для читателей старше 18 лет
Hooray! I was twelve years old!
A lot of gifts, from all my two moms and four dads! But, what is this? Machine on the string? I can exclude this donor from a will! We must be serious. I’m already an adult.
By the way, I have not forgotten my new name yet.
My name is Dean.
Yesterday I successfully passed the exam for children’s spontaneity. From this day, you need to fill out a bunch of all forms, much more than usual. All about health – there are no palpitations, nightmares, depression. And – a page once a month – that comes to mind. A notebook can only be used by me. An electronic lock opens if I look in the well and say “Sim-Sim, open.” So my personal doctor Max ordered, adding that, in addition to the possibility of free choice, I have the right to … how is it? confidentiality. In general, many different doctors are interested in me: psychologists, biologists, psychophysicists, their assistants. So I am writing, in a neat handwriting, a report on everything I see. Soon I’ll get to know all my dads and moms – I try to be a good boy.
Edgar is my beloved father. He’s a cool surfer. Each day of the last month took me to the Ocean, to catch the Wave. I think “Wave” should be written just like that, with a capital letter, as he pronounces this word. It’s great to be standing in the streams of the breeze, to roll on the board by the water curled into the roll to the hot shore. Of course, at first it did not work out that much, but Eddie patience taught me everything. He was pleased with how exactly I am borrowing his movements and accepting the prescribed instructions.
After skiing, we usually went to the beach bar, my father ordered himself whiskey, cocktails, and me – allowed soda or tea. I know he’s got something wrong with his stomach, but he does not really bother about it, because he’s counting on me now. By the way, to enter the system of the Heirs and to get acquainted with me, he sold most of his business. Clear father. I remember especially how Eddie twists a glass with his burning adult drink in his hand, takes a sip at a sip, happily frowns and smiles: “Soon, Dean, son, you too can do this, then you’ll understand how delicious it is.”
Papa Duck. He is over eighty, but still very cheerful. Surname – Rockefeller, everyone usually utters in a whisper. He, too, for some reason is confident in me, as in himself. He thinks that the stupid boy, that is, me, was extremely lucky with him.
We have already visited five times on the board of directors of the corporation that he gathers. After the meeting, Duck let me sit on his, a high-backed chair, behind a mighty, probably half of a tennis court, a table. Nothing, between us boys, this, especially tempting. Directors are all boring, worried about nonsense, talking as if by numbers. And the food is so-so – endless fried eggs and bacon, toast, orange juice and warm milk.
Duck showed me a map of the world, on it arrows, flags and again — stupid numbers. Said: it’s bound to be ours. My. More precisely, probably, it. This Rockef got confused. But it seems, nevertheless, Duck loves me in his own way — he has turned pink, as if woke up from a bad dream, does not let go of himself a single step. Well, what about Dean?
I did not decide if I wanted to be like Rockef, I do not particularly like such a dull wealth. It’s better to have an ordinary, medium-sized company for making interesting things – scuba diving, wetsuits, masks with tubes – but at the same time you want to ride a surf, without boring directors and sterilized milk. Be the champion of the beach, dance with gay girls lambada, samba and sincerely play the banjo.
…This month I spent with my mother Linda. She’s all brand-new. All, from the trendy shoes, to the cap of haute couture. Probably, she is thirty-four — although I have little experience in such things. Max hinted at this lady over seventy. However, the woman cares about her appearance as no one. Attends courses of personal growth. He does not want to grow old, and this is the most important thing for health and external attractiveness.
This mother has a huge, like a bus, a wardrobe, with mountains of clothes. She, frankly, has persuaded me to try on a suit of the girl-teenager. Probably kept it in the chest-freezer from the time when she was wearing it herself.
I made up my lips and put my eyebrows in ink.
I tried on, especially not embarrassed by my presence, men’s pants, suits, jackets. She got up close, embraced, looked into the wide mirror and, throwing her head back, laughed for a long time.
He, of course, does not ride the surf like a champion of the beach, but he is the master of everything! His firm for the production of great-looking young people, helping the elderly to serve themselves. And they have other things to do-to fight people, climb under water, repair drilling rigs, and all that. Erwin said; before there were even more than many, orders for personal avatars.
— Dress-up this, son, – Dad brought me a hat with mirror glasses. – Standard, soft, comfortable helmet avatar, pride of the company. How do you find design? Conveniently? Now you will become strong, steadfast, almost immortal. Do you want to be the heir of all this?
He coughed slightly.
I answered in the sense that, at the Internat, we were taught almost nothing, forbade people to remember something for too long, rarely allowed to watch TV, so as not to clog the brain with nonsense. Often changed the names of pupils. Actually, I was considered too smart there, although not so much, of course, to get married. It’s all interesting, but you need to think carefully.
“It will take more,” my father put his feet in tattered shoes, put gloves on his hands with supposedly living suckers, immediately sucked into the skin. – Did the picture go? This is a view from the avatar. Now you can make your incarnation move, do whatever you like.
I waved my hand, moved my foot, something buzzed in the next room; the image jerked, rose and swam.
— Well done, son! Come here!
I quickly realized what was what, and, pushing the door with the plastic arm of the robot, burst into our room.
“You can switch to another avatar,” Papa suggested, coping with the next, attacked cough. “Walking along the edge of Niagara?”
A new image jumped into my eyes, even more voluminous and clearer than a minute ago. Roaring shaggy water, under the feet of the abyss, probably a mile away, behind a striped iron grid – indifferent tourists looking at me.
On the bridge, thrown over the waterfall, plastic plowshaws like me went back and forth, sometimes leaning over and peering into the depths.
“And you can do it, Dean,” his father urged. “Do you want to jump down?” Come on! For you, not sorry for the most advanced model.
I hesitated, stepped into the abyss. The image flashed – the edge of the cliff – the sky – the water – the bubbles, it shook and collapsed to the point. I felt a shiver run down my spine, I sighed, shook myself and came to my senses. So what?
I took off my helmet, went to the table and drank some water.
— Yes, father.
— The second, third, and subsequent times will not be so, unfortunately. At first people are interested to be present in such a body – but the buzz quickly fades to nothing. After all, the robot, in fact, not you. Even over a deep abyss, after a couple of repetitions, you do not feel pleasant excitement, the sensation of a stealthy mystery. Adrenaline almost does not stand out, the pulse is equal, as when watching a distant war on TV. Laughter, not a delightful horror. Success avatars have in battles with living people, this keeps the firm, but … but. Now at the height of other methods, and you, the sonny of them well know.
Papa again coughed, dived under the curtain, swallow medical oxygen.
We still fired a dash from a wind gun, visited water parks with the likeness of the Wave, children’s restaurants where they ate, on a dispute, wonderful cakes, Disneyland and a factory for the production of various walking glands.
Well, Dean, you think?
To sign him, as they say, his apartment?
Sophie. In the library of this my mother – probably ten million books. And in the library of Congress you can not find such a reverie. Constantly smokes in a rocking chair, which is both a gurney. Talked with me a little. Probably wanted to give me freedom – so that I could only look at her books, photos, pour tea, give orders to cooks, maid and other servants. He was busy with her growling dogs.
The house of this mother, I must say, is excellent. A garden with bare statues, ponds, gazebos, lots of trees and flowers. You can pick apples from the window. Food is also cool — pheasants, quail, partridges, seashells, octopus, caviar. Eat — I do not want. Juices — necessarily — freshly squeezed, not that in the Internat, liquid, from the packages. I did not like caviar. It smells of fish oil, which gave me educators for the brain. Mom said you need to love. Even got angry when I pushed the bowl aside. Twice I repeated “Eat, dear, it’s very, very delicious.” But I do not want. I have the right to choose.
Sophie now feeds on solutions from droppers. She has problems with the esophagus, all along its length, and some organs, as I understand, do not have enough. Doctors wanted to forbid her to smoke, but, in fact, this is my mom indicating to everyone what they need to do.
I can not understand how much I looked at her. And is it so important? In any case, she paid a substantial part of my content in the Boarding School, gifts coming almost every month, expenses from birth, including insurance of biological parents, and something else. It is worthy of respect. And, in general, I myself liked this house, food, paradise garden and apples.
Daddy Do-Do. He told me to call himself that. Why – I do not know, and I do not ask. I’ll understand everything if I sign it. It is necessary to think only: Do I want to be so smart?
If the Pope Erwin has one cabinet with a pair of oxygen cylinders, then the Do-Do house from the basement to the attic is a first-class clinic. Only one room without the smell of medicines and squeaking appliances – and it’s meant for me.
This father is not very similar to other candidates. A wheelchair with a tank in which, among the droppers, plastic bags with gurgling liquids, wires and hoses, it is difficult to guess the head, wrinkled trunk and moving fingers of the hand. With driving in the style of street racing you have to be more careful!
Do-To communicates through suckers on the fingers, connected to the computer. On the screen, all day long, in the evenings, I patiently, obediently, as sons, read incomprehensible words about intricate microparticles, connections of related objects, psi channels and coupled morphogenetic systems. I do not understand. But Dad Do-D thinks I need to absorb all this right now.
Somehow this my father is connected with the organization of the Heirs. It seems, brings to a conversation with me to the fact that something in it went not quite as he had expected. But, if I help him, it’s just that, in a way known to me, he will fix everything, as it should.
Max said, only on a very strict secret; if you do not know whom to choose, draw lots.
— The main thing – do not hesitate for a long time, save your brains, because in any case you’ll make a mistake!
Max is cheerful, sporty, all such, you know, reasonable. I would like to be like him, but the doctor is not among my fathers. Even if you are a doctor of a respectable institution, anyway, it is unlikely that you will soon save money for such a healthy son, suitable for you in the blood group, the brain structure and many, many other signs, son.
“Here’s your camera.” You have not seen her yet? Is not she beautiful? Believe me, friend; all will certainly be Excellence.
The camera is like a rope, hard-boiled, peeled egg. In my half it is pure black, with bulges protruding inward like fingers. The meaning of this, Max explained, is fun, so that there are no superfluous, false reflections of your body. The radiation of the organism along the entire depth must be specific, true, and without impurities of the apparatus beams.
I sat on a chair, also entirely black, as if squeezed out of the floor. On the contrary, in the twin room – the same seat, but white, mirror, like everything there.
The doctors took off my testimony, forced me to undress, walk around my half of the cell, sit down and get up. Turned on and off the strange, as if, you know, rattling light. The Beacon and the Bell are the main tools of this Egg. They, according to wise Max, increase the number of entangled particles in similar, but not completely identical objects. Thus, the soul’s pattern of neural connections of the brain is easily transferred to another, relatively clean bioobject.
I better understand this when I grow up?
Recently I met Marie. The girl is slightly younger than me, dark-haired, thin, but brisk. She was brought to us from another, unknown to me boarding school for reunion with one of the parents.
Marie talked a lot about her moms and dads, showed photos, shared gifts. Most of all she liked being with Miss Elizabeth Reiss, who lives on an island built up by tall skyscrapers – but the month spent with Joe’s dad was just unforgettable. They went to Disneyland, then to the ranch, where there are a lot of horses and ponies.
Marie also talked about the arrangements in her former boarding school. They, it turns out, children do not watch television, but a lot of plush toys, a wide and warm pool, pistachio ice cream is freely available. They teach less than we do. The girlfriend is barely able to draw printed letters. She also has a diary with a lock, but she almost did not write anything.
Marie thinks I’m very smart. Announced to everyone that I am her protector. Well, then, so be it.
Marie somehow thinks that dads and moms are just the ones whose heirs we will become. In general, and I still do not understand what it means to “enter the inheritance.” On the one hand, we have “biological parents” somewhere about whom we do not know anything, and on the other — moms and dads who are all old, or somehow sick, but always kind and caring.
Marie does not ask too complicated questions. When I began to ask about the Contract, she replied that, indeed, she had once been invited to write her name on a sheet with a bunch of words. And, as if offering to stop an unnecessarily complex conversation, the Logos designer put it in my hands.
But I, by the way – like to ask questions and remember new words.
The girl really liked the local game room. She said it was even better than in her former boarding school. Light, spacious and not noisy. We play here together – but I’m quite satisfied with the society of Marie, the doctors who sometimes come to visit us, and two more cats.
Cats we threw Max, from the room, located next to the camera that I already knew, adding that they will not be needed for experiments. Still from this “biological laboratory” we were given old equipment, suitable for games – balls with badges, small gates and feeders, similar to a maze.
The old shabby cat is just a real circus. She knows how to make all kinds of funny things. Of course, she was trained for a long time. Seeing the labyrinth, Jess jumped into it, reached the feeder and pressed the lever. Not waiting for a treat, incensedly hissed, rushed to the balls, shook them face and paws at the gate so that the signs on the balls and baskets exactly matched.
She sat down again, mewed unpleasantly and looked at us questioningly.
A kitten with a torn ear, called my new friend Marcy, does not know anything of the kind. But he is very affectionate, – he climbs on our shoulders, purrs and tickles his mustache.
…The doctors came from the laboratory, muttered that the animals had come to us here by mistake, the experiment is not over yet. They pushed the kitten and cat into a cage, and dragged away with them.
We returned two days later, just as unexpectedly.
It seems that with our pets there have been changes. The old cat stopped, as before, climbing through the labyrinth in search of food, lost all interest in the balls and toy gates. But she became more trustful, and completely stopped sizzling. She tried to climb us to play, but she did not hold her paws, and she fell down.
Marcie, on the contrary, loved the labyrinth, without errors found the right path, pushed the balls into the goal, like a real football player.
We played with balls, cats, cubes “Logo”, ate apples, drank milk. All perfectly! But suddenly she began to cry.
— What’s the matter? Is it because our house has crumbled?
“Dean!” My mom is coming tomorrow. She will take me with her, very far away. The doctors said, we will part, there’s nothing to be done. But, I would like to be friends with you always. Let’s run away from here?
I answered in the sense that the doctors on duty are exaggerating everything, we will meet again. Believe me! Everything, as Max says, will be Excellence.
Marie was a little cheerful, promised to give gifts, which will necessarily bring Mom Raiss, and again began to play.
…This night could not sleep. Although the children here for some reason are considered not too smart, I learned something. Open the doors. Easily! Marie and I showed you how. You just need to click on the worn-out buttons of the electronic lock. Then the light will turn green, click at the door – and you can wander around the body.
I crept along the corridors, quietly, like a cat. As if I knew where I could see my girlfriend again.
Mari went to the turnstile to the exit. She saw me, stopped and said something quickly to her accompanying doctors.
There were on duty orderlies.
— Marie!? – I cried out, I could not think of anything else.
At that moment doors opened at the other end of the corridor. Of them, a very old woman almost crawled out-a pale, thin face, faded eyes, and disheveled gray hair. Something in her seemed familiar. Elizabeth, Marie’s mother? And … not only she.
“Dean, it’s me!” Help me!
What kind of miracles?
The big-time nurse grabbed Miss Elizabeth and dragged her deep into the corridor, despite all her cries. I did not think that with respectable parents, the sponsors of the whole organization of the Heirs, you can behave this way.
When I turned, Marie had already gone somewhere.
All this happened quickly, so that I’m not even sure if it really was. Marie betrayed me? They are like that, girls.
Well, so be it. Soon they will come to me too.
The choice I made. The name on a piece of paper, drawn from the roller coaster of the same leaves in the baseball cap. I signed the document, handed the message to Max, he praised me and sent a message to the one who was lucky today. Alright enough.
It’s time to sleep.
Hello! I’m with you again! Messages are sent around the Globe. Companions, branch directors, middle managers and ordinary employees! I look forward to congratulations on my new birthday!
Salute, my dear dogs! Who is it that growls at me here? Ah, yes, a new smell, without the amber of tobacco and medicines. It is necessary to get used.
Now it is possible, as it was dreamed all these years, to run out into the garden on young feet, to eat the living, torn from the branches by their own hands, apples.
To convene an extraordinary board of directors.
Quit smoking – now it’s easy.
Plan a pleasant trip to an exotic country.
Sim-Sim! Open it! You, too, come in handy, a book with a lock. It is necessary only to pull out several pages with other people’s scribbles – do not disappear, in fact, good!?
It’s nice when, after ninety-eight, you’re twelve again, maybe already, and a half years old. It’s good to be such a mom. Excuse me, how do these boys go to the toilet in a small way? Unusually, of course, but it turns out, extraordinarily convenient.
Of course, I will quickly understand everything. Everything will be, as my doctor says, Excellence! If a person has worked hard with hard work, he is able to solve any problem. The main thing — do not whine, keep your nose in the wind, never give up. Then the whole world will necessarily turn to you face. And, yes, there’s one more thing.
You can eat as much as you want, caviar.
Joe pulled the handle to himself, slightly to the left, to the right and the helicopter, dancing in the air, leveled off.
“We must land in the area of 30–40,” Joe scowled. “Kerosene was twenty-five, almost thirty minutes.” And still need to lubricate the gear of the tail rotor.
“Whose state is this?” – Roger nodded to the plain, covered with millions of bumps and holes.
“Rats, of course,” Joe laughed. – Who else could turn a field into a holey cheese? It took only three weeks of intensive picking.
— Rats? Nonsense. We flew here with François two months ago, with a load for a large community of amphibians. In the Allien-5 sector, mostly crocodiles live, then hippos and turtles.
— Where do you see the channels? Said Joe maliciously. – He handed control to a colleague, straightened his faded helmet on a wet head, took out a broken cigarette from his secret pocket, clapped three times with a homemade lighter, and puffed up. No one. Crocodiles can not live without having to make daily exercise on their smelly ditches. The rats won this fat piece of real estate just a month ago, and now, look, they managed to change everything in their own way.
— Fast work. Well done, “Roger said sadly, and, casually pressing the handle of his knee, again reached for the flight card. – Somewhere here, they say clever people, a rich and ownerless town is flourishing.
“That’s right, son,” Joe said. “But cities in neutral zones are unreliable.” Do you remember the brothers Solyar? those that flew on a frame, trimmed with plywood? Their cow was eating everything from machine oil to collection whiskey. They also decided to refuel from the gas station of the forgotten town.
— So what? Roger asked after a pause.
— Disappeared with the helicopter.
— And still have to take risks. He is justified. – Pilot shoved the card into the interlacing of wires sprouting under the panel, pulled a smoky mouth near the lips and threw it through the hole in the fuselage. “I did not want to talk about it, but in fact, in all our caches there was not a drop of that which is capable of somehow burning.” If we stop fulfilling transport orders, soon the helicopter will be taken away for our debts, and they themselves will be determined by the workers in the possession of the millers. Imagine me, the decrepit Joe Penkin, who were harnessed to the mill wheel of the union of intelligent donkeys for days. Maybe you guys like turning turns like fortunes, but I’m going away from such entertainments.
“You could have warned me,” Roger grumbled. “I’d grab a piece of iron.”
— Why in advance think about the unpleasant? Joe said philosophically. “And about your reputable piece of iron,” in the salon, under Franzois’s leather jacket.
“Everything with her?”
— A bucket of cartridges, all in grease.
— Okay. Sit down. There is nothing to do.
The helicopter laid a bend over a strip of forest, dropped to the tops of power lines and rushed along the highway, scattering dust clouds and crumpled cardboard boxes. This maneuver was practiced by the Solari brothers, claiming that he introduces the inhabitants of an unfamiliar place to a state of panic.
“Local if they are, will they take us for a van of bandits?”
— Will they barricade the road?
— And we meanwhile we will make a semicircle, and we will calmly milk the gas tanks on the opposite end of the city?
“Will this help?”
— I do not know.
Roger snatched up the notebook and began to scribbly scoop the oiled pages with the stub of a chemical pencil.
“Whole crop circles,” Joe cursed softly. – Hedgehogs in the mating season rush around the spikelets and display meaningless patterns. It’s time to shoot them, poison parasites with dead fertilizers “Transform-10”. The colonies of people they caused considerable damage. When do you, Roger, stop believing in the messages from above?
— These drawings are all more complicated. That’s a warning, Josh.
— From whom?
“Of aliens, of course.” Look at these ovals, connected by curved lines. If we imagine that they are signs of reason, entering infinity, denoted by three rhombuses …
Joe pulled the handle so hard that the facade of the multi-storey building seemed to be a continuation of the highway for a moment. A flock of smoldering pigeons flew from the split windows. In the salon of the helicopter something terrible crashed into the wall, rolled over the skin and spread in the air with a long reverberating ringing.
“I’m going to throw up now,” Roger groaned. “How tiresome these maneuvers are!”
“And I was hoping you would be distracted from gloomy thoughts,” the senior pilot smiled humorously. “But, look, look, is it not a gas station near the e … supermarket?”
“It’s a garbage carrier,” Roger said quickly. – If the books do not lie, on such wheelbarrows they used to transport containers with waste.
— What for?
— Well, that did not interfere near the house.
— Is not it easier to burn garbage in the yard? Or to prikopat? And it is better to leave it in reserve?
“I’m not stuck, either,” Roger sighed. “Well, there are wild rats in the garbage.” Or poisonous insects.
“It’s easier to negotiate with rats than with pigs,” Joe authoritatively stated, thrust his hand into the socket of the wiring and, taking out the cracked polarizing glasses from there, hoisted it to his nose. “You know, Laurie and Peak are our faithful friends.” You can not talk about all rats scornfully. This is the first sign of non-tolerance.
— The right canned food! — Roger, dismantling the inscriptions on the tags, sat with the butt of a plywood box, which, dryly grunted, showed lines of cans with coiled labels.
“A dirty trick,” Joe sniffed. – Of course, they are spoiled.
— Why? – Roger on a cowboy stuck a knife in the jar, licked the blade. – For thirty or even fifty years of storage nothing happens to them. Botulinum toxins, they develop when … Look, beans, kidney beans, sweet corn, mushrooms, soybeans and even … he lowered his voice … pork. Yes, here, probably, any such forbidden remains. Let’s check.
Roger quickly galloped along the steep escalator to the top floor. Here he saw the crooked racks, stationery, faded cards and rolling globes rolling on the hollowed-out floor.
— Oops! The pilot exclaimed exultantly. He threw the shooter behind his back, squatted and, surprisingly like a large rat, began to raptly heave piles of papers.
“Why do we need this waste paper?” We must firmly stand on the ground. We take the most calorie food and quickly leave.
“Look, there are beautiful heifers, brand new cars, tricky equipment.” Roger was shocked with a bunch of magazines. – And there are articles about aliens. Nonsense, of course, but amusing. The world of the past is just a colored dream after a glass of antifreeze.
After an hour the salon filled with trophies; banks, bottles and yellowed leaves, on which schemes of organic molecules alternated with photos of seductive beauties. Roger screwed the buckets, filled with engine oil, so that they do not roll over.
“It’s done,” said Joe contentedly. – We fly home, clever.
— Solari!? Dugong! Luke! – Roger cheerfully cursed, with a grating put the shooter on the fuse. “What are you doing here?”
“We want to,” Luke replied rudely. – How are you?
“They were going to look out for your bodies and spare parts, but there was no kerosene.” Actually, here we are about this. Alla and Ellina managed to make new friends. So, with your cowboy misfortune?
“Nothing special,” Luke grumbled. “The injector seems to be clogged.” The reducer thunders like gravel. Banks flow. Our aircraft needs urgent repairs, and you will help us. Pilots are brothers, after all. Do not you want to look at the malfunction? Luke looked inquiringly at the aviators.
The pilots circled the enchanting barkhans from cars, iron, rusty shields, lampposts, garbage cans and wire twisted by flames mixed with past shocks.
When Dugonja was behind Roger, he very deftly grasped the machine gun by the belt and swung it aside. A metal thing, with a grunt like a vicious cursing, jumped off the concrete curb and dived under the belly of a long truck.
“You are … what?” – Roger produhdalal was dumbfounded.
“Yes, brother,” Solyar smiled apologetically. “We were instructed to do it without stupidity.” In general, we all were lucky. Welcome to the Citizens’ Society of Winville.
Piles of wooden cubes on the streets, as if by a click of an ultrasonic whistle, inaudible by the human ear, roared and twitched. Earlier they could be taken for piles of rubbish, in artistic disorder piled along the roadside. But that was the house of the novus. Soon new people appeared themselves. For some time they were ominously silent. Then they moved towards the pilots, fingering almost synchronously, like a multi-legged insect.
When the night fell with a huge black sack, the mill’s wheel stopped with a vile squeak. Joe unbuttoned the harness strap and waved to the corner of the pit without a hitch, on the gray heap of rags and papers that served as a bed. In a second the old pilot snored.
Roger, left alone, realized that he would not sleep today. I wanted to chat uncontrollably. How did the people get here? What is the future facing? He knew that in three or four weeks such work would be silenced, he would walk like a blind horse, without a glimpse of thought, in a circle, twirl the grindstone of the mill, swallow dust, wipe the sweat. Without rest, without sleep, until it falls, forever throwing back the hooves.
He threw back the strap, sighed sadly and sat down on the box of canned food.
Adhere to the bottle with a broken neck.
“It’s an ugly drink,” he said deliberately loudly, rinsed his throat and poured water into a pitcher for washing.
Joe was speechless.
“As long as there are strengths, we must think about escaping,” Roger said cheerfully. “Those who are seized by such labor do not live long.
Joe rolled over to the other side.
Roger was left all alone.