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Chapter one

A quick review of the results did not give. The reasons for the sudden cessation of communication with the Earth could not be found. The ship, driven by autopilot, was moving at a calculated rate to the asteroid Patroclus.

— «And maybe the unit of the radio is out of order.» — I thought the astronaut, snapping the toggle switch of a spare radio station. Noise and crackle of the air in the headphones and nothing else. Leonid turned on the emergency communication system with the Earth — unsuccessfully. The link has disappeared for unknown reasons. Anxiety

a cold touch touched the tips of my toes, crawled under the protection of the suit. Cold sweat dripped on his forehead. The astronaut inhaled the full lungs of the air-oxygen mixture and exhaled with a noise. Feel better a little. Thoughts spun around what happened. I checked the autopilot again and again, snapped the seat belt locks and floated over the seat. He was unconsciously attracted to the «window». Yielding entirely to this feeling, Leonid swam to the glass window. Behind the «window» a yellow glow reigned, entirely covered with black dots. The astronaut blinked his eyelashes in surprise. A deep wrinkle on the forehead smoothed for a moment, from what he saw, then re-designated the section of black thick eyebrows. Eyes focused on vision.

— «Scary, something. Is it really a hallucination?»

He raised his hands to the glass of the spacesuit, intending to rub his eyes. Dry blow of gloves on the transparent glass of the spacesuit brought Leonid back to reality. The glow of the space behind the porthole did not disappear, and the black dots remained firmly in their places.

— «All the way around, the stars — darkness, darkness — yellow light. What is it?»

He asked himself the same question a thousand times. The glow of the space behind the porthole did not disappear, and the black dots remained firmly in their places!

— «It’s all the other way around! It’s all the other way around!!! What is it?»

In the meantime, the ship’s systems flawlessly performed their functions. Devices in the normal course deviations no. In place of the fear infused banal anger. And it is necessary for this to happen at the very time when traces of the activity of intelligent beings were revealed.

And now we must return, interrupt the expedition and go home.

— «What to do, the phenomenon is incomprehensible to me, whether it is a deviation of the mental order, which is excluded, or of cosmic origin, the Earth will probably order to return, and the point!!!»

Leonid swam to the chair. With a jerk, he threw the body into a comfortable seat in front of the ship’s control console. With a sharp movement he snapped the seat belt locks, clutching himself to the chair. He sat for a minute, weighing all the pros and cons of what had happened. Then reluctantly, the right hand reached for the handle of the ship’s left hand control.

quick and accurate movement turned off the autopilot. The ship shook slightly — a sure sign of manual control. Leonid began to turn on the brake engine systems one by one, skillfully maneuvering the jet propulsion, changing the direction of flight…

The ship was moving toward Earth. Communication still did not work. Behind the porthole, the space was still burning with a yellow glow.

After orienting the spacecraft in space, the cosmonaut set the course for the autopilot and switched on its systems. Now the spacecraft will land at the cosmotron, from where it took off. After five hours of flight, the Krazimov was looking for a pilot navigation system near-earth station-pier, where the ships were refueled

fuel and went long distances to the stars. But, the locator screen was empty. Leonid irritably turned off the video review. The screen went blank.

— «Apparently all the radio wave equipment does not work. Then how does the ship withstand the course?»

Again an incomprehensible contradiction of the phenomenon. Leonid, utterly exhausted by mental confusion, closed his eyes. The measured buzz of the instruments reassured, gave confidence. The mental equilibrium gradually returned to him. Leonid decided to wait for a meeting with the Earth.

In moments of impatience. In moments of waiting for a speedy resolution, time is especially slow and painful. Seconds turn into hours, minutes into eternity.

In order to somehow divert his impatience, Leonid began to remember the whole a complex of works carried out by him on the study of small planets. Stage by step, he restored in memory a chain of components into a single integrity, from which the outlines of the disappeared planet appeared. And here’s the final touch — was the civilization or not? This question hung in the air unresponsive. The expedition did not take place. Thoughts persistently returned to reality, consciousness fixed the time since the appearance of the phenomenon — six hours.

— «How slowly time flows. Before landing still, the same?».

He remembered Sobinov.

«Leonia, I categorically insist on my participation in the flight.» He said before the start. His gray eyes stared at the relentless commander with persistence. Leonid was firm: «You know that this is dangerous. Well, let me die, you can complete

started by Understand you, stubborn!».

Krazimov hardly persuaded the assistant to stay and, apparently, acted fairly.

A sigh of investment broke out from the mouth of an astronaut. He caught himself thinking that memories took the form of confession in front of his conscience. A bad sign. No, Krazimov was not superstitious, but somewhere in the depths of his heart a treacherous feeling of doom was beating. Trying to get rid of him, he began to recall funny incidents from his life, the history of loved ones and friends…

Time has «sped up» its run. The tired consciousness took memories with a balsam of sedatives, and the cosmonaut imperceptibly fell asleep. He dreamed of blue sky expanses … «Here, high in the sky, he soars on a light hang-glider. Near the stork, far below the Earth. The bird, spread its wings wide, swaying slightly, swims away into the distance. Leonid changed the angle of flight and rushed after. Stork approached. The spread wings are already clearly visible, the wind is lost in them and from this «angry», it whistles in feathers more and more… The hang-glider rushes onto a white lively lump with a huge colored cloth.» The heart turned away with effort, slightly hitting the bird’s wing. The stork glanced in dismay at the saw and -. «Do not worry, silly creature, I will not hurt you!». said the pilot with tenderness. A sudden rush of an oncoming stream threw a stork on a hang glider. In an instant she was frightened, breaking her wings, huddled against the fabric. Leonid was horrified to see how rapidly the Earth was approaching … «He jumped awake. Unusual silence reigned around. His ears were ringing from rapidly circulating blood. The cold blinking of the color scale of the indicator lights on the devices calmed him a little. Reality screwed into the consciousness of this ringing with silence, he finally realized that he had landed, and all the navigation systems of the ship were automatically turned off. In the excitement, he tore off his headset, threw off the tenacious ligature of the seat belts. Now only gravity kept it. he walked toward the porthole as quickly as he could. The bright light of the sun splashed into his eyes, blinded him for a moment. smoked. From the charred trunks the wind carried smoke and steam over the tops of giant ferns and horsetails, as well as from the opposite «window.» He was extremely excited and rushed to the exit. I was looking forward to how slowly the hatch of the automatic transitional pressure chamber closed behind it.

Finally, when the bright rays of the sun gushed through the doors of the exit hatch, he realized himself…

— «Headset?». But the air of the camera instantly mixed with the atmosphere rich in thick aromas emitted by an abundance of bright huge and diverse flowers of bizarre forms that are seen here and there, hiding the panorama of the primeval forest. Leonid was already breathing this fragrant infusion of a strange atmosphere, noticing only that the stuffiness squeezed his chest, that he was breathing with difficulty and that consciousness would not leave him, and he resolutely stepped onto the retractable ramp. Clumsily down. At the foot of the ship, I looked around, eagerly grabbing the open mouth with tart intoxicating odors. His temples pounded. Catching his breath, he moved to the nearest plants that had survived the jet stream of the landing engines. The giant horsetail rose high, like a ten-story house. The impression was as if Leonid had diminished in scale, one hundred to one, and now all the grass had turned into a giant jungle. The unfamiliar vegetation and atmosphere created the impression of an alien planet. But This feeling passed with a detailed inspection of the primeval forest. So it is, the plants correspond to the era of the Mesozoic era on Earth.

— «Is it possible that I was in the epoch that was on the Earth forty million years ago?!!!»

Terrible thoughts began to swarm in the astronaut’s consciousness, tormented by conjectures, interfering, concentrating, interfering with the realization and appreciation of what happened.

«Some kind of absurdity! Where does this forest come from? Where does all this come from?!» Confused thoughts. Leonid frantically began to recollect flight by stage, stage by stage. The flight was normal, there were no failures and failures of the ship’s systems, everything seemed to be normal, and he was fine. A glance slid across the shield of individual medical control on the left sleeve of a spacesuit. The pressure is slightly higher than normal, the pulse is one hundred and twenty beats per minute, the body temperature is normal. The body is overloaded, but there are no changes in it. He again returned mentally to the analysis of flight. How did you find an inexplicable phenomenon?!

— «Oh, yes, during communication with the Earth! And before that? Yes, it seems, it was during sleep. So it is, he slept according to the schedule, there was an hour of rest.» — Leonid looked up. Through the crowns of greenery, the sky appeared in tattered lead clouds, there were distant peals of thunder. Thunderstorm was approaching. Gusts of wind had already burst into the tops of heavy primeval ferns and howled there. Their thick trunks, like the columns of the Egyptian temple, stretched towards the sky. Somewhere nearby there was a crash of a falling primeval tree.

— «That seems to be the way coal is formed.» — Leonid thought. «Maybe this is some kind of lethargic dream?» He touched the glove to his cheek and pinched himself painfully. Completely crushed by what was happening, he glanced gloomily toward the ship.

A strange numbness enveloped his whole being. He was like a robot: without thoughts, without feelings, without desires. He went to the ladder without understanding why it is doing. In the meantime, among the support posts of the ship, it was already waiting for him to lurk huge, reptile, sheltered, as with armor, with thick sheets of scales. The astronaut’s sudden collision with this monster plunged him into a stupor. Fear gripped the movement, and the sense of approaching death paralyzed, making it impossible to assess the situation. Meanwhile, a row of yellow foul-smelling fangs with thick filaments of poisonous saliva hanging down, a multi-toned forge hammer, slammed a centimeter from poor Leonid’s head. Instinctively, he pulled his head into his shoulders and automatically took a step to the side. But, bound by a bulky spacesuit and an atmosphere that was inadequate for breathing, fell to the ground, covering his head with his hands. He heard the earth tremble under the power of his bony paws, how, after suffocating, the animal bent over him and

closed his eyes in anticipation of the inevitable. The first seconds flew like a whirlwind, but there was no getting rid of the realities of the nightmare. He still heard the terrible roar of the lizard, he felt how, in impotent rage, the animal threw the clods of earth mixed with the torn roots of plants in claws, but was invulnerable. He sat down on the ground in surprise, to immediately cover his head with his hands, defending himself from the terrible mouth that was spread over him, which had seized his upper body in an instant. There was a clear clang of fangs locked in furious rage. Cold body swept, but the sensation of pain was not. The gnashing of canines was heard in the chest area, but there was not even a tickling hint of touch. Leonid grew bolder and carefully opened his eyes. The enraged animal attacked him, plunging the sharp hooks of the teeth into the spacesuit and body. The astronaut, suddenly realized that he was invulnerable, that the prehistoric world does not perceive him as a material whole. He felt unwell, he rose to his feet under the mad gnash and clang of the teeth of a foul mouth and long and hard to vomit until he felt some relief. Then, slowly, trying not to look at the assembled flock of mixed prehistoric monsters that had already begun to «sort things out» among themselves, they dragged themselves to the ship directly through ghostly visions. It was only near the ramp that he suddenly found that his feet, shod in his spacesuit shoes, were buried ankle-deep in the sand, not feeling his resistance, as if he were walking on the hard asphalt surface of the spaceport. At the bottom of the stairs lay a charred fragment of the trunk. Having touched it with the hand, there is no sensation of the object. The hand slid inside the barrel as in the air.

— «I am in a ghostly world!» Thought with curiosity. «Maybe I have been at home for a long time already?!…»

Inspired by the hope of the impossible, he climbed into the ship’s command compartment, having previously been disinfected in the transition box and left there a spacesuit and overalls. Sitting in the armchair in a light cotton jumpsuit, began to analyze the situation.

— «In my position, a drowning man clutching at a straw, so am I»

It was clear that the version: «… Maybe I’m already at home?!…» is meaningless. Here something is wrong, then you should thoroughly understand what is happening. Encouraged by the upcoming search for the causes of the phenomenon, Leonid first decided to sleep properly. But the terrible roar of the beast behind the hull of the ship prevented concentration. He hesitated for a moment, then turned on the laser protection imitating the glare of a burning forest in a raging conflagration. Following this came the sound of breaking branches and trunks of the primeval forest. Beasts are invulnerable to the beam, but frightened by bright flashes of a laser gun rushed away from a mysterious and outlandish creature, frozen in the middle of the clearing and so viciously glittering with its only and terrible «eye».

When the ringing silence reigned, Leonid was forgotten restlessly.

Chapter two

Time flies in a dream, does not stretch. And the dream itself, when fatigue tends to the earth, and the upcoming things do not give rest, passes without dreams and it seems one moment. Leonid slept long all day. He did not hear the raised roar of the newly assembled representatives of the Mesozoic, who committed bloody battles among themselves and calmed down only at dusk. Following the sun inclined to the horizon, huge lead clouds began to crawl. There was a thunderstorm.

Both the air saturated with ozone and the excessively humid atmosphere «spoke» about the fact that thunderstorms are not so rare here. And this is confirmed by these heavy lead clouds, which floated so low over the tops of giant fern plants. The beast, in anticipation of the oncoming weather, reluctantly crawled into the lair, breaking branches and trees in its path, filling the primitive forest with a rattle and a long growl. Peals of thunder shook the space louder and louder, echoing the gusts of wind roaring in the huge sandals of green crowns. The sun had not yet managed to hide behind the horizon, as the low black and heavy clouds clouded its last rays, the light faded. A yellow hazy glow reigned around it.

Leonid opened his eyes. For a minute, sitting in the chair, he wondered where he was and what was happening to him. When the dream finally left him, and the mind was involved in the work, he rose impetuously and headed for the shower compartment.

He carefully shaved, took a shower and, combing his wet hair, went out into the tightness of the command compartment. The confined space was cool. Automatically turned on microclimate automation. It became warmer. Lightning flashed in the porthole, accompanied by the «cannonade» of thunder, leaving behind a yellow glow of space. The primeval forest was sinking, disappearing from above, below are still seen thick fern trunks, washed by streams of rainwater, which arose with biting streams from the yellow glow.

— «It is night in the courtyard!» A thought flashed through sadness. «The yellow mist is darkness, and blackness is light!»

These signs of a strange World crashed into consciousness, like an alphabet, like a key that opens the door to its secrets. And as if following these signs, the glance began to distinguish among the bizarre vegetation of a chain of black dots.

— «True primitive fireflies?!

Externally, the points looked like street lamps. The heart suddenly jumped in the chest with a bird that flew into a cage. The yellow glow, with the approaching darkness, intensified, acquiring bright colors, in which the «ragged» remnants of the forest disappeared, giving way to the pale outlines of the buildings. Among the scattered buildings with flat roofs, three were ingrown into the ground not far away. Aside from the town of buildings on the square, paved with hexagonal concrete slabs, three cigar-shaped hulks were visible.

— «My God! This is the native cosmotron!» — Leonid rushed to the exit and soon he was standing on the concrete floor.

Near the spacecraft was a service bus, people were swarming. Without hesitation, Krazimov ran to the open doors of the bus. My heart was frantically pounding in my chest for excitement and thirst to draw attention to myself as soon as possible, to get rid of an impending nightmare as soon as possible. At the foot of the car, he stopped breathing heavily. Leonid leaned on the wall of the bus, but the hand, not feeling the supporting surface, pulled the whole body behind him, and the astronaut crashed into the concrete wall. He suddenly realized that the world that remained outside of his feelings, which he sees, does not know about its existence. Contrary to common sense, he suddenly jumped to his feet, not turning on the sharp pain in his right knee, in a frenzied annoyance of anger began to put «blows» on the phantom bus, on people who, blithely speaking, filled the empty seats. He did not immediately realize that two of the laggards did not laugh. One of them with big gray expressive eyes and an energetic face was Sobinov, his assistant, the other chief designer of the automatic stations department.

«You see, Kolya,» said Sobinov to his companion, «I cannot answer anything concretely, but the flash happened so unexpectedly.»

— «But after all there is a clear space, not a single asteroid in a radius of Kilometers from five hundred!»

— «I know, I know, and nevertheless the ship disappeared, it was incinerated, they didn’t even find fragments, as if Leonid Krazimov never existed.»

Reading lips over the conversation of friends, Leonid shouted to the full power of his voice, knocking himself on the chest:

— Yes, here he is! I!!! I! It’s me!!! Friends, where are you?!!!

But Sobinov and his companion quietly sat down in a ghost bus and, «having showered» Leonid with exhaust gases, the smell of which he did not feel, drove off.

Tears of resentment welled up in his eyes, a strangled breath squeezed.

Exhausted, Leonid slowly sank into the warmth of summer heat, as he thought, was concrete. He sat for so long, not noticing the passage of time, not feeling being…

And only in the ship, in the familiar, sensed environment, did the thoughts gradually become clear. He thought over his mysterious disappearance, over his present position and his future fate.

Unnoticed, little by little, crept up a slight hunger and made itself felt. Merry gamma of colored light bulbs and hunger, and buzzing devices, led Leonid in relative peace. In a familiar setting, he began to recover…

«It’s necessary to have a bite!» From this thought, somehow it became cozy at home and peace finally reigned in the shower. In the shower, under the water jets, the «brutal» appetite developed so that at the very last minute, calculated on shower, he caught himself.

— «It would be necessary to save water, use every drop.» Then he remembered that the life support systems of the ship purify the water, forming a closed loop. He smiled to himself, wiping off a strong trained body. And, getting dressed, went down to the food compartment, and finally began to eat.

Having satisfied hunger, sadness fell on him with a new force. Loneliness as your load. Sitting in the command compartment, in the commanding chair in front of the control panel is one among the ghostly being and there is no way to return friends, to return the lost familiar world. With his eyes full of desperate longing, Leonid examined the beautiful contours of the instruments, inscribed with jeweler precision in the semicircular spacecraft control panel. The measured blinking of control bulbs, creating a garland of colorful lights, like fireflies, winked cheerfully and cheerfully to each other, soothed and brought Leonid’s thoughts scattered about what was going on in relative order.

Emotional stress of loneliness gradually passed. I remembered the heroes in such situations from the books they read and movies. And the first — Robinson Crusoe. But the situation in which the hero of the book found himself was much better. In any case, she gave a chance to return to the abandoned world. But what should he do? Leonid again with

warmth in his eyes examined the cramped cabin. Consciousness suggested that, compared with Robinson Crusoe, he has everything necessary for existence. The fact that the hero Daniel Defoe was doing for the extraction of food, he, Leonid, got even with an excess. He has food, drink, a roof, clothes, and even books recorded on DVD discs. He does not have a world in which remained close, friends, work. In the new situation, Leonid decided to act taking into account all the realities and first of all to undertake the search for contact…

Time ran in orderly rows of numbers. Mechanically, my hand reached for the transmitter. A click — and the distant noises of the ether filled the cabin space…

With greediness, every rustle, crackle, rustle of ether absorbed in hearing. For a moment it seemed that someone had said a word, a whole phrase, but, listening attentively to the space, he understood that this was only a deception.

To no avail cracked the air for two whole hours. It’s unbearable to listen to hopeless chatter in headphones. Tired, leaning back in his chair, turned off the radio. Eyes slowly closed. There were no thoughts. I wanted to sleep…

Chapter three

He dreamed of friends. Sobinov sat in a dressing-gown and slippers, sitting at the kitchen table and reading a newspaper. My wife was bustling at the stove. The table of contents, written in bold capital letters: «CATASTROPH».

Vision strained, read a few lines: «The death of Leonid Krazimov drew a line under the dangerous expeditions into space. It’s time to put an end to the reckless victims in the age of robotics and automatic unmanned ships…»

Oh, how it was missing now there. I wanted to be close to my colleagues, to finish what we started. He started, woke up. Found myself sleeping in the chair. From the dream I saw in my heart a little warmer.

— «I wish I could visit Alexey now. What is he really doing there? Does he drink coffee with his wife?»…

Of course, the distance separating the spaceport from the N-sky, where Sobinov lived, prevented the implementation of the plan. Leonid got up, stretched his stiff legs, then went down to the sleeping compartment. The snow-white bed inspired the warmth of the home and such a desired comfort, followed by peace of mind. Undressed, lay down in a soft bed. Soon he was asleep, indulging in a sweet rest…

The sun’s rays fell on the devices, reflected from them and blinded the eyes. Squinting, he turned away from the sun toward the exit that led to the command bay.

Impulsively jumped out of bed. A light breakfast, after the morning procedures, and a «cup» of coffee was jolted. Wearing a jumpsuit, walked up the steep stairs to the cabin. I sat down in the commander’s chair and thought deeply. It was necessary to weigh the situation again and again, to understand what had happened and to take some kind of decision. The instruments on the control panel were turned off, only one light, a control one, was flashing alone, signaling that the ship’s systems were not working. A ray of sunshine broke through the porthole. From the blinding sun, my eyes lost their sight for a moment. From a breast pocket he took out a napkin, rubbed his eyes. Fragrant gel wipes quickly absorbed into the eyelids pleasantly cool eyesight. As they got used to it, a panorama of the outskirts opened through the window. Approximately from the height of the twenty-story building where the cabin was located, how much the eye could reach, the vast sea of the forest «spilled». Cumulus hung over the expanse, drawn against the blue sky by a downy pile of white chimeras.

— «And yet I am on Earth!» — Replied with the sad warmth in the heart. Jumping to his feet, an instant and the HDA is already open, letting in the transition chamber. On the captain’s bridge, the astronauts, yielding to the old tradition, called the observation deck, looked through a vast area. A warm, gentle breeze filled with the tart flavors of an unfamiliar world caressed his cheeks. Breathing has become harder. The sugary-rich saturation of the smells of lush-flowering primeval forest and the high content of carbon dioxide made the atmosphere almost unsuitable for breathing. My head was spinning slightly, I had to go back inside the ship. Dressed in a light suit, entered the elevator. The spacesuit breathed easily, there was a surge of strength and vitality. Coming out of the transition chamber, vigorously ran down the ladder down to the sand. The spreading crown of a giant fern from the north completely covered

ship. The silvery design rushed upwards, like an alien plant, abandoned by Cosmos from the distant future. The landing stands are deeply entrenched in the ground, or rather in ghostly sand, on which was seen an endless variety of tracks. But only his gaze settled on these bizarre traces, as the crash of fallen and dry horsetail branches warned of imminent danger.

An old acquaintance, gleaming with a gray-green sheen of armored scales, raking in clawed five-fingered limbs, weighty clods of earth, like excavator buckets, was approaching. A few «eternal» moments and a long monster, snaking like a snake, saw the «victim» and froze, preparing for the attack. Mouth of explosive noise threw portions of compressed air picking up clouds of dust, making it tremble with horror. But, the lizard suddenly froze with a nightmare, approaching. Icy fear was crawling on my back, the astronaut looked around, there were no other animals around. The lizard raised its face and stared dully at the headset with huge balls of eyes. In the vertically set pupils flashed red reflections. By issuing an annoyed sap, the animal took a few «steps» back. Then, in a fierce leap, rushed at the man. His open mouth almost instantly froze over the headset glittering in the sun. The blood-red train of the forked tongue darted to the body with an arrow. The click of the closed fangs and the horror seized consciousness. The monster backed away, hissing furiously, clearly preparing for a new attack…

My heart pounded like a hammer on an anvil. The monster, not having achieved success in the attack, resumed the attack. The clanging of terrible fangs, closed somewhere inside Leonid, and the stinging mucus of saliva from thousands of tiny mouths of the mouth, caused an irresistible feeling of nausea. Leonid vomited. Dizzy. Trying not to look in the direction of the vile animal, he hurriedly ran to the ladder, and with pleasure feeling the firmness of the steps, ran up to the ship. The roar and the crackling of dry trunks under the power of heavy carcasses for a long time spoke in the dead of the forest, in the guttural cries of small animals…

With a stale breath from the experienced one, the astronaut was sitting in the cockpit in front of the control panel. Anger treacherously pushed to the button «START». To somehow calm down, and collect his thoughts, spoke to himself.

— This is some kind of nightmare! — then I thought, having calmed down a bit, I asked the same question repeated a thousand times in my mind:

— What is happening after all?! — having heard once again his own voice, he was moaned:

— It is clear how twice two, I am in another dimension! But, on the other hand, there is no sensation of touching visible objects, but at night?! And at night I see the world left. — he sadly remembered last night.

Friends who did not even know about his existence next to him…

— This is something different, some kind of two-faced world…

Chapter four

The sun hid behind the edge of the forest. Evening dawn faded. As darkness fell, the East brightened. The twilight yellowness spread there more and more, filling the sky and shadows below. Soon the yellow glow enveloped the whole expanse behind the ship. Flashing black drops of stars appeared one after another in the sky…

Leonid woke up from a heavy dream in a commanding chair. The dream that he had just seen made him relive the moments of the flight to Patroclus, so reminiscent of the hopelessness of his present position. It seemed to him that this was not going to happen to him. At the same time, he felt somewhere in the depths of the subconscious that these events will occur in the future, but not with him, but with another person, perhaps with his follower.

— «Am I really going crazy???! — Leonid collected his thoughts, — That was still not enough, I’m dreaming about the hell!!!», he cursed, but didn’t do any analysis of the situation in which he was now. After all, the «Two Faces World» is full of surprises. And how to know what he has to go through, maybe tomorrow or…

An astronaut stood at the foot of his ship, in a working lightweight space suit. Through the shroud of yellow glow, he peered into his close and so distant world. A bitter lump again came to his throat, squeezing his breath. Again, near the mirage of the ship, as last time, there was a service bus. Not controlling himself, he ran to the ghost bus, abruptly lifted and raised his foot on the step of the door. Like the first time, I did not feel resistance. In the hearts of people, I had fist on the wall of the car, there was no expected resistance. Slapping hard through the vision of the ghostly concrete, felt a blow to the hard surface of the earth. Five minutes passed. Gathering with his thoughts, he rose heavily and trudged along, limping over his injured leg, towards the ship. On the way, he took control of himself, the old Eastern wisdom suddenly came to mind: «If the mountain does not go to Mohammed — Mohammed goes to the mountain!» It gave strength. He was determined to go to the Center…

The yellow glow flickered even in the ghostly night, when the cargo bay platform slowly descended. Finally, the pneumatic cylinders threw the ladder, and he with a roar rested against the ground. Leonid quickly ran up to the all-terrain vehicle fixed on the platform. Immediately roar engines. For a minute the car stood still. Then she cautiously slid onto the concrete block, sinking the wheels in it. After testing the all-terrain vehicle, driving back and forth, then around the ship and making sure that there was no resistance to the «drowned» wheels in concrete, I set about loading.

Soon, the all-terrain vehicle was prepared for a multi-day journey through the two-faced world…

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