipotent, and everyone else is unworthy and incapable of anything. Therefore, they never even thought that someday, from someone, they would have to defend themselves. They sincerely believed that no one in the world would have the courage to even look in their direction without permission.

There, outside the walls of the Osirian metropolis, life was in full swing. Architecture. Just look at this wonderful architecture, which is mixed in different styles unusual for late civilizations. No mythical castle or palace compares even to the walls of Vayelon. Various protrusions, mostly in the form of rings, and layered superstructures were amazing. The pointed roofs of the first wall, like bunches of needles, branch out in all directions. Huge, alternating yellow and green heads of crocodiles, instead of roofs, on the second wall of the towers, were one of the symbols of the state. They look up, with wide-open mouths, protruding teeth and curved wave, pink tongues like spires reaching into the sky. The sparkling blue eyes of these crocodiles are said to be human-sized natural diamonds. And this is a delightful wall painting. Everything is decorated with bright, multi-colored engravings and mysterious drawings, in which it is not clear what is depicted, but it looks very beautiful. The best sights were, of course, inside. In the very center of the fortress, there was a palace of unprecedented beauty. When traders first see him, they feel as if they are in a dream. What can we say about ancient people, when this would excite even modern people. Three majestic buildings, connected by bridges, chains, vegetation and just some kind of decorations, stretched above the clouds. These skyscrapers are clearly not built of clay. In the worst case, they are built according to all modern technologies, with a combination of metal, concrete and glass. Or even with the use of nano-technologies, miraculously implemented by the brilliant Osiris.

At night, the city center glowed, with mind-blowing, colored ribbons and lanterns, as if it were a modern metropolis, and not a prehistoric village of clay caves, like the neighboring wild peoples. Even the most ordinary taverns and eateries are hung with bright garlands to attract attention, although there were no power plants in the city. Everything was powered by disposable batteries. High stands, advertising posters, against the background of medieval-style mansions, look peculiar. Babylon with hanging gardens and amazing bridges, like stairs, connecting the towers of the main palace. Golden statues of gods, historical figures and just art. For example, a building in the form of a huge bunch of grapes. Or, a giant artificial fountain in the form of a black as night cobra with a golden belly, in the marketplace. An unimaginable waterfall in the form of the mythical four-winged bird Ambimum, near the government building. The color of her translucent body, with orange and black spots, created the illusion of a burning flame. There is also an amazing flower palace in the shape of a pyramid. This is an iron frame, entirely lined with natural flowering plants, which, hundreds of people, every day take care of and replace with new ones. The roads are lined with smooth clay bricks on the outskirts, and colored ceramic tiles in the center. You can endlessly enumerate these original masterpieces of an incredible civilization, but all this was preceded by events that in the future for them will be fatal.

A whimsical chariot rushes at great speed along the main street of the city. A black flag flutters behind it, depicting random white threads curling up into a ball in the center. Cavalry, drawn from six unnaturally large horses, loudly knocking horseshoes. On horse heads, they wear high golden crowns, like sultans’ hats with red petals sticking up. Light, silver armor covers their backs. At the turn, the carriage skidded sharply, and one of its edges lifted off the ground. The people walking by jumped aside in horror. Barely able to resist, the cart continued to skid along the smooth stones to the very square of Grompi, stopping at the very entrance to the majestic palace of King Ormon. All knocking and screaming died down. There was complete silence. Only the murmur of water and a gentle breath of wind. The driver of the wagon sat motionless, like a statue. His head is bound with iron armor, obviously not of local manufacture. Suddenly the door of the golden carriage opened and a leg appeared from there in a black leather boot with patterns embroidered with precious stones. Its sole was made of small, silvery human heads! Stepping on the ground, the unknown man in a black robe stood motionless. The people standing nearby began to whisper among themselves and backed away. His face was covered by a black, stone mask that showed no emotion. There is a square headdress on the head, with gold engraving on the front. On top, she was wrapped in dark rags, like a scarf. Looking towards the wide steps that rise to the entrance, he raised his hand, pointing his finger at the door. A rather interesting bracelet sits on his wrist. Red, thick, intertwining earthworms. They are made of copper, but they look real.

— Call me the king! He boomed in a terrible voice. — What is this demon? Human speeches are heard. The servants standing at the high front gate went inside.

«My lord, he has arrived. Waiting for you on the street, — one of the guards reports to an elderly, long-haired, gloomy man, in a blue checkered shirt, with lush, puffy shoulders like pillows and a gold brooch around his neck.

— Is he really alone? — asked the old man, putting on a crown in the form of white crystals and a red cap with a yellow circle in the middle and outgoing lines depicting the sun. The soldier silently nodded his head.

«Tell Mandalis to keep the garrison troops on alert in both directions.

«Yes, my king,» the soldier ran away.

A minute later, the gray-haired, bearded ruler went out into the street. He squinted from the blinding sun, trying to see everything around him. Seeing him, an unknown person in a black robe, confidently went to the meeting. Climbing the soft colored carpet that stretched through all the steps, his wildly bulging eyes could be seen through the eye sockets. When he met the old man, he bent down slightly, resting his hand on his chest.

— Governor of Shelber, for what purpose did you come to us? The king asked him.

— Greetings, lord of the Osiris, wisest of kings. I, Aprod Rift, have come to you at the request of the Most High Governor Shelber Daligen. We need to discuss some political issues regarding the safety of the city.

— Well, let’s go to my meeting room, — the King nodded to the guard and went inside. The visiting ambassador followed him through long corridors. Closing in a small room, they sat down at a round table, which stood at the very window. The old man took off the crown and placed it in front of him. Taking a handkerchief from his chest pocket, he wiped his damp face. — What do you want? He asked, scratching the back of his head. — This month, we paid tribute to Bil Hamhharaf, regularly pay taxes to the temple of Selim and did not violate any agreement between the Nahmau and the Osiris.

«Keep calm, oh great king. I haven’t started the conversation yet, and you are already making excuses. It doesn’t suit you. Vayelon’s people are in great danger. Rohvem wants to completely destroy the city, fearing your power. Even though they are our brothers, we will not allow this madness. The forest of the dead in the southern valley has taken too many people from Fimirel to hell, and our people disappear on Shelber’s mushroom paths. Nahmau are having their worst times. It’s hard to seem like heroes when our own kings left us at the mercy of Jerichan leprosy. Envy, flying up to heaven Vayelon, turned the heads of the governors and priests. We decided to take control of one of the city councils. Whether it is the council of the wisest or the council of the elders, I am obliged to lead this branch within a week. Deliver this to your subjects. Having learned that I am in power, Makhtum will not dare to attack his brothers. Otherwise, he will unleash a senseless war with Shelber.

— It all looks like some kind of competition, — the tsar looks menacingly into his face. — Who from Nahmau will capture the Osirian capital faster. So our obedience is no longer enough for you? Has it ever occurred to you that our people can resist wicked envious people? Fists clenched tightly, his face twitched nervously. — And then, we ourselves are already looking at the lands around us. Living in the occupation of a greedy, dying people is not so exciting.

«You shouldn’t call my people greedy. In that case, let Biel decide your fate. The countdown has already started. You will not be saved by the numerous hordes of mortals, from the ruthless creatures of Rohvem. — Taking out a scroll from his mantle, the governor handed it to the king. — Read this and pass it on to the council. Dahligen’s own appeal. Perhaps it will convince you more than my words. — Getting up from his chair, Aprod left the palace.

Sitting on his soft, wonderful throne, upholstered with the skin of a Nile crocodile, with a sparkling ornament on the upper part of the back, leaning his elbows, King Ormon hung his head thoughtfully. At the long table of the council of the elders, he carried a great deal of weight. And, in today’s discussion, as a result of controversy and disagreement, supported the side of the envoy from Shelber, but the council did not approve of this position.

«My years are passing,» he raised his bushy eyebrows sadly. «And I don’t see a decent youth capable of ruling Vayelon. I have spoiled my children too much. The elders are already forty years old, but they are all helpless children. I propose, to the council, to introduce a new position in the department that is temporarily fulfilling my duties.

— We are not against such a position, but it should be occupied exclusively by a local, — the senator, sitting somewhere in the middle, waves his index finger. — For example me. To give power to a stranger, and even to some governor from Shelber… we will not allow!

— Well, calm down, — the king raised his hands, trying to calm down the shouting advisers. — In a week, we have to give an answer. Collect troops. Our answer is war.

Dark clouds were gathering in the sky. Peals of thunder and striking lightning fell right into the tower of the majestic temple of Selim, in the deserted city of Fimirel. Abandoned stone cottages surrounded a single residential structure stretching to the very heavens. Gloomy, dark building. This dizzying cone-shaped structure is even taller than the skyscrapers of Vayelon. And, most importantly, it moves. Each floor, like a huge disk, in the form of a semicircle, planted on top of each other, slowly revolves around its axis. And at the top, segments of a sharpened fiery roof. It glows bright orange. With the help of kinematics and changing color rendering, the illusion of flowing lava is created. No wonder this tower got the name — Volcano. Queen Fimirel Bil Hamhharaf lives here. An insidious witch who for the sake of power killed her father, and then her brother. She hates men, and therefore killed her son in order to make her daughter the receiver of power. Even all members of the council, in Fimirel, are exclusively women. The only man in the entire Rohvem Valley who can argue with the distraught ruler is High Priest Makhtum. He heads the most important common shrine of the Nahmau. This is the divine, first common religious temple of Selim — Birhatten, and, according to the law, no one has the right to take away the power of the chief priest over the spiritual community. Initially, this temple was built as a palace for the kings of Rohvem, even before the Fimirel tower appeared. But, the building turned out to be too chic, breathtaking, in a word, grandiose. Such a large-scale and magnificent complex that the then ruler Mastakh thought that only gods should live there, and decided to transfer the building to the clergy. A couple of centuries later, when the ideology of the «Law of Svurt» was popularized, the temple was slightly rebuilt, made it even larger and more fantastic, suitable for all spiritual levels. It is strange that the greedy queen did not even try to take possession of this building, because it is several times more beautiful than her palace. Perhaps, she still had some kind of upbringing, and respect for faith, otherwise, if she were blinded by power by a naive dictator, she would have been overthrown by her own advisers and caretakers. Hatred of the opposite sex, the future queen accumulated from childhood. A talented girl has always been ignored and not taken seriously. Her father called any of her suggestions nonsense, although he himself ultimately accepted them and said that these were his brilliant ideas. Now, the touchy lady hates all men in the world, and even her wife Liger is afraid of unpredictable passion and crazy fanaticism, having long planned to escape from the city, to the neighboring village of Dagbu, following the rest, adequate residents.

Today is the brightest night the Knight Masod has ever seen, standing at the farthest outpost of Vayelon. After feeding his horse, he quickly went to the tent to hide from the beginning of the downpour. A strong wind has risen. The catapults standing in the field rolled towards the fire and almost caught fire. The horses whinnied in fright. Two thousand people, already on alert for the second week, on the southern border of the Osiris, tirelessly watch the rugged terrain of Rohvem. Grabbing an earthenware pot, the guardsman began to have supper, quickly eating flour cakes with berry filling. The comrades sat closely with each other, telling different stories. Suddenly, outside there were the shouts of the guards. — Everybody out! Faster, faster! Under construction, under construction! Stand in front of your tents! General Mandalis has arrived!

— What’s happening? Does the general show up in the middle of the night, in such terrible weather, without warning? — Masod goggled eyes, barely chewing on another pie. He carefully pulled back the curtain, peering through the small window of his tent. «Move your ass, guy,» his comrades hurried out into the street. There was complete confusion. It was not just his retinue who came with the general. With him came an army of at least five thousand people in full combat readiness.

— Roll up camp, prepare your horses and sharpen your arrows! — shouts the commander of the outpost. By the decision of the council, in a day, we move forward to capture Fimirel and liberate the Osirian villages.

Delight appeared in Masod’s confused eyes. Under a raging downpour, in the middle of the night, for the first time he felt the greatness of the army gathered here, and his irreplaceable, great role in the fate of an entire people. Gaining strength, the warriors, as it should, slept for the last time. In the morning, two knights gathering brushwood in the vicinity of the camp noticed movements in the distant bushes and reeds, a swampy peat land.

— Hey you, stop!! — Shouted one of the soldiers to a black, human silhouette, moving behind the tall grass. — Come here, or I’ll come to you myself! — he unbuttoned the cover and took out his blade, with a decoratively curved blade and a chopping handle. «Wait, don’t get excited,» his partner stopped him, grabbing his shoulder. «It’s just an old priest. He doesn’t hear you. He picks berries, I guess. Leave the poor man. — How do you know that this is a priest? — he was indignant, pushing his friend aside. «Maybe the spy from Fimirel changed his clothes. We are obliged to check, — having run up to the very hummock, surrounded by impassable thickets, they have not found anyone. At the same moment, screams were heard from the camp. «It’s begun,» the soldier muttered to himself. — What started? — his partner is perplexed. — Savages, attacked again. Acadian and Sumerian tribes, admirers of ancient traditions, along with the Nahmau, consider these lands cursed. During the time that we are here, they have already persuaded us three times to get out of here, in response our commander only laughed. The turn has come to answer for our stubbornness, — with a smile, he twisted his long spear and ran towards the screams.

The battle unfolded. Hundreds of wild hunters, calling themselves «blackheads,» hunted down the generals’ troops that had come that night. Reinforcements came to the Sumerians from the north. They are superstitious Acadians with three leaders at their head. The Osiris, organized a tactful defense, under the command of General Mandalis himself, who is also a member of the council of the wisest in Vayelon. The victory was won with minimal losses, however, this event disrupted all the plans of the command. Having sent messengers to the city, with the news of an immediate offensive, the general did not wait for the coming of night. An impressive army of seven thousand people at that time, crossed the borders of Rohvem and moved in the direction of Fimirel. Black silhouettes, again crawling in the reeds. When the soldiers directed their arrows at them, warning of an attack, they were frightened and jumped out of the nasty, seething quagmire.

«You can’t get through here,» one of them creaks in a hideous voice with a terrible accent. It was Sabarets. A representative of an almost completely extinct ancient people. They were called Sabars by Osiris. This word means «transparent heads», which was true. They are so different from other people that their organisms do not coincide with the general human DNA. The processes on the coccyx, which they can even wiggle, indicate the presence of full-fledged, albeit short, tails. With blisters and black abscesses all over his face, he was certainly not a priest of the great temple. These creatures worship their unseen gods. The Sabarian people are not aggressive, but disgusting. Selfish and rebellious. Even the greatest kings of Mesopotamia could not conquer them. The longer you look at these people, the more you get the impression that they are not people at all, but some other, peculiar kind of mammals. Bald, wrinkled heads, with transparent skulls, seem eerie, twisted in shape. And their terrible wrinkles. They, like protruding fatty discs, run like a ladder across the entire face and neck, merging with the chin. Completely blue eyes, without pupil and eyesore, with which they perceive not all colors. But, these are not freaks. These are their genes. Burns and blisters, of course, are not from birth. These are various diseases and scars from their difficult lifestyle. In long, dirty shirts and village bast shoes, six fornicators bowed before the Osiris, promising to help them. But, is it worth believing these geeks, when it has already been historically proven that they completely lack the instinct of self-preservation. «Oh, great commander,» they began to communicate with the general. «You shouldn’t go through these swamps. No wonder the blackheads are so alarmed. We also lost a lot of our brothers there. Be so kind as to go around this strip of evil from the east. Just ten kilometers from here.

— Don’t worry, buddy, our troops are already going that way, as well as from the western direction. Or did you think we would only strike with one group of troops? «If we were savages like you, we might have done so. But, we know things like strategy. Here, take the money, and get out of my way, — he threw a tied bag of coins at the feet of the elderly Sabarians, and the column moved forward. Having overcome a small ditch and a bog, the soldiers figured out a passage in an ancient wall lined with stones, which was completely covered with moss. This wall stretches for tens of kilometers, from the eastern to the western forests of Rohvem. The primitive masonry is not at all high. Two meters, and in some places even lower. They say that once it was three times higher, it just sank into the swampy soil.

— As far as I know, this wall was built for some religious reason. — Riding a horse, the commander of the outpost unhurriedly gallops next to the general’s carriage, sheathed in camouflage. — He, silently, smiled, and thoughtfully stared at the horizon. Before them was an endless field. The green grass was not so damp and tall anymore. The ride has become much easier and faster. The ground is more replaced by stones, with rarely sticking out blades of grass. But there are no ravines or hillocks. Absolutely flat field, on which you can already gallop. The foot of the infantryman stumbled on a snag sticking out of the ground. This is a broken, through and through rotten wooden log, which has been lying here, perhaps, for more than one hundred years. Throwing it aside, the soldier cleared the way for the carriages passing by behind. It must have been some kind of signpost before. There, to the side, a couple of meters away from the log, lay an inconspicuous flat stone heaped on its side. On it, in the Nahmaut language, only three words are carved: «The forest that does not exist.» Without changing the route and speed of movement, the convoy continues to go south. The grass and leaves underfoot are already completely dry. As if it had never rained here in my life. Jumping out of his capsule-shaped iron carriage, Mandelis suddenly stopped the troops. Holding the map firmly in both hands, he peered into one place. His hands shook.

— Who made these routes? — in anger he crumpled the yellow paper and threw it away. Suddenly, he is attacked by a pack of wolves. Two beasts jumped out from under the chariot, and three more rushed from the front. — Take them away! — with screams he climbs back into the carriage. The soldiers reacted quickly, drawing their bows, covering the hungry predators with arrows out of nowhere. One wolf managed to grab the general’s leg before he hid in the cart. He furiously tore at his snakeskin boot, and, continuing to clench his jaws, jerking his head from side to side, with a loud, murderous growl, he tore a piece of flesh from his calf muscle, until as many as five arrows flew into his spine, at the same time. Having stopped the bleeding, the doctors forbade the general to go outside, except when it was necessary to relieve himself. Observing this from the side, the commander of the camp outpost was no less shocked. How the soldiers in front could overlook the approaching predators. As many as six horsemen and two carts go ahead of the general. Nevertheless, the general decided to continue the movement of the troops straight ahead, which is not surprising in the trailer. Before getting on the horse, the outpost commander picked up the crumpled map from the ground and carefully straightened it, trying not to break it. This is a reliable map compiled by experts from Vayelon, including himself. Rohvem Valley on a scaled-down scale. He quickly found his bearings and, frowning, began muttering to himself. In the same place, between the western and southern forest belt, a continuous deciduous forest was designated, which was named as «the cemetery of the army of General Mandelis.» Maybe it was signed by some soldier with a bad sense of humor. Having saddled the horse, the commander continued to move next to the cart. Dry leaves rustled more and more under the wheels and horses. The sounds got louder, but they got smaller. Every creak of the wagon is heard, every step, and even breathing can be heard. The sounds of an owl and a toucan knocking on wood. The sounds of snorting donkeys. Stop. Where, in an open field, the sounds of a knocking toucan? owls? leaves under your feet? The commander got goose bumps all over his body when he realized this.

«The Forest of the Dead,» burst out of his mouth. — He exists. My heart was pounding wildly. The painful general was no longer so concerned about their problems. He moaned quietly in his carriage, thinking more about his leg. Masod, an ordinary horseman, rode on horseback in front of everyone. At one point, his animal just stopped, stubbornly unwilling to continue moving.

— But! Let’s go! — sitting on horseback, he kicks in the sides of the stubborn stallion. Nearby horses and mules stopped at the same place. They reared up on their hind hooves, circled in place, but in no way, did not go forward. Unable to bear it, Masod jumped off the mule, and stroked his face, trying to calm him down. «He’s afraid of something,» he began to look around the soldiers warily. — Here, just what? — looking in front of him, he noticed bones on the ground. A bunch of bones. The bones of animals, people, they were everywhere. Walking a little forward on his own, the soldier grimaced and instinctively gripped his blade tightly. The fetid smell of decomposition hit him sharply in the nose. Vomiting involuntarily escaped. During his life, he has seen a lot of rot, on the battlefields, but such rottenness, he has never felt before. «I know why the horses stopped,» he turned to his companions. But, they were not. The entire column was gone! Frightened, as if from an electric shock, he jumped back, bulging his bloodshot eyes. Bin Magur?! Halley! — in a panic he calls out the names of his friends. Where a column of seven thousand Vayelon warriors should have been, stood a couple of burnt trees that had just emerged. Their black, charred branches froze in frightening silence. Looking closely, he realized that these rare trees stood everywhere, to the very horizon. For the most part, these were some chopped off trunks. Without a single branch, tall, black, burnt from roots to tops. This is what a forest looks like after a fire. White bones clatter under his feet. Removing the blade from the casing, he desperately cut down the only branch of the tree nearest to him. The earth shook. It was like a tree felt his blow. There were terrible groans. These are the sounds of howling people and roaring animals, replaced by distant laughter, strange muffled rumble and creak. Throwing away his weapon, he clutched his head. It seemed to him that it was happening inside his head, and now it will simply explode. There were even more dry leaves under my feet. They, like a yellow blanket, completely covered the surface of the earth. A thick fog was approaching from all directions, from afar. It’s like a snow storm enclosed in a ring, windless and silent, densely enveloping the entire horizon. — It must be a dream? — Sadly sour face, Masod froze standing still. But no. All the horror was waiting for him ahead. Walking around a small area in a circle, the young warrior completely faded. Seeing that the terrain was completely repeated, he grabbed his face with his hands, desperately collapsing to the ground.

That is why it is impossible to get out of here. On this day, the foggy, endless forest happily took into its arms, the souls of twenty-five detachments, the southern corps of General Mandalis. The Forest of the Dead has been known for its anomaly since antiquity. Many elders tried to find out what was happening there with people and animals. But this remains a mystery. Some say that two hundred years ago, Selim Svurt himself, the king of Shelber, who fled to Rohvem from the curse of his lands, got lost here. To find a way out, he decided to burn the forest, and accidentally burned down himself, sending damage to the once beautiful, fertile lands. But, the soul did not leave his body, and even being a burned corpse, with the help of unprecedented strength, he got out of the forest. Now, those who have died there also come to life and wander in search of a way out. But, no one else found a way out. Because, as it does not exist, as there is no forest itself. This point of view is vehemently denied by the priests of the temple of Selim. They even execute those who spread it. Others believe that this is a portal to another dimension that appeared in this place by accident. The curse of the Rohvem Valley is the main problem of the residents living here. The problem is that the boundaries of the dead forest are constantly expanding. About five kilometers a month, having swallowed entire villages of the Nahmaut, Sumerian and Sabarian tribes over the decades.

He is ready to ascend to the throne. His hands, in smart plate, steel gloves, with mosaic, colored inserts on the outside, are trying to pull out the fasteners on the back of his head, holding this eerie stone mask. Shiny fingers, with pointed humps on each phalanx, cannot find the shutter mechanism. The same carriage stopped at the same place, in front of the steps of the main palace. Only, this time, she was met by the entire royal delegation. Having failed to press the latch, he tore out a thin, iron pin from his skull and threw off this helmet-shackles, which is an obligatory attribute of the governors leaving for foreign lands. With a low bow, the doors were opened for him, and he went out into the square surrounded by people. To the music of the singing choir, the leaders and elders left his path in trepidation. As he climbed the steps, his long, cloak of thin, interconnected, differently shaped gold plates slowly developed in the wind. A tall man, with curly black hair combed back, stopped in front of the entrance and turned around. His face was as pale as a toadstool, and his blue veins were shining through. Brown eyes and a neat flat nose. Today Aprod Rift is awaited as a savior. And he arrived at the last moment, with serious intentions.

— Fimirel’s army is approaching, — the disappointed king Ormon approached him. — Our defense will not withstand the attack of even a handful of sabars. Hurry, my friend. Now, the fate of fifty thousand people is in your hands.

— You have fifty thousand people, and there is no one to fight? — Aprod was surprised.

«They are not warriors. Neither I nor the council of elders will allow you to engage civilians in this battle. We have two thousand soldiers led by General Beleba. We must commit a heroic deed, hold out until the arrival of seventeen detachments of the southern army, about twice as many as us. They will just attack from the rear. «This means that we will have six thousand soldiers at our disposal. It’s not all that bad, «Rift smiled. «Fimirel’s army is not that large, but it is more capable. When will the southern army arrive?

«In about five hours, not earlier.

— This is great. So they are already on the way. Don’t worry, five hours, we’ll definitely hold out. Maktum’s ambassadors are already in the city. They will let you know when he arrives. But, in which case, get ready for hot negotiations. If you play along well with me and improvise a lot, bloodshed may be avoided. It’s a pity that you ruined everything with your trip to Rohvem. «He turned towards the square, admiring the artificial waterfall of a fluttering bird from afar.

— What have I ruined? — the old man stood in front of him, blocking the beautiful views. «What a grief, now they hate us even more?» — With irony he waved his right hand. «According to you, before that, they were going to cruelly kill us.

— Now, they will want to take you into slavery. And, it’s not even the queen. It’s a matter of principle. Ah, the madness of Hamhharaf will soon come to an end. Maktum forgives her too much. She apparently pays well for his silence. But, the valley is full of other powerful priests. Soon, their patience will run out, and they will nail the body of this witch to her throne with spears, and plant her head on the top of the Fimirel tower.

— It would be nice. What about council members? They demand full participation in the negotiations.

«They are not in a position to demand. They can ask, politely, but not demand. Let them be content with at least four being attracted. Two people from each council. — Putting his hands behind his back, Aprod entered the central building of the palace, not wanting to hear Ormon anymore. Less than half an hour later, the doors to the throne room were thrown open with a strong blow. Entering the room, the enraged ambassadors from Rohvem, surrounded by their armed guards, looked around with wild eyes. Their attitude showed with all its kind that they did not need any negotiations, even on their terms. All they need is blood.

«What are you doing here, Rift? — with an incredulous look, asked one of them. — He sat quietly on the royal throne, drinking red wine from a crystal glass.

— I, like, like here for the king, — he grabbed a slice of peeled pineapple, from the tray of a passing servant and, crossing his legs, dementedly leaned on the back of the chair. — How do you like my new royal outfit?

— Yes, he mocks us. Bring the real king here. I will gut his soul, and then I will dance on the bones of his people. «Raising his blade in front of him, he grinned viciously.

— How cruel. It may shock you, but the king resigned.

— Officially? Show me the papers! — he went up to the throne itself, from time to time swinging boorishly, sword on the sides, cutting through the air.

— Of course, officially. «Come here, Your Grace. Let the Ambassadors of Fimirel make sure that I am not holding you hostage. — The old man slowly creeps out of the next room, watching before from the side. — And here he is. Safe and sound. On a voluntary basis, he delegated all his powers to me. You know, it just happened just now, and the papers are now on the signature of the council of the wisest. The old man has become very weak, and he is afraid that in the council, a terrible massacre will unfold for his place. The people do not need these unnecessary intrigues at the top. They hit the economy.

— Yes, — the king supported him. — We need someone who will judge everyone in fairness. One who is not mixed up in anything. — The ambassador with a dull look, silently, blinks his eyes.

«It seems like I’m explaining this to you in vain,» the governor of Shelber covered his face with his hand. — So, what, Maktum, is not ready to talk to me? — the ambassador was silent again, but smiling, nodded his head. Aprod climbed the mighty wall of the city, just before the gates. On the other side of the fortress, there was a powerful army, ready to rush into the attack at any second. — Where are you, High Priest of Rohvem!? He shouts, peering into the crowd of their leader. — Who is in charge of this rabble?

«If you once again call my army a rabble, this wall will fall with you, the governor of Shelber,» came the angry cry of Maktum standing in the front row.

— Oh, where are you! Sorry, I didn’t notice. You’re standing too far away.

— Well, hello, my brother by blood, and the enemy in everything else. They say you tried on the Osiris crown? — in a long, wondrous sheepskin coat, he left the ranks of his soldiers and advisers. His dress gleamed blue to his toes. It was sunny outside, but it was still noticeable. Like square screens, separated by yellow metal stripes, and girded with a wide red silk towel. It looks like a bunch of purple egg-shaped bulbs sticking out of his head. This strange hat is called Occuma (religious headdress), something like a crown.

«You were not deceived.» Leaning down, Aprod leaned his elbows against the wall with both hands. — From that day on, I became the new king of this wonderful, prosperous, huge state. If you want to dispute the property, or share the resources that are located behind these magnificent walls, contact the governor Daligen. I am doing his will, just as you are doing the will of Hamhharaf.

— Will of Daligen, nothing to me. The same as for everyone in this ranks. I submit only to the Nahmaut kings. And, your king, if you please recall, by right, it is still considered Shadakh, according to rumors, perished during the seizure of another tribal state in central Africa. Until confirmation of his death is found, according to Shelber’s laws, it is forbidden to elect a new king. In fact, the supreme governors who remained after his departure simply do not want to arrange a power struggle. Admit it, they deliberately made the royal throne an untouchable holy relic. Well, you don’t need a king, your business. You are our brothers, you deserve to determine your own destiny, which I cannot say about these Pithecanthropus. These primates, who call themselves Osiris, allow themselves too much. Piracy, smuggling, fraud, falsehood. Blatant copying of everything that we have. This whole city is sheer falsehood and plagiarism. Independently, these aborigines are not able to put a stone on a stone. They are no different from the Bedubs and the Jews.

— Come on, Maktum, look at these walls, — Aprod disagrees with him. — Aren’t they beautiful? You don’t know what’s inside yet.

«… No,» the high priest shook his head. — Another Jericha. From the fact that you decided to become the king of these monkeys, you dishonor yourself. You will dishonor our great family, and the entire civilization of Nahmau. This fact makes me angry. Both you and I know perfectly well that the situation will not resolve itself. We have no way back. In the end, after all, it was not in vain that I brought here, this, as you allowed yourself to put it, rabble! So let’s see how dear this fake city is to you. — Smiling, Maktum returned to the ranks of his horde. Shouting «Selimu aleikum!!» (translated from the original Nahmaut: Selim with us), gave the command to besiege the fortress.

Wooden towers, twenty meters high, moved forward on small wheels. They were carried by black, terrible monsters, resembling mammoths from afar, with round bodies and six legs. They did not have a head, only a small stone outgrowth. It seems to have been a muzzle covering the mouth. The infantrymen began to quickly reorganize into columns. Like the ancient Romans, they piled on top of each other and covered themselves with shields in anticipation of something incomprehensible.

— What are they up to? — General Beleba ran up to the Rift. Together with the general, archers run into the wall, taking up positions for shooting, around the entire perimeter. Meanwhile, on the second wall, a more impressive and numerous defense was being built.

— I have to admit, I do not know the art of war, — Frowning, Aprod put his hand on the commander’s shoulder, — I trust this battle to you, General.

«Then what’s the use of you?» You do not know how to negotiate, you do not know how to fight, which means that you will not be a king either.

— Maybe you are right. I shouldn’t have left Shelber. — With an arrogant smile, a reproachful look, he examined the approaching horde of unprecedented artificially crossed monsters of Rohvem for the last time. There was no fear in Rift’s eyes. On the contrary, he seemed to mock the horde of fantastic creatures, which, the closer they approached, the more terrified ordinary Osirian soldiers. There was a strange certainty about him.

Seeing all the abomination that appeared on the horizon and not succumbing to even a little fear, you have to be either crazy or immortal. Aprod was neither one nor the other, but he had a trump card in his sleeve, which he was afraid to admit to himself. Having descended from the wall, the governor got into his carriage, heading for a secret, underground exit from the city. The militia commanders decided that he had left the line of defense and focused on an imminent encounter with about five thousand enemies.

When the sediment towers were almost approaching, they suddenly stopped, between the long columns of infantry soldiers hiding under the shields. Separately, the soldiers accompanying these black mammoths cut off the thick ropes that were harnessed to the miraculous beasts. But before, with the help of spears, they knocked out their huge muzzles. From the place where the head should be, the same black, thick tentacles, like an octopus, escaped. Long and oily, they stuck into the ground and, with their help, the blind monsters recognized everything around them. As soon as the cables were cut from them, they rushed forward on the ram, forcing the Osiris to draw their bows. But, before the monsters had time to reach the wall, suddenly, unexpectedly, from loud explosions, sedimentary towers fell forward. From the impact, their wooden hulls shattered to smithereens. And, as it turned out, these are not sedimentary towers at all. From the wreckage, slowly, like caterpillars, crawled out some mechanical iron pillars, which, crawled to the wall, also between the rows of Fimirel soldiers. These are gigantic machines, propelled by sliding and sliding transverse rings along the entire length of the greasy body. Inside these gizmos, someone sat at the helm and operated them. Powered by fuel oil, they spewed smoke from the wide nostrils of their dragon muzzles.

— Oh, noble Khalidan, Fatak is the patron saint of fire and water, Siron is the father of earth and sky. Give strength to survive this day, — whispers through tears General Beleba, remembering all the Osirian gods. He dispersed his army half on the walls, half inside the city, scattering detachments among corps from small groups, in ambushes prepared in advance in case of war. Underground, air, underwater and others. Right now, the main thing for the Vayelons is not to sow panic. But the appearance of the enemy inexorably forces you to do it. The fat, elephant-like monsters slammed into the wall as expected. Their tentacles spread out in different directions, like suckers glued to concrete. With some acid pouring from their tongues, they dissolved the stone, the base of the wall, turning it into damp, soft sand. With a wave of his hand, the commander of the left flank of the first wall with a long, curly beard yelled something. From his side, unusual arrows flew with massive balls wrapped in a hard shell, instead of sharp points. The same flew from the right flank and from the center. Falling on wild beasts, these arrows exploded with incredible force. So, in the central part, the archers, who were at the ready, hid from the rising flame. The monsters growled loudly, groaned, gasped, but then they stopped. When the smoke cleared, they lay motionless in the same place where they stood. They were not torn to pieces, but, bless you. Columns of enemies, escaping with shields, moved forward in the same formation. Walking in leg, in a squat, they began to break into the holes that the mutants managed to make. The archers again loaded explosive arrows, and were ready to release them at the columns, hiding with their shields, but their bearded commander raised his crossed arms up, giving the signal to put aside. He was waiting for these iron lizards who were about to get to the wall. What will they do? I was tormented by the question of the commanders of the defense. Once in the immediate vicinity, loud bangs were heard, from the collision of snakes with walls. They easily rammed the crumbly stone blocks exactly where the terrible monsters loosened them with their saliva. At the back of the snakes, doors opened and soldiers rushed into them like a river. Running along the protected iron corridors, they freely ran out to the other side of the wall. And there, they did not run to the sides, joyfully rejoicing that they had broken through. They set up strange mechanisms, like cannons, or small catapults, towards the second wall. From these guns, huge iron spears began to fly out, piercing the very top of the second wall. Iron cables were tied to spears as long as a pillar. Elongated cylindrical boxes were lifted along these cables. Like the cabins of ski lifts, with a fairly high speed. The soldiers of the second wall did not wait for these things to rise to them. Archers launched fire from a hail of explosive arrows, in an attempt to shoot down armored elevators, of unknown purpose.

Meanwhile, near the first wall, huge gears crunched and bearings creaked. Steel snake heads slowly began to rise upward. The moment came when you can shoot, and explosive arrows, like a river, flew straight into the jaws of mechanical monsters. Numerous explosions crumpled them well, but did not disable them. Some parts of the crawling cars flew off, but this did not stop them at all. Pressing their heads against the wall, the lower part, they crawled upward, slowly, like snails, piercing small spinning disks, like gears, with sharp tips. These things rose to the very top, and, like pillars, froze in place. Most of the enemy troops, remaining for the time being, behind both walls, continued to climb up the serpentine backs, like a ladder, clinging to spikes and protruding rings. General Beleba gave a general command to the troops of the first wall to leave it as quickly as possible, strengthening the defense on the second. When the last Osiris soldiers fled, in the towers, they clamped special levers, and from under the floor, in the wall, numerous pipes and gas nozzles protruded. As soon as the enemy stepped on the wall, it burst out like a torch with a blue, burning flame, over its entire surface, incinerating every enemy alive. A pleasant sight. But, it’s too early to rejoice. Realizing that the top of the wall was on fire, they widened the narrow holes in the bottom made by their own monsters and created large passages with their explosives and cannon catapults. The whole army rushed there, as if through a gate. Only two hours have passed, and the first wall has already been overcome. It becomes more and more difficult to contain the rampage of the enemy. Now they also opened fire. Yes, just what. Throwing back their shields, the soldiers kept «shooting spears» ready. Having created around them, a continuous rumble, like popcorn popping in the microwave, they introduced the enemy, more into bewilderment than horror. The Osiris army encountered firearms for the first time. Their infantrymen fired competently, poorly hidden archers. The archers on the second wall ran out of arrows. They spent all of them on cabins that climbed up on cables, which were empty. They were launched on purpose so that the enemy would spend all his explosive ammunition. Enemies reload their guns very quickly. For about five seconds, pulling on the sleeve, on the side, reminiscent of a drum on revolvers, and putting powder capsules there. Distracting attention to themselves, they allowed the iron snakes to descend from the first wall, and crawl into the very holes below, which they themselves rammed. This method of crawling iron snakes is not used for the first time. It was already practiced by King Shadakh, more than two hundred years ago, when he took the double walls of the fortress of Jericha. But, then the events were not so large-scale, and these snakes were much smaller. The Nahmau of Rohvem adopted this tactic, similarly, by resting their heads against the wall and crawling up, the machines practically paved a bridge between Vayelon and the treacherous Fimirelians. However, on the second wall, an unpleasant surprise awaited them. Even though the arrows have run out. Ammunition was still more than enough. Instead of explosive arrows, huge barrels of gunpowder were thrown at them, roaring so hard that the earth shook in the area. The mechanisms of the steel worms could not stand and, having jammed, most of them collapsed to the ground, at the same time crushing their own soldiers. But, some creeping ringed creatures still managed to climb. Only three pieces, but that was enough. The mouths of these lizards opened and began to spew hellfire, setting fire to the troops of the Osiris, just as they burned the Fimirelians on the first wall. The commanders of the defense, once again, went astray. They thought that through their mouths, the soldiers would rise, and pulled as many people as possible to them to fight. But it was not there. Scattering to the sides, the survivors of the war, to save themselves, jumped from the wall, in their armor hot as frying pans. The battle was almost lost. Vayelon’s collapse was only minutes away. Reinforcements from the south did not have time to approach. Satisfied priest Maktum, sits in his war chariot, just before entering the first gates, as if waiting for them to be opened, and he will ride with honor along the central street of the captured state. On the back line of the enemy, a defense was lined up of a thousand riders on camels and horses, and the same number of infantrymen. They knew that reinforcements were coming to the Osiris and were ready to meet them. Reinforcements arrived a little earlier than expected. And, it was not the southern army. They were the Shelber Nahmaw, led by Apod Rift!

By some miracle, he managed to persuade the governors to give an army to protect the Osirian state, and, to have time to drive him seventy kilometers from here. But, they were a little late. On the other side of the city, over these beautiful walls, enemy airships were already flying. From the air, they began bombing the largest objects and places of concentration of people. On the second line of defense, a fierce battle between the Osiris and Fimirelians unfolded, at the same time the battle began behind enemy lines with the knights of the Shelber governors. Outnumbered, they ruthlessly defeated two thousand opponents, and moved on to the burning city walls. They rescued frightened helpless children, weeping women and old people. Noble knights of foreigners were greeted as heroes who had no weak points. They, like fairy-tale characters, are completely invulnerable. The city dwellers did not even pay attention to the fact that in the formidable battle not only did not one Shelber warrior die, but not one of them was even wounded. They unrestrainedly slashed soldiers, animals and various monsters surrounding them from all sides, as if they were enjoying it. Ultimately, using their carriage-mounted machine guns, they shot down the deadly airships. These fantastic, rapid-fire weapons simply thrilled the imagination. They were transformed, right when shooting, and in an interesting way. Gold glasses, like the sleeves of which the body consisted, jumped out, over the entire surface, on folding holders, and, shifting, moved back. When fired quickly, these magical things looked like seething, self-loading golden bubbles, emitting a hail of fiery rays. Vayelon’s men were triumphant. Crazy with happiness, they fell at the feet of their heroes — the omnipotent guards of Shadakh, in which a curse had long been sitting, raising their strength and power to boundless and immeasurable proportions. By order of Daligen, in the forests of Shelber, they went into hibernation for the coming decades, along with the rest of the population of the valley. They will remain there, waiting for their awakening, taking root and mummifying.

Aprod Rift ascended the throne in triumph. He ruled like a true king, marrying an Osirian woman and founding his own dynasty. However, over time, he began to devote little time to politics, and willfully, most of the power he entrusted to the council. He dedicated his life to science, philosophy, entertainment, music and culture. The first theater, a children’s school, and numerous monuments were built in his honor. Many praising books have been written about him, although Aprod himself denied the cult of personality, considering this phenomenon harmful to society. Namely, the cult of personality was the reason for his self-restraint by power. Until his death, he maintained good relations with the Shelber Valley, and bequeathed to cherish them to his only son, heir and future king, a half-breed. The Rohvem Valley fell into oblivion. Quite interesting changes have taken place there, though. The Hamhharaf clan fell. The heiress of the dreadful queen Biel the husband-hating, her own daughter, was not far from her mother. By the way, after the death of Maktum, during the siege of Vayelon, there were no serious contenders for the throne, and if they did appear as a true dictator, she quickly eliminated them. Despite the depressing situation of the people, Biel ruled until old age, falling asleep and choking in a pool strewn with rose petals. Her daughter was also a lesbian and persecuted men for their successes. In some ways, she even surpassed her crazy mother. At festive ceremonies, for example, the new queen ate the fried testicles of her own eunuchs. And at religious rites, during sacrifices, she drank the blood of the most powerful men in order to gain wisdom. Fortunately, she was stopped by the then gaining momentum in politics, the grandson of Maktoum En-Ali, who had been in exile all his life, wandering through the villages of Rohvem. He gathered enough followers, and violently staged a coup d’état. Having publicly outraged the queen, he personally performed not a good procedure, dishonoring her, and gouged out his eyes, taking away to the forest of the dead. Since then, gender issues have only worsened in Rohvem. Constantly hesitating, going to extremes from the stage of matriarchy to the stage of patriarchy and vice versa.


Vayelon, 7748 BC.

Forty-seven years later, the Osiris city-state continued to develop at an unprecedented pace. It is difficult to compare this unique metropolis with anything in our world. This is a kind of a mix of entire eras, enclosed in one time. There is electricity, but no car. Samples of nuclear energy received, but no firearms. Ultra-strong, fullerene materials have been developed, but a computer has not yet been created. Here the antediluvian technologies of ancient Greece are intertwined, with those that do not exist even in the twenty-first century. Such a strange alignment does not make civilization backward or developed against the background of others. In this order, their priorities and needs are arranged, nothing supernatural. In the political structure, little that has changed since the time of King Ormon, but they experiment with the economy every year, introducing innovative ideas in the field of taxation, the first social benefits. Loans and private equity communities are emerging. But even the economy did not keep pace with technical progress. The first metallurgical plants and conveyors were built. Hydroelectric power station, steam engines, and continuous automation: electric elevators, gates, construction hoists and much more. It even went as far as the first micro-board assembly built in to control the new fountain in the park area. The new king loved advances in technology. He saw his authority grow exponentially. Not at all afraid that during his lifetime, like his father, they would begin to deify him. On the contrary, the new king, Narus Rift, loved to be admired. Especially when you don’t even need to do anything for this. Narus was born in honor and prosperity, as they say, in golden swaddling clothes. Megalomania, from childhood instilled in him by those around him. Only thanks to the upbringing of his father, he has nobility, simplicity and justice. He is not trying to get rich wildly and enslave neighboring cities. Although, at this time, he could already bring the whole of Mesopotamia to its knees, and therefore the whole world. Having created a modest strong family, he was a role model for the common citizens of Vayelon. By the age of forty-five, he had five children from his only wife. And, for the first time, he made polygamy and polyandry not fashionable, although even his father had three wives, and his mother had two husbands.

Technical revolutions have become commonplace in the Osirian metropolis. But really big, even by their standards, grandiose changes began only a couple of years ago. They began with the fact that a group of scientists from the Council of the Wise, during the construction and equipment of underground laboratories for the study of poisonous radioactive, chemical and biological substances, stumbled upon old artifacts, technical equipment of the era of the kings of Shelber. These relics became direct evidence that even three hundred years ago, the level of development of the Nahmau already exceeded the level of development of Vayelon. There, they found a non-working, ancient sample of a nuclear reactor, a photographic lens, a freezer, and many different trinkets not seen in Osirian culture. It turns out that after the departure of the last king, the supreme governor — Raipas, sold this junk to the then Vayelonian ruler, in exchange for all his raw materials, including oil, coal, iron ore, various minerals and much more. In order to hide these valuable things, the king specifically ordered to dig underground catacombs, five tiers, fifteen meters deep. About ten years later, this same governor turned to the same Osirian king with a request to hide in his dungeon some items of incredible value for the nahmau. They made a deal, in which it was stipulated that for the keeping and silence of the king, every month, he would receive as much wealth as did not have all his subjects noblemen put together. The king naturally agreed. For this, he even ordered to deepen his dungeon by another fifteen meters, (three tiers of five meters each). Almost every floor was a kind of insurmountable test, with deadly traps. On the lowest, eighth floor, he hid strange magic medallions that the governor gave him, and a bunch of manuscripts, which included the legendary three books: Grul’s unnamed book, and two others, attempts to translate it into Nahmaut, the original writings of Svurt. After a couple of generations, the mysterious, empty catacombs were decided to be used for different needs. The first tier was equipped for a city prison for temporary detention of prisoners sentenced to death. The second tier, a secret, research laboratory, under King Mantarpen, is currently being converted into a «nano-technological development center», or NDC, and the third tier is a repository of the city treasury, or, more simply, a government bank. They tried to equip the fourth tier as a hospital, hospital, or another laboratory, but for some reason they abandoned it, leaving deserted dark corridors and rooms, with different boxes, rusted keys, and incomprehensible tools. The rest, four tiers, remained mothballed for centuries, which is quite logical. Because, on the fifth tier, the mortal labyrinth of Sharimon was built, in which valuable relics were kept, for something so much needed by the king from the distant past. By itself, passing the maze without instructions is impossible. Among other things, it is filled with deadly gases, acids, sharp, piercing objects sticking out from everywhere, sticky and slimy coatings of various substances, smeared with a thick layer on each wall. The best minds of the city racked their brains trying to deceive the system of the ingenious engineer Sharimon, but in vain. They filled, the labyrinth spent a hundred kilograms, but titanium, spinning, plates, like dampers, extinguished an explosion of any force. This is a full-fledged nuclear bunker that cannot be destroyed. After, persistent scientists tried to determine the path of the connected corridors using ultrasound. But, here too, all efforts are in vain. It turned out that each of the corridors was closed with thick metal plates, and they all opened in different ways. Only by solving the mathematical puzzles (the conditions of which are described in the instructions), it was possible to move these massive slabs, working on a principle similar to the principle of graphic keys in three-dimensional projection. Plates are fixed on powerful bearings. They moved along narrow, curved paths like huge keyholes. These wells were, in the direction of movement of the plate, which could have any shape (mainly, a circle or a square). Plates worked like sticks on a joystick. It was necessary to collect the correct combinations of shifts, from four to twelve positions, by moving the heavy slabs up, down, left or right. And all this was in a complex, convoluted labyrinth. Dozens of people disappeared there, lost or poisoned.

Only two years ago, it was possible to find the lost instructions, and to solve the riddle of the passage of the mysterious room. But, if even ordinary residents of the city composed legends about the fifth tier of the dungeon, from generation to generation, almost no one knew about the existence of the three lower tiers, including the royal family. This discovery shocked the government elite. It turns out that the lower floors were dug in secret, even from the council of the wisest. The eldest son of Rift, already heading the NDC at that time, was directly involved in the passage of the maze. Thanks to him, the most difficult tasks were solved, to unlock the steel plates. In particular, the problem of equating different classes of algorithms, which, even in the twenty-first century, is considered one of the most important unsolved mathematical problems. At this moment, we may have a lot of questions. How did the prince solve such a complex riddle, and, most importantly, how did the ancient Osiris even think of it? There is an answer. The riddles indicated in the old instructions were not written by the Osiris at all, but by the Nahmau from Shelber. Prince Haste, devoted his whole life to mathematics. Even as a teenager, he built his own system of receptivity, based on the Nahmaut school of Dakhu. This secret knowledge has been hidden for several centuries in the secret libraries of the neighboring valleys. However, some echoes of solving the most difficult theorems reach Vayelon. The idea of a fundamental logical hierarchy that generates the natural laws of physics, and all other laws, including those not observable and non-existent in nature, captured the mind of the prince from childhood. And since there was no access to the original sources, he had to reinvent it, inspired by stories about the methods {x, y}. Over time, he and his friends built a base sufficient for multifunctional applications. According to this system, many hypotheses formulated by him were solved, including the statement famous in modern mathematics:.

Finding a storage room that looked like a huge safe with mirror-shining metal, stainless walls, the scientists took out all the relics, and in anticipation rushed to study them. But the artifacts were not as interesting as the steel manhole cover leading down. To open it, it was also necessary to enter a combination, but there was not a word about the sixth tier in the instructions. After a little fiddling, the lid was cracked open by the method of selection, and we went down the stairs into a high, not at all equipped, creepy room, reminiscent of a cave from horror attractions in an amusement park. Torches were fixed on the damp, uneven, stone walls, with colored lights burning there for centuries! They hung from the ceiling like porcelain stalactites, and in the dark irregularities, between the hillocks, ventilation was carried out. Walking along a narrow stone bridge, slippery like ice, leading downhill, you can observe green lakes, illuminated by lanterns right under the water. Under the artificial cave rivers, stone gates were found, leading even lower into the dungeon. It was not difficult to open them, and on the floor below, it was no longer so dark and cold. All the water was poured into sedimentation tanks, through pipes. The seventh tier was a kind of boiler room, neatly lined with decorative tiles. Huge gas cylinders were cut into an underground vein of natural combustible deposits. This explains the appearance of heat and the source of endless energy here and tier above. Getting to the last, eighth floor was already very problematic. Firstly, the entrance there was rather non-standard — through the ceiling, the seventh tier. Secondly, it was disguised, flush with yellow tiles. The fact that the seventh tier is not the last was generally found out by chance. When one of the scientists pressed the lever plate, studying the wall coverings, he realized that this mechanism was not here for nothing, and, informing his comrades, they quickly found the remaining plates and activated them by opening the upper square hatch on the opposite side. from the entrance. There was the last trap, called the «hole of death.» This is a very narrow passageway giving the illusion of a wide passageway. If you can get there without any problems, then it is no longer possible to get out. At least twenty meters long, this loop was also made according to the principle of a labyrinth. Only, a labyrinth in which you need to crawl, and if you make a mistake and crawl into the wrong opening, you can say goodbye to life, since there is no way back. The walls narrowed in a cone at an angle, and, in the narrowest place, when moving forward, they rose imperceptibly, from the pressure on them. As if scrolling, inside, at the ends of the plates, there were lever mechanisms. They were firmly fixed, after turning, so that bending them back by inserting, for example, a stick would not work. This ancient trap was known to the Osiris from time immemorial, however, the scientists burning with excitement bought into it, and crawled inside ahead of their servants. It was no longer possible to get them out alive. It was decided to burn their bodies with an explosion, at the same time expanding the damned rocky holes. A series of explosions helped to cope with the «burrow of death» and the discoverers received a fair reward for their work. The eighth tier, later called the «devil’s library».

When the mysterious books of sorcerers fall into the hands of scientists, they usually lose all their aura, magic and become ridiculous, in the hands of omniscient geniuses. Smart people ridicule the primitive tales that are taken seriously by the majority, which have little in common with science. Beautiful trinkets, in the form of medallions and hand bracelets, did not attract Haste’s attention. Only one hourglass caught his eye. In an ordinary glass vessel with a thin neck, all the sand adhered to the top of the container, and the bottom was empty. At first, without attaching importance to this, he decided that the sand was simply soldered to the glass, but turning them over, he saw the sand thread rush back up, which amazed him. After all, not sand, not glass do not possess such a force of magnetism. This was the first thing that he could not explain for so long, racking his brains for months in his laboratory. But, the team of the senior prince, the most devoted to science of the Osiris, was more interested in one nameless rectangular book, with the most beautiful cover, of volumetric geometric shapes. Too much it resembled the same «Origin», partially described by Selim Svurt in his «Book of Life», found here in the original. The «Book of Life» has a round shape, just like «Svurt’s Law». Because it was written in Nahmaut. Another interesting fact: all Nahmau books, every single one, are either round or oval. Most likely, this is directly related to their writing, which consisted of only one circle. But, all these books have long been rewritten by the Osiris into the usual square books for us. Every self-respecting scientist, including Haste, and the council of the wisest, the council of Fimirel and the governors of Shelber, obeyed the «Law of Svurt». She was obeyed even in the farthest corners of the earth, those who did not even know about her existence. Therefore, like everyone who did not obey the «Book of Life», he obeyed the book «Law of Svurt», it is «The Teaching of Selim» (rewritten by the high priests in a more restrained and improved form). How it works? And why, the tribes of all races and peoples, from kings to beggars, from generation to generation, lived according to the rules of Svurt, without even realizing it? The secret is that it was not people who adjusted to the books, but, on the contrary, the books adjusted to people’s lives. «The Book of Life» is a book with scientific, sensory knowledge of the world, where the reader is the creator himself. Its methods are so diverse that they can be used to predict the future development of civilization, in terms of technological progress. The Teachings of Selim is a unique religious book, in a similar way, uniting all believers in some supernatural beings, into a common group. It is painted in such a way that any religion can be entered into it. From the one god and pagan idols, to the worship of flowers and bulls. In the «Teachings of Selim» the Almighty has no name, no history, no specific morality of the separation of good and evil, and does not even have his own numerical number. He always has a complete material appearance, and, at the same time, does not have it, also in full. This makes it not only omnipresent, but also unites it with our world in such a way that God is not a separate entity of the universe, and not its inner part. And, infinity itself, emptiness and matter — are part of its essence. Therefore, all the deeds that mortals do in our humble world are not divided into bad or good, because, as, they are done not just by his will, but by himself. But, if the Almighty were always so diverse, he would not be able to bring morality to the world of the living. Therefore, his omnipresence is capable of being divided into endless stages of personality formation. A well-known excerpt from the book «Svurt’s Law»: «Qur’an 6, Magat 1 (orig. From nahmau: enlightenment 6, chapter 1): Do well not for yourself, but for God. But, since you are a part of God, do well for yourself. Do good to your friend, he is also a part of God. Do well to your enemy, because even he is a part of God. «But, it is possible to build a reverse logic that does not contradict the «Svurt’s Law»: do not help either your friend or your enemy, if you want it, then God wants it too. Therefore, the book was supplemented to exclude such thinking. In the new, rewritten book, «The Teachings of Selim», the Almighty concentrates his energy in certain places, which only he perceives as a single whole. These lumps of energy are the mind, which has a simplified, limited receptivity. This limitation allows the mind to hold its essence (to live the time allotted to it) in the projection that it is aware of. By the way, the mind here replaces the soul, spirit and similar disembodied foundations of the personality, in contrast to more primitive religions. «The Teachings of Selim» affects a person like a powerful psychological book, forcing the personality to develop culturally and morally, gradually removing the limitations of temptations. The higher the spiritual level of a person, the more she is allowed actions and thoughts that are forbidden for less conscious people who can be dangerous both for themselves and for others by their lack of understanding of something and not restraint before anyone. It is wrong to harm someone. This weakens the one-man management striving for perfection, the collective mind. And, even if for the Almighty it doesn’t matter whether you do good or selfish deeds, you doom yourself to disbandment, moral decay, which leads to intellectual and bodily decay. Your desires will never be fulfilled, and you will always experience the same length of time. From a bunch of energy, of their own free will becoming emptiness. Only kings and various thinkers, whose spiritual level is the highest, can be frightened by such an outcome. For simple people, there are simpler outcomes. You can, for example, blaze for eternity in the good old hellish flame, surrounded by hairy men with tails and horns, and for good deeds, life will continue in luxurious castles overgrown with vineyards. Life after death has thousands of variations here. You can be reborn into any animal, go to heaven, parallel worlds or stellar oceans. The peculiarity is that the stages of formation are not indicated explicitly, only their constituent abilities and ways of thinking are listed. In the same way as punishments for crimes in the next world are not spelled out, in the form of an explicit sentence. The book clearly describes all kinds of models of people’s behavior, for each of which there is its own instruction, encouragement and sentence, which must be compared with its own worldview. The reader finds himself in this hodgepodge, and instinctively draws conclusions about himself that are pleasing to the book.

Shrines of different religions, but one ideology are being built throughout Mesopotamia, and far beyond its borders. There are two general religious, main temples, and the third is almost completed in Vayelone. The first temple is Birhatten, in the Rohvem valley, and the second is the royal tower in the Shelber valley, where the main object of worship is the throne of Selim Svurt. Therefore, no one has the right to sit on it, even the supreme governor. In the «Teachings of Selim» there are many interesting things that manipulate the minds of people of all religions, but they will be fully revealed a little later, using a real example. With the help of this book, you can manage a variety of completely different religions. Agnostics, atheists, and just people who never think about their mission, had to live according to the «Book of Life», which is the basis of any statehood. The Book of Life, like the Teaching of Selim, dictated the conditions for a «correct» life. It is being introduced into human life, at all levels. How to defecate correctly, how to walk, run, swim. How to fight, laugh, fall in love, dress properly. How to fight, dance, invent. Which cultures to create and which not to allow. All this is scheduled for hundreds of generations and several eras to come. That the book, that this, does not force, but recommends doing certain things in order to move on to others, more important. So, along a long chain, achieving the specified goals, moving everything to new and new goals, up to incarnation into an infinite, unified mind, like God from the «Teachings of Selim». These goals, as well as the ways of their achievement, are spelled out in the smallest detail, as if, the author, personally lived all these stages of the formation of civilization. Many peoples are eager to destroy these books, to forget them as a nightmare. But, with each passing year, the Nahmau spread their obsessive teachings further and further. Vayelon naturally did not pass by. He has long been a victim of this multifaceted ideology. And, the royal family, turned as prisoners of the «Book of Life». From this point on, we will begin the story of the struggle between common sense and a dubious ending, to which the legendary «Origins» leads.

Today is a typical city weekday. Horses, as if in a race, rush around the area in a circular motion. Before us is Grompi, the most beautiful of the city’s squares, which has greatly changed in recent years. Winding platforms, floors are superimposed on each other, with flowering, vegetative partitions, and between them is clear water flowing from the fountain of a fabulous bird, which, perhaps, remained the only untouched structure in this interior. She’s too delightful. During the Narus Rift, a lot has changed for the better. But, this is not only his merit. More precisely, not him at all. It just so happened that the current tsar was born in the era of renaissance, and rules in the era of the technical revolution. All he needs to do so that, without that, happy people admire him even more, is to push beautiful speeches in public and smile beautifully. And he did it best of all. Queen Kmagam is his only consort and the love of his life. Purebred Osirian. Beautiful and smart, at forty-five, she can still compete with young maidens. The wise woman is actively involved in the urban economy, makes the most important strategic decisions and has great influence in the council of the wisest, of which she is a member. Narus trusts her as he trusts himself. For twenty-five years of marriage, they have learned about their halves, perhaps more than about themselves. Having gone through everything that you can imagine: quarrels, partings, jealousy, goodbye, tears and joy. Their three sons and two daughters are typical youth. Parents raised the children they dreamed of. They are humble, honest, strong and determined. True, the parents are slightly worried about the youngest daughter Mikhad, with her weirdness and excessive pathos. They are also worried about the eldest son of Haste, who he is mentally ill, and overly keen on science. Society does not like people like Haste and Mikhad, therefore, parents, worried about family authority, decided to protect them as much as possible from public events, allowing them to always do what they love, separately from everyone, in their small companies.

The elite of society always gathers on Grompi Square, but this is only in the daytime. At night, decent people go home, and the marginal’s come out from around the corners in search of profit. Vayelon was not a highly criminal city. By the standards of modern cities, crime is quite high here, however, in a world where there are no restrictions, except for the «Book of Life» and «The Teachings of Selim», this figure is quite normal. Osiris are used to solving their own problems. It is so accepted in their culture. If you turn to the state to help solve your problem, this is an «act of helplessness». Although the authorities fundamentally disagree with this, and criticize those who promote lynching. The residents of the city have Belfi (a document that is a birth certificate and a passport at the same time). This document is issued at birth, or when moving to the city, for permanent residence, immediately giving the owner all rights and responsibilities. Therefore, the concept of «minor» is not here. Martak (a document for temporary stay, like a visa) is issued for a period of three to sixty days, to merchants, tourists, ambassadors and other important representatives of third-party states, as well as ordinary refugees, as a shelter. In the city, the freedoms of citizens are so high that the government does not require any obligations, except for the implementation of quite adequate basic laws related to murder, theft, robbery, libel, fraud, and so on. And, civil laws that regulate family relationships, relations between workers and employers, as well as prohibit representing the positions, mores and culture associated with the oppression of certain groups of persons. There is not even here, and there has never been conscript military service. Moreover, in the case of full mobilization, citizens can voluntarily replenish the ranks of the army, or they can simply watch out the window, at a real battle, drinking tea. Only in the event of a seizure of power, the rights of citizens can be sharply curtailed, and they understand this. Therefore, it is unlikely that an adequate person will be indifferent to the war, because, together with his city, they will capture, and his way of life, and maybe even be killed without trial or investigation. The entire system of relationships, citizens and government, is arranged to the maximum on a voluntary basis. For example, taxes are paid by everyone, not because you will be punished, but because it is part of the culture of how to tip. If you cannot pay taxes, then you are of low social status, helpless, miserable and everything like that. And those who pay taxes, the state donates them to education, medicine, sick, frail old people, and such flawed as those who do not pay. There are also enough shortcomings in their system, and the most cunning use them for their own good. If the state asks from citizens a minimum of obligations, it is the same, it observes a minimum of obligations to citizens. Ideally, only the judicial and law enforcement system works. The so-called salaries, pensions, and even more so, some kind of benefits, simply do not exist. Very limited budget jobs, there are only in the field of science, medicine and religion. All other institutions are supported by the altruism of high-ranking entrepreneurs, which is probably the main flaw of the entire social structure. All spheres of employment here are built and exist on donations from the rich, who, instead of robbing the people, invest in it in order to later make a profit in the long term. If you want to be eligible for a social support program, please sign a contract with a private organization, which in turn undertakes to provide different packages, depending on the needs and social status. But, in this way, you will officially subscribe to slavery. Everyone must find a way to make money on their own. And this is a big minus for an ordinary person. This does not allow you to constantly be self-confident, protected enough to make long-term life plans. Being a bum, homeless and unemployed is not profitable here, although it is not illegal. Due to the lack of support from the population, the problem with the homeless, even in such a relatively small society, is already very acute, forcing the state only a little worried and lazy to take measures to create the first shelters, and free nutritious food. Private organizations all the more do not want to deal with social problems, because it no longer has any relation to business. Often, homeless marginalized people and idlers who eat from the trash heap and pooping anywhere are driven to suburban work, on a voluntary-compulsory basis. Those who resist are simply handed over to hospitals as mentally ill, or driven to the outskirts of the city so as not to inconvenience the bulk of citizens with their stench and extremely defiant behavior. Recently, these groups of people are growing exponentially, despite the fact that they are still in the overwhelming minority, they already represent enough force to raise a rebellion. Social disunity since the time of King Ormon has been reduced to a minimum, but it has spawned national movements that raise the status of the majority and belittle the status of minorities. Previously, the Osiris of Vayelon spoke at least seventeen dialects. The speech was so different that most of the Osiris did not understand themselves, just not a single word. Therefore, in case of forced communication, an interpreter was seriously required. A simple Osirian family, it did not matter who lived in the house opposite them: Nahmau, Sabars, Sumerians, black Libyans, narrow-eyed Asians, or other Osiris. Many of the Osiris families had nothing in common. They spoke different dialects, believed in different gods, and were of different cultures. Nothing united them, except for state laws. This was both a plus and a minus. Having created general education schools and a single language standard, the government rallied the majority into one big family, but the minority, who were alien to innovative ideas, became strangers.

All farms and industrial enterprises are private organizations of bankers, large traders and other nobles, which are closely monitored by the council of the wisest. The city is governed by the only Filzas order — something like a party, the ideology of the Osiris, which includes all the attributes of power, culture, knowledge and even a way of thinking. There are three councils in Filzas: the royal council, the council of the eldest and wisest, as well as the organization of mekrs and all private organizations. Filzas, was founded three hundred years ago, at about the same time as the city itself. The Osiris state system is rather atypical than wrong. The constructed hierarchy resembles imperfect capitalism mixed with anarchist democracy. All existing institutions, it turned out to be implemented in practice, only at the expense of a relatively small society, and then, most of them, rely solely on the belief in further prosperity.

Tunor walked slowly through the wide streets of the city. There were difficult negotiations yesterday. Making concessions to the authorities is getting harder and harder. They don’t want to hear about the creation of a new order. Today, he decided to take a day off and leave this damn room of the NDC to get some fresh air. Otherwise, you can forget what the sun looks like. The girls give him, apparently forty years old, but in fact, forty-one. Large, curly hair, swarthy, of medium height and strong build, he resembled a typical Osiris. On it hangs an old, worn-out sand-colored dress. People passing by cannot even recognize the great innovative engineer of the present time. People of all professions and nationalities have gathered in this place. What eccentrics you will not find here. Three-eyed Jack, riding a three-wheeled cart, five hundred kilogram fat Wadah, to a circus performance. Oh, and take a look here, in the Bironfer seafood shop. Some type, dressed up in a costume of a nasty octopus and its tentacles dragging along the ground, are trying to bite off the dogs. Poor fellow, I had to throw a big fish for them to get left behind. A strange woman, in a black, tight dress, without a lower jaw, with a hanging tongue, leads two tall giraffes, behind long chains, tied to their collars. The little girl, seeing her missing part of her face, hid behind an elderly woman, enthusiastically bargaining for watermelons, near the counter. A boy, about seven years old, in a white shirt tucked into black pants pulled up to the knee, slowly rolls on a scooter, wearing a bright hat with a visor in front, strongly reminiscent of a modern baseball cap. Here, they sold dyed camels with blue heads, and black and red stripes on the body, like a zebra, fooling people, for fabulous sums. A little further, you can see even more interesting donkeys and horses, which were sewn in long horns, built up feather, artificial tails, similar to peacocks, and drove to various dudes with a mark-up twice as expensive. Two-trunk elephants, a rare breed, were made an artificial, brightly thick mane, and they looked more like cartoon toys than living creatures. It seems that everyone is busy with their own business, but the world of bustle here is closely intertwined with vacationers, just sitting and not thinking about anything. These are not homeless people, but just elderly people. They sit carelessly on the sidelines and watch those around them. One of these was a strange, blind old man, in a burgundy robe with a burnt, disfigured face, and white eyes. He looked towards Tunor, as if he was watching him. Or maybe he just has a phobia. After all, Tunor, there was someone to hide from, and there was something to hide. A terrible grandfather was burned, probably during the great siege, fifty years ago. But, to the meeting, there was a young man, a little above average in height, dressed already more presentable. In a blue raincoat and a light protective corset. This is prince Haste, his own person. It is impossible not to notice him, even if he was dressed, as simply as his friend. Eccentric habits, gait and manner of communication immediately betray him. He is strange to the point of insanity. Distorted, deceptive facial expressions always convey not the feelings that he actually feels, but during an argument, his hands, constantly shaking in front of his head, try to drive away the thoughts or words of the interlocutor that are unwanted by him. Trying to ignore those around him, the young prince is clearly in a hurry. It’s very appearance in broad daylight in the city center is a phenomenon.

— Where are you going? — not having time to reach his comrade, asks the prince.

«To the mall,» Tunor replied with a smile.

— What is there to do? The young man raised his eyebrows in bewilderment.

— Just take a walk. Chat with merchants from distant lands, maybe what news they tell, treat you with sweets. I found that symbol on page eight. You’re looking for me for this, don’t you?

— Exactly, behind this, — Haste pressed his lips tightly. He took a small roll of parchment from his chest pocket. «Is this symbol here?» — Excitedly asking, he pokes him in the face.

«I don’t remember… Although,» he moved back and took the scrap in his hands. Complex hieroglyphs are carved there. It is not an Osirian language, nor is it a Jerichan. It had nothing to do with our spelling at all. Taking out a small silver pencil-like stick, he carved out another incomprehensible symbol. — In my opinion, it was so, — he returned the envelope to the prince, and was about to move on, but the prince stopped him, taking his hand and turning him back to face him. — What happened? Have you already figured out the sequence? Frowning, he snatched his hand away.

— Not. If you helped us, maybe they would. Neilie can’t do it alone.

«So help her,» Tunor replied, wrinkling his forehead. — Hiding the package in his pocket, Haste narrowed his eyes suspiciously, looking into his eyes: — Don’t make me follow you, Tunor. Yesterday, you were late at the meeting again. Perhaps you should not be replaced by someone else. Do not misunderstand, I trust everyone equally (the employees of the NDC), but when our only public figure, privately communicates with the authorities, who give us an ultimatum in favor of our own planned development, it makes me twitch more than usual. I know that the issues you are discussing will not lead to consensus. And, I do not know what else can be thought of to fool their brains, at least until the end of this year.

«I am not holding on to my position, my prince.» He smiled, and the nostrils of his crooked nose, covered in beads of sweat, widened. — You can put anyone in my place, but I will never betray our oath and our dream.

— I guess I look like a senile. You know how curious I am. Agree, the temptation is great. Moreover, we are not going to bend in front of them, which means that they will take action in the near future.

— It’s my fault, Haste. — Sadly Tunor lowered his eyes. «I promise I’ll do my best and figure out how to fool the advice.

— I will be very grateful to you, — the prince turned around, and with a quick step went to where he came from.

— We need something more than clay abacus, — a slightly plump man, in sandals and a white shirt, stands in the middle of the NDC control room. His name is Vaidah. An ingenious inventor, chemist, mathematician and just a dreamer. By nation, he is a purebred Nahmau. Both of his parents are from the Shelber Valley. They died, under mysterious circumstances, when he was still a child. He, along with other orphans, was taken to the Vayelon orphanage, at the request of the village elders. — Our electronic calculator, promises to be fast, multifunctional machines. It will take years to design the hardware and code it correctly. But, in no other way. Is the information in the book worth the effort? — he began to stomp around a square table running along the walls, on the blue, luminous floor.

— As far as I understand, we have solved all the symbols, but we are not able to read? — asked a young girl sitting at this gray, metal table, just opposite him.

— Right. We know the meaning of all sixteen thousand three hundred thirty-seven characters. But we cannot read them without knowing the sequence of reading. It is completely chaotic.

«Not chaotic,» corrected another man sitting next to the woman. This is Assam — one of Haste’s closest friends. Another classmate of his. — We found out that its content obeys the dependence of two to the power of x square minus one. But, in order to find out which character follows which, it is necessary to brute force them, as a single unbreakable chain.

— Exactly, — that plump eccentric approached them, tightly squeezing his hands into the castle. — Here, the only catch is that the combinations corresponding to the full search are only links, pointers to the true text. These symbols are words, numbers and geometrical values at the same time. Thus, this text encodes itself twice. Only with the help of a powerful calculating machine can the reading sequence be understood.

— Incredible. The one who encrypted this must be a real madman, — the woman was enthusiastically indignant, stroking the voluminous cover of a large, unnamed book lying in front of her. Then, she quickly flipped through the pages in order.

«Be careful, Neilie,» Haste approached her, grabbing the book and putting it aside. — Perhaps this book is not from our world.

— Come on, — the fat man in the white shirt laughed. — You wouldn’t believe it just because you found an hourglass next to her, going backwards? Perhaps this is one of Lafar’s books on programming methods {x, y}.

— It would be nice if so, — Before the prince floated a whole collection of different clocks, under glass, recessed in the stained-glass wall. There were also arrow stands, solar, mechanical, and, of course, classic sand. «Lafar was not crazy enough to encrypt his books this way. And besides, who cares? As far as I know, no one understood his books, except for a handful of his mentors. — Taking in his hands one of these large glass vessels, in a beautiful stone case, he approached his fellow inventors. This semi-mechanical old watch, he got from his grandfather, as a gift. Inside the container, there are round discs and thin gears. Blue, fine-grained sand, distributed between these discs, with a mesh bottom. Separate sections showed hours, minutes, days, years, full moons, and solar eclipses. Putting this decorative item on the table, he silently watched as sand poured from different sections at different speeds.

«This clock, made in Shelber,» he finally broke the silence. — To find out what time we live in, you don’t have to turn them over for years. When the minutes are up, the hours remain higher. When the days are up, there will be years, and then eclipses. But, sooner or later, they still have to be turned over. — In his other hand was a watch from the dungeon. He placed them next to his watch, watching the grains of sand rising in it. — If the sand fell first down and then up, they would work forever. I know that eternity inextricably connects us with the world around us. We must devote all our efforts to building an electronic computer, and read this devilish book next month.

— What?! — Vaidah was indignant, clutching his stubble. — It’s impossible. Why is there so little time?

«If this is the book mentioned in Svurt’s Law, Shelber’s governors will want to take it for themselves. Our find cannot remain a secret for long. Moreover, we all know that unknown diseases are spreading in the Nahmaut valleys, turning people into monsters. Perhaps this book, which they are so diligently searching for, is to blame. Having learned that for more than one century, it turns out, we were hiding from them, their main treasure, without a doubt, they will decide to crush Vayelon to the ground. If, fifty years ago, Rohvem did not need even a reason for the attack, then what can we say about our case. Damn the king who decided to bury this thing right below us. He set us up pretty well.

«Shelber and Vayelon have always been on good terms,» a young woman stood up from the table. «Let’s make some books and just give the original to the Supreme Governor,» she suggested, blinking her big brown eyes.

— There is no more supreme governor, — Haste spread his fingers on his hand and brought them to his chin. — Galbront imprisoned himself in an eternal prison, fearing the complications of the disease, uncontrollable strength and rage. The previous viceroy, Okkrat, jumped out of the window. And, the one that was even before him was killed by his own guards. In the Shelber Valley there has been no contact with the outside world for a long time. They are already dangerous to themselves. What kind of good relationship are you talking about? You better stay tuned, Neilie, otherwise why are you here?

«Actually, you yourself called me here,» indignantly, she straightened the long bangs of her short haircut. — I am the only person in the city who would have translated this book for you in two days.

«I don’t care about the translation,» he jumped wildly towards her, frightening the fragile woman. — Better tell me how to read it correctly?

— Fuck off, — she pushed him, with both hands and left the underground laboratory.

«Don’t get excited, my prince,» Assam put his hand on his shoulder, trying to calm him down. — Women love good manners. You should have learned from them, otherwise, you won’t be able to find a worthy wife. — Haste removed his hand from himself, and, grumbling something under his breath, put his watch back into the sideboard.

— Who would talk about a worthy wife, — Vaidah laughed at him, finally, sitting down at the table. — We all would not be disturbed by worthy women. Using the services of priestesses is no longer so interesting. I want a little more to be loved. Hey, what’s wrong with you, aren’t you listening? Assam ignored him. His stone face, completely emotionless, as if under hypnosis, and his eyes look at one point. Slowly turning his head, he looked around, as if someone had possessed him, or he had come here for the first time. He has never been seen like this before.

— Again these strange feelings, — the boy grabbed his face. — This is the first time this happens to me at such a time. Maybe it’s all the same controversy? Wake up, wake up, wake up, — he begins to lightly beat himself on the head. Noticing that something was wrong with him, Haste went up to his friend, helped him to sit at the table, and gave him a glass of coffee. — You said that this is innate in me, — he turns to the prince, — then why, I now feel it again. The attacks became sudden. Previously, they were cyclical, now, they are completely random.

«What is he talking about?» Dambi, the most outstanding employee in the field of applied mathematics, approached them. He is thirty-four years old and one of the leading minds of the NRC. Most of the ideas considered both in theory and in practice are offered by them. Its potential seems limitless. Haste himself, considers only two people to be stronger than himself in mathematics, these are Dambi and Vaidah. Outwardly, he is good, but leads a reclusive lifestyle. His father was Osiris, who abandoned them even before his birth, and his mother was Nahmau, who fled from Rohvem. Now he lives with her.

— And you still do not know that our friend has such an ability, or an illness, when he falls into a special state. New feelings are opening up in him, «» Vaidah explained to him.

«Interesting,» Assam feels his fingers. — It started ten years ago. I was fifteen or sixteen then. These strange sensations manifested themselves once a month, maximum two. They arose at a strictly defined time. Exclusively at the moment when I fall asleep, and when I wake up. This transition, from the state of sleep to the state of wakefulness, is always accompanied by a fall from the familiar reality. Literally for a couple of minutes, but during this time, I manage to understand the world more than in my entire previous life. I feel all objects around me, as if they are an inseparable part of my body. I also feel my body, unusual, as if it were an object, such as a table or a cup. In this state, I came up with ideas about representing the universe in minimal geometric units of dimension. It would be nice if I could manage it all. Change the physical condition and structure of the environment. But, alas, reality is not a children’s fairy tale. This is a challenging game.

— Very difficult, buddy, — Vaidah shook him by the shoulder.

«But we’ll pass it,» Dambi replied calmly, leaving to the other side of the room in search of his documentation. — Let’s pass with dignity or stay in it forever…

— The second option is more attractive, I have to admit — added Haste, getting ready to go to the test instruments department. Casting a glance at Assam, he jabbed a finger on his cheek. — We will find the cause and effect of your seizures as soon as we have free time. Plus, they are good for you. We all could use this feeling. Imagine if Dambi and Vaidah begin to feel the surrounding objects, as you do. They already see the world in too much detail, I’m afraid with your ability, they will become gods.

— It seems to me that these psychos were born in such a state, — laughs Assam, following the departing prince. — They are just silent, cunning.

«All nahmau are born like that,» Dambi heard him, tearing himself away from his wires and connecting ply plates with an ironic smile. — Just to be afraid to admit it. We, it turns out, are the apostles of Selim, half people, half gods, according to the Osirian priests. Do not forget, in Vayelon there is a law not to oppress all peoples and nationalities, therefore nahmau, it is forbidden to hold all managerial positions, especially in the council.

— Well, well, it’s time to introduce amendments to this law, — his interlocutor grinned. — The superiority of the Nahmau over others is too obvious, and the rest of the peoples are enraged, especially the Osiris, who make up eighty percent of the total population, Assam says, drinking coffee. — Envy or pity, two opposite feelings, equally leading to disgust. This is where the first signs of nationalism are born. The people have already staged demonstrations about the eviction of the Nahmau diaspora, who never work in regular jobs. All of them are either dependents, or on creative, incomprehensible employment. Sabars, Vutes and Sumerians are the best performers. Of course, I condemn this, but not just like that in the era of the last kings, the Nahmau took them into slavery. Osiris are good traders, organizers, and managers. Well, nahmau, by nature, are inventors, innovators and discoverers.

— Let’s close this topic before the committee of Osirian activists tumbled down here, — Dambi raised one eyebrow, lazily stretching in his chair. «You don’t want to go back to your extinct village. Laughing in response, Assam took his place of work, immersed in endless equations and numbers.

Assam life story.

He was an inconspicuous child. Calm and weak of character. Older brothers brought up humility in him, although he did not like to fulfill all their whims. Assam bore the surname Tehto when his family lived in the village of Zunk, Rohvem Valley. Father, his nahmau, priest in exile. He participated in unsuccessful uprisings against Fimirel, for which he was desecrated, and all his property was confiscated. Mother, from Vayelon, an agile Osirian, whom, at that time, still look for. She worked as a geologist, having traveled all over Mesopotamia. She knew well the geography of mineral deposits. On one of her expeditions, she stopped for the night in the village of Zunk, where she met her other half. Assam was the fourth of six children in the family. He was not matched as the elder, and he was not nursed as the younger. He was so inconspicuous, and unnecessary to anyone, that he was often forgotten everywhere. Either in the field, during the harvest, when a five-year-old kid had to dig a hole for himself at night so that the wolves would not eat it. The next morning, the parents still remembered him and took him home. He was forgotten at school, at a party, at holidays. The older brothers even laughed at him about this, giving him the nickname Prokhva, which in Nahmau means forgotten or erased, and in Osirian, the same word means lost. When Assam was twelve, he, along with his brothers and sisters, moved to live in Vayelon with their grandmother. By that time, his mother was missing. They say she wandered into the forest of the dead. Father, went on the run, and most likely was killed by savages. While continuing his studies at the Osiris school, at fifteen, he met a beautiful girl, whom he tried to look after. But, she did not reciprocate, especially since she is two years older than him, and she had a whole bunch of fans. Assam’s first love did not break his heart. Three years later, at the Institute of Technical Sciences, where he entered, at the request of his grandmother, he met another beauty, with whom everything worked out this time. It would seem that life is going on the right track and the happy couple already dreamed of getting married, but one day everything changed. It was the day that his most famous and weirdest classmate, Crown Prince Haste, called for help, with the refinement of vector diagrams, to create a rotor less alternator, in his laboratory. Well versed in the geometry and physics of particle fluxes, Assam drew not only vector and topographic diagrams, but also proposed to remake the generator device, which has now become a classic. Delotoy and Dambi, who at that time already worked in the same team, were pleased with the boy’s abilities, and invited him to join the NDC. To officially register as a workers’ organization, they needed people, preferably talented. Haste bribed the guy with his charisma, promising him a job with the highest income in the city. Having trusted him, the naive Assam left the institute, to which his girlfriend reacted very sharply. She wanted to be with him constantly together, and he was afraid to remain in poverty, looking at the example of his relatives. His grandmother died suddenly, and the brothers had nothing to live on. They sold the house and became miserable vagabonds, begging for handouts and crawling through the back streets. Two have already been stabbed. My sister got a job in a brothel to please the nobles and bankers. Such a life did not suit Assam. He really wanted to help his family, but he could not. He didn’t want to get a job. Everywhere they pay pennies, but you have to work from morning to night. And here, such an opportunity. The prince himself suggested. He will not deceive him. And, indeed, he did not deceive. Two years later, they were legalized, and the NDC received funding for the first time, at first even from the council of the wisest, but later, when the employees began to work only in their own interests, funding was only from the royal council. Plans to create a serious, independent organization collapsed, and now the NDC has become something of an entertainment for the whimsical son of wealthy parents. And everyone works here, one might say for the food. And the atmosphere is not the most comfortable. Only a common belief in their some incomprehensible ideas makes them continue to create the impossible over and over again. Assam no longer feels constrained as a child. Here, in the laboratory, he revealed himself as a person, from all sides. His character remained soft, but the employees, unlike his arrogant brothers, do not use it. He is not cruel, and not merciful, he is what he was taught to be. And they taught him to be extraordinary: cunning, but fair, prudent but not greedy, sensual, but reasonable, charming and athletic, always ready to stand up for himself and his comrade. To bend his line or to compromise, he is not so good at it. Anyway, everyone likes this guy. In a friendly company, like a child, he rejoices at every success. His mood deteriorates only when he thinks about the girl who abandoned him, who is already married and has two children. But he is not jealous. He is glad that she is happy, and does not blame fate for the fact that they were not destined to be together. Just a natural feeling of resentment, and injustice, sometimes wake up in him, temporarily catching up with the task.

Vaidah life story.

This guy was born in the village of Taupin, the legendary Shelber Valley. Father, Samiho Mirve-Tazakht was an outstanding shipbuilder. His designs include at least a dozen different vessels. From small, reed boats, to large, iron liners, on real motors. At one point, his career soared so high that he lived in the castle, side by side with the governors. Vaidah’s mother, Pakela, is an inconspicuous, modest woman, leading a peasant lifestyle, owning a decent farm. They got to know each other during the flood, when the fields with the crops were flooded with the river, after the flood. Samiho’s ships moved to the aid of the villagers to rescue the remaining supplies of the farmers. It was there that a desperate woman met a stately engineer. Her iron character and correct, judicious actions during an emergency did not leave him indifferent. The woman had nothing to lose, and he took her to his castle. There, they had three children, and all three died in childbirth. Deciding that it was the walls of the castle that put pressure on the woman’s fruits, she persuaded her to leave for the nearby village of Topin. But, there, she could not get pregnant at all, for more than two years, and the couple had already decided that they would be left without children, and then, for their happiness, they succeed. The long-awaited child was the only and beloved in the family. He got both affection and abuse. After his father was fired, due to a complete reshuffle of personnel in Shelber, he could not stand such a loss. Work was the meaning of his life, and his family only supplemented it. During a quarrel with his wife, they left the house somewhere and did not return. Little Vaidah sat under the covers in his bed all night, waiting for his parents. They were not there not in the morning, not for lunch, and even for dinner. He found himself to eat, and at the age of seven, he went to the castle, to the governors, to find out about his relatives. There, he was caught by the guards and, after listening to his story, sent him to the committee of abandoned children in a neighboring village. It is a charitable organization owned by the priests of the Selim Temple. There were few places in the rural shelter, and the abandoned children became more and more, therefore, at the age of nine, he, along with twenty-five other children, was sent in another batch to the Vayelon orphanage school, to study and permanent residence. The guy immediately revealed his gift in the exact sciences. He studied the material much faster than his classmates. The teachers paid attention to him and put him on a special, accelerated training program. Having entered the institute, already at the age of fourteen, the maturing child prodigy continued to amaze with his analytical abilities. Having studied all the material, he began to delve into the little-studied areas of mathematics, to satisfy his own curiosity. His innate talent, combined with inexorable perseverance, thirst for knowledge, allowed him to put forward the most unthinkable hypotheses. The older Vaidah became, the more he devoted himself to science, which became his whole life, already by the age of eighteen. Due to his full employment, the guy has never even been in a relationship. Only at the age of twenty, he first used the services of priestesses from brothels. His character is strange. He is always without emotional and no one knows what is in his head. He behaves too adequately and restrained, which reminds more of a computer than a person. His calm attitude to all situations in life is rather frightening. He is not a murderer or a pervert, however, if circumstances allowed, he could calmly watch as small children are drowned, or they are burned alive. Unlike Assam, there is very little human left in Vaidah, despite the fact that he tries not to be different from others, and to look natural, at least in the circle of his friends. His morals are atypical. He can enjoy the heavy cream for hours, at ease, spreading it around the edges. He can be funny when others are sad, and vice versa, depressed, when the general company is in a joyful mood. For the sake of achieving his goals, he is ready for anything. Vaidah is not a principled person, but a very strong-willed person. He makes decisions hundreds of steps ahead, like a robot, calculating all possible outcomes. He is able to compromise, and knows how to listen to all points of view. For him, there are no authorities, so the opinion of street rascals, for him, is no different from the opinion of the council of the wisest, or his comrades in the NDC. He subjects each judgment to a detailed analysis, comparing it with real facts, and his own vision of the world. Vaidah, does not lead a healthy lifestyle, which is already beginning to affect his condition. A full physique and diabetes mellitus significantly complicate a man’s life, despite the advice of his comrades, he is not going to change anything, stating that he is quite happy with everything. Pale, yellowing, not healthy skin on his face, a lack of vitamins and lack of physical activity, also provoke his first heart and blood pressure problems, in his, then, twenty-five years. Every time a man promises his friends that as soon as he meets a soul mate, he will immediately bring he is in shape. In recent years, after he became famous, several girls still tried to try something with him, but his requirements were too high. It turns out, Vaidah, give almost a goddess of beauty, a great mind, so that she can do everything, and be in time everywhere. But, he himself is the complete opposite. Not neat and not handsome. She washes once a week, shears her hair once every six months, shaves as needed, and barely changes her clothes. Its narrow nose with wide nostrils was pointed at the end like a bird’s beak. Brown eyes, wavy, always disheveled dark hair and black eyebrows fused into one. Plump lips, curled up in a bow, ears almost bent into a tube, and a characteristically protruding, unshaven second chin, make his mug look like a fabulous pig. His appearance was often laughed at, but he learned not to pay attention to it. Previously, like everyone else, Vaidah was a vulnerable person and very often cried over trifles. Now, it is not so easy to offend him. He’s ironic enough, and he’s still a troll. Can laugh at himself at any time, even when it seems inappropriate. It can be very difficult to separate his sarcasm from a serious statement. He loves to chat just like that, on a variety of topics, but he will never talk about his dreams or problems that do not leave his head every day. Vaidah is not one of those who like to be frank, he just does his job, gradually approaching his goals.

Dambi life story.

The most mysterious, almost the oldest, and the smartest employee at the NDC. Dambi rarely interacts with people. As a child, he had periods when, for years, he could not say a word. The character is very secretive. It happens that you can’t get a word out of him, but he himself, like an ordinary genius, is terribly curious. Unlike Vaidah, whom he is nine years older, he looks younger than him and a million times prettier. His brutal face with a perfect physique and tall stature makes him look more like a model or actor than an outstanding mathematician. Combed back, raised up, uncharacteristic, dark brown hair always looks aesthetically pleasing. Even when he did not lay them down, but simply passed them once with his hand, they lay down as they should. In front, on the left side of his forehead, he had a small pigtail that stretched to his eyebrow. He covered her with a scar, a small incision above the eyebrow that was not so striking. On the contrary, it made him even more brutal. The eyebrow, on the other side, is also split, with a white stripe. His serious frown and sparkling brown eyes made him imposing and elegant. Smooth, slightly plump lips, his lips often dry and crack. Straight, medium-sized nose and black, thick bristles. Porous, oily skin kept him from wrinkles. He always wore a black protective corset, a typical lightweight, hard vest, with prominent reliefs, over a white shirt, with rolled up sleeves. Pants made of dense fabric, sitting almost tight, it has different colors. Basically, he preferred gray, like jeans, blue and burgundy. It would seem that such a person should have at least three wives, but Dambi is completely alone. He does not even have a girlfriend, and it is not known whether they were ever at all. It is not worth suspecting him of non-traditional sexual orientation, at least, according to his statements, he is heterosexual, although he has never ordered priestesses with his friends. How he pleases himself remains a mystery, and the guys joke a lot on this topic. Some say that he is an alien, entrenched in an artificial body, others that he is just crazy, like most of the participants in the NDC. No matter how they tried to hurt his feelings, during their leisure time, the employees did not succeed. It is impossible to evoke any reaction, even an adequate one, from Dambi. If Vaidah resembles a computer, both externally and internally, then Dambi is an even more powerful computer built into a beautiful doll. He is also unprincipled and diverse. If there is a need, he will ask for help, but if he can cope on his own, he will do any work alone. Making sensational scientific discoveries, he even forgets to share this with his colleagues at the NDC. He does not at all try to hide something. Simply, this is how his psychology works. The guys already know that if he walks contentedly, imagining something to himself, runs his hands on the table, as if drawing, then he has an interesting idea, which he most likely has already decided. And, if you ask him, he will definitely tell. Moreover, he will do it with a desire, as if he really does, a couple forgets that there are people around him with whom you can share your thoughts and emotions. At home, he communicates quite openly with his mother, with whom he lived all his life. His mother was like an angel, beautiful, slim, sincere, good-natured and always in a good mood. My father was also a recluse, and was engaged in science. He just used his mother as a slut and left him, not even knowing that she got pregnant from him. Then, they say, after a couple of years he hanged himself in his own house. Dambi doesn’t care about his fate. He doesn’t even know his name. The mother has married three more times since then. Moreover, she simultaneously had two husbands who loved her. She gave birth to another child, a girl who is seven years younger than him. She herself already has a family and a child who goes to school. They do not maintain a relationship with Dambi, although sometimes they still meet at their mother’s house. It is not uncommon for a man to give out what is least expected of him. For example, he can force everyone to do only his task when the situation calls for it. From time to time, a commander wakes up in him, more abruptly than Haste, whose organizational skills are at an exorbitant level. The power of persuasion and charisma of this character is forced to follow him in any situation. He gets along well with people, despite the fact that he communicates exclusively on business. Dambi knows who and what gifts to give, so that it really feels good. To each person, in his team, he knows the approach, while it is very difficult to find an approach to him, if at all possible. Here, in the circle of employees, there is an opinion that even God cannot get into his soul.

Neilie life story.

Neilie was born in Vayelon. She is a selfless girl who has a lot to learn from. Strong personality in all respects. Height, slightly below average, physique, athletic. Short hair, with bangs combed to the side, long gold earrings in the ears, something that immediately catches the eye. On her shoulders there are large colored tattoos depicting stars on one side, in pink smoke, on the other side, atoms, in the form of crystal lattices, on a blue background. Slender legs, in high heels, she was not used to hiding under a dress. Since childhood, she wore trousers, and she doesn’t even like short skirts. While in dress, she is selective. She likes a strict style more, an image corresponding to her inner state. A girl was born into the family of the great sculptor and architect Paragon Aliam. He took part in almost all major construction and architectural projects. The legendary tower of time, the Selim temple, the flower park of Babylon, the facades of various estates, the water supply system, the sewage system and much more. Wherever you look, Paragon put his hand everywhere. He deservedly was, one of the richest people in the city, and the whole world, respectively. Revered and respected at all social levels. He owned two banks, three palaces, a chain of restaurants, rice, sugar and orange fields, in general, he owned a little of everything. He even had his own army, although by law it is forbidden to have a private army, therefore, he called it simply bodyguards, and personal protection. Surprisingly, he was not even a member of any state council. Naturally, such a large trader could not but have enemies. No matter how honestly he does business, there will be no less envious people. Several attempts were made on him a year, and, six years ago, he was still killed by a gang of intruders, on the orders of Giverra, a ruthless killer who then sat on the council of the wisest. Upon death, he left six daughters, and five sons, from five marriages. It was decided to donate half of his huge inheritance to solving social problems, to children’s schools, to endangered villages and to the construction of the main temple of sacrifices. The rest of the property went to the family, including Neilie, who at the time was already sixteen years old. Having taken possession of unthinkable wealth, she was now afraid that they would be hunted for her, just like for her father. Growing up in conditions of constant comfort and safety, she allowed herself all kinds of liberties. For example, go to Rohvem to fly an airship. Jump with a parachute, ride on the rail slides, in a deep quarry, or dive to the bottom of the river, in scuba gear. Such entertainment was clearly not for mere mortals. Even many rich people could not afford such a luxury. Relatives, she was advised to find a man of the appropriate status, if she does not want to keep him as a pet, just for the sake of appearances and for the sake of gratification. But, you cannot order your soul, said the sisters, constantly gathering all kinds of crooks in their mansions. Neilie was far from stupid, since childhood, a well-read girl. By the age of sixteen, she knew four languages, was fond of astrology, quantum physics, biology and medicine. She also took up dancing, music and painting. Of course, you cannot call her talented in all these disciplines. For a long time she chose what is closer to her heart, between art and science. Six years later, this choice, finally, she did not make. But, she found her one and only, the prince, in the truest sense of the word. Prince Qatar, second son and now heir to the throne of the current king of Narus. They met, four years ago, during a city festive ceremony, at Grompi Square. Neilie immediately liked the modesty and charm of the influential young man. In addition, it was not she who took the first step, but he, approached her, offering to dance. They fit together perfectly. Soulful, romantic, educated young people with a decent upbringing and pleasant manners. But, if, Qatar, has a rather weak character, then Neilie is just an iron woman, with a hot heart and a cold mind. For her principles, she is ready to go all the way. Fairness, sincerity and mutual respect are what she is willing to give and demands in return. For three years of marriage, she has not yet given birth to children. It’s not time yet, she says. Who will help Qatar solve his endless problems. Through what only she did not have to go through because of her, constantly interfering with something gentleman. Sometimes it got to the point that, at night, she even had to fight for him in the alleys! Defending her boyfriend from ill-wishers, in an unequal struggle, she somehow broke her wrist. The prince, of course, did not sit on the sidelines, shutting his eyes, bent over. Assessing the situation, realizing that he could not cope that night, he called the guards, who left for just a minute, at his own request, so as not to interfere with their personal conversations. Okay, everything worked out. The villains were punished, and the hand healed safely. It was Qatar who brought Neiley to the NDC laboratory, persuading her older brother to take her into the team. Haste resisted this for a long time, not wanting to recognize the girl’s abilities in science. However, having got to know her better, he realized that there was something unusual about her. That same unbridled pursuit of excellence. She joined the staff, two years ago, as a developer of instrumental mechanisms, diluting the soulless collective of demi-humans, half-cyborgs, with a note of her kindness and simple human charm.


A shining chariot, more like a rocket, approaches the main state square of Vayelon. Eight rubberized wheels, and a body on a long frame, partly resembled a limousine. Gold, palm leaves, and a rectangular ornament depicting the government coat of arms stick out from its roof. This royal family with bodyguards, stayed in the very center, near the majestic «Tower of Time». This tower is such a large-scale structure that, even according to the Nahmau, it is considered one of the five deities of all Mesopotamia. Such an original embodiment of time will make everyone who sees such a thing admire. A round skyscraper, one hundred and ninety-five meters high (with a spire), and fifty meters wide, winds around itself in huge disks. Between the sharpened, tall windows, there is a columnar scale, with huge numbers from one to twelve, rising all the way to the top. P.s. Osirian numerals, borrowed from Nahmau, not like Arabic or Roman ones. These are always two even sticks, inclined at different angles relative to each other. Giant rings, planted on the tower, like rings on a finger, move up and down. These rings glow in different colors. Red — denoting minutes, the smallest, as it moves the fastest and spends a tremendous amount of energy on lifting force. The green ring is the second in diameter, when it intersects with the first, it is superimposed on top of it. It denotes hours, and the third is a white ring, superimposed on top of the second and first, denotes the days of the week. Thanks to this, the most massive ring rises only to the seventh digit. It all works on the hybrid traction power steering. Six fuel pumps at the base of the building and twenty-four electric motors are scattered in sections at varying heights. Due to the tight insulation, the noise of the motors is practically inaudible. At night, the rings glow brightly so that they can be seen from almost anywhere in the city, especially when they are at the top. This incredible building would shock people even if it were built in modern Dubai or New York. And, in combination with decorations unusual for modern cities, the most beautiful climbing trees and bushes that form a park area, this creates a special atmosphere. Highly developed technologies and, natural, natural resources merged together, saturating the city, indeed, with a divine aura. The door is opened for Narus Rift. Before him lined up smart guards in tall, cylindrical glittering hats, as if covered with diamond chips. Red shirts, jackets with gold trim, silver shoulder pads, blue cloaks and gloves. They all have bright red, like jackets, long hair, and black and white, plaid boots. Both men and women stood in these ranks. Raising their curved sabers upward, they simultaneously pressed them to their shoulders. Then, just as synchronously, taking a step to the side, having opened up with each other, they waited for the ringing of trumpeters, tambourines and other incomprehensible playing instruments from the Aprod School of Music. Starting to dance with strikingly complex, fast and varied movements, they drew a storm of applause from the crowd around them. In fact, this is not a guard at all, but a group of disguised actors who staged a concert at the opening of the first Selim temple in Vayelon. Someone, wearing an eerie shiny mask in the shape of a face, as if smeared with paraffin, pumped various figures with a hand pump. His completely black eyes bulged out of their sockets. Wearing decorative green armor, he launched elongated balls into the sky, in shape and size, reminiscent of an American football ball. These balloons shot upward and began emitting multi-colored dust, creating pink, yellow and blue clouds just above the crowd. Another sorcerer, in a long purple dress and a fake beard rolled into tubes. This beard depicts a picture of a sailing ship sailing off into the sunset. He let the three-dimensional figures of various animals into the sky. Colored beetles, the size of a cow’s head, the same birds that spread their wings wide, and just curved sticks that resemble a sausage. All these objects, like fireworks, accelerated and exploded, showering the entire sky with silvery and gold sparkles. Nahmau would not approve of such a shocking, in honor of a religious event, but the Osiris have different customs. They are very liberated and even religious people, they take many things with humor. By the way, about the new temple. It was built in the western part of the square. This stepped building is a ziggurat, ninety-three meters high, which is the very legendary tower of Babylon (built on the remains of Vayelon). The only structure that will survive the complete destruction of the city, only because it is a saint, although it will still suffer quite a lot. Against the background of the nearest large building — «Time Towers», this temple looks like a simple barn. Another palace, of which there are already countless numbers outside the city walls. When the dance ended and the music died down, the crowd roared with applause. After a short lull, King Narus began his speech:

— Today is a very honorable day for all our people!! — he stood in the very center of the round square, on a small stand. — There are several thousand of us here! Not everyone sees me, and not everyone hears, but I see and hear each of you! I am proud of our people, and each of you individually! — the crowd quieted down. «For decades, we have been forced to pray, hiding in our homes or traveling to the wrong side. People like us deserve their own temple to worship! Binraban Temple is a real miracle! The incarnation of a multi-religious shrine, modeled on Birhatten of Rohvem, which has become the new center of Selim worship. For those who are not yet committed, I will explain how this works. There are eight ziggurats in front of you. These are eight spiritual levels that rise from the bottom up. On each floor, religions that are similar in meaning are united. Nobody will tell you exactly where your lacre is (stand, place of prayer). You yourself must find it. The first ziggurat contains the most mundane beliefs. These are pagan and textured worship. It is the largest and can accommodate up to two thousand people. There you will find over fifty idols and figurines depicting your gods. More than two hundred books and mentors of sorcerers-priests, helping you to determine your spirituality, listen and understand the essence of your deity. Usually, besides a good harvest, people there do not ask for anything else. They don’t need complicated rituals. On the second ziggurat, which can accommodate more than a thousand people, you will find icons and more complex sacred writings of the same gods, the embodiment of animals or people. Just as at the first level, believers do not need complex rituals, and they do not even carry out the burial of the deceased. Corpses are simply burned in farewell bonfires. On the third and fourth ziggurats, there are even more perfect religious ideologies that will be alien and incomprehensible to those from below. There are no longer sacrifices and other strange rituals that bring pain and suffering. Priestesses-prophets will forgive your sins according to the laws of God, as well as predict your future. For those who have gone to another world, special tombs of open and closed types are being built. Underground and aboveground. These may be various monuments, temples, pyramids. The dead are usually dried or embalmed, and, for special celebrations, the tombs are opened to see them. On the fifth and sixth floors, which can accommodate about four hundred people, the one God is no longer embodied. He is omnipresent and rather, in the form of ethereal spirits. These are not childish religions, so if you are not sure of yourself, it is better not to go up there. The laws there are still cruel and inhuman, but fair and fully justified by serious logic. The dead, according to tradition, are usually buried there in graves so that the bodies decompose naturally. As a rule, it is forbidden to touch the flesh of the deceased. On the seventh ziggurat, the deity is already so high that it does not have its own image. This is a figment of everyone’s imagination, and those laws do not just strive for nirvana and the immortality of reason, they identify our reality, projected onto heavy philosophical ideas that I myself do not fully understand. The ideology of the seventh ziggurat is called Ebek. The only religion, today, whose logical rationale is so perfect that not one science is yet capable of refuting its principled positions regarding any issues. The priests of Ebek are renowned scientists in the exact sciences, and knowledge is their field of play. It is there, the god Selim, will appear before you as the highest essence of being. Usually, the dead are cremated, and the ashes are placed in sacred painted urns. But, this is not important, as any traditions there are not required to be observed. Some people bury their loved ones using traditional methods. In general, at the seventh level, everyone does as they see fit. On the last, eighth floor, with an open roof leading to heaven, there is a union of what can be and what cannot be. It is more than everything and nothing. It is more of infinity, inside and outside of infinite infinities. As the teachings say, «to understand what is on the eighth ziggurat is beyond the power of even the god Selim.» Only the high priest of Binraban has the right to ascend there to absorb our insignificant universe, into that greatness that does not even have a name.

— My brain almost exploded when I tried to figure it out. I, Narus Rift, do not take more than one deity to my heart, and I have every right to do so, just like each of you. I am agnostic. A free man of a free state. You must understand that I am one, and there are many of you. I cannot take part in every aspect of our life. It is my duty to observe everything from the outside, analyze and make the right decisions. We live in a state with free will, and it will always be so! The dictatorship that manifests itself in my power is limited to two councils, whose members are elected by the mekras (the educated inhabitants of Vayelon). And based on our freedom, as long as our society is healthy and does not bear mutual hatred, we must take care of all ethnic, racial and low social groups. Recently, more and more sad news has reached me that the homeless are being illegally enslaved. This should not be allowed. Otherwise, the «bouncing effect» is inevitable (the effect, from the psychology of Osiris, when some social groups dominate others, and after a certain period of time, change their status, then change again and so on constantly). Be kinder to each other, as our religions teach. Despite the fact that I do not believe in gods, I treat with honor and respect everyone who does not share my point of view. I will not take responsibility for opening the main shrine of the city-state. This will be done by our first high priest, great and inimitable, Salsirel! — an enthusiastic squeal was heard from all sides, and next to the king stood a contented, tall, muscular man who came up while the king was delivering his speech. On his head is a shabad — a high, voluminous headdress, in the form of a turban, woven from multi-colored stone beads.

A fabric is wound on the head in several layers, then, the last decorative layer is jewelry. From above, in all directions, golden rods stuck out, at the ends of which white, translucent ribbons were tied (indicating the level of spiritual knowledge of the priest). There were seven of them. He waved a white staff, and bowed low to the contented crowd. His wonderful staff did not possess magical properties, as some believed, but was worth special attention. It was made from the strongest beak of a rare belt-toothed whale. At the very bottom, at the end, there is a thickening from which curved, sharp hooks stuck out in different directions, necessary to pierce something, or someone, but not for mercenary purposes. In the upper part, there is a decorative volumetric, luminous form. This form, like a bowl or censer, smoked with a thick gray-green steam, with aromas of fragrant herbs. The priest is wearing a luxurious long cloak of cheetah fur, stretching to the very heels made of pure ruby diamonds, his inconspicuous at first glance, red sandals. After a lull, he began to speak:

— I agree with every word spoken by our king! Shrines should be led by deeply religious people, whom I consider myself to be, since childhood. Walking to the Rohvem Valley, two hundred and twenty kilometers away, is long and dangerous. You can wander into the cursed forest, you can be torn to pieces by wild beasts or barbarians of small tribes. In the end, nahmau, they asked for a tribute from our government, for the use of the Birhatten temple. Now, everything will be different. This temple is open every day for every resident of the city. — His nostrils, narrow, crooked nose, widened greatly, and his elongated face, with narrow cheekbones, was damp with excitement. Today, Salsirel performed in public for the first time. «You can also buy our ritual goods and services, but you can pray and attend for free,» he continued. — For members of the highest spirituality, there is a twenty-five percent discount for any product, and fifty percent for services.

«You’ll buy advertising from me later,» Narus elbowed him in the side. «I’ll tell my artists, they’ll draw big posters for you.» Go open the gates while the crowd is ecstatic. If you miss the moment, they will swat you. To turn on the audience, your every word must be more charismatic and more beautiful than the previous one, otherwise they will get bored. By the way, you can sign up for a public speaking course with my sister, there is also a discount for the priests, — smiling, he exchanged glances with his wife, and his second son Katar.

«I am flattered by your advice, my king. But, save them for your wife, who is very ineffective in managing the city’s finances, — with a malicious grin, he replied to the reproach addressed to him. — By the way, today your eldest son secretly sent an unnamed book to the Shelber Valley. I think that not one of the councils will approve of his initiative. «Taking off his artificial smile, he headed towards the folding columns at the base of the temple.

— It can’t be. Narus narrowed his eyes in bewilderment. Raising his gaze to the sky, he silently shook his head.


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