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A cozy place by the river. A couple in love is kissing sweetly. A long-running cloud did not frighten young hearts. A hot summer day was softened by a wet wind creating ripples on the water. An unexpected clap of thunder forced the couple in love to break away from such an important occupation. Large raindrops created circles on the water. — Lets run! The girl grabbed the guy by the hand and dragged him with all her strength towards the village. Her clockwork eyes forced her to obey and carried her away. This time the guy resisted and dragged the girl with him to a nearby tree. — You, what. Is it possible to hide under a tree during a thunderstorm? We need to run home urgently. This thundercloud will get us soaked to the skin. The guy looked, smiling at the cute girl, whose face was covered with freckles.

— So what. Let him wet. The guy answered with a kind smile. He was amused by the naivety and docility of the girl. Varya hesitantly let go of her hand in the hope that the guy would follow her. Gena did not move from his place, continuing to stand under the tree.

— What are you doing? You cannot do that. Let us go home. The rain broke out with such force that drops of water dripped from the tips of Varya’s long braids. The sundress stuck to the body, hugging the piquant figure of the girl. Lush breasts and hips attracted the person’s attention. Varya could not help noticing this and no longer knew where to run, hide under a tree with Gena, or run home and dry her hair despite the downpour.

— «You’re wet anyway!» Come here! Varya took a few uncertain steps and jumped under a fluffy umbrella made of thin birch branches with fluffy leaves. The foliage created protection, preventing large raindrops from passing, forcing them to gently flow down their thin leaves.

— What a madman you are. You know I have to be home. Parents will be worried.

— «You’ll have another home soon. It is time to break away from the custody of parents.

— «I’m not eighteen yet. The girl said jokingly.

— This formality will pass with time. The guy answered with the same joke.

The downpour abruptly stopped as well as it started. The air smelled of ozone. A not so wet guy came out from under a fluffy umbrella, the birch branches that touched him sprinkled his clothes. My hands were covered with goosebumps. Without giving any sign that it was not pleasant to him, Gena took off his slates and stepped on the wet grass. — It smells like ozone. What are you going to do? The girl asked with a puzzled look.

— Swim! After a thunderstorm, the water is warm. Do you want to come with me?

— Of course not. You know I cannot swim. Gena resolutely stripped down to his underpants and jumped into the water. Varya stood on the shore with a pleading look and waited impatiently for him to come up. Looking at the smooth surface of the water, she tugged at the edge of the wet dress trying to wring it out. — Where are you? The girl screamed painfully. There was silence in response. Varya was covered with goosebumps, wiping her tears; she wanted to call for help. Wet hands grabbed her from behind and dragged her to the pond. Braking with her feet and screaming loudly, the girl resisted.

— Okay. Yours took it. Stand and freeze. Gena made a second dive upside down. Varya, with dirty feet from the traces of dew left behind, was putting herself in order. Wet hair highlighted a bright red color. The glimpses of the sun dispelled the cold that had come. Varya no longer waited imploringly, looking at the water. She firmly knew that her fiancé would come up and definitely make himself felt. Having loosened her braids, standing next to the removed shorts and T-shirts, the girl was waiting for the return of her almost husband. A wet green sundress and wavy hair emphasized her Russian beauty. The sun hid behind the newly arrived clouds. A clap of thunder hit with such force, the earth shook, car alarms could be heard from afar. The clouds were gathering into a funnel. Varya looked around in expectation that Gena would definitely scare her by jumping out of the bushes. The reeds rustling in the wind broke the silence.

— Where are you? Varya spoke loudly with irritation in her voice. In response, silence and the rustling of dry branches of reeds sounded. Taking Gena’s things in her hand, she resolutely walked into the houses that were visible. — I will remember you. Walk around the village in your underpants. The enraged Varya grumbled, but a chill crept into her soul. The inner calmness did not allow us to go forward. Moving a few steps away from the river, Varya concentrated on the birch tree under which they had been hiding a few minutes ago. — Come out. Let us go home. I am freezing. The girl was calling her boyfriend in a firm and resolute tone. The guy didn’t respond. — It is not funny to me. I am leaving. The wind shook the drops from the trees. The reeds were leaning towards the water. Ripples ran on the transparent surface of the water, creating an incomprehensible pattern. Not believing in the disappearance of the Genes, the girl hesitated in place. Not daring to go without him, she really did not know what to do anymore. It has been about ten to fifteen minutes since Gena disappeared. Not wanting to realize what had happened, Varya, with her legs bent and tears flowing, wandered to the village. Her hoarse voice was calling for help. But no one heard her. Only they knew this abandoned place. Hoping that at least someone would hear her, Varya continued to call for help. The roofs of the houses gave hope for timely assistance. Only silence said that — EVERYTHING. It is over. Tears flooded the girl’s face. Not seeing the corpse, but not seeing Gena alive, Varya did not want to take the pain of loss into her soul. To the right of the landing, the noise of a car engine and the voices of people could be heard. — Help me! Varya shouted with the last of her strength. And headed in the direction from which the sounds came.

— What happened? Not seeing the interlocutor, the girl realized by the voice that it was a young man.

— Drowned! Varya stretched out in response and sat down on her knees sobbing. The girl’s face was smeared with dirt. Wiping her tears with her hands, she smeared dirt on her cheeks. Three guys and two girls came running to her cry.

— Who drowned? Where? When? The company asked questions. Varya only dimly heard voices, it seemed to her that there were blurry spots in front of her, and she no longer knew who and what to answer. Her strength was leaving her. A young company with dirty bare feet and hands quickly figured out which direction to move in. Varya only heard the splash of water and the roll call. — Did you find it?

— No. Water splashing again. Varya sat motionless on her knees, hoping that Gena would return.

— He always came back. She whispered with a blue trembling lip. As a result, the roll call ended.

— I found it! Gena’s body lay motionless. The guys pumped out the water and looked at each other. — The guy was lucky. Zippy! Varya could not believe her ears. From the shock experienced, the head did not work, the body did not obey. — Get the first aid kit; he has a huge wound on his leg. As if, there was no infection. The wound actually turned out to be deep, usually after such a small scar remains, blood oozed out of it.

— Blood will wash away all germs!

— Don’t be smart. It was getting dark. The moon has risen. The full moon hung so close; from afar, it seemed that it was clinging to the roof of the house.

— Girl, get in the car. We will take you home. Do not be afraid. Varya had nothing to fear anymore. More precisely, she was not afraid to get into the car, she was afraid to go home. The car managed to be pushed out of the rut, the crowded back seat made itself felt. Barely budging from the spot, the car slowly crawled along the landing. Varya was shaking so much, as if she was drowning herself and was taken out of the ice hole. Fellow travelers walked behind, accompanying the car as an honorary guard.

Bursting into tears on the chest of Gena’s mother, Varya could not explain anything. The fellow travelers had no choice but to explain everything themselves– — The main thing is that he remained alive. Varya sighed with relief. It was a hard night. After the horror, both families did not sleep. Gena was breathing heavily, and you could say he was dozing. He was not asleep, but he was not awake either. The dog howled at the moon all night, until dawn, catching up with horror and anguish. — A full moon is a bad sign.

— Don’t say anything. And so, not everything is good. The July night was tiring with its heat. In addition to the horror experienced, everyone wanted to drink from the heat. Gena was just suffocating. His mother was wetting his face with water.

— I should have taken him to the hospital right away. She said reproachfully. Look at him.

— He was normal. It was he who got sick the night before. Let us take him right now. Mother ran around the house collecting things and documents. My father was preparing the car. Going to Gena’s bed to help him get up, the parents discovered that their son was missing.

The whole village of Goreloe took part in the search for Gena. No one remained indifferent. Police and volunteers were scouring everywhere. No one could understand where and how the barely standing man disappeared. There was no limit to the grief of the parents. My mother tore her hair; my father was constantly going somewhere and returning in the evening.

The village of Goreloe is a nice provincial village. This is one of the prosperous villages of the Tambov region. Its territory stretches for several kilometers along the main road. As a rule, there were no emergencies in this village, as well as any criminal showdowns.

The Tsna River itself is a river in the Tambov and Ryazan regions of Russia, a left tributary of the Moksha (Volga basin). The length of the river is 451 km; the catchment area is 21,500 km2. It is formed by the confluence of the White Ples and Wet Peak rivers. This is a calm flat river, heavily regulated by dams, navigable in places from Tambov itself. There are five dams with locks from Tambov to Morshansk. The first is in the village of Tambov Forestry. The second one is near the village of Goreloe.

Varya lived these days in fear. She was terrified of the dark, being alone, rain, thunderstorms, the sound of running water from the tap. Her mother thought it was a shock after the experience, and it would soon pass. Varya did not think so. She felt Gena’s presence in her house, and she was sure that it was so. The thunderclaps frightened her. She could not just hear that sound anymore. Pressing her palms to her ears and closing her eyes, the girl imagined that she was in another, safer place. Varya’s father believed that his daughter simply needed to change her place of residence. –You are exaggerating.

— She is not getting married anymore. This gene is not known where and with whom. Accordingly, she has nothing to do here. Let him go to Tambov. A change of friends and surroundings that is what she needs now. Not hiding in corners.

— Do you think so? Maybe you are right.

The wooden house, embedded in the ground, looked like an old mushroom, covered with foliage. Varya did not notice the old age of her house. All her thoughts were occupied with the impending marriage. Of course, she was not going to live in her parents’ house all her life. Her future husband’s house remained unfinished. Gena’s parents were building, trying to make it to the wedding. Varya looked out of the window at the uncovered roof of the ghost house standing opposite. Sometimes she saw Gena, through the unglazed windows. Believing that it was a figment of her imagination, the girl did not tell anyone about it. Varya’s parents’ house was so old that the smell of mold could be felt from the threshold. This smell permeated all the clothes in the house. I had to take things outside and ventilate in the wind or dry in the sun. One day Varya, as usual, was sitting on her bed and looking out the window at her unfinished house, so to speak. The boring smell of mold did not cause trouble. This was considered the norm. Varya did not notice how fumes began to emanate from the mold. Varya looked out the window trying to see Gena, but Gena did not appear. Dark green vapors fumigated the room. As soon as Varya saw this smoke, she immediately screamed. Her parents came running to her screeching. — What happened? Since the appearance of the parents, the green smoke has disappeared. Varya sat motionless with a frightened look. — I said it is not normal. The girl urgently needs to be sent from here to a more favorable place.

— Let’s wait for 1 September. And we’ll rent an apartment for her. It was decided that Varya would go to study hairdressing courses. It was the end of August. The gene never appeared. Varya’s condition remained unchanged; the girl was in deep depression. — We have to wait. It will pass soon. Father and mother could not find a common language. A superstitious father and a realistic mother looked at things differently. Two days later, Varya was taken to Tambov, to a comfortable apartment. The mother stayed with her for a couple of days so that the girl would not be so lonely. — When you find yourself a girlfriend, you will go for a walk with her.

— I am not going for a walk. I will never walk again. Varya looked like a zombie.

— You have eighteen-year-olds coming up. Go to a cafe. My mother was afraid to mention sitting at home with her friends. Varya said nothing. She did not even show interest in what she heard. Her mother’s predictions came true, Varya found a neighbor very quickly. Perhaps this was justified by the fear of being alone in the apartment. — You see! And a neighbor was found.

— It was not she who was found, but I found her. The mother did not object to the girl. Afraid to press the wrong button. After talking with a friend, Zinaida spent another night and went home. Varya practically did not go outside. Her depressive state continued throughout September. Varya spent the warmest days of autumn locked up. Her friend could not bear such imprisonment and often ran away to the street to have more fun.

— I am telling you, she sits on the couch all night.

— She is that sick.

— No. She is kind of a widow.

— When did I have time? She is not even eighteen yet.

— It will be soon.

Staying alone in the apartment, Varya left the lights on in all the rooms. The fear did not go away. The girl was afraid to look out the window, go into the bathroom. It seemed to her that Gennady was walking everywhere. Tired of her persecution, she sometimes just wanted to look at the beautiful view from the window. But as soon as I went to the window, Gena’s image was imprinted on the window like a self-portrait. The girl just had to use the bathroom, because there was a toilet there. Varya had to leave the door open, it helped to overcome fear. One day, the bathroom door slammed shut for unknown reasons, Varya felt sick from fear. She ran screaming into the room and sat down on the sofa. Varya interpreted all these incomprehensible phenomena as an accident, and a state of shock after experiencing memories. One day she was brushing her teeth, turning on the tap instead of water, evaporation came out of the gander. After dissolving, water droplets dripped from the mirror, and the folding body of Gena in underpants was clearly visible in the cracks. Varya threw down her toothbrush and ran out of the bathroom. — What happened? Another vision? A friend went into the bathroom. — Why did you let off so much steam? Do you wash yourself with boiling water? Opening the water, to the bewilderment of a friend, barely warm water poured out of the tap. — I do not understand anything. Okay, I am sorry.

Varya always slept facing the window. She liked the view from the window, and the always-shining lantern dispelled fear. Of course, the apartment was one-room, friends slept separately. Over time, they became friends, and Dasha managed to get something out of the depressed Varya. — Tell me, what do you see? What are you so afraid of?

— I know he did not leave. Something strange happened to him.

— How did you understand that?

— «I can see him. No one sees him except me.

— Honestly, you are scaring me. And he won’t come for me?

— Why? He does not need you.

— And you? Do I need you?

— I do not know. I do not know what these phenomena are. Maybe I am imagining it all. Maybe there is nothing.

— How do you see him?

— All these phenomena are connected with water. Most often, this happens when there are vapors. It appears in the form of dampness. Drops on the glass, damp mold, and fogged mirror.

— So your missing boyfriend is a molecule. After a short silence, Varya replied, «it seems that, yes. That’s the way it is.»

— You are scaring me. The friend looked askance at Varya. After these stories Dasha heard, it became creepy to be next to Varya in this apartment. Suggestion itself played a big role. From that moment on, Dasha also began to leave the door ajar when she washed in the bathroom and went to the toilet. And to stay alone for the night, without Varya, this was out of the question.

1. Rebirth

October came. Autumn turned out to be warm. A bright pattern of trees decorated the city. Early twilight enveloped the city; this did not prevent locals and students from taking walks along the embankment, or just strolling in parks and squares. In sparsely populated areas, as a rule, after dark, residents sit in their homes. The streets are dull and empty. Only occasionally does someone leave their house to get some fresh air or go to the neighbors.

The coast of Tsna plunged into an autumn dream. The smooth surface of the river reflected the bright moon, so that you could see the curly autumn foliage of the trees. A fallen leaf broke the dead peace. As soon as he touched the water, small ripples appeared. At the same moment, something very incomprehensible came out of the water. This something very incomprehensible came out so abruptly, leaving no drops behind. Standing up to its full height and stretching out, the creature looked at the moon. The autumn color of the moon passed through his transparent neon body. According to the biological description, it was a transparent person similar to a water molecule, having no sex, hair, eyelashes, and nails. One could even say that this person did not have eyes; there were depressions in this place that had the same transparent color of water and two glowing purple dots. Having a large consistency, this creature can be attributed to the male sex. Thanks to the moonlight, his body glowed with neon. The molecule walked confidently towards the village.

Varya celebrated her eighteenth birthday with her classmates in the class. Despite the persuasions of her friends and parents, Varya remained not old. — I am not up to it.

— Well, at least so. I thought our daughter would go into seclusion.

— Yes, you are right. It is good that she at least agreed to this.

In the evening Varya took a shower, forgetting about mourning for a moment. There were helium balloons hanging in the house. In the cut-off bottle, there was a bouquet of flowers, presented by classmates. Turning off the water and wrapping herself in a towel, Varya took a toothbrush and squeezed out the paste. After looking in the mirror, the girl took a few steps back and fell into the doorway left open. — What happened? Varya pointed to the mirror with tears in her eyes. The misted mirror displayed an inscription written with a finger — «happy birthday.»

— It is his handwriting. Seeing the obvious, the friend abruptly closed the bathroom door.

— «I’ve seen everything now. You cannot stay here. Get dressed, we are leaving.

— Where to? Think about it, how did he get here? Did I bring it in my bag?

— «You’re right. But you can’t stay here.

— You go, and I am staying. The friend did not know what to do better. Leave or stay. What she saw horrified her; there was no doubt that these marks on the mirror were not the work of Varya. The self-suggestion sown made itself felt, Dasha wanted to escape further from this horror. To relieve herself of responsibility, the girl called Varya’s mother. Zinaida arrived by taxi quickly enough.

— Do we have to do something about it? I will take you to a psychologist.

— Yeah. And take Dasha with you.

— You scared her with your horror stories. The man could not stand it, and was forced to leave his home in the middle of the night.

— It is still a long way to night.

— Okay. We will wait until morning. You will go to classes, and I will go in search of a psychologist. Yes, and we need to go to church, maybe it will help. Varya did not argue with her mother. Realizing that only she sees her delirium. Although Dasha saw the same thing. Only Varya did not know whether she believed her or not.

Varya was lying curled up. The windows were covered with thick curtains. — Of course you are scared. Look out the window all night. It is harmful. Varya listened to her mother’s lamentations in silence. With her arrival, the fear passed. The girl felt protected. With the arrival of night, the apartment was enveloped in darkness. Tightly closed curtains enhanced the effect of darkness. About two o’clock in the morning there was a bang of a loudly closed bathroom door. Zinaida abruptly jumped out of bed, Varya remained motionless, knowing whose handiwork it was. — What is it?

— It is a closed bathroom door.

— I closed it. I remember it perfectly.

— So I closed it badly. Varya replied in a calm tone.

— Yes, but to close it, you need to open it and close it with all you might. Zinaida reasoned.

— I know. Varya answered calmly.

— No. First, I go to church, then a psychologist. Varya grinned, but did not answer. The girl did not fall asleep after the door slam. Varya was not interested in the memorial service, and so on. The girl realized that this would not help. Her fiance does not want to leave her alone, and she decided to find out why. Going to church, a psychologist, to some extent made themselves felt. Dasha returned in the hope that the horror stories had stopped. Zinaida did not mention the horror story that she had to go through at night. — I hope this is a misunderstanding. She thought.

November was making itself felt. Early winter enveloped Tambov with a light snow fluff. Instead of early twilight, early night was falling on the city. — Let’s go for a walk.

— In this cold?

— You are funny. What a cold. It is fun outside. The first snow fell.

— And why not. The girls dressed and went outside. Their rented apartment was located on Internatsionalnaya Street not far from the railway station. On the parallel Krasnaya Street, a five-minute walk away, there was the Elite studio, where Varya and her friend studied hairdressing.

— Let’s go to the train station, there are ours.

— «Come on,» Varya said indifferently. Dasha managed to get Varya out for a walk for the first time in all these two months of their acquaintance. The evening at the closed fountain in a cozy company flew by unnoticed. In winter, the fountain did not work, but it continued to gather companies on its beautiful benches. Varya forgot herself, fear faded into the background.

— It is warm outside. The guy spoke, letting the vapors out with his mouth.

— Minus 1oC.

— It is warm.

Varya stood modestly, keeping to the side. No one pressed the girl, knowing her state of mind. Varya’s attention was fixated on large snowflakes. Too large flakes similar to feathers fell precisely between two large fir trees. — What did you see there? Varya pointed at the cereal with her eyes. — It is strange how it is. The first snowfall this year was fine and soft. Continuing to fall, he resembled a fine fluff.

— It is just an abnormal phenomenon. What are you inflating so much? The large flakes were left alone. The evening continued. Varya took her attention away from the snow for a minute. Looking again to make sure that it was just a weather phenomenon, Varya was amazed. The flakes flew apart in a spray of water. It was as if a large glass jar with water had broken. The molecules that fell on the snow quickly joined into one large pile, similar to a viscous liquid, transparent in color with glowing neon crystals. Varya did not advertise what she saw and continued to observe carefully. — Varya!

— Leave her alone. A man admires the first snow. What is the big deal?

The liquid was moving towards the fountain with funny jumping movements. It was like pouring from bucket to bucket. When she reached the fountain, she merged into the hole. — Colossal!

— What?

— No, well, admiring the first snow is colossal.

— Varya! Do not joke like that! The guys laughed heartily. They did not offend Varya. She was thinking of something else entirely. After standing a little longer, the company began to go home. One of the guys went to see the girls home. Having brought the girls to the entrance, he went home.

— We had a great walk. Dasha was undressing briskly, and rejoiced at the evening spent.

— Yes. I liked it too. It was fun.

— You will not get bored. You tell me what you saw there.

— Nothing special.

— «You don’t look it. Do not tell me if you do not want to.

— You will sleep better. Varya thought to herself. The night became Varya’s best friend. It was at night that she could put her thoughts in order and get in touch with Gena. One thing she understood for sure was that these phenomena were not a figment of her imagination. A gene is something mystical, cosmic, or chemical. Just this. It had to be found out. Only how? Varya realized that Gena could not exist without water. So, in order to establish contact with him, you need to be near water. –What happened to him?» That night Varya wanted to go to the bathroom and establish contact with Gena. Dasha interfered with her plans. Varya knew that Dasha would not let her stay in the bathroom alone for such a long time with the water tap open. — I will try in the afternoon.

In the afternoon, Varya was looking for a way to get rid of her friend and come home earlier. Dasha, suspecting nothing, did not attach importance to Varya’s words and joined the company going to the pizzeria. — Maybe with us?

— Another time.

— «I knew it. Varya giggled. — That is better.

— What is wrong with her? She is changing.

— I noticed it too. Probably, mourning is passing.

Varya flew home like a tornado, not noticing passers-by and the traffic light signal. Casually taking off her shoes and without taking off her outerwear, she turned on the faucet. Warm water flowed in a rapid stream gradually feeding hot water. The long-awaited moment has come. Hot water heated the bathroom, the tiles and the mirror fogged up. Varya closed the door and, overcoming her fear, waited for the appearance of Gena. Shaking with fear and looking around, she waited for him to act. — Are you here? Gena are you here. The bathroom cracked as if shards of crystal had been poured into it. Varya was looking attentively at the bottom of the tub. Neon shards tried to come together into one, but it was difficult. The liquid was not viscous and tried to leak into the drain. Varya quickly plugged the drain and turned off the water. Three minutes later, a transparent statue in the shape of a man appeared in front of Varya. Neon crystals were not noticeable, the lighting interfered. The transparent man defiantly came out of the bathroom and pressed the switch. Closing the door behind him, he lit up the room. Varya was convulsively silent. She did not want to run away from fear, or the house of God to cast out a demon. Varya first of all wanted to believe in what she saw, to make sure that she had not gone mad, and of course to touch the mystical Gene standing next to her. Gena was the first to take her hand. Varya did not resist. «Is that really you?» The transparent statue nodded in agreement. The touch did not live up to its expectations. Varya was waiting for warmth. The hand was not icy, but it was not hot either. Not understanding his body temperature, Varya continued to study his essence. Seeing her hand through his, she entered the game. It was like a magnifying glass with dried flowers inserted inside, the dried flowers were purple crystals. — How did this happen? Gena shrugged his shoulders. The slam of the front door forced him to pour into the bathroom. Varya forgot to open the valve, but Gena did it himself. The sound of the switch, the harsh lighting hit my eyes.

— What are you doing here?

— What are you doing here?

— You do not answer the phone. You are sitting in the toilet without a light.

— «I want to make sure I’m not afraid of the dark.»

— Good idea. Is that why you ran home?

— Yes.

— And how? Did it work?

— I think so. You scared me.

— I am sorry. Varya ran her eyes questioningly over the bottom of the bathroom. — What are you looking for?

— Nothing. I will see if it is clean. Can clean it.

— You had better go to the pizzeria, desperate homemaker.

The cold was getting worse. Since 15 November, the air temperature has dropped to minus 5oC. Students ran to classes without hats, pressing their shoulders. Varya and Dasha went to class slowly, proud of the fact that their apartment is five minutes from the place of study. At night, the cold was much more noticeable than during the day. In the village of Goreloe, local old-timers, preparing for the upcoming frosts, have long insulated their sheds and cellars. The water in the river became icy every day. In the early morning, the dried grass and tree branches were covered with frost. Bullfinches complemented such a charming autumn landscape. Bullfinches were not afraid of an incomprehensible creature looking at them. Perhaps they did not really understand who or what was looking at them. The huge molecule was beginning to realize that the impending climatic conditions were not suitable for him. It became more and more difficult to enter the water every time. The same thing happened on land, when his body was covered with frost for a long time, purple particles became colorless. A mystical being named Gena is faced with a serious problem. — You need to get out of here, but where? Diving into the water, he knew how to do it; a transparent creature with a speed of 80 miles per hour was rushing through the night.

It was already light enough when the transparent Gene made a stop. Coming out of the water, he did not understand where he was. — Here I got carried away. To his surprise, it was slightly warmer on this earth than on Tambov. — Where am I? The transparent man was spinning awkwardly, spreading his arms. Accordingly, no one saw or heard him. There was no time for bait and Gene fearlessly jumped into the water. This time he swam much slower, so he did not feel the cold and most importantly, this swimmer did not know where he was swimming. His speed was 40 miles per hour. The total travel time was about eighteen hours. Deciding to make a stop and understand where he is transparent, the guy waited for the night. The night was his only and irreplaceable friend. Hunger made itself felt and plunging into cold water, the guy started hunting. Raw fish was not to his taste. He resorted to this food in case of emergency. For some reason, this mutant did not lose its taste qualities and secretly ate food from his beloved and extremely rarely in his parents’ house. He did not need food as often as an ordinary person. Food was a source of energy for him, if we say in ordinary language, food is a battery. When the battery ran out, a new one was needed, since the old one could not be replaced, because it simply did not exist. Unlike an ordinary person, the «new» Gene did not go to the toilet, he did not need it. All the supplies were spent on energy consumption. And of course the most important thing is that our hero in his past life loved to eat very much, and he transferred the taste qualities to a new life. Gene loved a protein product — cutlets, fish, which is not a little important, and so maybe something else for the assortment. Sweets were completely excluded from his diet. His diet could be attributed to the family of predatory fish. After finishing a couple of crucians, Gena went back to the shore.

The companion night and the mystical luminary moon accompanied their lonely mutant to the city. Having reached the nearest settlement in plav, Gena realized that this was a city. When he came ashore, he realized that this was the central Embankment. — Where am I? His appearance could lead to a cardiac arrest of any person except Varya. Thanks to his ability to dissolve, Gena could avoid a collision with anyone. The embankment of an unknown city captivated a young guy with its nocturnal beauty. Gena walked slowly, forgetting about the subzero temperature. Gradually, his body began to stiffen. — Oh, shit. That is what I needed. In order not to freeze, he started running. If you take it on camera, then from the outside it looked like a photomontage, or fiction. Although it was. The «new» Gene is fantastic. It is something that could not exist, but it existed. Gena himself did not believe in his existence until one of the beautiful days for him, he made his way to his home to refresh himself and looked at himself in the mirror. His appearance made him accept reality and believe in himself. — I exist. He told himself. Considering that he could not speak. In fact, the Gene belonged to the fish family. He could not live without water, even though he did not have gills. He could not talk, only think and think. And of course he learned to eat raw fish. Having reached the nearest cafe, Gena was looking for a way to get into it. Of course, he found it — it was a sewer. Life forced him, and Gene disappeared into the sewer manhole.

Fortunately, the Genes cafe worked all year round. It was clean, cozy and warm inside. Quickly warming up, he also took a quick shower. After a shower, he replenished his wasted reserves and stretched out quite warm at the battery. Dawn crept through the windows, saying that it was morning. — Morning, it would be better not to come. Where to now? Now you need to understand where I am. Gena walked around the entire building, got to the menu and examined all the available documentation; he realized that he was in Ryazan. — Ryazan is cool. Gena, in his position, no longer thought about the future. Considering himself a mutant, he assumed that he would live forever. From the moment of transformation, he no longer counted down the time. His only not that binding, rather commitment was Varya. He considered himself guilty before her. Without listening to her, he brought himself to such a state and crossed out her life. The only thing he could do for her was to take care of her future, protect her from danger, help her erase herself as the past and allow her to become happy.

The information that he is now in Ryazan prompted Gena to think, why he should not have some fun. His transparent appearance allowed him to do this. Gena decided to take full advantage of the situation. With the arrival of the staff, Gena was able to get out into the street through the back door. There was swearing in the cafe — why were the walls and floors wet in the shower, and where did the meat go? Gena listened to this altercation with satisfaction, although he had no choice but to remain satisfied with his work. When he went outside, he was faced with the cold. Studying his new body, Gena realized that the cold is his enemy. Hot water also had a negative effect on his body, it dissolved, one might even say killed his molecules. After freezing, the Gene could restore its body, return to its original state, but there is no hot water after that. He was dying. Gena did not know about it. He considered himself immortal and was proud of it. When he went out into the street, he did not see a single passerby, and this suited him well. When he reached the intersection, he went out into a crowded street, thinking that this would help him. Taking the form of a liquid heap, it spread out over the snow playing with colors, shimmering from blue to purple. It was easy to do in the cold. Having reached the nearest clothing store, Gena realized that the day was not his companion; it would not be possible to get inside and try on outfits. In the same way, but at an accelerated pace, he rolled to the Embankment and jumped into the water right from a running start. The locals saw this picture, but did not dare to assert what they saw because no one understood anything. Water is his home. Gena did not come up for a long time to calm the panic. The audience dispersed, referring to the vision and someone to the space aliens. Gena basked, despite the cold, waiting for the night. As soon as it got dark, he went in search of a supermarket. In his case, it was the best way out. Auchan pleased his eyes and welcomed him warmly. It was not difficult for him to hide among the clothes; it was exactly what he needed.

As night fell, the lights went out in the store. The darkness did not frighten him, but on the contrary pleased him. Gena felt like a king in the night. He could afford anything. At least that is what he thought. Having tasted the best products, Gena began to try on outfits. Having selected everything he needed, he began to think how he could take it all out of the store. The clothes prevented the descent through the sewer hole. After spending the night in the warehouse and taking a shower from time to time, Gena waited for the morning. Finally, he realized that he had no choice but to act on the breach and just steal these things. Hiding a bag of things at the main entrance, he waited for the guard to open the store. Having opened the central curtain, the guard and the cashier opened the remaining cash registers. The first impatient customers entered the store. While the staff was lifting the curtains, Gena took a bag of things and ran headlong from the supermarket. Gene ran fast, as well as swam. This speed came to him from the moment of mutation. After running a huge distance, he scared everyone who saw him. Although there were few of them, but Gena was able to light himself up. Auchan workers could not understand what had happened. After drawing conclusions, they realized that something transparent had stolen a package with something from them. Only the night video could annoy Gene. The video clearly shows a transparent man running around the store with glowing crystals inside that look like a small salute or a mini octopus. This video has fallen into the hands of the police. Gena did not know about it.

Gene ran out of the store faster than the wind. When he reached the nearest city trash, he dressed, put on shoes, and covered his face with a bandana. Fortunately, for him, he came across glasses that the cashier left at the checkout. Hat and sneakers. Gene was made up in full, though not for long. After wandering around the city, he realized that he needed a pond. The lack of water was equivalent to a lack of oxygen, although in fact this mutant had no gills. Gena himself did not know why he had such a need for water. Exactly five months have passed since his mutation, but Gena did not understand what happened to him. He has not yet realized that he is no longer human; perhaps he just hoped that over time he would return to normal life. The city dumpster served as a shelter for him. After spending some time there, Gena went in search of a reservoir. In his difficult situation, even swimming in the pond was not easy. Not the right time of year and not the right terrain. Having gone to the outskirts of the Embankment of the street, Gena hid his things and jumped into the water. Not a long swim in the icy water brought him to his senses. About five o’clock in the evening, the Queen of the night came into her own. The darkness warmed the body, which was not yet clear to the mutant. It seemed to him that no one could see or hear him. At his own risk, he still ventured into a night bar, though without a penny to his soul, but he still came in.

After waiting until late in the evening, the door of the night bar opened and an incomprehensible guy entered it. Most of the guests who are waiting for something new and interesting have fixed their eyes on him. The same thing happened to the maintenance staff. Gena was not confused by this, on the contrary, it provoked. Sitting down at a table in the corner, he curiously tried to examine what was happening. The stolen glasses hindered him quite a lot, since they were intended for the visually impaired. Barely making it to the toilet and retiring in a booth, the strange guest took off his glasses. The too warm temperature of the institution adversely affected his condition. Gena did not want to leave, going to the sink and removing the handkerchief from his face, he washed his face. This procedure did not bring him to his senses. Realizing that he was melting, the mutant went outside. The cold air hardened him like steel, returning to the bar, he sat down at the same place. Curious visitors sat down at his table. — Hey, dude! Gena raised his palm approvingly. — How are you? In response, Gena shrugged his shoulders. — Are you dumb? A nod of approval. — It does not matter. Bring the beer over here. You are our friend now. The waiter, delighted with the new order, came running with a tray. — Meet our regular customer now. The girl needed a working smile. Gena, without taking off her gloves, showed that he needed a tube.

After a few sips of beer, Gena felt something incomprehensible. His body began to swell. His clothes were bursting at the seams, and there was nothing he could do about it. Before he could run out into the street, his body burst. Splashes scattered around the establishment. The eyewitnesses sitting nearby saw everything in detail. For some reason, most were not afraid of what they saw, claiming that it was cool! — It was fun, the visitors said. After the explosion of the body, the molecules gathered like a magnet into one big pile. Glowing sparks created a bright effect. The mouthguards admired this spectacle like a Christmas tree. The bravest dared to touch this miracle. The shrillest huddled in a corner, and the most indifferent filmed sitting on the camera from the phone as a large hybrid pile grows. The incomprehensible glowing pile turned into a transparent person. Looking around, the Gene turned into a piece of dough and with jumping movements poured into the slightly open doorway. The crowd of spectators froze. The administrator called the police. Of course, the police had already recorded the second paranormal phenomenon in the city, but they could not do anything, since it was impossible to catch the jumping dough. After questioning all the witnesses and taking the video, the police went crazy from what they saw.

Gene once again jumped out into the street and ran in an unknown direction. For the first time in his five months of existence, he experienced fear. After making a stop, he panicked and looked out the windows of houses in search of a place to sleep. — Sewage system, empty apartment, pipes. How best to get into the apartment and which one. Coming closer to the new building, he carefully peered into each window. The way through the manhole was not easy. Climbing into one of the apartments, he realized that he did not belong here. A large family ran around the house with noise and shouting, and the head of the family used the toilet, the sound of the toilet lid slamming echoed. Not an easy journey through the pipes continued. After getting out on dry land and opening the door, Gene stumbled upon a pensioner. Fortunately, for him, she did not notice the water inhabitant in her bathroom. His body was in need of reinforcements, and he went to the kitchen at his own risk. Slamming the refrigerator door, Gena violated his secret presence; Grandma was walking down the corridor. Without having time to push the cutlet into himself, this time Gena chose the way through the water tap, this way was certainly cleaner, unlike the sewer. The fallen cutlet, water stains from the legs horrified my grandmother. The poor woman decided that this was the tricks of a brownie and ran to a neighbor for advice. — Oh, you know, I have seen this on TV recently. We do not know who is running around Ryazan. He steals groceries from the store. It looks like he came to refresh himself with you.

— How am I going to spend the night alone? It seems to me that this is a brownie.

— Not a brownie, but a water one.

— What is the difference? This is an evil force.

— Spend the night at my place today, and tomorrow we will see.

Meanwhile, Gena found what he was looking for. A lonely apartment, a lonely woman. No one lived in this apartment, and the refrigerator was filled with food. The first thing he did was replenish his wasted energy reserves. The host turned out to be a skillful cook, Gena liked her potions. Having tried all sorts of different snacks, the vodoroten arranged a tour in a one-room apartment. The apartment was like a museum. Numerous figurines brought from different countries were tastefully arranged on shelves and empty corners. Paintings in the underground style also hung each in its place and fit into the interior. — It is clear why she is so lonely, Gena thought. She is not up to the economy. But, the refrigerator, filled with food, said the opposite and Gena made a second visit. Licking his transparent fingers, the «water» looked at the photos of the landlady of the apartment. — And she is nothing. In the photos, the young woman was actually depicted everywhere alone. Clothes and toiletries said the same thing. The absence of a man smelled everywhere. The heat drowned the transparent mass of the body. Gene watched the drops drip from his biceps. Reluctantly getting up, he went to the bathroom and took an icy shower. The ice shower acted on him like a charge of power. The night spent in this apartment was the only night when Gena rested for the first time and felt safe.

December was approaching. The cold was getting worse. In many regions, the ground was covered with snow. Tambov and Tambov districts were among them. The prolonged absence of Gena suppressed Varya’s state of mind. The girl called her friend at every opportunity, but the friend did not appear. Over time, Varya began to think that all these phenomena and visions were actually a figment of her imagination. Studying was easy for Varya. Relationships with friends and teachers were friendly. Varya had no conflicts with anyone. With the disappearance of Gena, her relationship with Dasha improved; there was no more talk about horror stories and all sorts of dead souls. — What are your plans for the New Year? Varya shrugged her shoulders in response.

— Maybe here in Tambov?

— Together?

— Well, why together. We will invite our own. We will prepare some food. It will be fun. Let us go to the city Christmas tree.

— As an option. Varya answered indifferently.

— A colossal answer. The word colossally entered into circulation in this company from the very moment Varya first uttered it. The guy who laughed at her dragged this word all over the neighborhood. — Does that mean yes? Varya was silent. — Think about it. There is still time.

For Varya, the New Year in her new company was the only option. Since the village of Goreloe scared her. During these three months of living in Tambov, Varya went home only twice. And both times she saw Gena walking around their unfinished house. His external image from afar resembled a ghost, or a dead soul. Anyway, Varya saw him, and believed that his place was there in their house. –Why doesn’t he come to me anymore?» He probably thinks I betrayed him. Our house. Our love, by his departure to Tambov. For Varya, the very return to Goreloe was painful. After all, not long ago she was preparing to become the wife of such a young and enviable groom. It remained to wait for her coming of age and submit an application. That was the only barrier. Now, it is unclear what happened. They were separated not by another, not by death, not by a quarrel. The rain separated them. — It is the rain’s fault. He is the one who separated us. If not for the bathing, nothing would have happened. Varya sorted herself out by comparing the facts. In fact, it was. After the second dive, Gena had to be pulled out of the water in a half-dead state, after which he simply disappeared. Gena disappeared not as a drowned corpse, but as a walking corpse. This story surprised many.

Varya was reviewing this story and thinking about her future. — What will happen next? Where will I go after training? Will I return to Goreloe or will I stay in Tambov? Suddenly Gena will come back. We will get married, just as if we dreamed. Everything will be fine. After all, he has not yet been declared missing. And if he doesn’t come back. What then will be? Do I have to marry someone else? Varya scrolled through her thoughts in her head. These daily torments exhausted her. She did not show it. Outwardly, she was smart and calm. And beautiful in addition. Thanks to these moral torments, Varya did not notice the cavalier, who did not take his eyes off her.

Time passed. Gene lived in a cozy apartment for a couple of days. I came to my senses, gained strength and began to plot a winter route for myself. First, he needed to understand who he was. And how long he will stay in this state. Then where and in which direction he should move. His assistant turned out to be a laptop sitting on the kitchen table. Remembering the day when this gene mutation occurred, he clearly remembered that when he was lying in bed, he was overcome by a feeling of thirst. His mother brought him water, but the water did not quench his thirst. His whole body wanted to drink. Every muscle. Every cell. Gena felt like a vampire who did not have enough blood, only water was blood. An irresistible desire made him get out of bed, go and dive into the river. Gene did not go. His legs carried him with lightning speed. His parents did not have time to stop him; he was already far from home. Gena did not remember how he ended up in the water. The river became his home. Gena did not remember how long he had been in the water. But he clearly remembered how he came out of it, and when he saw his transparent hands, he wanted to howl at the moon, but he did not hear his voice. An inner voice howled louder than a dog’s howl. Looking at his body, he did not believe it was him. Gena believed that he had not yet come out of a coma after drowning, and his body was a terrible dream. Trying to wake up, he dived and went ashore. The water pushed him out like a piece of plastic. Gena’s body was weightless. — What happened?

Gene mentally was transported back to the day he drowned. — Thunderstorm. Heavy rain. Varya. I dived. Surfaced. Another thunderstorm. Varya would not let me in. What a good girl she was! He dived again. The end. What happened? Before that, I remember the bandage on my leg. I may have cut off my leg. I would like to know how long I was under water. Maybe no more than ten minutes. Varya knows for sure. Gena was thinking how he could contact Varya. Social network! Gena easily went to his page. — Hello Varya. It is I Gena. Do not panic. Stay in touch. After writing this message, Gena waited for a response, continuing to surf the Internet. — How did I get here? Typing the name of his native river Tsna in which, he became a vodorotnem Gene began to dig further.

— Tsna flows into Moksha, Moksha flows into Oka. Accordingly, I am now in Ryazan. The Oka flows into the Volga. Gena continued to rapidly type information. — Volga — Caspian Sea. The Arctic, Scythian Ocean. Well, I cannot live in the heat.

— Gena is you. Seeing Varya In contact, the Gene crystals shone brighter than usual.

— Yes, I am. I cannot talk. And I can’t write for a long time either. Describe to me exactly the day when I was taken out of the water. Did I have a wound on my leg?

— Strong. A bandage was applied. They have been looking for you for about half an hour.

— I thought less.

— What happened to you?

— I do not know. I want to find out.

— Why did you disappear?

— I cannot be in the cold and in the heat, too.

— Where are you now?

— In Ryazan.

— I will do it later. Varya suddenly disappeared. Dasha came. Gena continued to surf the Internet reading articles related to rain, thunderstorms and lightning. — Maybe I was struck by lightning and I became like this? An article related to radioactive elements aroused his interest. — This is what we need. Straining his memory, Gena tried to remember the moment when he went under the water. — How could I? What happened? I’m a great swimmer. Where did this cut come from? Gena was right, he was a great swimmer. The bleeding wound appeared after the first bath, only Gena did not feel it. Gene usually dived upside down. During the second jump, having gone down with his head, he felt a lump of mucus in both hands. This slime enveloped his body, mixing with his blood. Opening his eyes, he saw purple crystals flying at him from the bottom. The slime prevented him from surfacing, pulling him to the bottom and enveloping his body. The bottom was clearly visible, crystals illuminated it, and the mucus formed a funnel mixed with his blood particles, and pulled him to himself. Gena resisted as much as he could and passed out. Leaning back on the back of the kitchen corner, covering his face with his hand where his eyes are. He partially recalled what had happened and plunged into thought. Gena remembered that day as a farewell to Varya. In fact, it was the last day of his human life, and he spent it with his beloved and only girlfriend. Varya’s words brought him back to reality.

— It smells like ozone.

— Ozone. Be it not okay. Gena continued to search for articles. It took him the whole night. — In short — ozone belongs to some mysterious gas — which was later called «smelling», i.e. ozone. Why don’t I smell?

Another characteristic feature of ozone is its ability to change its color and consistency depending on temperature and pressure. In natural conditions, ozone has a pale purple color. When the pressure increases, this gas turns blue. At a temperature of -111.9° C, ozone condenses into an unstable liquid of a dark blue hue. At -192.5° C, O3 turns into solid dark purple, almost black, crystals.

This article horrified Gena. — In short, I am a mutant. Having looked through the information further, Gene realized that he was practically immortal.

It has been proved that ozone in the atmosphere can destroy both nitrogen and hydrogen compounds (for example, ammonia and methane) and chlorine compounds (chlorofluorocarbons — freons). Freons are used in refrigeration units, air conditioners, solvents; aerosol cans/sprays and fire extinguishers.

— In short, only a plus temperature and alcohol can kill me! Although I am not very friendly with the cold either. Dawn came. Gena dozed off in a sitting position. The sound of the door key brought him to his feet. Looking for a way to hide, he formed a pile and crawled under the kitchen corner. Footsteps sounded like the director’s footsteps in the apartment. Seeing nothing but women’s legs, Gena strained his ears.

— What did I say! Someone broke into the apartment. The computer is turned on. Apparently, the girl was talking on the phone. — The police. I’ll call у now.

— Correspondence! I have not deleted my page. Gena was panicking. The girl was dialing the police. Gene had no choice but to protect Varya with an attack. By this time, Gena’s body was limp from the heat and could no longer be so physically strong. — I will try to scare her. Gena stood in front of the landlady of the apartment at full height and walked towards her with a decisive step. Accordingly, the girl screamed and ran out. Gena did not hesitate to lock the door behind her. With a quick movement, he deleted all the tabs and his page. The door lock opened again. The last tab was closed. Gene flushed into the sink.

— Don’t worry. I am with you and I believe you. A man’s voice soothed her. — The police are coming now. At his own risk, having received a cold portion of air, Gena returned to understand what was being planned against him. The police came as an armed gang.

— «Where is he?»

— I do not know. He closed the door behind me and stayed here. The police were examining the house. From what they saw, they realized that this creature likes warmth and food.

— They are wrong. I do not like heat. Gene hovered in the kitchen drainpipe, expecting every second that water would pour on him at any moment.

— He used a laptop.

— What a clever monster. Each of the policemen had a gun at the ready. It was like dealing with a dangerous maniac.

— Tell me how dangerous is he?

— Just four days ago, he attacked your neighbor. The poor woman almost went crazy.

— And what did he do with it?

— He ate a cutlet.

— Are you laughing?

— Unfortunately, no. This creature has been walking around the city for about ten days. There were no attacks, but people are in fear. He also robbed Auchan, stole food and clothes. The young woman stood in fear as well as all the locals.

— Stay with me. A man’s voice calmed the landlady of the apartment. Gena was waiting for everyone to leave.

— I have restored the tabs!

— «Not that. The story dragged on for an hour. Gena felt himself falling apart. Fortunately, for him, no one used the kitchen faucet.

— Interesting pages. We are dealing with a mutant. In my opinion, this is not just a police matter.

— I underestimated her. It turns out she has a man. Gene thought, exhausted from the heat of the drainpipe.

— I found his social page.

— «Not that. Varya! A heart-rending silent scream rang out. Gena was flying down the drainpipe. Unable to remember himself from fear, he was already swimming against the current on the Oka. Here it is the right tributary of the Oka. The return route was already more or less known by its names. It was not far from Moksha to Tsna. — Consider me home. Gena did not make stops and reinforcements. All his thoughts were occupied with Varya.

— With the onset of December, the air temperature dropped significantly lower. The water was getting colder. A growth of ice could be seen from the shores. To his surprise, Gena did not feel the cold, or he simply had no time to feel it, he hurried to Varya, afraid not to make it before the police arrived.

December. The city was fully prepared for the New Year. In every park and square, near every ice palace, in every shopping center there was an elegant Christmas tree and pleased guests and residents of the city with its beauty. Performances were held in youth theaters. In the evening cafes, it was impossible to sit down; there were not enough free tables. Varya enjoyed the decoration of the city with all her appearance. Deep down, she was afraid to admit that she liked the hustle and bustle of the city and preparing for the holiday. Correspondence with Gena disturbed her peace. The girl was waiting for the next messages, but they did not arrive. Realizing that something had happened and Gena could not write, Varya patiently waited for him to act. Dasha’s pressure made her agree to meet the New Year in Tambov. Parents fully supported this idea. — That is right. Well done. Varya looked at her father in surprise. The father understood that the holiday with the family would turn into mourning, and the unfinished house under the windows would be an eternal grave that their daughter would forever mourn. In fact, it was. Varya did not know any other life. They had been friends with Gena since they were five years old. Varya not only did not know another life, she did not imagine another life. Just a few months ago, Varya did not even imagine that she would celebrate the New Year without Gena, with some little-known guys. If someone had told her about it, she would have considered it complete nonsense.

One thing is for sure that in one village on the outskirts of the city there lived two inseparable children who dreamed of getting married when they grew up, their love was childish, pure and immaculate. And just a few months before the wedding, each of them began life with a clean slate. Only for each one individually. Only love remained in the air and did not know where to hide.

Gena arrived just in time. Varya was called to the police for questioning. — Where have you been?

— Gena spread his hands. Varya gave him a piece of paper.

— I cannot talk. Do not be afraid. Say you do not know anything.

— What have you done?

— Robbed a store. I need to sail away.

— Where to?

— I do not know yet. Perhaps to the Caspian Sea.

— «So far away?»

— The climate suits me. Varya’s lip was trembling. Her eyes glowed with tears. She could not stand it and clung to the transparent creature. The crystals of the Genes lit up with brighter colors. Not feeling the warmth of his body, Varya tapped the transparent statue with her fingers.

— You are zero. Gena raised his palms up, asking. — Your body temperature is zero. Gena shrugged his shoulders. Once again snuggling up to feel what she was used to, the girl felt an unpleasant sensation. — Solid water. How can this be? Where are you going now? My friend is not here today. Gena joined both palms into one fist. As a sign that this is good news. I will soon. Varya pressed her cheek against the once familiar warm body and left the apartment.

The police interrogated Varya as a dangerous criminal. — You know Gennady Stolyarov.

— Of course. We were going to get married, and he went missing.

— Not missing yet.

— He will be missing in a month.

— As far as I know, you have an active correspondence.

— It is not a fact that it is he. This needs to be proved.

— That is, you are covering him.

— What exactly can I cover?

— «Who is he?» What is he? Where is he?

— About what is he? An interesting question. I know as well as anyone that he is missing. If he had come back, we would have been together.

— The dialogue on the social network indicates that it is he.

— I thought so too. Then he disappeared. And did not appear again. Interesting facts indicate that your boyfriend is not completely healthy.

— What is wrong with him?

— I cannot say. Nothing is clear yet.

— Maybe. Varya was sitting with such a serious look; it was obvious that she was not mentally here. — After he was taken out of the water, he had a serious cut on his leg. It was going heavy bleeding; I had to bandage the wound.

— Unfortunately, I have nothing more to ask you. Varya politely left the office.

Varya flew home as fast as she could. Opening the door, she scattered her shoes and entered the kitchen dressed. Empty kitchen, empty bathroom. — Where are you? Varya came into the room. Gena was sitting on a chair at his laptop. Varya breathed a sigh of relief. — In short, the police know that you are you.

— I know. I wrote a Gene at Microsoft.

— What are you going to do?

— Hiding.

— Where? How?

— I came to say goodbye to you. I am sailing away forever. Water is my home. The lines were placed on a white sheet. To Varya’s eyes, they were blurry gray spots. It seemed to her that she was reading a death sentence.

— How? What about us?

— How do you imagine everything? I do not know who I am, and what will happen next.

— I will make you normal. We are going to the hospital. Varya’s words sounded like a conversation with herself. After the last words, Gena burst like a soap ball, splattering her and the room. Varya came to her senses.

— THIS IS THE END. She read it. Sitting on her knees, Varya looked like a novice who bowed her head in confession.

— I am sorry. It is my fault. I did not listen to you. I took a swim during a thunderstorm. The doorbell rings. Varya shuddered. Gena pointed to the door with his hand. Varya went to open it.

— Who?

— The police. Varya came in and looked into the room. Gene turned off the laptop, a second later many inconspicuous silicone snowflakes appeared on the window, shimmering with bright colors. Varya opened the door.

— Search. The police were scouring the rooms trying to find clues.

— What are you looking for?

— We do not know ourselves. The interrogator said with a laugh. Varya humbly watched the search.

— He is not here.

— And what is this? The interrogator pointed with his hand at the girl’s wet clothes.

— I was washing the tiles in the bathroom for the holiday. I have the right. Varya was confident. It is, as he does not understand what is going on.

— Is there a tile in the room? Where is the TV? The interrogator pointed with his hand at the wet TV.

— I spilled a basin of water when I was washing the top of the closet.

— It does not look like it. The interrogator raised his voice. –Where is he?» The interrogation turned into an ore. — Did you wet the keyboard too? The man pressed the button. The laptop was turned on just that.

— I was listening to music.

— And hastily turned off the laptop with wet hands. And you listened in the Word program.

— I will hire a lawyer. You are slandering me.

— And you are good. The man approached the girl in a tight. –You are too smart for your age. The tip of his finger lifted the girl’s chin. At that moment, one of the snowflakes fell off the glass.

— I do not live here alone. I have witnesses that Gena was not here. Is the wet floor proof?

— For your wet friend, this is direct proof. Alternatively, do you think I do not know who he is? I saw a video of him robbing a store.

— I do not know what you mean. And here is a wet friend and a store. And what I have to do with it. What are you even talking about? Are you out of your mind?

— We will meet again. Do we understand each other? Isn’t it? The interrogator looked intently at Varya and reluctantly left the apartment. As soon as he came out, Gena found himself next to Varya. The doorbell rings again. The gene has disappeared. Varya hastily wiped the wet floor.

— Who?

— The police. Having examined the apartment once again, the man silently left. The door slammed shut. This time, Gena was not around. The window in the room was open. The marks on the mirror said that he would come back. Varya was standing with a rag in her hand. Their dialogue remained unfinished. She did not want to clean up the traces of Gena and especially the police. She loved one too much, hated the other too much.

— When it is all over. Gena promised to spend the night with her. But for some reason, he suddenly disappeared.

The roof of the police car was covered with a viscous substance. They did not know about it. It was not difficult for Gena to stretch out like a pancake on a plate. Gena was not interested in the case brought against him as a mutant. He firmly knew that it was impossible to catch him. This so-to-speak whirlpool was driven by hatred caused by jealousy. Gena firmly decided to take revenge for such an unacceptable treatment of his beloved freckled young lady. On the way to the police station, Gennady managed to partially eavesdrop on the conversation. From what he overheard, he realized that the danger was more threatening to Varya than to him. The investigator leading the case decided to mock Varya and use her to get on his trail.

The Tambov police themselves could not advertise that they were looking for a mutant. Gennady Stolyarov was wanted. Since January, this person could be officially considered missing. There was not much time left. Accordingly, the police were confused, a video posted on YouTube where an unknown person drank beer in one of the night bars of Ryazan and burst blew up the Internet. There was only one thing that could unite this monster and Gena — it was a correspondence in contact, the direct text indicated that something supernatural had happened to Gennady. And breaking into a woman’s apartment without breaking in. The traces left behind indicated not a one-day stay in the house of an incomprehensible creature.

2. I am the best

Dark evening of December was somewhat similar to the polar night. It’s also cold, it’s also dark. Of course, there was not much snow, but the cold and darkness came on time and forced the townspeople to hurry home even not so late in the evening. After the end of the working day, a hated enemy appeared on the threshold of the police station. Sitting behind the wheel and turning on the engine to warm up the car, the man lazily watched as the wipers wiped the frozen windows. Meanwhile, the viscous liquid spread over the roof of his car. On the way home, the side and front windows were covered with film. Ruslan braked sharply. A sharp blow from behind forced me to step on the gas. From that moment on, Ruslan drove at random. He failed to open the side window; the tight film tightly tightened the glass. Ruslan opened the door on the move. The viscous liquid completely covered the front window. The side and rear cars honked, making it clear that the driver’s strange action interferes with movement. Despite the crowded traffic, Ruslan had to stop the car. Outside, he rushed to the front windshield. Touching the layer stuck to the glass with his hands, he tried to peel it off. Anger seized the already aggressive man. Ruslan no longer knew what he wanted more to catch or destroy the water mutant. Of course, first catch, and then destroy. Not having the right to stand in the middle of the highway, Ruslan picked up a non-freezing liquid and splashed it on the glass. The colored tortilla bounced like a live fish in a frying pan. This picture caused many cars to slow down. Artisans filmed videos on the phone. Always hurrying somewhere nervously honked. There was a traffic jam on the Astrakhan Bridge. The colored cake took the form of a man. Purple crystals displayed a bright red color, indicating the resulting burn.

— Who is this? Gena jumped down from the bridge without thinking twice. Unfortunately, for him, the water in the river was covered with a crust of ice. This did not prevent him from escaping and hiding from human eyes.

The eyewitnesses who saw the fantastic picture did not take long to wait for Word of Mouth ran through Tambov. A short video was walking on the Internet. Gena was beginning to realize that he had no place among people. In the summer, it was much easier for him. Walking along the night beach in his village of Goreloe, he felt at home, and thought that this would always be the case. Summer ended, taking with it the body and the comfort of home. There came a merciless cold and cruel persecution. Every day Gennady became unsociable. Only an incomplete love for Varya kept him in Tambov. The cold did not bother him much. Gradually, his body lost sensitivity to subzero temperatures. Only occasionally, it did not need heating for a long time. Having lost track of the investigator, Gennady did not know where to spend the night, at Varya’s? Alternatively, say goodbye to your native places? Weighing all the pros and cons, the cup of love outweighed the native places.

Thanks to its viscous consistency, the Gene got from Astrakhan Street to Internationalnaya Street quickly. Having made his way through the hole in the bathroom, this was his main entrance to Varya’s apartment, Gena knocked on the door of the room. — Come in. Varya said with a laugh, knowing who was knocking. The transparent man walked around the apartment as a permanent resident. Opening the refrigerator, he stuffed meat products into his mouth. Varya looked at him with the same loving eyes, as if nothing had happened. From the outside, they actually looked like husband and wife. A hungry husband and a loving wife at the refrigerator. The meal was over without heating and serving food on the table. — How great! And you don’t need to cook. You can be fed semi-finished products. Gena stroked his stomach with his hands. The incoming food instantly dispersed through the body, turning into small dots. The crystals shone with a bright purple color, as a sign that everything was fine with the body. Varya, putting her fist to her chin, looked mysteriously at the small particles. — What else can you turn into besides snowflakes? A huge cake appeared in front of Varya, shining with bright lights. — Great! Varya clapped her hands. Gene wanted to talk, but he could not. Taking a pen in his hands and now he and Varya were already trying to write a synopsis of the Gene, wet fingers hindered him in this matter.

— I need to leave. I cannot stay here.

— But why?

— I do not belong in this city. The world. I need to sail far away.

— I need you. I will become like you. Gena put his finger to her lips.

— It is impossible. You need to arrange your life. I will be in your way. It is hard for me to be here. Our love will remain in childhood. She is not dead. She will live in the past. Varya burst into tears. She believed until the last moment that Gena would return eventually. But after hearing and reading his words, she could not swallow the lump that rolled up to her throat. These lines were reminiscent of a melodrama, only not of a book she had read, but of her life.

— That is not true. Varya punched Gena, her hand went through his body. Abruptly withdrawing her hand back, she examined her fist and from under her eyebrows looked at the tightening hole in the chest of the water statue. Sitting down in a chair, she continued to sob. Gena wiped her tears with wet fingers. Suddenly his body began to spread out, and he ran to the bathroom. — What happened? The sound of the shower turned on made the girl look behind the curtain. — Ice water? You feel bad from the heat. That is the reason. Varya’s head was splitting apart. Since the development of these events, a sedative and analgesic appeared in Vari’s first aid kit. After drinking both, the girl calmed down a little.

Gena understood that he had no place in any city. Wherever he is, there will be panic everywhere. Every day an animal instinct developed in him. He wanted freedom more and more, and he lost the need for people. Confident that when he leaves Tambov and stops contact with Varya, the police will leave Varya alone, and talk about the monster will eventually subside.

It was a sad night. The farewell to Varya, or you can say it with undead love, was imprinted in the memory of each of them as an unlamented mourning. Dawn has not come yet. A key turned in the door lock. — This is Dasha. Gena waved goodbye and disappeared into the bathroom. Varya did not have time to say anything in response.

— Hi. You are not sleeping! I brought so many delicious things.

— That is you by the way. I ate everything. Varya covered the night guest.

— Replenished the spent reserves!

— Exactly. All right.

— I do not want to go to class so much. Maybe we will take a walk. Varya had been thinking about it since the night before.

— Come on. I do not want to crawl out into the street either. My friends stayed at home. Having made the table sweet, the girls warmed themselves with hot coffee. «Dasha couldn’t stand it and asked,» tell me honestly, did anyone come to you?

— What makes you think that?

— It is just that the smell of the built is very strong.

— Yes. And what does it smell like? If it is not a secret.

— «I don’t know. Either by dampness. Either with salt. Some kind of man. Varya laughed in response.

— You will not believe it. But the police came here yesterday. With a search. They were looking for a Gene.

— Yeah, well. So what?

— Like what? Is he here?

— Of course not. But no one saw him dead. So he’s alive.

— Alive. Of course, he is alive. I know that. After a pause, Varya added. — They ransacked the whole apartment. And even a little threatened.

— Yeah, well? Dasha uttered in amazement. Now I understand why you did not go to class. Wow, what scoundrels, laughing at someone else’s grief.

Gena was looking for an investigator to understand how things were going. Whether Varya is in danger. In general, he wanted to make fun of this interrogator. Spreading across the windows like a frosty pattern, Gene finally found the right office. Being in the police, building was very dangerous, Gena was just afraid of being caught and dying from the heat. Deciding not to take any chances, but to get to the investigator’s home, Gena drove quietly on the pallet of his car. In the parking lot, a viscous consistency in the shape of a snake crawled through the snow in a hurry to get ahead of the walking. Realizing which door the tenant was heading for, the iron door was covered with frost as if it had been. Not noticing anything suspicious, Ruslan opened the door of the entrance with an intercom. The door was closing with difficulty, but even this moment did not arouse suspicion. This time, a gray viscous liquid covered the entrance door from the inside. But it was so fast and not noticeable, it seemed that it was just drops from the cold. Having called the elevator, Ruslan stood with his back to the front door. Sticky dough jumped from behind on the sills. Gene had no choice but to listen to what floor Ruslan lives on. The elevator moved for a long time and barely audible. — So about the seventh, ninth. High. The elevator came back. Gena went up to the seventh floor. Fortunately, for him, the front door opened in one of the apartments. The tenant went out onto the landing and headed for the mailboxes. The noiseless steps of transparent feet played a big role. Unable to breathe, Gena did not even have to hold his breath, he was the very noiselessness. Going up one flight of stairs, he saw Ruslan opening a mailbox. Gene thanked fate. Although in his current position and appearance there was no one to thank. While one enemy was opening the mailbox, another got into his open apartment. Unfortunately, for Gena, his wife was in Ruslan’s house. — That is all I needed.

It was difficult to be in the bathroom. The heat plus the constant fuss. The woman was running around the house like crazy, constantly cooking something and running into the bathroom to fix her makeup or hairstyle. — Oh, my God. Thought Gena. How difficult it is with her. Every time she ran into the bathroom, the Gene turned into splashes or spread out on the tile decorating the wall. The woman did not notice this being too busy with her husband.

— Dear, tell me how your vodoroten.

— Who are they talking about? About me? Gena slid off the tile. Thanks to his Internet fame, the mystical image of Gena was nicknamed the vodoroten. As he got closer to the kitchen, he strained his ears.

— To be honest, I am interested in this case. Thanks to him, I have a chance to contribute to science, become rich and famous. The wife listened to her husband, and judging by the expression on her face, the girl was hooked that her husband spoke in the singular.

— In what way? The girl was not a blunder, a great assistant for someone like Ruslan.

— I see that this vodoroten is not so dangerous. He has not committed more than one murder yet. The most he did was steal the cutlets. By itself, he is an interesting, either mystical, or chemical being. Until they started talking about it all over Russia, or even the world, I have a chance to catch him and become famous. The Moscow police are not taking any action yet. Waiting for information from us. It would be necessary to interrogate the parents of this Gena. Surely, they know something.

— Do you think parents who will declare their son missing tomorrow know something?

— I am thinking about it. Can somehow trace them.

— You think they are hiding something. I think that this idiot Gena is not such a fool as to jeopardize the life of his parents. The girl tried in every way to be useful to her husband. And apparently this Ruslan trusted her beyond the limit.

— So I am a fool. And interrogate the parents. Looks like I am going to be delayed. Covering the side door of the refrigerator facing the exit, Gena cooled his body and continued to listen to the dialogue.

— By the way. This creature is vulnerable. I sprayed it with a non-freezing liquid and it got scared. This liquid was not to his taste. There is a more vulnerable place — this is his young lady. With her help, it will not be difficult for me to catch him. We just need to think about how to do it better. Gena took hold of his head.

— Varya. Parents. What I have done. If I surrender to them, what will they turn me into? What will they do to me? Gena returned to the bathroom and was already rushing home to his village of Goreloe, only not on the water anymore, but on the roof of a passing car. His girlfriend night and companion moon accompanied their mystical companion to the house.

The native house on the eve of the holiday turned out to be gloomy and half-starved. Gennady could not have imagined that it would all turn into such a grief, into such a problem. Not a single New Year’s lantern was lit in the house. There was not a single sparkle hanging, not a single snowflake. Barely warm batteries kept the heat up. The half-empty refrigerator indicated that his parents were eating sparsely. — Damn it. Why would I do that? Slamming the refrigerator door, he forced both parents to get out of bed.

— Gene. It is you. His mother’s voice caused his crystals to change color. Danger was indicated in red. Woe to the blacks. The holiday is blue. Its usual color is purple.

The dog, sensing the smell of Genes, barked incessantly. –What’s the matter with her?» I will go check it out. Gene could not show himself to his parents. But in order to cheer them up somehow, he went outside and started a snowstorm under the windows. Turning into a blizzard, he arranged a blizzard near the house.

— The weather has deteriorated.

— It is just a blizzard. Go to bed. I will clean the snow in the morning. The parents did not show much interest in the natural phenomenon. Gene finally wilted. — Why is this dog so angry? The street is quiet and peaceful.

— Probably a full moon. After the disappearance of his master, he howls every full moon. This was actually the case. The dog howled every full moon. His mystical master would like to do the same, but not being able to talk, Gena always stared at the moon stretching his neck forward.

— What I have done. What I have done. He blamed himself for that day. That fateful day, which became the last day of his happy human life. He spent that dark night in his unfinished house. Wandering through empty rooms like a restless soul. Gena wondered if he had a soul. And is there at least one other being like him? — If I remember everything, then my biological body is still alive. My cells, my memory, they are alive. My mind is working, so my brain is alive. What then? What does it mean? How do I become normal? Maybe swim in a thunderstorm again? Blood? I do not have any veins anymore. There are only these crystals. What do they mean? Trying to touch them with his water fingers, Gena was surprised to see how his dense water hand passes through another similar hand. By themselves, the crystals felt like a solid, braided, bright wire, not connected to each other. Branches resembling a salute shrank and unclenched, reacting to the cold and changing color. Gena was lost in thought.

In the morning, a familiar car drove up to the house. Gene immediately followed to his parents’ house. The interrogator decided to conduct an interrogation by deception. — May I ask you a few questions? I was given the case of your missing son. Tell me, has he appeared? Ruslan looked around the house as if he was looking for a small detail.

— What are you? He would be here right now, next to us. We would have been the first to know about it.

— That is why I am asking you. Has he appeared? The parents were a little tense from the onslaught of the interrogation. Gene did not like this treatment of his parents, including the treatment of Varya. Anger towards this man was growing in him.

— What happened? There is news. The kind face of the woman looked at the investigator with such sweet eyes. He literally had to slow down his pressure.

— Unfortunately, no. As soon as we find out something, we will let you know right away. The interrogator left. The mother was standing at the window, looking at the car leaving.

— This is a good sign for the New Year. So he’s coming soon.

— It means that there is no one to conduct this case. So it is passed from hand to hand. My father went to smoke in the barn. Gena, seeing that he had nothing else to do here, went to Varya.

The way along the river was not easy. The water was covered with thin ice. Having cut through the thin ice, Gena swam under it, periodically surfacing to look back. — It is not bad. From the subzero temperature, its crystals turned dark blue. It looked like a Christmas tree garland. As he continued on his way, he was afraid that he would turn into ice. To his surprise, this did not happen. –What is it?» Adaptation? Or another mutation? Remembering their first feelings in the cold, they were completely different, not what they are now. At the first reaction to the cold, his body froze, and Gena had to move intensively or look for warmth. Today, his walk under the water paved a direct path to his future existence. — I’m not freezing anymore! He shouted to himself and surfaced, breaking through the ice with his head and dived back. If you look closely, you could notice (for those walking along the Embankment of Tambov Street) how bright blue lights like a garland move under a thin layer of ice. From the Embankment to the International Gena reached a convenient way for himself on the roof of a passing car.

Then his traditional way to the apartment, through the bathroom opening, to his surprise, was closed. He just physically could not push out the valve inserted into the bathroom. — What should I do? Something incomprehensible came out of the bathroom sink and took on a human form. A woman screamed, only it was not Varya, but Dasha. Dasha flew naked out of the bathroom without covering herself with a towel.

— What happened? The girl’s body covered with goosebumps, the blue lower lip trembling, and the feverish state said that Dasha could not speak, and she might have to call an ambulance. — Gena, how could you do that? Varya scolded the water monster like a mother who scolds her forty-year-old son.

— Gene? Are you laughing at me with Gena? Dasha defiantly tore off the hanging towel and covered her nakedness. — I am leaving. I cannot live with you anymore. It will not take long to go crazy. Be grateful I did not report you. And I trusted you. I am going to celebrate the New Year with you. A friend is called. There was no limit to Dasha’s lamentations. Hastily getting dressed and shoving things into a bag, the girl called a taxi. Varya stood in confusion, realizing that her friend was right. Gena knelt down with Dasha standing next to him and folded his hands like an angel. — What is it? Be grateful that I did not turn you in to the authorities. Gena bowed, saying thank you. — Can’t you talk? Gena nodded in agreement. Taking the form of a snowman, he tried to make the angry Dasha laugh. — What else can you do? The shape of the cake delighted the girl. The phone rang, notifying about the taxi that had arrived. — Traitors. Okay, I am staying. Gena clapped his hands, splashing drops. — It is unnecessary. Dasha was shaking off the slimy water. –How long have you been here?»

— The second time. Varya answered with a dry mouth.

— What are you going to do?

— We? Varya uttered this word so sadly. — Gennady wants to leave me.

— Where and when? If it is not a secret.

— I do not know. He is afraid for me. This cop does not give me a pass.

— That is even how. You need to get married. This will save your situation. Gena nodded in agreement. — See, your crocodile Gena does not mind. Gena took the form of a crocodile. The girls laughed.

— «You both talk about it so easily. Did you ask me?

— You are getting married will save you both from police harassment in general. They will have no one to look for him. Varya thoughtfully sat down on the edge of the bed.

— I am not ready for that yet. Gena clasped his head with both hands. Picking up his and Varya’s synopsis, he wrote.

— I need to disappear. I have to make sure she is okay.

— Who guarantees it to you? Wait for her parents to take her home.

— Varya, I wish you happiness. Gena left without writing anything else.

— Where did he go?

— How should I know? Varya replied dryly. She was more scared that Dasha saw him in all his glory. Now two people know a secret. Varya did not trust Dasha. For her, Gennady’s life, even in such an image, was in the first place.

Gena himself went to Ruslan’s house to find out his plans. Studying his body, he noticed such a moment, being without movement for a certain time, his body began to freeze. Constant movement that is what he needed. No matter where his body is, in the water or on land. Constant movement, power, cooling. His body needed constant monitoring.

Ruslan’s wife was in the apartment. Ruslan himself was not at home. Gennady felt more confident without him. Forgetting to refresh himself at the girls’, he went to the refrigerator of the hated enemies. His noiseless movements would not have been heard even by «big uh.» Replenishing his energy reserve, Gena proceeded to the bedroom, hoping to find something useful for himself. The girl was watching the series, and did not notice the presence of a water person under her nose.

Gennady was right. This interrogator is literally fixated on his capture. There were printouts of files with chemical formulas on the table. Chemical emissions, radioactive rains. Phone numbers recorded in the column. — What is he up to? I would like his brains. The turn of the door key signaled the arrival of Ruslan. As soon as he came, his wife started fussing and walking around the apartment. Gennady took his place on the wall of the refrigerator.

— What is new?

— So far, nothing. On New Year’s Eve, many unsolved cases were closed. Including this correspondence. Referring to the fact that this is an evil joke. Like hacking the page, the case was hushed up. This vodoroten is recognized as missing. The video with the cast was categorized with space aliens.

— What are you going to do?

— Everything is going as well as possible. Ruslan ate dinner with an appetite. His wife listened attentively to his story with a miniature cup of coffee. — I alone will independently conduct this case.

— But it is illegal.

— But I know from where the legs grow. Then, when I become rich and famous, the law will be at my feet.

— You are scaring me.

— Don’t be afraid. You will be the wife of the most successful investigator. The wife, seeing her husband’s obsession, has already begun to doubt the existence of the water.

— Maybe he has lost his mind. She thought. Maybe he is just not satisfied with his position, and he dreams of more with the help of fiction.

Meanwhile, Varya, saddened by the fate of Gena, was looking for a way to somehow secure his existence. Not allowing the thought of parting forever, Varya in her childhood dreams imagined Gena living in the river in the village of Goreloe and her coming to him on the shore to somehow be together. Her friend Dasha saw everything more globally, and was looking for a more convenient way to get rid of the Genes. Dasha was the only person after Varya who knew about the Gene mutation. — Varya, how do you imagine Gena’s future? Varya was silent for a long time before answering.

— I do not want to, I cannot let him go. We will be together.

— You understand that this is not reasonable. It is impossible. Dasha saw that Varya did not understand this. — They will just kill him here.

— And where they won’t kill him?

— The police are looking for him. Eventually he will be tested. It will earn a lot of money. He will be like a guinea pig. You are driven by love. But think of it yourself, marriage between you is not possible.

— What do you suggest? Where should he go?

— He wrote to you about escaping to the ocean. So let him run. And you get married. It will save you from an annoying cop. While you are alone, he will still harass you under the pretext of looking for a Gene.

— From your words, I have a candidate.

— Can’t you see? Take a better look. The conversation dragged on.

In Ruslan’s apartment, events developed more briskly. From the heat, the Gene began to spread. The liquid dripped from the refrigerator, turning from thick to liquid. Unable to stand the heat any longer, Gena crawled down the corridor to the bathroom. The door handle made a sound. Ruslan abruptly got up and walked towards the bathroom. «He’s here.

— Who?

— This crocodile Gene. There were wet streaks on the corridor floor. Quickly going into the bathroom Ruslan managed to grab the flushing piece with a particle. The bulk washed off into the bathroom drain. — I made it! I am rich! His wife ran up to Ruslan.

— What did you manage? Ruslan was holding a slime and a shimmering particle in his hand.

— I have it in my hands!

A gray monotonous mass was rushing down the drainpipe. Once outside, a piece of dough took on a human appearance. Gena examined his transparent body looking for a defect. To his surprise, he did not feel any pain, or lack of grip of the mass. Continuing to examine the body, he concentrated on his legs. One of the particles split into pieces and moving towards the hip took its place flashing red. The red color was replaced by purple. Realizing that the body was completely ready for movement, Gena headed for Varya.

Ruslan angrily ran around the apartment and shouted loudly. –He has been here all this time. I am a fool. How could I not have noticed him? My wife was standing in the corridor, pressed against the wall, holding a jar for collecting tests in her hand. A white silk half-unbuttoned robe highlighted her bare breasts. — What is it? Ruslan shouted loudly.

— You asked for it yourself.

— You are a fool. Olga was patiently silent. Snatching the jar out of his hands, open it! Olga fussily took off the packaging. Ruslan carefully laid out the slime and tightly twisted the container. Curiously sniffing the hand and immediately examining it at a distance, the interrogator was already mentally far from his home. His wife looked questioningly into his palm, stretching her long neck forward. — Wow. This nasty slime has no smell. Having washed his hand with soap, Ruslan silently and fussily dressed and collected his papers from the table.

— Where are you going?

— To Moscow.

— How? Like this? Will you leave me alone? With this monster. Which can get into any apartment at any time.

— «You’re right. Stay with Mom.

— No. I will come with you. I cannot stay here.

— Do you even know where and why I am going? It is dangerous. For your sake. Get ready quickly. While I am here, take a taxi to your mom. I do not have time. The girl’s face expressed a grimace of discontent. — Don’t make that face. Soon everything will be different.

A cozy evening in an apartment decorated for the New Year, was not overshadowed by anything but thoughts about Gene. Now it was the sadness of two girls already. The lights in the room were turned off, the garland was flashing lights, Varya and Dasha were watching TV. — Let’s call the boys. Something is boring. Varya looked sternly at Dasha. Gena appeared on the threshold, flashing lights. Varya laughed.

— Here you are!

— Yes. You will not get bored. Are you going to wander around here for a long time? Varya continued to devour Dasha with her eyes. «Don’t look at me like that. I asked the right question. You were going to swim somewhere. So swim. Gena pointed his hand at Varya. — She will not be lost. Finding his notebook, Gena wrote an answer.

— A piece of my body mass was taken for analysis. Do I need to find out who I am? And what do I consist of?

— A good argument. I am also wondering who you are? And who took you for analysis?

— Ruslan. Gena himself did not know why he trusted this Dasha so much. Varya considered Dasha her best friend and trusted her with all the secrets. Dasha was able to win people over, convince, influence. Dasha watched curiously, as Gena held the pen with her transparent fingers. Hair-thin purple threads changed color, connecting crystals together.

— Great. I would like to know the result. Gene sensed something was wrong. Varya was patiently silent. — Varya, what do you say?

— Gene. Save yourself. Danger awaits you.

— I am safe.

— You will be caught and killed.

— «It’s impossible to kill me. At the same moment, there was a splash of water. Drops scattered around the room, there was no trace of Gena. Dasha turned on the light. Thick splashes hung on the chandelier, wallpaper, wardrobe and other furniture. Then the drops flowed one to one in different piles until they gathered into one. Gena appeared in all its glory. «Moreover, I have an obligation to protect you.

— Colossal!

Ruslan raced to Moscow, not taking his eyes off the container lying on the next front seat. Having found the right person, he was looking forward to the result of the study. — What do you say?

— I am shocked. This is a unique organism. I do not see anything chemical in it. It is a living mind. Consisting of water, biomaterial.

— You can be more specific. Ruslan was on edge.

— I cannot say more specifically yet, since this incomprehensible crystal has not yet been investigated.

— So explore.

— Hey, it is easier.

— More specifically, a living, intelligent mass does not have bones, but has brains, and living muscle tissue. I do not see anything chemical. This is a godsend!

— Yes, my friend, this is a godsend.

— Now we need to investigate this incomprehensible luminous element. Ruslan was looking forward to the morning. The sense of power moved this man like an uncontrollable machine. He did not care that the laboratory assistant, who considered himself the same genius as Ruslan, secretly examined the seized part of the mutant man’s matter at his own risk. This laboratory assistant believed that he, too, had the same rights to the vodorotny, and was directly related to its capture and provision to the authorities for further research.

Two sleepless nights in the car did not affect Ruslan’s condition. The thought of the vodorotne became the goal of his life. The long-awaited phone call announced the meeting. A questioning look.

— Good morning. And here I can pleasantly surprise you. This creature is safe. I would even say, not a tall man with a goatee, tugged at the edge of his beard — there is mysticism here.

— What? What are you talking about?

— Yes. The composition of these luminous and color-changing particles is soft bone tissue. It is as it is made of plasticine, or clay. You said that the history of its creation began with the moment of drowning. Here, it has a direct relation to the water element.

— How to understand from plasticine? Are you out of your mind?

— That is not what I meant. I am explaining it to you in my own words. This creature can take any form.

— I noticed that.

— He is unique. His bones, partial bones, can be bent as your imagination allows you. And most importantly. This creature is immortal.

— So you cannot kill him.

— «The only way to kill him is to boil him in boiling water.

— My friend. You have made me happy. The laboratory assistant was scratching his beard with satisfaction, waiting for praise and further development of the event.

— I experimented with it a bit last night. This creature is a water one. He cannot live without water, but in water, he will live forever. From the heat, its molecules slowly die, but instantly recover from the cold.

— «That’s it. I understand everything. Ruslan was not interested in further chatter. Having learned the vulnerable spot of the vodorotny, Ruslan hurried to Tambov.

— Where are you going?

— I have to go home. My wife was terrified of all these nightmares. I had to send her to her mother-in-law.

— «That won’t do. We are now tied by one thread.

— What the fuck thread?

— Do you think this is your find?

— Yes. This is exclusively my find. It fell into my hands personally on New Year’s Eve.

— «You wouldn’t have achieved anything without me.

— I have got you covered. You have had enough.

— I have a part of it in the freezer. This is an argument. Ruslan’s legs gave way. Not expecting such an onslaught. More precisely, being completely absorbed by the vodorotnem, he overlooked such a turn of events.

— What do you suggest?

— I am going with you to catch a mutant. We will make a discovery in the world of mutation!

— It is you in the world of mutation. And I’m in the capture of a mutant. Everyone dreamed of their own. But there was only one goal. The capture of the vodorotny. Gradually, several people already knew about the existence and biological composition of the Genes’ body. Everyone who knew him knew how to kill Gena.

It was getting harder for Gena every day. The cold was getting worse. The New Year was approaching. The water in the river finally froze. The long-awaited arrival of the enemies brought variety to the unbearable life of the water mutant. Every day Gena visited the interrogator’s apartment to find out how things were going. Did he show up? One cold winter evening, crawling along the drainpipe of the washbasin, he heard a revival in the bathroom. A jet of hot water poured down in a continuous stream from above and forced him to retreat. This unexpected temperature drop caused a little damage. When he came to his senses, he repeated his non-standard invasion. This time the attempt was successful, assuming a human form and standing on tiptoe, Gene tried his best to eavesdrop on the conversation in the kitchen.

— «I know how to trap him. He has only one vulnerable spot — it is his girlfriend.

— You mean ex-girlfriend. Without seeing the faces, Gena realized that two men were sitting at the table. One of which is nastier than the other. His nasty voice spoke for itself. Ruslan laughed in response.

— Despite the lack of manhood, she remains his weak point. Ruslan did not laugh like a child. Gena clenched his hands into fists. He wanted to grab the throat of this interrogator.

— What a unique organism. I am delighted. He knows how to love. More precisely, his tissue, his brain, his cells retained memory. This monster is capable of love. He remembers a past love. The phrase past love exasperated Gena. Bursting into the kitchen, he appeared in front of those sitting at the table. Olga screamed. What she saw made her believe in the existence of a monster.

— Ruslan. Shoot him.

— Don’t you dare? The meticulous guest stood between Gena and Ruslan. Gena delayed this moment, being confident in himself; he became interested in the continuation.

— Hold it with both hands. Evgeny grabbed the water statue with both hands like a girl during a kidnapping. His hands went through the transparent body leaving a trail of mucus on the T-shirt. Enraged Gene turned into a water tornado and swept away everything that stood on the kitchen table. Olga screamed like a madwoman, spreading her arms to the sides and spreading her fingers. Dishes and food flew apart, leaving streaks on the walls. Shards of glass lay on the floor along with scattered food.

— Ruslan. Shoot. To his surprise, Ruslan was confused, looking for a gun for a long time, and removing the clip, he already doubted whether it was worth shooting. A shot rang out. The gene took the form of a man and came up in a tight. The second shot. The bullet flew through. Ruslan lowered the gun. Gena took the gun from Ruslan’s hands and pointed it at him. — No. Do not do that. Olga knelt down. Gena threw the gun on the floor and dived into the sink for washing dishes.

— What it was.

— We made him angry. My words were confirmed. Varya is his only weak point.

— I should note that it is not safe. This vodoroten is quite strong and dangerous. Zhenya was peeling off the stuck mucus from the T-shirt and rolling it with his fingers.

— What are you doing?

— I am continuing my research. Putting the slime on a plate, Zhenya washed his hands. Olga watched what was happening with disgust. Circling the kitchen with her eyes, or rather what she turned into, the girl looked questioningly at her husband.

— «Don’t look at me like that. Call cleaning.

Gena flew to Varya. To his surprise, there were guys in the apartment, and he didn’t like it. A lively company was sitting at the table, friends were laughing, even Varya, to his regret, was having fun. Succumbing to feelings, he left the apartment and climbed to the roof of the house. Deprived of the ability to speak, he wanted to howl. Just howl. Longing tore his body apart. The transparent creature was covered with frost from the cold. It was today that the turning point came; it was today that Gena felt like an outcast among people. Strange instincts were awakening in him, whether predatory or animal, he did not know. Gene stopped feeling like a man. He could not understand who he was and where he could find shelter. The need for human food has disappeared. He wanted raw fish or meat more and more. It was much more difficult to hunt in the middle of winter. Not finding refuge with Vari Gena, he went hunting. The crust of frost covering his body crunched when he jumped from the roof. Gena was no longer hiding from people. He did not care.

The CNA was covered with thick ice. Fortunately, for him, the anglers cut a hole. The Queen of the Night fulfilled her purpose qualitatively — this is the time of mystical beings. A quick run to the river melted the frost and spent energy. The feeling of hunger engulfed Gena with his head. Diving into the hole upside down, splashing split ice. Five minutes later, a broken moon appeared on the flat, icy surface. The emerging mutant was smoothing his belly. Looking at the night Embankment, Gena simply did not know where to go. One thing he knew for sure, Varya was in danger.

The commotion in Ruslan’s family ended with a combat plan of action. The next morning Ruslan went to Varya’s apartment. Dasha opened the door. Introducing himself, Ruslan made an onslaught and entered the apartment. — Can I talk to Varya? Dasha understood everything without words.

— She went out to the store. Ruslan went through the rooms. — Do you have a permit to inspect the apartment?

— How clever you are. Do you have something to hide? Do you want to argue with me?

— What are you looking for?

— A monster.

— But seriously? Ruslan made a sharp U-turn.

— Yesterday I shot your girlfriend’s water friend. Dasha wanted to object, but Ruslan did not let her open her mouth. He is in my apartment right now. I am just interested in your friend’s reaction.

— What will happen to him? Ruslan realized that he was on the right path.

— It all depends on your friend. The key turned in the lock.

— Varya, we have guests. Coming into the kitchen in outerwear, Varya looked at both of them with hostility.

— What is going on?

— Another search. I will not be for long. Varya’s intelligent and answering look spoke for itself.

— He is not here.

— «I’ve already figured that out. When was the last time he was here? To Ruslan’s surprise, Dasha was silent.

— We last saw each other in July. Varya answered in a firm, calm, commanding tone. Varya’s persistence excited Ruslan. Being near her and feeling her hostility, he was subjected to arousal.

— Okay, fine. I will come back later.

— Why? If it is not a secret.

— I have something that does not add up. I am in charge of this case, and until it is closed, we will have to cross paths with you. The interrogator left.

— What did he want? Dasha hid what she heard, not being sure of Ruslan’s words.

— And even if they shot him. Well, figs with him. There will be fewer problems. She thought. — I was looking for your friend.

— I still cannot calm down.

— Yes. The New Year is already on the nose, and he is catching all the ghosts. Dasha was so busy with the holiday; Gena’s presence weighed her down. Next to him, she felt tense. — I wish they had caught him sooner. She thought.

A joyful Ruslan jumped into the car. — What do you say?

— I have great news.

— And what is it? Yevgeny asked in a hoarse voice, smoothing his beard.

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