alien 1 (Англ.)


alien 1 (Англ.)



Fantastic novel






The Alien - 1

Author: Alexey Kralko

















320 pages



Introduction.
Part 1. Revolt on the Saltrex.
The planet Soltrex is the most hostile place in the universe. Every minute on it is a never-ending massacre. God knows when it all started, but it seems that it will not end.
- "Al larm yen yu-yu!" - Shouts the brown-rose from the hillock - a green terrible creature resembling a huge green toad. His hands are well muscled, with knotty outgrowths, legs short with membranous fins, adapted for jumping, a healthy mouth filled with small pointed teeth. These teeth well bite muscles, tissues and especially strong bones. The creature licks each of its teeth in anticipation of fast feeding.
The creature stands and looks around vigilantly. This is the General of the aggressive forces Horus Golut. His planet in hundreds of cosmic leagues from this, but also to local residents is familiar with his steep temper. The general is distinguished by his voracity. And all his soldiers, too. On their account, thousands of defeated, conquered and ravaged down the planets. Prisoners of Lotthard never take. Everyone eats on the battlefield. The general is especially different in this. Kills rarely, eats the enemy on the battlefield alive. This is his corporate style. Stand up behind the hind legs, open wider your already small throat, shoot your long, short tongue and grab the victim at once to shove it into the throat, no matter how healthy it is.
On his wild planet, he quickly broke into the leaders. One by one, eating the relatives, he gained the fear of those who had bypassed this fate. Some began to serve him, others tried to resist. Both of them paid for their choice. The first - a place among his valiant soldiers, others - in the stomach of an insatiable monster. This, - as the Choir said, - So that you do not relax, - and stroked his belly with his green clawed webbed paw. The soldier put it on his feet instantly. And how else could they forget how their fellow tribesmen shouted when the warrior Choir alive ate them. Nobody wanted this fate, and they could not forget it either.
Today, in the army, Horus Goluta had about two hundred deaththirds from his native planet and had three hundred mercenaries from other planets. Over the shoulders of hundreds of very different battles. Countless devastated lands, plundered planets. Now Saltrex lay before him. The hour did not pass as the star ship of an alien gangster landed on this land. "Kula-lukh-haah!" - then he said, and this meant "This land will be mine!" All wars were enthusiastically giggling back, and everyone was able to express their consent. He will not agree with the leader - it was a death sentence.
Soon the eyes of the invader opened the Citadel. A huge, white sparkling castle on a hill. "Ullai-dah-heh! (In battle!)" - the commander called urgently and moved first to the castle. The battle strategy was worked out right there. The best kind of capture is attack. The gang of thugs always relied only on their own strengths. As a rule, it never failed them. As they believed it should not fail here.
"Al-larm-en-uuu !!!" (Time to tear and tear !!!) "- Khor Golut shouted threateningly looking at his huge army. "Al-larm-en-uuu !!!" - echoed the soldiers.

That′s all. The battle began. Horus Golut glittered maliciously with his pupil and made his first jump to the castle. Before him was about two hundred meters, and this distance he intended to overcome, joking, but not there it was.
The first fifty meters he slipped without obstacles, but with the rest was not all so smooth. The air, still silent, shook an unprecedented explosion in its magnitude. It shook so well that the army shook like a wave, and the very Horus Golota landed on his hind legs almost threw up. In an unprecedented fear, he looked back.
Like him, just two lotartha were just landed in the air. They wriggled and writhed from the blue and yellow snakes running through their bodies. But their torment was short-lived. Soon, two powerful claps were heard and the bodies were literally swept over by all those gathered. Dark blue blood, entrails and severed limbs fell on the soldiers′ heads with torrential rain.
In the army there was a panic: screaming, screaming, someone′s whining. All this flew to the general′s ears and, although he was equally splashed with blood and frightened, he enraged him. "Allar-hashi (Get up and go ..) ...", he shouted, but he did not have time to finish. There was another clap and it was so powerful that it instantly blocked the general′s voice.
A short, barely visible wave ran through the field, and this time more than a hundred people were killed. Their bodies turned into piles of an unidentifiable molten mass. It was impossible to determine who was who.
This infested the ranks of the army with even greater fear, and then the matter could end in an immediate flight, if not for General Khor Golut. He looked at his soldiers, furiously twisted a black pupil in his eye and roared: "Ellarmma-Horta !!!" Then a miracle happened: the wars were cheered up, they kept their heads higher and, following their general, they seemed to be filled with courage. And how can they be different, because they just heard the military call of their general. There was never an exact translation of this phrase, but in general terms it meant the following: "They should be afraid, and not we - go and stop their miserable lives." The soldiers usually were proud of their strength - they represented themselves as something great and indestructible - they went and won. Usually it worked, but alas ... on Saltrex everything was not the same as always.
The army of Horus Golut ran forward, while mines continued to explode and the wars continued to perish. That left them less than one hundred and fifty. Suddenly, sentry guns started working, and from the beautiful white castle a hail of red deadly rays fell on the soldiers′ heads. Getting into the head, trunk or legs of soldiers, they burned in them huge holes, so that they then fell to the ground and died right there.
Chorus Golut could not understand anything. His valiant army, the number of which has reached a thousand now has turned into only a few miserable dozens. His army, which did not know the defeats and failures - now mostly fell in this field. This has never happened.
But anyway, despite the terrible losses, the attempt to storm a well-defended fortress all the same took place. Horus Golut made a desperate leap, his claws-suckers clung to the white stone, crawled up. Together with him, one spider-like mercenary from the planet Danukha, a slug from the planet Khray, a humanoid from Akhuly and two or three soldiers, climbed the tower. Only selected units reached their cherished goal. The rest either were dead, or hesitated in indecision, not wanting to further test fate.
And fate this time and in fact was not merciful to Horus Golut and his army. At the top of this inhospitable castle, they waited for several humanistic creatures (such as was in his army) bright yellow light. Although they were very helpless, they turned out to be the most dangerous obstacle on the way to the Horus.
As soon as they noticed him and the soldier, they immediately changed their location (in which they were before) and began to rush so fast on the upper landing of their castle that the aliens immediately swam all before their eyes. But they did it just to confuse the soldiers, not only to try to escape by themselves, but in order to cut off the path to retreat. Chorus Golut understood this, but too late. Before his eyes was like a fog of gold, from all sides he felt a slight push and was forced to move farther and farther from the walls of the fortress. Illumination came to him when he and all his soldiers, having got into a tight circle, were in the center of a huge platform moved away from the edges of the fortress.
The punishment came immediately. The first was a mercenary from Akhuly. From the golden veil he was struck, and immediately he lost his hand. He was a very brave warrior in a black hood, wrapped in bandages to prove his strength, but he could not stand it either. I yelled at the top of my lungs. And then he lost his leg. Then his body was raised over the platform and under a still greater cry was torn to pieces. The slime was simply thrown up, and then, under the deafening clap of four standing volunteers, a hail of mucus was spilled.
Within the next three seconds, Horus Golut lost all his soldiers. It frightened and angered him even more. Naked, blind from his anger, not understanding anything, he snarled angrily, and himself rushed into the deadly golden veil. Naturally, he did not come out victorious from there.
A couple of minutes on the field to the feet of the remnants of his once indestructible army the corpse of Hora Golota collapsed with a heavy bag. He was very disfigured, his hands, and his legs were torn out, one of the jaws was twisted. And the field lay a huge, pile of green meat - all that was left of the once fierce general.
The remnants of the army (now there were less than a dozen) fled to the ship. But here they were unlucky. The ship was surrounded by dozens of strange golden men, and at the moment it was already not a ship, but a mountain of molten metal.
The surviving soldiers froze in horror. They were discovered by locals. And they already destroyed their ship. Now it was impossible to fly away from here. And soon it did not make sense to run either. They were noticed ...

Part 2. Keeper of the Elixicon.
After the army of Horus Golota suffered a crushing, and the last in his life, the defeat of the golden whirlpool at the top of the castle began to slow down. It spun more and more slowly and slowly until it disappeared altogether. Instead, four bright-yellow men stood on the platform again
These creatures were neither thin nor full; neither high nor low; they did not have any clothes on their bodies, and at the same time they were not naked - in a word - they all looked the same. Growth, skin color, even their faces were no different - smooth, empty, without hair, without eyebrows, ears, mouth and everything else. They were shapeless, like wood-cut logs. But all the same, internally they were all different
An example of this was the conversation that the creatures had with each other, with the help of thought waves.
"The attack is repulsed," one of the men said to the other. - Total number of enemy losses: all who attacked. The loss of the tower of Soltrex: not one. This was the shortest battle in the history of our planet.
"No, you are mistaken," another creature objected. - The shortest battle is the attack of the Talas 17022440. When they came up against us, their army of miltluko fighting in 1000 wars. 500 fell after the first volley of our gun, and the rest fled. In just 2 seconds.
- Well, these cephalopods reptiles, also flown in, - put in a third. "They certainly did not expect such a meeting."
Creatures shook their yellow heads in time with each other. So they laughed. Then they dispersed, each into his own corner, and their fast continued.

No doubt, this fight was short and shattering. And if Horus Golut knew what this planet was and what kind of creatures lived on it, he would never have dared to contact them.
Creatures, in honor of their native planet, were called Salts. They lived forever and had super-energy, which was given to them in the process of birth by the planet. Actually, they were born in its bowels. First in the form of a formless and colorless slurry, but then all the closer to the rise, they infused the life-giving energy of the bowels of Soltrex. In the process of life, the composition of their bodies did not change. They consisted of molecules of the native planet. And those in turn were indestructible. Therefore, the Salt to all were immortal. They could stretch up to several thousand meters, could decrease to the size of a microbe, could become harder than any rock in the universe, or completely turn into a fog - for them there was nothing impossible.
However, such amazing creatures could not be born just like that. And usually the planet associated the birth of their children, with any danger to themselves, or the acquisition of new knowledge. New salt, appeared rarely (once in 100, 000 space years) and in a limited number (6-12 pieces no more), but their arrival always carried some changes in the life of the planet. New invaders, aggravation of aggression by local residents, or even some kind of attack - you always need to be ready.
In essence, the invaders did not present any danger to the planet. A real, great danger the planet carried in itself. Billions of space years ago, when it was born, it was already clear to all the neighboring worlds that it would never find peace. As well as those who pozaryatsya, on her untold treasures. And it was like this: Saltrex - was the richest planet in the universe. Everything was on it: from the best Universal technologies to the most inconceivable supply of Knowledge. But at the same time, and no one was furious with what she possessed. It can be said, it was divided into two parts. One half of it was created, stored and multiplied, the other seethed with rage, sought to take away and let all the sensible power and power to conquer other worlds.
Both that and other part of the planet gave birth to salt. Reasonable part of it gave birth to the Salt keepers and the Salt-defenders (like those who were on duty on the roof of the citadel). The aggressive part gave birth mainly to invaders and rudders. Invaders, as a rule, went on the offensive. Ruders built an offensive strategy. They did not look like custodians or soldier-soldiers. They were dark blue creatures (sometimes brown), weaker in combat, and as a rule have failed for failure, although they did not die.
They were in advantage. They were born much more (up to 20 pieces every 75,000 years). For the entire history of the planet (its age was estimated in billions of years), they were already born several tens of thousands. And all this time they went to the castle. They were smashed. They crawled away. We again gathered strength. And again they went on the offensive. Nobody could tell when this most ancient and most ruthless war began, but everyone knew that there would be no end to it.

His name was Elixicon. He was born more than 3 billion years ago. In the same year, at the very hour when the planet was fiercely besieged by both mercenaries and local residents. The castle was stormed without end. Everyone seemed to be drawn to him by that extraordinary power that was born at that moment. Nobody knew what it was, and how it looked, but they walked and died for this power.
Only Elixicon knew everything. He knew, because he was born the guardian of this great power - this great knowledge. Actually, he was born with it in his hands. It was Harridik′s cube. Dark blue, closed, small - this object was the absolute embodiment of the knowledge and power of Saltrex. Discovering this cube and absorbing its power could subjugate the entire universe. It was the power of the planet. She had all her knowledge. Such a thing could only appear once. In the right place. And the keeper could have only one. Keeper Elixicon.

The Elixicon, along with his treasure, was buried deep underground. In his armored hall it was impossible to penetrate the tunnel, it was impossible to blow up these walls. The entrance was only one. Through the hatch at the top. That is, through the citadel.
Elixicon was sitting alone in his room. He did not go anywhere. Nobody came to him. His only task was to guard the cube. Right in front of him. At arm′s length. Already no one million years of space.
He was the only guardian of the priceless treasure. His main task was to monitor the safety of the cube. And if the enemy had penetrated here, that meant only one thing for Elixicon. That he must destroy the alien at the same moment.

Part 3. Ortrex.
The attack lasted not the first year. The invaders all approached and approached. Here and there the explosions rattled, deadly beams sent by guns fell like a red-blue rain, but the guns themselves did not stop, not even for a minute. They just had time to recharge.
Many thousands of troops stubbornly walked to the citadel. They were torn, frozen, they turned into stone, they let in unprecedented charges through their bodies and drooped motionless - but whatever it was they continued to walk and they did not get smaller.

"They′re up to something," one guard said to the other. "It′s a painful long offensive."
"Another cunning idea of their rudders," the guard replied.
"We′ll see," came from the other side of the fortress.
"Moreover, it seems to me so," the fourth one entered into the conversation. "It will not take us long to wait."

And he was right. Another year and a half of vain attempts to attack, and in the picture of their offensives began to occur significant changes. The army has noticeably thinned out. Attackers invaded somewhere, and right in the middle of the battle. Suddenly they turned their heads back, and as if obeying someone′s voice, they left. Salt-defenders were amazed when they saw it for the first time. A few hundred troops separated from several thousand troops, and left the battlefield.
"What′s wrong with them?" - transferred one salt to another. - You do not know?
"I do not know," his interlocutor answered. - But apparently they have something in mind. maybe some new attack strategy.
But strangely enough, the invaders who were fleeing the battlefield did not return. They only decreased, but did not come again. Less than a year the army suffered enormous losses, but did not replenish.
The guards of the citadel did not understand this strategy. They were all perplexed there. And yet, against them, there were already less than a thousand invaders. Defenders threw them back like a wave of wood. Sentry cannons smashed this wretched army of fluff and dust, as soon as she rose to her feet. The first fifty meters around the citadel were unusually easy to win. Now almost a hundred. Yes, and the attacker itself seems that they did not want to advance any more. They retreated. Almost ran away from the battlefield.
Solts - the defenders were very happy about this circumstance. Finally something cleared up. And the endless (as it seemed, the battle), was coming to its end.
But at the same time it was very alarming. Where did the main forces of the army retreat? Why did it become so easy to fight? Was it really the end?

The answer came three months later. When out of the whole attack there were no more than a dozen invaders, two hundred meters from the white castle.
It was just one salt. But what. The height of more than 3, 5 meters. Massive short legs, long arms with heavy fists, a small flat head on huge shoulders. His step was heavy, and the mood is probably the most serious. It consisted of black slime, which ran down from it endlessly, and flew to the ground with rain.
Who he was such defenders did not know. To their race is absolutely not true; nor the invader; nor a ruder. Some new unfamiliar breed. However, next to him the same invigorated the remaining invaders on the field. Zaprygali around him, as near, native and together moved to the castle.

- What could it be? - passed one defender to another.
"I do not know," he replied. "Some new power." Now let′s see how stable it is.
There was a clap of cotton, and a shell, flying like a top in the air, flew out of the lock. Hit right in the head. And then a deafening explosion, which was supposed to carry the enemy across the field, but only the upper part of his body exploded. When the fountain of black sprays in different directions was silent defenders found that the field is his feet.
"Look," said one. - Not completely ripped. When was it?
"Look," the other interlocutor handed him over, pointing a finger at him to the battlefield.
Something incredible happened. On all sides to the motionless legs flowed black slurry. Around them was a whole black lake. Then all this poured in waves, gathered together and here - in the extension of his legs a huge three-meter trunk grew. The giant recovered. And again he looked at the white fortress with the depressions of his black eyes.
The defenders were at a loss. First, it had to be completely broken off by a bomb, and secondly, the particles of the ruptured salt - invader - were to receive a negative charge that would not allow them to recover within three days: the giant recovered in three minutes.
From all over, he hit the ground with his fists and the ground trembled from his impact. The citadel trembled and the defenders nearly fell. This was a new surprise for them.
"It will not be easy to eliminate it!" - One soldier told another.
- Together we will prevail! said another.
"Four shells, at once!" Cried the third.
- Forward! The fourth commanded.
To each other, the Soles stood at one end of the wall, towards the black giant, holding their guns reminiscent of their shape with four short pipes with huge cannons inserted into the neck. There were four clicks and in the direction of the black giant four round rotating balls flew.
The projectiles reached their goal, but this time he prepared. He stretched out to seven meters, and this time all the shells were drowned in his stomach. Explosions were heard, and again it was torn to pieces. But - it was something unprecedented, this time a black fountain scattered in different directions and immediately gathered in one point. And again the giant was safe and sound.
This time he was really pissed. Beat his fists on the ground so that the lock shook like an aspen leaf in the wind. Then he went to him at such a speed that he could hardly have expected such a thing from him.

A hail of new bombs flew; He exploded again, but every time he got up again and continued his way even more violently.
- It does not take shells! - handed one of the salt to his neighbor.
"This time we were put in a powerful force against us!" The other nodded.
- We change tactics! Cried the third.
- Let′s try to freeze! - suggested a third.

A few silver-blue rays flew from the tower of the white castle to the black giant. As it was before, they achieved the goal. The giant stopped. And then he began to get covered with ice crust. At first, the head, then the trunk, legs, and even the black drops that flowed from it, froze. Several immediately hit the ground and crumbled into ice.
"At last," the Salts were happy, the defenders. - At least some progress »But the joy was not long. Their jubilation was interrupted by a powerful explosion that occurred on the field. The ice shell was shattered, someone was far away, and the black giant was again alive and unharmed. In fact, it was not even believed. Ice with a negative charge, which produced these guns, immobilized the molecules of any attacker, or ruder, for exactly one month. For the giant it took less than a minute. Was he really that strong?
As if the answer to this question, a huge block of ice crashed to the feet of the defenders. It was launched more than 100 meters to the castle.
Defenders only managed to change their weapons. We tried it and that, but the monster did not take anything. He froze, and then broke his ice armor; electric bombs were thrown at him, and then he threw them off himself; they tried to crush it into molecules, tried to infect it with a virus that devoured activity, tried to fry in a fire, cut with a laser, drowned with plasma, but nothing helped - the monster walked and went ahead. When he entered the minefield, and under his feet he began to explode, and did not stop to stop. Some of the mines threw it up, some were thrown aside, but none could become a worthy obstacle.

Before the castle, he was less than fifty meters away, and the Salts - the defenders were lost (how to defend the castle: if nothing took this creature ?!), when two custodians appeared at the top.
"He′s close," one friend said. - It is necessary to include defensive shields.
- Protective shields, turn on! - mentally instructed the second.
And that moment, five meters from the castle, power shields came on. Red, yellow, green, purple, blue, again red, again green, orange, again red, blue, red and again orange. There were twelve of them altogether. One is thicker than the other. One was adjacent to the other, and all together they were like garlands on the tree: bright, shimmering, working.
"This will keep him," the guardian told the other custodian, and all the Salt-defenders.
"Is it only for a long time?" Asked the first curator.
And in fact the monster was stopped. At full speed, he crashed into the red screen and was stopped by his force field.
He was stopped, but tried again. Again, the power shield did not let him go any further. Then, perhaps with vexation, may be furious, or, thinking of something else, he raised his hands over himself, and began to wave them.
- What′s the matter? One of the salt asked.
"No idea," the other said.
And then a monstrous force shock shook them both. So strong that the citadel shuddered. The Solts fixed their gaze on one point. A huge black giant in the meantime again waved his hands. Then he stopped and with all his strength pierced his fist against the red shield. On it, that instant, a whole cascade of electric waves of red color has grown. And the fortress shuddered again.

He struck after the blow for the second day. Not doing anything else. About nothing more without thinking. Red waves scattered in different directions, and each time became brighter all thicker. The white fortress was stilted.

"Bad news," one of the Soldiers told the other. - In the structure of the attacked power grid, several minor breakdowns were found. If this goes on, we will lose it.
"How much is left for him?" Another salt asked.
"Another month," was the reply.

Part 4. Exile.
The Elixicon Hall in which no one usually entered this time was invaded. It was a salt-defender. He sank into the hall carefully and slowly, trying not to make noise (he knew about the mission of Elixicon and was afraid of him), but unnecessarily. Elixicon to him and said:
"Soldier, you are in vain, so careful." I already know about everything, he sent a mental message before the feet of the salt touched the floor.
- You know ?! - the defender was surprised. "What do you know?"
"He′s already here, soldier," Elixicon answered him. "And our deeds are bad."
- Who is he?! Asked Salt, still not understanding.
The Elixicon, who was standing in the center with his back to the stranger, turned this time and looked directly at him.
"He′s Ortrex." Our main problem today. He is unshakable. And no weapon of our citadel can harm him. He is at the gate of our castle and at the moment is ruining our energy shields.
- But how…?! - the defender was incredible. "You′ve always been here, deep underground." You guarded the cube and did not go anywhere. And you know absolutely everything that has happened in the last few days. How?!
"Do not be surprised," said Elixicon. - I know a lot. I feel any changes in the life of the planet on an intuitive level. The Harridika Cube is the key to everything. To the past, the present, the future. I talk with him all the time, and he tells me everything. I do not leave the room, but all the same I see everything, every corner of our planet with his help.
"Then you all know Lord Elixicon." Tell me who he is and why we can not stop him.
"He′s Ortrex." One living thing. Fertile mud of our planet. Thousands of her faithful servants. Once upon a time there were hundreds of salt that went to our castle by war. But then on the body of the planet appeared fertile mud. A small black skeleton. So weak and helpless that the planet began to call upon its children one by one, so that they strengthened his body. And now thousands of soldiers fell in the wrong place. And one was born. Big. Indestructible. The one that is now breaking the gates of our castle.
"How do you destroy it, keeper?" Asked the defender. - What should we do?
"He′s too tough for you," Elixicon said shortly. "You can not destroy him." Stop, too.
"Keeper, do you know what to do?" - said the guard and it was not a question.
Rather, it was a requirement. Very confident and demanding.
Elixicon nodded at him.
- Yes, I know, the defender. Let′s not waste time.
Elixicon approached the cube of Harridik, who serenely hung in the space of the hall and extended his hand in his direction. A few seconds passed and the cube began to emit light. A golden glow that grew brighter with every second. It enveloped the body of Elixicon and soon absorbed him. The light filled the whole space of the hall and was so bright and powerful that the guard salt retreated a couple of steps. For a while he was blinded by this light and saw nothing. When the light went out, he found that it was difficult to move.
"What happened to the Keeper," he squeaked. "I can barely move."
The paralyzed guard stood in the middle of the hall, frozen like a statue. In addition, he was covered with something white, like chalk. Elixicon stood opposite him and was unharmed.
"Do not worry soldiers, it′s okay," said Elixicon. - You have experienced the power of the cube of Harridik. Now you can not move - this is the usual effect for the uninitiated, but soon it will pass.
Elixicon stood right under the hatch and was ready to jump when he heard a few words from the guard:
"Forgive us, Hran-entel." Do not forget, Soltresses!
Each of his cells plunged into a slow sleep, so the guard′s speech was quiet and confused.
Elixicon hung the guard, who by that time had turned white and turned into a marble statue, a farewell bow and replied:
"I′ll never forget you!" Farewell, soldier! Farewell, Saltrex!
Then he pushed himself off from the floor, and, having easily crossed the distance of more than ten meters, ducked into the yellow metal hatch, lined with blue stones on the ceiling.
Luke in the hall of the center of defense was located about a hundred meters from the room of Elixicon. He hurried there. It was necessary to see for himself how serious the threat was and then, only from there he could penetrate into the main storehouse of the white fortress.
As expected, the hatch was tightly closed, but not for Elixicon. He easily touched the lock (a small dashboard embedded in a wall), as there were several standard sounds. Then the "special" sound of the door opening and the round partition smoothly drove to the side. Elixicon curved into an arc rushed to the hole formed and soon a huge well-pit was abandoned by him. He was in the hall of the center of defense.
The hall where he had penetrated, compacting his body to the shape of a snake, was about the same size as his own. Six Soldiers were on duty here, two of whom were guards and four others were behind the instruments. Elixicon knew that everyone here strictly performed his function, and his arrival could be perceived very hostile. So it happened.
As soon as the elongated body of the golden snake fell into the middle of the hall, it expanded and became the guardian of Elixicon, the guards immediately broke off and pointed their energy guns at him.
"Calm down, soldiers," said the Elixicon, without even turning his head. I am the Guardian, not the enemy. After all, as far as I know, not all the energy supplies have collapsed, and even then, who could open the door to the defense hall from the outside. Only the Guardian could do this. The enemy is not capable of that, is it?
The soldiers lowered their guns and apologized:
"Forgive us, Guardian." But now is the time.
"I know," answered Elixicon, and did not turn his head again. - There is a war. And the devoted soldiers of the white fortress are ready to suspect everyone. Even their own. It is commendable. The most impregnable fortress, our center of defense. Serve further in the same spirit.
More he did not talk to the soldiers, but only asked the coordinators (the Salt who sat in the different parts of the hall behind the instruments).
"How many shields do we have left?"
"There are nine more energy shields," one of the guardians said.
"It′s bad," Elixicon said to himself, and asked the following:
- According to your forecasts, how much longer.
"If the monster does not retreat, if its strength does not decrease, and it probably will not, then another 27 years before it breaks our last shield."
"It is not enough time," Elixicon thought again and ordered:
- Display a graphic image.
One of the coordinators, something clicked, something typed on his keyboard and in the middle of the hall, just opposite Elixicon, flared a bluish flat picture. On her gigantic size, the black giant crushed the energy shield of the white fortress with his fists. Through the defensive system, freezing, plasma laser beams flew to him (pathetic attempts to slow down the attack), but he did not retreat a single step. Furiously roared and again crushed the shield.
- Remove the graphic image! - commanded the Elixicon.
And after the screen went out, he plunged into a brief reflection. That′s what his enemy is. The undefeated Ortrex. Elixicon foresaw his appearance. Sooner or later, but he had to appear, as he himself appeared one day. And that meant only one thing. It was necessary to leave this planet urgently. At him, at Elixicon, the cube of Harridika is the most powerful weapon in the whole Universe, and Ortreksu only needs it to fulfill what he was born for - to bring death to all living things, to destroy civilizations, to turn them into the dust of the planet. The fate of all star systems now depended on Elixikon, because he reliably hide himself and hide the cube of Harridik. Perhaps there will be a pursuit, perhaps there will be a battle in which they will converge, but so far ... exile.
"I must go into exile," said Elixicon. "My stay is becoming too dangerous on this planet."
"Guardian, try, fly away as far as possible," said one of the coordinators. - To disappear from the field of view Ortreksa for a long time, or forever. And do not go back to this planet. Never. There will be new invaders, maybe even stronger. The Harridika Cube is a very powerful weapon to risk them.
"I′ll do it," Elixicon assured him. "I′m going into exile." But first I need some equipment.
This time no coordinator answered him, and all the soldiers immediately:
"You can take anything you deem necessary, Guardian!"
"Anything for you, just ask!"
"Right now, open the door to the warehouse!"
- Everything will be done! Behind me, the Guardian!
Even the Salty guards got involved in the conversation, which was uncharacteristic for them:
- Good luck to you, Guardian!
"We were honored by your presence!"
Elixicon slightly touched by this farewell, respectfully bowed to them and again condensed to the shape of a snake, sniffed into the slightly opened square hatch in the floor behind the defense coordinator.
This time he was in a small well, three meters deep. The coordinator was there immediately. He is currently busy with the code for the lock for the second door.
"Attention," he said. "Now you are in the treasury of Saltrex, Guardian"
There was a click, then some pelican and the floor under the feet of both solts dissolved. And they both flew down. Elixicon waited for these sounds, but the door was a complete surprise to him. He was confused, although not for long. Still not reaching the floor, he was able to concentrate and smoothly stand on his feet next to the Coordinator.
"This is our store," said Salt. "You knew the Guardian about him."
"I almost represented it," said Elixicon, examining the floor and walls.
The room was huge. One hundred meters in height. And about the same in diameter. The store was round. A huge column in the middle (pit-well where his adventures began), round walls laid out in blue polished stone, over the head of the center of defense, under the feet of his empty hall (former place of residence). Yes, Elixicon many times saw this hall and knew everything about him except for the hatch-door and a few trifles.
"Yes, Coordinator," he said. "I know this repository well." Although the first time here I am.
"We had many more items than you see now, just recently we have repelled many attacks, our resources have been slightly exhausted.
This was addressed to objects lying all over the place. They lay in piles and separately, in a single quantity and in a multitude, there was much that was useful. Weapons of the most bizarre forms, colors and purposes; objects similar to completely innocuous things, or on the contrary inspiring fear; space ships (mostly they stood at the walls); all sorts of trinkets, more like amulets and souvenirs, than for something useful.
"Nothing, Coordinator," answered Elixicon. "I think that everything I need is here."
He walked around the storage room with the appearance of a connoisseur. I looked left and right until finally I found the object. He bent down, picked up the orange-colored suitcase on the floor and picked it up.
"I′ll take it," he told the Coordinator. - It is very useful to me on the road.
"Guardian, you really know the warehouse, far and wide!" Said the Coordinator. - This is the most valuable of our subjects. This is the main supplier of all our resources.
"And you only had two such items left," Eclixiccon concluded.
"Absolutely," the Coordinator confirmed. - One is on the other side of the warehouse, near the freezing beam, the second directly behind our backs against the wall.
And both Soles turned to the wall to see this miracle of the creation of Soltrex, but they saw another miracle ....

Suddenly, the smooth round wall of the warehouse opened and a black rectangular passage appeared in it, as if there was a door. In the half-darkness of the formed passage stood someone′s figure and stared at the salt without stopping. Those in turn looked at her.
A few seconds later they recovered from the shock and both dashed to the wall, but the figure of the stranger grabbed the suitcase standing next to him and jerked back, closing the door behind him. Elixicon and Cormorant met the wall, which again became smooth and even. For several minutes they tensely stumbled around it with their hands, hoping to reveal in it at least the slightest crack a clue, but everything was in vain. The mysterious kidnapper has sunk into obscurity. And with him, and an orange suitcase, as if it never existed at all. And always in this room there were only two, not three.
"What was that Coordinator, do you think?" Asked Elixicon, finally breaking away from his search.
"I do not know the Guardian, I honestly did not have this before!" said the Coordinator.
"I believe you," he said after a while. "Do you think it was an enemy?"
"I do not think so, Keeper," the interlocutor answered. - Most likely, this is some incredible combination of circumstances that opened the door here. And this stranger himself did not expect to be here.
"It′s very possible," the Guardian Elixicon agreed. "This is not our enemy, but an accidental traveler, whose destiny is unknown to us as it led to our storehouse, but if there is a door somewhere and it was opened once, a second one might open." And this time it will be opened by our enemy.
"This once again tells me how dangerous it is to remain here with what I have," he said again and left the wall alone.
"You have to put guards here," he said. "Now you have only one suitcase - the vault and you must protect it." To protect. It is clear?
He looked at the Coordinator. He stood in front of him.
"Clear, Guardian!" Answered the Coordinator.
- Remember, in its power and might, the second thing in the universe is the case, after the cube of Harridik. We must not allow our enemies to get such strength. It needs special care.
"I′ll remember the Guardian."
"If one day our defense is broken, and the enemies break into the Vault, you ..."
"We must save the last of the suitcases and go with him into exile, as you are now saving the cube of Harriedek." We will do our duty, the Guardian, by all means.
"Very well," Elixicon said shortly, and did not say anything more about it. He started the last preparations.

"I′ll take a few items that are not in my suitcase." I′ll take the ship. And further our ways will disperse, - the Elixicon informed, bypassing the vault.
"How could it be that there was not something in the suitcase?" The Coordinator asked in surprise.
He did not know this fact.
Elixicon stopped:
"Of course, Keeper, this is absolutely accurate." Suitcases are similar, but not in everything. And in one of them, if you go into exile, you can not find this or that useful object.
He stretched out his hand and one of the objects rushed to him from the middle of the hall. Elixicon cleverly caught and said delighted:
- This is a very useful information scanner-directory "387 Nartsz ZX 8-B" model able to give information about everything in the universe, this is not in my suitcase.
- Guardian, from where you know so much, about storage, about objects and everything else.
"I′m the smartest, the most far-sighted, the most gifted of all the Guardians born on Saltrex, do not forget about this Coordinator," the Elixicon said, turning around. - In addition, I am the Guardian of Cuba Harridika, who is the embodiment of all the forces and knowledge of our planet. I know everything that has happened and is happening on this planet, I know and many other things beyond.
He clicked a button on the device he was holding (apparently he looked like a remote control of some complicated system: a flat handle and the same flat rectangular head). But the next moment the device earned. A window of the scanning system moved from the rectangular head, immediately the Coordinator was photographed and it pushed back, information flashed on the computer screen flashed in the center of the "head"
Kind of Life: Salt from the planet Soltrex
Specialization: Knowledge keeper, Defense system coordinator
Age: 17, 679, 834, 409 years on the calendar of Saltrex
First name: Arakertiks
Way of communication: Mind reading
Character: Restrained, reasonable, sociable, learnable, reflective ...
Elixicon did not begin to read further. He simply turned off the device, opened the briefcase and put it there. Then he continued his rounds.
Next in his hand was a thing like a wristwatch.
"Oh, it′s a wonderful thing," he said. "You will not get lost with her."
He did not put it in his suitcase, but immediately put on his arm. And he continued his rounds.
He lifted a smooth, bluish-brown cube from the floor. It was made of some weird metal, small in size.
"There′s no such thing in my suitcase," he said to the Coordinator, not to himself. "Perhaps I′ll take them more."
He found five more of these items and put everything in his suitcase. I took some more things and always the Coordinator only nodded and agreed with everything.
"Yes, Guardian, please, Guardian," he said and nodded his head.
And then the last luggage was collected and it was about choosing a ship. It took quite a bit of time.
The choice here was small, but it was. Several ships of the Paloo S-300 design, two ships "Sellt 200 Z500", but Elixicon stopped at "Solso Nelso 1 - 300". A small, maneuverable, multifunctional boat could not be better suited for space travel, which is unknown what could have ended. The ship was small, even in its true size (here all boats were reduced), which made it invisible to the enemy; It was a streamlined form, which indicated its ability to high speeds and easy passage through any atmosphere; in addition, he would be unusually strong despite the apparent frailty, could withstand meteorite rains and radiation, and heat, and ice, and much more. This ship was in the singular. He was not dragged out of the suitcase (as many here present), not taken from the enemy (which also took place), he was collected from the spare parts at hand. Something was out of suitcases, something they took as a trophy from enemy ships, but in general the thing came out beautiful. Its double name was also special. The first was given by the name of the planet (most of the ships in the repository began with the "S", except for the enemy ones, of course), the second name was given by the name of the master of Nelsar, who collected it. Number 1 said that there was only one such ship on Soltrex (possibly in the Universe), 300 - the date of its assembly (300 any year: maybe 1. 300.000.000, or 75.000. 300, or in general 300 years since the birth of the planet) About the last Elixicon did not think. Actually, it was unnecessary information.
He lifted the ship from a pile of objects with one wave of his hand and pulled it out into the middle of the hall, where it was much cleaner.
"We′ll give him a few extra features," Elixicon said, and that hour in his hand appeared the very cube that he had raised from the floor.
Something turned on in this particular device, and the hard mass on his arm became soft and supple. A few movements and now she was clad in a ball. The ball struck the ship′s windshield with all its scope and immediately spread over it. In a few seconds the whole ship was covered with this bluish-brown mass. Then she sort of went inside the skin and the ship again became golden orange as it was.
"Order," said the Elixicon, and turned to the Coordinator.
They bowed respectfully to each other. Then they said goodbye.
- I leave you Coordinator. I′m leaving Saltrex. Let it all end well. Goodbye forever.
"Good-bye the Guardian." Let your path be successful, wherever you go. It was a great honor for us to have your presence.
Elixicon climbed into the cabin of the ship, and as the boat was small (barely reaching his belt), he himself slightly diminished. Immediately he put the suitcase behind his chair and fell to the dashboard. A few deft movements and the ship was turned on.
- Reduce mode, turn on! He commanded. - Decrease by 200%!
At the same moment the ship began to decrease. All faster and faster. First, the Coordinator saw him, and then he lost sight of all. He was lost among a pile of objects lying on the floor. But did not see even when he started. Now the ship was no more than a bacterium.
The Elixicon in the cockpit pressed the controls and began to take off.
- Enable Absolute Transparency mode! He commanded.
Immediately, the ship from the bright orange, became silvery, and then completely disappeared from all extraneous eyes, becoming invisible.
- Turn on Absolute Permeability! He ordered again.
The ship tilted a bit, it shook it well and everything fell right into place.
He developed speed. And despite the fact that being a Custodian, the Elixicon could easily move from one end of the hall to the other, now it was a considerable distance for him. But all the same it was quick.
Here he passed one hatch in the ceiling. Here behind was the second, the hatch of the coordinator′s room and he was already rushing along the well, to the top of the tower. So this threshold was abandoned. The Elixicon at enormous speed crashed into a large black stain, a closed entrance and immediately pierced it, as a needle pierces a sheet of paper. The next moment he was on the surface. I saw with my own eyes the salt of the thundering power-supply unit that had collapsed into the pile and black giant. However, he did not have time to admire this spectacle, he rose. And the speed continued to grow. Here the castle and the giant became small, very small, very tiny, only then Elixicon decided to slow down.
He entered the upper veil of Soltrex. It consisted entirely of golden clouds. This beautiful gas shell created on Saltreks the state of the eternal golden autumn day. Thanks to her, the planet was very beautiful. The shell itself is only 400 km long. Behind it: open space.
Elixicon increased the ship to its usual size, but did not remove the invisibility. He knew that the density of these clouds was high and that he could see a boat in it, it was not possible from the earth, but he still preferred not to take risks.
He swam slowly along the golden air of the ocean and reflected that he would now see the cosmos. So it happened, in a couple of seconds.
The last, golden cloud melted on his glass, the sky turned black and shimmered to meet a multitude of unfamiliar stars. Elixicon left his native planet and went into open space.

Part 5. In the cosmos.
The planet Soltrex grew smaller and smaller until it turned into one of the stars shining in the dark space, only then Elixicon decided to stop. He reduced the speed to a minimum, but did not remove the invisibility. "Only when I leave this galaxy," he decided. - To be definitively confident in everything »
Now the question was: where did this galaxy end. Accordingly, where should he fly. To do this, he used the device, which he put on his arm. He pressed a button on the side and the device opened. From the round window of the device (which resembled the dial), a bluish ray was flashed, and the spacecraft′s cabin filled the cosmic sky, with all its stars and planets. Before him was a galaxy. Its borders were drawn in red. Beyond these boundaries were small pieces of other galaxies. Show them in more detail the device could not, he simply did not have a review.
Elixicon easily found in this miniature picture of his star ship and calculated the distance to the nearest border. Then he turned off his compass, unfolded the ship in the specified direction and switched on the required speed.
So, the journey in space began. The ship rushed along with the stars and planets, Elixicon arrived in a pleasant mood. He looked out of the window at the stars and planets, and reflected on how much, now his life was enriched. Previously, he sat in his room and did not go anywhere from him - now everything is expensive before his feet. It was a pleasant reflection, but it reminded Elixicona of serious things.
He left the steering wheel of his spaceship for a moment and switched the ship to automatic control. Then he moved to a neighboring chair and took up the on-board computer. A few clever finger movements and Elixicon set his program to fly a certain number of light years (to the end of this galaxy), and then slow down to a minimum. After these simple operations, he got up from his chair and seems to have completely forgotten about the management. He walked around the small stall of his ship to the far corner, where the suitcase stood. And he was not at all interested in the fact that the ship at full speed could crash into some kind of planet. His ship was in the mode of invisibility and absolute permeability. This meant that he would have gone through the planet without damaging either her or herself. In this state, he was like a ghost, and in his way there were no barriers at all.
The Elixicon laid him on the floor with one motion of his hand, and then made a flick of his fingers open. The red gates shone before him. Before him, the entrance to another dimension opened. It was more than amazing, small in size, easy to climb and thin enough in the width of a small suitcase inside it housed a huge dimension, where there was no bottom and it was possible to find anything. For any uninitiated, this would be the greatest mystery and yet another surprise, Elixicon was used to these things. In front of him were the casements of the suitcase, and from the inside the red smooth glow poured out, and he looked at it even without an impression. Like coming in and out millions of times. I curved myself in my place and at one point turned into a long golden serpent that rushed to the gates. He touched them, and his fall began. That′s half, here′s the tail, and there′s no tail. The suitcase clenched its doors and closed with a sharp click. Elixicon never plunged into a suitcase, but he knew this business as his five fingers. He knew what that meant and what would happen next.

It was like a continuous veil of clouds, and it was not clear where the earth was. Just the whole space was clouded. Slightly lower, of course, they were no longer there, but there were a lot of them. Golden, with bright gaps from which the light broke through, as if the sun were behind them. There was certainly no sun, but the inexperienced eye would have thought that it was behind every cloud.
Elixicon was cold to such beauties. He did not look at the clouds, did not care what he had under them - he was here with a very specific mission. He hovered among the clouds without the aid of any auxiliary means, and for a short time he looked back and soon began to gain speed. A kilometer away from the place where it hovered for a moment golden white clouds fell into a large bowl, and in the very center of this unusual cloudy island there was a door.
Elixikon made a jump from a huge height, and landed safely on the "bowl." Yes, yes, despite the fact that it was a cloud, it did not fail, but stood on it as if under a white steam there was a solid steel platform. But he did not betray this miracle. I went to the door. She was in general the limit of all miracles. A simple wooden door built into the doorway. And for her nothing. Emptiness. On the other side was the same door. But he knew this secret. He turned the metal pen and mentally ordered: "The room of immovability." The door opened and behind it everything was black-black. Elixicon stepped inside.
The room was small and gloomy, the walls gray and no lighting. "Excellent," Elixicon said to himself. "Just what I was looking for"
He stood in the center of the room, raised his hands up and sharply joined his hands, as with ordinary cotton. From the outside it might seem, but in fact the procedure was much more complicated and with the cotton just beginning. Elixicon lowered his compressed palms to the level of the belt and slowly disconnected them. The same hour a bright light flashed from them. Then it′s brighter and brighter. Soon the room was so bright that any lighting devices were not needed. A bright stream of light spread to the entire room and was so powerful that Elixicon could not be seen in it. There was nothing to see at all. In it could not see any living creature, except the guardian of Elixicon. But then it stopped. The stream of light was weakened, diminished, and moved from all parts of the room to only one part. The place where Elixicon stood and between his divorced palms, the most menacing knowledge and the most perfect weapon in the whole Universe-the Cub of Harridika-was floating in the air.

Elixicon returned to the cabin of his ship, when he had already dropped his speed. And peacefully sailed through the airless space among the stars and cold cosmic loneliness.
Again he scanned the galaxy. This time with the help of a flat device, which he took in the warehouse of Soltrex. Only one piece of the starry sky was photographed, with his instrument, as all information about the galaxy was immediately given out:
Title: Gloomy Galaxy
Number of major planets: 15
Number of minor planets: 28
The number of asteroids, fragments, etc. 137, 000
Presence of life: 32 inhabited planets
The number of hostile planets of 28 hostile planets (of which 4 planets are waged constant wars, 7 planets are conquerors, 5 planets with hostile locals and severe habitats, 12 planets - colonies)
The number of calm planets: 4 calm planets (of them 3 planets with so primitive life and resources that no one is interested in them and 1 is a planet rich in resources, populated by reasonable forms of life, living in order and harmony, but also having a protective shell for which it can not be detected by any of the possible means)
The name of the planets: Ulkus, Arabekhar, Sarta, Devba-ta, Soddoks, Arakhmard, Azaz-675 ...
Elixicon turned off the device, because then he was simply not interested in reading. The information was more than enough. And he has already drawn conclusions.
It was not worth stopping here, and even the invisibility of shooting did not make sense. There were many hostile planets here, where they could be keenly interested in him, his suitcase, and Haridik′s cube. Of course, Elixicon could cope with any rival, but here he put knowledge in jeopardy, and this could not be tolerated. And besides, common sense told him that there could be a council at the Salt. There, in the fortress of Soltrex, they were invincible, because there was their land, their rules. And here, wherever he went, only a guest. And all the advantages were in the hands of the owners. Especially if the planets are hostile.
You could find that peaceful planet and take refuge there. Elixicon could easily do this with his advanced technology. But if he could do it, Ortrex could. Elixicon knew that he would chase him and destroy any obstacle in his path, so he did not want to bring danger to someone′s head.
"We need to take refuge in a place where it will be very difficult for him to find me," he thought. "Or it′s impossible at all"
His ship again picked up speed and Elixicon flew. I flew to another galaxy. In another starry world.
He was gaining speed, sweeping past planets, asteroids and flickering somewhere far away in the stars. Elixicon this time sat behind the pilot′s seat, and easily managed with the steering wheel led the movement. But suddenly ... everything has changed. The ship was shaken and carried to the left. Then he shook himself again and carried back with ever increasing strength. And it began to twist in a spiral.
Elixicon could not understand anything. He tried to level the ship, nothing happened. He tried to navigate the terrain, but nothing happened. The force that pulled him back was so great that it was impossible to resist it. In addition, everything happened so quickly (for a fraction of a second) that you just could not figure something out. Everything mixed up in the ship. Everything mixed up before him. And suddenly he seemed to crash into something black. And plunged into darkness.

Elixicon turned on the lighting and tried to mutilate in this new unfamiliar place. Nothing came of it. There was darkness and emptiness around. The ship′s far light was not lacking much, he was immediately lost in the surrounding emptiness. And around nothing at all. No sign of life. No stars. There are no planets. One word: the abyss.
With the ship, too, nothing is clear. Whether he was flying, whether lying, or was in working order. Elixicon easily turned on all the systems, but after the first movement, it stalled. And then when he did the second, the attempt slowly moved forward. And as slowly as Elixicon could not imagine, although he looked, the speed was at a maximum.
A scanner appeared in my hands. The place where the ship hit was photographed and given for analysis. The device was silent for a long time. Then I gave out all the information I had on this issue. There was very little of it.
Title: The Black Hole
Origin: The consequence of a gap in space and time, an irreversible error in the matter of the universe.
Physical description: Dead zone, in the form of a huge funnel. Attracts space, time, other stars, absorbing and devouring them.
Radiation: Yes
Presence of Life: Yes
Chances to survive: 0%

Elixicon turned off the scanner and immediately climbed into the case after another computer. Having included him, he demanded an accurate description of these dangerous forms of life. On this computer gave him a disappointing figure; 17 thousand kinds of hostile life forms. When Elixicon asked what forms of life are dangerous for him, the computer gave an even more disappointing figure: 3,000 species. Here so yes. Elixicon immediately asked for a description of each species and within two minutes got acquainted with everyone. And the further, the worse his mood was. The myth that slots are the most invincible race in the whole universe has flown to pieces. There were some who could have killed him joking and if they had escaped from a black hole they could have destroyed Soltrex in less than a day. And no towers, no most powerful weapon would save them. If there were such creatures on his planet, the planet would become ashes in a few minutes.
For example, one creature could freeze its cells so much that the Elixicon would never come to life from this freeze. Another could easily infect him with a virus, and he would be alive, but contagious and would kill everything he touched. The third could blow up, the fourth to immobilize forever, the fifth one could kill him by clicking on certain points (there were such were in the body of the salt, there were nine of them). Another one could suck absolutely all the energy out of him, the other simply to eat it. The energy mass from which the body of the salt consisted was his favorite treat. Finally, there was a lot of parasites in the black hole. Some were built into the body of the owner transforming it into their "transport", others deposited their larvae inside his body, and they then burst outward absorbing his strength. Elixicon frowned as he read these lines. He did not want to be a "transport" and certainly did not want any of these modernized creatures to climb out of him.
There was a lot with a sharp sense of smell, excellent vision, sharp hearing. There are so many creatures that could easily find his ship, tear up the cladding whatsoever strong it was and break in. Elixicon gladly rejoiced for strengthening the protection and permeability of his ship by using the same cube he found in the warehouse. It was very special, not like anything else. He could hide it from any eyes, pass through any barrier, withstand any attack from the side. This material was only in the warehouse of Soltrex in the number of several units. With such a protective layer, there was a chance to survive. The main thing is to be in stealth mode all the time.
The only thing he was afraid of - a creature called "master." The computer and wrote about it: "master." This one could subordinate everyone to his will with one glance only. The computer about him wrote like this:
Race: Phantom Mage is a vampire
Physical characteristic: High, thin, sometimes it seems pale sometimes green, has great strength, in case of danger it can dissolve in the air.
Life Expectancy: Unlimited, draws energy to sustain the lives of its victims.
Abilities: Unlimited, draws knowledge and experience from their victims, quickly masters all new knowledge and uses them to accumulate new ones. The basic ability to subordinate any form of life, which is at a lower stage of development, to one′s will. Being in a transparent state is able to penetrate through any barriers.
The worst thing was that he Elixicon - the highest salt, was at the bottom stage of development. His level of intelligence was much lower than that of a ghost magician - a vampire. And he, who turned out to be a nose to the nose, easily could have subordinated him to his will. And whatever tidbit he would be in that case - he did not even want to think about it.
"We must get out of here," he decided for himself. The computer was abandoned, Elixicon switched on his wrist compass. Immediately he opened a picture of the place where he got. It was wasteland. Emptiness, darkness, dense fog surrounding a black hole. The hole itself looked like a huge cave. And it started not so far from his ship.
So, he did not threaten anything in the wastelands, but further ... Inside the black hole there were a lot of swarming creatures. There were also ice, stone, space ships and other space debris. There were also exits. Elixicon counted more than 1,000 pieces on his piece of the map. They were represented in the form of lines, which were constantly closed and opened. It meant that it was possible to get out of the black hole. At a certain point in time. In a certain place. It was very good news (the only one in this place). The bad (and all outweighed) was that the black hole was a place unfamiliar, dangerous, full of deadly creatures and he was not even in it yet. He was still sitting in the wasteland.
The ship was put to maximum speed, but still moved barely. A huge amount of time passed before he crossed several meters. Elixicon tried to analyze the composition of the fog that surrounded him and came to an extremely disappointing line: The Waste of the Black Hole. It turned out that he was swimming in waste. And could not get out. Here′s the deal.
Finally, the wastelands were left behind, and the Elixicon moved already in the Black Hole. By itself, it was like a huge cave. A huge, endless cave. Here the boat moved faster, but still not as fast as I wanted. "They must be the rules here," Elixicon decided for himself. "It seems like a dead ligament for any ship that got into it"
And it was true. There were many ships here. Some were whole, some dilapidated. In some, life was boiling, in some there is not. Elixicon saw with his own eyes how four humanoids belonging to the race of people dressed in protective overalls, defended their ship with laser rifles. They were attacked by hordes of large, arthropod creatures with long claws and two poisonous tails. Elixicon immediately recognized Elleterik, one of his deadly enemies. Immediately I sympathized with the unfortunate people. The laser beams did not take it. This creature was reliably protected by its armor, besides it created a barrier around itself that absorbed any heat energy. Parasite. He lived at the expense of those beings who tried to kill him. Sucked energy from them and became stronger. And you could kill him only with a very strong frost. Unfortunately, people did not know this. And their protection weakened by the minute.
Elixicon saw a lot of things here. And from the bottom of my heart I was glad that I covered my ship with a layer of absolute invisibility and permeability. There were very dangerous creatures that could kill him in two counts. Luckily, they just did not notice him. There were places where his ship could get stuck in a matter of seconds. Fortunately, the obstacles were not terrible.
Meanwhile, Elixicon looked at the compass. I very much wanted to leave this ruinous place as soon as possible. And he had this chance. The gate was close. Almost there. There was absolutely nothing left. One turn left and it′s at the exit.
A black hole led you to the left, then to the right, and many times. In general, as Eliksikon realized, she was an endless labyrinth, with a lot of dead ends, traps, right and wrong decisions. You could get lost here in a few hours. Luckily, he had a compass. With his help, he knew where to go and what to do.
He had already approached the gate almost right when he suddenly saw him. Yes-yes it was him. There could not be a mistake. A tall, lean and pale-green terrible face, a blue robe on his shoulders, legs and hands in an iron chain mail, a black crown on his head. This seemed to come off the computer screen. The phantom magus is a vampire. The most dangerous creature of a black hole. Known also under the nickname "master"
When the Elixicon approached its gates, the "owners" (there were two of them there), were just engaged in a spaceship, which had the misfortune to crash here. He saw the scene of violence himself. Several people and representatives of other races desperately defended their ship, shooting at the vampire magicians with a laser, then with a frost, then with a light beam or a plasma beam. Mages - vampires sailed through the air is important and unshakable. They were in a transparent ghost state, so the weapons did not harm them at all. Suddenly one of them disappeared. Appeared on the ship behind the back of a defending man. He entered his usual state, touched the man′s shoulder, and his eyes lit up with a furious red glow. In response to this glow, the eyes of man also turned up. The weapon fell at his feet, and he was subject to his will. After one, five more people obeyed the will of the magician. Then the ship was the second "master" and in a matter of seconds the resistance was broken. A hail of people and representatives of other more advanced races fell to the floor, their eyes began to radiate red flicker and henceforth they belonged to ghostly magicians vampires. More than two dozen defenders, against only two invaders and such a result.
Elixicon was very worried, as it were not to be discovered. There was nothing left for the portal, and his ship crawled slowly. Mage-vampires could detect it at any time and then, most likely, his fate would have been solved. Creatures with a higher level of intelligence, they could easily see his ship, being in a ghost state, they could easily get inside (he did not doubt it).
And his guesses were confirmed. The truth is only half. Suddenly a black hole was shaken by a piercing, horrifying howl. One of the mages noticed him. Elixicon saw that he started from the wing of the captured ship and swam in his direction. It′s amazing how fast these creatures moved inside the black hole. A couple of moments and he almost touched the wing of the ship.
But then an even more amazing thing happened. Suddenly the ship accelerated, it was pulled forward and the unknown Elixicon′s power was simply thrown out of the black hole. He did not even come to his senses, as before him there was a starry cosmic sky. "Apparently, these passages are equipped with their own retracting force, anyone who comes near, sucks like a funnel," Elixicon decided for himself. "Why am I very happy about this?"

He was again in outer space. It is not known in which galaxy. It is not known in what time. I flew to meet the unknown.
About the chase Elixicon did not worry. With his instincts, he knew that there would be none. Most of those creepy creatures were spawned by a black hole and simply could not live beyond it; the other part was not so developed as to find outlets and get out; others simply would not want to. And why should one of them leave their native "warm" place and wander around the bare starving space in search of food, when in the black hole of this good was abundant.
Elixicon still thought about those unfortunate people who fell at the hands of these terrible creatures. I thought that even a little bit and he could be among them. But he left the black hole. Alive and unharmed, although the probability of survival for him was reduced to zero. Best in the whole universe of technology + own care + a little bit of luck.

Elixicon landed his ship on a silver planet. It was deserted and very quiet here. It was possible to think. And relax. He was already tired of flying through the whole universe, it was necessary to make somewhere a stop. This planet suited best for parking.
He landed on a very level platform, next to a chain of silver mountains. Elixikon liked this place, and he safely turned off the invisibility mode and the regime of permeability. Then the ship turned off. And he decided to walk a little bit around the planet.
Armed with only one scanner, he stood near the door behind which there was an open space and was prepared to enter the silvery surface.
With a measured buzz, the door went up, and before Elixicon a black starry sky of the cosmos and a piece of a new planet were exposed. From the cockpit, only a small section of its surface was visible, but Elixicon made a leap and the ship was left behind, and he flew in the black heavens and tried on where to sit him.
With weightlessness, he coped quite easily and already stood on the surface. Here already went on it. And he did not take him off the ground, he did not carry him up - he walked along the planet clearly and confidently, as if by native Sultreks. Overhead his stars shone, there was darkness, cold and black abyss, and ahead of the chain of mountains - the purpose of travel.
Here Elixicon reached them, climbed the highest rock (more than 1000 meters from the surface) and settled comfortably, looked at it. Below there was a huge crater that was not clear how it was formed. It was worth taking one step, and it would be easy to be in this pit. In depth, he was like two of these rocks. The ship that Elixicon from here seemed like a small bug. Abandoned and as if offended at all, he stood with an open door and patiently waited for his master. It stood at a considerable distance from the survey rock. And his door was open, since no one bothered to close it. Elixicon just now discovered this. It is evident that the stay in the Black Hole affected him so much that now he forgot about any caution. But however, it seems for the ship there was nothing to worry about. No one hurried to him. And here in general there was nobody, it seems. The planet seems to have died. And a long time ago.
Elixicon turned on the scanner and took up work. First he photographed the planet and got all the information about it:
Planet Name: Moon
Presence of Life: No, no
Availability of resources: Yes
Hostility: 0%
Peacefulness: 0%
The history of the planet: 1,000. 000. 000. The space years ago was inhabited. It is inhabited by intelligent beings, with a high level of intelligence and unlimited abilities. Particularly revered among them were: moving to distant distances and seeing the future as their own and others. Then the inhabitants of the planet were forced to leave their house, because in the future they were expecting a lot of wars, strife and ruthless meteor shower that would kill a lifetime on the planet. They left the planet (then not even the moon) and moved to Akkara in the New Hope galaxy nine million years ago. The planet was seized, destroyed, rebuilt and destroyed again. It was an invading planet, it was defending, it had colonies, it was ruined and built again. Meteor shower, which happened 1 million years ago and lasted 100, 000 years once and for all destroyed life on it and made it unfit for habitation. In the depths of the planet some useful resources are stored, its surface is broken by meteorites and covered with a thick crust of ice. Planet Moon is a part of the dead planets of the galaxy Solar System. At present it is a monument. Monument to those events that were here and which will never happen again.
"Yeah, it′s a dead planet," thought Elixicon. "I will not stay here." It was necessary to find some living planet. There was no point in hiding here. On the moon it will be opened as in the palm of your hand. We need another planet. Elixicon looked around the galaxy (where there was enough of his review), photographed several planets with his device and immediately received reports on them. He studied the scanner for several minutes, then turned it off. None of the planets did not suit him. Several of them, like the Moon, were empty; here and there was life, but it was so primitive that Elixicon did not want to go there. "It is necessary, something else, something different," he repeated to himself. And suddenly his attention fell on the planet, which was very near. Such a blue-white-brown-green and apparently was very close. It was strange that he did not immediately notice her.
"It seems that this is what I need," he said to himself, taking a picture of the planet. The information was very encouraging:
Planet Name: Earth
Presence of Life: Yes. The presence of intelligent life, the existence of primitive life. To a primitive life are: animal creatures inhabiting land (animals); inhabiting half-air space bats (birds); waterfowl-dwelling creatures (fish). To a reasonable life are: humanoid creatures with a high level of intelligence and a wide range of opportunities (people).
Availability of resources: Yes. There are almost all the basic elements of the universe. In large, small, or scanty amounts.
Hostility: 41%
Peacefulness: 59%
"Very good," thought Elixicon, turning off the scanner. "They are perfect for my mission." Perhaps I′ll stop there. "
He looked at his ship. From here he was several hundred meters away. Too long to go. Elixicon contrived and made a jump from his observation post. And a little easier weight of his body. He immediately raised two hundred meters from the lunar surface. The ship with the open door significantly approached and began its decline. Now it was very close, and Elixicon is already about three meters from the surface. His flight was over - he dived into the open door and was already in the ship. "A few hundred meters of distance, in just a few seconds," he thought, very pleased with himself.
He entered the cabin of the ship. With pleasure noted that nothing in it is untouched. The suitcase stood in its place and all the other items were also intact. The cabin of the ship was not even depressurized - it had its own atmosphere.
Elixicon closed the ship′s door and the light of the distant stars, which for a time illuminated the walls and the floor of a small spacecraft faded. There was only that light that penetrated through the windshield. It was clearly not enough. Half of the ship remained in the twilight.
Elixicon sat down behind the armchair. I switched on all the systems and immediately took off. After a couple of seconds, he already left the Moon and moved to planet Earth. Without any special hopes for her, but still in a pleasant excitement.



































Part 1.

PLANET EARTH.









Chapter 1. Arrival.

Space threat monitoring base, Los Angeles County, USA:
The captain, who is also the commander-in-chief of the base, did not take his attention from the instruments of his eyes for several minutes. He was all tense and waiting impatiently.
"Higgins, what have you got?" He asked the guy at the table opposite. "You′ve already figured out his location."
"Not yet, sir, but I′ll figure it out soon." Determine the location, in 30 seconds.
And the young lieutenant, he coordinator on the territory again was engaged in searches. Quickly tapping on the keys of the computer, without taking his troubled eyes off the monitor, he, as well as the commander was terribly excited.
All the staff of the base was agitated, and it was always such a quiet place now it looked like a crazy house. The doors slammed, some people with reports rushed to and fro, worked on computers with crazy speed, set up ultrasensitive devices and waited waiting for events.

The working day began, as well as all other days. Lazy and ugly to boring. Operators for their computers, the military in their posts, and the morning of the morning coffee was delivered to the commander′s office.
"Mr. Olie, sir," said the young brunette, the messenger who broke the silence of the office with a knock. "Your morning coffee, sir."
A stern, no longer young man in officer′s uniform tore his gaze from the window, where he was concentrating until this moment, and went to open it.

In the morning he always looked at the sky. It was a kind of ritual. Hardly came into the office, just sat at the table and gave his first orders, he always looked at the sky. Long and carefully, as if he was looking for evil aliens in him, or what other threat to his native country. Over the years, this has already become a tradition and the commander in chief of the space threat monitoring base, Rick Olie, himself without remembering how it all began, every working day began that way. He stood and looked at the motionless morning sky, which was gloomy and restless, but more often crimson, viscous and passive to all life. Anyone who entered at that moment in the office could for sure decide that the commander is not at all busy and does not think about anything, but it was so. Rick Olie was looking for an answer and his thoughts were diverse at that moment.

Most often his thoughts were depressing. Irritation, anger, despair - these were feelings from which it began almost every morning. Often, the address of his native country and those commanders who put Rick on such a futile post. More often to address yourself. He never told anyone about this, never, but in his heart he hated fierce hatred. He called an asshole, a stupid old asshole, etc. Thoughts about this fueled the fact that Rick Olie was commander-in-chief for 7 and a half years, and the aliens never saw. All he was content with was the reports of some nuts about the "landing of possible UFOs," the revelations of other psychos about alleged contacts with aliens, and weekly trips to places where they planted their spacecraft.

The commander′s morning reflections were interrupted by the appearance of Captain Philippe Zarantz. He was so excited and confused that he did not even knock. On the move he threw open the door of the main man of the base and flew inside:
- Commander! Commanding! You want to see at the observation center! Urgently! He cried.
It was an exclamation in which both doubt and rapture and anxiety mingled together. Although if you understand the enthusiasm there was the most. Captain Philippe Zarantz just bloomed with happiness. And neither disturbance of subordination nor his own disheveled and disheveled appearance worried him. He hurried to share his joy with the boss. It′s a pity, Rick Olie did not share his enthusiasm.
He was just furious with such unceremonious behavior.
- Zarantz !!! He said loudly and angrily, gradually becoming hotter. - What do you allow yourself! How dare you break into my office without knocking !!!
He said the first part of the sentence without even turning. What for? For 7 years of service in this place, he studied each of his staff in steps. Only. And when he heard behind his back someone′s steps, he could unerringly say: a man or a woman, how many years, what preferences in life, what he fears, what else he hopes for. With Zaranets it was easiest: the steps are so light, carefree, although at times rustling. This showed that the young captain (35 years old) Philip Zaranz is a dreamer, an incorrigible romantic, who, however, has already begun to bend his life. Rick Olie was very eager to help her, and tried his best to knock out all the romantic nonsense from the head of a young captain (1, 5 years ago, climbed this already serious post). At every opportunity, he chastised him. So it was this time.
Turning to face him, he examined him from head to foot and came in a great fury. The second part of his unspoken phrase was reinforced with curses many times.
- What do you allow yourself Zarantz !! You′re wandering around the base, like a real slob! Mummy, that did not teach you to look after your appearance! You insignificance !!! Burst into my office, yell here, and look like a bummer, and not the captain of the UFO sighting base !!! Immediately clean yourself up, otherwise I′ll show you and your mother !!!!
But the joy of Captain Zarants could not spoil any insults:
"Sir, it′s been spotted!" We spotted it! - Philip, smiling in all his mouth. - At last! At last! We were lucky!
- What a nonsense! Cried Olia. - What are you there to see! Explain by humane, or are you speechless lost for joy? !!!
- The newcomer, sir !!! Said Philip. - A real stranger! And we spotted it !!!
However, the commander-in-chief did not get excited by these words.
- Again this rascal from northern Ventura telephoned with the report of a UFO on his cornfield? !!! So tell him to go there and he went with him .... !!!!
"No, sir," said the captain, finally coming to his senses and buttoning his jacket. "It′s a real alien." It was discovered by our radio operator. UFO, moves from the ocean, coordinates: North-West 37 Yu. In a few minutes we will establish its exact location.
- Like this! Said Rick Olie to himself, and he shuddered in surprise. At last, the first stranger, on his poor gray head. At last they will ruin the nose of all other UFO bases, and Mr. President will know that they are not wasting money.
Very quickly, Rick took his cap from his desk; stretched out, straightened, as if he had already been awarded a high award and ordered Captain Philip Zaranza:
"Come on, Zarantz, we must take this son of a bitch!"

The location of the object was determined, almost 7 and a half minutes, but still the radio operator did not disappoint:
"I see our guest, sir!" He is in the square: North - West 37Green Gvinch.
- Aha! Cried the pleased Rick. - Gotcha!
And then he ordered:
"Quickly connect me to the Commander-in-Chief of Alraus Base on the coast."
It took about two minutes.
"An alien object," Rick said. - Coordinates: North-West 37 Green Gwinch. Send the combat squadron. Shoot this bastard.
Philip Zaranz, who was silent all this time, suddenly intervened in the conversation:
"But sir, if this is a peaceful alien and he does not want war with us." Is not it better to try to negotiate.
"Wait," said Oli to his companion and taking the telephone receiver aside, turned to Captain Zaranza. He hissed threateningly:
- Zarantz, you brainless dumbass, shut up immediately !!! How dare you interrupt my important conversation and give your wretched advice ?! This is an army, you son of a bitch !!!! For their disrespect, you will be demoted to the lieutenant !!! Until the private !!! You are a rotten traitor, Zarant! You are with them at the same time! They want to agree !!!! They all want to destroy us, you bastard unhappy !!!! If we do not destroy them, they will annihilate us - it′s like two and two, your chicken brains !!! We must strike first, you see, dumb !!! Disappear from my eyes !!!
And again he fell to the receiver:
- Yes Yes Yes!!!! Seven warplanes !!! Missile installations on board !!! Machine guns !!! Erase it in powder, guys !!!!
The black tube fell on the same black (special) apparatus and Rick Olié rubbed his hands fairly. Under the equally strong jubilation of the base′s staff, under the silent clap of the door closed by the outgoing captain Zarantz. His mood was spoiled.

Within two minutes the entire air base "Alraus" was raised to its feet. For another five minutes, the combat squadron was ready to intercept and neutralize the "dangerous guest". Exactly 6 minutes later, 7 F-14 fighters were launched from the launch site.

Captain Vincent Higgins was the leading squadron machine in the rank of colonel of the US Air Force. He was already young, fifty with a tail and his head was silvered with gray hair. Higgins was a good soldier and family man. He has a wonderful wife, younger than her husband for 12 years and two daughters, one of whom 2 years ago had a son. When his combat aircraft rushed, to the designated goal Higgins always thought of them. Represented himself as a defender and a hero, justified by the fact that, killing the enemy, keeps the peaceful sky above the head of those who are waiting for him at home. So it was always, so it was today. Zaprygnul into the plane, started it, took off and only in the sky himself said: "For you my beloved. No hostile alien extrusions will penetrate here "
The Higgins plane was as dear to him and loved as the family. Probably even more family. With him, the colonel spent much more time than he was at home. He trusted him like himself, he felt him with all his essence, without him he could not without air. Always told him something pleasant before the assignment. And now he said: "Come on, baby! Let′s do it! We find and
wipe it in powder! "

- Red link, number nine, how do you hear me? - the commander of a squadron in a walkie-talkie has sounded.
"I hear you well, the red link, number one," the pilot immediately reported to the walkie-talkie.
"Do you see the stranger?"
- No, no, only the clouds.
"Red link, fifth, do you see our guest?" - sounded in the radio of another aircraft.
"No," was the short answer.
"Number three, what have you got?"
- Everything is clear. Not a single alien on the horizon.
In the radio of all the ships the commander′s command was issued:
- He′s here guys. Look for it more closely.
For the success of the operation, commander Higgins squadron was defeated, and the entire perimeter of the named coordinates was investigated. But the search has not yet been crowned with the result.

The zone where they were sent was very cloudy. The sun was bright and blinding and it was really difficult to find. Especially not knowing what. Like a needle in a haystack. And no one knew what a needle looked like and whether it existed at all.
But the pilot of the ship number 4 dived into a huge cloud resembling a hill and found a treasure. A golden wing of an alien ship flashed right in front of the ship′s windshield. The pilot saw it for a fraction of a second, but still managed to remember: a medium-sized golden boat, streamlined shape, sharp short wings, tail unusually curved (not on the ground). Oh, yes - it was not a glare of the sun and your own imagination:
- Sir! Sir!!! I see him!!! He′s here!!!! All to me!!! - shouted the pilot into the radio, like a plague.
A second later the commander′s order was heard:
- To number 4, the red squadron, all fighting vehicles !!! We found an alien !!!

Now everyone saw him. A small, streamlined ship, golden in color with a slightly upturned nose, small pointed wings and a tail bent under 150 degrees. Alas, the front window was small and the pilot could not see anyone at all. But all managed to notice that there are no flaps or chassis for the chassis. And then this shape and color. "Where did he come to us? How can I fly this thing? What kind of speed can it develop and how will it land? "- At that time many pilots turned at the head.

In connection with the machine Vesmont Higgins was the commander-in-chief of the military base:
"Yes, sir, we see the ship." He seems to hang in the air, and does nothing (the devil knows how to do it!). Or waiting, or something else. We surrounded him from all sides. What will be the orders?
In the radio there was a hoarse, unprincipled order:
- Shoot down his guys. Try to take the newcomer alive, but if it does not work out, destroy it on the spot. We do not need "guests from space" here. How do you understand?
"I understand, sir!" - exclaimed Higgins inspiring (right now he will show himself as a true hero - he will mesh with the universal evil and certainly will overcome him). "We will destroy him!"
"Do it," said the same voice without emotion.
The next action, which the colonel undertook, announced into the radio, in all ears, all the ships:
- The commander-in-chief of the base gives an order to destroy the "dangerous subject"! In the fight guys! Your country is counting on you!

And the battle began in the air. Seven combat fighters against one small golden boat, which, even then, was not a military one at all.
For the beginnings in a course have been started up machine guns. Severe armor-piercing 50 caliber from the throat of "Browning M 14". It seemed that he was supposed to flog through the flimsy, at first glance, skin of a small ship and show everyone present a pilot (or already a dead pilot), but an unforeseen happened ...
Bullets like seeds flew off the boat, and none of them could harm him. Five ships simultaneously blazed into it: two from below, along the sides and in the bottom, two into the windshield and the head of the car, another from above to the roof of the ship. And all was in vain - a small boat did not even move from such rapid attacks - continued to hang in the air, as hung before. The planes went into new circles, scribbled from their machine guns, and there were no scratches on it.

Already after a couple of minutes, by radio, began talking between the pilots:
- No, you saw the guys, he′s good!
"I′ve never seen this!"
- What is it made of ?!
- And it turns out, not so simple as it seems!
"I do not understand that I have a machine gun, I′m single-handed!"
Colonel Higgins who circled above all and only and was waiting for the right moment to strike and "finish off" the "golden bird", saw the crushing failure of the operation. From above it looked ridiculous and even a little funny. Beautiful large warships are dispersed and shoot from all sides in a small golden boat, and it hangs in the air, as it hangs and does not even move. Like a bunch of kids who are firing from their slingshots TANK. By the way, it was like a bouncing pebble that looked like bullets of the 50th Caliber. Rain rained down from all sides. And he is still - unharmed and not mobile.

Even then, in the colonel′s mind, a thought slipped through: "This opponent is too tough for us." She really pissed him off. And even more angered by the fact that, it seems, it was true. How many do not shoot on this UFO - it did not take a large caliber. It was necessary to change tactics. Higgins did so.

- Machine guns, put it off! He announced to the radio. - He is not afraid of them and they are completely useless, as it turned out!
It was a completely, sensible step. In less than seven minutes of "attack," they did not inflict damage on the ship, and only their cartridges were wasted. If the colonel ordered an attack to be set aside and tried to somehow establish a connection with the alien, it would be an act worthy of the general′s rank, but he did not. He believed that they just did not have enough firepower.
"It will aim at the missiles of the UK 12," he ordered all the ships. - Fire!

This maneuver was much more effective than the previous one, but brought just as much success. The missiles hit the ship, exploded nearby, for a while it was covered with black smoke, and then again everyone saw its golden undamaged shell.
This time bombed all the planes. Going from different distances and heights, even Higgins himself (he thought that his participation would definitely ensure victory), but alas, there was no point. Moreover, a few seconds later an invisible alien pilot turned something on his ship and the shells began to explode not reaching the surface. Around the ship blossomed black and red flowers-explosions, and he at least that.

"Damn, what is this?" Exclaimed one of the pilots.
"I′ve never seen this!" The second echoed him.
- Apparently, some kind of powerful force field, which we are unable to break through! Came the voice of the third.
"Damn my missiles," another voice announced.
- Me too!
- And from me!
"I only have two!"
- I have one!
The stock of missiles melted like a piece of butter on a hot frying pan, and very soon all their guns had to be silenced. The ship continued to float smoothly in the air, surrounding itself with an invisible defensive sphere. And the most ridiculous for all time did not even stir.

- Red link, first, does it make sense to continue the attack? - the question was addressed to Higgins on the forehead. "I′m almost empty now, and there′s not a speck on it?"
Higgins clenched his teeth with anger and squeezed the steering wheel
- Attack to continue! - Evil roared at the pilot he.
He also knew that the price was worthless for such an attack. To this small, sickly-looking ship all their attacks were neither that the elephant bite of a mosquito - he generally ignored them. Immobile, important, he seemed to be laughing at their primitive weapons (which could not even shake him well), over any of their attempts. This infuriated Higgins to impossibility. And it was even more disgusting that only three missiles remained on board. The full reserve of machine-gun belts and Browning M-12 in full combat readiness, but he did not particularly expect them. After all, I already saw that for this ship the machine-gun fire.

"Cursed beast, what kind of car do you have?" Why can not it be damaged in any way ?! Why are you stuck in it and do not go outside ?! Why did you even attack our planet! "- Colonel Higgins came down to a new round of swearing at the golden ship.
How this alien came to him is beyond description. And the most troublesome thing is that he, somehow hung in the air without moving. And he did not spend fuel, whereas Higgins and his boys slashed their gasoline round the circle and burned a lot of it.
"What are you hanging there, damn bastard!" - A new series of curses was devoted to this topic. "Why are you absolutely still!" Afraid to fly, you are a lazy bastard! Hulking ... "
The next moment, the colonel swallowed his tongue, because the little vessel of the alien guest had given signs of life.

The little boat suddenly, but very nicely jerked his nose and almost at the same moment began to move. He walked to the side and gained speed with every second.
"To all the machines," Higgins commanded. "Urgent for him!"
Of course, combat high-speed cars, which are already pretty tired of slow and identical circles, were happy to stretch their wings, but the speed that the alien scored, could not be typed. They flew at the top speed and the pilots did their best to squeeze the gas handle into the floor, but it was still ahead. Meters for ten.
- Hell! That′s speed! - passed one pilot to another panting from the chase.
"We′ll never catch him!" With our speed! Answered his friend.
And that was true. Modern, high-speed "F-14" which, less than two years ago, were assembled at the factory, against the backdrop of this ship it seemed like some kind of turtle.
"Number one, sir, we can not beat him, is it worth fighting with him next?" - One of the pilots asked the commander of the link.
- Pursuit to continue! Higgins growled with fierce hatred for the whole world.
"But sir, I do not understand the meaning of this chase." We vryatli him catch up, but if we catch up, what then? Asked another pilot.
- I said that !!! - Colonel Higgins roared like a wounded bull. - Catch up with the newcomer, it′s clear to you, you sons of bitches !!!! Who will come out of the column - a tribunal! TRIBUNAL !!!! It is clear to you! We are obliged to catch him, we must - clear to you !!!!
He, however, did not understand how they would catch it, and what they would do after the capture. The inflamed brain of the old soldier refused to accept the truth. They lost. Were broken up in all respects. Disarmed, and left far behind. And it was still good. They all got off lightly. And if the alien had turned on his weapons against them (he certainly had it). I would wait until they ran out of ammunition, and then blinded by a flash, hit some one with their light wave, or worse, blew them all in the open sky. Higgins vaguely suspected about these "joys" and honestly did not want to think about them. The inner feeling told me that it was time to leave the game, inform the base about the failure of the operation and return home, but anger and resentment made him ignore the voice of logic.
He never lost. In nothing and no one. He participated in the Second World War and on his combat aircraft had more than 20 successful visits. In peacetime, another 15. On his military uniform were orders and medals, and very solid. And then suddenly surrendered. And to whom. To the newcomer. A treacherous extraterrestrial creature, from whom he always wanted to protect his beloved family and his beloved planet. Himself the Lord gave this opportunity, and he sat in a puddle. Resentment choked his throat, and tears welled up in his eyes. And so Colonel of the Air Force Vincent Higgins did not cancel the operation, but only pushed hard on the wheel.
It was a mistake. And what a mistake. She put the point in this, to put it mildly, unpromising task.

Until then, the chased ship was flying in a straight line, but now all of a sudden his plans have changed. He sharply pulled his nose up and did not even flinch and rushed to the bluish height. And then he did something that only Higgins and his pilots and the newest "F-14" could dream of. He flew up, then easily made a noose, dived to the ground obliquely and dragged another loop there; or even steeper to the right, to the left, to the ground, spinning like a corkscrew, insane flight only in meters of three from the surface, and then again upwards.
The pilot who sat at the helm of this ship was so adept that all the links up to Colonel Higgins from the very first minutes felt complete profane in the flying business. And this was just the beginning. Then it was worse.
Bulky combat fighters did not compete with this small boat in maneuverability. As soon as he had gone up and the fighting link was rushing behind him, almost every aircraft was showered with some details. Very hard was given to the "F-14" (and all other planes, too) a sharp rise up. The incredible pressure that at that moment was squeezing his walls, in a couple of seconds could destroy the car, no matter how new and solid it was. And it happened. Almost simultaneously, alarming red lamps lit in the cockpits of the two aircraft. It was very bad. The pilots did not even think about catapulting. And it′s good, because in two more seconds the planes exploded in the air. Another plane could not stand the twisted maneuver of the ship and sharply turned to the right. His eyes, which were in sunglasses, were rounded. On all the pairs he was carried to another ship. Instantly hit the bailout, which saved him. Apparently the pilot who was in that car came up with the same idea, because the hatch on the head part was thrown away and carried an armchair with a rider. Two planes at a wild speed met with each other in the sky. Two powerful explosions were heard and two white parachutes blossomed nearby. One entered the corkscrew, turned over and felt that the car was falling apart in his arms. Not wanting to share her fate, he catapulted himself into the blue sky. Another threw himself out of the car on the approach to the ground, when he realized that he could not level it. Explosion and funnel from him, on whose that field, remained, be healthy. The penultimate of the link managed to fly up, dive down and even fly three meters from the ground, but an irreparable accident happened ... the engine refused. Deprived of all life-giving forces, the plane fell to the ground. The pilot immediately catapulted, barely felt the first crushing blow, and the plane, plowing his nose with a good floor - hundreds of meters exploded. It was a crushing defeat. In less than two minutes COLONEL Higgins lost all of his combat squadron, which was code-named the "red link". And he could only bite his elbows with anger.
He himself, however, excelled in pursuit of the stranger. He coped with all his maneuvers, easily walked three meters and even seems to have approached him a little. What not to say, but he had the best car in the link. He had the greatest amount of experience than any other pilot. And he commanded everyone here.

But it was clearly not his day. The guest arrived surprised by a new surprise. Higgins had never seen such a thing before, and at that moment he thought he was crazy. Suddenly flying on all pairs of boats, which the colonel mentally dubbed "golden bug" began to dissolve in the air. At first, his skin became transparent and the colonel for some fraction of a second even saw a mysterious alien. It seems that he was like a man, only orange. Then this image also faded. The ship simply disappeared. It′s like he was never here.
From such an opening with Higgins almost got a fit. "Where is he?" He asked himself mentally many times. "WHERE IS HE !!!" - the colonel shouted at the entire cabin, as much as he could. Unscrupulous alien creature, just destroyed the whole of his squadron, and now out of sight. And where? WHERE? The old military pilot and soldier, at this moment was ready to tear and throw from anger. But when he looked ahead, everything went away. Instantly evaporated. Ahead, about 100 meters from him was a chain of harsh and inaccessible mountains. Inexorably approaching.

The mountains were strict, gloomy and of course above three meters. In height, they are a hundred meters, or more, and in no time will not jump to miss a plane flying so low. Higgins went cold and sweated. He could not evade any more - there was only one ... with all his might pulled the steering wheel. And here, quite by the way, the engine of the plane has decayed. Higgins became very ill. The machine did not obey him. That′s about to happen a monstrous blow and everything - he will not see more of his wife and daughters. The plane flew like an emitted arrow and was not controlled by anyone. It was possible to catapult (there was still time), but Higgins continued to sit in his chair and squeeze the steering wheel in the cold hands. I looked at the approaching death and apparently expected a miracle. The thought of the catapult appeared, but the colonel immediately forgot about it, as about an unnecessary thing. This plane was very dear to him. He cherished them more than anything else. He loved him more than his wife and daughters, more than himself. He hoped. I hoped until the end. Now his handsome man comes to life and pulls him out of this abyss. It would be a miracle. Impossible, unrealizable miracle. And it happened, contrary to all the laws of common sense. True, not at all as the colonel had hoped ...

Something transparent burst into his cabin, and the colonel did not even understand what it was and how it broke in before "it" grabbed him by the shoulders, and easily ripped from the pilot′s seat. The next moment Colonel Higgins saw the transparent figure of that orange aliens, the transparent walls of his ship around him, the way his plane crashed into the rock, the red blot of the explosion somewhere on the side and the darkness swallowed up everything he saw, the colonel and his savior for a split second. All. More Higgins saw nothing. He was in a swoon.

In the upper atmosphere, Elixicon entered without problems. Gently and smoothly, like a knife in oil. The truth around the ship immediately formed a red thermal envelope. For a time she held on, then disappeared. "There must be a very high temperature in this area," he concluded, and then he reflected. "I wonder what happens to the ships of this planet when they pass through these layers." In theory, this red shell was supposed to heat the ship very much. Elixicon did not calculate how high the temperature was and did not include his scanner. He was interested in this for exactly a second, then it was forgotten. He felt no shaking, no terrible pressure, and his ship did not get warm at all.

The blue sky, the bright sun and the lush creamy clouds were a miracle as good, but Elixicon watched them in the window of his ship for less than a second. He, like any other salt, appreciated the beautiful scenery, but now they simply did not have time. It was necessary to make some calculations and calculations.
Choosing a cloud, large and dense, he dived into it and there he switched to the "Fumes" mode. In this mode, the ship could hang at absolutely any height for as long as desired. I did not fly anywhere, just hung in the air, held only by the "Fumes" mode. Mode turned the space around the ship into a solid sticky mass. It mated with the rest of the space and safely held the ship in place, as it were, "pasting" it into the surrounding background. Due to him, the ship did not fall and at the same time could not move from place to switch on the main energy carrier.
Elixicon opened the suitcase and did not even look into it and drew his indispensable scanner. The suitcase was placed on an iron shelf, where he stood all the time, and immediately took pictures of the area. Then he read the information, which ran a fair amount. Soon he already knew everything, or almost everything: what height was it, what was the area under it, what pressure, wind resistance and temperature, etc., etc. The other would have calmed down, but Elixicon did not. It was not enough for him. He turned off the scanner and put it in the case and drew out a new device. Looks like a brown leather case, for business papers. But it was not so. Elixicon sat down in the armchair and opened it. Before him was a powerful, all-knowing computer: consisting of a small screen, a loudspeaker-speaker, a keyboard, a mechanical hand for playing chess and much more.
Elixicon′s fingers ran over the keys, and a program of "Questions and Answers" from the data bank appeared almost on the screen, almost equal to the universal Universal. Surely in this bank a lot was kept on the planet Earth. Elixicon very much wanted to get this information. Most of all, he was interested in people: their abilities, standard of living, customs, etc.
And when Elixicon was ready to ask his computer the first question on his ship, a "red signal" worked.

This special tele-radio beacon worked always when someone was approaching the ship. He was very sensitive and always on watch. I reacted to all forms of life, even the most primitive ones. One flash of a small bulb on the control panel and the owner of the ship has already been warned. Was warned and this time. Instantly turned off his knowledgeable computer and put it away in a suitcase, and he turned on the compass.
He had already seen them. Seven flying machines flying in his direction one column. They seemed to him terribly primitive and undeveloped, but who knows if the people of the Earth like to fly on such. I′ve already forgotten about my computer.
"I wanted to get acquainted with them - get acquainted!" - he said to himself mentally. And I was already thinking about how to make my first contact with the inhabitants of the Earth. Fly them to the meeting did not, and in general the ship did not include. I decided that they themselves will find him and the first step will be also behind them. The cloud for a few minutes of his "sitting" crawled away and now it was like in the palm of your hand. "They′ll find you!" Now, just wait! "- he said to himself sitting in a chair. And he was right - in a couple of minutes he was found.

But with what began these "negotiations" could not be imagined with all its wisdom even the supreme guardian of Saltreks Elixicon. He expected people to do anything, but not this. Instead of trying to communicate somehow, they just started shooting at him. In the windshield, in the walls, in the roof, in the bottom - everywhere. Everywhere these knockings were heard, as if pebbles from all directions flew and immediately flew off. Elixicon was a bit surprised at the rudeness of the people and could not understand why they decided to shoot him, but decided to just wait. "If they see that my ship does not break through with their weapons, they will certainly decide that it′s not worth to anger the one who is stronger and move to a peaceful path," he reasoned logically, again including the computer.
I decided to find out what they were shooting at. And learned. Photographed the flying projectiles on the scanner and inserted the device into a special connector. It turned out that some kind of armor-piercing bullet bullets, called "50 caliber". Elixicon thought for a moment. For many millions of years in his security room, he learned a lot from the cube of Harridik and not only about his native Saltrex, but also about the surrounding universe in general. It seems that he knew something about such weapons as bullets, but there were no such planets where they were used. It was the property of history and, in them, bullets were considered to be a very primitive kind of weaponry. Immediately he saw the bullets "live" and from this came to light confusion.
After analyzing the data on the computer, he learned that these bullets on the Earth are quite powerful. Used for heavy weapons called a machine gun. And these machine guns, possessing a very high rate of fire, can easily destroy a flying machine, for example, an airplane in one run. And the armor would not hurt. These bullets are precisely aimed to break through this armor.
Fortunately, the armor on the ship Elixicon, they were not terrible. And more. Meteor showers are not terrible, direct bomb attacks are not terrible, heat and cold in a million degrees are not terrible, but before the bullets would be surrendered. "Well, the primitive planet they have, apparently - thought Elixicon after such data. "Primitive weapons on a universal scale, but on this planet is considered very effective." Then a greeting. It′s been several minutes since this drum beat from all sides, and they all did not stop. "It′s not that they do not understand that I can not take this," thought Elixicon. "Or it′s not people, at all." And some inferior, primitive race that lives with people and hunts in the sky, for example "It was a very viable theory. Suppose people did not know about his appearance, hunters noticed him before and now on their cumbersome ugly machines, they try to liquidate his pathetic weapons. But how stupid these hunters should be. What stubborn and annoying. Eliksikon even wanted for some time to go into invisibility mode again and escape them, but then curiosity (this quality the salt, and in particular the keepers possessed in abundance) stopped. The main question was before him: what will happen next?
And then the bullets finally came to an end and bombings struck the bomb. Much louder and harder, but not to say that it is more effective. Elixicon again fell to the computer and read the information again. It turned out that they shot him with missiles Uk-12. For the Earth, weapons are even more powerful than bullets, and for the universe is a trivial matter. According to the levels of primitiveness, the computer put them on a par with bullets, however, a little higher. Elixicon, in general, first time learned about them from the computer. He knew about the most terrible rocket "Haar 7 B +18" (used, by the way, on his native planet) - he knew that during the explosion it creates a terrible force pulse-heat sphere capable of burning all robotics, all warships (not to mention the manpower) within a radius of 500 to 2000 meters (the distance to this missile could be programmed), but this blow would have sustained his ship. If it were fired with these missiles, the maximum on the ship would be jammed for a few minutes. The same rockets could do nothing at all. Only the smoke was terrible (the glass through which Elixicon admired the blue sky covered with smoke again and again) and beat against the walls like "big stones" that came to replace the "small ones". In the end, he was sick of it. He switched on the force field. The protective sphere, which did not take laser, plasma rays and could hardly damage the high-frequency pulsed rays, let alone the miserable UG-12 missiles.
In admiring the sky was the only joy of Elixicon, and here thanks to "stupid hunters" he lost this too. Now he could again look through the transparent sphere to the sky and to blossoming explosions in it. In order to activate the shield, he had to activate the ship a little. However, Elixicon did not regret it at all. Soon I expected to include it at full capacity. "Hunters" with their now "big pebbles" tired terribly. I wanted to fly away from them. At the same time and see a new planet.

Elixicon switched on the main power unit and slowly moved off. At the lowest speed. I did it that way. Firstly, I wanted to see the planet, and secondly, if they chased after him, I would like to see what speed the machines of hunters can develop. He did not insist on it, but it happened.
"The Hunters" barely saw that he fell from his place, rushed after him. For what Elixicon could not understand, but apparently also wanted to compete with him in speed.
And what did he see. I went down to three meters from the ground, did not raise the speed specially, admired the fields and forests that swept down below, and the big aircraft could not keep up with it.
They pulled with all their might, but the distance between them was great. Yes, thought Elixicon with disappointment. "What kind of hunters are they, if they have such primitive machines?" "Or maybe they are the lowest castes of hunters, some outcasts," the thought immediately came up. He walked only 500 m / s, and they still could not catch up with him. What kind of antediluvian machine should this be? His ship could accelerate to 20 km / s, and in hyperspeed so generally up to 20 million kilometers, but these machines, it seemed, were on their toes. And still could not catch up.
It would be sensible to stop the race, but a few seconds passed, and they were still chasing him. Let them also lag behind, but they chased.
"Okay, do not want to stop - continue," Elixicon said to the "hunters." "We′ll check your maneuverability, eh?"
And sharply pulled the steering wheel to himself. The desert, which now came to replace meadows and fields and stretched for many kilometers ahead, sharply went down, and again there was a blue sky before our eyes.
Elixicon first piloted in my life. I wanted to make some simple figures, which he knew only in theory. In his own view, it turned out well, but, what happened to the "hunters" can not be conveyed ...
His "inner vision" Elixicon saw how their ships break, as one after another they explode in the sky, or falling to the ground (the benefit of the pilots remained intact). "It seems to be even worse than I thought - their cars are useless at all," he thought. And immediately - All! Enough! Why not torment them more? I am leaving the game". Again falling, he saw only one car behind him. "Fly to your own," said Elixicon mentally. "I turn on invisibility, and you will not find me anymore." And then he did what he wanted - he went into invisibility mode.
But the pilot, strangely enough, did not stop. Continued to fly straight ahead. And in the meantime, mountains arose. Not so close, but still approaching. Closer and closer, but he still did not fold. I flew as if I wanted to die there.

Elixicon saw this. He made a U-turn, flew to the side a little, but the pilot′s actions seriously worried him. "Why does not he fold?" - he asked one single question. Maybe this primitive car refused and now flies without control to its own death; or the pilot, exhausted by the pursuit, no longer was guided in the situation. Less than one second, he thought about it, and then quickly began to catch up with the ship. Decided to intervene and prevent the death of the pilot. "It′s still a plus," he thought. "At least I′ll find out something about the people here." At the same time I will ask why they attacked me "

The ship of Elixicon was faster, more maneuverable and lighter than the ship of the "hunter", so he caught up with him in two counts. And since he was in a state of permeability, just as easily entered his interior. With a light movement of hands, like a weed from the garden, Elixicon pulled the pilot out of his chair and pulled him into his salon. And very timely. The ugly ship crashed into the foothills of the mountain at the same instant. The explosion was colossal, but for the ship where the "bitter-hunter" got absolutely not terrible. In addition, the ship Elixicon, in contrast to the exploding plane, went further. He went up the hill and continued his journey in her "insides".

His flight "through the rock and beyond" Colonel Higgins remembered badly. Periodically, then switched off, then again came to himself. At first everything was very dark, nothing more, then a bright gleam and he saw above himself a water surface, the fish floating above him, the blue sky in the clouds - it seemed to be dragging something along the seabed (and he did not feel the water around at all) ; Then he felt that he was not moving anywhere anymore, and there were round walls and twilight around him; further - lay under the open sky, on what soft, and above it hung some kind of incomprehensible orange little man. For a short while, the Colonel regained consciousness, and when he opened his eyes, he was watched by Colonel Vincent Higgins himself.

A small boat easily "drilled" the rock and was, oddly enough in the water. Elixikona is somewhat surprised, although interested, too. The water world, like the earth, he found beautiful. A little admiring the bottom, the algae and the fish, still picked up the ship. It turned out that the lake was hiding behind the mountains. He was surrounded by mountains, trees, green grass and many stones (small and large). Meters in three from the lake, on the green meadow Elixicon and planted his ship. "Enough flying," he decided. - We need to look around already. And at the same time and try to establish contact with the "hunter".
No sooner said than done. The ship sank smoothly to the ground, and the door opened. Elixicon came out of it, stood on the green grass and for a few seconds just admired the splendor that lay around. Green grass, trees, a lake, the sky above your head - it was all so beautiful and harmonious that Elixicon even a little envied people. They are given to live on this planet, they are its masters and every day can enjoy this miracle. He knew something about this race. Quite a bit, but I knew the most important thing - no creature in the universe has such a gamut of feelings and experiences as people; no one is allowed to do so much, so much to comprehend and experience as much as they do. "They are happy," thought Elixicon. "I′ll never be like them." And that was true. They are the salt - the greatest race in the universe, alas before people pasovali. People were capable of greater than they with all their knowledge and technology. The only thing that comforted him was the only race before which they passed. They were the 2nd, after the people.

And again his thoughts returned to the "hunter". "And as soon as on such a highly developed planet, such a rabble can live," he thought. "With such primitive weapons, with such poor knowledge and skills, I do not understand." However, soon everything had to clear up. Elixicon extremely easily picked up the immobile Colonel Higgins and soon arranged on the grass as in pastels.
In order to learn all that is needed, even to wake him did not have to. There was an energy-informational shell around each living being. Elixicon knew this very well and knew that a creature with a high level of intelligence could read the shell of a creature with a low level of intelligence. About the "hunter" he had no doubt. She was already in front of him. Pulling out his hand, palm down, he began reading. And the first information that entered his cell struck like thunder. It was not any "hunter". It was a man! One of them! Race number 1! And a primitive technique, a stupid strategy, a misunderstanding of one′s own wrong! And it was not at all in his underdevelopment, or in the underdevelopment of those people who sent him to this senseless task - unfortunately, like this one, there was an overwhelming majority. Elixicon viewed energy information fields of about 280 people (the higher castes could read the experience of other creatures, through the experience of only one) with whom Colonel Vincent Higgins communicated and saw the same thing - boring, one-line programs, a frivolous attitude to life, primitive goals and desires, a tiny gamma of feelings, limited vocabulary. Of these 280 there were only 47 people, who in fact were representing something from themselves, it was boring to the rest. It was also very boring with the colonel, but Eliksikon nevertheless did not refuse from him. "This means you! he thought. "You fly on primitive cars, you have primitive thoughts in your head, you waste your life in vain and you do not know what you want." People, as it turned out, did not use and did not seek to take advantage of the opportunities that they possessed, but Elixicon only provoked it. I wanted to learn and learn about them, as much as possible. Because people, as it turned out, sometimes used their capabilities (themselves not knowing about it) and created unique things that later brought them fame and fortune. From the experience of other people he learned about great artists, great musicians, as well as the great ability of man (as one of 47 believed) - to love. This guy was deprived of his feet and moved around on the wheelchair, but loved everyone who was around and to everyone around it showed it. In return, he received the love of others and felt no legs, no - the wings behind his back. Elixicon was very admired by this guy and in whom he admired this perfect race and their wonderful planet.
Alas, in the energy-information field of Colonel Higgins there were no such noble deeds, joy and love were also very few. Basically, it all boiled down to love of the plane. To this big, ugly machine that was incapable of thinking, feeling, and never would have responded to him in return. Once, of course, he was completely different: when he was a boy and very much wanted to wear a military uniform, like his father and fly like a bird in the sky; when he met the beautiful Kathleen Bates and realized that he was in love; when his first daughter Elaine was born and held out her little hand to take him by the finger. These were the best moments in his life, but then he preferred the career of a military pilot-home life; round-the-clock communication with the family - communication for several hours every 3-4 months; love of his wife and daughter - a disembodied and useless love for the new "F-14"
Elixicon viewed the entire biography of the colonel and the biographies of many other people, received much information and was very pleased with the results. I went back to the side and now I thought about my own. And Higgins never came to his senses and did not even feel anything. The operation was bloodless, noiseless and very fast. Everything took less than 2 minutes.

He faced a dilemma. On the one hand - I wanted to communicate, but on the other there were doubts - are the earthlings ready for this? After all, he clearly saw how the Air Force General gave the colonel an order to "detain" an alien. He felt the hype of Higgins himself, who dreamed of protecting the Earth from a dangerous alien. And, of course, the last minutes of the battle - like a sense of one′s own strength and invincibility, grew into fear and open anger. Elixicon, who already several times imagined the beginning of communication with a man, now did not know where to begin. After, because of him, a platoon of Higgins and a plane that he loved even more than his own wife was destroyed.
Still, he decided. He needed an experience of communication with people. I wanted to replenish my knowledge base, to acquire new useful skills. To begin with, Elixicon just inspected it. An elderly man, 172 cm tall, tanned, brown worn boots, yellow trousers, a brown leather jacket, a white scarf wrapped around his neck, a hat-cap on his head, and canned glasses. Standard clothes for the military pilot. Now this pilot was unconscious.
For a start, I decided to bring him to life. I watched several biologically active points on the human body, including those that instantly brought him to life - decided to use them. One hand laid on his neck wrapped in a scarf, another on the forehead that hid the helmet. Easy tapping with your fingers (clothes did not interfere at all) and Colonel Higgins instantly opened his eyes. And immediately closed them. In this short time Elixicon saw fear in them. And yet he would not be there: an orange man in front of him, asexual, without the eyes of the ears, hair, nose, eyes, mouth and generally without everything that he used to see and consider normal - it′s hard not to be scared. "Miscalculation," Elixicon said to himself. "I did not think about it at all." He never saw a salt or any aliens. " I decided to take the form of something familiar to the colonel. A couple of seconds and he absorbed the image of a military pilot. Yellow trousers, a brown jacket, a scarf, a hat, glasses - the same as Higgins, just did not lie, but stood. For greater persuasiveness, Elixicon took off his helmet mask and bared his (Higgins) face: tanned, with a lot of gray hair, a straight nose, blue and devoid of all romance eyes and thin, dry lips that this time stretched out in a smile (which used to happen with the colonel very rarely). Higgins - Elixicon was ready, to meet with Higgins present.

Colonel Vincent Higgins saw himself and for a long time could not believe it. Stupidly he blinked his eyes, tried to say something, and then simply yelled. He shouted loudly and wildly:
- Н-ННН-НННЕЕЕ-ЕЕЕ-ЕЕЕТ !!!! НН-ННН-НННЕЕЕ-ЕЕЕ-ЕЕТ !!!!
In horror he tore off his helmet-mask, made several attempts to crawl away from his counterpart and began to feel his face and body convulsively. Only when I felt myself and made sure that everything was okay again:
- NNNN-NINEE-EEE-EET !!!! NNNN-NEEEEEEE-EEE-EET !!!!
In his eyes reigned a wild fear, and he yelled, like a madman:
- WHO ARE YOU?!!! WHO ARE YOU?!!! YOUR MOTHER, WHO ARE YOU? !!!!
He was afraid. I was very afraid. He understood that this is an alien (the one who destroyed his whole team and somehow saved him from imminent death) and was very afraid. It seemed to him that an extraterrestrial who somehow copied his appearance would want more, and would simply tear his head off.
Elixicon waited patiently. I did not say anything, I did nothing. I just waited while Higgins screamed enough. Soon his expectations were justified. The Colonel paused for a moment, then asked angrily:
- Who are you?

The fact that the Earthmen communicate with his mouth a little bit jarred (it was so primitive), but he reconciled with this quickly. In the end, an alien planet - we must respect its customs. And if you really want to live here, take it for granted. Within a couple of seconds, Elixicon had a mouth. Lips, teeth, tongue, vocal cords, throat and even esophagus (of course, only for visibility). The language on which the Earthmen spoke in this part of the world was English: it was easy and it took only five seconds for the training. A brief information flash and he could communicate with Higgins, as with an equal. So when the floor was given, Elixicon did not take long to wait:
"My name is Elixicon," he introduced himself. - I flew to your planet from afar. Very, from afar. My planet is called ...
The colonel did not let him finish. Interrupted in mid-sentence:
- What are you telling me here ?! He yelled at him, almost furious. - Why did you fly ?! Why the hell did you come to us ?! What do you need here for a cosmic TVH !!
The colonel rose to his feet in a very grave and embittered voice, took up his fighting stance and clenched his fists.
"Man, I′ve come to you in peace," said Elixicon, keeping absolute calm. "I do not wish evil to your race." We do not have to quarrel.
Colonel Higgins, however, took it as an insult.
- I′m hitting you right now, you′re an alien! - he shouted and pounced on his twin, he was ready to put his fist in the jaw.
He was a boxer. And a good boxer. In his youth he was a college champion, and in the last few years he did not pass. Trained and engaged every day. The gym was his second, after the plane, love. There he could hammer a boxing pear for hours on end. In battle, rarely missed the blows and could lay the enemy even with one blow (no matter what power he did not possess). He had a very good reaction, but not against Elixicon′s ...
The alien from the distant Saltreks had a flair that no one could possess (the supreme keeper, in any way!) And felt the blow long before it was dealt. And dodge it was not difficult. Just stepped aside, and the colonel, overwhelmed with rage and drawn by his own blow, collapsed onto the grass.
"Man, I repeat to you, we do not need any quarrel." Let′s talk about the good, "Elixicon said and changed the location again, since Higgins hopped up to hook it on the left (he jumped to his feet very quickly).
"Think about it, I beg of you," he said again, as the colonel rolled over himself and crashed onto the grass.
- No, I′ll get you all! Cried more offendedly than the evil Higgins looked at the alien, as if he had been sworn by the enemy. - You will die! You′ll die from my hand !!!
And again I rushed into the battle. He waved his hands, kicked, but could not get into anyone and flew back to the ground.
"You can believe me," said Elixicon, again and again moving away from the blows. "You′re not killing me." I can not be killed. Especially such a pathetic weapon as yours. A bare fists, even more so. I am a representative of the race, which is ahead of you for millions of years in mental and technical development. It′s foolish to fight me, understand. I am stronger. So let′s communicate better.
Vincent Higgins breathed like a dying buffalo. The hair was disheveled, the clothes were all wrinkled and dirty (in the grass and in the ground), his feet were barely held. He understood that to fight was stupid and felt incredibly helpless in this regard. In his eyes were all the same fear and fury, but now they have diminished in size. And the strength was no longer to just raise your hand.
Breathing hard, and without taking away from his own copy, the blue eyes, seared, he croaked:
"Who would you not be ... be thou a curse!"
And just sat down on the grass. He wrapped his arms around his knees and ducked his gray head in his head.

Elixikon stood nearby and thought what to do next. Honestly, he calculated such a method, but did not think that it would take so long. Instead of communicating and getting some new knowledge, 15 minutes from the first contact with a person were spent on a simple tumbling in the grass. And whether to continue. This thought came to him already three times. Perhaps he already took all that is possible from the head of the colonel. But he decided to try. Reasoning logically, he decided so - the colonel is tired and now is the time for a calm conversation.

"Higgins, calm down again," he asked, approaching Elixicon. "I tell you more, I will not do evil." Neither you nor anyone else on the planet Earth.
- What?! The colonel winced and looked frightened. - What you said?
"I said that I will not harm you."
- No, it′s different. Do you know my name?
Elixicon smiled.
"I know all about you." Vincent Higgins, Colonel of the US Air Force, 53 of whom 30 are married to Kathleen Bates-Higgins, from whom are 2 daughters.
- Oh my God! Cried the colonel and clutched his head.
And if a couple of seconds ago he was all boiling with anger and was crimson-red, now became whiter than chalk. Like all the blood from him at once pumped out.
"You were in my head." You climbed in my head! You now know everything about me, yes! - he yelled angrily and began to feel his head from top to bottom.
"I assure you, it was not difficult," said Elixicon, a little flattered by the effect. - And no surgery was required. You have remained intact and unharmed.
"I do not believe you, I do not believe you all," Vincent muttered, as if in a fit. "You are terrible, disgusting creatures." You want to enslave us all. You study, investigate, and then destroy, as is. I never believed in aliens, but now ...
"Listen," interrupted Elixicon. - Once again I tell you, I came with peace and no one wants evil.
The keepers were very patient. And he (as the most important among them) could tolerate until the end of the centuries. But one thing to endure, knowing that the result will be, the other - to suffer just like that. And it was rather a second, and not the first, case. Elixicon slowly disappointed in the interlocutor.
In it, the trembling finger of the military pilot was buried and an uncertain voice asked:
- And this? What for? Why did you turn into me? To become my place, to seize power and everywhere to exert its vile influence: through politics, through the army, through all possible channels.
"No," said the Elixicon. "I′m not going to win you, I already said." I′m not a soldier at all, I′m the Guardian. I protect the world and the interests of the universe, and do not destroy everything around. This appearance was used only so that you would not be afraid of my present appearance. I represent a formless molecular mass - neither eyes, nor mouth. I decided that it would be easier for a person to communicate with a person, and not with a formless mass.
Higgins waved his hands, as if he had seen not his own copy in front of him, but an ugly slug. Elixicon took it as a criticism.
- I do not like this image. Do you want to turn into your daughter? Will it be easier with her?
He closed his eyes and concentrated. He grew taller, gray hair replaced by black, his face became much more attractive, the figure - more feminine.
"Done," said the Elixicon. "Now I′m your daughter." Elaine Higgins, 27 years of age, married for 5 years, I have a son of 2 years and 3 months. Now will you talk to me? Dad.
Higgins just turned green with anger. Pulled out a finger, and yelled at Elixicon worried, and hiccuping with tension:
- ZAATNKI-IZ, YOU ARE MORE-INE-PLANET !!! NIKA-KAYA YOU ARE NOT A DAUGHTER !!! And do not think so! I DO NOT BET YOU!
He was very hurt at the moment and did not think at all that he could offend an alien creature (which would come out to him sideways). But Elixicon did not take offense. The keepers do not know about such a feeling as insult. It was beyond their understanding.
"Do not worry, Colonel," he said, as peacefully as ever. "I just wanted to show you that I have a sense of humor."
- I do not believe! I do not believe! - repeated again and again Higgins and covered his face with his hands. - You are a monster! You are striving to enslave us! Enslave!
"Not at all," Elixicon objected. "Well, if I wanted to kill you, why did you pull it out of that plane?" why now I try to agree? I want to understand you people. I want to learn from you. I am your ally - not an enemy.
"You′re lying," the colonel objected shortly and confidently. - You try to appease me, distract me. Find a weak spot, then destroy!
This statement caused a smile on the face of the stranger:
"Believe me, there′s nothing to look for." All your weak spots, as in the palm of your hand. But I repeat to you, I do not intend to kill anyone.
- Yes! Cried the old soldier in the tone of an injured girl. "You destroyed all of my squadron and after that you say you want peace?" You broke my plane, and after that you say that you do not want us to be evil?
"I did not kill anybody and did not destroy anything," Elixicon could only say in his own defense.
But Higgins did not care.
"I do not believe you, I do not believe it!" - he mourned. "You destroyed my plane!" My favorite plane! Do with me what you want! Damn you!
And then he only whimpered and complained. There was no sense from him at all. What made Elixicon take a couple of steps back and think about it. About serious things.
Do not waste time and energy on this person. It was clear. He could not change his mind about the Elixicon, whatever he told him. For him, he is an ENEMY, COSMIC EVIL, an alien PLAN, which seeks to enslave his planet. And the point here was in the simplest. His Colonel was scared to death. It seems that it was common for many people to be afraid of the inexplicable. It was impossible to explain how this 50-caliber armor-piercing bullets could not penetrate the ship′s shell; how can this develop such a huge speed and make such a pretzel in the air; and even more so, how can you copy the face of a person and get so much knowledge from his head. Elixicon very well understood the Colonel, all his feelings. Fear, pain, despair, defenselessness and too many thoughts about an airplane blown up. It would be better if the alien were not at all.
The decision was made very quickly. With no doubt.
Higgins watched a very interesting picture in the next minute. Finished mourning and looked up at the alien. Not in vain. Native daughter, in which the stranger turned suddenly lengthened limb and hand like a snake crawled to the golden boat (he had already forgotten about him). Grew up about once in five, and then began to retract again. Soon she was already quite ordinary hand. There was an orange suitcase out of some strange metal. Drawing on the handle the newcomer opened it and immediately extracted from his bowels some rectangular incomprehensible device of dark blue color. Judging by how he famously began to click on it with his second hand, there were some buttons. For a split second the elderly colonel thought that they wanted to blow him up. But he did not manage to develop this idea. The alien looked up and just as peacefully (even a little fun) said:
"I′ll return your plane to Vincent Higgins." And you will never know about me. Goodbye.
Something clicked and instantly the device began to flicker in a dark blue light. Then this light spread to everything around, embraced, and the meadow and the colonel, and the ship, and the lake, and the mountains, and the forest-the fun began, but nobody had seen it ...

The man and the alien at the lake extraordinarily accelerated and for some reason began to do everything back. They talked, they fought, they jumped on the ship, and he went to the bottom of the lake. The sky over their heads swam back and they flew to a huge mountain. Colonel Higgins′s ship was restored and also rushed back, all the ships of his squadron were restored and also rushed back. Like in the race, where Elixicon this time was the last. It′s even more amazing: his boat stopped in one place, the planes scattered in different directions and pulled rockets and bullets into themselves. Here the alien′s boat covered the cloud, the planes flew in different directions and again searched.
All this was like a movie frame, which was scrolled back with a terrible speed. But it was not a movie at all, but reality. She herself scrolled back, erasing from the memory of Higgins and his people a meeting with an alien guest. Like she never was.


- Red link, number nine, how do you hear me? - the commander of a squadron in a walkie-talkie has sounded.
"I hear you well, the red link, number one," the pilot immediately reported to the walkie-talkie.
"Do you see the stranger?"
- No, no, only the clouds.
"Red link, fifth, do you see our guest?" - sounded in the radio of another aircraft.
"No," was the short answer.
"Number three, what have you got?"
- Everything is clear. Not a single alien on the horizon.
In the radio of all the ships the commander′s command was issued:
- He′s here guys. Look for it more closely.
For the success of the operation, commander Higgins squadron was defeated, and the entire perimeter of the named coordinates was investigated. But the search has not yet been crowned with the result.
Five minutes passed, ten, fifteen. Aircraft unsuccessfully ransacked the perimeter and no UFO sighted.
- How are you guys? Colonel Higgins asked the radio again.
- I have nothing.
- Me too.
"I see only the sun and the clouds."
"Me too, sir."
"Continue your search, sir?"
Higgins immediately cursed to himself and laughed at his own stupid, gray head, gave the order to the radio:
- No, guys, it′s not necessary. Order to all cars: to return to the base. There is no newcomer. We are wasting our time here for nothing.
And he switched to the commander-in-chief of the air force base:
"Sir, there′s no stranger here." The alarm is false. We return to the base.

For about five minutes, Rick Olieu listened to the phone "compliments" in his address from the commander-in-chief "Alraus". After remembering how much fuel was burned for this "false call" and all Rick′s relatives, the conversation was over. The tube fell to its rightful place, and Rick collapsed into the free chair next to it. For a long time he could not come to his senses and all the staff of the headquarters also fell silent. Everyone was waiting for his first word.

The radio operator was the first to surrender. Quietly asked:
"What is it, sir?" What do they say?
Rick turned to face him and stared at his interested eyes for a long time with his cold and malicious gaze. Then, with all the urine, he began to beat his fists on the table, scatter papers with notes everywhere and yell at the top:
- HECK!!!! HECK!!! YOUR MOTHER !!! Dyavol YOU FOR THE ASSISTANT !!!! ЧЕЕЕЕЕЕРТ !!!!!!!!!!

Chapter 2. Jack Stendery.
The device, allowing to rewind time on the whole planet, was the most standard for all suitcases from Soltreks. He consumed a lot of energy and recharged a very long time, but sometimes it was simply irreplaceable. With its help, many major mistakes could be avoided. That′s how it is now. Elixicon reeled the time right up to the moment when he was sitting in the cloud. And this time he did not wait for his "contactees". Turned on the invisibility and all-penetration mode and flew away from his cloud. The planes of the "Red Squadron" saw only a glimpse, and even less than a second, then they melted in the blue, cloudy sky. So it was no longer worth looking for it in this square.
The regime of permeability soon turned off, and the invisibility held until its very landing. Little did anyone else see it, and in this mode, no eye, no search engine could detect it. Even being confident, Elixicon still reinsured (did not want accidents) and achieved success in this. I landed on the same clearing between the forest and the lake and only when I was convinced that within a radius of 100 kilometers there were no curious people, I switched off all the modes of my ship that had seen everything.

The first thing he did was watch. I looked at the forest, the lake, the mountains, the sun in the blue sky and just admired. Higgins, or anyone else was not there so Elixicon stretched this procedure for about ten minutes. First stood, then sat. Near the lake, near the forest, back to your ship. Being in its usual state (liquid mass, no eyes, no mouth) and listening to the sounds of the forest, the splashing of water, watching the flow of clouds in the sky. And the thoughts that at that moment were spinning in his head all boiled down to one: "What lucky people these people are! What a wonderful planet! "
This planet was also his home, too, so Elixicon had to take care of something. First of all, it changed its appearance. "If I decided to stop here, be a man," he decided, taking the image of Colonel Higgins. The body was condensed, there were also eyes, and a mouth, and a sunburn on a skin and the military form with all signs of difference. In less than a minute, and on the grass in front of the alien ship sat Vincent Higgins in the front. Why this image was chosen, Elixicon could not explain. Just felt something intuition. And he believed his intuition.
Then Elixicon turned to his boat face, reached out his hand in his direction and thought about the suitcase. That hour the golden-orange object swam out of the open door of the ship and rushed to his hand like a faithful dog. "Good!" - Elixicon said to himself, taking the suitcase and putting it on the green grass. "Close the door!" He commanded. The door closed smoothly and noiselessly. "Decrease of 150%!" - the following command was given. And the ship "the golden bird" began to decrease. Less, less and now - it was barely visible in the grass. Elixicon took it in the palm of his hand and looked with pleasure.
"Goodbye! He mentally said to the ship. "We will not see each other soon!" He opened the suitcase and put his reduced ship there. And he took out an all-knowing scanner.
He photographed the area around him and entered into the task line: "Time, day, date." The computer immediately gave out information. It was a little:
Date: July 21, 1975
Day: Wednesday. The third day of the third earthly week.
Time: 11 hours and 50 minutes. Morning, passing at noon.
Actually, Elixicona did not need much. He was not interested in its air temperature, its humidity, the longitude of this day, the pressure of the atmospheric column, and so on-it was just necessary to determine what was the day according to the Earth′s calendar. And with this he decided.
"July 21, 1975," he repeated mentally. "It′s what a long time it should be." With all his instincts, with all his intuition, he could not even guess how far he had come from his native planet. There was a temptation to check. And Elixicon did not deny himself.
Put the scanner in the suitcase and pulled out the case computer. I opened it, turned it on, but this time I used another program. It was a comparison program. The screen was divided into two sides. In one, Elixicon simulated the Earth, in the other Soltrex, simultaneously. Any terrestrial programmer would be confused by this task, but Elixicon cope with it perfectly. A model of the blue-brown-white-green Earth was built on the left side of the screen; in the right - orange model of Saltrex. For their construction, it was required to enter a lot of data: mass, density, the presence of fossils, the location of the galaxy, the population, etc. Everything took about 15 minutes. Fortunately Elixicon knew all that was needed and the computer did not require him to have a nationality and features of their culture. Now the two planets were spinning on the computer screen. Each with its own speed and in its part of the universe. Under the planet Earth Elixicon wrote: July 21, 1975, 12 hours 05 minutes and launched a comparison program. Both planets immediately closed the program′s download frame. Now it was necessary to wait, when the computer having addressed in the huge database, will compare these two planets and will give out to Elixikon the answer.
He waited. The computer was loaded. He waited. The computer was all loaded. A very, very long time.
Fifteen minutes passed, for which Elixicon remade a bunch of cases: with the help of the scanner he learned what kind of fish the fish live in, how many in the height of the mountain and far off the nearest road (with the help of a compass), and the smart computer did not give him the answer. And a dull frame - waiting, did not disappear from his screen.
About him it was possible to say - either hung or broke. But in principle both could not be with this computer. Therefore, Elixicon made only one conclusion: finding information is very difficult. And to compare two planets is even more difficult. The computer probably already had to turn over millions of tons of information. And no one (even Elixicon) could tell how much more.
"Most likely, the answer will be negative," he thought. - Will write that the comparison is not possible. Most likely, there is still no Saltrex, but who knows? "He himself could not feel his planet on this planet, at this time - it remained only to hope for technique. Elixicon sat down on the grass and wrapped his legs (as often did the real Higgins) fixed his eyes on the mountains.
It was another five minutes and his expectations were rewarded. The computer squeaked happily and again exposed on its screen two spinning planets. Elixikona is terribly happy, he took the computer in his arms and put it on his knees. The information was found and the computer made a comparison - it was great news. For the Keeper is as sweet as chocolate for a man. Under the planet Soltreks there was an inscription, as well as under the Earth. He read it several times. Planet Saltrex: 2 years.
Here so that! The native planet is only 2 years old. While on earth is 1975, there in the distance, Soltreks is just born. And there is still no Elixicon, Ortrex, Guardians, or invaders on it, NOTHING EXILE. Elixicon smiled to himself. This is how far it has been thrown back in time, that now he is the witness of the second birthday of his planet. The news was pleasant, although a bit sad. The planet will be formed and will be a place of constant strife and violent clashes. Now she is calm and virgin, but the time will pass and the cube of Harridika, Elixicon, then Ortrex will appear on it, and now she will come to the fact that a huge black giant will smash the shields of the last stronghold of reason and wisdom, and the main Guardian will escape, same treasure. But it was even better - to hide in the distant past. It is less likely that Ortrex will find him. They made a truly grand path: through several galaxies, through the Black Hole, through space, cold and empty. It was very difficult to find it.
Elixicon learned a few more interesting information (how many galaxies separate the Earth and Soltrex, what is the difference in time on these planets, etc.), and then left the program (before doing this all his work). "It′s enough to think about an outsider," he said to himself. "It′s time to tackle the main issue." He opened the question-and-answer program and typed the following: "Planet Earth and its inhabitants." I pressed the start button of the program, it took about two minutes to load, and the river of information flowed.
From the computer, Elixicon learned a lot about the planet and the creatures of its inhabitants. I learned about a lot of countries, from which America (where he was lucky to get) was just a small landmark. There were also the USSR, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland, etc. Each country has its own states and counties, cities. The people who inhabited them were divided into many nationalities: Americans, Russians, French, Germans, Chinese, Spaniards, Japanese, Vietnamese, Brazilians, Czechs, Poles, etc. For each of these groups there were their own languages: English, Russian, German , Spanish, French, Italian, Czech, Lithuanian, etc. Elixicon absorbed information like a sponge. He turned off the question-answer program and included a training program. This program, unlike the others, only found information on any given question. That′s what he wanted. First I wanted to study several large countries. He asked for information on America (where his new house was supposed to be), the USSR, Japan, China, Germany, Spain and Canada. They, he thought, were very interesting. Then I looked through the detailed history of these countries. Then he asked the history of the main events on the planet earth from the moment of its birth. From there I learned a lot of interesting things: about dinosaurs, about Jesus Christ, about two wars, which were called world ones, etc. Everything went by exactly one hour. This was the first hour of Elixicon on the new planet and he was the most informative. "Great! He said to himself, shutting down and closing the computer. "This planet is the right thing" and taking it to the suitcase. All. It is not needed anymore.
The most difficult was to come. And interesting. To study the culture and traditions of people. In order to be among their "own" Eliksikon required certain skills. And he could not give these skills to any computer. This required people. You could scan their energy-information fields, but it′s even better that they themselves teach the alien. Only they looked at him and could understand how it all worked.
He already had some information and skills, but this Elixicon did not suit. People on Earth have several billions and each person, everyone needs to know their approach. Therefore, it was required to expand the database. And I would like to expand it constantly.

That′s why the old warrior, in whom Elixicon was disguised, picked up a golden-orange suitcase from the grass and walked unhurriedly toward the forest. The first steps on the new planet led him into a state of ecstasy and he thought only of the fact that he would soon enter the hard asphalt and would be surrounded by people. The 20 kilometers that separated him and this road were a total trifle.

So, along the wide asphalt road leading to the residential area, a middle-aged man in army uniform with an orange suitcase in his hand walked leisurely. Armeets, who was returning to the base, not to let not take. But where is its base? There are boundless green fields and steppes all around. Why I did not call for help. Why was smiling. If it was not strange, it was slightly suspicious.

Elixicon believed his intuition that a military uniform would be useful to him. In part this was true. As he learned, people treated the military with great respect. Hence it followed that the military uniform could attract people to it and provide everything necessary. So he pondered until he got to the big road.
Reality was different than his thinking. Firstly, the road was not all stuck by people - for many kilometers forward on it and around it there was not a soul. Secondly, fellow travelers, when they appeared, turned out to be not as friendly as we would like. The first people he saw were an elderly couple in a gray cadillac. They slowed down to consider the appearance of Elixikon, they even wanted to brake to help the elderly soldier, if anything, but at the last moment she dissuaded her husband and the cadillac only increased the speed. They were very respectful of the military and were ready to help their neighbor, only a man in uniform on an empty road could turn out to be anyone and not even a soldier. Elixicon understood them and did not blame them. They lived a happy long life and at the moment thought only about how to equip their old age. Fellow travelers never took. And this case could not be an exception, even because of strict military form. They raised children, saw the weddings of their grandchildren, now they wanted only one thing - a quiet happy old age. Something unforeseen, unplanned only spoiled the whole picture, so they preferred not to take risks.
The following fellow travelers met in about twenty minutes (the Elixicon specially developed a small speed to more resemble a person). It was an open jeep with four young men. Two guys and two girls. They overtook Elixicon and rode at a small speed ahead. And constantly giggled over him.
- Hey, you! Hey, you! Military! Military! - shouted a long-haired guy in a shirt with a short sleeve and shorts.
He was drunk and merry. He knelt in the backseat and waved his arm. Then he took a bottle of beer from under his feet, sipped a little from the neck and belched with bliss. He stretched out Colonel Higgins, as if to say: "Come on, have a drink with us!" Elixicon just smiled at this quartet in a jeep. The girl who was nearby, seeing such actions there and then took away from it a bottle and was applied itself to its neck. She was also long-haired, with light-brown hair in a long knitted blouse and dress in green peas under him.
"Hey, it′s military!" Cried the guy completely unbuttoned. - Fuck in military uniform! Military fucking! Where is your fucking army, you′re an employee of fucking ?!
After shouting this guy angrily laughed and bent one arm at the elbow. "Gesture-insult," Elixicon immediately determined. "He wants to insult me."
And the girl, having given the bottle to her boyfriend, quickly unbuttoned all the buttons on her blouse and pulled the dress up. Hooking him to the neck, she for a minute showed off her clean white panties and bumps of breasts, and then turned her back on her and exposed her young, slender, suntanned ass on her forehead with a loud slap on her. "This gesture means kiss me in this place," thought Elixicon.
The company in the jeep burst out laughing in every way and increased the speed of the car. Very soon they drove away already.
The real Colonel Higgins in this case would tear and metal from anger, and Elixicon on the contrary - not upset, but only cheered up. He smiled cheerfully and waved good-bye to the unbridled youth. This gesture he fished out of the head of the sleeping Air Force Colonel.

The life experience of these people - he easily scanned their fields at a distance - was slightly richer than the experience of the previous pair, but still not what we would like. In the heads of these young people (from 18 to 25 years) there were only beer, sex and entertainment. Elixicon obtained some new information, but it was catastrophically small. Beer was not interested. Sex is of little interest, because for them it was only a way of getting pleasure - the buzz, as it was called. Gambling for money (cards, bones) did not interest at all. Much more strongly attracted the other. These four, once were musicians, played the guitars and tried to perform. Then they just tired of it - they left the guitars and singing, but one way or another, and Elixicon can say with his own eyes he saw how people do. And it was beautiful. And it was even better that some skills on playing guitar and singing went to him. Now Elixicon could easily take a guitar and perform, anything from country, blues, or rock, n roll, which all four at one time were very addicted.
The reason for their disintegration was very simple. Young people did not believe in their strength. After several failures, they decided that music is not their element, solemnly swore never to return to it and turned to alcohol, sex and distant wanderings.
The reason for the hatred of the military from one of the young men was obvious. She influenced his decision to leave home. His brother was killed in Vietnam. The young man vaguely imagined where this Vietnam and who exactly killed his brother, but with all his heart he hated the military. Now the meaning of his whole life was a protest. Against war, against prohibitions, against all who are in uniform. And since he was surrounded by like-minded people and had already seen a lot of things, he was not going to change his "usual gray" attitude. Elixicon understood him. He himself was a traveler. And his life with all the desire for "gray" could not be called (even despite several billion years of sitting in one room). Then, which one is military. He is the Guardian, not the Destroyer. He himself is against war and senseless victims.
It is possible that they would be friends. Stop young people for a minute, he would easily find a common language with them, and then they would travel with five of them. But no, it′s not. They have their own way, but they have their own way.

After another 25 minutes and 2, 5 kilometers he met a dashing pack of bikers. These serious kind of men on the steep "Harleys" in leather suits and sunglasses for a while rode next to him, and then when all was well considered rushed forward at a wild speed.

There were 12 of them and 5 girls with them. There was little information, but it was. With bikers in general, there was nothing to take. These three bearded men dressed in leather were interested in only three things in the world: motorcycles, beer and roads on which they rode or would go. True, here Elixicon got many useful information about motorcycles and learned how to handle them right there. Of the ladies, only one interested him. It was a girl of 25 years, and she was a real gift for the seeker. For her 25 years, she has already surprisingly seen and experienced a lot. First, the death of the mother at 12, then the evil stepmother, who fooled her father′s head and her stepdaddy could not stand. She ran from home repeatedly and when she had the opportunity to go to college without questions. There she learned a lot of new and interesting things, but was excluded for lasciviousness. No, she was not a debauchery and was very respectful towards sex, she always tried to stand out and did not like when her freedom was restricted. And then there was the summer of love, poetry and rock, n, roll in Woodstock - the most vivid and memorable event in the life of the girl. There she felt really free: in clothes, in poetry (she was a very good poetess), in sex. I experienced a lot and was proud of it. For a while, I wandered from town to town with a hippie. The last two years has been with bikers. Constantly traveled, many where she was, saw a lot, knew a lot - for Elixicon it was a real gift.
Her vocabulary was much richer than the stock of Higgins, the elderly couple, the four former musicians and bikers all put together. She read a lot of books, studied a lot. It was from her that Elixicon learned about the value of books and about where to find these books; learned about astrology - signs of the zodiac, horoscopes and the fact that the information and energy field of man here is usually called the aura. He liked this word and he immediately decided for himself that he would call it that way. In addition, she taught him how to sew clothes independently, how to pick up other people′s songs on the guitar, how to drive a car, how to cook beans in a bowler hat, how to make fire under it, and so on.
Appearance of the girl, too, was wonderful. Height 163 cm, strong and physically developed body, dark chestnut hair to the shoulders, brown eyes, a nose with a hump, a small pretty mouth. The girl was very beautiful and educated. She hardly approached the role of the girlfriend of a knight of roads. Actually, I was just looking for my own way. And in bikers she was already disappointed. She could have gone with Elixicon if he had talked to her, but the prudent stranger did not interfere with her fate. Let him look for his way and find him one day. He mentally wished her success and thanked for the lessons.

I decided that it would be enough for him to be Colonel Higgins. Decided what would be this girl. He closed his eyes, presented her image and mentally put it on top of him.
In the middle of an empty road, a miracle happened. It had to be seen. Colonel Vincent Higgins declined, his body became thinner and more beautiful. There was a breast and a waist, beautiful long legs and long brown hair, on the face small, almost imperceptible, freckles. The change in sex and appearance, and at the same time. And as a costume. The harsh green army uniform was replaced by a black leather jacket, trousers and a tight black T-shirt. Now it was no longer an old warrior, but a young, blooming woman. Twenty-five-year-old Samantha Longdale, who for her friends and herself was only Sally.

Elixicon examined himself from head to foot and was satisfied. "Better than before," he noted. - Much better". And he was not embarrassed either by the breasts sticking out from under the T-shirt, nor by a strong tight ass, which in leather trousers was simply "a magnet for men′s looks". The Salts were essentially asexual, and they had no difference in who to turn into: women, or men. But a woman on the road of the Earth could still attract attention. Of all his previous observations, Elixicon concluded: men react very well to women, especially those beautiful as Sally. The women too could stop to ask: "Are you lost, dear? Do you want me to give you a lift? "In any case, now they were not a soldier, or someone worse in military uniform, but a nice, fragile girl, harmless in appearance.

After another 300 meters Elixicon stopped. "Enough of this walk," he decided. - Go on the road and hope for chance. I′m just wasting my time. We need to find some lively point and continue our studies there. "He switched on his compass.
Before him a bluish image of the road, the districts, the cities and the states surrounding it was formed. Very quickly he found a small dot in the middle of the road - himself and determined that the bikers drove 20 km forward, behind a mile in a 70 rushed a huge long-distance truck. The nearest settlement was in 150 kilometers from it and the roadside bar "Razvilka" was called. It was really a crossing of roads. Three roads. One through the arable green fields to the state of Nevada, the other from it separating into the state of Arizona, the third (on which it stood) passed through the whole state of California and led to Oregon and if it was possible to go on it ahead and forward to Mexico. There were many cities around. Behind, at a distance of 700 kilometers, the city of San Francisco lay, Los Angeles was 300 miles ahead. Elixikon decided to try his luck in this city. And it was not only because he was closer. There was some good intuition about inside this city. But for a start it was worthwhile to go to this bar "Razvilka", to communicate with the local population. The decision was taken.

To begin with, a single and very beautiful girl in the middle of the road raised her palm up, and the suitcase standing at her feet soared into the air, as if she felt a magnet. She was not at all surprised, made several movements with her fingers and the bright orange device hovering in the air began to decrease. Smoothly and as if he himself did not want to shrink, contracted until he became the size of a small book. She lay down in the girl′s thin palm and was immediately hidden in the inner pocket of her leather jacket.
The suitcase could be reduced. Elixicon this and took advantage. And it was not embarrassed even that in a reduced form it could not be opened and something from it to pull out. "It is most convenient to travel light," he concluded, agreeing with Sally′s opinion. "An orange suitcase in the hands of a young girl can attract far more attention than I need and provoke unnecessary questions." It is better to remove it from sight "
Then there were other manipulations. A mental order to all their cells, and they slowly became transparent. At first Sally disappeared all the clothes. But the erotic show on the empty road was not long, as soon as the girl herself disappeared. Remained only Elixicon in the form in which he was. An orange shapeless mass with Saltrex. But this spectacle was not long. On it two layers of glaze have dissolved, and now it was dissolved itself. His outlines became thinner and thinner until they disappeared completely, as the smoke from the cigarette disappears. Of course he was in perfect order. Just become invisible. He gave himself a mental order and in less than a couple of minutes became absolutely transparent. All for one single purpose: so that no one will notice it. Neither bikers, nor those that will be ahead of bikers.

Now it could be really accelerated. Elixicon, visible only with his own eyes, smoothly separated from the road and began to rise above the asphalt. Higher, higher, higher. He climbed to a height of 40 centimeters and stopped at that. Just in case, he flew to the very edge of the road and with extraordinary pleasure (oh, it was still a pleasure!) Commanded himself "Forward!"
Speed dialed quickly and swiftly. I saw bikers in the distance, I just came up to them, but they are already far behind. The real Sally would know that at that moment her double copy is rushing wildly off the ground a little and without support under her feet, she would be very surprised. And Elixicon raced faster and faster. The speed was great. The road, the fields, somewhere in the distance the mountains - all this flew at such a speed - the spirit was gripping. Here is Bar "Razvilka". I said to myself: "Stop!", Braked and smoothly began to sink to the ground. The end of the journey. Less than one minute and he′s at the target.

The creaking wooden door of the bar opened and the pretty young Sally Longdale, who had nothing to do here, according to the majority of those present, crossed the threshold of this institution. I looked for a few minutes around the sides, then I walked to the bar with a firm and confident step.
The institution was so-so. The real Sally vryat would have entered into this. Boardwalk, dirty floor; a coarse bar with faded paint and a few tables by the window, also very coarse in appearance. People, however, did not notice all this and were quite satisfied with the bar. They chewed their roast beefs, casseroles, fried eggs, drank thick dark beer and glanced out the window. Looking through their auras, Elixicon retrieved the real bits of new. Someone has learned how to sow a field and then to harvest; someone like reading the fairy tales of a daughter for the night; someone like how to plan on wood and make from it a lot of useful things. There was nothing to talk about the vocabulary here. All of them were limited and straightforward, like their fates. All of them long ago reconciled and already did not want anything from life. The only person in whom the flame was still burning was the middle-aged woman behind the counter. To her Elixicon and set off. She stood at the cash desk and kept a record of cash. This was the second thing that interested him. The thoughts of all whom he had already met: both Higgins, the elderly couple, and bikers, and most of Sally were reduced to the fact that money in this life plays an important role and I would like them more. Now it was possible to see these same money "live".
He went to the bar and, following the manner of Sally′s behavior, sat down on a high round stool, propped his elbow under his head, and looked glumly at the barmaid. She felt a glance and started.
"Now, now," she said hurriedly. "I will finish counting and serving you."
And returned to work. And she considered faster, forgetting about herself and her profit.
And she really wanted to rest at that moment. This woman was very tired and rarely rested. It was the owner of the bar herself. She cooked, and carried the food, and cleaned, and handed over several rooms upstairs. She had no helpers, and she did everything herself. Worked with one single goal - to earn as much money and go to another state. I did not believe in myself and hoped for a miracle.
From her Elixicon very much learned about hard physical labor, and how hard it is for people to get money. Also a kind of training course on money passed. He glanced at the cashier through the eyes of the landlady and saw green dollar bills and a bunch of trifles. Then I used her knowledge on this topic and my possibilities. I learned from the money all that was possible. The US dollar is the main and only currency in America, it is equal to 100 cents. There are denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 1000 dollars in circulation. The coins were divided into: pennies (1 cent), nickel (5 cents), dimes (10 cents), quarterts (25 cents), half dollars (50 cents) and one dollar coins of silver. There were still large cash bills in 500, 1000, 5000 and 10,000 dollars, but they were very rare and they could have only real rich people. This did not concern the hostess. In its box office there were many five dollar, ten dollar, quite a few fifty dollars and only two hundred dollar bills. She was a very poor woman and had no idea about money more than 100. Elixicon fortunately had a presentation and immediately made up an accurate original portrait of each piece of paper and coin. Immediately he saw that distant mint and a machine that prints money in all details. He saw his device, followed the process, carefully studied the materials used in printing money and now - he got access to this technology. To forge the US dollar was a trivial matter, but Elixicon decided not to spend it. Now he could reproduce dollars when he likes and as much as necessary - not fakes, but originals. Just one thought. To this end, the American money printing machine, as it were, worked extra and produced more products.
All this happened only for two minutes. The hostess still had not time to tear her eyes from the cash register and look at the young girl.

"Well, dear Miss," the landlady said, leaving the cashier and taking the notebook in her hand. "May I take your order?"
Elixicon looked at the woman′s kind, slightly tired eyes and answered how Sally would have answered in his place.
"That will be very kind of you."
Smiled amicably. The hostess smiled, too.
"You see," Elixicon began to explain, copying the behavior of her original. "I′m a traveler." From town to town, without any special plans. And here it was, for the first time. I would like some more information about this place, for a snack. Will you help me?
And Sally smiled again at the hostess.
A smile and a request for help acted amazingly to people. The hostess immediately put off her pen and notebook and joyfully began to tell:
- Go south along the road and go to Los Angeles, San Diego and many other interesting cities, to the north of San Francisco and then if you do not stop to reach Canada, the road to the south is Arizona and Nevada ...
About ten minutes, she told Elixikon what he knew without, but so enthusiastically and vividly, that he enjoyed only communication with this woman. Her story, however, ended with sadness:
"This place where you came is a real hole." Honestly, you have absolutely nothing to do here, I think so.
- Yes? Sally-Elixicon asked with interest. "Why not?"
The mistress entered into a rage and continued to be frank.
- This bar is a slum and a beautiful girl like you! There′s nothing to do here! Food is so-so, beer, too, and the people here are going dashing! Sometimes it′s very dangerous here. Especially to such a beautiful girl.
Suddenly, the hostess oyknula and clamped her mouth. "What am I doing, you fool! I will lose it! "- a thought flashed through my mind.
"Please do not listen to the old stupid woman," she asked, lowering her head guiltily and blushing. - This is a good place, despite all its not flashiness.
- Yes, it′s okay, - reassured her girl-stranger. "I′m not going to leave this place."
I sighed, folded the pens together on the bar counter, looked at them, and then looked at the hostess and smiled:
- I like this bar. I like you. It′s interesting to communicate with you. In addition, I have traveled a very high road and I want to reinforce my strength.
"Thank you," said the landlady and smiled. "It′s not often that such visitors come to us."

Elixicon, so as not to cause unnecessary suspicions, ordered himself a mug of beer and an omelette "Fork". For a kind of chewing and swallowing right at the bar (the landlady allowed) and listened with interest to her stories:
And Margaret (they had already met) opened up a joke. She felt a good listener next to her and started pouring out her soul to him (which had not happened for a long time). In one hand she had a smoking cigarette (smoking helped her to relax), the other one was holding her chin and looking somewhere on the floor. Frowned about something, thought, occasionally looked at the young Sally and darkened even more:
"You understand," she said, pulling on her cigarette smoke and releasing it in a thin trickle. - I was just like you. Young, beautiful, strong, full of energy and unbridled sexual desires. I had a boyfriend. I loved him, oh, how I loved her! And we had a dream, big and beautiful - to go all over America, and then somewhere to settle. But you see how - money was enough only to reach California and buy a small motel there. They wanted to earn enough money and go further through the country, in search of adventure.
She sighed and again took a deep breath.
- First the profits were good, but then everything fell into decay. The visitors grew smaller and smaller, then Stevie fell ill and died, then the federals cut our motel to a tiny bar.
She swallowed tears and nicotine.
- I′ve been in this hole for 20 years and still have not gone anywhere!
Margaret sobbed. I threw the cigarette in the trash can and just cried. The spectacle was extremely depressing. Elixicon even wanted to comfort her (Sally was an expert in these things and was able to comfort), but then thought that Margaret would manage herself. Moreover, she stopped crying and sobbed one last time, took someone′s dirty dishes out there.
"So, girl," she said again, standing up beside her and pulling a new cigarette out of the pack. "I just want to tell myself - do not get stuck in this shit, please." Settled in some bar, like this, a waitress, to earn a long journey and the further you work the more you get stuck without knowing it. Then one day you will wake up, and the best years of your life are already behind.
Again a thoughtful puff and advice:
- My advice to you - you will work the first two years and dump, where far away.
"Do not worry, Margaret," her companion assured her. "That will not happen to me."
What was the absolute truth. And about what Margaret had not the slightest idea.
"That′s it, I hope so," she said, blowing smoke into the ceiling and strolling along her narrow bar.

"How long have you been here?" Sally asked, swallowing another portion of the omelet (she did not even eat half of it). "Without helpers."
Margaret thought about something, then shook her blond head and hastily replied:
- I?! Well no. No. No. Something like 2 and a half years. Yes, I′m not complaining actually. Works a little. Visitors are few. Rarely when they come in, eat. or rent a room for the night. I′m not complaining. Although you know it′s sometimes very lonely. And I really miss Chris. It was my best friend and helper. The barman, the waiter, the driver. He was very supportive when Stevie was gone. He said he would not leave me. But his wife fell ill - he was forced to leave.
A new sad sigh and a new puff:
- I miss him so much.
A little pause. Then Sally asked:
"Marg, tell me about your dream."
"About your dream?"
- Yes, about her. I can feel it, you have it. Do you still want to leave here?
"Oh, how else!" exclaimed Margaret, and for a while forgot about the cigarette.
"So where are you going?" Sally asked, looking interested at her.
Margaret Stenhope, 43 years old, the hostess of the bar, the cook, the cleaning lady and the barmaid in one person, dreamily raised her eyes and smiled happily.
- San Francisco! She said happily.
At that moment her face seemed transformed. And the few wrinkles that were already present on it miraculously disappeared:
- I always dreamed to visit this city. Me and Steve even thought of staying in it forever. Perhaps now I would do so. I would not go anywhere else. I got a job as a saleswoman in a store. Or open my own. A small bookshop, near the house. I would trade, communicate with visitors - I like to trade, and communicate - I would not know grief.
But she quickly descended to the ground. She laughed over herself and again lit up:
"San Francisco is there, and I′m here." Probably, we will not meet again.
There was a pause. Then Margaret looked at the omelet from which it was eaten less than half and tightened gloomily stated:
"The omelette is filthy, is not it ?!"
"Not at all," retorted Elixicon, who did not even feel the taste (he simply destroyed the food inside himself without a trace).
- Do not, do not make excuses, before I cooked much better - now just disgusting cope.
The hostess again dragged on and handed the girl a pack of cigarettes.
"Do you want to smoke?" she asked. "Take it, do not be shy." At the expense of the institution.
Elixicon did not know what to say. On the one hand, he could take a cigarette, especially the real Sally sometimes smoked, and on the other hand he would not feel any taste (would destroy it like an omelet), and he did not want to not smoke. For a few seconds I thought about how best to answer (as Sally answered) and chose the most acceptable form of the answer:
"Thanks for the offer, but I′m quitting now."
"Ah-ah," said Margaret, happily. - Well done girl! So it is necessary! Do not waste your life on this shit!
And put away the pack. Then she reminded me of the beer.
- You drink beer then. It will be better than an omelet. And there is less harm from it than from smoking.
"Thanks," she thanked Sally. - I will definitely try.
But I did not touch the beer. Much more strongly interested in another question:
"Margaret, how much money do you need to go to San Francisco?"
Hearing this question, a middle-aged woman smiled again and forgot about the cigarette.
"I figured it all out," she said to her companion. - A long time ago. And this is my main dream. I need 15, 000 dollars. On the road to the city, where it is 1000, if not more. And there, for the first time. Maybe even I′ll be able to rent some small bookshop.
"I see," Sally said, and looked curiously at her companion. - And how much have you already accumulated?
"It′s not enough," the landlady sighed sadly. - Five thousand two hundred. I would like more.
Absolutely not ashamed of her young girlfriend, even if she was a thief and a murderer. She told everything about everything. I have not yet told her where her blood lies.
But Elixicon did not care. I was interested in the following:
- Do you think, Marg, how many more years will it take to accumulate the remaining 9 thousand 800 dollars.
"I do not know," the woman shrugged. "Less taxes and all my expenses and the fact that I′ll have to repair this place soon - ten years." This is at best. I think the most real thing for me is 15 years. Yes, I think so.
And she thought very sadly: "Another 15 years in this hole." Heavy dragged on.
And Elixicon, who made the calculations in his mind, laid out to her all the bitter truth, and at the same time and his thoughts:
- Margaret, in fifteen years you will be already 58. Do you think you will get to San Francisco in such years? And he will need you already?
Again, a sad puff. And shrugs:
- Yes, probably, you are right. San Francisco is simply not my destiny. Probably, to dream about this city is nonsense.
Elixicon winced. That′s how Sally did when she was with something she did not agree with, and now he felt the same feelings.
He pushed aside the plate with the omelet, and looked at the hostess, smiling even wider.
"Margaret, I want to give you a present," he said.
- Gift?! - the mistress was surprised. - To me?!
At the same time she was very happy. But to ask what a gift was not able to, because the next minute just lost the gift of speech.
Suddenly, a girl who did not seem to be rich, or super-rich began to spread on the table (where there was a plate), accurate packets of dollars. Dived into the pocket of her leather jacket and pulled out from there new and new neatly drawn paper bundles of money.
And on the table, in place of the omelet, they lay all. Five packs. Four packs with one hundred dollar bills and one or more and thicker with five hundred dollar money bills.
The appearance of such a large amount of money in such a place was akin to something supernatural. Their appearance in an unusual way affected everyone in the "Reactor". People chewing their food stopped chewing, talking - stopped talking, and everyone who was close to the bar, fixed their eyes on the hostess and her visitor. Who did not have this opportunity, pricked ears - felt that something important was happening.
The mistress herself was most amazed. She took a long time and could not believe what she heard and saw. The amount she saw at the bar of her bar seemed to her simply unreal. This amount she saw only in a dream, and even more recently, less and less. Therefore, when she looked again at the girl, there was a huge amount of fear in her eyes.
"Why, at that time ?!" - stammering with excitement, she said.
- Money. American. Exactly 15 thousand dollars, - Elixicon said with a smile and reminded. - This is a gift.
- Mmm-me ?! - Margaret said, clinging to the fear.
The next moment she could faint, but fortunately it did not happen - on time, she sat down on a stool.
She took a breath and gave out the first thing that came to her mind:
"Sally, honey, it′s not worth THAT money."
Sally immediately turned her head.
"No, no, it′s not for food." It′s just that. For food here. Omelette and beer - 2 dollars 75 cents.
I reached for my jacket and took out one small green piece of paper and some coins. And she put in front of the bundles of money one two-dollar bill and two coins: fifty and twenty-five cents.
After that, Margaret was completely taken aback:
"Well ... why ...?" ...
Raised her hand up, and so she left it on the weight.
"Margaret, I do not want you to suffer another 10 years (or 15). I want your dream come true. And I can help you.
"No, no, no, do not." Margaret shook her head. I grabbed her with my hands, closed my eyes tight and then looked again at the money.
And they have not disappeared anywhere. Lying in the same place where they were put by Sally. Five packs and another two-dollar bill with small change.
- They are real? Asked Margaret, still doubting. She looked at the money, then at the girl.
"Do not even doubt it," she assured him. - These bills will be taken from you in any bank, in any institution, anywhere in the US.
Margaret stretched out her hand to one of the packs (she really wanted to touch), but she immediately withdrew her hand. And again I looked at Sally. With suspicion
"Look, Sally, honey. And where did you get SUCH money from? You them ...
"No, Marg, I′m not a robber of banks," Sally-Elixicon replied immediately.
The hostess blushed profusely. And she apologized.
"No, it′s okay," the girl said to her again. - Suspicion is completely justified, but believe this money is really mine. I′m rich. And just fantastically rich. Just do not ask about the sources of my income - you still will not believe it. I′m traveling in California, now and here ...
"You want to give me 15 thousand, for no reason at all," said the landlady, with an irony in her voice.
"Yes, that′s the whim," Sally said, and smiled.
The hostess also smiled, although it is very sad. She looked again at the bundles of money, covered them with her hand to feel sharp paper corners and pushed her to Sally. With a heavy heart.
"Sally, please take back." If these bills are real, and whether you really are the first rich man in the world, I do not have the right to take this money. I…
Sally put her hand on her palm to draw attention and for a long time looked into her eyes. And Margaret did not stop looking at her. And she did not say anything else. And already I forgot everything I wanted to say.
"Margaret," Sally told her after a long silence. - You are an intelligent, kind and beautiful woman. You worked very hard for your dream and even now, after 20 years in this place, you still believe in it. Tell me, is this not worthy of a reward?
She paused in anticipation of the hostess′s reply. You lowered your eyes and began to mumble:
- Well, I do not know ... Well, probably .. Well, yes ... .no probably, yes ....
"Well, that′s great," Sally beamed and removed her hand from the packs with her hand. - So, take it. Here it is your reward.
And she continued:
- I really liked Margaret. You are open, interesting and you have a bright, bright dream. You deserve more than this "hole", as you call it. And I do not want you spending the next 10-15 years of your life here. I want you next month to settle down in San Francisco and enjoy ... enjoy this city, where you always wanted to go. Take it. Enjoy it. This is all yours. You′ve earned it honestly.
A good mood gradually returned to her:
"Is it really mine?" She asked already more boldly and quietly touched the money.
"Yours, yours," Sally persuaded her. "And there is no man worthy of this money than you." Don `t doubt. Everything is legal. No troubles you will not have because of them. And no one will steal from you.
The last phrase of Elixicon was missed by her ears, and meanwhile he charged the money with special energy of frightening thieves and crooks, so that really only she owned this amount.
As for Margaret, she touched one packet, then another, and soon felt everything. I was convinced that the money inside is hard, crunchy and there are VERY MUCH. I even wanted to tear the paper that held them together, but then decided to just believe. For some reason I really wanted to believe. She gathered the packets from the table and sang dreamily:
"Now you can go to San Francisco, right?"
"Now you can," said Elixicon from his seat. - Sell a bar and on the road. And may your path be happy. And you will find your shop and you will be happy.
The woman was standing in front of her (she could no longer sit), she held the money to her chest and did not take her eyes off the girl. Her lips trembled, and tears flowed from her eyes.
"It′s a miracle, some sort!" Her voice was quiet and very enthusiastic.
Elixicon also got up, feeling that the minute is important and there is no need to sit.
And the next moment, Margaret′s hands were released, the money fell on the bar table and she forgot all about hugging the girl right through the counter.
- Thank you, thank you, dear, wonderful, thank you !!!! - she repeated, burying herself in the shoulder of Elixicon and sobbing with happiness.
She was in seventh heaven with happiness. She could not control herself. And she cried and cried. And only from happiness.
At last, her dream came true. And the right amount was in your pocket. And all thanks to this wonderful girl. How grateful she was to her. How did she fall in love with her at that moment. It was impossible to put into words. It could only be felt.
At that moment, Elixicon felt terribly miserable, in front of people. After all, he was not given to feel, because she was. Yes, of course, he was pleased that he did a good deed and helped to implement, someone′s dream, but the joy was incomplete. It was not given to him to feel the same dizziness, insanity and delight, which raises above all permissible norms. If he were a man he was a hundred times more rejoicing, but being a salt he could only pat on the shoulder and say: "Be happy, dear Margaret!"
She let go of the girl and returned to the starting position. Still crying. She took a handkerchief from Sally′s hands and wiped them tears:
"Certainly, by all means," she repeated. - I will try to be very happy!

Then they sat opposite each other, already outside the bar and just chatted:
"How did you help me, how did you help me, you simply can not imagine," the landlady said.
She did not smoke anymore. And in general to think I forgot about cigarettes. Now, from her face, there was only one smile.
Elixicon nodded and agreed with her:
- Yes, I do not.
He said the pure truth.
And the landlady was already making plans for the future:
- Selling a bar and on the road. I hope to sell it quickly. Then I′ll pour a full tank of gasoline into my Ford and hello San Francisco. Listen, Sally ....
She looked attentively at the girl and already wanted to call her with her, but this desire was not allowed to come true. They were interrupted by a crackling male voice from behind:
"Hey, girls, stop talking, we′ve been waiting for you!"

Distracted them two guys. Rather, only one guy. He interrupted the conversation between the two women, and very roughly. It was such an average growth type, unshaven and very pleasant face, black hair, fashionably combed back. A brown leather jacket and blue jeans on his legs. He tried to show by his whole appearance that he was cool and fashionable. The friend was on is easier in ambitions and dressed too in an idle time. But like a friend wanted to snatch a piece of life and sometimes was very proud of himself. I must say that this is an empty waste of time, since both friends were total losers, they had not achieved anything in life yet and they could have achieved anything.
They were untied, rude and simply unpleasant, like people. They behaved as if they owed everything to them, and women did not even make a penny. They treated them as a lower class.
This Elixicon saw in a couple of seconds:
"Hey, Margie, you′ll starve us for a long time," the brunette said with a chuckle. "Bring two good guys to devour." And let′s go faster.
Margaret got up, with no big hunt, and went to the bar (customers though), and the impudent brunette, without wasting time, jumped into her place. A long and very lustful look at Sally′s body, and then uttered with such a look as if she owed him:
- Well, what about the doll, will we get acquainted ?!
I thought that this is the best way to impress. Wrong.
"Fuck off, moron," said Elixicon, setting up Sally′s favorite thesis in similar situations. "What kind of doll am I to you ?!"
"Ow-oh-oh," the guy twisted his face. - Come on. What′s wrong, baby. Everything is normal, a tasty morsel.
He gritted his teeth and looked at the young woman like a piece of meat. He looked at me for a minute or two until Margaret interrupted his observation:
"Well, Mr. Robert Stone, what are we going to order?"
That hour the guy threw himself at her.
"Order," he asked mockingly. "In this lousy place." Yes that here is. And however, today there is no money either. If only you give on credit.
He spoke each word as if he were spitting on the landlady. And about the loan as if it was royal favor.
"No, Robert Stone, there′s no credit for you today!" Said Margaret wearily, and with that, slightly irritated.
To which the young man immediately sharpened his teeth.
- Well, you went to hell with your institution! All the same, the food here is crappy!
What was very insulting to Margaret, but she had nothing to say to him.
And the guy immediately forgot about everything he said, as he again looked at Sally.
"Hey, baby, maybe you can treat me and my friend." You′re rich, are not you? What do you say, eh?
He saw Elixicon handing money to the mistress of the bar. First, from afar, then moved to a table closer. And now he did not ask, just demanded that he be treated (although he did not deserve it).
- Here you are. I have not had a drink yet, "Sally-Elixicon said, pointing to a mug of beer.
Foam came out of it a long time ago and the taste was also not very good, but still the impudent guy took a sip from the mug and did not even give a thank to the friend.
"Hey baby," he said once again, examining her from head to foot. - Do you want to have sex? With a real man? What do you say?
At the same time he felt himself on top. And even looked again at Margaret:
"Will you give me a room for an hour, and Margot?" We with a girl pokovyrkayemsya?

He spoke with such confidence, as if she had already said yes to him. And, of course, I was not going to pay for this room.
Margaret is just enraged. And this time she did not hold back:
"Listen, you asshole, you unfortunate, that′s what I′m going to tell you!" I will not give you a room - it′s time! You have $ 150 of debt - that′s two! I do not give any more credits - three! And if you even touch this girl with your finger, you′ll regret - four!
What Robert Stone - an empty-headed bastard and a life-burner just grinned:
- Come on, come on! With money now - cool! But I′m not giving you shit - I do not have any money today (which was a lie)! And I do not need your rooms! A clover is this, not a bar! Shit and food and your rooms! Typhus on you from a high tower!
- Well, then I went from here! Cried Margaret, blushing with anger. "That your foot was no longer here!" Neither you nor your boyfriend! You are both fed up! Get out now!
The guy laughed even louder. Especially, so everyone in the bar heard:
"What will you do to me?" You old slut! Where are you - forgot? On whose land? Go to your San-Fran while you remember who gave you the job in this bar!
He laughed maliciously, grabbed the beer, which the friend pushed away from him and threw him to the floor with all his strength. The mug shattered and the beer flew in all directions. The huge dark puddle spread across the floor and many puffed pants in the bar. However, no one complained. People continued to chew their food, pretending that nothing is happening around.
And the guy was even more pleased than he was, again fell to Sally.
- And what, baby, can we fuck right in the toilet. On the fast. What do you think about that?
It was the turn of Elixicon. He did not say anything for a long time, but now he got into business. For some time he chose the answer, and then gave the following:
- No, I′m not looking at it. I generally seem to fuck with you only to waste time!
Robert Stone was taken aback for a moment, and Margaret cheerfully clapped her hands. They say, it was cool to get rid of a girl. But the joy was short-lived.
- Be silent, bitch! Stone growled and immediately looked at Sally. - Yes, you that the child refuses to have sex with a real man ?! Yes, think about it!
- A real man? Sally asked, looking carefully into his eyes. - It′s not about you! At least, not the guy I need.
It was pure truth. Robert Stone was not the man the real Sally wanted to meet. She rushed headlong from such people. But it was Elixicon, and not that girl. Of course, Robert Stone certainly did not know and began to lose patience:
"You′ll agree on a baby, to the point that your beautiful ass will then be put back to the body!" - he warned her evil, and then softened added. "If you decide, I′m not leaving here yet."
And together with his friend got up from the stool and went to the toilet. It was at the very end of the room behind the sliding doors, opposite the window and the stairs to the second floor.

For a long time after their departure, Margaret remained silent. She stood in one place, her eyes drooping, like a punished schoolgirl. Then she sighed and said:
"Lord, how soon do you tolerate such assholes in this world?"
Elixicon knew everything about this couple, but, however, Margaret asked. I just wanted her to talk.
- Who are they at all?
"I wish they did not show up here today!" Spoil such a day! - she continued on her subjects, but then she heard the question and started.
"This Robert Stone is the native nephew of the governor of this district." An arrogant bastard, a boor and a pig. He believes that money and connections can replace him with good manners. They can replace everything in this life. He′s been poisoning my life for five years already. He thinks that everything is allowed to him here, "Margaret said with an anguish. She again took up cigarettes. - You imagine Sally, I have to endure this reptile, this cockroach, just because he can complain to someone and I will take away the bar and from here they will chase me!
"Do not worry," Sally said. "He will not do anything to you." Now everything will be different for you.
"Oh, I would like to," she sighed.
"Believe me," said the girl and touched her hand. When their eyes met.
- And who is the second?
"Second one?"
"Well, the one with him."
- And this one. Billy Zane. Slug. Mokritsa. The fish stuck. He does not represent anything from himself. It is dragged alongside Robert, like a tail. Barking, teasing, when he feels safe, and so - a complete zero.
"So I thought," said the Elixicon, and rose from the stool. - Perhaps, I will meet with them though.
- Are you what? - Margaret waved her hands. Her eyes widened. - Are you going to ... ?!
"No, there will not be sex between us," Sully reassured her. "I just want to discuss something with them."
- Do you think they will listen ?!
"Nothing, they′ll listen to me."
- No, Sally, I understand the girl you are very uneasy (after what I′ve seen!), But I think you do not understand who you are dealing with!
- I have a lot of surprises in the stash Marg, you really believe.
"They′re just crazy, these guys." Billy Zane has a knife in her right pocket. He never parted with him. Robert Stone has a PISTOL! You understand, PISTOL! If they want to even think they will not - they will use it, and no one will condemn them.
- Do not worry, they will not use anything.
Sally went to the far door, but she smiled farewell and promised Margaret:
- I′ll be back. And faster than you think.

Male and female toilets shared a medium-sized room. There were windows, heating pipes, sinks, mirrors and hand dryers. And then there were Robert Stone and his buddy Billy Zane. They stood near the windows, smoked, discussed something fun and what, they laughed.
When the girl appeared, they fell silent.
"Look at you," said Robert, and with a satisfied expression put his cigarette butt aside. I did not get into the ballot box, although she stood just a stone′s throw away from him. However, he expected to throw by. So that Margaret later cleaned it for him.
"You argued with me, Billy," he said, rather giggling, he threw to his friend. - And five minutes have not passed, and she is here. And wants to fuck.
And he directed his lust-gaze at the young, elastic body of the girl.
"Well, come on, dear," he said, coming closer. "Do not make me ask twice." Take off your clothes.
He took another step in her direction, but Sally suddenly put forward her palm. And she ordered:
"Stay still!"
From such a surprise, the guy was simply dumbfounded.
She continued:
"I′m not going to fuck you." You′re not my type at all. And if you were a real man, you would not behave like that. You should learn the manners of Robert Stone, and do not consider yourself God knows who.
"Baby," Robert croaked cursedly. "You do not even know who I am."
"Interesting." Sally went to him and stood opposite her. "What do not I know about you, Robert Stone?" The fact that you were born in Nevada, in the family of poor farmers Fred and Alice Stone. The fact that your parents loved you very much and gave you all the best, often at a loss. Perhaps that′s why you grew up so selfish and spoiled. Or maybe I do not know that at the age of 17 you were taken under the wings of your own uncle Sylvester Stone, who in 1968 became governor of Los Angeles County. And it was then that you began to despise the people to whom life gave less than you. You did not want to learn anything from the very childhood, you did not have any friends (and could not be), but you thought that it was not necessary, because there is money and connections.
The guy was silent, as if struck by a thunder, and Sally (Elixicon) triumphantly finished:
"And now you are standing in front of me, a 32-year-old moron who has not a single sensible mind in his head, nothing of himself that represents anything, does not know how." And do you think that any girl will fall to your feet just because of your position in society and the thickness of your wallet? No, Robert Stone, it′s not! You′re a boor, a pig, you fool! You are full of complexes and inner malice! Trying to get her out to others and think that this makes you a tough guy! You′re not a tough guy at all-you′re a jerk! A wretched likeness of a man!
All this she spoke very calmly and cheerfully, with a smile.
Robert Stone was silent. And he came to an indescribable rage from every word she said. And then for a very long time he gathered with strength to tell her something offensive.
"Well, bitch, it will definitely not be your day!" He declared firmly and resolutely. "Very soon you will beg me on your knees, so that I will forgive your insolence!" And I′ll think about how best to punish you!
Made a menacing step in her direction. A friend of Billy meanwhile disappeared from the field of vision, following the invisible sign of Robert. No wonder - came from behind, thus, thinking to surprise.
And Robert, meanwhile, was distracting. He took another step toward Sally and declared maliciously:
- I do not know who told you so much about my life - maybe this old slut Marg (we′ll deal with it later) - but believe me, we′ll fuck all the cracks. And many times! You can wake a wolf, you filthy bitch!
Billy, who was coming from behind, intended at this moment to grab the girl and thus very scare, but it was not just a simple girl ...
The Elixicon expected this. He could hear Billy′s footsteps perfectly (although the guy himself thought them noiseless) and when he was between them, no more than five millimeters sharply turned back, sat down and threw one hand forward. Billy Zane was shot down.
Having received a sweeping and very strong blow to the body, he was immediately thrown back a few steps. And almost fell, tearing himself off the ground and hanging on one leg.
Robert was dumbfounded, however, he could not recover. Instantly Eliksikon rolled to his back and stood on one knee throwing forward the same hand.
Robert felt a strong poke in the back. So strong that he could not stand on his feet. And with his arms outstretched (he intended to grab a girl by them and then undress her) flew to a friend.
All this ended in a crushing fall. The guys hugged each other and fell to the floor. With a crash and groan.
And the girl in the skin, who was already on her feet, was smiling. Next time they will think before they attack.

However, this easy demonstration did not give anything at all. The fighting spirit of the guys did not diminish, on the contrary they just got excited.
"Oh, so it means!" Cried Robert. - Cool you are with us! You know karate! Nothing now figs it will help you! Now I′m with you all pride sobyu!
At this, he stood in a fighting position and waved his fists in front of him, as if an experienced boxer before the fight. Billy stood on the sidelines and looked at his friend with pride. Nodded his head and agreed that the fate of the arrogant girl was solved.
- Come on, come on, bitch leather, show me your karate! Show your fucking art! - he cried and jumped from place to place, like a devil out of a box.
The fact that the girl, all her appearance said that he would not fight with him, led him into an indescribable rage:
- Come on !!! He shouted, putting his fists forward. - The bitch is fucked !!! Or do you just know one thing ?!
To all his rudeness, Elixicon remained silent. And I asked only one question:
"You really want to fight me?"
"What do you think, idiot ?!" Robert roared at her, in a frenzy. - I′m playing games with you, whore is cheap? !!!
Elixicon, in the image of a beautiful Sally, nodded to them - well, they say. And he took up the fighting stance. He put one hand forward on the palm of his hand, the second one gathered into a fist and led back - legs exactly the same. "All right," he decided. - Do you want karate. Get the karate »

Their strength could not be compared.
Elixicon knew about hand-to-hand battles everything that could be known about them. I knew many more powerful schools than simple karate. I never applied it in practice, but when I wanted to ...
Robert Stone, as a fighter was an absolute zero. In his youth, he really did boxing, but not for very long, as he was kicked out for constant drunkenness and disrespect for the coach. Since then, he never again trained, learned nothing. But to hold a couple of good strikes could, if the opponent was weak and weak. In serious fights, he never participated.

And now he thought that before him a weak and weak opponent. He jumped and threw his arm forward. Elixicon, already shuddered, reading his thoughts - this scum really could hit a woman. But this, fortunately, did not happen.
The reaction of the "leather girl" was very fast. She dodged the blow, grabbed the discarded hand, clenched her fist in the stomach with a clenched fist, and when the guy bent over the pain that had come, cut it with an uppercut for it, sitting down for a bit. Everything happened so quickly that Robert did not even have time to think. He only felt the pain roll, and then his feet come off the ground and he flies up, then down. From the side his flight was beautiful: first he tore himself off the ground, as if he were in a state of weightlessness; Then he jumped funny in the air and turned over on his back and began to fall, right under his friend′s feet. And fell very accurately, his head on his shoes, thereby forcing his friend to sit down.
The blows that rewarded his fragile girl were powerful and effective. Just think, just a few seconds, and Robert Stone was practically unconscious. Everything was buzzing and ringing in my head, it was dark before my eyes.
Of course, Elixicon did not beat at full strength. He reacted to the enemy very carefully and applied only a small part of it. If I applied at least a little more, the enemy would have little left.

For several minutes he came to himself. He shook his head from side to side, tried to calm the ringing in his head, and then looked at the offender with burning, burning eyes.
"I′ll kill you, bitch!" He croaked.
He struggled to his feet, poked his index finger at her side and held large around his throat.
"You′re the deceased!" - he promised.
The hand climbed into the inside pocket of the jacket and took out a black, black little gun.
"Begin to pray the baby," he advised her. "Because your last moments are coming."
He hoped that the girl would immediately collapse on her knees and begin to tearfully beg for mercy. But this did not happen. She stood, as she stood, in a fighting position and did not even move when a pistol appeared.
"A brave bitch," Robert grinned. "Well, you do not want to swallow my cock, swallow a bullet."
And he flicked menacingly, removing the gun from the fuse.
But the next moment he was distracted. Billy Zane intervened. He appeared near his outstretched hand and quickly began to chatter:
"Robbie, Robbie, what are you doing, come to your senses!" Do you really want to kill her ?!
"Oh, yes," Robbie said with a grin. - Even as I want. This bitch gets on my nerves
"But this is Robbie′s murder!" MURDER - you understand! Do not do this! We′re in such shit then we′ll be with you!
"Nothing," Robbie reassured. "Uncle will offend us." Both otmazhet. And she, she must think beforehand with her hands here to wave.
The next moment his command ambition appeared in his voice:
"Stop talking!" Pull out the knife! Help me, Billy!
"Do not, Robbie. Robert, "Billy asked again.
"Shut up and help me," Robert growled. - Fast! Or are you also against me ?!
Billy said nothing, dutifully pulled out his knife and prepared for the attack.
A girl in a leather suit (she′s Sally, she′s Elixicon) smiled at her already decided fate and said only one sentence:
"You would have listened to wise counsel, Robbie.

The next moment it began, something unimaginable. Nothing of the sort neither Robert Stone nor Billy Zane has ever seen in his life. Standing in front of them, Sally began to move with unimaginable speed for a person. And now she did not stand upright. Now she changed the trajectory of displacement so quickly and so ingeniously, as soon as she could dream. First the forward leg and backward; then the legs are crossed, then the turn, the leg bent at the knee and backward. In less than a second, she was near Billy. Kicking the foot up and the knife was knocked out of his hand. He soared up, described the arc and collapsed into the trash can (though it did not bother anyone). Then it was even more interesting.
She went behind his back, twirled her shoulders, and when Billy turned to face her with the submissiveness of the puppet, she hit the chest with her palm, lowering the case a little. Billy was thrown aside, with arms outstretched, but very briefly was alone.
To neutralize Robbie was even easier. His jaw already began to sag with surprise, and then another blow fell on him. A blow from the palm of his wrist dropped his hand and, at the same time, knocked out the pistol. The grip behind the jacket and the sharp rotational movement made Robbie turn his back to his friend. Throwing two hands together at the same time, he threw him into Billy′s arms.
Together they flew even faster, but not for long. For some part of the moment, Elixicon, in the guise of a nice nice girl, jumped to them and changed the direction of the launched projectile with a round whip-whip. Now the guys also jumped. We flew to the wall between two windows. The blow must be scary.
Surprisingly, he was softer than he thought. But only slowly to slide down the wall down friends did not succeed. A nimble girl jumped to them and finished her work.
At the same time she threw forward crossed arms and a leg bent at the knee. Hands clasped both guys and blocked them in the armpits - crashed into the wall and seemed to mesh with it. The leg also hit the wall neatly between Billy′s and Robbie′s legs. So they were nailed to the wall like beetles under glass. Hands could not move, because they were tucked up. The legs were set apart, never touching the floor.
From the outside it looked very beautiful. A beautiful young girl standing on one leg and hugging two guys to the wall. The guys sat on her knee braced against the wall with her hands tucked up and helpless. Completely in her power.

Robert and Billy woke up. Robert woke up first, of course. He felt himself in strong mites, embraced him, saw Sally′s cold, beautiful look in front of him, heard Bill puffing from behind.
- What?! What?! What?! What did you do, bitch ?! Ay! Let go, now!
He tried to rush as hard as he could, but, alas, neither of which could rush, he could not move. And then his eyes filled with horror. And he cried out as loud as he could:
- A-ah-ah! People help me! Help-e-e!
Billy began to yell with him. The second voice:
- Help-ee-ee-ee !! Help-ee-ee!

Elixicon listened to them for about two minutes, and Or did not stop. Only became stronger. They shouted like wild pigs and did not even try to free themselves - all the forces were directed to scream.
- People-and-and !!!! People-and-and! Help-e-e! Pomigite-ee us!
Robert was especially different. He yelled as if he were being cut:
- AAAAAA !!!!! AAAAAA !!!! HELP!!!! HELP PEOPLE !!!! HELP!!!!
He had never experienced such a thing before. I have never been so helpless and pathetic. I′ve never been so afraid for my life.

Elixicon only smiled at all their cries. They could scream and five, and ten minutes, and the drums here to beat - still no one would come running. Even at the entrance to this room, he installed in the door a barrier of absolute impenetrability. Sound from here did not come out and no one (even strongly want it) could not enter here. So no one saw or heard any fights, no perfect captivity, no shouting.

"Shut up, both of you," he said, with the mouth of the beautiful Sally, sternly, but at the same time completely without malice.
And the guys, like at the behest of a magic wand, shut up. And then they did not say anything. Only listened.
"So," said the girl sternly. - You deserve punishment, so take it as a man. What do you want to be.
She paused and continued.
- You have probably already realized that it′s pointless to resist me. And useless and knives and pistols. Do you understand this?
The guys nodded at the same time. They no longer had their former "steepness" - now they were ready to listen and listen. Listen and listen, just to regain freedom. But, alas, freedom was not so easily given
"All right, we′ve figured it out," said Elixicon. "Now listen to me very carefully." Before I release you, you will promise me something. The promise that you will keep, and will follow it all your life, no matter how much you promised before. Let′s start right now. Ready.
The guys nodded again.
"Relax," Sally said gently and affectionately. "Nothing threatens you." You are completely safe.
An affectionate and tender smile appeared on her face, and Robert and Beal began to melt under her influence. They breathed more calmly, relaxed, eyes filled with a soft pleasant shine, smiles appeared on their faces. All the muscles of their bodies relaxed, thoughts cleared, their heads were ready to receive new information. They became a test. Soft and shapeless, from which it was possible to fashion anything.

- Now you repeat and for the rest of your life remember all that has been said. This will be your new behavior program, your new foundation, your new goal. Clear? - said and asked at the same time a fragile young girl.
"I see," Billy and Robert repeated in one voice.
"Repeat," she demanded, but at the same time she asked without any pressure.
"Now we will repeat and remember all that has been said," the boys repeated unanimously. "This will be our program of behavior, our new foundation, our new goal."
The process was similar to the programming of robots. Actually this was programming. Elixicon used hypnosis to penetrate their subconscious. About what a little sorry. But he continued:
- From now on, and henceforth, you will forever change the attitude towards those around you. Especially to women, "he said.
"From now on, and henceforth, we will forever change the attitude towards those around us." Especially to women, "they repeated.
- You will try to help, strive to leave a pleasant impression for every person you meet. Especially in women.
- We will try to help, strive to leave a pleasant impression for each person. Especially in women.
- You will love, and respect every woman you meet. You will help them, you will be polite to them, you will be interested in their opinion, surround them with care and affection.
"We will love and respect every woman we meet." We will help them, we will be polite to them, we will be interested in their opinion, we will surround them with care and affection.
"You′ll start by leaving here and asking for forgiveness for all your rudeness and meanness before Margaret Stenhope, pay her all your debts and wash the floor in the bar."
"We will begin by leaving here and asking for forgiveness for all its rudeness and meanness before Margaret Stenhope, we will pay her all her debts and wash the floor in the bar."
- Further, you will actively help her. Help to put the bar in order and find a buyer for it. Then you will accompany her further, if she asks.
- Further, we will actively help her. We will help to put the bar in order and find a buyer for it. Then we will accompany her further, if she asks.
"Most of all you will love, and respect Samantha Longdale, a girl who calls herself Sally and whom you see in front of you." If you meet her on your way, be polite, friendly and if necessary, will help with pleasure and joy.
"Most of all, we will love and respect Samantha Longdale, a girl who calls herself Sally, and whom we see before us." If we meet her on our way, we will be polite, friendly and if necessary, we will help with pleasure and joy.
Elixicon was very pleased with the work done. He let go of his arms and leg, let the guys move down.
"Now you will fall asleep," he said. "And you′ll sleep exactly five minutes." When you wake up, you will not remember this girl (he pointed to himself), nor what happened here, but remember (he stressed) everything you just said. And carry it through your lives. You will follow the established rules clearly and persistently. Farewell.
In the eyes of both guys darkened, and they fell to the floor, asleep. From their memory, all the events that happened here have gone. And the "leather bitch" and its crushing karate and pistols with knives. Only those words remained that were now their new life.

Sally said goodbye to the hostess very quickly. Wished her success in a new life, promised to find her, if that. About Robert and Bill, said that she talked with them heart to heart and they realized a lot. That they will appear in ten minutes and it seems, they will apologize.

She walked along the road. There was one. As it was typical for Sally. As it was typical for Elixicon.
I walked and thought. The bar was far behind, and the young woman was now in no hurry. There was a desert around, asphalt and a blue sky above your head - you could bring your thoughts in order.
It′s been three hours since Elixicon was on Earth and during that time he experienced a lot. I collected a lot of information, saw many people, experienced many things.
Thoughts were different. First of all, he thought about his interference in the minds of Robert Stone and Billy Zane. This way of punishment, nowhere forbidden, but he was not welcomed. Intervention in someone else′s consciousness was very dangerous and could cause then a lot of trouble. Elixicon knew about this, but alas, nothing would happen in words. By degree of closeness, they stood about on the same level as Vincent Higgins (if not below). These guys needed a flogging. And they got it.
But on the other hand, he practically saved these two. Now they will be useful. Now a lot of friends will be found and women will adore them. And they, very possibly, will find their second half, marry and create excellent families. It comforted and made me think that there was no mistake.
He was much more worried about something else. In the thoughts of Margaret, he learned a lot about friendship, about real friends and their values. Now he concluded that he needed a friend. Or even a few friends. So as not to be alone, so as not to feel like an outcast, he needed a friend. Besides, he could learn a lot from this friend. Do not search constantly, but have a "living example" before your eyes and get "live lessons" from him. Elixikon had a goal - to find a friend. And he did not care who: a man, or a woman.

The question of a friend got up for awhile. There were already two excellent candidates for this place. Margaret and Sally. Bill and Robert (they could also become his friends), he did not think - these guys themselves still had a lot to learn. He did not take into account Higgins, the elderly couple, those guys-musicians and bikers - their choice had already been made. Margaret and Sally (or even them together) came up as best they could.
Margaret will have a completely different life now. She now has the money, she now has the opportunity to drop everything and leave. Of course, a companion would not hurt her. In addition, it will change very soon. There will be less frowning, smoking will quit, become younger in the literal sense of the word. Elixicon decided to make another gift and at the embrace handed her a drop of his abilities. For any mortal it was a fantastic gift. Now her age was significantly extended, and old age was pushed back many years ago. Very soon, all the wrinkles had to disappear from the face of this woman. Now around her, another protective shell was created that scared away dashing people and attracted good luck. Enter it in the casino, and put all your 15 thousand on roulette, nothing would lose, and no one would dare to rob her. Margaret will very soon leave his bar "The Reactor" and will come to San Francisco. There she, certainly, will buy the bookshop, and will prosper. She will easily find the man of her dreams, fall in love, marry a second time and find happiness in her personal life. Her children will also be happy and successful. Part of the strength of the mother will pass to them. And she and they have enough with interest. And grandchildren and great-grandchildren will remain.
Without any doubt Elixicon could fly to her now or later, tell everything and ask to become his friend. She would not drive him away, she would not call it extraterrestrial filth, she would say: "What difference does it make to what planet you are from, you saved me and gave me a new life - I′m grateful to you and I will never forget it." It was a very good, 100% option. Elixikon decided to think about it and if that′s what to do. San Francisco, was no worse than Los Angeles, and the prospect of being with this wonderful woman liked far more than this road.
With Samantha Longdale, the chances were good too. Not 100%, but somewhere 95%, but still worth a try. She was a sincere and honest girl, she liked freedom, and bikers were already bored. Fly Elixicon to her and appear in her present form, she would certainly be afraid, but they would be friends, be sure to make friends. Elixicon very well knew how to convince, and the girl was not a blunder. She believed in the existence of aliens, though she herself did not expect to meet them ever. But let Elixikon meet her (she was not so far away now) and this meeting would have taken place. And only God knows what adventures await them. They would be a great pair with the real Sally. As twin sisters, they would travel all over America, and then, if there is a desire for the rest of the world.
Honestly, Elixicon could not choose. Both options were very tempting and almost unbeatable. There was a third option: to unite Margaret and Sally, and to become the third girlfriend (or friend). Margaret, after all, was also an avid traveler in his youth. Now, with the capabilities of Elixicon and Samantha′s experience, with her returned health, she would not have done it. Elixicon thought. Seriously thought. And meanwhile he went ahead.

Meanwhile, his own legs, while his head pondered, led him to a suburb of Los Angeles.
There were many intersecting asphalt paths, small houses with fences, other buildings and people: scurrying back and forth, traveling in cars, sitting, standing, chatting.
There was so much new information and impressions that Elixicon′s desire to fly back to her potential girlfriends was a little dull.
In the minds of new people there was little new, but from each Elixicon received some knowledge.
An unknown girl gently walking along the road paid attention (especially men), but did not react as they would react to an alien from an orange soft mass. It was nice. But not as pleasant as we would like.
A few boys who noticed her from afar thought that she was beautiful; an elderly lady on the lawn of her own house thought that the girl must have lost her way, the rest (male) looks were all lustful. All of them boiled down to just one: what a classroom girl′s ass, how would I put a pistol in her. Already more than a dozen such thoughts Elixicon caught and it was just beginning to irritate him.
"What is with these earthlings? What′s the matter? He was perplexed. "All their thoughts are only about sex, why do they stick to this ?!"
And when a man with a beard and a can of beer, standing near the fence of his house, almost smacked him on the ass (Elixicon dodged), interrupting the conversation with his friend, the question of changing appearance again appeared.

"We need to adopt a different image," thought Elixicon. "This one is certainly good, but it hurts a lot of dirt to it." One lust in the heads. It is necessary to find something better. Something unremarkable "
A few more houses, several crossroads and other things, he looked around carefully. He watched people. Women who were around him were not very attractive; in men did not want to turn - too much lust in their heads; there was only one thing - to turn into a boy. The boys, who were numerous in this village, liked him much more. They were both cleaner and simpler than everyone else. And they paid little attention to them. They jumped, ran, screamed, played with the ball, and people around them just went about their business and thought about their subjects, as if there was nothing to be surprised at. And no one poked at them with his fingers, no metal lustful looks. The decision was made, it remained only to find a suitable candidate.

Meanwhile he went out to some deserted factory. A huge brick building behind a metal fence. There was no one inside. And around, too. Residential houses were somewhere behind. There were a few large buildings here: apparently: the factory zone.
Elixicon was already there, he wanted to turn around and walk, but then his attention was attracted by a notice board that hung on a metal fence. Something was written there (Elixicon did not understand the meaning of these signs) and there was a big photo of some person. He liked this man very much.
It was a boy. A teenager, maybe 14, maybe 15 years old. Beautiful. Cute face, beautiful middle-sized eyes, a nose with a hump, slender, strong shoulders. The boy was photographed by the shoulders. Elixicon turned on the imagination and immediately drew this image. Presented in front of him: medium size, straight, black hair; green, expressive eyes; A proud nose with a small hump; beautiful, white neck; shoulders, in which there was strength, a brown leather jacket on the body, a green corduroy shirt underneath, black jeans and sneakers on legs.
Having pressed her hand to this photo, Sally′s beautiful girl diminished in growth, her hair was shortened and darkened, her breasts disappeared, her black jacket became brown, her pants on her legs were replaced by shabby jeans, her shoes widened, rose and were covered with rubber.
Elixicon again looked from head to toe. Again he was pleased.
He became a boy. A small, nimble teenager, inconspicuous and unseen. It was good. The bad news was that he did not know anything about this man. With the help of one photo on the wall, information could not be obtained. It was necessary either to communicate with people who knew this boy, or communicate with him, or help technology. Elixicon decided to resort to technology later. I wanted to wander around the suburbs a little more and at the same time ask someone how many kilometers to Los Angeles.

He got lucky. As soon as he rounded the factory and turned around the corner, he met a small shop. A bookstore. There they sold books supported + daily newspapers. Near the store stood a police car. The policeman was inside and chatted with his girlfriend - a saleswoman. In the second half of the day, he always visited her to see some new books and talk with a word.
"That′s good," thought Elixicon. - Representative of the Earth Police I will ask him how much to the city, and at the same time I will take interest in books "

No sooner said than done. The doorbell chimed and the foot of the handsome lad crossed the threshold of Martha Stevenson′s bookstore.
The policeman, standing with his back to the door and telling Marta a new bike, did not react at all. Martha responded, an elderly, fat woman with glasses on her nose. She nodded to the policeman, but he did not stop.
Interrupted only when a quiet pleasant voice from behind called him:
"Sir, sir, help me, please!"
"Well, what do you want?" The policeman asked discontentedly and vexedly. - What do you want?!
He was an elderly policeman. He was already gray and bald. And a mustache. Very strict mustaches sent down. In the compartment with his discontent, they were very funny swaying.
He examined a teenager who came up behind for a few minutes and then angrily jerked his head and his mustache swayed.
- What do you want? He repeated again, more calmly.
- Sir, tell me, how many to Los Angeles?
The policeman snorted and replied:
"I′m not a map of America for you." Ask someone else. And do not distract me.
And leaving an annoying teenager, he turned to Martha. He wanted to say something, but noticed her winks and nods, toward the wall, to the left.
The policeman looked at the wall and was stupefied. On the wall hung a picture of the same guy he had just sent.
As if alive, only he was black and white. And at the bottom there are inscriptions with numerous exclamation marks. A policeman who, unlike Elixicon, could read, read the text.
ATTENTION!!!! (above the portrait). SURPRISE IN 47 STATES, FEDERAL CRIMINAL JACK STANDERIE !!!! EVERYTHING HAS VISITED IT, REPORT TO THE NEAREST POLICE DEPARTMENT !!!! REMUNERATION FOR ANY IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT IT = 25, 000 DOLLARS !!!! (under him).
"That′s right," the policeman said to himself. - Here I screwed up! »
He looked back and examined the store. For his happiness the boy has not left yet. He stood by the window with books and looked attentively at her.

Receiving an answer, Elixicon did not lose his head. He already looked over the aura of the policeman and determined that he was a very busy person and did not like it when someone came up behind him. So the answer was predictable.
"All right," he thought. "Maybe he′ll change his mind." Communicate with me »
And he went to the window under the glass of which lay the very books about which he had already learned many good things. But to consider all the books that were lying there, failed. He was interrupted by a policeman. He put his hand on his shoulder and said good-naturedly:
"Hey boy, do you want me to give you a ride?"

Chapter 3. "The King of Rubies".
About ten minutes later a police car drove out of the suburbs of Los Angeles to rush along a straight and short road to the city itself. At the wheel sat an elderly policeman with a bald head and mustache, whose name was Brian O, Nilly. Elixicon sat on the second seat, handcuffed to the door.
The policeman was chatting incessantly, Elixicon was basically silent:
- I can not believe it! I can not believe it! Exclaimed Brian. "Such luck!" Jack Stenderi and me in the hands! I will now be promoted! Precisely increase! Finally, I was lucky!
Elixicon listened to him attentively. Of course, he could count his aura and in a couple of seconds learn all about this Jack Stenderi, but the interlocutor was so talkative that he did not need any intervention - he would tell him everything himself.
- Look, you can be seen completely off the reel guy! Exclaimed the policeman, hardly looking at the road. - You say to the store and: "Sir, how far is it to the city ?!" What′s wrong with you! Conscience tortured! Or do you want to rob another museum ?! Ah, Stenderery!
Unperturbably and calmly, Elixicon asked:
- And what do I blame sir, you can find out?
- What happened to you? You do not know what you are accused of? Are you sick, Stender?
"Sir, you see, I woke up in the middle of the desert, a few hours ago." One. Without money. Without documents. Nothing remembers. I went out into the suburbs and accidentally came across this store. I still do not know who I am, and even more so in what they accuse me. Explain, please.
The story was invented on the go.
- Yes?! Brian O, Nilly asked in surprise. He shook his head, and his mustache again flashed wildly. "Maybe you′re not lying, Stenderi, and you really have amnesia!" Only this vryatli will save you from punishment!
He paused for a moment, then threw his hand into the backseat. And he returned with a crumpled newspaper in his hand.
"Here, read it," he said, throwing Elixicon on his knees to the newspaper. - Take a look. Read about yourself.

Reading could be learned in a few seconds. It only required someone who would show him what letters are and how they form into words. You could use your technology, or the knowledge of O, Nilly, but Elixicon has decided not to use its abilities. As well as not taking off the handcuffs. While he was just sitting and listening. A quiet mouse.
Therefore, looking at the newspaper, he simply admitted:
"I can not read, sir." Tell me your words better, what′s the matter there.
Bryan Oh, Nilly laughed again.
"Well, you give it, Stendery!" And you can not read! How unlucky!
However, the content of the article was retold. For memory. Probably read it many times.
"It says," Brian said, turning to the intersection. - That July 19, 1975 was perfect, bold robbery of the Museum of Los Angeles. Abducted, the largest in the history of mining, a ruby named "king of rubies". By the way, a gift to the city from the hands of the famous to all America ambassador Jeff Stenderery, your daddy, by the way. Thank God that he did not live to see these days! There is no doubt that the kidnapper is the son of Jeff Stenderery, Jack Stenderery. This is indicated by the recording of security cameras and fingerprints. Yes, you are in trouble, son, in large! I stole a ruby, the value of which is estimated at several million dollars. People who give the police some information about Jack Stenderery (or Jack Stendery himself, hee-hee!) Is waiting for a reward of 25 thousand dollars (and a raise!). Jack himself awaits the highest penalty: from life imprisonment to electric stool.
- Are they executing teenagers? Elixicon asked, not looking at O, Nilly.
"Nothing, nothing, in your case there can be an exception," the officer reassured. "You are a special Stendery man." And the measures to you will also be special.
"Exactly said - special," thought Elixicon and stared out the window. Perhaps, hoping to find the real Jack Stenderery.

A dumb police officer bored him. I told him everything I knew and it looks like I had nothing more to take from him. It remained only to look out the window and admire the sweeping views.
Meanwhile, it became more and more interesting and interesting. Apparently this Jack Stendery (whoever he was) was an interesting person. The mere charge of stealing rubies of such value from the federal museum has already talked about a lot. Kidnap national pride, and then manage to hide with her, so that in 47 states of America they opened you a hunt - it deserved, at least attention. It was necessary to get acquainted with this Jack. Maybe he is an evil disgusting criminal, whom Elixicon will find and return to the right path. Or this Jack is a nice guy who just got into a serious mess. And in this case Elixicon will be very welcome. It will help to neutralize the real criminals, and they will make friends with him. Somehow it seemed that it would be so. And another intuition said that it was this guy his best win-win option.
Perhaps because of him, and was chosen by Los Angeles. I really wanted to find him. Look into the open window of the police car and see.
Elixicon could joke to get rid of handcuffs and using his ability to fly out of this car in less than a second. I did not use my abilities, because I just did not want to. But here the car drove to the bridge dividing the suburbs and the city of Los Angeles, and everything changed ....

Brian O, Nilly, meanwhile, completely disengaged himself. A solid reward and promotions turned his head, so that he did not see anything around him (he hardly even looked at the road)
- No, how lucky I was! How lucky all the same! He said and spoke. - Stendery, thanks to you I will not only be awarded, but then I will be paid a special federal pension. My portrait will hang among the best policemen of our site. I will be shown on TV. And all thanks to just one stupid boy. Stendery - you′re just gold.
Meanwhile, the car drove to the bridge, 10 meters above another road with transport. I drove smoothly and calmly.
"You know," Brian said. - And maybe I should note in the report that you did not exert any resistance, let yourself be taken away, behaved approximately and still about your amnesia remember. Maybe it will do without an electric chair. What do you think Stendery. Do you want me to clap for you?
He looked back to the detained criminal and was simply stupefied.
Jack Stenderi was not there. A minute ago I was here and kept my hand raised up (in handcuffs), but now he was not there. The place of the second passenger was empty. And only the handcuffs hanging from above served as a reminder that someone was here.

From such a shock, Brian winced. And he, as he was behind the wheel, almost crashed into a blue "pickup" who left because of the turn. Ranul to the right and nearly knocked down a motorcyclist who was just driving into the bridge. Then, feeling that he no longer controls the situation in horror, he yelled. And furiously began to turn the steering wheel back. What an unthinkable miracle did not hurt the "pickup", but carried someone′s mailbox, smashed the fence and smashed some bushes on someone′s green lawn.
Sighing heavily, he covered his eyes with his hands and almost cried. The reward and promotion could now be forgotten. Now they will deport him. In the best case, before the guard.

The car drove to the bridge, and Elixicon shuddered. He felt something. I peered at the road stretching under them and realized what was happening. There, 700 meters from the bridge, a huge long-distance trailer flew all the way. Trailer with the image of some canned food, but inside were not at all canned. But the most interesting thing was in the cockpit. There were five big men in black leather jackets and masks, and between them sat a twisted rope, arms and legs, a gag in his mouth, a real Jack Stenderery. And he was mortally frightened.
All. More Elixicon did not look for anything and did not think about anything. He hurriedly left Brian O, Nilly and his police car. He pulled his hand over himself and easily led her through the handcuffs, and then, at the same instant, jumped on the chair. Stepping into the open window of the door, as if on a stepping staircase, he smoothly pushed away from her and soared into the clear blue sky.
At the time of its launch, the car did not reach the middle of the bridge (it was short), and all this was so fast that O, Nilly did not even notice his disappearance. He continued to chat about some kind of reward. The Elixicon did not listen to him already.
With great speed, the police car pulled away from him and stayed far below, as if Elixicon had boarded a high-speed elevator. But it was not an elevator, it was himself. He jumped up and instantly climbed to a height of more than 500 meters from the ground. From there it was very easy to see the road under the bridge, riding on it a long-distance trailer and another quarter of California. And it was this height that Eliksikon needed to dive onto a white long-distance van. And so he, under the whistle of the wind and his own excitement, began this decline. Closer, closer, closer. Gently knocking against the roof of the van, Elixicon safely stood up in the middle of a long-distance trailer that took Jack Stenderery out of Los Angeles. On this huge leap, which for the supreme guardian of Saltrex was a trivial matter, it took only a few seconds. And now, almost a mile apart, he and the still-chattering police officer Brian O, Nilly.
A faint blow to the van, forced the men in the cab to get up.
- What is it that struck ?! One of them asked excitedly. "Come on, Frank, look."
Frank, who did not want to climb up did not want to try to dissuade:
- Yes, everything is normal there. Probably just a pebble.
- Look! Demanded one of the bandits to another.
He was in the group the most important and therefore Frank submitted. He opened the truck door, on the move and climbed up to see what was there and how.
Upstairs, as he thought, everything was clean. There was no one on the roof of the van. On the roof of the cab there was no one. Just in case, Frank completely got out and moved gently on the roof (the truck was traveling very fast, and the height was huge) checked the edges. No one was hanging there and did not plan anything. Just as carefully he returned to the cockpit and said:
"I checked everything!" Pure, boss!
Then they rode in silence.

And Elixicon sat exactly where he landed, crossing his legs in Turkish. With a serene smile, watching as the wind rattles his long (Jackie) hair, assuming a state of invisibility. When Frank walked around, he did not move even from the spot, only invisibility intensified, so that he crashed into it and did not feel like casting. Then, of course, weakened. In general, a wonderful adventure happened. I wanted a real Jack and found him. And now he was traveling with him, inconspicuous, but at any moment ready to come to the rescue. And he felt that he would need help soon. Elixicon would not disappoint in this regard. In the meantime, I decided to just watch and do nothing. A quiet mouse.

Approximately 70 kilometers from the city, the industrial zone began. There were factories, warehouses, workshops, etc. Here and there came a truck with Jack, bandits and Elixicon. He stopped at some kind of white gate and opened it. And then, when he drove in, more people came running in black jackets and masks.

The fan plant, which was closed indefinitely, was not empty at the moment. It was there that the famous Joker gang was established for its entire headquarters in Los Angeles and many other cities. And it was her guest today who became Jack Stenderi.

The Joker himself was sitting in a large red armchair in the middle of the central factory hall. He was a middle-aged man in a red suit and a bow tie. A red-smiled smile to the ears, eyes burning with a frantic glow, hair dyed green and disheveled - a sort of villain, a character playing cards.
Always different, always changeable, thirsting for world glory, then absolute solitude Joker was one of a kind. His face always had make-up, and his expression was always different. That good-naturedly merry fellow, then a villain of villains. Nobody knew what it really was and it turned out that nobody wanted to know (it could be even more abrupt than any masks). But he knew for sure: both criminals and mere mortals - it is better for the Joker to not cross the road. It so happened that Jack Stenderer stole what the Joker planned to steal. And now I had to keep an answer.

When Jack was dragged to him, with his hands tied behind him, he got up from his chair and exclaimed triumphantly:
- A-aaaaaa! Here is my long-awaited guest Jack Stenderi! How I longed for you, Jack! You will not believe! It was so boring here, without you!
"I can not say the same," Jack said softly, and did not feel any joy at all.
The joker, on the other hand, just bloomed with happiness. He came closer to the prisoner and said:
"We′re celebrities, Jack!" I am very well known in many cities of America and now you too!
"Be sure, I did not want this kind of glory," Jack said, looking straight into his mask face.
"Why, Jack?" Asked the Joker in surprise and even slightly disappointed. - Such a talent and disappears! From you would be a wonderful thief-scout! Judging by your debut!
"I′m not a thief!" Jack screamed angrily and meanwhile very evil. "I′ve never been and never will be!"
And the Joker did not hear him. He turned to his assistants - bandits in masks and asked:
- Really, after all guys, not a bad kid ?! Will it be good for him ?!
They all giggled, some even clapped their hands. What made Jack even more angry:
"Listen," Jack said quietly as his gaze met the criminal′s gaze. "I′m not a thief." I did not mean to steal. I would never ....
"Listen, my friend Jack," the Joker interrupted him (he did not hear him again). "We must share with our own people." So please give us this ruby. I promise, you will be given more than anyone else, since it was you who carried out the most difficult part of the whole work.
He still smiled. And Jack wanted to cut into this merry clownish face. He desperately broke from the hands of the bandits holding him and shouted:
"Listen to me, you asshole!" I′m not a thief! Not a thief! Not a thief! I saved the ruby, and did not kidnap him! I saved him ... from you! From you! From your ... damned hands! And never ... never touch it! Do you understand ... .know this ?!
The smile from the Joker′s face flew. His face became sour, and he turned away with disgust.
"Guys, he′s hot," he said to his people. "A bucket of water here and cool it, please."
The same hour a bucket of water appeared. It was like behind the bandits′ backs and was just waiting for its time. Jack was taken by the legs, by the trunk and immersed in water. From this procedure, the boy′s body jerked and it began to beat wildly .. From the bucket the water flew and bubbles went.
The Joker watched this procedure for a few seconds, then ordered Jack to be taken out. And the conversation continued. The painted face of the Joker and the pale face of Jack, from which water flowed in seven streams.
"It′s to make you feel like I was unhappy with your words," the Joker again said with an acidic wound. And then he blossomed in a smile. - Let′s talk calmly?
Jack nodded all wet and panting.
"All right," said the Joker. - The offer to join our gang does not interest you, correctly I understood?
He nodded again.
"Then, let′s go easy, Jack, you give me a ruby - I′ll give you life." Agree buddy, this is a great deal!
"I′m not your friend, you stupid cretin!" Said Jack angrily.
For what was immediately dropped into the bucket. And again the water poured and bubbles went.
"Well, you are rude, Jack," said the Joker, when his pale, wet face was again in front of him. - I′m talking to you in a good way. And you…
"Go in the ass, you idiot!" Jack rasped, swallowing the air.
- Nerd, idiot - Jack, where you were brought up, in a pigsty? The Joker asked with a sour expression. And then he shook his cheerful smile. "Ah, I understand everything!" You′re an orphan! And you, the last few years, lacked education! But we will correct this now!
The Joker nodded his own.
- Guys, pour it in properly.
And that hour Jack got a good poke in the back. He probably would have fallen off his feet, but he was held by several hands. And the other few hands that hour began to "iron" him in the stomach and solar plexus. Not for long and not very much, but Jack still howled in pain.
"Listen, Jack, I do not understand you. I do not like violence at all. Especially violence against children. I′m not a sadistic Jack. I just need this ruby. Tell me where he is and I′ll let you go.
- How, how! Jack quipped, although he was with bound hands and gasped for pain. "So you′ll let me go!" I′m such a fool!
- So this! The Joker shouted at him. - What crossed my path! In any case, Jack choose - die, now, or have at least some chance of salvation!
"I will not tell you anything!" Jack said firmly.
For which he was again put into the water and beaten.
"Nothing ... nothing ... I will not say anything!" - He breathed heavily with pain.
Again he was beaten and dropped into the water. But this one is a bit longer.
- Will not say? Asked the Joker from Jack, who was now barely alive.
He shook his head negatively.
Then the Joker lost patience:
"What are you doing, Jack?" He shouted. - What the fuck are you breaking ?! Why are you so clinging to this ruby ?! Why, why, why are you ready to die for this pebble ?! Tell me!
He grabbed his hair and looked into his eyes. Jack was not verbose.
"It′s not a pebble, it′s my father′s ruby."
And he did not say anything else.
The Joker, who realized that it was the honor of the guy who was crouching next to him squatted and said judiciously:
"And is it your father′s ruby, Jack?" What′s next? Can you get anything from this ruby? Money? The food? New house? Jack, can not you do this too? He absolutely does not need this ruby! For what? For memory? Keep as close as a memory? What is the memory, Jack? Memorization, the price of your life? Give me this ruby, Jack, and you′ll stay alive! Do not die! It′s stupid! Die for some miserable, insignificant ruby, for some kind of fucking principle - Jack does not matter!
Jack listened to him attentively and for a long time remained silent, but in his opinion remained unchanged:
"I′m not giving you the ruby." Do with me what you want.
"Yes," said the Joker, getting to his feet. "I offered you life, but you′re too proud, huh?" Okay, let′s see how much pride you have, Jack
And he turned to his assistants:
"Take him upstairs, guys." To the "father-ventilator" at the reception.

"Father-fan" represented, from itself huge blades on the first floor of a factory. To get to him on "reception" meant to be lowered on a thick rope attached to a metal hook.
"These are the blades for the helicopter," the Joker said as the six men and the boy climbed the narrow stairs to the second floor and stopped. - Probably, a very long time worked on him a few hard workers. Then, as you can see, they simply forgot. But the product works. And yet, how, works well.
The Joker gave his man a sign on the first floor and he jerked a switch.
The motor under the blades buzzed, and they began to slowly unwind. Faster and faster. And then they even reached crazy speed. Rotated so fast that it seemed that a huge disk was spinning downstairs. Cutting disc.
After thinking about the sharp blades, Jack shuddered. But he did not give up his position. When the Joker asked, he shook his head again.
- Nothing, nothing, - reassured Joker boy. "This thing freshens memory well and cleanses the brains." And I′ll still find out where′s your secret, Jack. A few omissions there and we are already quite different with you will talk.
Jack in the meantime tied his legs, and put on the hook. And then they started to lift it up.
The joker also wanted to parrot him to the last:
"First we cut the hair on your head." Then we′ll find a way to cut off your ears and nose. Then, you′ll see Jack.
And Jack did not have to be intimidated. And he was so afraid.

When his legs were twisted, when they put him on a hook and began to drag him up, Jack no longer spoke without Joker′s speeches. Below, the cutting screw rotated, hands and feet were tied, and he swung so unsuccessfully that it seemed, just about to break from the rope. His heart nearly stopped in his chest from the thought of death on whistling lobes.
To somehow cheer up, Jack angrily screamed to the bandit, who in his eyes turned over on his head:
"You bastard, Joker." I also do not have sixteen.
Although it was poor consolation. In response, he heard:
"You chose the path yourself, Jack." You play as an adult - act like an adult.

The coil arranged under the ceiling pulled the cable upward, but soon had to stop and lower the suspension-jack down. In the reception of the evil, roaring "father-fan." Jack squeezed his eyes shut and tried to think of something cheerful. Did not work out. Nothing came into my head.
And the Joker, who stood at the iron railings, as if on a balcony, shouted, putting his hands to his mouth:
"Jack, talk now !!" Then it will be too late!

However, he did not want to put Jack in the blades, but simply to scare him. He had a whole program of torture.
But, the next minute, something happened that neither the Joker nor his assistants, nor Jack himself had expected.

It′s like some crazy whirlwind swept through the plant′s premises. So strong and powerful that all who stood could hardly stand on their feet; the blade of the screw curved and he, without suffering an overload, exploded and began to smoke; and Jack, when everything was quiet, was not on the hook. And nowhere near, too.

Elixicon was always there. He watched Jack interrogate, then dipped in a bucket of water and beat. Even then I wanted to intervene, but there was an inner feeling that it was too early. As if she knew for sure that Jack would not be killed, but only want to intimidate. This voice of intuition, which many people ignored, for Elixicon was a valuable adviser. He always obeyed him and never let him down. And now, did not disappoint. There were many interesting conversations, from which he learned a lot of new information. And Jack admired once. But when he was carried to the second floor, to lower his head down into the fan, I realized that it was time to act.
He jumped to his feet, rushed to Jack, and when they wanted to lower him down, he jumped and pulled him off the hook. He did everything very quickly, specifically, so that no one could understand anything. And I achieved success. Carrying Jack to the furthest part of the plant, he looked back and saw that the fan was broken, some masks tore off the masks, the Joker on the top bitterly grabbed the railing, so as not to fall down. Elixicon this cheered.

The darkest, most inconspicuous corner with empty wooden boxes was chosen. Elixicon took the rescued Jack there. And finally he installed, above himself and the rescued, a dome of impermeability and invisibility.
The vault was chosen, as well as possible. Several huge empty boxes moved together, about 1, 5 by 1, 5 meters, a small room. It was convenient to sit together and through the holes in the box to observe everything that happened at the plant.

For a while they just kept silent. So to speak, to get used to each other. Then Elixicon said in a friendly way:
- Hello Jack Stenderery, I′m glad to meet you, finally.
Jack did not answer, although there was nothing to say. All he did was stare at Elixicon, without moving or blinking.

"Let me set you free," the mysterious savior suggested, and immediately took up the ropes.
And in less than a minute, both hands and feet were free. And he put them in the far corner of the box. And he smiled.
And Jack rubbed his numb hands and feet, never taking his eyes off the stranger.
It was more than strange. Before him was his own copy. The same Jack Stendery. Like a bolt from the blue sky that struck him and pulled him out of a terrible alteration that could end in his death.
Jack remained silent for a long time. Weighed, reflected. And he asked the most appropriate, as he thought, but the most ridiculous, if you look from the outside, the question.

- You are me?!
"No, no, Jack," the twin brother hastened to disentangle him. - You are you. I am me. I just took advantage of your appearance to be like you people.
Jack was dumbfounded. What a wonderful answer. Especially the last phrase.
"Any people?" He asked, hiccoughing with excitement.
- Yes people, Jack. I′m an alien. From another planet. I am not human.
- Not chel-love-ek ?! Repeated Jack, hiccuping even more.
At the moment he was so surprised and disarmed by a new twist of fate that he had already forgotten about the Joker, his assistants and that his active search was now beginning.
"Jack, do not worry, do not worry," said Elixicon, feeling his condition. "You′re safe." Nothing threatens you. I′m your ally. Your friend.
- Friend?! Jack repeated very quietly, still worried, but no longer hiccupping.
"Friend, friend, Jack," Elixicon assured him. "At least I really want to be."
And looked through the crack to the huge plant. At the Joker gang. And found that she had already activated. Cries were heard: "Search! Search! He could not go far! Where are you, Jack? "
"I′m ready to argue about anything, you would like to be as far away from this place as possible," he said again looking at the culprit of this whole story. "Is that so, Jack?"
He thought and nodded. Slabenko so.
"Listen, can I talk to these scoundrels in your name?" - he asked.
Jack, who did not understand anything, nodded again. His eyes were surprised and wide open and he did not know how to behave. Whether already died, the roofing felts still not.
Elixicon, he winked.
"We′ll talk later, Jack." Five minutes later. You rest while.
His body faded and easily passed through the wooden wall of the box. Like this second Jack, there was a ghost. Another confirmation that this was the afterlife.
The real Jack had no choice but to close his eyes and fall back on the wooden and, as it turned out, the solid wall of his "komorka".

The Joker was at a loss. And even in a rage. The operation, which was planned for so long and in general was a win-win, suddenly broke down. And how she fell. Unclear. Somehow a fan came out of the room, a wind storm blew and Jack disappeared from the hook somewhere.
Wildly frightened by this sudden turn, the Joker, to dislodge his fear, shouted at his subordinates, ordering him to seek and seek better. Himself still wondered. I thought and could not find the answer in any way. Who, or what broke into his life and broke all plans.
And five minutes later he was even more surprised. Jack Stenderery, whom they were all looking for; Jack Stenderery, who did not understand how to jump off the hook and had already removed the ropes, went to him himself.

- The game is over, Joker. Surrender, "he shouted clearly and loudly, stepping out into the middle of the factory.
Docker was so dumbfounded by the appearance of Jack that he did not even attach importance to his words. He smiled in a happy smile and cried out:
"Jack, well, just think what a meeting!" We are already worried about you! Where have you disappeared!
"It′s all over, Joker!" the Elixicon rejoiced in the guise of Jack. Surrender, and neither you nor your people will suffer!
But this he heard. And he laughed:
- What?! Jack, what am I hearing ?! Are you telling me this ?! What happened, my dear ?! Why did I give up.
Behind him came a bandit with arms outstretched. I wanted to grab my shoulders. But it was not easy. Very difficult ...

Suddenly Jack just sat down. And he left his tenacious fingers. A circular kick cut in the legs and the thug collapsed to the floor. A kick in the chest, when he wanted to get up and fell with a head tossed under the feet of the one who came in from the front. As a result, they both stretched out on the dirty factory floor.
The rest of the bandits, who wanted to watch an interesting spectacle, froze, eyes bulging and opening their mouths. At the Joker on the balcony his jaw dropped. "Wow! He thought. "What happened to him ?!"

Quickly coming to his senses, he shouted wildly and frightened: "Take him! Quickly! "And a big fight began.
The first two were thrown back with a biting circular kick of the foot; one more received a strong blow to the jaw and was thrown over himself by two other attackers; two just settled down, flying on his exposed hands.
It was just incredible. Jack, he threw them like kittens. He armed himself with his hands, with his feet, with the bandits themselves, like shields. And no one in the leather jacket and mask touched him. Not even five minutes passed, as the entire Joker band (25 people) lay on the floor. Who without masks, who else in them, but all to one broken. Someone has bruises, some have noses and teeth, some just lay crouched and moaned pitifully. Jack himself stood in the midst of this massacre (as at the very beginning), clenching his fists, legs apart, and vigilantly looked about him.
"Do not even think about getting up," he told them sternly. - It will be even more painful. I promise. I the Guardian is not a warrior, but if you need to protect something ... you believe me ... I will not wish to be my enemy!
It sounded convincing and defeated bandits (already seen Jack in the case) crawled away. Once so steep, now like mice are quiet.
"Why, it′s not Jack, at all!" - Guessed the Joker.

And this false Jack (whoever he was really) was apparently very dangerous. And the Joker was too strong for him. The Joker saw his opportunities and was now in a panic.
He put his hand into his jacket pocket and (what happiness!) Groped for the cold steel of the pistol. He grabbed it and screamed down: "Shoot at him asshole! You have guns! Spit on the ruby - kill him guys! "

The assistants became animated, climbed into the jackets and that hour in each hand, like a wand-a rescue wand, a smooth black pistol appeared. And all of them were sent to Elixicon.
"I know you′re not Jack Stendery," said the Joker. "Whoever you are, you were not, now you will die." And even if Jack ...
The Joker snarled angrily and pulled the lever of the pistol:
"... the end of history, Stender." Free
The first shot came off. To the head. The Joker is right there. Then came the second and third and many more. The roar and flashes of fire were heard here and there.
The whole factory very soon was covered with fog from the powder smoke, and for a while neither Jack nor the bandits could be seen.

In the fact that Jack was dead no one doubted, but when the smoke finally dissipated, it became clear that he was alive. And still as it is alive.
It stood where it stood, and the position of the body did not change at all. Only now a large silver ball hovered above him.

"How primitive your bullets are, you would have known," Elixicon said, and extended his hand palm upward.
Deep and hard into it fell a ball, which was all molded from bullets. He looked very heavy, but Elixicon easily tossed it from one hand to the other.
- I installed an electromagnetic sphere in the air. And all your bullets flew into it. They got lost together, melted. And now here - admire.
He threw the "lead ball" on the floor.
- ugliness!
He looked around all the bandits and ordered:
- Give up! You are powerless against me! And no weapon will not help you! Everything is over!
Almost everyone immediately agreed with him. The guns flew to the floor and the bandits′ hands were pulled up.
- Well done! - Said them Elixikon. - That′s the right decision!
And his gaze was directed upwards, towards the main villain. And unlike his henchmen, he did not want to give up so easily. In full spirit, I raced along the narrow metal bridge to the saving ladder to the roof.

Less than one meter was left. The Joker was racing at full speed. The hair on his head strayed into a pile, the make-up flowed, and he looked like a pounded dog. For a long time already he was not so scared.
But here is the door. He grabbed for the metal handle, tore at himself and was hit with a palm in the chest. He flew for a good distance and collapsed on the iron bridge. He was terribly unlucky. Jack stood in the doorway.
- That′s it! - he said. - Surrender! I will not hurt you.
The Joker breathed heavily and looked at him with pursed eyes.
And he said the most original thing that he could say:
"I did not invite you to visit me."
And much louder:
"I did not call you!" Whoever you are, you were not, I did not call you! What the fuck have you pinned down and ruined all my plans ?!
It was a kind of complaint. What Elixicon treated very calmly. Said:
- So what? I myself wanted to interfere and all you guys mess up.
It was so offensive that the Joker whimpered:
"How could you?" It′s not fair!
The fake Jack took a step in his direction, bent down and looked the criminal in the eye:
- And honestly, when a dozen healthy men beat and mock the child? Or maybe dipping his head in an honest bucket, given the hands connected behind his back? Or dipping your head down into a working fan?
He paused for a moment, rose to his full height and looked triumphantly at the defeated bandit.
"So do not talk about honor, Joker!" You′re a bastard, just like your people, and now you′ll all pay the bills! And your accounts are not small!
I took another pause, and then suddenly asked:
"Why do you need a ruby, Joker?" What are you going to do with it?
This well-known criminal did not expect at all. I sat on the bridge and blinked my eyes in confusion. And the fake Jack continued:
"Are you going to cut it and sell it in parts?" No. You want another. You want to be talked about. Everyone will say later that the Joker is a criminal with a capital letter, after he got the king of rubies from the hands of Stendery himself. Everyone will be respected and afraid of you, right? You will be remembered for many decades and say that Joker is the best thief and robber in the world after having snatched such a jackpot. You in fact want it?
This time there was a short pause:
"Forget it, you hear!" You can not see the ruby now! And there is nothing to dream about glory! It′s not for you! You′re a loser, Joker! Or do you prefer that I call you by your real name, Joe Malic?
The criminal′s eyes widened and his lips quivered.
- What?! He asked quietly, not believing in his ears.
"Joe Malic," the false Jack repeated louder. "You′ve always been a loser, Joe." And what did you have left? Only find the same losers as you and organize a gang? Thank God, you always knew how to convince. A number of daring robberies talked about you, yes. But you wanted more. About how Jack Stendery turned up in time with his ruby. This is a robbery, so a robbery. And you are in the prime of life and your gang is strong and unshakable. It would all be good Joe, but ...
The fake Jack shook his head.
... just not destiny!
The joker was shaking, not from resentment, not from fear.
- Who are you?! Who are you?! Who are you?!!! Son of a bitch!!!
He jumped to his feet and was furious. He swung at the guy standing next to him and even wanted to hit, but ... not destiny.
His hands went down by themselves, his eyes went out, and he just sat down on the iron platform. And he did not get up any more.
The fake Jack, who only put his hand forward to calm the man, uttered thoughtfully:
"I′m Jack′s confidant." And he promised him, to put you in his place

And he did. Outside Joe Joker, and saying: "Behind me" went to the balcony and stairs down. The Joker, like a devoted dog, followed him. He walked absolutely without emotion. I did not look anywhere, did nothing, only followed Elixicon and everything.
Descending from the stairs, Elixicon pointed to his assistants, who at the moment were asleep, fell down, and someone said,
"Go to them, rest." I′ll call you if necessary.
And the Joker went to his assistants. He sat down where there were no bandits, any machines, or parts, and fell on his side. All. Now he was sleeping, too.
The most important thing remained. This Jack Stendery.

Jack, meanwhile, got out of the boxes and looked in surprise at his unexpected savior. His eyes were widened with surprise, especially after he went down with the Joker on the stairs.

It was all so amazing that I even wanted to escape from here to hell. It seems that his counterpart, the scoundrel, possessed monstrous power. And the Joker beside him was no more a mosquito. At first he stopped the bullets (Jack had already seen it), then he neutralized the entire Joker gang, and now he brought the leader as a puppy on a leash.
A series of frightening questions arose in Jack′s mind. What did he want? Why did he save him? Will not this stranger get him even worse than the Joker?
He stood next to the door. And I knew perfectly well that there was freedom behind her. He could jerk at any moment and now he′s on the street. But was it worth it, after what he had already seen. The creature (it only became clear to Jack that this was not a man), with such a volume of power, it was not worth it to find him wherever he was. Therefore, the most important of his questions was: Will the mysterious stranger save his life?

Elixicon was completely calm. He glanced at Jack with a smile and went to the metal table for the workers, climbed on him with his legs hanging from the edge. The table was not so far from the main gate, which stood Jack.
"Well, Jack, I see you have a lot of questions," he said amiably. "I′ll answer the main one." Yes, I will save your life.
He shrugged and spread his hands.
"I′m not the killer Jack, I′m the keeper." And I will never kill, if this is not the last of the means. So do not even think about it. And I′m not going to steal your ruby either. Stay calm.
Jack froze
- You are reading my mind? He asked with fear.
And then he stopped short. Well, what a stupid question? Do I need to talk about this? Of course he read thoughts. To such a powerful being it was the same time to spit.
But the stranger, either did not hear, or simply ignored. He spoke quite on other topics:
"Jack, I see you glancing furtively at the door and thinking about escaping."
Jack caught the hellish cold. Now he knew for sure that the creature was reading his thoughts. And it was bad. Very bad. This means that he is completely in his power. And he can do anything with him.
"Jack, I want to repeat it once more," said the double. "You′re safe." Nothing threatens you. And if you want to run, run. I will not follow you.
It seemed incredible, but the voice of this second Jack was so calm and pleasant that the real Jack was a little cheerful. At first I began to doubt. And does not the creature want to kill him in the back. But less than a minute later it passed. And he felt like something like confidence crept into his soul.
- You can leave when you want, - repeated the double. "But ..."
And he paused. A bait hook that Jack had to swallow. And he swallowed it.
"But what?" He asked curiously.
"You know better than me, Jack, that you have nowhere to go." There you are a federal criminal. You are searched in 47 states. You are waiting: from life imprisonment to electric chair. Think well, do you want this?
Jack shivered fearfully. He did not want the first or second.
"No," he said honestly. - I do not want.
"Well, then, maybe, you′ll believe me," suggested the double and reminded him. "At least out of courtesy." I did save you, after all.
It was true. Indeed, politeness was worth showing.
Jack walked away from the door and took his first hesitant step toward the stranger:
"Thank you very much," he said timidly. "You helped me a lot and now I owe you to the grave."
He smiled politely and nodded.
"I′m glad my help came in handy, Jack." Yes, come closer. Sit next to me. We have a lot to discuss.
Jack, however, was in no hurry. He nodded toward the Joker gang sleeping in various poses and asked:
"What did you do with them?" Is it hypnosis?
The alien nodded again.
"It′s hypnosis, Jack." But do not worry. This is an easy hypnosis - there will be no harm from it. I just helped them make the right choice and put them to sleep. Now they are resting and gaining strength, but as soon as I call them, they will rise and again be obedient and executive.
- You subordinated them to your will and they will obey all your orders? Jack asked.
- Yes it is. But believe me, they did not have much choice in this situation. Either that, or break their hands all the legs, noses teeth ... Which is better, do you think - the first or second?
"I think hypnosis is better," Jack said honestly, and then asked cautiously. "Can not you hypnotise me?"
The alien shook his head and answered the question with a question:
"Why, Jack?" You are an open and honest person, do not plan anything bad, do not hide it. Hypnosis is needed for quite hopeless cases, with you, you can negotiate.
"Well, thank you," Jack smiled. - Nice to know.
"You′re a clever fellow," Elixicon continued. - A very brave, strong and interesting person.
Jack took another couple of steps toward the mysterious savior. The ice between them gradually melted.
"Do you think we′ll be friends?" Asked the mysterious savior, looking into his eyes and smiling.
Jack also smiled.
"I think we′ll make friends," he said, still hesitant, but clearly wishing that.
Elixicon jumped off his desk and went to the boy and held out his hand, saying:
"Let′s get acquainted, Jack Stenderi!"
Jack willingly accepted it, but he never heard the name of his double.
- What is your name? He asked, still keeping his outstretched hand.
"Oh, yes," said the double-Jack, as if remembering something. "You have to give your name." At you so on the Earth it is accepted. I′m sorry, Jack. My name is Elixicon.
"Ellie ... or ... Xi ... um," Jack repeated, confused by his unaccustomed use.
"E-L-I-K-S-I-K-O-N," repeated the counterpart slowly and spelled out.
Jack nodded and smiled said:
"What a long and beautiful name."
"Thank you, Jack," the alien smiled at him. "I′m glad you like it."
And he pointed to his deserted table. Offered:
- Let′s sit down. There is much to discuss.
"Stop, Ellie ... kion, Eliki ..., Eh ... a little ... he can not say that name." Please tell me about yourself. Who are you, where, where is your planet, what is it called?
Jack′s curiosity was simply overwhelming. He saw the newcomer for the first time and talked with him. I wanted to know everything.
Eliksikon reacted with understanding and therefore did not even correct, when he once again confused his name.
"Jack, I understand everything," he said softly. "But let′s sit down." The story will be very big - you can not stand on your feet. And so we will sit, we will stand, we will walk and I give my word - you will know everything you want. Let′s sit down and have a chat.
"Okay," Jack agreed, and eagerly followed the alien guest.

The conversation was really very big indeed. Ocala 4 hours. And finished the Elixicon, when the sun was already setting.
But it was a very detailed story. Elixicon described in detail the native Saltrex, answered all the questions of Jack; Then he told about himself, about his underground hall and the cube of Harridik and again answered questions; then he got to Ortreks, escaped from Soltrex, traveled through space and everything else. And all his ahi and sighs took for granted. And there where it was necessary stopped, to give a place to any admired replica of Jack. He was patient, readily answered questions, presented all very accessible and understandable.
By the end of this conversation Jack already knew a lot about his new friend and was not at all afraid of him.
"You know what," he said. "I have an offer for you."
They were already outside the factory, and stood in the open countryside, admiring the sunset. And at the same time, and breathing fresh air (in any case, Jack)
"The offer." Elixicon turned to him and asked. - What?
"Let′s not call you Eliksikon, but just Al." This is a very complex name for the Earth, and El is short and convenient.
"Al," said the Elixicon to himself. He closed his eyes and repeated to himself again. - Al.
"What I like," he said, looking again at Jack. - I agree. I′ll be Alom now. Call me and do not break more language.
And they shook hands again.
"Very nice to meet you, Al." From a distant Saltrex, "Jack said happily.
"I′m also very pleased, Jack Stendery from the Earth," said Elixicon, in the future simply Al.

Al and Jack were sitting on the metal factory table, hanging their legs, and were silent. For a while they decided to stay in silence to understand and learn new information. They did not talk to each other, but they examined the plant, sleeping bandits, the red sunset sun, penetrating through the high windows, enjoyed the silence.
After five minutes of silence, Al asked:
"Jack, tell me please, what′s going on behind the rubbish with rubbish?"
"A mess with ruby," Jack repeated and smiled.
Very much he liked this word "mess".
But he still asked:
- And you yourself, that you can not read through my aura all the information about me and ruby?
- Of course, I can, simply, why waste energy, when you can get everything for nothing? And then, to listen to a person is such a pleasure!
- Well, I do not know, I do not know which of me is the narrator
"Do not think about it, just start." And everything will turn out.
"All right, Al, but keep in mind the story is long." About how your story, or maybe even longer.
"Nothing, we have time," Al said, folding his arms across his chest in anticipation and smiling.
"All right," Jack said, settling himself on the table more conveniently. - I wanted a story - get it. For this, it is necessary to recall the early years, so do not be damned if I force you to wait.
And he plunged into memories.

Chapter 4. History of Jack Stenderery.
"I was born in Arizona, in a small provincial town on October 12, 1960," Jack began to tell. "My father′s name was Jeff Stenderery, Mom Kate Stenderery." My mother died when I was six, so I do not remember her much, but I remember my father well. Father took care of me, cherished and loved - it was the most precious person in my life. I do not remember who he worked to the death of his mother, but he made a lot of money at that job. After the death of the mother, my father swore to me: "Jack and I will always be rich and happy!" I do not know, I said it to comfort me, or myself, but he worked very hard and hard. I bought a farmland and an abandoned mine in addition. The place where we moved was in the old days one of the largest ruby deposits, but all long ago long ago, only a few abandoned mines were left. Nobody here was looking for anything, only my father came up with the idea that we could find a treasure here. He told me so: "Jack, I know our wealth here! Right under our feet! "And he worked very hard in his mine. I helped him. Tools were required and we worked part-time wherever. I personally carried the newspapers, and rushed from one part of the city to another with courier instructions. My father worked in auto repair shops, a car washer and many more. On weekends we worked in the field and in an abandoned ruby mine. "Now is a very difficult time, for us two, Jack," my father told me. "But do not think that this will always be so." Now we work very hard, and then we will receive a reward worthy of our labors. " "There′s always a reward, Jack," he told me. - Any of our actions will be marked and rewarded. Good - a reward and prosperity, bad - punishment and litigation "We worked with him a lot, in order to receive a reward. However, not always. Sometimes interrupted, chatted, played, laughed. I will never have a better friend than my father did. I miss it so much (Jack sighed heavily). In principle, I was very pleased with our common destiny. We lived with my father on the farm, worked together, sometimes rested, lived at the expense of his small farm. But one day everything changed.
One day, I heard Papa, a wild cry from the mine. I was very frightened. I thought he was stoned there (the ceiling was unstable) and rushed to the rescue. But it turned out that he found what he had been looking for for so long.
He came across a deposit of rubies. And the stones he found were unusually large and valuable. For two days he worked hard to get out of the ground and ... he had on his hands two large stones, which they almost did not need to process. The stones glittered in the sun, like two huge bonfires and the view from them was very difficult to take away. "Jack," he told me then. "Our poverty is over." We are rich with you "
Such was our reward. According to one of the appraisers in the town more than 5 million dollars for one stone. He was very surprised and for a long time could not come to himself from what he saw. Neither he nor anyone else has seen such large stones before.
In short we sold the farm and went to California, to Los Angeles. The pope had many friends there, and he always wanted to live in this city. I also did not mind changing the situation.
First of all, he contacted the largest museum and offered them one of the stones as a gift to the city. He was immediately given the key to the city and made his honorary citizen. In the museum was hung an honorary name plate with his name and posted his picture as one of the most respected members of the city. We were paid a premium, 1 million 700 thousand dollars per stone, but my father told me: "Money is not the main thing Jack. The main thing is the respect of people. The main thing is to respect yourself. You did a good deed, and only this gives you, the right is proud of itself. "The father was a very kind and fair man. I loved him very much.
He left the second stone for me. He said that it was impossible to predict what would happen in the future, and if I again once in need, to use a stone.
We were given 1 million 700 thousand dollars and a huge house in the center of the city (real crumbs, compared to the real value of the ruby), but the father said: "This is a good start, anyway. At first, we have enough, and then everything will be settled by itself. " Not long enough for us.
He paused and looked sadly at Ella. He asked:
- It′s happened to you. You have a certain value, because of which, as a result, you lose the most precious thing in life.
Al nodded understandingly and replied without hesitation:
- Cub of Harridika. Because of him, I lost my native planet.
"Oh, yes," Jack nodded, confused. - I do not think that my tragedy is comparable to the Ecumenical, but still it was very insulting.
Continued his story:
- Dad began to wear a chic suit, and was a member of the upper strata of society. He had many friends and envious people. There was also a beloved woman (I think everything happened because of her fault). In short, he talked about the second ruby. I opened it to her secret, which we promised to keep two. Then somebody else found out, anonymous letters, calls, threats began. Dad was in a panic. He grabbed me and we moved to another area. In a cheap hotel, where no one climbs into other people′s business. But they found him. And shot in the back. I was only eleven when I was left alone. Completely alone. Absolutely. There was nowhere to go. I knew that my father′s friends would lodge me, but I was not sure if they would then tell me where they were going and whether they would come for me. Now it was only a matter of time before I was persuaded, and then beat and tortured for the damned ruby. I ran. He ran at full speed and did not remember himself how and where. Mixed with homeless people and lived for a while on the street. He was an ordinary tomboy, with dirty fingers and a plague on his face, he ate scraps, sometimes stealing. I quickly became accustomed to the life of a tramp; a month did not pass, as everyone thought of me, and no one could think that I was the son of the famous Jeff Stenderery, earner and honorary citizen of the city.
Nobody was looking for me, and it was good. I do not know what happened to those guys-maybe they got into jail, maybe they were killed, maybe they lost the ruby. Anyway, no one was interested in me, and it was reassuring. My cache with ruby was safely hidden, and only I knew where he was. I myself went about in ragged dirty clothes and was happy that I got out alive from this alteration.
I lived on the street for a year. Then the policemen caught me and sent me to the station. They found out that I was Jack Stenderi and immediately announced it in public. And in the newspapers and on TV there were ads about me. The son of an honorary citizen of the city and on the street. "Relatives, friends, someone will come to you for help," - that′s what they told me. But no one came for me. Yes, I was happy about it. So with those bastards something really happened, and now no one is after me. Everything was quiet and smooth.
I was sent to an orphanage and foundlings. The police said that there I will be fine. This was true in the truth. It was great in the orphanage. A roof over the head and food are guaranteed. There were friends. There were enemies. But not because I′m the son of an honorary citizen and have a ruby, for other reasons.
In the orphanage, I spent a year and a half, and then suddenly my relatives showed up unexpectedly. It turns out my father in Los Angeles had a brother and they did not see each other for a very long time. And he and his family suddenly remembered their nephew. They took me to their home, and they indulged me in every possible way. I kept thinking about what it would be and could not understand.
I understood it in a couple of months, when suddenly my own uncle told me: "Jack, we care and we care about you - you would help us. You have great wealth, and I have so much debt now. " It′s unclear how, but they found out about the second ruby. And immediately rushed to the shelter to get me out. Then they did their best in their house. And all for my ruby. Again he! I just hated him!
Jack looked sadly at Ella and continued:
"I refused, and my" sweet life "ended. I was moved from a cozy room on the first floor into a box under the stairs, deprived of all privileges and burdened by hard domestic work. Now I had to eat the last and only half-eaten, remove from the table, wash the dishes, wash the dust, wash the floors, and also take care of the small garden of my uncle and aunt. They liked to say to me: "You want a different life, Jack just say" and they laughed at the same time. I endured and endured for a very long time.
In appearance I was like all the other teenagers and even went to school, but it was worth crossing the threshold of their house, as the second life of Jack Stenderery began. "Every piece, every service, every day in this house you have to work out, Jack," my uncle told me and advised. "Give us the ruby and pay all your debts immediately and for many years to come." Or, for example, he started such conversations: "Well, think for yourself, why do you need this ruby, what will you buy it for?"
Jack sadly nodded toward the Joker and said:
- Straight, like this one today.
"I understand you, Jack," Al said. "Go ahead, please."
- I could not tolerate this life for long and fled the house of my uncle and aunt. And again he was on the street and lived for several months where he had to, he was looking for food himself and hiding from self-interested eyes. But one day I just could not stay in the shade.
- This kidnapping of the "king of rubies" from the museum? Suggested Al.
"Right," Jack agreed. - Once I overheard the conversation of two tramps in the transition, and this made me very alert. According to them, a daring robbery of the Central Museum was planned with the aim of locking my father′s ruby. The bandit, who called himself Joker, wanted to steal a ruby from the museum. By that time I had heard about him and his gang. They would easily take this ruby and no one would interfere with them. But I could not allow this. My father′s ruby will be in the hands of these scoundrels. This means that his beautiful gift will be defiled by them. I had to steal the ruby first. With a couple of friends-vagabonds and some tool, I committed a daring robbery, which opened me up and awarded the highest measure.
He spread his hands.
- That′s it, Jack started the real hunt. Police and bandits. First of all, they visited my relatives. And those and others. And the second visitors were much rougher than the first. They turned the whole house over, my uncles and aunts were tortured for several hours, and then they were killed. I saw in the telescope from the roof of the next building. And that′s what told me that now I′m alone in the world and there′s no turning back.
I was hiding. Very well hid. But I was found. They gave me their bandits (thank God, they did not know where the hiding place!). On the second day after my bold robbery, I received a blow to the head when one of my friends decided to show me something valuable and woke up I was bound in a car that was taking me out of town.
"Well," he sighed. "You know the end of the story."
He looked at Ella.
"You know, Al, they would have killed me." In any case, they would kill. Tell them about the ruby, or do not say - one result. I crossed the path to a known criminal, and this is no longer just a disassembly, but a matter of honor. El, if it had not been for you it would have been my last day in my life. Thank you, thank you again. I′m so glad you were around.
"Please," Al replied, smiling. - I was glad to help you.

Chapter 5. National hero and tramp.
Al got off the table and walked around the plant.
"I understand you," he said after a while. "You wanted to save your father′s ruby from the hands of the robbers, safely hid it, and, of course, would not betray his secret." It turns out no you′re not a criminal, Jack - you′re a hero.
"Yes, probably," Jack said, and smiled sadly. "Only we know about this two, for everyone else I′m a federal criminal and my story is clear."
"History, Jack, will change soon," Al said, and lifted his finger meaningfully and importantly. - Now everything will change for you. You will have a completely different life now.
- How? Jack asked with a surprised smile.
Al snapped his fingers - effectively and contagiously.
"But you′ll see."
And he asked, just in case:
"You do not want to get it, from life imprisonment to an electric chair?"
Jack shook his head.
"No, no, I do not want to."
As he thought in Ell′s hand, something flashed. And he said:
- Well, then be careful of everyone.
"Baste before everyone?"
- How to neutralize the gang of the famous robber Joker and saved the pride of the city - the "king of rubies".
Jack wanted to ask Ell what it meant, but he could not. He was struck by light from the electric lamps in his face, he heard the rumble of the opening gates, the trampling of many feet and a screaming cry:
- Standing! Police!!!

In the first seconds Jack just stunned. He was sitting on an iron table, and in the gate (just one meter from him) a crowd of policemen with lanterns and pistols, with police dogs, in bullet-proof vests, was crowded. All the pistols were sent to him, and the view of the defenders of the city was the most unfriendly.
"It′s over," Jack thought, sadly.
He wanted to close his eyes so as not to see this sad spectacle, but Ella′s voice interrupted:
- And here, finally, and the police! - he shouted from his place joyfully and immediately held out. "But you are going very long, gentlemen!" Everything is already done!
All attention was immediately transferred to him. And officers, and Jack, and even police dogs:
"Who are you?" - shouted the officer who shouted for the first time and was the main one in the group.
"My name is Al Stenderery," the young lad said and bowed. "I called the police." But we did it together.
- What did they do? The officer asked, not understanding anything.
- Meet! Al said triumphantly and waved his hand around him. - The Joker Band. All of its participants, including the Joker himself - "artistic bandit."
Noticing that the police are incredibly tense and holding their weapons on the platoon, Al advised them:
"Gentlemen, officers, lower your weapons." Believe me, there′s no one to shoot at anymore.
And the police, all as one, dropped their weapons, and then removed it altogether.
"And you," said Al, turning to the main group. - Waiting for promotion and a solid increase in salary. After all, you opened this case. The loud case of the kidnapping of the "king of rubies" - the main pride of the museum of Los Angeles and all the inhabitants of this wonderful city.
The face of the policeman from the serious became joyful. A smile appeared on him, the upholstery of his hand soared upwards, and the insane cry was shaken by the walls of the factory:
- Д-Д-ДА-ААААААА !!!!!!!

Then it was even more interesting. In addition to police cars (three cars and two armored vessels) four more cars with reporters arrived. They immediately connected their cameras, started talking into microphones, began to shoot the plant and how the police took the bandits away.
The main storyteller here was El:
- I accidentally came across this plant, but the main character is Jack. He tracked down the bandits, stole a ruby from them and safely hid it, so that he was not let down by God, not sawed in parts, for sale. I understand him - it′s his father′s ruby after all. He′s a fearless guy, I′m telling you. He probably would have contacted the police, gave them a ruby, and somehow tried to neutralize the gang, if they had not found him before. I was here, I tell you. He was tortured and threatened to be put in a working screw, but he was silent. I′m lucky that I know something from close combat, and Jack is famously possessed by conviction. Together we convinced them that it was more profitable to surrender.
All the reporters that time were thrown to Jack. Light, cameras, microphones, and general attention were directed at him:
"Jack, tell me, were not you afraid of two dozen armed criminals?"
"Jack, and when exactly did you realize that only you alone can punish the kidnappers and return the ruby?"
"Jack, you defused dangerous criminals and returned the city to his pride." How do you feel about this?
Questions poured on him hail, and Jack blushed, pale and mumbled something incomprehensible:
"Yes ... I ... I ... I ... yes ... you understand ... I did not think about it at all ..."
He understood that he must, somehow get out, but nothing came into my head.
And then one of the reporters asked a question that Jack embarrassed even more:
- Jack Stenderi, and the "king of rubies" with you? Will you return it to the city?
"Yes, I ... yes, I ... yes, you know," Jack mumbled and blushed even more.
Then Al intervened and transferred the blow to himself. As it turned out, not for long.
- Of course, of course, the "king of rubies" is in this factory and Jack will gladly return the ruby to the city.
And Jack did not even blush - he was panicking.
He grabbed Ell′s elbow, turned his back to the reporters and whispered desperately:
"What are you saying, El ?!" Why are you doing this to me ?! I do not have any ruby! And he′s not here at all!
"Do not worry, Jack," Al said in a calm voice. "You just listen to your inner voice." He will help.
And he pushed young Jack Stendery to take the first step.
He did it. In front of reporters, photographers, police, Ella. A lot of people who waited from him for only one thing - that he took out of his cache "king of rubies" and gave it to them. Jack was perplexed. What did all these people expect? How did they decide that he would go somewhere now and bring out a ruby from there (unknown from where)? Jack did not believe it and considered it impossible. But, to his surprise, it all happened.
He took a step. Another one. And further. Legs, as if they led him. A very soft and pleasant voice sounded in my head. "Forward, forward Jack! Go to that heap of boxes. " Ahead of him towered a whole mountain of wooden boxes and for some reason, it was to her that Jack most wanted to go.

He did not understand how, but as if something was pushing him to these boxes. There was some sort of confidence that the ruby was there. And a feeling of self-restraint.

Jack had already forgotten that several dozen eyes were watching him. He just walked over to a pile of wooden boxes at the stairs, about nothing, without thinking, dropped to his knees and put his hand into one of them.
Everyone was hiding and waiting. Nobody said anything. And everyone believed that now Jack would rummage in his hiding place and take out the "king of rubies". People believed, Al knew exactly, and only Jack, unlike others, doubted. In vain.
Carefully, he put his hand into the wooden box, where all sorts of things were piled up. He fumbled. And suddenly I felt a kind of big solid object under my fingers. He raked all the rubbish aside and now he had on his hands a large, heavy object, wrapped in rags. He looked like a baby. Jack was very surprised. "Can not be?! He said to himself. "How is this possible?" He unfolded the rags and was even more surprised. Before him was the "king of rubies".

Jack did not understand anything and finally became confused. In his hands was a large ruby nugget, his legs trembled, his head was full of confusion. Before him was a crowd of people who were waiting. And Jack, as it turned out, had something to give them.
On his stiff legs, he went to this crowd, holding a ruby wrapped in rags, in both hands like a newborn baby. A few uncertain steps, then the ruby was given to the policeman - the main one in the group. And that instant they were photographed by one of the reporters. A good, bright flash, blinded both Jack and the policeman from somewhere on the side. And after it followed a hail of other flashes.

There were cries;
- Wow!
- Wow!
"Ah, yes, lad!"
"Aye, Stenderery!"
- Well done!
Instantly, reporters surrounded both Jack and the policeman. And again, they clicked the cameras, filmed cameras and asked questions. First one group worked with Jack, the other with the policeman, then they changed.
The questions were the same everywhere:
- Tell me what you feel about this!
- You are now the national hero of Jack! America is proud of you, what can you say for America?
- It was a very noble deed, what did you do? What did you think about when you handed over the ruby?
- Jack, you are just a miracle - you will very soon have a lot of fans and fans. What will you tell them?
- What will you do next? Now, when the criminals are caught and the ruby is found?
"How cleverly did you manage to organize everything like that?" Expose the gang and ruby hide?
- For our viewers. What can you wish them?
Now Jack least wanted fame. Therefore he answered with short phrases like: "Yes, yes, thank you. I am glad. I am pleased to. I am delighted. Good luck. Let everyone be healthy and happy. "
The policeman, however, like Jack, was also not particularly talkative. Just was dumbfounded by the wealth that had fallen on him. First the Joker gang, now here′s the ruby. And just think what high prospects promised these findings - in general the head was spinning.
Fortunately El intervened and settled everything:
"Gentlemen," he said to the journalists. - It seems to me that the material will turn out to be super. Every one of you. And Jack and Lieutenant Arons need a rest. So leave us and go to your editorial offices. Good luck to you, good-bye.
And a miracle happened. It cost him so to say how the reporters began to turn off the cameras, collect equipment and sit down on the machines. In less than five minutes, they all left. And there is not a single journalist left in the factory. Only Al, Jack and the police.

- What did you do? Jack asked in a whisper as they separated themselves from the police. "It′s your hypnosis again, is not it?"
- Yes, but it worked. The journalists left, they do not take pictures of you anymore, and they do not ask about anything. You and that policeman have already had a headache from them, so I decided to help you.
- Yes, I′m not talking about journalists. I about all in general. Police, journalists, then ruby. How did you do it? And for what?
"And you about it," Al smiled. - I just simulated this situation, gave energy for its implementation and is ready. You are not guilty, real criminals are caught and the ruby is returned. Around the policemen, to pick up the kidnappers and reporters, to shoot and record all this.
Jack wanted to ask something else, but then he simply waved his hand. Why ask when his story is already rewritten. And everything has already taken place:
"Will not they take me to jail now?" He asked very seriously.
"You?" To jail?! Yes, for what ?! You′re now the national hero of Jack! Saved a ruby and defused a gang of robbers.
"And they do not remember anything at all?" What else since the morning I was a federal criminal, and I was searched all over the country ....?!
"They only remember that the kidnapper kidnapped the Joker, and you exposed him and returned the stolen one."
"So that′s easy?"
"Jack, if you do not believe me, ask yourself." Go to the policeman and ask, come on.
Jack left Ella and went to the cops. Tugged one of them by the sleeve and very seriously asked:
"You will not send me to prison, now?"
"You in jail?" (The policeman laughed gaily (he thought it was a joke). "How can I?" You′re a national hero, are not you? We would have more such citizens!
And then forgetting about Jack again took up work. At the moment, the police disarmed. They took off bulletproof vests, folded weapons, and at the same time packed in an armored chest of the "king of rubies". It was all very fast.
They packed up their gear, took their places in the wagons, placed the police dogs at their feet, started and started to leave the factory.
Finally, the chief policeman shook hands with Jack and Ella, wished all the best and said that very soon they would be contacted for awarding high awards.
And that′s all. He left. Jack and Al were alone again. This time, absolutely alone. The factory was empty, and in the street there was a deep night.

After they were left alone again, Jack awakened for some time. On the "wadded" legs I reached the factory door, looked out the gate, then looked inside the plant.
"I would like to know what time it is now," he said, either to Ella, or to himself.
Al despite this indirectness, satisfied his curiosity.
"Three hours and fifteen minutes of the night," he replied.
"It′s dark outside, but it′s light," Jack said. "Did you turn on the light without warning?"
"No, Jack, the light has not worked here for a long time, I just created the illusion of light, so that all these police and reporters could see and remember everything," Al explained.
"Illusion," Jack said, as if he had just heard it. And he repeated it again. "Illusion means."
- Yes, illusion Jack. Light really is not here. If you want, I′ll turn it off.
Al looked at him understandingly and smiled.
And, when Jack asked, all the light in the factory instantly went out. Darkness swallowed up both Jack and Ella. Only the night light remained, penetrating through the upper windows and through the open door of the plant.

Jack went outside, walked a couple of meters from the factory and silently sat on the sand. He grabbed his knees and looked longingly at the burning Los Angeles lights, somewhere very far away. The expanse here was open, so nothing hindered. Around the steppe, and behind, like a huge monster, is the same plant where Jack nearly lost his life, then met with a mysterious alien and became a national hero.
He felt his approach, not turning around and not listening to anything especially.
- That I am a national hero now is also an illusion? - he asked.
"No, Jack is true," Al said, sitting down beside him. - You saved the ruby, caught the villains - it was seen by police and reporters. It′s all fair.
"Explain again how you did it," Jack said. - You are welcome.
"I wanted to help you, so I changed your story slightly." So that under suspicion there was a gang of the Joker, you exposed them, and I, being close, helped you a little.
"A little," Jack said with a grin. "You did everything there." And I was always out of work. Why do I need it?
For several minutes they were both silent. Then El said:
"Jack, I do not need fame." I just wanted everything to be all right. And even better than before. Scoundrels are punished, the value is returned and you are for everyone a hero, not a scoundrel.
Jack turned in his direction, looked sadly at the alien friend and smiled in the same sad way:
"Thank you very much, Al, for your help, but ..." He paused for a moment. - No I′m not a hero. I′m a tramp. I have nothing. I live in a small little room and eat snacks. I do not know what you saw in me, but I obviously do not deserve all this. Help is possible, but not fame. So, that Al, it was necessary to speak about everything honestly. And the glory of taking it all away.
El from his words a little winced (Jack did not notice) and replied:
"Glory is not everything, Jack." You do not see the whole picture. This is the very beginning. You will have a completely different life now.
But Jack clearly does not understand this, he kept repeating everything, like a wound:
- No El, no, no, I′m not who you need. I′m a tramp. I am poor. I am nobody.
- You are nobody?! What kind of absurdity ?! "Al laughed gaily. "You′re Jack Stenderery." The one who was yesterday and the day before yesterday. And the fact that you wear old clothes, you feed on God knows what, and do not have your own house, what else does it say?
Jack did not find a decent answer, and Al smiled in satisfaction:
"Jack, you are a kind and beautiful person, very honest and reliable."
He came closer to him and lightly touched his shoulder. And he continued:
"You have proved this many times." I was not afraid to steal a ruby, knowing what it is that threatens you. And for what. For Father′s sake, Jack. Because you cherish the memory of him and you grotto go to anything just to keep it. Later. You were beaten, dipped in a bucket of water and even wanted to put your head in the fan. And you could easily give them a ruby and protect yourself from pain. You were ready to die for him, Jack. And why? For what this cheese-boron? It′s all about your father Jack. You loved him very much and still love him. You′re a great man, Jack. And so stop whining - everything will change now.
I extended my open hand to him and smiled in a friendly way:
"Shove in your hands?"
Jack wanted to reach out his hand to him, but stopped.
"Wait for Al," he said, hesitating.
He took his hand away, and later turned away altogether. And again I looked at the night city. There were already fewer fires there.
- Everything happens very quickly. I had nothing in the morning, and now everything! I now have such a mess in my head! I′m sorry ....
He turned sharply to Ella.
"Forgive me, please, if I behave rudely." I really appreciate your help and all you have done for me, just understand ...
Al cheerfully smiled and slapped his forehead, like most people at the time of enlightenment.
"I understand," he said. "You′re just tired." You can not think with such speed and do everything else, right? I did not think about it at all. How desperate I am Jack. It′s you who forgive me. It′s been a long night already. Even most likely it′s morning.
Jack wanted to say something about the fact that Ella should not be apologizing, but he interrupted him, putting his hand forward. And asked:
"Do you want to go home, Jack?"
"Home?" - asked the one.
"Yes," Al replied, smiling. "Into your temporary home." "A little little room," as you call it. Do you want to go there, right now?
"Of course I do, but it′s ..."
Al again interrupted him:
"No, no, Jack, if you want, you′ll get it."
He took his hands in his and asked:
- Relax. Close eyes. Drop all fears and disbelief. Imagine, the place where you most want to go now. Imagine your "little room". Now.
Jack relaxed and closed his eyes. Presented his little room, as Al asked him. Presented the books with which she was completely piled up, even, it seems, again felt their scent, and then opened her eyes. I wanted to say that there is no need to dream, and he will still remain at the plant, but he was waiting for a surprise. He was no longer at the factory, a few hundred kilometers from Los Angeles - he was in his "room".

Everything was real. Around him was piled many books. Yes, Jack remembered that remarkably well. On the day when he arbitrarily settled in this room they are so, and lay. The building where he settled before was a library, and this room is apparently an archive. The librarian wanted to put things in order here, but he could not. The books lay on the table, under the table, in armchairs (there were two of them - and they were loaded with books), on the floor, on a small red sofa (though now they were quite a bit there - they were used by Jack instead of pillows). There was also dust, which in these books accumulated for many years. Jack felt his nose tickle again. And he sneezed. I often sneezed here (so I did not particularly like this room).
"You brought me to my room?" How did you manage that? Jack asked, delighted, but at the same time surprised.
"It′s easy," Al said. - You imagined this place. I just pushed you forward. Gave the necessary energy to your dream. And now we stand with you in your temporary shelter, Jack. It′s simple.
"But it′s great, Al!" Jack rejoiced, even more. - Moving over long distances. This is magic, magic - what is it? How do you do that?!
"There′s nothing special about that, Jack," Al said. "No magic and no magic." It′s pretty simple. And you, too, so can.
- I?! Jack was surprised. - What are you, El ?! I never?! Never at me so it will not turn out ?! I ... here you are - a real miracle! It seems to me that nothing is impossible for you at all! Tell me again about yourself!
"Maybe tomorrow, Jack." It′s already night. Have a rest. Restore your strength. And tomorrow we′ll talk.
A new hour-long conversation was not part of Ell′s plans when there were so many books behind him. He had wanted to get acquainted with them even earlier, and now they were at his feet and in large numbers. I wanted to start more quickly.
But Jack was very agitated:
"Al, but what kind of rest, after such an adventure." Tell me ...
"You want to sleep," Al said, looking at Jack, and added. - Do you really want to.
Jack did not finish the sentence, but yawned. And his voice became tired and sleepy at the same moment:
"I really want to sleep," he repeated very sluggishly. - I am very tired.
He took a couple of steps to his couch, and fell on him, muttering under his breath:
- Arrange wherever you want my friend .... do not pay attention to the books ... it′s very good ... well ... ooooooo ....
And fell asleep. He leaned back against the pile of books, like a pillow and even without taking off his clothes, sunk into sleep.
El, looking at it, just, smiled. And said:
- Do not worry about me buddy. I′ll find something to do. Before your awakening, I′ll definitely be on the case. And you sleep. Sleep and gain strength. In the morning we′ll talk about everything.

Chapter 6. Best friends and close relatives.
Jack wachte in Wärme und Komfort auf. Unter seinem Kopf war ein echtes Daunenkissen, keine Bücher - es ist nicht seine eigene Jacke, sondern eine echte Decke. Ein wenig verwirrt von solchen Wundern, streckte sich Jack und betäubte noch mehr. Er schlief in seinen Pyjamas (und sehr bequemen Pyjamas). Dann schlug er die Augen auf und sprang auf sein Sofa. Er drehte den Kopf in alle Richtungen - um sich umzusehen. Und ich habe viel um mich herum entdeckt.
Seine Kleider lagen gefaltet in einem Sessel in der Nähe; Das Sofa, auf dem er schlief, war und wurde gelegt und angezogen; und am wichtigsten - es gab nicht einmal ein einziges Buch herum. Sie alle verschwanden irgendwo in der Nacht. Jack war perplex. Der Boden, der Tisch, das Sofa - keine Bücher, als gäbe es überhaupt keine.
Auf dem Tisch, an den er sich erinnerte, lag ein Bücherstapel, jetzt stand eine hübsche Vase mit Blumen, und im Sessel neben dem Tisch saß ein Mann wie zwei Wassertropfen wie Jack. Er hatte genau das gleiche Gesicht; die gleiche Jacke; Die gleichen Jeans und Turnschuhe an den Füßen. Zu seinen Füßen stand ein kleiner oranger Koffer aus irgendeinem seltsamen Metall. Und der Mann selbst las die Zeitung. Er entfaltete es vor sich und achtete weder auf den Koffer noch auf Jack.
Dies war jedoch eine falsche Idee. Jack hatte keine Zeit, den Mund zu öffnen, aber der Mann faltete die Zeitung, sah ihn an und begrüßte mit einem freundlichen Lächeln:
"Hallo Jack!" Wie hast du geschlafen?
Von dieser Begrüßung erstarrte Jack und blieb lange Zeit still. Dann nickte er und fragte verblüfft:
- Wer du bist?!
"Erinnerst du dich nicht?" Fragte der Mann im Sessel, immer noch freundlich und lächelnd.
Er hielt für ein paar Sekunden inne, dann begann er zu erzählen:
- Mein Name ist Elixicon, aber wir waren uns einig, dass ich von nun an Al bin. Ich bin ein Alien von Saltrex. Ich bin gestern zu deinem Planeten geflogen und habe dir bei dieser Pflanze geholfen. Gang of Joker, "König der Rubine", du bist ein Nationalheld. Denk dran, naja.
Jack, der nach dem Schlafen auf seiner Couch im Pyjama und seinem schläfrigen Haar saß, rieb sich die Augen und begann zu plappern:
- Genau, genau, genau! Ich erinnere mich! Gestern in der Fabrik! Du hast mich gerettet und den Rubin zurückgegeben! Oh mein Gott, das ist kein Traum! Das ist kein Traum! Es stimmt! All das ist wahr!
Er warf die Decke weg und setzte sich auf die Couch. Dann stand er auf und näherte sich vorsichtig (fast heimlich) Ell.
Er war sehr besorgt und ging davon zu einem Flüstern über:
"Du bist ein Alien!" Du bist ein echter Fremder! Von einem fernen Stern! Aus einer anderen Welt! Herr! Ich habe nicht einmal gehofft! Du bist gut, oder? Du wirst mich nicht beleidigen ?! Und du wirst niemanden beleidigen, oder?
In dieser Pose und mit diesen lächerlichen Ausrufen war Jack so sehr wie ein Sklave, dass Ella angewidert war, und er wandte sich ab:
"Jesus, bist du alle auf der Erde?" Sagte er mit Traurigkeit und Müdigkeit in seiner Stimme. - Hast du einen Außerirdischen gesehen, der auf einem anderen Planeten lebt und denkt, dass er notwendigerweise böse ist und dich alle versklaven wird?
"Erkläre Jack, wo findest du so viel Misstrauen gegen dich und die Leute in dir?"
Er schaute in die Augen des Jungen sehr ernst.
Und Jack war peinlich berührt. Er senkte beschämt die Augen.
"Es tut mir leid, bitte", sagte er. "Ich wollte nicht speziell etwas über dich sagen, aber es gibt schlechte Gäste von anderen Planeten, richtig?"
"Ja, gibt es", stimmte Al zu und erinnerte sich sofort an Ortrex. "Aber ich möchte niemanden töten oder erobern, Jack." Ich bin der Wächter und werde immer der Wächter sein. Außerdem bin ich dein Freund, erinnerst du dich?
Er streckte seine Hand nach Jack aus, mit der er furchtbar glücklich war.
- Freund! Freund! Freund! Er schrie auf und schüttelte Ellas Hand in der Luft. - Ich habe einen Freund von einem anderen Planeten.
Er ließ seine Hand los und ging ein wenig zurück und entschuldigte sich erneut:
- Verzeih mir bitte. Ich bin gerade so aufgeregt, so aufgeregt. Ich sehe auch keine Neuankömmlinge jeden Tag.
"Ja, ich verstehe dich, Jack", sagte Al sehr ruhig und freundlich. - Du hast die Bitterkeit des Verlustes von einem sehr frühen Alter an kennengelernt, du hattest fast eine glückliche Kindheit, das war nicht. Du hast sehr wenige Freunde, Jack. Und obwohl du erst fünfzehn Jahre alt bist, bist du ungläubig und misstrauisch. Und gerade jetzt, in dieser netten, gemütlichen Atmosphäre aufweckend, fühlst du dich sehr unwohl und denkst daran, wie du mir schnell einen Kampf gibst.
Von seinen Worten setzte sich Jack hin. Zum Glück war da ein Sofa.
"Ich ... nichts ... wie ... du liest meine Gedanken, ja!" - Er war sprachlos und mehr und mehr besorgt.
"Ich flehe dich an, Jack!" - Er erbrach Al′s Hände und sah weg. - Was ist das Lesen von Gedanken für mich - ein mächtiger Alien (wie du dich mir vorstellst). Und bei dir ist es noch einfacher - du machst überhaupt nichts - alles steht auf deinem Gesicht.
Jack griff entsetzt nach seinem Gesicht, als könnte es etwas verändern und sah seinen mysteriösen und schrecklichen neuen Freund durch seine Finger an. Und Al sah dies, sagte folgendes:
"Wie auch immer, Jack, komm schon." Wenn du willst, lauf. Hier ist es die Tür. Ich werde mich nicht einmischen.
Und er zeigte auf die Tür.
"Oder, dein einziges Wort und ich werde gehen." Sag es einfach.
Al hielt inne. Und besonders hat nichts gesagt. Ich wartete genau zwei Minuten und sah Jack an. Und Jack sah ihn an. Und er hat auch nichts gesagt.
"Or, the third option," Al suggested. - We are friends. And we will receive a lot of benefits from our friendship.
I looked at him again. And Jack had already taken his hands off his face, but he still looked with caution.
"Jack, maybe it′s enough to doubt and it′s time to start believing?"
Jack nodded. Not at once, but nodded. And in his eyes, Al realized that the guy really wanted to believe in his extraordinary luck.
"That′s better," he said, still smiling.

- Listen, tell me honestly, what happened? - Jack asked and looked around everything, around having finished on himself.
"What are you talking about?" - Al asked and clarified. "About your room, or your pajamas?"
- I would like everything. And in detail.
Al smiled and folded his hands together:
- Good. Details and about everything. I removed your books from the room. I decided that they are hindering you and do not represent any value, personally for you. I placed them in one very reliable place. And if we already talked about it, I wanted to ask you for them for your future earthly library. Will you give it to me, Jack?
"Yes, take it, please," Jack snapped. "I′m just glad." The place was free. And you that you read all of them, whether overnight?
- Yes, Jack among them, by the way, a lot of things turned out to be useful. But I read them in less than a night. About two hours all gone. Another dawn on the roof looked. At first I learned to read, and then turned all your archive. There are a lot of love and useless books, but some ... .are very useful. One of them, incidentally, drew the idea that people sleep in their pajamas. Do you like your pajamas? I chose at random, not knowing your tastes and having only a couple of samples at hand.
Jack examined his pajamas carefully. She looked good. Beige, made from natural smooth silk, with black roses. It was convenient and easy in it.
"Thanks, Al, great pajamas," Jack thanked. "Only, you know, I′ve never slept in pajamas before that day."
"Well, then, enjoy yourself," Al said cheerfully. "I told you that your life will change now."
"Yes, well, and then on," Jack asked. - What′s next. Where are you doing all this mountain of literature?
"And here," said Al, and picked up the suitcase from the floor.
Jack′s eyes bulged and he simply did not believe it.
- That′s it ?! The whole mountain of books that lay here ?! Al do not make me laugh, how is this possible ?!
El calmly withstood all his smiles and smiles, and then said:
- Inside it is much more than outside. Do not be surprised, Jack.
And having come in contact with his curious gaze, he explained:
"Inside this suitcase is the gate." Entering a parallel world, which simultaneously is also a crossroads for many other parallel worlds. As they say on the Earth - everything inside this suitcase. EVERYTHING, you know. What you want. Any object, any of your imagination and situation, too, any. You can make a wonderful trip, and you can get in such a mess ...
Curiosity in Jack′s eyes intensified and El noticed it. He nodded at the briefcase.
"You can not tell all about it, Jack." It is better to see. Let `s together. I′ll open it, and we′ll jump.
And he was already ready to open the suitcase, but was suddenly stopped.
Jack intervened. Again it became scary. He shook his head and waved his hands
"No, no, no, Al." I believe you. There really should be fun. And there are all the books from my room. I believe. And I give them to you. Just let′s postpone for now, traveling to this suitcase.
Al looked at him carefully. For a few seconds he thought about something, and then shrugged his shoulders:
- OK, as you want. We′ll postpone it, so we′ll postpone it.
And he left the suitcase again carefully looking at Jack, sitting in the armchair, hands on his knees. And Jack, as attentively looking at him sitting on the couch, in his pajamas.
"Jack, do you want to eat?" Al suddenly asked.
Jack was taken aback.
- I? There is? Now?
"Yes, it′s you, exactly, and right now," Al confirmed. - A good nutritious breakfast. It′s 11:00 already. You must be hungry.
Jack really rumbled in his stomach. And he nodded.
And El continued the question:
"What would you like, Jack?" Which dish?
These words surprised the guy in his pajamas even more. His double - El spoke with such confidence as if he could offer any dish, even if blurted out at random.
"I do not know, but what do you have?" He replied stupidly.
Even he did not know why he said that.
And Al, as if he had not noticed:
"A wonderful cheese casserole, Jack." Hot with wedge syrup. Pancakes with delicious honey. Cool pomegranate juice. You all love this, Jack, right?
Jack nodded and was not even surprised when El knows so much about his favorite treats.
Meanwhile, Al turned his back to him. Something I looked in my suitcase. He turned and said:
- Hold on!
He put a metal tray on the table, covered with a convex, metal lid, and lightly moved toward Jack. The tray stopped exactly at the edge of the table. Jack just had to get off the couch and take a couple of steps to him. But he doubted again:
"What is it?" - he asked with a mistrust, which he masked under surprise.
"And you yourself look," said Al and turned away indifferently from Jack
He unfolded the newspaper, forgotten for a while, and buried it in it, making it clear that he would not explain or prove anything.
For a while Jack just sat there, but then curiosity prevailed. He got up and took two cautious steps toward the table. He took the cap and lifted it over the tray.
The flow of feelings that he possessed at the time, it was simply impossible to describe. Before him was a cottage cheese casserole, pancakes, a tall glass and a decanter with cool pomegranate juice.
- Impossible! Jack whispered, not believing his own eyes. - How?!
"It′s all possible, Jack," said Al, who had already forgotten about the newspaper. "With this little suitcase."
And he again pointed to the device standing on the floor.
"My mom fed me this weekend," Jack said, and shed a few tears. "I still remember their taste." Far and sweet - the taste of my childhood! My happy childhood!
- Aha! Exclaimed Al. "After all, I′m right!" And not a fraction of a percent was wrong!
"What was not wrong, Al?" Jack asked in surprise. "And how did you know about my favorite dish?" Again, read my thoughts?
"Not necessarily, Jack." I just figured it out. You were born in a small provincial town. And he lived for sure in a private house. And since you are almost rural residents, then you had your own subsistence economy. And what for a rural boy can be better than a good curd casserole and pancakes with honey, in the morning?
"Okay, what about pomegranate juice?" How did you find out about him?
"It′s just my guess and nothing more." But you eat, eat, otherwise everything will cool down.
"Thank you," Jack said, sitting down on a chair near the table.
And he did not ask more questions, only ate. He broke off the casserole, with a small spoon, a piece by piece and sent into his mouth. Then he reached the pancakes. He ate with his hands, carefully dipping into honey, and already frowned with pleasure. He remembered those glorious days when he was sitting in his first house, enjoyed his favorite breakfast, and there were loving dad and mother next to him.
Pomegranate juice was delicious and invigorating. Slightly sour and cool. Jack drained the first glass almost in one gulp. Poured a second and only then remembered that neither at home and near, neither Mom and Dad, but Al - an alien from a distant star.
Jack drank in small sips and looked attentively at Ella. It was no longer fear, but rather curiosity that possessed it. El looked at him with a pleasant smile.
And soon breakfast was already left. And only curiosity lived in Jack. A huge, inexhaustible curiosity. I wanted to learn everything about the mysterious alien, and not stupidly stuff the belly with food.
"Tell me something about yourself," Jack said, not even thanking Ella for the wonderful breakfast.
- You will not eat? - Al asked, pointing to about a quarter of the untouched casserole, a few pancakes and some pomegranate juice at the bottom of the decanter.
"No, no," Jack shook his head, with a complete lack of interest in food. "Tell me something about yourself." You are welcome.
"In that case, we′ll get out," Al said, thinking about something and not seeming to notice Jack′s request.
A light movement of the fingers and a tray, and a decanter, and a casserole, and pancakes, and everything else became transparent, smoothly, turned into weak contours, and soon all disappeared from the material world.
Al, done with the focus, was very pleased, and Jack, who had already seen something of such "miracles", was not impressed and for the third time asked, offendedly and even slightly demanding:
- Tell me something about yourself!
To which Al smiled and shook his head. And then with a little irony in his voice asked:
"Will you dress at all?"
And he still smiled.
And Jack, remembering that he was still in his pajamas, winced. And I felt very uncomfortable. As if there were no clothes at all.
He pulled from his chair, neatly folded his clothes on him and again became confused.
"Al, where am I supposed to put my pajamas?" He asked in astonishment. "I do not have a closet, or anything else." As well as for pastels.
He glanced sideways at the sofa, which was now made-up, had a pillow and a blanket.
Where to put all this linen, if in your room just a sofa, two armchairs, a table and a chair. We should have a cupboard, but it′s not there. It is possible on a chair, but there everything will only be washed and dirty. The real problem.
Al did not think about such nonsense. For him, it was all trivia.
He snapped his fingers and said:
- One two Three.
The linen disappeared, instead the sofa got its usual look and Jack was dressed in his black old jeans, sneakers, a black shirt and a brown jacket.
- Satisfied? Al asked with a smile.
Jack felt himself, got up from the couch and looked around:
"And you′ll get your pajamas in the evening." And the closet under it. And a bigger room. And all the rest, - promised Al, again guessed his thoughts.
"How well you did," Jack said, neither giving any meaning to his promises. - Once and put on. How did you do it. Is that magic?
- Nothing complicated. I modeled your everyday outfit, instead of pajamas - once. I let out energy - two. Done. You are dressed with my imagination, but in order not to fool yourself, call it magic, magic, or whatever you want.
"Thank you, Al," Jack said, sitting down on the sofa, and for the fourth time he asked. "Tell me something about yourself."
His curiosity was expected and Ella was not at all surprised. A creature from another planet simply can not but arouse interest - this is understandable. It was not clear what El could tell after yesterday′s conversation. He started with this:
- Tell me, did I yesterday tell you a little about my planet, about my race, about my trip, and about everything else?
"Anyway," Jack said. - I want to know more. Learn about your planet, about you, about what you think about our planet, why did you turn into me and how did you do it?
Jack got up from the couch and walked over to Ell:
"I have a lot of questions," he admitted. - I do not even know where to start.
"All right," Al said, also getting up. - I understand you.
He took the suitcase from the floor and suggested:
"Let′s go to the roof." We′ll talk there.
- And why on the roof? He did not understand.
"A view of the city," Al explained. "The sky overhead." Morning sun. And there is much more room there than in this room.

Jack′s quarters were located on the second floor of a small, old and no longer functioning library. Immediately behind the narrow door was a long corridor. A few more rooms, apparently the same as the room of Jack - they were boarded up, the entrance to the main staircase - it was scored from the other side. The roof here could collapse at any moment, because all employees, throwing their archives quickly cleaned the floor, and then the whole building. Further, the library was wanted, or razed to the ground, or still repaired, but so far no one was interested in it.
"The stairs to the roof are there," Al said and waved to the end of the corridor.
He took several confident steps forward, stopped and turned to Jack. He looked timidly at the dark and largely sagging ceiling:
"Do not be afraid," he reassured him. - Two and a half years this ceiling will last. Today, in any case, he will not fall down. And then you′re already a month and a half (as far as I know). You live here.
"It′s still scary," Jack said. - The height here is small, will not hit hard and will not crush everything completely (I really hope so), but still unpleasant.
"You will," Al said, taking Jack by the sleeve. - This ceiling will withstand our weight. It will withstand many more rains, winds and snow and when it collapses, we will not be here. Oh, believe me.

The hatch on the roof was small and rusty, and the roof itself in dark, frightening spots and dips. Al and Jack passed by them and sat at the very edge, so that they could, do not fear anything and calmly look at the city.
From the roof was, in general, a good view. There was a school, a piece of a street, a small park, some industrial buildings, small private houses and skyscrapers in the distance. And you could see a huge blue sky with stamens of clouds and a sun rising in the zenith. It was the best show. Al just said that to Jack. Jack, however, did not share his enthusiasm.

"All right," Al said seriously, and withdrew his eyes from the sky. "I understand everything, Jack." You want to ask a million questions to me. Well, ask. I will answer with pleasure.
He was smiling and in a good mood, and Jack was confused. He had so many questions a minute ago, but now he could not have given birth alone.
- I ... I ... I ... thought ... wanted ... Al ... I ... I do not know .... - Only he could squeeze out of himself.
"Do not rush, Jack," El said gently. "There′s no hurry." We have all day ahead.
"All right," Jack said, and immediately asked. "Your planet is called Saltrex, right?"
"Yes," Al nodded to him, very flattered that Jack remembered the name of his planet.
"And your race is called Salty, right?"
"Yes," Al nodded again.
"And you always say that you are the Supreme Keeper." It turns out you are the most important on this planet. Kind of like a bumpkin. This is true?
Al smiled and looked at Jack, explained:
"Jack, I′m the Keeper of Soltrex′s main knowledge." Formally, I have no power, like any other salt. We have two opposing races. One attacks, the other defends. But in something you are right. Among the Guardians, I, perhaps, are a lump.
"Do you constantly fight there?" For this ... as you said yesterday ... The Citadel of Knowledge.
Al nodded.
- And what is not a single peaceful day on your planet?
Al nodded again, and this time more sad.
"Why El?" Why such orders on your planet?
Jack was eager to know the answer. Well, El hastened to satisfy this thirst:
"You see," he said. "It′s not that we like to fight, or we do not know how to do anything else. Business in the world. The point is in its dual nature. She is an angel and a demon at the same time. One half creates and creates - another collapses and kills. And we are, respectively, the same as she. Some custodians, other destroyers.
"So she is your mother, and you are her children," Jack concluded.
El smiled again. This guy liked him more and more.
"You′re right, Jack." We are her children. We are born in the bowels of a formless mass, we go to the surface and in the process of the path we fill with those or other thoughts and feelings. The planet decides for itself what kind of salt it needs.
- And she also gave birth to a suitcase?
- Yes. The suitcase is one of her greatest creations. We, however hard we tried, could not know the nature of this creation. And I can not explain it, even though I am the Greatest of the Preservers. He just is and that′s it.
"Well, you did go into exile for his sake." You′ve had this ... The Haar Cube ... .Hardy ... how right?
"Harridick′s Cube, Jack." This is the greatest knowledge in the universe. Equal to him in strength, probably not at all.
"And this other guy ... like him ... does he want to take this knowledge away?"
- Ortrex, Jack. This is the greatest of the destroyers that the planet produced. It bears in itself all its evil, all its fury, all its thirst for power.
"Al, can you defeat him if you meet?"
Al for a long time was silent and did not look at Jack. I thought about something and there was no smile on his face. A few minutes passed before he ventured to answer.
"Jack, I do not know honestly." He is very strong. Highly. I′ll use all my energy and energy Cuba he′ll vryat will be destroyed. He will withstand any attack, any blow, knock any wall on his way.
"And he will pursue you until he finds it."
- Yes. He is much smarter than all our previous invaders, he knows everything about me and Cuba Harridik. I can even imagine that he felt my flight from the planet and jerked into the pursuit, never penetrating the Citadel.
- That′s bad? Jack swallowed. - He will fly to Earth? Will he destroy us?
Al looked sadly at the boy′s eyes, smiled sadly and said:
"Jack, I′m not going to lie to you-it′s possible." Approximately twenty chances out of a hundred.
Jack swallowed again.
"Will he destroy us, Al?" When will the Cube, or to receive it?
Al simply nodded, and then spread his hands - they say, it′s very possible, but who knows.
Now Jack was silent. And for a long time he was silent.
And Al, who brought a huge danger to Jack and the whole planet, after thinking, added the following:
"But first of all he needs to find me."
And he did not say anything else. He looked at Jack and patiently waited for his opinion.
And Jack understood everything. That somewhere in the depths of the Universe there is an evil monster, to which it is worthless to destroy the planet; that most likely this meeting can not be avoided and Ellu is very important what he now says:
"Tell Al," he asked after a while. - And what is the probability that he will find you?
If Al was a man, he would have breathed a sigh of relief - he was very much hoping for a similar question. And very much he did not want, that Jack rose from his place and cried: "Damned stranger, get out of my planet with your good!". That would be the end. Ella would have to leave Jack and most likely this planet too (who would have reconciled with this?) Fortunately this did not happen.
"The probability is very small, Jack," El replied honestly. "Ortrex is very smart and prudent, but I′ve come a very long way." Whether he vryat will find my mark.
"Tell me," Jack said.
Al with pleasure told:
- I flew several galaxies, then I got into the Black Hole. This is a ruinous place where even salt can not be safe. If Ortreks accidentally gets into it, he will not be as sweet as me. And finally the gate, Jack. The gate allows you to escape from the Black Hole. There are several thousand of them. And they bring everyone into their galaxy at the time. Through which gates I left - how will he guess?
Jack, hearing these encouraging news, smiled faintly.
"So he does not know where to look for you?"
"No, he does not."
"And his arrival is unlikely?"
- Precisely I would say from a hundred percent only three ... or even two percent.
The smile on Jack′s face became clearer.
"And how far have you come from home?"
- Very far. I was in the distant past. I would even say, in an insanely distant past.
"Why not?"
A look of surprise was written on Jack′s face.
Al explained.
"You see, Jack, now, this day there is not a single salt in Soltrex′s home. There is no me, there is no Ortreks, there is no our Citadel - the planet is only - just being born. She′s only two years old.
- Cool! Said Jack admiringly. - Somewhere in space your planet is spinning now! Your house!
- Yes, and this is a very young planet. Empty and just beginning to think.
- And what age is it? Then when you left it.
Jack sat with his arms around his knees and looked with fascination at a twin friend from another planet.
And the friend with a smile explained everything:
"I′m not going to fool you with Jack." I will say simply: something has turned out 17 trillion years. You′ve heard of such a system of calculus.
- Yes, like something. A million, a billion, a trillion - am I right?
- Right. A trillion goes after a billion. This is a number with twelve zeros. But this is only on our planet. Everywhere everything is different. Somewhere, for example, our planet is very young; for you very old.
- How old?
"One year our Jack is about 120 years old."
Jack, already whistled:
- Wow! - Only he could say.
Then he looked at Ella with a squint and asked:
- And how old are you?
"Three billion years on the Soltrex calendar," El replied immediately.
The face of Jack stretched even harder.
- This is how much in our calendar.
- Approximately 360 trillion years.
- Wow!
Jack for a long time was silent and looked at Ella.
El in turn looked at him, and then he got bored.
"Jack, I understand your feelings, I sound like an old man, wrinkled and terribly ancient." But I do not understand the old and at the same time I′m neither young. Concepts: age, simply does not exist on our planet. We are immortal ...
There was a stall in Ell′s place. Recalling his immortality, he immediately remembered those creatures in the Black Hole, and was forced to recover:
.... At least, death from old age does not threaten us.
"Interesting," Jack said, and pondered. "How much can you live at all?"
- In the future, until the end of all civilizations. When the life on the last planet in the Universe is extinguished, the salt will still live.
"Wow," Jack whistled again. - You, probably, will be very bored. In an empty dead universe.
El could tell him that they do not know other civilizations; that on their planet there is a war every day and that even if it ends, there is more to Saltam than to do - he could, but did not. I did not want to start this meaningless talk for hours. He made it easier.
He shrugged his shoulders and smiled.
- I dont know. Did not live yet.
Jack looked at him for a while, and then he burst out laughing. El followed him. So they sat: they sat and laughed.

"Listen, what about you on Earth?" Jack asked, after a while.
- Great! - El immediately answered. - That′s great! You have such a wonderful planet. So much on it all interesting.
- And the most interesting? Jack asked, intrigued.
"The most interesting thing is you, people," Al replied.
For a while they just looked around and did not talk about anything. On the street there were already a lot of people: men, women, children, walking, standing in one place, playing, hurrying somewhere, riding in their cars, bicycles, skateboards, or on their own two. If you turn your head, you could notice very, very much. And the highway and the park, and the house - and everywhere there were people.
One question Jack did not give rest. And a very serious question:
"Say, Al, because in my place there could have been any of them." And you could now communicate with that man, or with that woman, for example, yes?
- Yes.
Al nodded and smiled calmly at Jack.
Actually it was not a question. The question was raised only now.
"Al, tell me, what am I better than all these people?" What is so special about me? Why me?
Al turned with an even greater smile to him. He crossed his legs in Turkish and folded his arms over his chest. He looked at his interlocutor carefully and said, after a couple of minutes:
"That′s an interesting question, Jack." I myself still think about it. Honestly, I do not know. I felt something. Maybe he was mistaken. But, most likely, not - I rarely make mistakes. Maybe you are the simplest person - the same as all, no worse and no better; and maybe a great leader, who will have great things to do, dangerous fights and unusual adventures in the future.
From such words Jack just grinned. He rose on the roof and pointedly pointed to himself - from head to foot.
"I′m a great leader, Al, do not be ridiculous." I′m a vagabond and a ragamuffin, Jack Stenderery. I have nothing (the ruby does not count), and even this room does not belong to me. I can get out of it at any time. And do not get drunk, so cover the ceiling. Every day I have to look for food, go to this old coot, and you say big things, great adventures. No, Al, I′m clearly not what you need.
El listened to him with a calm smile and philosophically remarked:
"Everything changes." So they say. Is there such a saying on Earth? There is?
- Yes there is? Jack agreed. - But I think in this case it is inapplicable. Judge for yourself - you are an alien: a race that, as you yourself say, has gone from ours for billions of years; and I′m poor, miserable Jack Stenderery: homeless, in fact. What is this duet?
Al was still attentive, and the smile did not leave his lips.
- So what? He asked calmly. - I need a friend. You, as I understand it, too. We′ll get along very well. And to whom, what business, who are you and who am I?
"Yes," Jack agreed, seriously thinking. - If from this point of view, then you′re right. There′s no business who we are, but ...
Jack hesitated and blushed with embarrassment.
"What can I give you, Al?" I have nothing.
"You′re mistaken," he retorted. - You give me the most important thing - communication.
Hearing this, Jack was very surprised and immediately sat down next to Ell, just as he crossed his legs in Turkish.
And Al explained:
- I′m here, next to you, I sit and calmly communicate - I get the necessary knowledge and skills, but could wander somewhere alone and wait for a happy event. You are an interesting person, Jack and I consider you a great success on your way.
I did not even want to believe in that - it was so incredible.
- Do you really think so? Jack asked slowly and for some reason silently.
"Yes, I think so," Al replied, making a low voice, in time with Jack.
They both smiled, then laughed gaily.

"Al, I′m very grateful to you." Thank you so much. You saved me from death, you dismissed me, you, you ... just do not say anything in words!
Jack decided that he, too, should make some kind of confession.
And Al just smiled. Bright and kind smile, as always.
"I′m glad Jack helped you, but it′s just the beginning." And what will happen then, can you imagine? Everything in your life will change now, as I have said.
"Listen," he said after a few minutes. "Do one favor, since you still want to do something for me."
"Of course, if it′s within my power."
- In yours, in yours. You see, I do not know Los Angeles at all. Show me this city.

Jack was puzzled.
"Show Los Angeles?" I do not know. I hardly pull the guide!
"And you do not need to," Al laughed. "I do not need an excursion." Just walk around the city. And a friend who showed me at least something in this city.
- Stroll? Jack thought for a moment. - Perhaps, it is possible. And when you want to arrange it.
El rose and said very, joyfully:
- Right now.
He smiled and looked at Jack with such passion that he did not even think about anything when he held out his hand to him. Just took it. And even could not imagine what it led to.
Suddenly he was torn from the roof. And in less than a moment, he was lifted from her by three meters. And Jack saw everything. I saw hollows and hillocks on it, saw the library building entirely and the territory adjacent to it .. It was so scary and so fast that Jack did not even pay attention to Ella, who was holding his hand and still smiling. With incredible speed, they moved away from the building and began a rapid descent, almost from 15 meters. Jack wanted to yell and could not, so everything mixed up in him. His heart was beating wildly in the chest, the wind in his ears whistled, his head spinning and everything inside was frozen from the sight of the rapidly approaching earth. "It′s a horse ..." Jack wanted to think, closing his eyes, but, to his surprise, felt under the feet of hard ground.
He opened his eyes and looked around. He stood on the ground. Between Ellom and his temporary home. Right in front of a high iron mesh, which the abandoned building was fenced off from the whole world. Jack felt himself from head to foot and made sure that he was unharmed. Looked at the smiling Ella and boiled with anger:
- What are you doing ?! He shouted. - How could you?! I have a shower in your heels for you! You need to warn, all the same! Or do you want my death ?!
Smile from the face of an alien is boldly right there:
"I′m sorry, Jack, I frightened you," Al said, a little bewildered. - I just thought so faster and better.
Jack only pretended to be unhappy. Raged for sight. After all, it was necessary, somehow to get even with Ell for the experience of fear.
"I′m sorry, please, I should have taken it into account." You in fact do not fly through the air. Next time, we′ll definitely go up the stairs, but do not be offended by Jack.
"Come on," Jack said friendlyly and slapped Ella on the shoulder. - So it′s good too.
He smiled in a friendly way. And when he saw Jack′s smile, he smiled, too.
"Come on, go for a walk!" - Al offered cheerfully and joyfully.
"Are not we going back to our room?" Jack asked, a little frightened.
- What for? Did you forget something there?
Al was very surprised at this question.
And Jack, honestly and himself did not want to return to his small and wretched coma, but found an excuse quickly.
"And your suitcase?" What will you leave him there for? With itself you will not take?
Al laughed. Then he put his hand into the inside pocket of his jacket and pulled out a small golden metallic object. An uninitiated person might think that he had a small pocket-sized box in front of him, but Jack immediately guessed that in front of him a small suitcase, in a reduced form. It was hard to believe that this already small subject became even smaller.
"And how is it ... how is he ... how ?!" - tried to ask Jack, but was very excited.
Al calmly explained:
- This is its special function, to take up little space and travel long distances. If I need, for example, somewhere to go and not attract someone else′s attention, I reduce it and put it in my pocket.
"Does not he ...?"
"No, Jack, it will not." He can not spoil at all, what with him do not do. Another thing is that you can not open it in this state, but if anything is needed, I will increase it to the true size.
"Convenient, Al," Jack could not help but praise.
"You do not even know how convenient it is," El replied proudly and immediately switched to another topic. "Well, are we going for a walk?"

Al and Jack walked around the city for about three hours. And Jack was very worn out by this walk, not that Al. He was full of vivacity and enthusiasm.
He twisted his head in all directions and exclaimed:
- How beautiful! How beautiful! How lovely!
Jack was noticeably behind. He could barely move his legs from fatigue. Several hours of walking through the streets, intersections, boulevards and squares very worn him physically.
Al noticed this and asked:
"Are you tired Jack?"
"Yes, very much," he confessed.
- Do you want to eat?
- Yes, and I want to rest, - he made another confession.
He wanted to eat and rest now most of all. The stomach rumbled, because it was already the fourth hour of the day, in addition to the legs, which ached from fatigue. Therefore Ell′s offer was greeted with great enthusiasm. Jack would have told him himself, but he was just shy.
The decision was made immediately.
"We need to feed you," Al said, and looked around. "What do you have here?"
They stood at the intersection of two streets. Street and Avenue. There were mainly high-rise buildings. Skyscrapers and hostels. Public library. This Ella was not interested. But about twenty meters away, near the crossroads, he noticed a small cafe-salon. It was called "Maggie′s Snack". That was it.
- How do you feel about the cafe "Snack at Maggie"? He asked Jack.
"No," he answered coldly. "I′ve never been to this diner." I was not here at all. We are very far away to the city.
"I understand," Al replied, with a smile. "Well then, let′s go and estimate the kitchen of this Maggie herself."
And he was about to go towards the cafe, but Jack got in the way. Jack wanted to eat and rest, but was penniless in his pocket and terribly frightened when he realized that Al is serious, and they are now actually coming to this Maggie.
"Wait, stop El," he asked, running ahead and blocking the way. - We are now actually going to this cafe. Yes, do not. I′m not as hungry as I thought. Al, do not. There is still no money.
I looked at him and smiled foolishly, pretending to be a fool. He shrugged his shoulders and looked down shamefacedly.
El looking at him, too, smiled.
"I understand," he said. - Need money. But that′s fixable, Jack. Just a second.
And he did not waste any more time.
He put his hand into the jacket, pulled out something brilliant, made some manipulations with his hands and Jack gasped. In the hands of his double was a suitcase.
"Pull your hands forward," he said.
Jack obeyed and a suitcase lay down in his hands.
El opened it and began to look for something.
Jack was filled with awe. He felt the small weight of this object; metal, which was neither cold nor hot and had a presentiment of some event. For the first time he saw an alien device nearby and realized that a demonstration of his capabilities would now take place. It was a very exciting moment. And Jack, overwhelmed by curiosity and fear, trembled in anticipation of a miracle.
But he could not imagine what El would pull out of the suitcase. I waited for everything, but not this.
Al closed the suitcase, with a barely audible click and was very pleased with Jack′s exposed gold bar.
- I′ve read in one book that gold has a very high price on Earth. How much do you think this piece is worth?
Jack′s eyes became square. He had never seen such a thing. And was so surprised, except that when the father extracted from the heap of dirt two magnificent large nuggets - a ruby.
Before him was a large, shiny "golden brick". Clean and undefiled so much that I just wanted to yell the mouth of happiness. This, for sure, weighed a kilogram three and cost several tens of thousands of dollars. Jack just could not believe such a miracle. An unpretentious suitcase kept such a treasure. This is the end of poverty, hunger and fatigue. This is REAL MONEY.
But Jack, of course, did not know how much bullion could cost. So Ellu did not say. He did not have much to say right now. He slurred something inarticulate and stared at the other with eyes looking for support.
El understood everything and said:
"All right, I′ll find out," and he looked around. - If I understand correctly, you need a bank. To cash this thing.
Fortunately, the searches were short-lived. The Federal Bank of Los Angeles was behind Ella, only 20 steps away.
- Excellent! he beamed. - Exactly what is needed!
He handed the suitcase to Jack and said like this:
"Jack look after the suitcase." I′ll go get money for us.
Jack took the suitcase very willingly and swallowed his excitement said:
"I will not let you down. Al."
And then when he was ready to take it off, Jack came down with inspiration:
"Al, wait!" He stopped him. "The bank is very serious." Will they believe in a ragged boy? You′re just like me, El.
"That′s right," Al agreed, examining himself from head to foot. - Something more impressive is needed.
And there was another miracle in front of Jack. The boy in the dirty jeans and the torn brown jacket that stood before him suddenly grew older, thickened, and a gray business suit appeared on it, and there was a completely different person in front of him. He was a tall and full gentleman at the age, with a small bald head, a lush black mustache, solid and strict.
- Well, how do you like my disguise? Asked the man with a thick bass.
A couple of seconds, Jack was perplexed, but then he realized that El was laughing in front of him. He burst out laughing heartily.
- Terrific! He exclaimed. "Only go to the bank!"
"So I′ll be back soon," said Al, turning and walking confidently to the bank.

Jack waited for him about five minutes, or a little more. Worried terribly and because of this, I never even looked at the suitcase. I did not estimate his weight, did not try to examine the castle and even try to look inside. All Jack′s thoughts were around his new friend Ella and that piece of gold. And the thoughts were very different. That seemed strong and self-assured Al, for which there is nothing impossible. It was recalled that he was from a different planet and on Earth only the second day. And what if it does not work out? But what if they open it and end everything? Thought and worried more and more.
Al appeared with a broad smile on his face and immediately dispelled all Jacob′s doubts.
- Hi! He greeted cheerfully. - I returned.
He was already in his old form. Copy of Jack Stenderery. He stepped down the steps, walked along the sidewalk and took the suitcase from Jack′s hands.
- Everything worked out? Jack asked with a sinking heart.
- What are you talking about? - El thought for a second. "About a piece of gold, or what?"
"About him," Jack nodded happily.
By the look and tone of Ella, one could make the assumption that the deal was a success. And it was very inspiring.
And Al even a little surprised:
- Of course, it turned out. And why should not it work?
And he pulled a solid pack of fresh, green dollar bills from the inner pocket of his jacket. He passed the money to Jack without any interest.
Jack reached out his hand at Ell′s request and immediately felt how thick and heavy the pack was. He just gasped when he realized how much money he had in his hands. And when he looked at the money in his eyes darkened and he generally thought he would lose consciousness. The bundle was thick, heavy, the bills in it were brand new and completely legal (if from the bank) and that the most incredible IT WAS A THOUSAND CUP. He was an unfortunate and poor Jack Stenderery for whom and ten dollars were a luxury, now he was holding the THOUGHT TONGUE OF THOUSAND COUPURES. I did not even want to believe in it, it seemed so incredible.
"T ... that ... here ... here ... YOU-YE-S-YA-YA-YO-EI ..." Jack said, choking with excitement.
"There are forty-seven thousand," Al said.
"FORTY-SEVEN THOUSAND," Jack repeated, trembling.
"Yes, do you think it′s ok for an ingot of gold?" Al asked, looking at the bank for the last time.
"BUT-O-ORMAL-LINO," Jack said with difficulty and stutter and nearly fainted.
And Al, not paying attention to his enthusiasm, already told the story:
- There is such a legal pawnshop. Especially for gold. The guy who manages them, Larry, is just a miracle. For a couple of minutes he just could not get away from the shock. Then he shed tears and nothing, not speaking, began to count the money. Then I grasped my hand, thanked and persuaded, if there were still bullion to carry to him. He′s a good man, really. And he paid well. Let and not so much, as this ingot costs, but the guy has a big family. Let him take it, I′m not sorry.
And El again turned his gaze to Maggie′s Snack Bar:
- Well, now we are at the money and can pay for all services. Go to Maggie, eat and rest from the road.
Jack understood the matter clearly. And hurried after Ell, although not so cheerfully.
The snack at Maggie was pretty nice place. It was clean, cozy and light. Al and Jack immediately chose a table by the window, with two wooden benches on either side, lovely orange curtains on the window and a glass with napkins on a small table.
"Well, Jack, what do you think?" - Al asked, seeing how a friend with unaccustomed fidgets on his bench.
"I′ve never been here," Jack said immediately.
"And I would never have come here," the unspoken thought sounded in addition.
Jack was scared here. He saw how well-groomed and beautiful it was, and first of all he was afraid that they would get too high a price for all this splendor. He did not think at all about the bundle of money that he had in his bosom, but he only remembered one thing: that he was poor, poor, poor ... Al wanted to tell him about it, but that was not it.
The waitress approached them. A young, fair-haired girl in a green corporate apron with the emblem of Maggie, on top of blue jeans and a white T-shirt. She pulled a small notepad and a pencil from her breast pocket and looked around the visitors without much enthusiasm:
"May I take your order, boys?"
This girl was only 17 years old. She figured by eye that the aliens sitting at the table, either younger than her for a few years, or about the same age, therefore decided that friendly "boys" would do. Without inspiration, it turned out, because a minute ago she quarreled with her older sister and was upset about it. But I tried to look as good as possible. Al noticed this and was very pleased with the girl. Jack took her turn with hostility. For him, it sounded like: "Take out your purse and pay the guy," so he got a little furious. Pretended to turn away from the girl, looked out the window and for some minutes deliberately whistled something under his breath, as if he did not notice her existence. Then he turned and was very surprised at such a guest (although he knew perfectly well that the girl behind him was waiting for me) squeezed out of himself indifferently and without a smile:
"A can of soda, please."
In my head the thought was: "Soda should be the cheapest thing that is here. I′ll take her and do not take anything more. "
The girl looked at him with amazement and misunderstanding. He also looked at him for several minutes. Then he laughed deafeningly. And so everyone in the cafe heard it, regardless of whether it was visitors, or dishwashers in the kitchen.
And obviously Al actually saw something funny near, but as for Jack, and the waitress girls, they were just perplexed. They looked at him with big eyes, and waited until Ella′s laughter ended:
Al finished, and once again glancing at Jack, turned to the waitress girl:
"Do not pay any attention to him." This is our Jack joking. "A can of soda, please" - that′s laughter then! - and Al whispered to the girl in confidence. "The guy has a fortune, and he′s breaking the comedy here!"
And even without letting anyone know it, he put his hand in his bosom and put a green billboard in front of the fair-haired waitress. One bill, but which one. FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS. The girl did not even believe her eyes at first: she frowned, rubbed her eyes, squinted, and then just took the banknote from the table and brought it closer to her eyes. And when everything became obvious, she felt sick:
"Is it true ... are they worth it?" She asked, terribly nervous and stammering with excitement.
"Of course it′s real," Al replied with a calm smile and folded his hands on the table together. "Do not even doubt it."
"But ... but ... but ..." she tried to say with difficulty, her gaze moving away from the note. "How ... why ... why?"
"It′s easy," Al replied. - You have a very nice cafe, clean and cozy and I think the kitchen is also good. My friend and I were very tired and hungry from the road. Bring the very best and the most precious that you have, I and my friend Jack will be very grateful to you. You can help us.
The waitress-girl was looking at Ella and her eyes were shining with delight. And the smile was to the ears.
"I′ll do anything, sir!" she said rather. "I will serve you in the best possible way!"
Instantly everything was forgotten. And a quarrel with her sister and the fact that she had been on her feet for three hours, and fatigue, and irritation, and others, and others-now she felt cheerful and cheerful. And of course I was ready to try for the sake of "such" guests. At first they both seemed like ragamuffin to her, but now everything was changing in her eyes. And the further, the more. The five hundred dollar bill, as it turned out, was only the first surprise.
"So it′s settled," Al said. - We order.
And he looked at the girl attentively. And he asked:
- Dear girl, please, recommend us something from your kitchen. We are here for the first time and therefore do not know anything. You work here and of course, you know which of the dishes is the best and tasty.
The girl was very flattered by these compliments and smiled even wider.
"Actually, there′s our menu there." She pointed to the wooden boxes over the heads of Jack and Ell (they had green, high booklets in them) and thanked him. "But thank you for the compliments." I′ve never been told such words before.
"Please," Al agreed, and nodded. "But give us a discount for ignorance." Recommend something. You in fact are better in this you are guided.
"It′s easy," the girl said and reached across the table for the menu above Ell′s head. At the same time, it was as if accidentally (rather, specially) hit his hip.
"Oh, how cute I am," she said, leaning slightly on the young man in an old brown jacket. "I hope I have not bothered you."
"Nothing, nothing," Al said gently. - You are a young and very beautiful girl, I′m not angry. You are tired for the day. You should sit down and rest for at least ten minutes. You would be much easier.
Al did not even notice that the girl was trying to flirt with him, or simply ignored. Jack, who was sitting next to him, saw everything and understood everything, chuckling, turned away. "It′s the same with me, the Great Guardian," he thought irritably at that moment.
And Al with the waitress girl, who had already sat down on the sofa, was busy with the menu:
- I recommend that you take mushroom soup with onions first. He′s the best at Maggie. On hot you can take a duck with sauce in apples. Then a pie with cranberries. For dessert: ice cream with strawberries, coffee or tea, as you wish.
The girl went into the excitement and ordered as if for herself and everything she could afford. And then she came to her senses. She looked at Ella and smiled guiltily, said:
"These are our best dishes."
Al smiled back at her.
"I do not doubt it," he agreed graciously. And without even looking at the menu, he agreed. - I take everything that we have just outlined. Each dish has two servings, for me and my friend. I pay five hundred dollars, which I have already given, plus if something is not enough, I will pay more. I have money.
Girl-waitress quickly-quickly wrote in her notebook. For two minutes she was not distracted by anything. But then she got up, smiled and happily looked at Ella and Jack assured:
- I will do everything in the best possible way! You′ll be very pleased with having been with Maggie! You′ll see, I will not let you down!
"Excuse me, do you have pomegranate juice?" - Al asked, making such a face, as if he remembered something very important.
The girl for a few seconds thinking about something and smiling at some of their subjects looked at the ceiling, and then happily nodded.
- Oh sure. We have a lot of excellent pomegranate juice.
"Great," Al said. - Bring us a liter of this wonderful drink, in a glass decanter.
- Will be done! - the girl answered with joy.
"And more, something," Al stopped her practically on the move. "Tell me, are you Maggie?"
The girl made surprised eyes, then giggled and said:
"No, no, Maggie is our mother." She owns this diner. I′m her daughter. I work here with my sister.
She lowered her gaze and, blushing with embarrassment, said:
- My name is Janet.
"My name is Al, my friend is Jack," Al said with a cheerful smile and sat up on his couch. - Nice to meet you.
Janet made an elegant bow in his direction, apparently remembering some of her aristocratic roots and again laughed.
"You know, Janet," Al said, after the girl′s laughter subsided. "Take yourself fifteen percent from these five hundred dollars - this is your tip. I give them to you.
She did not even believe in what she heard. And froze in place with wide-open eyes and a notebook in one hand. For two minutes she stood motionless on her neck: the first minute was shocked; and the second - counting their profits. And after so excited, so lit up that Jack, who had already not love this girl, that now she rvanet from the spot and throw Ella around her neck. However, this did not happen:
"I ... .y ... I ... you," Janet panted with excitement. - You will not regret. Wait a couple of minutes ... a couple of minutes ...
And without saying anything she just jerked from her seat, as much as her heels sparkled.

Al looked after Janet with a smile, Jack looked at Ella disapprovingly and thought at the same moment: "Krivlyaka! He flew to Earth with his suitcase and thinks everything he can! "
"Maybe you′re right, Jack," Al said, and without looking away from the fleeing girl. - I would have been more modest in my behavior, but I′m flirting with the girls, throwing money, joking, laughing, smiling. The whole is so open and perfect. Maybe I′m really a wimp.
Jack, like a whip, was warmed on the back of this conversation and especially from this phrase. He FORGOT that his new friend - an alien can READ THOUGHTS. Became unimaginably embarrassing.
And Al looking into his face and still smiling, continued:
"But put yourself in my place." You are isolated from everyone, three billion years old, you sit guarding the source of knowledge of extraordinary power and constantly waiting for an attack. And then suddenly you find yourself on such a sweet planet as the Earth; around you are full of beautiful, interesting people who are not at war with anyone; you are far away from the pursuer, almost inaccessible, and you have a sea of opportunities in this new world. Think, Jack, and tell me, can I at least relax and enjoy? Can I use those extraordinarily huge resources that I have (at least a little) and get satisfaction from it?
Jack felt unusually ashamed. And why is he so angry with him? Why did he think badly? Did El not have the right to rest after his unusually long watch and adventure in space? Could not you use the resources of your suitcase and get pleasure from it? Could not he flirt with the earthly girls if he was born in the middle of an endless war and never saw anything else? No, Jack was definitely wrong, and he should have apologized.
"I′m sorry, Al, I should not have ... I do not know where it all comes from ... .prost."
Al smiled softly at him to meet him:
"It′s all right, Jack, I do not take offense at you and forgive you." Stay calm.
Jack immediately relaxed from the heart. All-such a good guy was Al (albeit aliens), always smiling, spoke softly and pleasantly, listened attentively and had done so much for him - it was a sin to offend such.
However, this was not all:
- Tell me, why did you take offense at the girl? Al asked again.
"The girl?" Jack did not understand.
"On Janet," Al explained. - She stood here and did her job, I think it′s very good, and for some reason you have a terrible disgust for her. It′s like she′s an incredible debauch and everyone jumps on her knees.
- And what is wrong?! Jack screamed and almost jumped on his couch. - Not this way?! You say she did not climb on you ?! Well, who is she after that!
He spoke loudly enough, and perhaps even that he could be heard. El put his finger to his lips and gestured for silence. When I saw that Jack, just did not notice, also raised his voice:
"Jack!" - immediately smiled and turned almost, that to a whisper. "Please quietly."
Whispered so skillfully that no one in the cafe could hear him, only Jack at this table.
And Jack, like cold water, was poured. He was silent for a while and strained his ears.
"Jack, you′re wrong," Al said, still smiling softly. - This is the first. And she is not a whore, this is the second.
"Yes, and why she flirted with you that way," Jack said, and also in a whisper, to the beat of Ella.
"Look," Al said calmly. - She is a young girl. Impulsive. Feels his sexuality - now the very dawn of her femininity. He tries to show himself. And here I am. The guy, apparently, is rich and very nice. I smiled at her, I praised her - do you know how she wants it, Jack? You saw how she came here. You saw that she almost fell from fatigue. And her face was sad. She before that quarreled with her older sister, who is standing in the kitchen and the chief chef there. She is paid very little attention in the family, and her sister often chuckles at her. You think she was not happy to hear, finally, that she was beautiful, that she was doing the right thing, that she knew a lot about the kitchen here. Besides, Jack, that′s really the truth.
El tore his eyes away, from Jack looked, somewhere to the side and mysteriously winked.
It was a signal for Jack. And he understood him. And then he fell silent.
Girl-waitress Janet Baker walked to them. Rather, she ran, in a jump. A couple of seconds and she was already at the table. Looked at Jack and Ella and without ceasing to smile said:
- Boys can, you will cross. No, no, you do not think (she giggled and laughed fervently) no one from here does not expel you. And your soup will be served in a minute. We just have more convenient places. Special, for special guests. There and the table is bigger, and the sofas are better and the view from the window is much more beautiful. In addition, all the cafes are in the palm of your hand. Have you changed? No, understand, I do not insist, if you like, be here, it′s just the best places. And everyone thinks so.
Instead of an answer, both boys stood up. And Al with a smile said:
"We believe you, Janet." And thank you very much. Lead and show us those places, since they are the best.
And Janet pleased Ella and Jack through all the cafes to distant places.

After a few seconds, Al and Jack sat on small, leather couches and enjoyed their softness and comfort. Rather, Jack enjoyed it, Al only did the kind. The table here was actually bigger and more beautiful, and in the tall glass sat a beautiful rose. The view from the window was really better (almost covering the whole street), the cafe was visible as on the palm and the atmosphere was the most pleasant and soothing.
"Do you like it here?" Asked Janet Ella with a smile and sincere interest.
"Yes, Janet, thank you very much." You have a great sense of taste and you are an excellent girl. Sweet and caring.
"Thank you," Janet said, blushing from ear to ear.
Then she turned to Jack.
"Jack, do you like it here?"
"Yes," Jack said simply and smiled. - Thank you.
It was true. He liked it here. And the mood was good.
Janet turned to Ella and asked in confidence:
"Al, Jack is your brother, right?"
At this El replied without hesitation:
- Yes, of course, we are brothers. Al and Jack Stenderery.
- Janet Baker, - immediately introduced herself to the girl and wanted to shake hands with Ella, but did not have time ...
"Janet," came a call from behind. - Yes, help me in the end. Then flirt with the guys you will.
At the back was another girl. Black-haired, plump, with glasses, older (years nineteen) and much more serious. In her hands was a wide tray with two plates of hot soup from which it was pouring steam, spoons, saltcellars, napkins and other things - it′s clear that you can not joke with such things.
Janet immediately took a tray from her, together they put him on the table and began to unload. First Ella, then Jack.
Quickly all unloading the black-haired girl took the tray under her arm and said:
"We′ll serve the second course in fifteen minutes, so do not be in a hurry." I hope our firm soup with mushrooms and onion will like, like everything else. If you want anything else, just ask. Anna (she pointed to herself), or Janet.
At this time, Janet behind her back flushed with jealousy and squeezed her lips tightly, but Anna did not notice it.
For Anna, it was just a job.
- Bon appetit, gentlemen.
And elegantly shuffling her leg (her own invention), she hurried back to the kitchen. However, soon returned and picked up by the elbow Janet, who stood in one place and could not take her eyes off Ella.
"Let′s talk again," she shouted as she ran.
"Let′s talk," Al nodded and smiled at her for a long time.

After her departure, Jack giggled gaily. He had already reconsidered his attitude to this girl and very much wanted to talk with Ell about this topic, but he waited until he spoke first. A couple of minutes. And El, in the end, spoke:
"She′s a good girl, is not she?" - he asked.
But by no means that love-dreamy voice, as Jack thought he would speak.
"Good," he nodded, slightly surprised, then said. "She′s in love."
"Yes," replied Al very calmly. - Good this feeling is love.
Jack was even more puzzled:
"She′s in love with you, Al." You understand?
"Yes, I understand that," Al replied, still calm.
Jack did not know how to react at all. I wanted to play a trick on a friend, then I felt happy for him, and here ... he seemed to smile and speak kindly, and there was no feeling behind it.
"Is it for you that you do not like it at all?"
- No, why really like it?
"Not in your taste?"
El thought, then replied like this:
"Jack, it′s not about taste." I can not love. Basically. I have a certain range of feelings and emotions, but I CAN NOT LOVE. It′s too hard for me, you know.
And then Jack thought that there was some note of sadness in his voice. A huge, all-embracing, bottomless sadness. At some point, Jack even thought that he looked at the world through Ell′s eyes. Big, blooming, laughing, changing. And he is not given to feel all its magnitude and colors; feel a warm gentle wind and stinging rain, the taste of food and the joy of communicating with a woman; dizziness from love and a shade of shame. He′s a machine. Perfect and logically correct machine. There is nothing unnecessary and uncontrollable in it. Jack saw the world through Ell′s eyes. Just a second, but it was enough to make the frost run through the skin.
Sat was struck by his discovery, and El spoke without even paying attention to him:
"I′ll talk to her." And she will understand everything. She will be happy with the other. She will have children, a loving husband and a fairly high income. I will help her to become happy.
And after a pause, he looked at Jack. And guessing his thoughts, he smiled.
"Jack, do you pity me?" Do you think that I am such a castrated invalid who is deprived of all the pleasures of life and is very bad about it?
His tone was so calm and soft that Jack nodded himself:
- Yes, I think, a little bit?
"Jack, thank you for understanding me." I am very happy about it. And you are in many ways right. I really can not love, I never know a woman, I do not recognize the taste of food, the breeze of the wind, the warmth of sunlight and so on - everything is right. I′m only second and much deprived ....
- Are you second ?! Jack interrupted him. I just could not believe it. Al has already shown him his power so many times and suddenly the second. - And the first then who ?!
The excitement was enormous. Who is the first, if not he, alien from the highly developed planet Soltreks.
Al replied calmly and with a smile:
"The first one is you′re Jack." You - a man - the most perfect race in the universe, and I′m salt - the second in this list.
The amazement was indescribable, and Jack′s eyes were ready to crawl out of the orbits.
"Maybe you do not believe that, Jack." Maybe you also think that my suitcase, my abilities and many other things are the top of perfection, but understand this is not so. These are just things and abilities, Jack. The universe was created in order to feel. And with whom the gamut of feelings is the biggest one wins the race and all the competition at once. In the universe more than a billion forms of life and only one race has the primacy. It′s a man. In second place we are salt. On the third - more than three hundred thousand creatures. On the third fourth, the fifth - more than six million creatures. All the rest are considered underdeveloped, undeveloped and primitive forms of life.
Al smiled amiably, and Jack leaned back in his couch and thought with amazement, perplexity and ecstasy at the same time: "That′s it! What mysteries of the universe before me are revealed! "
"However, we are not the same as the lost, do not think about it," Al assured him soon. - We can learn a lot, we can learn and experience a great deal. We also have curiosity, joy, laughter. We can joke and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding. We speak all the languages of the Universe, we can move freely from planet to planet and also have the best technologies in the whole Universe.
"Yes," Jack said dreamily. - It′s great!
"You eat, Jack," Al reminded him. "You′re really hungry."
- Oh yes! Jack snapped. He grabbed a spoon from the table, scooped up the soup and immediately swallowed it.
Then again and again. The soup was incredibly nutritious and delicious. And it cooled down to the right temperature.
"Great soup," Jack complimented. And then he stopped short. Al, he could not taste his taste.
But Al was busy with his meditation and did not notice. He scooped up his soup, thought for a second and said,
"However, I judge only by myself, Jack." Before me, none of the salt anywhere could fly.

They ate in silence for several minutes. Then Jack asked:
"Do you really need food, Al?"
"No," Al replied honestly. "I do not need food." I do not feel her taste and do not get the necessary energy from her. I destroy it inside my body, as soon as it enters my mouth. I ordered and eat only for the species. They will ask why one guy eats and another does not. Questions, suspicions - why do they need us? It is better to be unnoticeable.
"I understand you," Jack said. I ate one more spoon, then put it on a white napkin and said. - I have a serious question for you.
He looked at him with a smile and also put down the spoon.
- Come on, ask your serious question.
- What about sex?
"What about the floor?"
- Well, yes, that′s what kind of sex is Al?
- What sex am I?
- Well, boys, girls. As we have on Earth. How is this with you on the Soltrex. Are there boys and girls? And who are you El: boy, or girl? I know the mask on you, but inside you are completely different.
Al cheerfully smiled and replied:
"I understand you, Jack." The question is very interesting. But we do not have a concept of sex, on Soltrex. We are asexual, all, and there are neither men nor women. Of course, we can turn into them and even with all the details, but in essence they will be all the same asexual beings. We do not need another sex for reproduction. If we have a mother, then this is the planet Saltrex. She gives birth to us. He gives birth rarely, but constantly. And we already have a lot. And the invaders were even greater, before the appearance of Ortreks.
"Listen to Al," Jack said gravely. The previous topic was only a prelude, to the main one. - I know, you copied my appearance only in order to disguise and be like everyone else, but inside you are different. Al I look at you, but I see only my reflection, as in a mirror. You can drop your shell and show yourself to the present. How were you on Saltrex and what are you really, without the appearance of Jack Stenderery.
El thought, and something there for himself deciding, said:
- I think I can. Why, Jack? What moves you? Simple curiosity?
"I just want to know the truth," Jack admitted. "I do not like being deceived." Sitting in front of you handsome guy, and inside there can be an ugly insect - brr. It is better to learn the truth once than live your whole life in a lie.
"I respect you, Jack," Al said, and nodded. However, to open, also did not hurry. - I′m not an ugly insect in the human shell - I′m different. But, I warn you, the sight can be shocking anyway. Are you sure you want this?
- Want.
- And your appetite will not spoil?
"No, it will not." Come on, open up.
"All right, if it′s your way," Al agreed, and Jack noticed something in his hand, something flashed. Yellow and round.
And that hour miraculous changes took place in the cafe. Time stopped on the spot. And quite real. As if someone invisible took, and everything froze around. The ticking of the clock on the wall stopped; The music that poured from the jukebox was suppressed. In the cafe, apart from them, there were still seven people, and Jack heard their noisy, gay chatter - now they broke off in mid-sentence. Jack turned back and saw even more strange things. Anna froze in a half-bent state. She put the tray on the table and smiled at the moment. Janet froze, who walked to their table, took her foot for the next step and dreamily closed her eyes. Another waitress froze. She was the most distant of all. She rounded the bar and at that moment crossed the threshold of the passage to the kitchen. All this was absolutely incredible. Jack knew they were all living people; he communicated with them and all the same, now they looked like wax statues. Made for people and in all details, but completely lifeless, motionless. Jack looked out of the window with the edge of his eye, and it seemed to him that there too, everything stopped. Riding traffic, walking people.
"Did you really stop the time?" Jack asked in astonishment.
- Yes. Has stopped. In this cafe. In this city. In this country. On your entire planet. In the entire solar system. But very briefly. Three minutes. Everything stopped everywhere.
"But how is this possible?" 1 - Jack was amazed. - What for?!
"But why," said Al, and his face slowly began to dissolve revealing the golden-orange inner contents.
And five seconds did not pass, as he completely disembodied. And here in front of Jack was not his twin-copy, but a real alien from another planet. The orange figure of a man, absolutely naked and clean, a blank. There was nothing. No eyes, no ears, no mouth, no nose, no hair, not even skin itself.
"No one should see me like this." So I stopped the time. And in order not to lose this time for an entire planet and galaxy, I stopped the entire solar system.
He spoke and a small black hole stretched out on his face. An eerie sight, to be honest - but Jack endured.
- Listen, and ....
"Jack do not waste time," Al warned. "It will soon be over."
- And from what such orange you consist?
"It′s mud from the depths of my home planet." And since the Saltrex is orange, I′m also made of orange.
"Listen, can I touch you?"
"Touch," Al agreed, amiably.
Jack immediately moved in his place. And he touched the alien′s shoulder with some apprehension. It was elastic, slightly slippery and warm. As if before him was a real, living person. Jack even doubted that he was an alien. It seemed that this man was fooling around with him. I threw off one suit, but now it will throw the other and reveal its real essence.
"What is this dirt made of?" - he asked.
- From the molecules of the native planet. Movable and indestructible. There are several billion in my body and they like air bubbles constantly scurrying back and forth from one state to another. They can become stronger than a diamond, or softer than fused oil - it all depends on my will.
- And for a long time such, live, I wonder?
"They′re eternal, Jack." And they can not be destroyed. That is, in simple terms, they are immortal and make me immortal.
- Well, you say too, there must be a way?
Instead of answering, El quickly puffed up like a soap bubble and spluttered, splashing into thousands of splashes. And the sofa, and the table, and the plates with the soup, and the walls and floor of the cafe and Jack himself, were instantly covered with this orange mud. But within three seconds the dirt began to gather in one point, flew from all sides, merged together and here El was sitting Al, alive and unharmed.
- Cool! Said Jack admiringly.
And Al hurried him and began to take Jack′s face again.
"Our time is running out." There are only three seconds left. Come on back, quick.
Jack moved, and only he sank back on the leather sofa, the time came to life, as if waiting for such a landing. Again voices rang out, the clock ticked on the wall, cars went on the street and people went.
- Well, great! Jack exclaimed admiringly.
He did not see such wonders. And I was so glad that I did not even notice how El muttered gloomily:
"Although, of course, I′m wrong." There is a way. And no way.
I remembered the notorious Black Hole.

"Gentlemen Al and Jack Stenderery," Janet said with importance. "May I take your dishes?"
"Yes, of course," Al said in a cheerful voice and immediately held out his plate. He was empty and in the remnants of soup. In appearance, it was not even possible to say that the man ate (and did not eat at all). It was the usual empty dishes, which people leave after their dinner.
At the same time, El extended a plate to Jack. She was exactly the same as his own.
"Thank you very much," he thanked the girl. - It was really cool soup. That is necessary.
The girl smiled affectionately and said: "I′ll be back, wait," Ella winked affectionately.

And Jack. He was so impressed by the reincarnation of Ella and the stoppage of time in the whole galaxy that he did not even notice the disappearance of his plate. Soup he ate less than half, but now he did not care about his soup. He was more interested in Al. I could not wait to ask him about everything.
So worried that I did not even know where to start. And he asked inappropriately.
"Is it true that time has stopped?"
"Of course, you saw it yourself, Jack," El replied calmly and with a smile.
And Jack immediately hastened to reformulate:
- I mean in the whole universe.
- No, Jack, no. Not in the whole Universe, but only in your Galaxy.
- But it′s true?
- Really, Jack.
- And how did it happen?
- In the interval of time from the end of one second and the beginning of the next a small error was formed. A kind of alternative three minutes. During these three minutes I was able to show you my essence, you could make sure of my abilities, but for everyone else this alternative stop was not. They did not notice and did not feel it. And there are no witnesses and we were able to talk calmly.
- Listen to Al, and why this stop was necessary. Well, he would hide us from strangers, or in the end, just go out somewhere.
"You wanted something quick, I quickly came up with a solution," Al explained with a smile. - But agree, it turned out well.
"Not bad, but why stop all around?" The whole galaxy?
- If I stopped time only on Earth, the Sun would have passed its way in this time, and these three minutes for your planet would have been hopelessly lost.
"But what′s the difference?" It′s only three minutes!
"Do not tell Jack - it′s very important." There would be a gap in time. By three minutes more minutes would have been added. And further. And, in the end, you would all feel the difference.
Then Jack realized that he had come across an insurmountable wall. What he does not understand and vryatli can ever understand this topic. He immediately wanted to ask about something else.
- And this device Al, by which time you stopped. It′s probably a powerful thing, right?
- It?! - Al asked with a smile and a round brilliant object appeared in his hands. - No, it′s not you! He is not very powerful! He stopped time for only three minutes, and it took more than half of his charge.
"Can I see it?"
"Of course, take it."
And Al reached across the table, handing Jack a round, yellow, gold-like instrument.
Jack examined the device, weighed it in the palm of your hand and even sniffed it. The device looked like a large gold coin, with many different drawings and inscriptions. Jack turned it over and saw that there were also drawings and inscriptions on the back. It was very difficult to understand what is written and painted. The drawings were strange. Everyone to one. Some repeated, some did not, some Jack recognized (circles, pyramids, triangles), some did not (a large pyramid with one eye, in which there was a square, or a circle with curved curved pyramids on his head). As for the inscriptions, they could not be translated at all. What are the waves, dots, dashes; oblique, straight, broken into twos, twisted into a spiral signs. Another oddity was. Figures and inscriptions were as if carved on smooth gold, and cut out in layers. And each layer was deeper than the previous one. The drawings were made in black and go to gold a few millimeters. And the layers here were apparently invisible. Jack tried to count. I counted up to the 13th layer and lost it. He did not count next. I estimated the weight. The device was very light, 20-25 grams. Jack sniffed. No odors. And then noticed another oddity. Button on the side. It was almost invisible, but very noticeable if the device is correctly placed on the palm of your hand. A small button, an oval shape of a dark red stone resembling a ruby.
Jack immediately wanted to ask about it, and he asked:
"Is this a ruby?"
- Yes ruby, Jack. From the planet of Kaltazar. The Kaltazar rubies are the only ones that are suitable for these pieces.
Jack actually was not interested in what′s behind the ruby. From Kaltazar, or from where else; suits, or does not fit - he just could not believe that this little gold thing could STOP TIME IN THE WHOLE GALAXY.
"Al, was he really able to stop the time?" I do not believe something?
- And who do you think stopped the time?
"I think you ... Are not you?" You are a unique being with abilities and abilities?
El looked at him with a smile.
"I can do a lot of things with Jack," he answered honestly. "But I can not do much." In particular, I can not stop the time with the power of my thought. For such a complex operation, you need help. Help this device.
Jack again looked at the device in his hand and sighed admiringly.
- Wow!!!!
Since Al himself confessed, it was worthwhile to believe him. And this device really inspired respect. I could stop time in the whole galaxy.
- A powerful thing! Jack admired the second time.
- Powerful ?! This?! No! Al laughed. - There are devices much more powerful. If you need to stop the time there is a device specially created for this. This device can stop time in the Galaxy only for three minutes, and time on the planet to ten minutes. Some can slightly more (up to five additional minutes), some can not. The thing is that a lot of energy is spent on such an operation. At the moment, this device has consumed more than half its stock.
- And all the same! Said Jack, still delighted. "I have never seen anything like it in my life!"
"Well, Jack!" Al smiled flattered. "Hold on to me and see!" In my suitcase ...
But Jack was not interested in Ella′s suitcase - she wanted to know more about this light, small pribor. He interrupted him with a new question and did not even pay attention to it.
- And what else can he, besides, how to stop the time?
El instantly realized that Jack was interested and switched to the topic of this device.
"Is there much he can do, Jack?" You ask questions, what are you interested in?
"Well, for example, can he give me a million dollars?" Asked Jack, and his eyes glittered happily.
The expression on her face was a sad and understanding smile. He nodded.
"Maybe it′s Jack." He can. Any desire related to money, as much as you like: five dollars, or fifty-five billion. In dollars, stamps, francs, lira, rubles. How much and what you want. This is even very simple for him. Ask something else.
Jack became thoughtful.
- Well, for example, I do not know how to drive a car. He can, teach me.
Ella′s expression did not change.
- Maybe. To teach the driving of any transport. Knowledge of a foreign language. Kung-fu, if you want. Make your body much faster and stronger. Any skill. Any knowledge. As you wish.
- Too time to spit?
- Yes, such desires are only the lesser of his functions.
- Well, if I want right now in Siberia, for example. Can he transfer me there?
- Of course, anywhere in the world. Are we going to Siberia right now?
Ella′s face had such a malicious smile that Jack just swore to erase this smile.
"Can he make me meet the right person?"
- Yes, you just imagine it well. Appearance, character, name, surname. Imagine then, the place where I would like to meet with him. The meeting is guaranteed. Of course, if such a person exists in nature at all.
From the explanation Ella Jack was uneasy. He got angry, clenched his teeth and vowed to find something that this thing can not.
- Make me invisible. So that I walk through walls. Freezed objects. I could fly. Breathe underwater. I read the thoughts of other beings.
Collected everything in the world. Something he obviously could not.
And Al smiled joyfully and threw up his hands, which, in a dull expectation, he put on the table:
- Aha! He exclaimed joyfully. - Exotic wanted! Special features interested?
Jack did not understand anything.
What are "special opportunities"? He asked, wary.
"Everything you just listed." A perfect set for a space scout, pirate, hero, or just a traveler.
Jack did not understand anything from his words. He asked:
- He can, or not?
"Maybe, maybe, only this requires a large expenditure of energy." There are relatively few such wishes.
Jack′s face darkened. Vse-taki it is possible. Could not be a trick. He included all his imagination and all this little device could.
And at the same time he was very interested in these opportunities. So, that for a while he forgot about his oath.
- Limited number of desires. This is how much approximately.
- If you are talking about "special desires", then this device can perform such approximately 150 pieces.
- And "ordinary", not special. How much can?
- Approximately 500 pieces.
- Clear. And you said that the energy was consumed. So he could have more?
- Approximately 1200-1300 "ordinary" desires
"That′s a lot, Al." And what about the quality of these desires.
- Qualities ?!
- Well yes. All this will be with me, or disappear. The machine that I′m guessing will be with me all my life, or the next day will be gone? Everest, where will I go, will not it be only a brief oblivion? And how strong are the skills thus obtained?
- I see. So, approximately so. Money and other material benefits for him is a very simple operation - so do not worry, nothing will disappear. The subjects will be real and even better. Usual life: 250 of your Earth years, at least. If you will be careful to handle. About travel, too, it′s pretty simple. He takes you to one place and back when you want. Or does not touch at all if you want to stay there. But with the skills a little more difficult. Actually, this is also a simple operation, but here it′s about not just teaching the brain, but getting it to hold information. For example, if you, for example, have learned a foreign language for 10-20 years, you will know everything perfectly; but if you want a little more, knowledge will no longer be of this quality - you can forget something, or lose it. If you want to master this language for 100 years in a row, do not worry - you will know only half of this language.
After a pause (in order for Jack to recover), El said:
- The most ideal option, Jack is to lay down the skills for a period of one day to one year. For example, if you ask invulnerability for one month, then believe me, nothing threatens you. Will saw you saw, or blow up a grenade, pour acid, or beat the ray of death - nothing you do not scare.
Jack imagined how he was first sawed, then blown up, then poured and irradiated and he was actually unharmed - he introduced and smiled.
- Tell me, but "special" opportunities, for how long can you learn?
- Ideally - for 5 years. If only for half a year more - will already fail to work.
Jack smiled again. All is cool. Five years to be able to breathe under water, or be able to pass through walls.
- And here is Janet with Anna! Exclaimed Al and smiled. - Carry our geese. Now we′ll eat.
"Last question," Jack looked at him pleadingly. - Al say - this is a unique device, such, no, and will never be on Earth. It was made by your planet, tell me, please, how much energy Soltreksa left for one such device.
"A drop," Al replied.
- A drop ?! Jack was surprised.
- Yes, a small droplet. Their huge bottomless ocean.
At this time, the waitresses were put on the table in front of Jack and Ell, two plates with fried goose in apples.
- Hot second! - Janet announced in public. "Have you had time to get hungry, boys?"

Al and Jack ate in silence. And almost did not look at each other. Al because he understood that Jack was overloaded with information and needed rest and food for new actions and questions; Jack because he was really tired, but not only because ...
Five minutes after the delivery of the order, Janet returned. And she stood beside Ella. She said that she has free time and timidly asked me to sit next to her. She said she would not interfere, but just wants to relax and see how she eats. The first two minutes it was, and then Al left his goose and looked at the girl with a smile:
"Janet, you want to talk, do not you?" He asked, looking at her cheerfully.
"I′m terribly anxious," she said with a start. And then, as soon as possible. "No, no, you can not!" I′m hindering the client! I broke all the rules! I can not be here! Forgive me, I′m sorry!
And she wanted to, was to jump to her feet and run away, but El put his hand on her arm and asked to stay. And the next five minutes they talked so much that it was impossible to say that an hour ago they were not acquainted. They laughed and joked, as if they had known each other since childhood:
"So you′re a millionaire!" Said Janet with conviction. - Do you have a huge fortune and you travel around the world in search of adventure?
"Yes," Al said modestly. - Like that.
- And you looked into our city, because here you could find your brother.
Al laughed:
"No, no," he waved his hands. "I already found my brother." Here he sits opposite my brother, Jack Stenderery. We had a crazy day today. We were very tired and went for a snack.
- What′s next? Asked Janet. "Will you stay in Los Angeles, or will you go on?"
El replied honestly that he wants to stay, but so far he does not know anything. He already knew what could be, the next question was ready for him.
The next question was exactly what El was waiting for. Janet asked about whether he has a girlfriend. And having learned that the love horizon is clean, she offered herself as this girl.
Here Jack witnessed truly the fantastic diplomacy of Ell, his brilliant oratory and his ability to persuade. El put his hand on her arm, looked into her eyes with a smile and began a serious conversation. And like and did not speak seriously; and not so many words spent, and it was so simple and powerful that Janet in a couple of minutes understood the situation of Ella, and why they can not be together. And at the same time he admired his mind (and Jack, too).
He finished like this:
- Janet, you are beautiful, young, and most importantly, a strong and stubborn girl. You will definitely find your boyfriend - do not even doubt it. And you will be absolutely happy with it. And this will be the happiness that we will never have with you.
Janet did not speak for a couple of minutes, then she looked at Ell seriously. And she smiled:
"You′re right, Al," she agreed. - You are right about everything. It happened that I had some kind of turbidity of mind. I forgot myself. Sorry.
"It′s all right, Janet," Al replied. "I do not blame you." It is natural. It′s so easy to fall in love.
- You′re so good! What a wonderful one! Said Janet, and large, happy tears flowed down her cheeks.
She hugged Ella and repeated several times: "Thank you, thank you, thank you!" Then something whispered into my ear and jumped up from the sofa and ran to the end of the corridor.
All the same, El stood up smiling:
"I will not go very far," he told Jack. "You eat it for now." I′ll be back soon.

He was away for only ten minutes, but Jack had time to seriously think about it. No, not about where El went (besides, he knew it well); nor about what Al unique fruit and how Jack was lucky that they met; and even about that unique device - about how his life changed on the whole. A week ago he did not know how the next day would turn out, he was looking for food in the garbage dumps, was forgotten and lonely by everybody; now - he is a celebrity, he has a wonderful friend (who costs a million casual acquaintances) and he himself sits on a soft sofa, eats a delicious, aromatic dish - he could not even believe that life turned so upside down. Jack once thought that he was asleep, and at times pinched his hand, but he could not wake up. It turned out all the reality. It turned out that in fact, lucky. Fabulously lucky!
Jack thought about this for ten minutes. And these thoughts gave him great pleasure.

"Well, how are you doing?" - Al asked cheerfully, sitting down on the sofa opposite. "Are you full already?"
He was merry. He was unusually merry. And his eyes shone with happiness. So glowing that Jack did not even hear his question, which was attributed to the goose, from which Jack ate less than half.
"You′re very happy," he told Ella. "What′s that about that girl?" Janet, right?
El was a little surprised, but the smile did not disappear:
"Do you know something, Jack?" Where, tell me?
And Jack said with firm confidence:
"You met her." In a secluded place. Where no one is, and no one would see you.
Ella′s smile twitched, and he tensed:
"I do not understand, are you that spied on us?"
- No, no, calm down. I did not go anywhere, I sat here all the time.
- Then where ...
"It′s very simple, Al, she looked at you so much when she left." It was clear that this was a hint.
"What other hint?" - Al was completely at a loss.
"A hint at the meeting," Jack said, a little angry. - If he leaves and looks like that, he invites to a meeting. You′re Al, that on purpose ... that you make fun of me ... you yourself then why did you go for it ?!
Jack was offended by a friend. I broke a comedy here. And he felt like a total fool explaining the obvious things.
El felt this excitement and became even more worried.
"So, Jack, listen," he quickly began to explain. "I do not know what are your subtleties and allusions on Earth." I′m not from this planet at all - remember? Even if it was a hint, I did not know it. He got up and followed her, because he caught her thoughts. And she really wanted to talk to me privately. So do not think bad about me - I just did not understand what you′re talking about. I did not understand because I did not know. I thought that only I realized that this girl needed.
"Oh yes! Jack said to himself. "As it was possible to forget, he is from another planet." I thought about myself and cursed myself. And Ellu said this:
"Nothing, El′s all right!"
He chuckled friendly. Like, as he did not understand whence the offense took.
And then he asked, as if by accident:
"You were with her!"
- What happened? Al did not understand again.
- Well, "this is the most," why did she invite you?
- What is "this"? - El did not understand.
And Jack was too shy to explain. He and so on, he winked, gestured with his hands and more and more disappointed in the fact that he asked (also with some kind of foolishness). The question was indiscreet and unnecessary in general. Jack was disappointed, it was less than two minutes.
But Al understood him and smiled quietly replied:
"Actually, this is our topic with Janet, Jack, not for a broad discussion." But if you are so interested, I can say, as my first friend on Earth. No, there was nothing between us.
- Nothing? Jack was surprised.
- We talked. And although she really wanted to have some memory of me, I convinced her that memories would be without it. She is very smart and a good girl and quickly realized that she would get much more pleasure if she did it with her beloved. She really liked this idea. And to me, by the way, too. And that, some people just go out of their way to part with virginity. Choose for this casual partners and then no pleasant memories. What for? It is necessary that everything be according to the mind and heart.
"Well, you′re an expert in psychology, some kind!" said Jack admiringly.
"Well, you′ve had enough, too much!" Said Al, smiling at the praise. If he were a man, he would have bled. - I read a few books on psychology. And they do not even matter.
- And what′s the matter?
- Yes, in simple observation Jack.
- So how? Explain.
- I′ll show you an example.
El moved to the sofa of Jack and carefully peered into the public around them. There were twenty people in the cafe, but El was looking for only one or two. And very soon found.
It was a young, beautiful couple, a guy and a girl. He is dressed in a checkered jacket and gray linen trousers, she is wearing a blue beautiful dress. They sat at the middle table and while they ate nothing, enthusiastically thumbed the menu and consulted.
"Pay attention to that pair," Al said. - At the middle table. He is in a plaid jacket, she is wearing a blue dress. Nothing is ordered yet, just read the menu.
Jack saw them, but not particularly pointed. In his opinion, it was a couple like a couple.
"So what, Al?" Simple people. There is nothing in them.
- And that′s not true! Said Al emphatically. "And I′ll prove it to you right now!"
- Do you prove it ?! What are you going to tell me about all of them now, just by glancing at them? With the help of observation? Ha!
A smug smile appeared on Jack′s face. He folded his arms and waited. What could I say by looking at this pair. He is clearly a poor man, she is a rich man. Looks at the menu and carefully chooses the cheapest. She does not want to upset her girlfriend and therefore consults her with every choice. Certainly, casual acquaintances. A couple of days will walk and go away when she realizes that he has no money, and everywhere he will have to pay only to her. One of thousands of such pairs and nothing in it is special.
Al put a very different diagnosis, and Jack listening to him more and more lost his smile, rounded his eyes and opened his mouth.
"So then, Jack." First of all, lad. He is an interesting person. Grew up, most likely in the suburbs, like you. He worked a lot on the farm, chopped wood and helped his parents in the household. He moved to Los Angeles five years ago, maybe 6. Here, fate gave him a meeting with the girl of his dreams and he is in the seventh heaven with happiness and so is she. They meet here for 2 or 3 years, they want to create a family and have children. He works at a construction site and works very much. Lives in a rented apartment, which is surely in the neighborhoods of ten from here. He has a pretty decent amount with him, but he can not choose. The guy carefully consults with the girl and although he is already fairly hungry will tolerate until they together will not find the best option. It′s good to be patient, he knows how.
Jack′s face was stretched with surprise, his eyes glazed, and his mouth opened itself. There′s a poor man for you! Here to you and casual acquaintances! His whole theory was shattered.
And Al continued with a satisfied smile:
"Now the girl." It is even more interesting. Was born in Los Angeles. In a not very rich family. She certainly is not poor - this is what you correctly noticed, but her social status is more correctly defined "just above average", rather than the rich man. (Jack was shocked to pay attention to this). Her health is not as good as that of a guy and since her childhood she lacked the love of her parents. Therefore, she is so drawn to this boy, wants to marry him and give birth to a bunch of children. Now she is a student and dreams of becoming a teacher. Teacher of primary school to work with young children.
From such discoveries Jack almost turned into a statue, and El said finally:
"She also has a good amount in her purse, but most likely they will pay together." And they will not order much.
After such discoveries, Jack could not catch his breath for a long time.
- HOW., ... WHAT ... WHY ... HOW ...? !!!! He was perplexed. He caught his breath and looked at him severely. "YOU READ THESE THOUGHTS?" HOW COULD YOU? THIS IS INCREDIBLE!
- I give the floor, I did not read their thoughts.
"Well, I met them earlier, and they told you everything!"
"No, Jack." I see them for the first time.
"Well, then, how?"
"A simple series of observations and logical reflections?"
"Prove it!"
- With pleasure. Look at the guy. His face is so calm and tanned. It is immediately evident that man grew up in nature and worked very hard under the sun. Look at his figure. Broad-shouldered and muscular. Hard work. And a lot of hard work. Look at the suit. Poor, but clean. The guy is tight in the means, but very neat and attentive to his appearance. He worked very hard for this day. Look, there is fatigue on the face, but there is a lot of joy there. He walked in with a girl in a cafe about half an hour ago and see how his feet and fingertips tremble occasionally; on the face expression of melancholy, which he carefully disguises - it is not a sign of hunger. However, the menu is only open in the middle, where the average for the price of the dish. The guy is a little nervous that he can spend all the money and have to go home on foot. He occasionally squints out the window, where the bus stop and pretends, as if to leave himself to travel. He certainly lives very far away and therefore already plans to hike on foot. He himself betrays himself. Sometimes, imperceptibly for himself, sighs shortly and sadly. Pay, of course he wants and does not even think that there is some other possibility.
Such a long and detailed explanation could convince anyone, but not Jack. Jack was very stubborn and did not want to admit his wrong:
"And the girl?" What about her. How did you find out about the children, about who she wants to become and all that?
El continued the explanation with a most pleasant smile on his face:
- The face of the girl is pale and much sadder than the guy. This suggests that she lived all her life in the city and almost never left for nature. She thoroughly disguises her sadness and smiles. Wrong, this is something old, related to her childhood. This can be judged from the anguish with which she looks at young children, accompanied by popes and mothers. I bet she immediately remembers her childhood. And childhood was not the best - it can be seen from her sad eyes. But she smiles. She looks at the children with such love and care that it is easy to understand how she would like to have her own children. The girl is not from a rich family, but she still has the means. Her dress is not made from natural silk, but from a substitute. But she wears it with dignity and is kept sedately. You can conclude that she is a college student - a person who is confident and knows the price. Middle, or already senior courses. Still that interests?
- Health! Jack reminded him. "What about your health?"
- Oh, yes, it is! Smiled Jack. - Her health is weak! The lack of fresh air and low-quality food have done their job. She looks at the page where there are vegetable salads, but in most cases she shakes her head. It′s about the ingredients. Most of the vegetables and seasonings used in these dishes are just allergic to it. Therefore, they can not choose. And they sit without ordering anything.
- Brilliant! Jack exhaled loudly and admiringly. "The real Sherlock Holmes!"
- Who ?! - Al was surprised. "What is Sherlock Holmes?"
"Well, it′s the famous English detective," Jack explained, and he was surprised that he had to explain things by themselves. "Have not you read it?" Did you find books among that mountain?
"No, Jack, the detectives were not very good." Apparently they are all in another department. But I esteem, if you recommend.
"Read if you like," Jack waved, then lost interest in the matter.
A couple of minutes later, a new topic for conversation. And was devoted to old acquaintances.
"Listen, how can I know if you′ve told me the truth, or not?" Jack asked suddenly and pointed to the guy with the girl. "Maybe you invented everything here, and I′m sitting here and listening." Maybe it′s the other way around. How to check?
Al was very surprised by this question. And for a very long time he was silent. So long that Jack was beginning to seem that now he would get up from the table, he would say that everything would end and disappear from his life, just as he had appeared in it. Jack was very sorry for his distrust. But nothing bad, fortunately, did not happen. El stood up from the table and said very gently (without a smile):
"What a skeptic you are, Jack!"
He thought about something for a while, then walked up to Jack with a firm and confident step, took him by the hand and said, pulling him behind him:
- Let′s go to! Aida! Come on, follow me!
- Where?! - Jack asked, not understanding anything, and terribly frightened.
- Do not worry! It′s nearby! - Al assured him.

And El led him to that table. To that pair. To the guy and the girl. Politely greeted, introduced himself and Jack, as a young student sociologists and explained the essence of his question.
"Jack and I have an assignment." Using only your observation to collect as much information about unfamiliar people. I′m an observer, Jack is a controller. I have some information about you and now we just confirm it or deny it. Ready?
At the same time he was smiling so friendly that he could not be denied. The guy and the girl nodded. Especially the girl She confessed that she is fond of sociology and participates in various surveys. However, her joy was short-lived.
In less than five minutes, Al told them all that he had told Jack, which put his listeners into a deep shock. Especially the girl blushed (when they touched upon her health and unhappy childhood). The guy was also shocked, although he was very dignified:
"Is it possible to learn so much about a person just by watching him?" - he asked.
"You can, you can," Al replied with a smile. - And you can learn more.
Everything was confirmed by one hundred percent. And nowhere El was not mistaken. Both the guy and the girl confirmed his rightness. Although the girl, still clutching at the straw:
"Have we met you anywhere?" Nowhere, nowhere? Maybe in college?
But Al just smiled and shook his head.
And then he turned to Jack and asked:
"Are you satisfied, Jack?"
"I′m pleased," Jack said, and nodded his allegiance.
Al smiled again and turned to the pair. He said that they were given a cash prize and pulled out from behind his bosom two thick bundles of banknotes. One put in front of the girl, the other in front of the guy. They were simply overwhelmed by surprise. Each pack had 5.000 dollars.
A lot of questions arose. Al first responded to them, and then just admitted that he is a millionaire from Canada, found his brother in Los Angeles and now decided to make a gift to his beloved couple. He also said that he was not any sociologist, and this was only an excuse to get acquainted.
"Feel free to take this money and use it at your discretion," he told the guy and the girl. - Now you can order for any amount, whatever you want.
He looked at the girl and said to her personally:
"Please, do not deny yourself the pleasure." It seems to me that you will not have any allergies now. You are completely healthy and now you will never be sick.
The girl smiled at his words, a blush rushed out on her cheeks and the skin on her face looked as if she had cleaned herself:
- Thank you! - she said, not removing her blue eyes from Ella and not ceasing to smile. "You are like a wizard!" I really feel better! Thank you! I will never forget you!
- That′s for sure! - Al said, smiling, and turned to the two at once. - Have a rest guys! Enjoy! Be happy!
And he went back, and Jack followed. The boy and the girl looked after them and smiled.


"Are you satisfied with Jack?" Al asked the second time as they sat down.
- Yes. I′m sure. Forgive me for doubting you, "Jack said.
- Yes, do not. I, frankly, myself was going to approach this pair. You gave me an excuse.
A couple of minutes they sat in silence, and then El said the following:
"Jack, I′ve told you a lot about the innermost." I answered all your questions. Now I have a secret question for you. Will you respond to it?
- Oh sure! Jack agreed happily. - What are you interested in?
"Do you have a girlfriend, Jack?"
The question caught him off guard. And made him blush to the tips of his ears.
"A girl ... a girl ... I have a girlfriend ... how can I answer you ... I do not even know ... .hy-hee ... I honestly do not know ... hee-hee ... honestly ...
He pinched, looked away, blushed and smiled. El for a couple of minutes, he understood his situation:
- There is a girl, yes? You′re in love with her, but do not know if she loves you?
Jack was in such an embarrassing situation that he was, whether Al still read his thoughts, or just watched. He just nodded.
"Tell me about her?"
Jack was silent.
- Good. It′s all clear, "Al said. - Now is not the time. I do not insist. Tell me when you can.
Jack nodded in agreement and thanks, for the fact that Al did not ask him.
"She′s good, she′s probably a person, since you′re so silent about her," Al said confidently after a long pause.
"She′s a wonderful person, Al!" She is the best! I have never met such another in my life! - suddenly started and poured out a series of revelations Jack.
Ella liked it very much, and he was smiling.
And Jack, who spoke about her with such fervor a second ago, suddenly wilted.
"Al, I can not call her my girlfriend, honestly," he continued to confide. "We do not know each other very well." We did not communicate much. Besides, I have not seen her for a long time. Just disappeared and all. Maybe she moved to another city.
El asked him very calmly. With a smile:
"But do you want to meet her?"
Jack blushed even more densely than before, for two minutes or two, and then answered, shortly and softly:
- Yes.
"You will meet, Jack," Al said, more than confident.
And his look was so sure that Jack could not even doubt.

Meanwhile, a cranberry pie was brought. And this time it was the other way around. Ella was served by Anna, and Jack Janet.
Setting the pie with cranberries on the table, and collecting the dirty dishes, Janet with a smile whispered to Jack:
"You have such a wonderful brother, Jack!"
- Yeah! Jack agreed with a smile.
Meanwhile, Anna imperceptibly slipped Ella a small note and winked.
Sisters-waitresses collected dishes with leftovers, goose and apples, reminded that there was still a dessert ahead and, giggling about something, they retired.
A few minutes passed in complete silence. Jack and El ate their pies and did not look at each other. And then Jack asked:
"What′s in the note, Al?"
He looked at his friend attentively.
El looked at Jack as carefully. And he smiled.
- A note?! He was genuinely surprised. "What note?"
"The one Anna gave you," Jack reminded him. "Such a small piece of paper, probably from Janet′s notebook." Tell me - I′m just curious. Or maybe it′s a mystery?
El looked at him with interest for a couple of seconds, and then he burst out laughing and heartily:
"Jack, and you are observant!" Very, observant! - He praised the boy.
- I have a good teacher! - Jack re-addressed praise and asked again. "So what is it?" There is no mystery?
"No, Jack," Al said good-naturedly. "No secrets." There is the address and telephone number of Janet. We agreed to meet in a year and a half - to see how someone succeeded in life. Just.
El put the note in the inside pocket of his jacket and winked at Jack.
"You make new friends," Jack said with a smile and went back to the pie.
"Exactly," Al said.

"Listen, but now I can ask," Al said. "Did you like that one of my instruments?"
"What device?" Jack was amazed.
"Small, round, like a gold coin." The one that now lies in your pocket. You in fact have not returned it to me.
Jack reached into his pocket and froze. His fingers stumbled onto something round. He pulled the device out into the light of God and looked at him with longing. STOLE. But he did not want to BURN. BORROWING AT ELL. This cool guy who saved him fed him. And he what? Stole the device. How could he? It was so hard for Jack.
- Al, honestly, I did not want to steal this device, I just forgot to return it.
Saying this, Jack stopped short. After all, in fact, HE WANTED THIS APPLIANCE. A couple of times I thought how great it was to have such a thing when I held it in my palm. So his fault was here. And the wine was heavy.
"Take it, please," Jack said, and handed Ella a shiny gold thing. "And do not be angry, please, I would not dare for anything ..."
"Leave it to yourself," Al said suddenly, and thus interrupted his friend.
"Should I take it for myself?" Jack asked, not believing. - And why is that?
"I still have," Al said shortly. - I have such full. And even better. This in fact is already running out.
Jack′s words surprised him. I gave it away, such a valuable device. Hard to believe.
- It′s that Al, right? Do you give me such a valuable device? Also it is not a pity? There is also?
- Yes Yes! - Al said and gestured to remove the outstretched hand. "I was not going to demand it back." I already count him, gave it to you. I just wanted to know if he liked you or not?
"Oh, I really liked you, Al!" Jack admired. - Such a cool thing. So much can.
"There′s not much she can do," Al said to himself, watching Jack put the device in his pocket. And immediately gave advice.
"You wear it better around your neck." On the chain. So as not to get lost.
"Do you have many such pieces?" Jack asked, interested.
The gifted device was already of little interest - it interested another ...
"Yes, Jack has a lot of such people," Al said. "In the suitcase." There are devices more powerful. And there are too many of them, although not as many as these.
"And how many in your suitcase are these devices?" Jack asked with even greater interest. And he slapped on his pocket letting him know what kind of device he meant.
- Somewhere 17 billion. Maybe more, maybe less. Honestly, I do not know. They can not be counted. In a word: there are a lot of them there. Even the SUPEROOM.
"Super sexy!" Jack repeated to himself and licked his lips.
And then he thought that it was worth taking a look at Ell′s suitcase and seeing how it was arranged inside.
And he asked the following:
- Al, tell me, but how this device is called.
"We call it a" Meterializer, thought ideas and small-sized forms with a small energy reserve, "but for you it will be too long, so call it somehow easier. I read, on Earth such objects are called: medallions, pendants, amulets.
"That′s it, amulets!" Exclaimed Jack. "It′s a real amulet!" Magic! Listen, maybe we′ll call it a "magic amulet"?
Ellu′s proposal was very much like. And he said, smiling:
"It′s a good name." Exact. And we will name. From now on, this device is a magic amulet.

The last conversation between Ellom and Jack, in the "Maggie" snack bar, took place behind a dessert.
"Al, I think I understand, just now!" - Jack said unexpectedly and left his ice cream for a while.
- What did you understand? Al asked, leaving his portion.
He looked at him in bewilderment. And Jack shone like a scientist who just managed to make some important discovery.
"I know why you like helping people." Why are you so happy when you give others happiness.
- Yes?! - Al was very surprised. Cool-eyed looked at his friend, but the look read impatience. - Well, explain then?
"You want to be human, Al!" Said Jack confidently. - You want to feel everything yourself and feel everything. You have been given a lot, but you would gladly change your fate to the fate of a simple earthly person, right? I′m right, tell me?
Al was unusually silent for a long time. Then he lowered his eyes and sadly admitted:
"You′re right, Jack!" What′s there, I want to be a man!
He looked at Jack, and it seemed that Al was about to shed a tear:
"I really want that, Jack!" You can not even imagine how much!
And Jack heard either his revelation, or a simple explanation:
"I lived a few billion years, Jack. I will live even more. But what kind of life is this, think. In fact, there is not a single day of real life in it. So to breathe, eat, get angry, suffer, love, rejoice and so on. I can pretend, I can partially feel something, but to the fullest - no, I can not ever. I see your future Jack and all these people too - it′s fine. Everyone has a loved one (or will appear), everyone will have a family - a lot of joy and happiness. And what about me? I′m a wanderer, Jack. A tramp and even a bigger beggar than you. I will never find my half, I will never experience love. The Soles have neither men nor women, we do not create a family - we are all one, born with a mission, and not then to be happy. Do you understand? I did not know this when I was in that room. But I found out all this when I was on Earth. And I felt very inadequate.
And he was silent for a very long time. And he did not raise his eyes.
- Do you regret that you landed on Earth? Jack asked bluntly.
"No," El replied and looked up. - I am grateful to the Earth. It is a beautiful planet and it opened my eyes to many things. Without it, I would never have understood what life is. How much is interesting and unusual in it.
"And this is a great temptation to you."
"A great temptation, Jack," Al smiled sadly. - I will never rest now. I now have only one dream: to be human. For this I do not regret half of my wealth.
Jack was serious about something. And Ella did not look anymore.
I really wanted to help somehow. Do something good for him. He has done so much for Jack - what is left ungrateful? Jack wrinkled his forehead with all his might and strained his brains. I accidentally remembered the amulet.
"And the amulet, Al?" He can?
"No, Jack, can not." It′s not in his power.
"And the other instruments in the suitcase." You did say a lot there. Something for sure can?
"No, Jack." There are no such devices. They are many that can, but not this.
Jack did not give up.
- Ok, but the cube of Harridik. This is the most powerful force in the universe. He then, perhaps, can?
Al seriously thought. He pondered for a long time, and then answered:
- I honestly do not know. It has full hidden properties, the study of which would have gone no one million years in our calendar. But, Jack ...
He sighed sadly and looked at Jack with great gratitude:
"Thank you, Jack, but do not." If there was such an opportunity, all the same I would not, now, turn myself into a person. Now, I must be a soldier and fully armed, if suddenly Ortrex appears on Earth.
"I just wanted to help," Jack said, and shrugged.
"I know," Al said, and touched his hand with his hand. "You′re a good guy, Jack." Thank you. In the meantime, let′s go back to the ice cream, or it almost melted.

In total, they stayed at Maggie′s diner for 4 hours. The ordered food cost $ 350, the tip of Janet - $ 75. With Ella′s five hundred dollar piece of paper, only $ 75 remained. And Al was awarded them as a gift for Anna. And although the girl frantically protested, yet El persuaded her to take the money. Insisted that they are two sisters and should be awarded equally (especially since Anna worked no less).
They were escorted with smiles and admiring glances by two waitresses and all the people present in the cafe, and they (especially Al) respectively promised to return.

The day was at sunset. 7 hours, the beginning of the 8th. And Al was the only one who noticed this.
Jack did not think about time. He cursed Ella for his extravagance, and that was all his thoughts.
"Al, how can that be?" I do not understand! I do not understand, I do not understand! It seems that you do not know the price of money at all!
His lamentations were about those 500 dollars. Almost all the money was spent on food and I still let him take the tip. Jack thought this was an inexcusable stupidity. At least the change, the change left. It′s almost a hundred dollars.
And Jack did not think about those THOUSANDS that lay in his bosom, about the MAGIC AMULET in his pocket - he again felt like a POOR, for whom such waste is not permissible.
And Al only smiled, listening to all his lamentations.
"Style, Jack," he said his first words in a nearly 20-minute break and stopped.
And Jack stopped.
"Style," Al repeated again. "You need your own style."
- What style? Jack did not understand. - What for?!
- You look around. Bright sun in the sky, green grass, trees, blue sky overhead. Breathe deeply: you feel the wind and warm air. How much good is around - feel it.
He paused for Jack to use his advice, but Jack again did not understand.
- What do you mean?! What do you want?! Air, grass, sky - you, that you keep me for a fool ?! Why did you spend ALL your money ?!
"Jack, there′s so much beauty around, and you′re thinking about money!" I′m asking you: why?
And shook his head condemningly. That annoyed Jack thoroughly.
- Listen, be kind, say it normally, so that I could understand you! And not with these of their own, hints are unclear to what!
Al shook his head again.
- If you understand Jack, then what kind of woodwork are you boiling?
This question immediately cooled his ardor. El had waited five seconds for El to calmly explain:
"You must have a style, Jack." Style of a rich man. It means enjoying the beauty of the surrounding; do not deny yourself anything; be generous and not think about money. Money is just a means, Jack. Means that you should be happy. And we have this money full, for a lifetime not to spend (even if a million a day). You and I are rich people now, remember. Well, in any case, you. So do not think. Enjoy yourself with beautiful views and nature.
Jack wanted, it was argued that no he is not rich, but at that moment he remembered about the thousand packs, amulets and did not say anything.
"And still, Al, why give such a big tip." As much as 75 DOLLARS. BOTH WAITING OFFICERS. THIS IS 150 FOR TWO.
Natural stubbornness and pride prevented Jack from just smiling and recognizing the rightness of a friend.
- So what? - he looked inquiringly at him. - Let them take it. They deserve it. Both. Janet is on her feet all day, trying to catch everything, and then saw how she tried for us. Anna is the elder sister and practically directs the entire kitchen. She has more responsibility than her sister. They deserve this money, that you do not tell me. And then, what do you care? Not enough money?
It was such a strong argument that Jack did not know what to argue. And later he refused to object. Ell has money for the sea. Only one ingot cost 47 thousand, and he has billions in the suitcase of these ingots. If he wanted, he gave a million and still would not be impoverished. And then: there are amulets!
"Stop," Al said suddenly. - And where we went.
They looked around. The main road was wide and clean, leading to a beautiful and well-kept street. Beautiful and rich houses in two, three, or even four floors, large plots of land on which there were swimming pools and sports grounds and much more. There were few such houses, but they WERE and that the strangest EVERYTHING TO ONE RICH, HIGH AND INCREASED. Not a single poor house, or a house with peeling paint, or a wooden one.
Al and Jack walked a little along the street, drew attention to the houses (real VILLAS of the rich); cars that stood on the street or in manors (also very beautiful and expensive), some owners (those either lay in their loungers, or went to their homes, or, as Al and Jack, walked around the street).
- Where are we? - I once again asked who El does.
And he did not receive a reply.
Meanwhile, Jack looked very cautious. Oh very, here it was rich and good. Such an impression was formed that they were brought ... Suddenly, an identification sign with the name and street number came to my eyes. It was goosebumps on Jack′s back. The inscription read: "BEVERLY HILLES 68134". That′s it! "BEVERLY HILLS"! The richest area of Los Angeles. It was necessary to urgently carry away his legs from here!
"Al, let′s go from here," Jack said to his friend.
- Why? - that was surprised. - There′s nothing here.
"This is BEVERLY HILLES!" Jack tried to explain.
But Ella was not impressed.
- So what? he asked and smiled. - What does it mean?
- What do not you understand!? This is the region of millionaires! To be here you need to have a lot of money!
- Exactly what is needed! Said Al confidently.
Jack found more arguments, but El only smiled. And, finally, he said:
"Do not worry, Jack, there′s enough money to just look at the Beverly Hills."

He stopped in front of a beautiful, tall house. Without exaggeration, he was the tallest on this street.
"Jack, look at how handsome!" - delighted, he said.
Yeah really handsome man from handsome men. Of brick and concrete. They complemented each other so beautifully that it was impossible, not admired. It seemed that the house was made of red and white. Four high floors and a tower on the roof, about 100 meters. Jack could not help feeling like a bug before such a giant. And inside him everything stopped when he looked up.
"Al, let′s go from here!" He asked, terribly worried.
"Why, shall we go?" - El did not understand. "Do not you like this house?"
- I like it, I like it! Jack agreed immediately. "It′s just that ... they looked, and that′s enough!" Come on! This house certainly belongs to some rich man! He does not like that we′re standing here - we′re staring! Come on!
"Yes, you calm down, this house is for sale," Al said, and went forward with a confident step.

The area around the house was even larger than the house itself. Jack spotted a large and flowering garden, a lot of fruit trees, shrubs (slightly neglected), swings, what kind of grounds and did not look further.
On his eyes, El went to the brick wall, a meter high, enclosing the territory, and touched the black steel gate. Jack expected that now either dogs bark, or a cry of discontent will be heard, or (at worst) the gates will be locked. But they succumbed. And they opened with a slight creak.
"Jack, what did you get up there?" Al asked with a cheerful smile. "Let′s go watch the house."
The gates were two meters high and fastened to thick columns of brick and concrete. A sort of monster compared to a low fence. Jack had formed such an association when he came closer - a monster. Yes, and the fence, as it turned out, was equipped with low, but sharp steel bars. "Retractable," Jack thought for some reason.

"Hold on," Al said, and handed Jack a small table of cardboard. And he walked confidently along a wide asphalt road to the house. Before him, it was about 200 meters away. Jack read the inscription on the cardboard plate: "For Sale."

On both sides of the broad asphalt road there were low bushes, behind which were opened wonderful green lawns, beautiful stone fountains (alas, not working), trees and stuff. The road itself had many branches. From the very gates to the house, a lot of paths left it: narrow and wide. Some were led to fruit trees, some on the tennis field, some around the house and it was not clear where they brought it. There were so many interesting things around, that Al only had time to twist his head. I saw a little, but I saw that he liked it.
"Hey, mister, what are you doing here?" Asked his stern female voice and tore it from his observations.

Before him, on the porch of the house, stood a beautiful, red-haired woman, about thirty years old, with a black, leather briefcase in her hands. She was very unhappy. I inspected it carefully and again asked:
- What are you doing here?
"Looking around," Al replied cheerfully and with a smile. "It′s really cool here." Very good location. And the house is good.
"How did you get in here?" - the woman asked all the same severely, without giving importance, Ell′s words.
The day was neither the best. A lot of worries, unsolved problems and yet this strange alien, who fell on her head.
"The gate was not locked," Al replied honestly. And he smiled in a friendly way.
And the red-haired beauty in a gray business suit meanwhile clutched her head.
"Oh, you fool!" How could I! Did not lock the gate! Yes, so that I can fail on the spot!
"Do not blame yourself, Madeleine," El said gently. "You′re just very tired." Stress, anxiety, and this is the end of the day. Nothing wrong. Moreover, nothing terrible has happened.
To her consolation, she did not pay attention, but at the mention of her name shuddered.
"How do you know my name?" She asked in disbelief.
"I′ve read it," Al replied calmly. "You have it on the plate." Madeleine Milen. It′s your name, right?
And the movement of the eyes pointed to the woman′s breast, where on the gray jacket, a small, neat plate was fastened: "Madeleine Milen"
- Oh, yes, it is! Said the woman, and blushing deeply, unhooked the sign. I unhooked it and put it in my pocket.
She looked at Ella and said:
"You see, mister, I do not know how you are there, my work day is over and now I′m leaving."
"My name is Al Stenderery," Al interjected, smiling amiably and extending his hand.
But Madeleine did not take her hand, measured him with a contemptuous look, and coldly filtered through her teeth:
"I do not care what your name is!" I said, my day is over! Get out of this territory! And now I′m going too!
And El instead of offended by all these rudeness smiled and turned to her even more cheerful tone:
"Of course, of course you need to go home, I understand." But Madeleine, give me time, please. It′s only fifteen minutes. Honestly, you will not regret it.
- Oh my God! She pleaded and looked up at the sky. "Well, why should I attack like this, at the end of the day?"
Complained in this tone, as if talking all day with people, but really angry that the only person appeared only at the end of the day. And what kind of interlocutor? For the mind rolled up her eyes and wrung her hands, while she herself looked with displeasure at Ella and thought: "Well, what do you want here ?! Why did you come here, the stray lousy ?! As soon as such in the "Beverly Hills" allowed? And how can I get you out of here? "
Still decided to make a concession:
"Well, boy, you have exactly fifteen minutes while I close the door and go to the gate." Tell me what you want.
And she pointedly turned to the beautiful white door to close it with a key. One eye, however, looked at him. Therefore, I closed it for a very long time.
She decided that she was a young boy and that he deserved such treatment. Strict and instructive, like any other unintelligent.
And Al, for some reason did not stop calling her by name.
"Madeline, tell me, are you selling this house?"
And Madeleine, meanwhile, was getting angry more and more. She could not close the door (she just did not see it). She was screeching loudly with a bunch of keys, sniffing discontentedly and hoping that maybe the annoying teenager himself was running. But he did not leave. Then Madeleine turned to him, leaned slightly, shrieked and scoffed, from the threshold of the house, almost to Ella′s face:
"Did you like the house, boy?" Krasivenky yes ?! A sight, yes ?! Do you want to play here ?! Or maybe you want to buy it ?!
She was almost furious. On a failed day. On this accursed house, which for 4 months I could not sell. On this boy, who appeared at the end of the day and spoiled her comforting trip to the "Baskin Robins".
And Al was not even embarrassed. Calmly answered and as always with a smile:
- Yes, I want to buy this house? You′re his salesman, and I′m a buyer?
To which she grimaced even more and sly:
- And where are your dad and mother ?! How do you want to buy this nice house without them ?! How did you not consult with them ?!
Ell′s face changed. The smile disappeared, but the expression of his eyes was still kind, although now it has become sadder:
"Madeline, I have neither father nor mother." But actually it does not concern you either. So we will not talk about it any more!
And Madeleine Milen, a 32-year-old, beautiful, energetic, but very lonely woman for a moment, felt how unpleasant her words were to Ella. Feeled and felt shame. You are the one to blame. Why scold. Offended the guy.
"I sympathize, boy," she said in a warmer tone, turned to the door and closed it in one go.
I thought that a child, a simple orphan.

I went down the porch and walked along the path. And Al went alongside. And although she was almost running, and he walked with an easy gait, the distance between them was insignificant.
"Madeleine, please wait," Al said.
She stopped.
"Listen, my friend," she said without sarcasm, but very tired. "Get out of here, please." I′m not going to sell you a house.
- But why?
"You′re too young to buy a property yourself." And if this joke, it′s clearly a bad joke.
- Madeleine, this is not the answer. This is an excuse. So that I′m not confused under your feet. Tell me the truth: why do not you want to sell me this house?
"Why on earth should I talk to you about anything?"
She smirked self-satisfied, raised her head high and walked twice as fast. But El ran ahead and blocked off her path:
"No, no, Madeleine, you will not get rid of me so easily." And you can not escape from the answer.
He spoke in the most serious tone. And she got up in one place, like she was buried.
- And why is that? She asked, very surprised.
"We agreed on fifteen minutes." Only six and a half passed. Be courteous to Madeleine and talk to me. You after all the seller also should communicate with people.
And then he told her even softer:
"I understand you well." You are tired, the day was not very, but it′s only a few minutes, Madeleine. Talk to me, please.
And a smile returned to his face.
And Madeleine. Feeled, how in a breast jumped. And it became warmer in the whole body. From his beautiful kind eyes, from his smile. Suddenly she realized that she could not refuse this man. It was the man of her dreams. Strict and authoritative, but kind and understanding. She did not expect to meet such a person, but he stands before her. She was already in jest doubt, but is it true that she is a yellow-throated boy? Maybe he was much older than he looked?
She lowered her eyes indecisively, glanced quickly back at the house, and asked, still looking at the asphalt:
"Well, what do you want to know?" What can I tell you? I do not know! - absolutely did not know how to start a conversation and therefore also switched to "you".
And Al cheered her up:
"Do not worry, Madeleine. You know all the answers. Start with the value of this house and the land in general. What is the cost of all this magnificence?
And she, in fact, cheered up. She looked into Ella′s eyes, smiled (for the first time), looked back at the house and asked with interest in her voice:
- And how much do you estimate it yourself?
El carefully ran a quick glance around the house, across the territory and shrugged his shoulders:
- Honestly I do not know. Neither do I sell it. Maybe a million.
"No, no," Madeleine laughed, exposing the beautiful white teeth. "It′s not worth a million dollars." It costs a little cheaper. Total….
And suddenly a thought came into my head that destroyed everything. Both communication and the already started transaction.
"Madeline, but what the hell ?! What are you talking with him here, flirting? It′s just a stray-boy! Zheltorotik! Yunets! Not a penny in your pocket! And he is no man of your dreams! "
Pride gushed in her. And yet what. For a couple of seconds, Madeleine was so transformed that she looked like a real witch. Eyes burning, hair disheveled, lips curved in a hostile grin:
- So, get out of here! Also, I′m a buyer! I did not invite you and thank you for not letting the dogs down on you! - she suddenly changed and almost cried to Ela.
"There are no dogs here, and there never was!" - El tried to argue, but she did not listen to him.
Raised a finger pointing to the main gate, and angrily hissed:
"Get out of here, you tramp!"
But then I saw Jack standing in the middle of the path and fell silent.
"What′s that?" She asked softly and very unpleasantly.
And she grinned to herself:
"He brought me with you!" Together you trade! How could I be a fool did not immediately guess!
And Jack, who never reached the house, first witnessed the turbulent tears of Madeleine and inexplicable patience of Ella; then almost normal conversation; And now I′m confused and did not know what to do.
Madeleine was taken aback for five seconds. And did not know what to do and how to behave.
El said to her kindly:
- Madeleine, this is my friend, partner and brother Jack Stenderery. We really want to buy this house and we have the money.
"Aha, aha," Madeleine laughed at his words. "Money?" Where from? You′re stray! Something does not seem to have money!
"Honey, Madeleine, you judge us by appearance - this is a big mistake. Believe me, not everything is visible at first sight. We are dressed simply, but with money and enough to buy that wonderful house.
Madeleine turned to him, looked into her eyes, for a long time gathered herself with her spirit, and then she whispered evil and dryly:
"Get out of here, you two miserable bastards!" So that your foot is not here! Now!
And she so gleamed with her eyes that it was hard to even imagine how much anger was in this nice, nice woman.
- Madeleine ... - I wanted to say, Al, and took a small step in her direction, but then did not speak anymore, could not go.
"I′ll scream!" She promised quietly. "I can shout loudly!" They will hear me, they will help me ... if you take one more step in my direction! You′ll see how I scream!
And Al did not even try to try. This woman′s rules are monstrously angry. To this house; on his boss; on friends, who all, as one, left her. We needed a scapegoat. And now this goat was Al.
So as not to unsettle the woman, he stepped back two steps. And she demandingly put out her index finger "on the way out" and shortly said: "Go!"
Al smiled again.
"All right," he said. "There, there." I′m going, Madeleine. I promise you.
He turned, as if he were actually going to leave, but only reached into his jacket. And he pulled out some green paper. Very quickly approached the woman, unfolded a fist clenched in his hand and slipped the paper there.
"It′s yours, Madeline, in fifteen minutes of your time." Remember, we agreed? And now, farewell.
And he really went to the exit. Very quickly and confidently. He came up to Jack and said: "Let′s go Jack, we′ll find some other house. Little them, chtoli? "And Jack went with him.
And Madeleine? I opened my hand and just could not believe my eyes. Green paper, but what? ALL FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS.

For a long time I could not come to my senses. I inspected the bill, felt it, sniffed for some reason, and my inner voice was already shouting: "Stop them! Stop it urgently! If you miss them you will be a complete fool, Madeleine! "And the guys have already gone far, almost to the very gates. Madeleine looked at them, then at the paper, and bitten her lips in despair.
- Stop! Hundred-th-te-ee! She cried to the boys. With excitement, I dropped (and did not even notice) my business portfolio, rushed after them.

They met again almost at the very gates. Al and Jack stopped and, Madelyne, too, stopped. She handed Ella a 500-dollar bill and could not catch her breath for a long time. And then gather your thoughts.
And instead of apologizing, thanking for money, she began with a demanding and rude question:
- This ?!
Jack smiled knowingly and looked at Ella. He also smiled.
- Of course, the real one.
The next question Madeleine was even more stupid than the previous one (she herself was surprised to him). She shook the banknote in the air and asked:
- Than prove?
Jack′s curiosity intensified, almost tenfold, and Al just shook his head:
"Madeline, well, who needs to know, if neither you?" You that you did not learn to distinguish real banknotes from fakes? Can not you figure it out for yourself?
"I can," she said firmly and confidently. With a tone that seemed to promise: "Now I′ll find a flaw"
Five minutes went on checking. She looked at the light, felt the bill along and across, bent, sniffed, but every minute it grew darker and darker.
- I absolutely can not understand anything! Madeleine said in a plaintive, almost crying voice. - I do not understand anything! I need special equipment to understand everything! I do not see! I do not see anything!
And she almost cried for offense. She shook the bill in the air and looked Ella in the face, as if she asked for help.
"Madeleine," Al said softly. - This is real bank money. And there are simply no flaws in them. All numbers and signs are all present. So do not hesitate, I beg of you.
From these words she felt very bad. I felt so miserable and stupid. I should have already stood on my knees, begging for forgiveness, and she was talking about some stupid things. Madeleine immediately showed herself on her knees in front of these beautiful and probably very rich children and her heart ached even more. Only this is worthy, the old fool. Rude, insulted, and now I realized that she was losing. And it was so embarrassing to admit my own stupidity - everything turned around inside.
But she found strength in herself and apologized:
"Forgive me, please," she said sadly, and lowered her eyes in shame.
The next minute tears flowed from those eyes. And after a moment she collapsed to her knees (she did not understand how - her legs just gave way and all) and sobbed loud and inconsolable, like a little girl.
She did not ask for anything, but simply howled from grief. Over your own stupidity; that she was rude and offended by a good person; that a loser and although she was engaged in real estate for 5 years, did not make anything special, and she had no one. She howled like a wounded bear and beat her fists against the asphalt, breaking her hands in blood. So she was sick and sick of herself, that she was ready to tear clothes, hair, and beat herself to death in front of Ell and Jack. She already hit her face with a bloody hand, but she did not stop screaming.
Jack was disgusted, and he turned away. I saw that people were already going to her screams, and I started to work on them. He came up with excuses, such as "family turmoil," "theatrical scenes," and something else, and El, meanwhile, squatted down, put his hand on the woman′s shoulder and said:
"Madeleine, stop it." Get up. And do not blame yourself anymore, I′m not angry at you.
He helped her to stand up, then embraced her as her own. And she was all crying and wailing:
- Forgive me ... please forgive me ... I′m so to blame ... .I am guilty ... I′m a fool ... I′m a failure ... I′m bad ... I′m very bad !!!! !!!!!
"Jack," Al whispered to his friend. - Get the amulet and make it so that all these idlers part ways. And that here within three hours no one could penetrate. There is a very serious conversation, and we do not need outsiders.
And El led the woman to the house. And Jack, quickly dismissing all the people on the street and installing protection on the territory of this mansion, hurried after them, while on the move raising the $ 500 dropped and a black business portfolio.

Al independently opened the locked white door and led Madeleine inside the house. Jack was behind them, he closed the door.
They turned out to be huge in size, but they did not admire her. They led the red-haired woman to the wide leather sofa, sat him down, and while El was busy with her blood-stained hands, Jack poured hot and fragrant coffee into two cups. He fussed deftly with medium-sized coffee pots, pouring a black hot drink into two porcelain cups and adding sugar from a small pot-bellied sugar bowl standing on a low round table; While El put a band-aid on her broken fingers.
And Madeleine. Of course, she looked around and remembered that there were no sofas, tables and coffee there, but now she did not care. And what worried me was that she absolutely did not deserve such treatment. She called these lovely boys tramps, shouted them out, and then rolled this scene at the main gate. She deserved, at least, contemptuous looks and indifference, but not honey. help and fragrant coffee. She thought about it and the more, the more it was depressing. I rolled my eyes up, sighed, and all was trying to say: "Come on, you guys," but the tongue did not turn.
"That seems to be all," said Al and said and collected the adhesive and disinfecting iodine in the first aid kit that lay next to it. - It looks much better than before.
And Jack - a real helper and just a fellow had already brought a porcelain cup to Madeleine and watered her from his hands. Al practically did not explain anything to him, he himself grasped everything and immediately did. A real friend and partner.
"Thank you," Madeleine said after the second sip of the warm and delicious liquid. "I just do not care about me, I let you down."
- Yes, that′s all nonsense! - Jack said confidently in many ways, imitating Ella. "It′s all right, and no one is angry with you."
And gave her a new sip. He was not distracted for a second and therefore did not see Ella′s surprised and at the same time gladdened look.
Madeleine tried to take the cup herself, but her hands hurt so much that it was difficult to hold her. For a couple of seconds she wrinkled with pain, then with a piercing scream nearly dropped the cup (the good Jack immediately saved her) and only she sipped her.
"Thank you," she said with a grateful look at him. - You are very kind and good young man .... Jack? I′m not mistaken, are you? You really are ... a young man ... and your name is ... Jack?
"Yes, that′s right," Jack said and smiled. "I′m Jack." Jack Stenderi, and I′m a young man.
"And you." She looked at Ella. "You′re older ... really, really ... El, if I′m not mistaken."
"You′re not mistaken," Al assured her. "My name is Al and I′m really older than Jack, although I look almost like him."
In a word, he did not look "almost the same", but exactly like Jack. Jacket, shirt, jeans, sneakers, a face and even a haircut, but Madeleine had no business before that.
She gestured for coffee and looked at the guys very confidently:
- Guys. Al, Jack, thank you very much for your help and all the rest and again forgive me for wanting to kick you out, insulted you and especially for this macabre scene at the gate. I′m really ashamed of you.
And she lowered her eyes sadly, and in the meantime Jack took his coffee cup (he really wanted to suddenly) and sat down on the sofa next to Ell. Now thanks to this cup they could be distinguished.
Al replied to her:
- Madeleine, and you just think, maybe it′s just fine? Maybe it′s for the better.
And then he explained:
"You held yourself back for a very long time. Offended, angry, upset and did not do anything about it. And now, when all this has come to you, it will be much easier than before.
Madeleine thought for a second, and then she said:
"It′s probably true, but I′m still very ashamed of my behavior." Sorry, again.
"I′m glad to forgive you," Al said and smiled.
"And so do I," Jack said, tearing himself away from the cup. - No offense.
"How lucky I was with you," Madeleine said, and reached for the cup.
She took the cup, but after experiencing a wild pain in her fingers, put it back.
Jack did not notice this, and El still noticed. He sat closer to her and put her hands in hers. Madeleine felt hot from his touch and look, she smiled and flushed.
And Al talked to her very calmly:
"Madeleine, the pain in my hands will now pass." Oh, feel, it′s gone!
And she really felt that the pain was no more. Although not particularly surprised.
"Now the wounds are already tightened on my hands, and my wounds will soon be prolonged," Al continued. - Starting from this day, your life will completely change, you′ll see. You will have a beloved and expensive work; you will have a high income and a lot of true, loyal friends; a loved one and a close, strong family.
She closed her eyes, so she was well at that moment. She sat in silence for several minutes.
"Guys," she said, opening her eyes and turning immediately to both Stenderery. "You would know how you helped me." Especially you, Al. Handing me these five hundred dollars, you just saved me. I looked at myself from the side. And it does not matter now whether you have money ....
She said and stopped.
- Do you really have MONEY FOR THIS HOUSE? She asked, in a whisper.
Al smiled very happily and turned to Jack.
"Jack, please give me that black diplomat who stands by the table."
Jack understood everything and immediately jumped off the couch. He returned his cup to the table, picked up a large black leather diplomat standing next to him and handed it to Ella. El put him on the sofa, in front of Madeleine, snapped the lock and opened it open.
Madeleine, of course wondered where all these tables, coffee pots, sofas and diplomat (how did it come from the table ?!) came from, but what she saw in his bowels made her forget about everything. The diplomat was filled to its very top with neat, green bundles of money. Reliably pulled by a bank paper, fresh, new and very beautiful.
With a trembling and plastered plaster, Madelyne took one of the packs, felt her weight and firmness and immediately dropped it:
"THIS IS IT THAT ... MIL-L-LI-ION DOLLARS ?!" she asked, terribly worried.
"Of course," Al replied, completely emotionless. - Exactly one million American dollars. In every pack of ten thousand, five hundred dollar bills. A hundred packs. Million. Want, count.
"Yes, no, I′ll take care of you," Madeleine said, still worried, but already smiling with happiness.
- I hope this means that the deal will take place? Al asked. "And you will sell the house to us!"
He smiled and looked at the woman attentively.
And she flushed a bright blush, flashed white teeth, a few seconds just could not find the words, and then just nodded.
- Of course! Of course! I now so want it! I did not dream about the best and buyers!
"Then there will be a deal!" - Al joyfully said and held out his hand through the diplomat.
- Will be! Madeleine said cheerfully and willingly shook it.
Her hand was strong and very hot.

After shaking hands she immediately slammed the diplomat (so as not to subject herself to temptations) and told Ella with ease and simplicity:
"Al, this house is not worth a million." Its cost: 750 thousand. And even four months ago, when we took it, it cost 870,000. A million is too much. I want you to know.
Ella liked her honesty, especially since she was a difficult step for her.
"You do not want to take more, Madeleine?" - Al asked in confidence. - Put more in your pocket.
"No," she shook her head, and almost without thinking.
And she also confidentially reported:
- I′ve been lying so much in my life that I just do not want to. Especially to deceive such a GOOD MAN, who SO MANY MADE FOR ME. No, I do not.
"All right," said Al, smiled and suddenly suggested. - And you want one hundred thousand dollars as a gift. Just. Because you are cute to me.
Madeleine blushed deeply and lowered her eyes. Was going to answer, but it did not happen. The radiotelephone rang in her briefcase. He rang thinly and demandingly. And it was the chief.

The boss was in a bad mood. Scolded her for almost an hour of fruitless waiting in the office, demanded that he report immediately and threatened with dismissal. Madeleine had to listen to all his accusations and accusations before he could insert a word:
"We have customers, Mr. Berg." On the house «BEVERLY HILLES 68134/27»
Hearing about the buyers (and on that house, which was like a bone in the throat), the boss immediately matched. He called her clever, beautiful and asked to excuse me for the last war.
Madeleine listened to compliments for a very long time, after which El asked for the receiver.
"Mr. Berg!" He said happily, as if he had known for a hundred years. "I′m talking with you, your buyer, El Stenderi." I really like your home and your staff member Miss Madeleine Millen. You can wait another hour, or come here for her. I have cash with me and today I was going to buy this house - we are just now making a deal.
- Yes, yes, of course, as it will be convenient for you, - the boss was very lively and hot (especially when he heard about cash). Tell Madelyn, I′ll come.
And he hung up.
"He′s coming for you, about an hour later," Al said, handing the device to the owner.

Madeleine sent the phone to her briefcase and looked at Ella for a long time with a smile:
"Tell Al, how do you do it?" She asked.
- What is possible? Al asked with a smile.
- Sofa, table, coffee, this diplomat with money. I know, all this was not. It was empty here. I perfectly remember. No furniture, just a small table for the registration of the contract and several chairs.
She took a short pause and continued.
"You might think that you are a skilled hypnotist and you′re fooling around with me ... but for some reason I believe you."
Madeleine smiled.
"You believe, and that′s fine. So life is getting better, and everything will be fine.
Al took her hand and said:
- Everything is real here. Sofa, table, coffee and of course money. Nothing will disappear. Neither today nor tomorrow, never. All is fair.
Madeleine looked at him again, with a smile. Thoughtfully. I realized that she did not need any explanations, but she still asked:
- And yet, how do you do it?
I asked out of pure curiosity.
"Let′s just say I′m a good wizard." Madeleine, do you believe in miracles and wizards?
Suddenly she remembered that in her childhood she believed in miracles very much and dreamed of meeting a good wizard. I remembered and laughed gaily. So her childhood dream came true. Here they met.
"Of course, of course I do," she said joyfully and laughed with happiness.
Al laughed too. They laughed together, and later Jack joined them. And everyone was happy.

Five minutes Madeleine enjoyed the fragrant and already cooled coffee, then put down the cup and said in a businesslike way:
- So. Good. You have done your job, but now let me finish my own.
She got up from the couch, took her black briefcase and sat down on the couch again.
"I do not have all the papers with me," she warned at once. "The rest is from the chef." And another lawyer should appear to witness our deal. Everything will go from two days to one week. But you can formally settle in today. Arrange, settle, please. If there is money.
"Thank you," said El eagerly. "We will take advantage of this advice."
"All right," Madeleine said, and closed her briefcase for a while. "Then I must show you this house." So that you are convinced that he is really big and classy. And it is worth this money. Let′s go to.
And she readily got up. And he got up and Al.
"With joy," replied Al.
And Madeleine. She was just shining with happiness. Smiled, my eyes burned, there was a blush on my cheeks and a smile did not leave my face.
- Now, now, I′ll make you such a presentation - you just fall in love with this house! Get up, Jack, let′s go explore the property!
She noticed that Jack was sitting on the couch and was kind of lazy. He no longer drinks coffee and does not look around, but he closes his eyes, smiles and rests. Madeleine wanted to fix it. She wanted both Stendery to be on her feet, rising and falling from floor to floor and admiring her new home. She also wanted to prove herself as a seller. But Jack, he obviously did not want to:
He opened his eyes and explained with a smile:
- Guys go alone. I′ll stay if you can. Can?
And after it sounded no longer as a question, but as a statement of the fact El immediately understood everything.
"Of course, of course," he said to Jack. "Stay here, if you want."
Madeleine explained this:
- The guy was very tired for today. Was. We are with him today, almost all of Los Angeles went around - let him rest. And you tell me - I will listen carefully and remember.
"Tell me, then," Jack said, across the couch.
"Of course," Al assured him and looked at Madeleine. - Let′s start?
"Let′s begin," she agreed with a smile and determination.

I went out into the middle of the hall and announced:
"This is the hallway of this huge house." It is also huge: 50 square meters. However, here you can not only meet guests. You can arrange festivities, play active games, tell anecdotes and everything your soul desires. There are many cherished doors.
Madeleine, with knowledge of the matter, went to one of them, turned the golden handle and pulled herself. This door was in the middle of the hallway. Right opposite the front door.
"This is a pantry," she said. - Not very big. Three meters in length and three meters in width. But very capacious. It is full of all kinds of drawers and shelves.
In the pantry, in fact, there were a lot of cabinets, shelves, night tables (Al looked around the corner of his eye), but Madeleine did not stop for a long time.
She closed the door and said:
"You′ll figure this out."
And then forgetting about the pantry, she took a decisive step and smiled widely to the right corner of the hallway. There she jerked at some secret pen and, in front of Ell and Jack, the wall drove away. And a view was opened of a very bright room, furnished with tables and chairs. The door, which had moved to the side, opened a very wide passageway, and two tables and the edge of the third one could be seen at once.
Entering inside this room, Al slightly surprised. Before him there were 7 round tables, a bar counter and a billiard table somewhere far away. The room itself was very long.
- Ah, that′s impressive! Exclaimed Madeleine. - This is a real bar with alcohol, snacks, billiards, even you can put a jukebox. It seems that the former owners had him here.
Madeleine walked past the bar and pointed to the place where the jukebox used to be.
She also opened a small door in the wall and announced:
"There′s a small kitchen here." She′s really small. Only two square meters, but very comfortable. There is a working stove, a sink, a dustbin and a cupboard with dishes. For cooking light snacks and medium-sized dishes, that′s it. Here you will always find the most necessary, prepare a ton of food in a hurry, please your guests and yourself.
Leaving the kitchenette pointed a finger at the closed door at the end of the bar:
"It′s a food store." He himself works as a huge refrigerator and in his far corner is a special freezer. There you can store fruits, vegetables, greens, meat, fish - anything. Even if you accidentally forgot the ice cream in the warehouse, in a week nothing will happen to him. Mmm, I personally, I love ice cream!
Finished with the bar, Madeleine moved back. That is to Ella
- Well, how′s the presentation? She asked with a smile. - Like?
- Very like! Al smiled. - It′s so cool, I′m just delighted!
"Well, Al, let′s go on, you′ll still see it!" - she said.
They left the bar and went on.

She opened another secret door, and she and Ell joined the long, half-lit corridor. It was divided by a fairly wide wall, and there were a lot of doors again.
Madeleine took turns opening them and imagining:
- Behind this door, the stairs to the second floor (the door in the oblique wall right next to Ell). For this living room (in the wall to the left). Here is the second living room (a little further from the first). There is a bathroom. A washbasin, a toilet and a shower all together all nearby (in a wall-partition).
Closing this door, she went to Ella and smiled:
- This is, in fact, a brilliant house. So many places.
She took his hand, smiling, looked into her eyes, and without saying a word, she embraced and kissed her lips. Then she dragged her into the bathroom and closed the door behind her.
But there was no continuation. There was a serious conversation for a couple of minutes, and Ella managed to convince her that it would be better to wait for her beloved, rather than indulge the blind instinct. And since he could convince Madeleine, she did not even feel offended: neither on him, nor on herself.
I left the small room very pleased, holding Ella by the hand and repeating:
- What a cool Al! How proud I am that I met you!
And they walked on, still holding on to each other, continuing to inspect the house.

Al asked Madeleine to shorten the presentation to 30 minutes and tell only the most basic. He knew perfectly well that she was very tired and would have been home, if not for him. Madeleine, in turn, was very grateful to him.

"I′ll take only four hundred thousand with me, as a deposit," she said, when the presentation was over and everything was over.
She opened her portfolio and with the help of Ella began to transfer money there.
"Tomorrow we′ll get in touch with the chef and arrange all the documents," she said between the money. And suddenly stopped loading. "Al, do not tell him you have a million dollars." He, as he hears, immediately raises the price. He is very greedy.
Her voice was very alarmed. And it felt a reciprocal desire to help.
"All right, Madeleine, thank you for your advice," Al said. Also has reminded. "Remember my gift?" Do you want, or not, a hundred thousand dollars?
Madeleine blushed profusely and admitted:
"I will not lie, I want to." It′s not a hundred bucks, especially from such a man, but ... The boss will probably check my briefcase. If he finds ....
"Madeleine, Madeleine," El stopped her. "Have you forgotten, am I a good magician?" I will so spell your portfolio that he will not find in life.
Madeleine looked at him with a smile, and then she laughed loudly.
- And give! - she exclaimed. - Witchcraft! And properly conjure!

Her briefcase, light at the very beginning of the day, was now so heavy that she had to carry it in two hands. Besides, he swelled like a football, and seemed to threaten to burst at any second.
Madeleine carried him only a couple of meters, and then handed Ella at his own request. And at the gate again took in both hands.
"There," said Al. "Your boss will soon arrive and take off part of the cargo."
This is both an encouraging joke on the road. Madeleine was smiling.

The first twilight fell on the Earth. They said goodbye.
She could not contain her feelings and put a heavy briefcase on the road and hugged Ella. And he, in turn, embraced her. With hunting.
"Thank you, Al," she said sincerely. "You just saved me today." Gave a second life. And then it′s not even about money. What you said, what you did for me ... Al, I′ll never forget you.
She wrapped her arms around him and cried.
"I will not forget you, my dear Madeline Milena." Go and be happy.
"It will be so," Madeleine said and picked up her portfolio-ball from the ground.
And she no longer seemed that serious, business woman. More like a girl. Young, gentle and insanely beautiful. Loose red hair, shine in cheerful green eyes, blush on cheeks and dazzling white tooth smile.
She reached for Ella and kissed him gently on the cheek.
"Until tomorrow," she said with a laugh. - Tomorrow we draw up the documents, remember?
She slipped into the open gate, just walked along the street and the last thing that Al saw as she got into the car of the chef.
Returning back to the house, he again returned to his dream. BECOME A MAN. How I would like to find my half, feel dizzy and attracted to the opposite sex, or at least feel the kiss that she gave for parting.

Entering the house, he found that he was shrouded in semi-darkness. El intuitively reached for the wall, clicked the switch, lit, a beautiful chandelier under the ceiling and again it was light.
Jack sat on the couch and frowned at the sudden light.
- Did you? - he asked.
- Did you? Al nodded.
I went to the sofa and sat down on it. Next to Jack.
For some time they were silent, then Al looked at Jack, wanted to say something, but Jack outstripped him:
"Al, I understand you perfectly and do not blame you." You′re just the way you are and you like helping people. I think it′s great! You′re doing fine, Al! It is a pity that you can not have a girl yet!
Ella′s mouth closed itself and he thought: "Wow! I guessed my thoughts! What are they unique these people! "Thought with admiration.
And he asked this:
"You′re worried, Jack." Thinking about something important and complicated, and not about Madeleine. It′s true, right?
Jack smiled.
"Did you read my thoughts, or did you guess?"
- Guessed. If I did, I would say what. Just a few observations and the view you have is painfully disturbed. You did not just let me go with Madeleine - I wanted to be alone. There is no coffee in the coffee pot, so your reflections were serious. And because you are very worried now, that means you have not decided anything yet.
"What makes you think that I′m worried about something?"
"Come on, Jack."
"Is that what′s written on my face?"
- Yes, it is written.
"And that all my disguise is in vain?"
- Yes, it′s vain. At least you will not fool me, by her.
- Oh my God! Jack sighed sadly and lowered his head. "I should never be a great spy!" Gotcha!
"Come on," Al said and touched his friend′s shoulder. - Who knows? Better tell your friend Ella what′s wrong.
Jack looked up and confessed:
"Al, I′m still wondering if I′m at my place?"
After a pause, he explained:
- So much around the new and unusual. Such opportunities. I honestly do not know. Just a couple of days ago, I was a simple beggar, and now I have all the best for dinner, this huge beautiful house, a magic amulet in my pocket, and only God knows what else lies ahead. I ask myself: am I worth it? Do I need this? Is this my place? And I can not find the answer.
"I understand you," Al said, even without thinking. - Everything happens very quickly and you′re scared of that, right?
"Well, yes." Jack nodded back.
And El thoughtfully. For a long time he sat, looked at Jack and smiled:
"Listen to Jack, and if you want, I′ll help you solve this problem."
- Help me! said Jack happily, and his eyes flashed.
And there was no doubt that it would help. He knows the answer to every question and can help everyone.
- So to solve it once and for all! Continued Al.
"Help, please," Jack agreed.
"So never again to return to this."
"Al, help me, please."
Jack lost his patience and was slightly offended by his friend. He says, he says, but does not help. Jack could not understand this.
Al was very serious.
"The problem is you, Jack." That you are very insecure. The fact that you do not know how to enjoy life and all the time you think how poor you are. POOR Jack, although you have a MAGIC AMULET in your pocket, THOUSAND BANKNOTES in your bosom. And you always think about the fact that everything is expensive and you are not worthy of anything.
El paused and continued:
"You were poor Jack, but now your life has changed." You are rich and happy - remember this. You no longer need to think about money, you no longer need to think about where you live and what is. This is your new life, your new opportunities. Enjoy and enjoy.
Al paused again. And Jack did not interrupt him - he understood that the matter was serious.
And Al. Looked into his eyes, smiled and said:
"And yet, Jack, this is only one possibility." From a million opportunities. I honestly do not know how you lived on the street. Maybe THERE, you can get much more than HERE. In general, let′s choose.
And to Jack at the same time it seemed that the room itself had split in two. On the one hand, a black, leather sofa, a table, a coffee pot - a huge space of an unoccupied place; on the other hand, everything is limited - a small red sofa, a small room, a table, chairs and books.
It was very strange, but from this side Jack did not see anything else. Only this room. And where not to turn your head, there is only this room everywhere. He even thought he smelled old books and dust, between their pages.
And on the other hand, only a large and bright hallway, a sofa and so on. And smells. The smells of everything fresh and fresh.
To top it off, Al himself disappeared. Just that he was sitting next to him on the couch, and now he′s gone.
But Jack heard his voice. Somewhere in the head. As if Jack′s "inner self," decided to talk to him.
"Jack, this is an illusion." A clever illusion that I brought to your brain for a while. I′m not here, so do not look. It′s Jack′s crossroads, and you′re all alone here. It′s about the same as what′s happening in your soul right now. Or maybe I′m wrong?
"No, El, that′s right," Jack said immediately into the void.
And the answer came immediately:
"Glad to try, Jack." Well, I think you already understood everything: on the one hand - street and poverty, and on the other - wealth and happiness. Choose Jack. Seriously think what you want for yourself. Either to wander in the streets, live, anywhere, eat snacks; either to live in abundance, to the fullest, and to reach those heights that he had never dreamed of before. I can give you everything you want, but there will be no way back.
"So it will not happen?" Jack objected. "I′ve seen so many." I know so much. If I want to, I′ll go back to the street, for example, I will not rest there. Such an event and forget!
"If you choose the street, Jack," Al said impassively. "I′ll erase your memory." You will not remember anything. Neither me, nor everything that I told you, nothing at all. You will wake up, and your new day will be like the previous one. But you will not have more books, but you will decide that these other vagabonds took them to their fires. And you will wander again and again and think about what to do tomorrow. However, Jack, to be grateful, I can leave you, one choice: either an amulet, or money. You will not know where it comes from, but you will be able to use them. Surely, they will brighten up your life, but think - for how long?
Jack felt like he really did not want to get back on the street, even with an amulet in his pocket. He could be stolen, too.
"And we′ll never meet again?" He asked very excitedly.
"Never, Jack," El replied honestly. "You and I will not cross, you will not hear about me anywhere (I do not need fame) and you will never find this house (because you are very poor for "Beverly Hills"). And do not worry about me, I will find another friend (I already have several candidates)
Jack was even worse than before. So that′s easy. Drop it and replace it with another candidate. And they will never meet.
And Al, as if read his thoughts and immediately stated:
"Jack, you′re a cool guy." Very interesting and very capable. But I′m already tired of your doubts and disbelief. I respect you very much, Jack, but there are many other people who are worthy of respect and not less than you. And they will believe me much faster.
Jack sighed heavily and looked sadly at his "little room". And he did not want to look anymore.
He looked into the entrance hall of the huge house and asked:
- And in this new life, what awaits me?
"A lot, Jack," Al replied, briefly. "I can not even calculate how much." You will have other clothes, another job, other feelings inside ... your girlfriend, Jack ... do you want to meet her ?!
"I want it," Jack said without concealment.
"I′m more than sure you′ll meet."
The voice was silent and put the last point:
Jack, either go there, or here. Ten minutes you give everything. I′ll do as you say. But then there will be no way back.
And there was silence over Jack.

Jack knew that his fate was now decided. Where to be and how he should be. It′s in the street, unhappy and useless to anyone; or in this rich house, happy and in demand.
He, in general, then did not think long. And out of the ten minutes that Elom saw, only three passed.
He looked again at the "komorku", turned away with disgust and thought: "Yes, Lord, what do I think? Why do I need this trash, this cramped, this grayness - I have not ate it until I′m full, or what? "
And on the other hand, El. All of his magic items. Why, this would be blasphemy. To escape. Now. When he just touched this secret a little. Yes ahead there are so many riddles that you just can not turn away.
And how could he then, without Ella. Without this smiling and kind guy. He had never been a best friend (not counting his father). No. Nooo, Jack could not imagine this life. Already so attached to him.

He moved away from his "little room" away, to a bright, clean and large hallway. Surely he said:
"I choose this life, Al." I want to live in this big house. I want to be with a friend like you.
However, there was no change. It seems that the reality should have returned to normal, but no. There are still two worlds.
"Are you sure about that, Jack?" Al asked, after some silence.
- Absolutely sure! answered Jack.
- And you will not be sorry?
- What is there to regret ?! My life has just begun!
"And you will believe in me and in your new life?"
- I will!
"And stop working with the standards of the" poor "?
"Yes ... that is," Jack hesitated. "I′ll try, Al." I will work on myself. I can handle.
And as he was saying, the light flared up in full force, the "little room" disappeared and Al, was again in front of him:
"Ah, what a wonderful answer, Jack," he said with a smile. "I really hoped so."
And he laughed gaily.

"You know what," Jack said. "If we are together now, then let′s think up some legend, for the uninitiated."
"A legend, for the uninitiated?" Al asked seriously.
- Well, yes, they will ask us where we come from, but who are we? I like your story. You are my millionaire cousin from Canada, also Stenderery; and here I was until recently, I did not know anything about the fact that I have such a brother.
"Do you really like her?" Al asked, thoughtfully.
- Very like! Said Jack joyfully and confessed. "You know, I always wanted my brother."
And he held out his hand to Ella. Al smiled and willingly shook it.
"Now you have a brother," he said. - Twin brother, Elixicon Stenderi.
And both laughed.

"Okay, it′s already night out in the street," Al said and got up from the sofa. "You′re going to sleep here."
"Yes, probably," Jack said with a smile. - A good sofa.
"Well, enjoy yourself then," Al said, and went to one of the doors.
- And where are you going? Jack called from behind him.
Al stopped:
"I do not need a dream," he admitted. "I′ll go and examine the house and think about how best to furnish it."
"All right," Jack agreed with a smile and wished. - Have a nice night hike.
"Thank you," Al thanked. And added. - Here you are.
And on the couch a well sealed cellophane bundle immediately collapsed. Something white was in him.
- What is it? Jack was surprised.
- Like what?! Your favorite pajamas, of course!

Chapter 7. A huge house, a flying board, a fast motorcycle and a white grand piano.
Jack did not get up very long. And did not want to wake up, in general. It was so soft and comfortable that I wanted to extend this condition for an infinite period. But he still opened his eyes and looked around.
He was lying on a large, leather sofa. It has comfortable beige pajamas. Around a huge amount of space and light. That′s the answer to the question of why it was so nice to sleep.
Jack sat down on the couch and wrinkled his forehead for a long time, remembering how he got to this paradise. It was strange, because he still remembered that small storage room and his wandering life. Five minutes of memories - and Jack remembered that there was no more of his little komorki and past life is over.
Laughing at himself, Jack remembered Ell′s words: "You will have a different life now, Jack. Enjoy it and smiled. And then he began to recall where the pajamas, blanket, pillow and sheet on which he had been sleeping from came from. He remembered how El threw a bundle on the sofa, and then, it seems, there was everything else nearby.
After a good stretch, Jack got up from the couch, walked through the huge hallway of his new home, and then began cleaning pastel and own dressing.

A small round table, a suitcase with money, a coffee pot and cups for coffee - everything that appeared yesterday was safe and sound today. On the table, Jack found his breakfast covered with a bulging metal cap. Jack guessed what could be beneath him and, smiling at himself, took off the cap. The way it is. Cottage cheese casserole, pancakes, honey and pomegranate juice. "Al, Al," he thought as he started eating. "It seems that now I have such a breakfast every day." Everything was very tasty and nutritious. And this time he brought his business to the end.
On a metal tray there was another note from Ell: "Dear friend, Jack, I did not wake you and went to inspect our possessions. If you want, join me, if you want, wait - in any case, we′ll meet again. Al Stenderery »

Jack decided that he would not wait. He pulled out the amulet and thought: "So he can bring me to the right person. Well we will try it. As there El spoke, imagine the right person, make a wish and - a meeting.
Conveniently placing the amulet on his hand, he presented Ella in front of him and pressed a red ruby button. For full confidence, he said out loud: "I want, now, to meet my friend Ell Stenderi." Since this was his first desire, Jack closed his eyes and did not see how the space around him changed. As the huge living room faded, narrowed, overgrown with tiles and mud. And Al came along, collecting garbage lying on the floor (there was a huge amount of it) in a plastic bucket.

"It turns out they have a swimming pool here, Jack," Al said in that tone, as if they did not separate at all. "And it seems that they were cleaning it up about two years ago." You can imagine this.
Jack stood in the middle of a dirty and completely empty, medium-sized pool and silly clapped his eyes. Next to him was a smiling El with a bucket, but the latter did not understand anything at all.
- Where I am? He asked, not understanding.
"In our pool," Al said calmly and explained. - This is the territory of our possessions. The house we bought yesterday. Remember?
And added.
"You yourself wanted us to meet." Here we met.
Jack smiled absentmindedly.
- Yes, I just experienced the amulet. It was interesting how this thing works, - he immediately realized.
"Well, you′ve experienced it," Al said with a smile. - Satisfied?
"Yes, more than that," Jack nodded.

Al was cleaning the pool, and Jack was sitting on the green grass, upstairs, peacefully basking in the sun. They were talking. Jack, of course, offered Ella his help, but El said that he alone would cope faster. And that was the absolute truth. It took only ten minutes, and in the pool there was no more debris and dirt diminished noticeably - now Al was using a bucket of water and a rag and rubbing the dirt off the walls. I must say, Jack was not equal to him - five minutes ago he got down to business, and already the pool was half clean. So all he could do is keep up the conversation.
"And that girl, Madeleine, did she come for the money?" Asked Jack, enjoying the rays of the midday sun.
"And she′s not the only one," El said from the pool. - There was her boss, was a lawyer. We signed all the papers, all issued, shook hands for goodbyes and everything - now we are full owners of this nice house and this nice territory.
- Cool! Jack admired. "So we′re new rich people from Beverly Hills now!"
- I would say SUPERBOGACHI from "Beverly Hills"! - Al said, coming off a minute from his walls.
- Cool! Jack said admiringly. "I′m so lucky, so lucky!" Yesterday he was a poor man, and today he is a rich man from Beverly Hills!
"You deserve it, Jack," Al said, and climbed out of the pool. Reported. - I′ve finished.
He went to a low stand next to the pool, pressed a button on it. The display opened and Al began to work.
Jack got up from the grass and went up to him:
"You know," he said sadly in his voice. "Actually, it′s all thanks to you." If it were not for you, I would never get to Beverly Hills or even dream about it? Thank you, Al.
"Yes, please," he said, not stopping at work.
Then he broke away and looked at his friend seriously.
"Look, it′s enough to crumble in gratitude." This is the very beginning, as I said, so there′s nothing else to count, there was not. This house is huge and it has everything to enjoy life. I can not enjoy myself, so you have to puff for two at once. Otherwise, why do I need all this wealth?
"I understand," Jack smiled.
Al returned to work, but again looked at his friend seriously and threatened him:
- But bear in mind that I will not let you grow fat, be stupid and lose shape. I still need you. I feel that we will face serious changes in the future. And this house, the pool and everything else just so that you feel confident, strong and rich.
And Al returned to work.
"Do not worry, mate," Jack said and patted him on the shoulder. "I will not let you down."
And with interest began to look at the display, where appeared some icons and letters.


- What is it? Jack asked at last. He did not say anything, he could not understand anything.
- This is the cabinet - the controller of the pool. The language of Saltrex, so do not try to understand. But you basically do not need it. I now program it once and it is already possible not to climb inside.
"What′s your pedestal doing?"
- Controls the water in the pool and the space around it. Look, in the pool, I installed eight small devices in it.
Jack looked closely and saw that on some clean tiled walls some small devices were really stuck. Dark blue, 10 centimeters in length, 5 in width and not more than 3 in height. There are two such devices on each wall.
- This is the pool controllers. They collect and destroy dirt, enrich the water with useful minerals and oxygen, and water ... produce. Are you ready to see the miracle of Jack?
And before Jack could nod, as the pool 10 meters in length, 10 - in width and reaching up to two meters in depth, for a few seconds filled with water. This was the impression that someone dumped the water from above, and it just spread throughout the pool. And filled it to the brim.
And what water. Transparent, like crystal. Jack stood in front of the pool and clearly saw his bottom, and the meters, from which small air bubbles were already coming.
"You see, they are already working!" Said Al with admiration. - And they will work very long.
Jack suddenly wanted to touch the water. And he squatted down. And I felt one more feature. WATER IN THE POOL SWIMMING POOL. The smell was very thin and almost invisible, but HE WAS. Jack felt the water and breathed in her freshness. He could not even think that the water smelt.
"The water smells," he admitted with difficulty, his gaze on Ella.
"That′s as it should be," Al said, and left the casket to go to a friend. - This is REAL WATER, you understand - LIVING. It was not poisoned, there are almost no additives (except those that enhance its properties) - you can safely drink water from this pool and it will perfectly satisfy your thirst.
Jack could not stand it and touched the water. At first lightly, then with a full palm. Then he scooped up and checked the words Ella drank from his palm. And what a sweet was this water. And warm. Jack already, a shiver pierced - I wanted to throw off all my clothes and dive into the light blue turquoise. But Jack held himself back
- Warm it, too, these ... controllers? He asked Ell.
- Yes. They warm it up to a temperature that is pleasant to humans and still harmless to water. They make it comfortable and convenient for you to splash and rejoice.
El seemed to have guessed his thoughts. Jack swallowed. And asked:
"And this white pedestal controls them all."
- Yes. This is the main node. He remotely controls small appliances and gives them energy. There are a few simple teams that will now work for you and everyone who gets into this pool.
"I see, that′s understandable," Jack said, and touched the water again. And I experienced immense pleasure. "Tell me, will these things last long?"
- Controllers work for 70 thousand years!
"Wow," Jack said. - 70 THOUSAND YEARS. It′s a lot
"Yes, but that′s not the point," Al said with a smile. - It′s the batteries. They will have to be changed every 500 years.
"Anyway," Jack said with a satisfied smile. - It′s a lot.
El shifted his eyebrows and looked at his friend seriously.
"Jack, stop it!" he said sternly. "The batteries are my business!" I will personally change them every 500 years! Why do you need this?! Undress and jump into the water! Enjoy it!
Jack immediately withdrew his hand from the water, as if it were under current. And he did not touch anymore.
"Jack, you really want to," said Al, softening his tone. "And you look at this water with such envy." Bathe. You are welcome. It′s all done for you.
"Yes, I ... I ... I just ..." Jack hesitated for a moment. "Al, I just do not want to bathe like I thought at first."
He got up and looked back at the huge house, to which it was about 500 meters from here. And he was clearly visible.
"Let′s go and look around the house," he suggested immediately.
El looked at him with a little surprise.
"Do you want to see the house, now?"
- Yes I want it very much!
In fact, Jack was terribly embarrassed to undress before Ell. It seemed to him something terribly indecent, to bare his body, in front of him (even if he was an alien). Now, if he was alone, would splash with pleasure and dive.
Al might have guessed this, but Jack did not say. He winked cheerfully and nodded toward the house.
"Come, let′s see the house," he said.

His tour was, in general, similar to the tour of Madeleine. Started with the bar. He told and showed everything and led them on.
"It′s a bathroom, a shower room and a toilet at the same time," Al said, and flung open the door to Jack with the gilded handle.
Jack went into this small room, three by three meters, and admiringly said:
- That′s great!
"Here′s the bath, here′s the shower, here′s the toilet, and this is my today′s addition, washing-the drying-the ironing and restoring machine."
And he turned to a small, white car in the corner. I looked at her with pride.
- Washer? Jack asked without interest in his voice.
All his thoughts were fixed on the white bathroom, on the taps and shower above. And he did not think of any machines. And did not even turn to them.
"Not just a washing machine, Jack," El exclaimed behind him. - She cleans and strokes and sews right there. The best friend of any clothing. And I′m sure you will like it very much.
"Do you work 1000 years?" - Jack asked, finally turning around and showing interest in the new technology.
- 3000 years, - immediately corrected it Al. "But you need to change the batteries every 100 years." And in general, you know, Jack, I did not take an interest in these matters and grabbed the first thing that came to hand. I think if you look, you can find a machine and it′s better.
The last words he uttered in such a tone, as if to justify himself.
But Jack immediately retorted:
- Yes, everything is fine Al. Tell me how it works.
"It′s all simple," he said, and went to the car. He opened a small door on the side at an acute angle and began to explain. "It′s a receiver." Put your clothes in it and close it (just look, that in pockets nothing was). Next, the machine will do everything itself. Wash, iron and restore (if necessary) in just 40 minutes. You have then to take your clothes. She will lie at the top of this car. There is a process of lifting clothes from the bottom-up. It′s simple.
And he looked at Jack. And he proposed, with ease and simplicity, peculiar to him.
- Come on, throw your rags and check this baby in the case.
Jack hesitated.
- Yes, you know, I′m this ... .ya probably then .... now I do not feel like it.
"Come on," Al said cheerfully. "You want to wash yourself." The bath behind you. There is water. Come on. Take off your clothes, pour yourself a full bathroom and dive into it.
Jack once more looked lazily at the bathroom, blushing deeply and shaking his head.
"No ... I do not want to ... thanks, but ... I want her."
"Why are you so shy about me, Jack?" Al asked, straight. "I will not laugh at your nakedness and I will not bother you." I′m an asexual alien, I forgot. I′m curious, of course, but I can turn away, or leave you alone.
"No, I′m probably going," Jack said. - Bad idea.
And he took a step toward the exit. But the second could not do it, because his way was blocked by Ella′s hands.
"No, Jack," the alien shook his head. "You can not escape from here without being washed and dressed in dirty clothes."
"In short," he said judiciously. "You know where to put clothes." Magic amulet and money on a bathing table with a mirror, right in the corner, near the toilet. I leave you alone, my shy. Here, a towel. You′ll hang it on that hanger next to the bathroom. Keep soap and shampoo. Keep toilet paper if you want to suddenly. Bye.
Pushing Jack into his hands, all of the above, Al cheerfully winked at the boy and disappeared behind the door. And that instant the pen on it turned to the right and the latch slightly clicked in the "Closed" position. "Wow," Jack thought immediately. "They closed me" And to check everything, he drew his hand to the door. But then he heard Ell′s voice:
- You can leave this bathroom only clean, Jack and in clean clothes. I installed a special spell on the door, so do not try to open it. Consider yourself a hostage to this bath. Until then, until you are clean, neat and cheerful. That′s all, I went about my business. See you in an hour, or less, or more. And do not worry, I will not peek at you with my X-ray vision - undress and do not think about anything. I have business now.
And there was not a single sound. El really went away.

Jack, frankly, was glad that he was captured. And no longer thinking about Ella began to undress. He laid the amulet and money on a table in the corner and rummaged all his pockets along and across. To the depths of the jacket, in the very back of it, I found a dollar coin. With a smile, thinking about the times when such a coin was considered big money, he put it on a table next to the amulet and the thousand packs. Undressed to the goal and threw pants, jacket, shirt and underwear into the car. He slammed the lid and heard an instant buzz in response. A green light appeared on the dashboard. "Well, then," he said to himself. "Let′s try this little girl." And filling the bathroom to half, he dived with pleasure into its bottom.
Lying in the transparent and warm water, Jack thought and tried to find the root of his shyness. He knew perfectly well that Al was his friend and even thought that he would not allow Jack to rape him. Most likely, he just wanted to see how he would be happy and splashing around. I would have looked at him for a minute and left for my own business. And Jack became obstinate: "I do not want and do not want to." What′s the matter. Maybe the street was to blame, and those dirty vagabonds who were rumored to be "lovers of young boys"; maybe those fights and threats that made Jack very closed and timid. Or maybe the reason was even deeper. And she was in the childhood of Jack, when for a year in a row he was sick with that and that that, and then he considered himself an inferior and physical monster. Most likely, this was the real reason, and the street only increased unpleasant feelings.
Of course, El would say: "Forget it, Jack. You will have a completely different life now. " And he would be right - really worth leaving all the old and moving into everything new. Jack, and he understood it perfectly, only now he could not overcome his shyness. I was not ready yet.
Lying in a warm bath, he happily set his body under the shower and splashed under it, snorted and screwed up his eyes. Lose yourself with the scented green soap (which Al gave him) and felt at the top of bliss. Then with the same pleasure wiped.
He was surprised when he returned to the car for his clothes. His trousers, shirt and jacket were clean, ironed and absolutely whole. No holes or cuts, not a single spot of dirt Jack did not find out when he dressed. Of course, his things did not look new, but the impression was that these clothes were worn for a couple of months, but not five years. "Great!" Jack said to himself, and turned, looking at himself in the mirror. It′s a pity that only the sneakers on his feet were the same, gray and torn.

The heck jumped back, the handle turned, and the door opened with joy. And Jack saw his friend Ella, who was also very happy. And the clothes on it, too, was not torn, but whole, like Jack′s.
"Well, how does it feel?" He asked his friend.
- Just awesome! said the latter.
"How long have you been washing yourself?" Al asked seriously.
"Maybe a week, maybe a little more," Jack admitted. "Where the vagrant is to bathe, do it yourself." In the river, and then, if you′re lucky. And here is a bath, a shower, a soap, a towel. Thank you, Al, I′m very happy and I liked everything.
"And the clothes?" Al asked again. "Are you happy with my typewriter?" Did she work well?
"Yes, Al, just a beautiful car, only here ... sneakers." Everything is new, and they ...
"Do not think about them anymore," Al said with a smile. "I′ll replace them, with newer ones, or with other shoes." Look.
Jack looked at the sneakers on his feet and saw them instantly change shape and color. Now he was shod in beautiful brown shoes, brand-new and clean. And very comfortable.
- Like? Al asked.
"Yes, you know, this shoe is all right," Jack said rather, and walked a little - two steps to the left, two steps to the right. - I love.
He did not see the sneakers on Ella′s feet get replaced by exactly the same shoes, but he guessed it.
- Now! Said Al solemnly. "Jack went with me!" I have an important business for you!

The important thing was the following. Al opened one of the doors behind him behind Jack, and they went into the sick room and the bright room. We looked around. Then Al opened another door and they looked around the other room. It was the same as the previous one, in size, but much lighter. There were two windows in it. Both rooms were absolutely empty: no furniture, nothing else.
- Tell me honestly, which do you like best? Al asked. - With two windows, or one.
"Are these our future rooms?" Jack realized. - And you decide in what me to settle, in what to settle most?
"Right, Jack." I decided that we should be neighbors. You do not mind, do you? Will you be my neighbor?
- Of course I will. With joy, buddy. Neighbor.
- Well…?! What room do you take?
- Come on, the one with one window. I think you will be much more comfortable than me in this room. I do not like it, you know, when the light hits the eyes in the morning and does not let you fall asleep. And you, after all, do not sleep and love beautiful landscapes outside the window. Here, and admire them, please.
"Thank you, Jack." You are a true friend.
- For God′s sake.
They left the room and stood in front of the door.
"Attention, Jack," Al said and pointed to the door. - Look.
That hour a silver plaque appeared on the Door, on which beautiful letters were carved: "EL STANDERI". There was exactly the same sign on Jack′s door, and it was written: "JACK STANDERI".
"Why, Al?" Jack was amazed.
- For solidity. We′re now rich people from Beverly Hills, "El replied reasonably. - And then it will be easier for us to orient ourselves, as long as we settle here. And what do not you like about silver? Do you want gold?
- No, what are you! Very like! Very good silver plate! Thank you!
And then he asked on another topic:
"Are we settling in these rooms today?"
- Yes today. But first you need to look into some store, type magazines for interiors for rooms. Need some kind of visibility. I do not know how you have room on your planet. Furniture and stuff - I generally know very little about it.
"Can not you look in your suitcase?"
- It is possible, but I so want to practice the skills of communication and shopping on Earth. Besides, I think it would be very good to find some new clothes and who knows what else we′ll find. What do you think, Jack? Besides, it′s a wonderful walk, is not it? And in the suitcase we always have time.
- I think you are right. And do not forget, you promised to show me the house.
"Well, then, come on." We will all be in time.

To the right of the bathroom was a spiral staircase to the second floor. On the left began a large and rather wide corridor. There was a window, and so the corridor was light. Then a small and rather narrow corridor began. To the left was another window in the wall, and to the right, the toilets. There were no doors, but only a doorway. Through him, Jack peeked through this room. I counted four closed toilet cubicles and two washbasins with mirrors by the wall. Then, following the corridor, he saw two doors to the right.
"Undressing rooms," Al said, opening the door in front of him. - One for men, another for women.
Of course, now there were neither men nor women. All the furnishings of the rooms consisted of 4 metal lockers, several benches and hooks on the walls. For the locker rooms were showers. Left and right are small offices for one person. Four on each side. There were no doors of exit either, only the openings. And then a huge pool, about 15 meters in length and 10 meters in width.
"Three meters in depth," Al said. - And too, like two years did not clean.
The pool was clean, neat and full of water. And in the far corner was the controller′s curbstone, almost merging with turquoise tiles on the walls.
Jack was not particularly surprised. He touched the water, sniffed it, and then looked at Ella with a smile:
"Bravo, Al!" - he said. "You are the real master of this house!"
"Thank you," he said, and bowed.
He opened the door at the end of the corridor when they left the pool, and before Jack appeared a staircase to the second floor. It was clean and very light. There were two narrow windows at once.
"The stairs to the second floor," Al said. - Let′s go to.
"Come on," Jack agreed willingly.

"Second floor," Al introduced. - Living rooms and business center of the house. In fact, there is less than one-fourth allocated for the business part, and everything else is a huge hostel.
Al and Jack found themselves in a small, narrow and light corridor. There was a window.
"How many windows do you have here?" Jack asked.
El did not give him the exact answer, but said extensively.
- Lots of.
On the way out of the corridor they found many other large, wide narrow, bright and not very bright corridors. One by one, Al opened the living rooms. There were more than a dozen on this floor. And people who could live in them ... probably more than thirty.
"Listen, Al, did you and Madeleine talk about how to use this house?" Why are there so many living rooms, eh? There are only two of us.
"They said," Al confessed. - This house used to belong to one billionaire. Rather, the son of a wealthy billionaire. He arranged everything for his friends here. The same hangman and revelers, like himself. Ocal two hundred young people: guys and girls. Once a week they all gathered in the "Beverly Hills", in this mansion and had a good time. Almost this house was built as an ideal hostel. Where there is water light, all kinds of entertainment, swimming pools, toilets, sports and gyms, own bars. For two there will certainly always be a lot of space, but Madeleine asked me to use it for rent. Give people rooms for money.
"And is that possible, El?"
El thought for a second and replied:
- No, I do not think so. Vryat whether there will live strangers, in large numbers. Especially for the money. Why do we need additional money? We are so, SUPERBOGACHI! All you need to eat. In addition, we do not need too much glory either. I′m not going to reveal myself to the broad masses for the time being. So, probably, this will never happen. Although, - Al thought again. - Who knows? Even I can not foresee the future. Maybe this house will be filled with people to the eye. I do not know.
They walked along the corridors and examined the living rooms, then El led Jack to the furthest northern part of the house and showed a voluminous toilet room. Jack counted ten booths in it.
"Look further," said Al, walking along the long, long corridor and turning into a small and narrow corridor.
"This is the main kitchen of this floor," he said, and opened one of the doors.
A large and bright room with a stove, a set of cabinets, tables and chairs (Jack glanced briefly).
"And now here," and Al opened the parallel door to the kuna.
Before them appeared a small, narrow room, a couple of lockers and several hangers. Behind the opening, in which there was no door, left and right were open showers. And there it was apparently invisible.
"Common showers," Al explained. - They are for men and women.
"How is that, common?" Jack did not understand.
"Very simple," Al said with a smile. - The second name of this place: "Do not be embarrassed." Madeleine blushed very much yesterday and giggled when she explained this to me. This is the place for very liberated guys and girls who did not hesitate to shower naked and in front of each other. Here they made love, arranged single and group orgies.
"Walk around, look around," Al suggested.
Jack took a long, gut-like shower and stopped somewhere in the middle. There was a huge amount of showers. Jack tried to count how many of them, but lost.
"There are forty in all: twenty from one side, twenty from the other," Al said from the end of the corridor, perhaps having guessed; perhaps, by reading Jack′s thoughts.
Jack was not at all surprised, but only thoughtfully:
- To think how many people can be washed over time
Then he found another door at the end of the shower. Powerful, heavy, oak with a wooden, massive handle.
"It′s a bath," Al explained. - It could have climbed fifteen people - if it is in crowded places; ten - if with comfort. Some of the young people preferred not only to wash themselves, but also to bathe.
"The stove is, of course, electric," Al said again, noticing that Jack was pulling the door. - But the boards are natural. Oak wood. And the walls, too.
Jack only glanced at the bath and immediately shut the door. He turned to Ella and asked:
"Look, did the naked guys and girls really clean up and then have sex."
"And yet, as we were doing," Al replied at once to the second part of the question. - There were real, sexual revolutions. One by one. Kind of like Woodstock. By the way, this is the third name of this place.
- And in the bath, too, doing this? Jack asked, blushing slightly.
"Even more than in the shower." Bath was generally their favorite place. It took her turn, a week before the arrival, - explained El calmly and with a smile. And not blushing at all.
"Nuuuuu ..." Jack could only say, spreading his hands.
"What did you want?" This America is a country of freedom and free. Here everyone has the right to self-expression. In what, then would not manifest.
"Speaking of freedom," said Al, as his friend strode back. - Pay attention to the walls of the showers, to your right.
The walls were, like in the rest of the room, lined with white tiles, although here they were also supplemented by a rather wide strip of blue tiles. Somewhere in the meter from the floor began and through the meter ended. It was strange that such a strip ran through the entire shower room and was only on one wall, but it was so beautiful and pleasant to the eye that Jack decided it was a simple pattern on the wall.
"Did you see the strip?" Al asked.
"It′s hard not to notice," Jack nodded. "Very unusual, but beautiful." Good decoration.
"I′m sure many thought the same," Al said with a smile. "Come on, I′ll show you something else."
He opened another door in front of Jack. They found themselves in a spacious and bright hall. There were several small empty lockers and two large oval tables (although not new at all).
"This is a conference room," Al said. - And the tables were not taken away, because they were also making love and not only on them. We also ate, played cards, wrote inscriptions, molded the chewing gum underneath. Well, let′s go, Jack, for me.
El led him to the next room. There was exactly the same oval table, an empty cupboard without one door and glass, several broken chairs.
"Look, there′s another concealed door," Al said, and as if accidentally turned one of the hooks in the wall to his side.
Surprisingly, after that, something clicked, and part of the wall seemed to bounce off to the side. Al with a smile and confidence pulled for the same hook and opened the secret door. He and Jack went inside.
"Welcome to the observer′s room," Al said, and looked at his friend.
And Jack could hardly believe. He was standing in a narrow corridor, and right in front of him, like a window into another world, hung a mirror that showed the common shower "Without embarrassment."
"I can not understand," Jack said, confused. "It′s that mirror tile, in that shower."
"That′s it," Al said. - This is a special disguised mirror, on order. This room, by the way, was built to order. The bottom line is that on one side the tile does not reflect anything, but here everything is perfectly visible with the help of it.
"And that ... this former master ... he, that ... spied here for his guests?" Jack asked, blushing with excitement.
"And he was very proud of it," Al added.
Jack turned away from the glass in a terrible confusion. And that hour saw several toilets, and shower divisions. They were also open.
- And what′s that? He asked with amazement even more than before. "So he′s here ... here ...?"
"Yes, Jack, yes," Al said. - He could calmly fulfill his needs. Himself invisible and at the same time observe others.
"And he′s here ... here ...?" Jack was still worried.
"What do you want, Jack?" Of course, he masturbated here. You people excite such things. You′d think you yourself never did this?
From this remark, Jack blushed even thicker, although there was nowhere to thicken, and El not noticing, continued:
"At the end of the day, these are his personal toilets; his secret room. Could he have supposed that his house would be bought by an alien who would know everything about his life and secret attachments.
"Pervert," Jack could only say.
"An ingenious pervert," Al added immediately. And he explained gaily. "Just think about how he organized everything here." How many friends he had. He told everyone that it was such a beautiful, patterned tile, and he himself was watching them from the other side because of this tile. And no one suspected him.
"And do not think, Jack, that he was so alone," he said again. "Many of his friends were here." Both male and female. And even those who participated in the orgies on that side of the glass were here.
"Yes, yes, yes ... and they organized orgies here!" Jack interrupted nervously. - I know! Do not continue, please! I understand that you have studied the life of this bastard very well, but I hate listening to it! Better get out of here.
"As you wish," Al nodded.
They left the room together. El returned the hook to its original position and the door again merged with the wall:
"By the way, it was not such a bastard," said Al along with Jack, heading for the exit. - He was dissolute, irresponsible, depraved and sometimes very stupid, but the guy had good inclinations. And he never wished evil to anyone.
"Wow," Jack said, surprised. Where so much information El. Again your intuition.
- No. One of my computers. At night, I made all inquiries about the former owners of the house.
- A computer. You′re like a computer, Al.
"No, Jack." I know a lot, but sometimes I need help too.
- Well, what does he say your computer says: why that guy was such a debauchee?
"He was a very unhappy man." Lived in luxury: friends, girlfriends, money, entertainment, but never met happiness. He had many women, but was not the only one. There were many friends, but there were no real friends. He suffered greatly from this.
- And peeped as others fuck.
- Such, millions, Jack, believe my intuition. On Earth millions of unfortunate people. And all of them lack the same.
- And why ?!
Jack was very worried. And even stopped, wanting to hear the answer immediately.
And the answer was very simple. Al smiled and said only one word:
- Love.
- Love! Jack said, like a magical spell.
And Al continued:
"They do not have enough love, and now they steal." They spy, spy and hope that it will become easier. But no, it only makes it harder. Because love has its own, and it can not be stolen, like some thing.
"And in general, I think sex is not love," he said after some thought. - Or rather, no, sex should be, but it′s not all that is needed for love. You people give secrecy very great value, and it′s wrong ... it′s important to feel ... understand ... .state who is next. Quite possibly ... love ... without sex .... I think so.
And then Jack saw something he had not seen before and did not expect to see. Smile from the face of an alien, as the wind blew. For a few minutes he just looked around absentmindedly, then became even more confused, looked sadly at the floor, and Jack even seemed to blush.
"In general, I do not know, I do not know anything about you people," he admitted sadly. - I do not know either love or sex, forgive me. And in general this situation, where you can easily tell me mate. I′m not even a person to talk about it.
And he darkened so much that Jack immediately wanted to comfort him.
He laid his hand on the shoulder of his twin brother and said sincerely:
"However, you reason as a real person, Al, buddy." I did not expect this from you.
"You would know how glad I am to hear that, Jack!" said the newcomer with great joy.
And a happy smile appeared on his face again. And shone even brighter.

On the way to the third floor (this time Al wanted to use a spiral staircase), a conversation was held about the former owner of the house.
- Listen, what kind of guy owned this house before? Who is he?
- His name was Kurt, last name ... well, it does not matter, in general, the son of a famous billionaire tycoon in Los Angeles and many other cities. He was a very spoiled, irresponsible and weak person. At one time he even dabbled in drugs. Father (Michael), almost got his son out of the house when he found out, but since this is the only son, he took pity and was sent to a paid hospital and treated for addiction. About three years ago, Kurt returned to his father and he looked better than before. He had a girlfriend (by the way his best option), he was going to marry her. He asked his father for money for a house on his own project ("dream house," as he called it). The father gave him money and gave it from above. And at the same time the place of future work. He was very glad that his son took up his mind. Exactly a year for the project Kurt built this house. Drug 27-year-old son of a billionaire no longer touched, but he had many other bad habits. Women, alcohol, gambling. He gradually returned to his predilections, being in this huge house. And rolled. Gradually, he wiped out all his father′s money, got bogged down in debt, lost an expensive woman, drank heavily and indulged in debauchery.
- I wonder, and then what?
"Then he just escaped." Nothing to anyone, let alone, to Australia. Hoping to hide from creditors and "well-wishers". On January 1, 1975 he simply took and disappeared. And friends who came to congratulate him on the New Year, found the house empty. Where he left no one did not recognize. No friends, no creditors, no father. Yes, my father actually did not give a damn. On the same day he renounced his son. And since this house never suited him and he categorically did not want to live here, he decided to just sell it. I found one real estate company, paid them well and set a price, which could hardly give him a quarter of the money he spent on his son. Well, and then, you know.
"Still interesting," Jack said as they walked out onto the stairs. "What happened to that guy?" With Kurt? And why are you talking about him in the past tense, and Al?
He stopped, put his hands together and waited.
Al explained:
"Because, he′s no more, Jack." Therefore in the past tense.
"I mean, no," Jack said, and ripped the lock out of his hands. "What did they kill him?"
"No, he was not killed." And none of the creditors found him, although very many were looking for him. Kurt was killed because of an accident. A week ago. No one has learned about this and will never know.
"How did it happen, Al?"
- Very simple. The guy was hiding from debts. He hid in the wilds of Australia, repainted his hair, changed his passport, changed his appearance. For a long time he lived in one small town, inconspicuously. Then I wanted to dive in the Indian Ocean. He was not lucky. The hired guide was as stalwart as he was. I took him to a place where it was pretty deep for diving. And there, in the crevice, there was a nest of piranhas. The guy was eaten in less than two minutes. A guide, creepy, he did not tell anyone about it. Fortunately no one asked.
- Wow! Jack could only say.
"Yes," Al agreed. - And no one knows anything. For all, he disappeared, but where it is unknown. There was a man, and no. And the gnawed skeleton, which now lies in a deep-seated crypt, no one will ever see.
"Sad," Jack said.
"Yes, that′s right," Al agreed. "A ridiculous death." But what kind of life, such and death.

"My father allowed Kurt to build the house, because he wanted it," Al Jack said as they went up to the third floor. - There were only a few conditions. A quarter of the house had to be given away, for serious business work and sports. And the guy so cleverly it all has scattered - like also a stash, and you will not reproach.
"You saw the office and the conference room," Al said, opening the next door. - And this is a gym, meet you.
The room was bright and big. Here stood a few simulators, in the corner lay a few dumbbells and weights, there was a bar. But it was possible to put in a lot of other things - there were plenty of empty places.
- How do you feel about the sport of Jack? Asked Al, very seriously.
"Positively," Jack said as seriously. - There was time, I even went to school sports. Well, it′s ... when ... my father was alive.
And he was humbled.
"Do not be sad, Jack," Al said cheerfully and touched his shoulder. "You can not return your father, but you must live for those who are close." A more cheerful friend. You are waiting for a lot of training, and you will not quit this school - I promise.
"Well," Jack said with a smile. - I′m ready.
- Great! - Al beamed. "I′m very glad to hear that."
He showed Jack a small dressing room, another door opened, and Al said, walking out into the corridor:
- All the sports on it have come to an end, games, entertainments, dances and all that soul will want have begun.
Al opened the next door to Jack and they were in the game room. There were several slot machines, two billiard tables and several chairs.
"There was also roulette before," Al said. "But something broke there, and Kurt threw it away." And Michael did not even touch anything. He hates gambling with his whole soul, and so he sold them to us together with the house.
"Do these work?" Jack asked, touching one of the machines.
"They′re working," Al assured. - There, what a primitive video game, such as "Pinball". In general, tell me honestly, Jack, do you like computer games?
"Honestly, not really," Jack admitted. - I do not deny them, no. I once played computer games myself. In some ways they are fascinating. Especially, now this innovation. But me and without games it is interesting to live on light.
And again Al gave him a smile:
"You′re right, Jack!" You are very right! - He praised it. - Computer games - this is another self-deception. Another human weakness. And she essentially does not give anything, only takes away. I′m very glad Jack, that you appreciate real life, and not these artificial entertainment.
"And at the expense of new products, Jack, you really believe me," Al said again. - Now the computer games industry is at the most primitive level. If you want, I′ll show you things much more perfect, which are not here, and for a long time will not be.
He opened the next door and invited Jack to continue his inspection.
He again led along the corridors and showed: a huge cinema for 150 seats, a kitchen with all the appliances, a long dance hall in which there were no objects, living rooms, toilets and showers (separate and shared).
- How did it happen that we sold the house together with the furniture in some rooms? Jack asked as they returned to the stairs.
- Michael was very angry with his son and took very few things back. There, in fact, so there were very few things after the son disappeared. Friends and girlfriends were still those who were stealing something here and there. The father took only expensive and necessary things to himself. He gave me something, sold something right there. The rest, let it go by the hammer. I decided to let everything get to the new owners, and those who want to let and do with this good, - explained El.

"Al, I have a very serious question for you," Jack said as they climbed to the 4th floor. - Can.
"Of course you can," said El eagerly. - Ask your serious question.
"The tax issue," Jack said, and stopped.
- On taxes? - asked El in amazement and stopped too. "What do you want to know about taxes?"
"There are so many baths, showers, toilets, swimming pools and other things in this house - it′s just that your head goes round when you think about it." And you will think, how many there are all these services - in general you are daring. Al, for several months we lived with a father in a very rich house and paid for all services more than two thousand dollars a month. And this house .... I do not even know!
"I do not know either," Al confessed. "But maybe twenty; maybe thirty thousand dollars a month.
"It′s just crazy!" - Jack immediately exclaimed. And then he asked very seriously. - And how do we pay these 20-30 thousand, and Al?
Al winced at such words.
"Jack, do not talk about such a trifle," he said seriously. "You live, enjoy, enjoy, and I′ll settle the taxes myself, be sure."
And began to climb the stairs, again.
"Al, but are all the ones that you came up with, or can you think of something else?" Tell me! I′m interested! Jack asked, catching up with his friend.
"There are a lot of options how to deal with taxes for this house," Al replied, quite honestly and sincerely. - For example, you can contact any bank. Invest in it for a million thirty, find the right person, apply for it special interest from the amount and let him translate to the tax office once a month. You can entrust these cases with magic amulets. Years on 25. Let once a month receive money from nowhere and themselves, all the papers are filled. For that matter, it′s possible to blow all the knots with one blow ... make a wish to be free of taxes for the house forever (though you need something stronger than an amulet).
Al stopped again.
- You remember the main thing Jack, nobody will drive you from this house. HE IS OUR HOUSE. OUR, UNDERSTAND? YOURS AND MYS - SO IS AND WILL.
He put his hand on Jack′s shoulder and said:
"You′re free, Jack." It is FREE. And rich. FANTASTICALLY RICH. And you are no longer part of the system - you are above it. You do not need to report to someone and are afraid of someone, now. YOU′RE RICH, Jack and all you need now is to enjoy this wealth.
Jack smiled, his cheeks burned with a blush, and for several minutes he gathered his thoughts to something worthy to answer.
And he answered. He put his hand on Ell′s shoulder and said sincerely:
- My main wealth, El - it′s you. Acquaintance and friendship with you is the greatest success in my life. I am very glad that we are together.
"Thank you, Jack," Al replied. - You are a very good person. And I think that I, too, was very lucky with you.

"Welcome to the fourth floor," Al said as the staircase ended and rested against the white door. Actually, the stairs on this completely ended.
Al threw open the door and led Jack into a long and very bright corridor. It must have been the longest and brightest corridor in the whole house.
"There are only two corridors," Al said enthusiastically. "There are few rooms here and this is the last floor." The house ends, just like my tour.
- This floor can be called sports - scientific research. Now you′ll see everything, "Al said very happily.
He opened the door to the right, very near the door to the stairs, and Jack saw a large, bright and absolutely empty room.
- It used to be a research center. There were computers. I will also put it. And the most powerful.
He was very pleased, as if he had already installed these computers. And Jack, not wanting to interrupt his triumph, asked only once:
"Why did Kurt want computers?"
- What do you mean why?! Jack was surprised. - To monitor the state of shares on the exchange. He was a stockbroker, like his father.
The next room was the same size. And there were a few safes in it. Large, heavy, black. Expanded and completely empty. The door of this room was also different: it was thick, metal, with a few locks.
- The bank? Jack asked, slightly uncertainly.
- It is possible and so to say. A small pot under his nose. A small monetary depository. Kurt′s money was kept here. In safes. They were stored until they evaporated, "El explained without much enthusiasm.
Jack again had a question.
"Did Kurt have that much money?" It seems to me, or was there a much smaller amount than expected?
- No, this is actually so. My father wanted Kurt to earn the rest of the money and fill them with all the safes. There were thirty of them.
El counted the remaining safes. There were five of them.
"These are the biggest and hardest," Al said, guessing his thoughts.
"Listen, will we also fill them with money?" Jack asked immediately.
"And believe me, we′ll fill them all up," Al thought. They will also lie on top. I′ll put all this room in money. To once again do not dive into the suitcase.
Al closed the vault, went back to the first door and said:
"Jack went to see something else." My favorite place in this house.
Jack, without saying anything, moved after Ell. Together they passed an empty room, opened the door parallel to the entrance door and went out into another bright corridor. The corridor curved, and they found themselves in another narrow corridor, much longer than the previous one. There were doors to the left and to the right. There are three doors to the left, only one on the right.
"Bathrooms and showers, a spiral staircase and toilets," Al said, and one by one opened all the doors to the left.
"And this," said Al, pointing to the only door, to the right. "A real gift to me." I did not even dream that there would be such a surprise.
They were in a huge, bright room, among empty high cabinets and several tables with chairs.
"The library," Jack guessed.
- Library! - Al beamed. "And what a great library!" There is still nothing, but I′ll put so many books here - you just will not believe it!
Al clapped his hands in excitement. And Jack looked at him with an understanding smile:
"You really like reading Al, right?"
- I love to read! - Al admitted, with joy. "Books are one of the greatest earthly values. So many interesting and necessary. I′ll choose the best and most useful that I can find and put on these empty shelves.
He looked back at Jack and asked:
"Do not you like to read, Jack?"
Jack blushed deeply and lowered his eyes.
"You know, I′ve read very few books for my life," he admitted. - There was no time, no desire, and books were not always at hand.
"Well, now, Jack, you′ll have plenty of books. Time too. So, that read, boldly and get knowledge. Of course, if you are ready to learn.
"Honestly, Al." Jack dropped his eyes a second time. "I think I′m not a very good student." I′m not very diligent and patient for books. But I think I can change this. I want, and I′m ready to learn.
- That is great! - Al shone again. "Come and learn, please." The doors of this library are always open to you.
The last room in the house, which Al showed Jack, was a huge gym. Without shells, without stairs, without mats, nets, ropes and other things - just a huge bare room.
- E-EEY! - Jack shouted into his depth, especially louder to hear the echo.
- HE-HE-IT, - immediately echoed.
- YAYAYAH-HAAA !!!! - Jack shouted this time louder and more fun.
"Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha," laughed the echo in a couple of seconds.
Jack really liked this game with an echo, and a smile for a long time did not leave him.
Ella liked it, too.
"Our gym," he said, "is very pretty." - For everything. For training, for games, for conversations, for ... everything that comes to mind.
- Cool! Jack said with delight. "It must be about a hundred square meters." Or more.
"137 square meters," Al said. - And if it is more accurate 137 meters and another 50 centimeters. In general, we have enough with you.
- Listen, but how much is this gym tall? Jack asked, looking up. "It′s a very large room." As well as the floor. He after all is higher than all the other floors. Am I right, or not?
"You′re right, Jack, this is a very high room and a floor too." 9 meters. The remaining floors are much lower. The first and third - 3, 5 meters. The second floor is 3 meters. This floor is special. Everything was done on a special scale. Library, cash storage, computer room, gym. And Kurt echoed here, too, he loved to play.
"How many of you think you can do here at the same time?"
- 40 - 50, it′s easy!
Al led Jack through the hall, to the huge doors of the gate, opened them, and the friends found themselves in a narrow and long corridor, where they were about 15-20 minutes ago.

"Then my tour ends," Al said as they walked out into the corridor. - Do you like it?
- Still would! - El exclaimed admiringly. - Cool excursion Al! Very informative! What′s next?
- Farther? Al smiled. - We can go down, do our own thing. Or…
He jumped up, grabbed a small wooden ring, hanging from the ceiling on a long string, pulled down, and ... that time a wooden retractable ladder popped to his feet. El hooked on the ring for a special hook sticking out of the floor, and pointed to a square hole that was now gaping in the ceiling.
... we can go to the attic, and then to the roof, "he finished his thought. - Let′s see, what is it like? What do you say to that, Jack?
"Well, what do you think?" Jack asked. - Of course, let′s go.
And the first took a step on the sliding wooden staircase.

The attic was one and a half meters high, very light and completely empty. There was a huge amount of space, two stairs leading to the roof and not a single object.
"What is El′s attic for?" Asked Jack, overcome with curiosity.
"For all kinds of unnecessary things," Al replied. "For all the junk." What to throw out is a pity, and there is no place in the house.
"And Kurt kept what?"
- Nothing. He never took advantage of them.
"And you and Madeleine were here yesterday?"
- Yes, we were here. And on the roof too. Come on. There it is more interesting.
- Come on.

And now they were on the roof. From here, a beautiful view of the area around the house. And the roof itself had a beautiful view. Its edges were enclosed by a small metal fence, and in the very center was broken a small and very beautiful garden. True, now there was nothing growing and there were only flower beds, but still the view was wonderful. There were small trees on the roof in huge stone pots. There were also benches: some stood at the very edge of the roof, others, on the contrary, were turned towards the kindergarten. From the buildings there were two small brick houses and a huge tall tower at the very edge. It was a construction of gigantic proportions. From one of its kind, Jack′s shivers ran down his spine.
He went to the bench at the edge of the roof and sat down on it. First, I′m already tired of walking. Secondly, I wanted to admire the view from above and appreciate the height. The height here was decent. It is on it, it was already scary. And if you go up to the tower, you will not be afraid at all.
Al sat down nearby. And Jack suddenly very much wanted to talk to him. Just to distract yourself from the huge tower behind you.
"Are you tired of walking?" Al asked, understanding.
For the second time he managed to start first.
"Yes, a little," Jack said, nodding. "This is a huge house." So high.
"It′s a very beautiful view, is not it?"
"Really, Al!" Very beautiful! Wonderful view!
After a pause and as if guessing Dzhekova′s thoughts, Al offered with an echidom in his voice:
- And went to the tower. From there the view is even better. The whole "Beverly Hills", as in the palm of your hand.
- Wow! Jack admired. "You already were on the tower!"
"I was," Al confessed with a smile. - Today, the dawn was watching. A smart place, as if it were invented for this.
- And Madeleine, was there?
- No, I was not. She is afraid of heights. She was on the roof, too, with very great apprehension, but there′s nothing to say about the tower.
"It′s a nice little roof," Jack said, and looked around.
He really wanted to translate the conversation into another topic. Do not talk about the damned tower. But El was different: he wanted to talk only about her.
"Are you not afraid of heights, Jack?"
"What pretty little flower beds there are," Jack said, ignoring his question. - I wonder what grew in them before our appearance.
"Nothing grew in them," Al replied, briefly. "There was not a garden here." You answer my question: are you afraid: heights or not?
"You know, I think the roof garden is so beautiful ..." Jack said, then stopped short. I saw Ell′s strict eyes.
"Height ... height," he giggled nervously. - Yes, what is in it ... what is ... I′m not at all afraid of heights.
He glanced around and glanced at the huge tower, than, of course, he betrayed himself.
"Why, Jack?" Al asked with a smile. "Why does she bother you so much?" This huge?
- Yes, I just think it all, but what if it falls right now and shakes me on the head. This thing.
"Do not worry, Jack, it′s solid. And he is not going to fall for nothing. And under my leadership, it will generally last for a million years and no wind, no rain, no snow - nothing will fall.
Al with a smile and admiration looked at the tower and for a second forgot about Jack.
And Jack really wanted to talk about something else. So as not to touch this giantess behind your back. But, unfortunately, there was only one theme in my head. And she was sad. Highly.

"Al, you′re all talking about hundreds, thousands, even millions of years," he said, gathering his courage. "So many of your instruments work." And you say that this is all done for me. I understand you perfectly. Al - you are a prudent and accurate master and you want to provide for everything you need for a long time, but understand - I will not live, a million years. I will not live a thousand, even 500 years to live with me beyond my powers. I understand, this is nonsense for you, but PEOPLE DO NOT LIVE SO MUCH. At least I do not know anyone who lived for 500 years. At least.
Then gloom and El. To a great extent.
Long silent, then looked at Jack seriously and sadly smiled:
"I know, Jack. You people are very limited beings. You limit your opportunities and your own life. This is a very sad fact, is not it?
"Yes," Jack agreed, and immediately asked. - What is there to do?
"I think you just need to learn to believe in yourself," Al replied. - Allow yourself to take a step beyond your 100 years and do not think "what if, suddenly, it does not work out?"
"Interesting theory," Jack complimented. "But will you change all people in the twinkling of an eye?"
- No, of course not. Do not even think. Everything should be gradual. It′s about billions of people here. The power of all my magical instruments is not enough.
- And at the expense of me alone, El, as you think, I′ll last till 100 years, or further.
Sadness on Ell′s face gave way to a smile, and he laughed loudly.
- Well, of course, of course! He exclaimed. - You will live! You will outlive! You now will live at least 300 years!
- 300 YEARS ?! Jack was very surprised.
"You see," Al explained with a broad smile on his face. - The fact is that I can transfer my energy to people with whom I communicate. And it is in you. This energy.
- And it prolongs my life?
- Yes sir. And now you will live longer than other people on Earth
- And I will see the 21st century and 22?
- And, I think, 24 too.
- Wow! Exclaimed Jack. - Here so miracles!
And then suddenly he thought again:
"Al, I′m getting old!" And I′ll be like a decrepit old man, God knows how old!
"You will grow old very slowly, Jack." The first wrinkles will appear, at least in 100 years, the first gray hair only in 200 years, and that from that that you will grow old. I think you′ll be a pretty nice old man.
"And then do not forget," he reminded her. - We are at the beginning of the journey. Maybe you can live 500 years. Or 1000. Or several thousand.
- Cool! Said Jack, dreamily closing his eyes. "Almost immortality!"

"Listen, are there immortal people?" He asked suddenly, and he opened his eyes.
"Of course they do," Al smiled. - And not only people.
Thinly hinted at him in his address, but Jack did not understand.
- And a lot of them in general?
- They are few. From the whole universe there are only 3-4 million immortal beings. But they are.
"Do they exist on Earth?"
- There are on Earth. I, for one, are immortal, remember.
"You, yes ... but you′re an alien!" And people are immortal on Earth! So that right now they were living ?!
"There are, Jack, there are such people." True, it is very difficult to find them. They are very careful, after all. Time teaches.
- That′s great! And how much do they live, in general? In hundreds, thousands, millions?
"They′re eternal, Jack." Their lives can not be interrupted.
- That′s great! Jack said again and looked into the clear blue sky. - These guys, probably, have so many adventures that they can fill out several libraries.

"Jack, would you like to become immortal?" - Al as suddenly asked.
"I honestly do not know," Jack admitted. - On the one hand, this is all terribly tempting. So much you can see and find out. Probably, and I will not be ill. Immortals, because stronger than ordinary people?
"And you can not hurt them, too," Al added. - Instant regeneration. The cut on the arm is tightened in a matter of seconds. The severed limb grows again. The damaged organ is restored.
"And on the other hand." He looked at Ella and smiled. - I understand, everything has a price. I′ll see how my friends die one by one, houses collapsed, and times fade. Nowhere is your corner. Nowhere is there any confidence. Life wanderer, not otherwise. And you can not even die. Get a well deserved rest.
He paused for a moment, then asked. With even more excitement than before:
"Could you make me immortal, Al?"
"You want to keep me company, Jack?" Together with a solitary and immortal Salt-exile?
"Why not, Al?" I′m also, in fact, an exile. All my relatives are killed, the world threw me into a dump and further: as you want. We would have made an excellent duet, I believe. We would have lived for a while on Earth, and then into space. I, honestly, always wanted to become a space traveler, and then there is such a chance! Well, Al ... will you take me into space ?!
El smiled meaningfully.
- Well, of course, I′ll take it. Where am I without you?
"Can you make immortals?"
- I think it′s possible.
- Cub of Harridika?
"No, Jack, this power is beyond your power." He will kill you even earlier than he understands your request. Only an initiate can communicate with him. But, I′m sure there is another workaround. In any case, something in the suitcase will be found. Do you want to become immortal today?
"No," Jack shook his head. - Not today! Definitely not! Maybe in a hundred years. While I want to stay ordinary Jack Stendery (even with an unusually long eyelid). And then, we′ll figure something out. I have a million opportunities, right?
Al was very pleased to hear such a phrase. And he could only raise his thumb up and say a short word:
- Yes!

"Well, how about going to the tower?" Al asked cheerfully.
Jack frowned and looked with caution back.
"No, I do not want anything," he answered honestly.
"Yes, well, Jack, you′ll like it there."
- No, honestly no. I have enough height here. And the tower ... some other time.
"Listen, Jack." Al became very serious. "You need to overcome your fear." And it′s better to start now. This is very useful for you in life. Especially if you want to fly into space. Just learn ... not afraid. In addition, I′m close and you will not leave.
"Really, will not you?" Jack asked confidentially.
"Really," Al said. "While we are together, I will always look after you." I will not let you die, break something, or something. Well, let′s go.
"Let′s go," Jack agreed with great relish.

The observation tower was 80 meters high and 3 meters in diameter. The entrance door was located on the south-east side and opened very easily. And inside there was a long and narrow spiral staircase, a huge number of windows somewhere very high white concrete ceiling. Jack pictured himself rising to the last tier of the stairs, at this huge height and he felt sick. It′s also bad because the staircase was narrow, steep and completely without rails. Jack felt a chill run down his spine as he imagined how it would be possible to stumble from this ladder. And Al did not think about it at all. Easily ran up the stairs, and overcame the first two meters, without even remembering Jack.
"Hey, Jack, what′s up?" he shouted cheerfully from above. "Why do not you go up?"

Jack overcame only 15 meters without fear, and then blustered. He pressed himself against the wall and could not go on. The height under your feet was already decent. If he falls with such a minimum, he will break his leg. And further and even worse. Especially the stairs to this had. High stairs are narrow and no railing. It seemed that your leg would turn up and even grab it for nothing.
"Jack, what′s the matter?" - Al shouted from above.
He has already climbed 50 meters. I did not feel altitude at all. He walked and walked. Down did not look. And now he looked and saw Jack, lonely pressed against the wall.
"Al, I can not!" Jack shouted and felt large tears running down his cheeks.
He tried to contain them, but nothing happened. And then he cried even harder:
"Al, I can not!" I′m afraid of heights!!! I′m very scared of her !!!
He smeared tears on his cheeks, rubbed his eyes and cried and cried:
- I′m now! Al shouted from above.
And without saying a word more, he tore himself away from his tier and extended his arms forward, like a swimmer sipping from a tower, flew down swiftly. Approaching the target, he tossed about and landed very gently on the gray marble steps.
Jack saw this and was so taken in by the sight that for a second he stopped crying:
"What′s the matter, Jack?" He asked softly, in a friendly manner.
Instead of answering, Jack rushed into his arms. I grabbed him like a native and sobbed on his chest:
- I CAN NOT, EL !!! I CAN NOT!!! I′M A COWARD!!! A WRONG TRUS !!! I ALL THOUGHT THINK THAT I do not fear HEIGHT !!!! BUT I AM AFRAID!!! VERY BATTLE !!! He cried through his tears.
He swore, complained, and pleaded for forgiveness for being such a nonentity.
Al did not say anything, just stroked his head, as if Jack was his own son. Then he took it from himself, looked into the tear-stained green eyes and spoke kindly to him:
"Jack, what are you saying?" What insignificance are you ?! You′re just an ordinary person! And it′s normal to have weaknesses! Every intelligent being has them!
- And you have! Jack asked, wiping away his tears.
"And I," Al replied with a smile. - And do not be surprised. I′m not perfect, although I seem ideal. In the universe, probably, there is nothing ideal at all, except the HIGHER MIND that created us all! So do not cry. And I have my fears. And I make mistakes.
"Wow," said Jack, a little cheerful and completely stopped crying. "I would never have thought." What secrets in front of me open.
"And I, for one, did not expect to see you in tears," El retorted.

"All right, Jack," Al said, and looked seriously into his eyes. - Listen and remember. You are not afraid of heights any more. Fear of it is no more. You are only happy with the height. The higher the altitude, the greater the joy.
Jack could feel the warmth inside him from that look. How the body is filled with freshness and lightness. And he repeated as if enchanted.
- I′m not afraid of heights anymore. Fear is no more. I′m just happy about the height. The higher the altitude, the greater the joy.
"Is that hypnosis?" He asked, when the sweet oblivion was over.
- Easy hypnosis. Harmless. Just a few days, "El exclaimed quickly. "You′d better tell me how you feel."
Jack looked down and smiled sourly.
"We are very low," he said. - It seems so to me.
"Great," Al said brightly. - Will we fix it?

Then El and Jack climbed the stairs so quickly that only the steps flashed. With joy, with laughter. El did not go, but ran very fast, and Jack also tried to overtake him. And nothing bothered him: neither the height nor the width of the staircase. On the contrary, it was only more interesting. He felt such confidence in himself that he was ready to jump from level to tier, only to catch Ella. And the growing height only added vivacity.
They were in the viewing room in less than five minutes.

"It′s a great adventure," Jack said, looking first at Ella, then at the hexagonal manhole, from which they both got out about two minutes ago. "Really, is not it, Al?"
"Yes, not bad," Al agreed, looking ahead with fascination.
The observation room was small, round and whole, consisting of windows. The hatchway was near the wall. The staircase below it ended and the steep steps rose. Every stranger needed to have a very great self-control so as not to be scared. To see below a huge abyss, climb steep narrow steps, and then climb into this window. Jack looked down and remembered himself with a smile. Now the fear of heights seemed to him to be something very distant and even almost impossible.
- Hey, Al, and I have this immunity to height for a long time? Jack asked, returning to his friend.
Al, meanwhile, went out on a narrow metal balcony around the whole observation room. There was an open space, air, sun, fresh wind and below all their land, as in the palm of your hand. He liked it much more, and it was clear why.
Jack also liked it here. He appreciated the beauty and appreciated the smile on the face of a friend, who was looking down with enthusiasm and folded his hands on a meter, steel fence. He was so enthusiastic and enthusiastic that Jack even thought that the question had not been heard. I repeated it. In vain. All Al heard, just was not in a hurry to answer.
"Three days," he said with a smile.
He did not say anything else, just watched the tender summer breeze blow his hair. Long silent, then looked at Jack and asked:
"What are your feelings, Jack."
"Pleasant," Jack said happily. "It′s so good when you′re not afraid."
"It′s temporary, Jack," Al said. - In three days, everything will fall into place and you will again feel dislike for the height. Therefore, Jack, bring up real immunity. Look down, analyze, accustom yourself to fearlessness.
El looked up and winked at Jack. With the dexterity of a monkey jumped on a steel railing and jumped on the concrete cap of the tower.
"You can start right here," he said, looking at Jack from the hood. - A great place to study.
And he held his hand down. For this, she stretched out like a rope. Jack took it without hesitation. Jerked up and he was already standing by Ella.

The cap of the top of the tower was made of concrete. Its edges were strongly bent upwards, under the trough. And the design was such that the edges formed a fairly solid cornice. He was so strong that he easily kept both Ella and Jack.
"Are the bricks covered in concrete under us?" Jack asked.
Al nodded.
- Specially, that in the rainy days Kurt does not flood with water.
Al nodded again.
- Did it lift with the help of a crane?
- By helicopter.
I also wanted to ask about Kurt. Did he ever climb this hat? But looking down was so interesting that Jack soon forgot everything.
The roof of the house, the land plot and the brick wall covering it, a pool with azure water and a white pillar of the controller - everything was in sight, everything was underfoot. And that there their pool, swimming pools in other territories was seen. Half-naked people were seen in the sun loungers and in the water, streets, cars and a few other areas near Beverly Hills were visible. In general visibility from a hundred-meter tower was excellent.

- Hello, Al! said Jack.
He sat down on the ledge and hung his legs. This idea occurred to him. I looked at the roof, then on the territory, then at the Beverly Hills, then lifted my head up to the sky in rare, thin clouds.
Next to him sat and Al. And he also looked around. And he also smiled.
They were silent. And it was good for both of them.

Later Jack lay on the hood, as if in a chaise longue, and, resting his feet in the gutter, enjoyed direct sunlight. Al was there. He also lay, leaning back on the hood, and looked up at the sky. True, not at all frowning.
Jack is fed up with this. He was, he opened his mouth to ask Ella, but then he remembered the magic amulet and the question fell away by itself. He groped for him in his pocket, mentally made a wish and pressed the ruby button. The second hand brought to his face and put on his nose sunglasses with wide panes. They were stylish, comfortable and it was about such Jack thought.
"Great glasses," he heard praise, less than two seconds passed.
"Thank you," Jack said, and smiled. - I like them myself.
"Al, will you answer me one question?" Only honestly!
- Of course, I will answer. Ask
"Only be honest!"
- Of course.
"Why do we need such a huge house?" We two! TWO! I understand, there are means and I want all the best, but this is too much! We had enough and some medium-sized two-story house, and Al! What do you think about it?
Al was silent for several minutes. And he answered so
"Honestly, I do not know, Jack. I still think about this and ... there is no answer. I just liked it. I wanted it, and I bought it. Have you ever done such things that could not then be explained
And having waited for a nod from Jack, he continued:
"That′s exactly the case." I can not explain this act so far, but I feel that this house will be useful to us. As if in the future we are waiting for such alterations that without him in any way.
"Well, Al, if you say, we really do not have a home," Jack agreed, looking at him over his glasses.
"And then Jack, who said that we′re only going to live here together?" - brought a new argument to El.
- Who else?! Jack was surprised. And in general I took off my glasses. - Do you have a candidacy?
"Your bride," Al said bluntly. - The very candidacy?
Jack blushed.
"She ... she ... she′s ... yes ... she′s not a bride to me," he choked out with great difficulty. "I do not even know if she loves me or not."
"But you love her, do not you?" Al asked.
"I," Jack thought for a moment. Then he answered quite calmly. - Yes. I love her.
"And you always think about her, right?"
- Every day I think. I remember, and everything inside of me is compressed. And all the time I think, if my life was slightly different, I would be with her, would be happy.
"Yes, a strong love thing," Al said after a short reflection. "However, Jack is already half the battle." Now it remains to find out if this girl loves you.
"I hope so," Jack said. "I mean ... I know ... she loves me ... as a friend ... but ... I really hope ... that I and something more for her than a simple friend."
Jack closed his eyes and, basking in the rays of the warm summer sun, fell into memories.

The place for revelation was the most suitable. No one saw them, heard them, there was a sky above their heads, and under the feet - a hundred meters - the earth.
"You know, I did not really get along with girls at all," Jack began. - Or rather, it turned out to be friends, play, laugh and even kiss on the cheek, but that′s how it fell in love, it did not work. I had girl friends, but that was some one, special - no. I remember them well and each left a trace in my life, but none of them had feelings. There was Becky′s girl, from the same town where I was born. She was my neighbor. In five years we played together and swung on a swing. I liked her, but only as a friend. There were Susan and Barbara - this is when I was already a courier. Also just friends. Then girls from high society. Madeleine, Amanda, Julia. Again friends. I hardly remember my mother, but I remember very well how my father loved her. I remember how he laughed, how he rejoiced. I had then many examples before my eyes. And I made conclusions. And even before my first acquaintance with the girl, it was absolutely clear to me that a man should feel something so powerful, powerful and immense when next to him his only ... that you just can not miss her. I was waiting for this feeling. But there were no feelings. There were ordinary girls nearby. Beautiful. Good. In what that naive. Something cunning. They flirted with me. But my heart was silent.
Jack was silent. And then he sighed sadly.
"Everything has changed the damned ruby." Perhaps I should say thanks to him.
- Daddies did not become, I was on the street. Then I got into an orphanage. And there I met her. And my heart flushed and I was burned. IT WAS IT. Lovely, blond girl, about twelve years old, with blue eyes. She is very smiling, very cheerful. She′s kind, she′s affectionate. Her hands are so gentle and light that she seems to be a real princess, but she does not know about it herself. Her name is Alex. I do not know the last name. She shrugs her shoulders sadly. And in the orphanage no one named her, as far as I remember.
Jack again broke off
- What I really well remember is that she had so many friends. Just a huge amount. They followed her in droves. I did not even think that she would notice me. But I noticed.
"I stayed at the shelter for the first few months from everyone. I did not talk to anyone especially, I did not write to friends. And she herself wanted to be friends with me. I went up, sat down next to me, introduced myself and held out my slim, graceful palm to me. We met, then laughed together, then hugged.
Again a pause.
"We did not spill water with her-there in the orphanage." They held hands, hugged, once she even kissed me on the lips and kept saying: "You are mine, my Jack. My man". And I was very, very happy to hear these words, my heart was beating harder. But on the other hand, Alex has such a cheerful and carefree character that I always thought it was just her pampering.
Jack glowed happily, probably remembering something interesting:
"And once, you know, started seriously planning our joint life." She said: "And then you will take me to your huge chic house and say that all this is now ours. I′ll hug you and kiss you. Then we′ll get married, and I′ll be Alex Stenderi. " When I asked if she was serious, she just laughed and snapped me on the nose. Oh my God, what beautiful white teeth she has. Then we kissed. First time, on the lips.
Jack continued to franken:
- Alex and I are of the same age. She was born in 1960, too. At least in the orphanage they told us so. Nobody seems to know when she was born. Well, so, when we were both 14 years old, it happened that we broke up. Another "good man" came (as we called such at the orphanage) and his choice fell on Alex. He really liked him. And, most surprisingly, he liked Alex. She was just delighted with this Mr. McGee ... Mali ... Mat ... Mar ... how is it there? The only thing that upset her that our roads would disperse. I was also very upset with this. I do not know how she asked for this person before me, but I know for sure, she asked. But I was not adopted with her, alas. I remember how on our last evening she hugged me and whispered: "Jack, we′ll meet again! We will meet for sure! I′m sure! After all, I want it with all my heart! With all my heart! "And left with this good man. And I stayed in the shelter.
Jack grinned to himself.
- However, not for long I was sad. In less than a month, my relatives took me from the orphanage. I lived in their house, had a room, and clean clothes and even to school I was attached. You know, I generally never lagged behind in studies, despite the confusion of my life. I understood that I have to study and studied. He moved from one school to another, was engaged in self-education (when he found the right books). The shelter had its own school, and there I also studied. Everything turned out very cool: I was only a year behind the general school curriculum. I was put in a preparatory class at Jefferson High School and you know who I saw there? You′ll never believe it. ALEX. MY ALEX. It was a real shock. WE HAVE LEARNED IN ONE CLASS WITH IT! Yes, I came to myself, a whole week.
Jack took a breath.
- She was also very happy. And we again went for the pen. They hugged and kissed again. True, not for long.
Jack was sad. And for a long time he was silent.
"I′ve been to her new house a couple of times. I saw her adoptive father. He turned out to be a very good person. He has his own grocery store in the city. And he really wanted an assistant. But not only that. This man is already elderly and has no children of his own. He always wanted a daughter. His own wife could not give birth and died about three years ago. Then he turned to the shelter, as the last resort. Alex at it very well was arranged. Willingly helped him in the store; cooked food when he stayed late, and called him "daddy."
- But to me, alas, absolutely no luck. I could not even bring Alex to my house. In this spider′s nest. So that later the conversation began. Hints. And even worse. Every time she offered to go there, I came up with new reasons to not go there. I very carefully concealed from her the real reason and very carefully concealed it from my uncle and aunt. For a while it worked, but I understood that it could not last long. Sooner or later, my uncle and aunt would have guessed that I have a girlfriend (my weak point); or Alex herself will come to visit me, without an invitation. It was a real hell: on the one hand contempt and persecution; and on the other hand friendship and, maybe, love. And a real love that you can not find anymore. And I escaped. This time, my turn was to disappear from her life.
"Believe it, Al," Jack said, finishing. - It was very difficult for me to do this. I knew that I could never see Alex again, and at the same time I understood that it was impossible to live and love like this. This girl is very dear to me, I love her very much, but maybe it′s just not fate that we are together.

Jack finished his revelation and looked at Ella. He in turn looked at him and smiled. Then he got back on the ledge and turned to face Jack, his back to the height. Under his feet was the roof of the house, the green massif of the territory and the entire Beverly Hills, but he did not pay attention.
- You know? he said happily. - What do I think about this?
- So what? Jack asked, looking over his glasses.
"I think she loves you, too." And as much as you do her.
- Why do you say that?
- I myself said that she called you "my Jack," holding the handle, hugging and kissing. Jack, how can you not understand this? Alex already then determined who would be her man. With whom she is destined to go through life.
"Al, Al, you do not understand," Jack grinned. - Alex has such a character. She is very kind and affectionate and she has a lot of friends. And I′m only one of them.
"Not just a friend." Special. Do you think she told many guys "my man". I went to the handle with many people, as with you. Or she planned her marriage. What do you think, Jack?
- But after all we were absolutely children. This could all be frivolous.
"No, Jack, it was all very serious." And children will never joke with their feelings (like many adults). So stop doubting - you′re for Alex, the same single and unique love, as she is for you.
Jack pondered for a long time, and then asked on another topic:
"Listen, but how do you know so much about children, love, and other feelings."
- I had a good teacher. Even a few teachers, "Al said modestly and returned Jack to the old rut. "However, let′s talk about Alex." What will you do?
"I do not know," Jack shrugged. - And what will you do here? We are lost and even if we are in love with each other ....
Jack could not finish the conversation, as he witnessed a new for him, Ella′s march through the air. He walked beautifully and confidently, as if walking along an invisible bridge. Under it was an absolute emptiness, a roof and somewhere there, even lower, the earth, and Al, as if he did not notice all this, walked and smiled.
- How do you do that?! Jack asked in surprise.
- What? - El did not understand. "Do I go through the air?"
- Yes exactly.
- Very simple. The space around me hardens, and I′m going.
And having explained everything in this way, Al immediately forgot about this topic. He walked five steps from the Deck and gaily brightened:
"Jack, I can help you!"
He clapped his hands in joy and winked at his friend:
"We′ll find her." We′ll find Alex. Right now.
He pulled something small, metallic, golden from the inside pocket of his jacket. Pulled to the side and here in front of him a suitcase appeared. Al opened it and with a cheerful expression began to look for something inside.
And Jack, who, for a while, was fascinated by the procession through the air, only now realized the seriousness of Ell. He understood and yelled, as scalded:
- NANNEEE-EET !!! NONNEEE-EET !!!
Completely forgetting where he was, took a step toward Ella. And he almost did not fly off the tower cap. One leg slipped into the abyss, but the second remained in a narrow gutter. What a miracle Jack kept his balance, leveled, and then squatted and embraced his knees and looked at Ella.
- Please do not! he asked. "Al, dear, dear!" I know you′ll find her! But please do not! Let everything remain as it is!
He spoke very quickly and inconsistently, and tears streamed down his cheeks. Jack cried again. And again he was afraid. And this fear was stronger than the fear of height.
El from such changes immediately changed his mind. He closed the suitcase, squeezed it to its former size, and, returning it to his jacket pocket, he returned to Jack, on the cap.

"What′s the matter, Jack?" He asked, sitting next to him. "I thought you′d be glad you could find Alex."
"And I appreciate that, Al." Seriously appreciate it, "Jack said little - calming down a little. - But do not. I want to be with Alex, but it′s been over ... half a year.
- Are you afraid that everything has changed during this time? Suggested Al.
Jack nodded.
- Very afraid. Now Alex 15, almost 16 years. She is in the prime of her strength. And who knows what changes have taken place in her life? Maybe she has a boyfriend? What if there is? Tell me: "Meet me - this is my ... Sam, Michael, Kurt, John, or something else." What will happen to me then? Al, I′m not going to survive this. I′m never going to find someone like Alex! I do love her! She′s the only one! My heart will burst with grief!
"Well, it′s unlikely that Alex has a boyfriend," Al said judiciously. "Apparently, she′s just as frumpy as you are." And at the moment she is waiting for you to return to her again.
- And suddenly, does not wait! Jack winced. - What if the guy met her and is better and smarter and more beautiful than me. I will not survive this.
"Listen, Jack, and it′s better not to find out the truth once than to hope for yourself all your life."
"Alex is the brightest, most beautiful, most cherished hope." Every day I think about it, every day I dream that it will suddenly happen that we will be together again ... and this time forever. Please, Al, do not look for it and do not try to unite us. I really want to meet again with Alex. I really want to be with her together. I feel it will be so. But do not try for us, El, do not. If, I′m her only, and she is my only MEETING IS INEVITABLE. And let it happen in its time, and not right now at the behest of a magic amulet.
Al smiled when he heard such words. And then he said it.
- You′re right. Absolutely right.
- In what is right ?! Jack was a little surprised.
- That your meeting is inevitable. So it will happen, I also feel it.
- Only, please, WITHOUT AMULETS, WITHOUT MAGIC.
"No, no magic is needed." Here the laws of the universe are on your side.
- The laws of the universe ?! What laws?
"If you want something very much, it will certainly happen to you." And these forces, Jack, believe me more than all my forces combined. It will come true.
"Okay, if that′s the case," Jack smiled. - Only you still do not simulate any situations. Neither amulets, nor anything else.
- Well I will not simulate any situations.
- Promise.
"I promise that I will not simulate any situations for your meeting," Al said and asked. - Why do I bother when everything is so caught up here? I′m happy to meet with Alex, in my time. Especially since I feel this time is not so far away.
"Well, if that′s the case," Jack said, and closed his eyes dreamily.

"Actually, to be honest," Jack said suddenly. - I doubt.
"What′s that?" Al asked and looked at him in surprise.
"You see, I should have died at that plant, but you saved me." Fate. I settled in this huge house, I have a lot of money, a magic amulet and a friend who is worth all the treasures of the world. Also fate. In the end, I met my only one in the orphanage and then in school. Again fate. A kind of success. And the further, the more. I′m very much afraid that this source will run out and the main miracle will not happen.
"Stop it," Al said sternly. "You deserve all this." So, do not hesitate.
- Yes I know. Father said: "Any reward we deserved," but what if not? What if I do not get lucky for the third time. Or Alex already has a fiance. Or not already Alex. And all expectations ....
Suddenly he was speechless. The mouth opened, but there was no more sound.
"Shut up immediately!" - Al told him evil.
He stood in front of him and looked seriously into Jack′s eyes.
"How did you get me, Jack, with your disbelief!" Stop thinking about it, stop it, understand! You and Alex will meet! You′re getting married! And you will live in this huge house! We will live here three of us!
Jack again opened his mouth, but Al in one powerful movement made him shut up:
"Stop it!" He shouted. - You will be together! And neither you nor anyone else will dissuade me! I′m sure for two, for three, for ten, for a thousand, for a million Jack Stenderi! I will not interfere in this event, but it will! WILL, WILL BE, WILL !!!!
And without saying a word, El grabbed Jack in an armful and quickly began to move away from the cap of the observation tower.

- What are you doing? - Jack asked, when speech came back to him and the height between them and the ground reached 300 meters.
"And now I′ll throw you down, Foma the Unbeliever." There will be a lesson for you, "Al said seriously, and at the same time joking.
Jack was not even surprised that he was called such a strange name. He asked:
"Please, pity Al."
"The Sols do not know pity, Jack," Al said seriously. "And you deserve it."
He jerked Jack to the left, and he stood on something solid, although there was only one air around.
Al took his hands and asked:
- Well, as a view from above!
And it really impressed. The area with 300 meters seemed small; house as a medium-sized box; tower, like a match. The most interesting thing is to look at all this, having nothing under your feet. Around was air, above the sky, and somewhere below the earth. Jack did not think that he would ever experience such impressions. And they will not be afraid at all.
- It′s just perfect Al! He said, looking at his friend.
He had a happy, happy, stupid, stupid smile.
Fortunately, Al knew how to erase it.

Suddenly, their vaporization ended, and the force of gravity worked with terrible force. There was an impression that someone took and knocked out the support from under their feet.
The smile from Jack′s face was blown away by the wind whistling in his ears.
- AAAAAAAA !!!! GO-OOOSPODIIII! He yelled, feeling the approach of his last second.
The earth was approaching with incredible speed. Now the territory has become bigger and the house is higher and the land is closer. It seemed that from such a blow Jack had to be smeared like a cake.
He wanted to shut his eyes to not see this terrible meeting, but it was so scary that nothing happened. Remained the last meter. The heart in Jack′s chest was pounding wildly, his hair was ruffled, his eyes were rounded with fear. Jack had a premonition of an early meeting with the earth, a very strong blow, crushing into many parts of his bone and almost instant death. Jack forgot about everything already. About Alex, about his unbelief, about magic amulets, about "Beverly Hills" and most importantly - he forgot who is next to him.

There was no blow. Instead, his feet gently touched the green grass on the lawn, where he landed. Jack from such a surprise just stunned. And without understanding anything, he sat down on the grass. And even thought for a split second that he was dead and was in paradise. And then I saw Ella laughing at him.
"Well, you give, Jack!" Wow! - he laughed - he believed it! With a farewell life! Wow!
- Oh, you are so! Cried Jack, coming to full rage. - Well, now you will receive!
He jumped to his feet and, with all his quickness, pounced on Ella. He thumped him with his fists, kicked his legs, and El did not even think to answer, only defended himself, or bounced.
"You idiot!" Pig! Psycho alien! How can you! Believe it! And did you think about me ?! I could die from fear! Fool!
Finally tired of waving his arms and legs, Jack fell helplessly on the grass. On the back. And he looked at the sky.
El stood next to him and looked into his eyes. Then he squatted down and thought about something his own.
"Listen, come on," Jack suggested suddenly.

They repeated it five times. They climbed to different heights and quickly fell down. And then they laughed and remembered their feelings. For the last time in general climbed to 1000 meters. It was already within reach of the clouds, and the house seemed no more than a matchbox. Landed on the main asphalt road. Just in its center. And here Jack woke up longer than usual.
"Well, Al′s adventures," he said, barely catching his breath. "And as soon as I lived without you." And through the air now I fly and I′m not afraid of heights. From great heights I fall and at least that.
"Do you want to fly yourself?" Al asked unexpectedly.

In the hands of Ella appeared a golden orange case, he opened it, pulled something out, closed the suitcase and put it at his feet.
In his hands this time was a small board of some strange metal. On one side, the metal cast a dark blue and black, and on the other hand gold and azure. Jack immediately realized that this thing is very beautiful, although he did not understand at all why it was intended.
And the explanation was as follows.
"Jack is an arbillious flying board."
And Al threw her under Jack′s feet. And the board, which was supposed to ring loudly on the asphalt, did not even touch it. Hovered 10 centimeters from the road and calmly soared in the air, as if waiting for something. There was a feeling that it was held in the air by some unknown force.
- Ar-arb ... .Why this plate? Asked Jack, who had never seen anything like it before.
He deliberately sat down to spend under the board and above it. And without finding any strings, or invisible wheels, he looked at Ell with curiosity.
"Arbilius, Jack." Metal that is lighter than air. There is such a planet of Arbillad. This metal is her work. Solts it only slightly improved.
- It is clear, but in what?
- Metal arbillium is born in the bowels of this planet and comes to its surface like sweat on the human body. The first few hours it is still quite heavy, but then evaporates heavy impurities and flies out into space itself. Forever. A few dozen of our volunteer collectors collected this metal, cleaned it ourselves and put an anchor not allowed to go anywhere. Thanks to them, it keeps so low.
Jack looked at the blackboard and saw two hardly visible contours on its surface. Residences of red, blue, gold, azure, green, black and white. From the side one could take them for fanciful patterns, but, having looked narrowly, one could guess the contours of two small circles.
- That′s great! Said Jack.
"We collected them for military purposes, but now, I think, we can use them for other purposes," Al said.
- And how many of these you collected? - asked Jack, with difficulty tearing his eyes from the beautiful board and ornate patterns.
- One billion. And maybe even less. In general, we have always had enough. It happened, of course, that they were smashed in the air (although they are very difficult to break), but we are defenders in fact less than the attackers. And then we could always make new ones.
- How? You yourself said that you were not flying away from your home planet?
- In the suitcase there is one portal, which just leads to the surface of the Arbillada.
"Look, I′ll definitely look into this suitcase."
- I catch you at the word. However, enough chatter.
El jumped to the flying board, which did not understand how it appeared at his feet, and flew smoothly toward Jack, poking his suitcase into his pocket as he went.
- Come on! He shouted cheerfully. "Jump on the board and learn it sooner."
- Can i? - Jack asked with a little apprehension (he did not do this before).
- Of course you can! Exclaimed Al. - I gave it to you, why did you give it ?! Fly on health!
Jack put one foot on the board first, and then the other. And then he felt the electric currents running down his body. Slack, but tangible. He wanted to get down, but that was not it. His legs were securely attached to the board (although there were no visible clamps). The first five minutes he just could not tear his legs off her, and then just did not want to. He felt so good, so light, and that the strangest heat was on this board.
Al circled near. Sliced a circle around the circle around Jack. He folded his arms over his chest and smiled. He stopped, turned to him sideways, and seriously asked:
"How do you feel, friend?"
"It′s strange, but the board is ... alive." I feel, how she ... rejoices!
"And it′s not weird at all, Jack." This is a scientific fact.
The board turned Ella upside down. In this state, he made several circles around his friend, and then rose again from head to foot. Rather, he stood on the board on which he stood all this time.
- Arbillium is a thinking metal. Alive. He is born in the bowels of the planet ... how could I say ... with the soul, or what?
"How′s the salt?"
"Yes, about like salt." Although I actually do not know whether we have a soul or not. But the point is that the arbillium is one of the greatest mysteries of the universe. He has his own mind, character and even some abilities (explicit and secret).
"Well, I′m telling you how you are a soldier."
"We are not so secret, and we know our abilities, in contrast to him." Arbillium is not completely unraveled. Some boards are able to climb one height, others to another. Some are slower than others faster. Some will work for a hundred years and fall apart, while others will serve for a million years - no scratches.
- It is clear, it is clear, but what does laughter mean ?! I can hear laughter!
Al pricked up his ears.
"Do you hear laughter?" Did you hear right?
- No, here again I hear. So light, gentle, ringing, like a crystal bell.
"Well, Jack, I′ll tell you!" - Al was very happy for his friend. - Either you are very lucky with the board, or you are such a person! Laughter is a sign of superior disposition! You really liked this board! She will gladly and willingly serve you and possibly reveal her secret properties to you! My board, for example, is very reserved with me. And her laughter is very rare and slightly rude. I have a medium board, and you have the highest!

4439/5000
- Ogo! – tol′ko i mog skazat′ Dzhek.

- Nu ladno, khvatit boltat′, - skazal strogo El. – Prestupayem k pervoy letnoy trenirovke
Na nekotoroye vremya zavis na odnom meste. Potom doska vzyala naklon, i on streloy vzmyl v nebo.
- Za mnoy! - prokrichal on sverkhu.
- A kak yey upravlyat′?! - kriknul Dzhek s zemli.
«Mysl′yu, - prozvuchal golos v yego golove. – Pozhelay. I dogoni menya» El uzhe podnyalsya na vysotu boleye 500 metrov, i krichat′ ne imelo smysla.
«Ladno, - sam sebe skazal Dzhek. – Mysl′yu tak mysl′yu»
On posmotrel v nebo, na Ella – melkuyu tochku i skomandoval sebe: «Vpered!» Sluchilos′, chto-to nevoobrazimoye. Doska izognulas′ pod nim i rvanula vverkh, stremitel′no nabiraya skorost′. A Dzhek – uslyshal, kak v ushakh zasvistel veter, uvidel, kak stremitel′no priblizhayetsya nebo i zemlya stanovitsya vse nizhe, nizhe, nizhe. Nevozmozhno bylo opisat′ yego chuvstva. Dzhek chuvstvoval polet. Nastoyashchiy, samostoyatel′nyy polet. Raskinul ruki i oral ot schast′ya, kak bezumnyy. Cherez paru sekund on dognal Ella. Cherez minutu oni uzhe mchalis′ naperegonki.

Oni kruzhili vokrug bashni i razgovarivali. Uzhe ne igrali, a prosto narezali vokrug neye plavnyye krugi po spirali.
- Slushay, a kak poluchayetsya s doskoy obshchat′sya?
- Tvoi nogi kasayutsya dvukh paratarskikh yakorey «VH-240(JU7+)». Yakorya – provodniki myslevoln. Oni pozvolyayut metallu uznat′, chto ty khochesh′ ot nego. Tebe uznat′, chto metall o tebe dumayet.
- Na mne ved′ botinki. Kak yemu eto udayetsya?
- Yemu ne obyazatelen kontakt s zhivoy plot′yu. Ty tok vnachale svoyego pervogo kontakta chuvstvoval?
- Chuvstvoval.
- A ya vot net. Potomu chto ves′ sotoyu iz razumnykh kletok i botinki na moikh nogakh - butaforiya. Menya on srazu pochuvstvoval. A vot na tvoyu volnu neskol′ko sekund nastraivalsya. Tak skazat′ ustranyal pomekhu.
- Chto ty khochesh′ skazat′, botinki na mne ved′ tselyye?
- On ne izbavlyalsya ot tvoyey obuvi Dzhek - on iskal lazeyku. Skazhem tak, teper′ on slyshit skvoz′ steny.
- Klassnaya doska El, spasibo! YA i mechtat′, ne smel, chto kogda-nibud′ budu letat′ kak ptitsa!
- Pozhaluysta! Rad, chto tebe ponravilas′!
- A, kstati, nas kto-nibud′ videl? My zhe zdes′ po vozdukhu narezali, kak samyye nastoyashchiye NLO.
- Ne volnuysya Dzhek, nikto ne videl dvukh letayushchikh mal′chikov v nebe. YA ustanovil nad nami oboimi bar′yer nevidimosti.
- Ochen′ predusmotritel′no.
- Kstati, eti doski tozhe mogut stanovit′sya nevidimymi, vmeste s khozyayevami. Imey vvidu. Eto odno iz ikh yavnykh svoystv.
- Ochen′ khorosheye svoystvo. Prosto ideal′noye snaryazheniye dlya lazutchika.
- A kak ty dumayesh′, dlya chego my ikh na Soltrekse derzhali? Mnogiye bitvy byli vyigrany yeshche i za schet togo, chto my oshelomlyali protivnika napadeniyami nevidimykh soltov.

Pokruzhiv yeshche nemnogo nad domom, El i Dzhek opustilis′ na asfal′tirovannuyu dorogu (otkuda i startovali). Dzhek protyanul Ellu svoyu dosku, odnako El tol′ko golovoy pokachal:
- Beri! Eto moy podarok tebe!
- Ser′yezno, darish′?! – v eto dazhe ne verilos′. – Etu zamechatel′nuyu dosku?!
- Da, daryu. YA khochu, chtob ona byla u tebya, i ty katalsya na ney, s udovol′stviyem! A potom vy uzhe podruzhilis′! U etoy doski mozhet byt′ tol′ko odin khozyain. Yesli zaprygnet na neye kto drugoy, ona budet vsego lish′ bespoleznoy metallicheskoy doshchechkoy!
- Nu, dela!
- I ne tol′ko eto. Yesli ty i v pravdu ponravilsya yey, ona budet slyshat′ tvoy zov za mnogiye tysyachi kilometrov. I yesli ty budesh′ v bede i pozovesh′ yeye, ona yavitsya tebe na pomoshch′.
- Klassno!
- Yeshche odin prakticheskiy sovet, Dzhek. Nosi yeye pod odezhdoy. Pryamo na goloye telo. Ty yeye ne budesh′ yeye oshchushchat′, a ona prilipnet k tebe i budet sluzhit′ otlichnoy broney, yesli v tebya budut palit′ iz ruzh′ya, naprimer.
- Ser′yezno, ona takaya prochnaya!
- Ochen′ prochnaya. Yeye nikakiye puli ne voz′mut. Yesli tol′ko elektromagnitnym impul′som vysokoy chastoty, no takogo oruzhiya na zemle nikogda ne poyavitsya…nadeyus′.
- Zdorovo, a yesli dopustim, vystrelyat mimo doski. V spinu.
- Ne obol′shchaysya, Dzhek. Kogda ona na tebe vse tvoye tulovishche zashchishcheno. Ona sozdayet vokrug tebya silovoye pole neuyazvimosti, tak chto ne bespokoysya za spinu.
- A yesli dopustim, v golovu budut strelyat′.
- Nu, uzh izvini, Dzhek. Smotri za svoyey golovoy sam. Ne pozvolyay plokhim lyudyam yeye morochit′ i ne davay yeye v obidu. Khotya…mozhet, eta doska sposobna vsego tebya broney zakryt′ – chestnoye slovo, ne znayu.
- Vse ravno, spasibo! – poblagodaril Dzhek. – Zamechatel′nyy podarok!
- Da, pozhaluysta, - skazal El, i oni dvinuli k domu.
- Wow! Jack could only say.

"All right, stop talking," Al said sternly. - We′re breaking into the first flight training
For a while it hovered in one place. Then the board took a slope, and he shot up into the sky with an arrow.
- Behind me! he shouted from above.
- And how to manage it ?! Jack shouted from the ground.
"A thought," a voice said in his head. - Wish me. And catch up with me. "Al had already climbed to a height of more than 500 meters, and there was no point in screaming.
"Okay," Jack said to himself. "Thought so thought"
He looked at the sky, at Ella - a small point and commanded himself: "Forward!" Happened, something unimaginable. The board curved beneath it and jerked up, rapidly picking up speed. And Jack - he heard the wind whistling in his ears, saw the sky approaching rapidly and the earth getting lower, lower, lower. It was impossible to describe his feelings. Jack felt the flight. A real, independent flight. He threw up his hands and screamed with happiness, like a madman. After a couple of seconds he caught up with Ell. A minute later they were racing ahead of him.

They circled the tower and talked. They did not play anymore, they just cut the smooth circles around it in a spiral.
- Listen, but how do you communicate with the board?
"Your feet touch the two paratarian anchors" VH-240 (JU7 +) ". Anchors are the conductors of thought waves. They let the metal know what you want from it. You know what metal thinks about you.
"I′m wearing boots." How does he manage it?
- He does not need to contact with living flesh. Did you feel the current at the beginning of your first contact?
- I felt.
- But I′m not here. Because all of the hundreds of reasonable cells and shoes on my legs are props. I immediately felt it. But on your wave a few seconds tuned. So to say eliminated the hindrance.
"What do you want to say, the shoes on me are whole?"
- He did not get rid of your Jack shoes - he was looking for a loophole. Let′s just say, now he hears through walls.
- Cool board Al, thank you! I did not dare to dream, that someday I would fly like a bird!
- You are welcome! Glad you liked it!
"And by the way, has anyone seen us?" We′re cut in the air here, like real UFOs.
"Do not worry, Jack, no one saw two flying boys in the sky." I set both of us over the invisibility barrier.
"Very prudent."
- By the way, these boards can also become invisible, together with the owners. Bear in mind. This is one of their explicit properties.
- Very good property. Just the perfect equipment for the scout.
- And what do you think, why did we keep them on Soltrex? Many battles were also won by the fact that we stunned the enemy by invading invisible salt.

Having circled a little more over the house, Al and Jack sank to the asphalt road (from where they started). Jack gave Ella his board, but Al only shook his head:
- Take it! This is my gift to you!
- Seriously, you give ?! - it was not even believed. - This wonderful board ?!
- Yes, I give. I want you to have it, and you skated on it, with pleasure! And then you already made friends! This board can only have one master. If someone jumps on it, it will be just a useless metal plate!
- Well, business!
- And not only this. If you really liked her, she will hear your call for thousands of miles. And if you are in trouble and call her, she will come to your rescue.
- Cool!
"One more practical advice, Jack." Wear it under your clothes. Straight to the naked body. You will not feel it, but it will stick to you and serve as an excellent armor, if you are fired from a gun, for example.
- Seriously, she′s so strong!
- Very strong. No bullets will take her. If only an electromagnetic pulse of high frequency, but such a weapon on the ground will never appear ... I hope.
- It′s great, and if we admit, they′ll shoot past the board. In the back.
"Do not flatter yourself, Jack. When she′s on you, your entire body is protected. It creates around you a force field of invulnerability, so do not worry for your back.
"And if, say, they shoot at the head."
"Well, excuse me, Jack. Look after your head yourself. Do not let bad people fool her and do not let her offend. Although ... maybe this board is capable of closing your whole armor - honestly, I do not know.
- Nevertheless thank you! Said Jack. - A wonderful gift!
"Yes, please," said Al, and they moved toward the house.
On the way, Jack asked:
- By the way, my amulet, can I make such a board?
"No, Jack, can not." This is the highest level. Much higher than the amulet. Mine, yours, whatever. Arbillium board he will never be able to repeat. And no magic device can. It can only be made on Arbillad.
- And what is this Arbillada?
- 17 planet, galaxy: "Disappeared". The planet is completely metal. There is no life on it.
- Wow! Galaxy: "Disappeared". Why is it called that?
"She really disappeared, Jack." It was one of the richest in resources of the galaxy, and for many millions of years it was robbed by bandits of all stripes. Then, something happened in the universe, and the galaxy just disappeared. Compressed in one small point and gone missing, where, along with the billions of their stars.
- Wow!
"She did not disappear, Jack, just went into another state." Now it is in a parallel world. Rather, between worlds. It is almost impossible to find it. So, that the amulet will not carry you to Arbillad - do not even try it. The only entrance is through my suitcase.
"However, this is not for you." If you want, I′ll get you a new board. I have a lot of these.
"No, Al, thanks," Jack thanked, and shook his plate over his head. - We have already become friends with this one. And then, we have a million years ahead.

Al and Jack were sitting on the leather sofa in the hallway of the house. Jack′s board was lying next to the owner, and Al put it on the table. At the moment, he pulled a case computer from the suitcase, unfolded it in front of him, and conjured with obvious enthusiasm the keyboard. And Jack, with even more enthusiasm, inspected the inside contents of the car.
"Is this a computer?" He asked, uncertainly.
"The best," Al said, not stopping at work. "He knows everything, or almost everything."
He put it on the table (next to the board) in its unfolded state and pressed a button.
A bluish beam flew to the ceiling, and that hour before Ell and Jack a miniature, holographic map of Los Angeles appeared. So real that Jack gasped: miniature skyscrapers, shops, squares, apartment buildings, cars traveling along the streets and walking people.
- Wow! - Jack was amazed, such miracles.
Al did not notice them at all.
"Shops and shopping centers in the city," he ordered the computer dispassionately.
That hour across the city lit many red lights - retail outlets. Like garlands on a Christmas tree
"The biggest outlets," Al said.
Ogonkov became smaller, although there were still a few hundred of them.
A few minutes El carefully studied the stores, and then announced his decision:
- Los Angeles Golden Plaza
Of all the shops there was only one left. It was a huge four-story pavilion with a circular square, with some buildings on either side.
"A survey of the floors," Al said.
And that hour one by one the computer began to show the floors of the pavilion. On the first sold cars, motorcycles, oils and spare parts for them. On the second - clothes, musical instruments, books. On the third - household appliances, furniture, rings, earrings and ornaments. On the fourth - sporting goods, agricultural tools, seeds for planting, as well as literature on the care of small and large gardens.
- That′s it! Exclaimed Al. And he ordered the computer. - Shutdown.
The holographic image of the store faded. The screen, by itself, went out. The computer got together and clicked the lock, once again becoming a brown leather case.
"At the Los Angeles Golden Plaza!" He said to Jack, inspired. - I feel that this shop is the right thing for us!
"Yes, it′s a good store," Jack agreed. "Do you want to look into it?"
Al nodded.
- Today you want for ...
He could not finish the sentence. The light in his eyes faded, the space changed, and Jack found that they were no longer in the hallway of the house at Beverly Hills, but in the middle of a wide and crowded street. Around was full of people. Someone ahead, someone from behind and all to one rushed. There was a noise and a din, someone′s discontent, laughter. From a surprise, Jack was confused and a few minutes came to himself.
And Al was pleased. He waited for Jack to get used to the environment, and then finished his sentence:
- Right now.
And pointed ahead. And ahead, like a huge multilayer pie, lay the shopping pavilion "Los Angeles Golden Plaza".

"Well, where shall we go, Al?" Jack asked, as they crossed the threshold of the pavilion.
Around, from the abundance of people and goods, the eyes fled. And Jack did not even know to begin. He thought Al knew. In vain.
"I have no idea," Al said, and shrugged his shoulders in embarrassment.
At the very sight was confused, as if going to the earthly store for him was even more difficult than flying through space.
For several minutes they thought about it together. Then Jack asked:
- How much money do we have with us?
To which Al replied immediately:
- One hundred thousand in cash each, in a jacket, in an inner pocket.
"Fine," Jack said, immediately feeling his pocket.
Then he thought about it and said:
"Maybe we′ll change Jack′s jackets." Something newer and more fashionable, eh? If we are now SUPERBOGACHI ?!
- A good idea! - Al praised.
But to reach the second floor, where they sold clothes, friends could not. Al stopped.
"Let′s pick up some transport first," he suggested.
- Transport?! Jack was surprised.
- Well yes. A car or a motorcycle. I give up, today we will buy a lot, why not start with vehicles? In addition, they are very useful in the future.
"Very well, come on."

The car salon occupied about two-thirds of the entire first floor and another dome-shaped annex. And what kind of models did it just not have:
Mercedes, Pick-up, Buick, Ferrari, Ford, Limousine
and so on. And everyone was new, fresh, seductive. Prices here were very serious: from $ 75,000 to $ 250,000 for one car, but without exaggeration you could say that they all were worth the money.
"Listen, Al, what if there is not enough money?" - Jack asked, looking at the "Pontiac" blue and worth $ 150,000.
"Do not worry," El calmed him immediately. "I′ll give you money." You can afford any car from here, but it′s better ... do not rush. Look around. We have plenty of time.
Jack really hurried a little. But it was very tempting to think that you can buy ANY MACHINE and Pontiac liked it. However, El was right, it was worthwhile to look around (you could find a car and better) so while he walked along the car line with his friend Ellom and just looked around.
And Ella, it seems, did not really care about cars at all. Before the two models, he stopped, but the rest just passed, even a step without slowing down.
And I stopped only when motorcycles started. Then Al was much more observant. He walked between "Harleys", "BlackJacks" "Road Knights", "Wanderers" and sports motorcycles of various colors, touched everyone, touched the rudders and saddles. And a blissful smile just did not get off his lips.
"Al, come on," Jack said. - It′s all motorcycles. Come on, go back. I′m there an excellent "Ford" of dark green color saw. We′ll buy it.
El only for a moment looked at his friend, then smiled and touched another iron horse.
"It′s not just motorcycles, Jack is great motorcycles," he said kindly. "You can go back and buy your Ford, and I want a motorcycle." Just yet I do not know what.
Jack, of course, did not go anywhere and they again roamed between the rows. Then they went into the storehouse, which was also quite large and only sold motorcycles. What colors and models there just was not there. The choice was more than in the store and prices too: from $ 65. 000 to $ 150. 000.
That hour the seller appeared and in every way began to praise his goods. He was an experienced salesman who was already over 50. He saw young people in front of him and very much wanted to show off his education in front of them. While he was talking, and Al was silent, the seller was cheerful and active. But as soon as Ella spoke, he wilted immediately.
Al just fell asleep with his questions. And special technical. Jack did not strain, nor did he understand half of what he said. Something about maneuverability, turntables, fuel assemblies, engine power, tank capacity, rear view, tire pressure, manufacturers and comfort. Al was so well-versed in this topic that an educated salesman, after two minutes of this communication, acknowledged with bitterness that before him is a real motto shark. It remained only to guess where El got so much knowledge.
But he himself could not choose. Every motorcycle was pleased, everyone in something was unique; in the saddle of some El sat down, took the wheel and tried the case, but it is obvious that they were only half the requirements and therefore the search continued.
Jack had long guessed that Ell had the idea of his own perfect motorcycle. But only he could not realize it. There were no worthy candidates here. Jack understood this perfectly. He also understood that a tireless stranger never gets tired, but he himself was already in plenty on this motto hall. Like the seller, who was following them with a devoted dog.

After an hour and a half of fruitless searches, Al and Jack came to where they started. Namely to the exit from the motto-pavilion.
"Al, let′s go to that Ford," Jack said. "We′ll buy an end, too." You′re not going to spend the night here, I hope?
"No, I′m not going to spend the night here, but I′ll still buy a motorcycle," said Al reasonably and confidently. "You can always find everything you need, if you look good." Maybe we were just looking bad?
- Were you looking badly ?! Jack was amazed. - What are you saying ?! We are here…
But as soon as Ella lifted her right hand, he immediately fell silent.
- And what is it? - Al asked the seller, who at the moment was looking for new, less discriminating customers.
One of his languid eyes and a weary phrase:
- "Harley Davidson" 74 years of release. $ 75. 000. Buy is a good motorcycle.
"It′s not that," Al snapped.
He walked to the end of the pavilion and pointed to a rusty, dirty and partially dismantled motorcycle skeleton standing off the street, without a motor, rearview mirrors, exhaust pipes, saddles and other things.
"I′m asking about this?" "Al said seriously and pointed to a motorcycle that looked like a skeleton with all its appearance.
The seller, who for a few seconds froze with bulging eyes and an open mouth, then for no apparent reason became angry:
- Guillermo !!! He shouted, almost to the whole store. "Bring your fat Mexican ass here!" I′ve told you how many times to remove this rubbish from our salon !!!
A couple of minutes before him appeared a full, tanned bald man with small and sleepy eyes. It′s unclear where he came from, but this was Guillermo.
"You want to make me look like a fool in front of you, Chief?" The seller asked the evil. - Or do you want me to be fired? !!!
And he burst into a desperate and swift tirade of swear words in Spanish. For three minutes Guillermo was chiding, recalling his idiot brothers and cursing himself for having arranged his nephew in an expensive and prestigious place, indulging his own sister. But Guillermo′s chubby-cheeked man only clapped his eyes and was shamed silently.
"In short," he said again in English. "So in five minutes this shit was gone."
He turned to the people (who gathered around him a fair amount) and explained:
- Sorry, family scenes.
- And yet, what is it? Al disturbed him again.
"It′s rubbish!" - Shortly replied the seller.
- Curious?! said Al and thought about it.
"Sell your trash to me!" He said after a second. - How much does it cost?
- It! - The seller grinned with bitterness. "It′s not worth a damned thing." Personally, I would not give you ten bucks for this shit!
Well, El, unlike him, gave ten bucks.
- Sales! - he snapped and put a green paper into the seller′s hand efficiently.
And just as gallantly went to the purchased skeleton of a motorcycle.

"I do not understand you," Jack said. "Why did you buy this stuff?" Even for 10 dollars?
He and Ellom went to the skeleton and watched as he looked lovingly at his acquisition.
"I realized that I would not find the motorcycle I needed," Al said, stroking the rusty steering wheel. - Then there is only one thing: to assemble the motorcycle I need. I will assemble the thing I need from these details.
Jack burst out laughing.
"Al, do not make me laugh!" How do you collect the thing you need ... from this? !!!! Let′s go to Ford, we′ll buy it. The car is no worse than a motorcycle, believe me.
"I believe you, Jack," Al nodded happily. "But give me only five minutes and maybe I can dissuade you."

El pulled out his golden suitcase from his jacket, and something unimaginable began. His hands moved with such speed that it was impossible to follow them. You could only look at the skeleton of a motorcycle and gasp in surprise.
Less than one minute Ella left to completely rid him of rust. Then the steering wheel covered with gold paint and shone. Around him appeared a body, a headlight, a windshield. The skeleton stood up and found the wheels. He was covered with a golden sparkling metal and ceased to be a skeleton. There was a beautiful comfortable saddle, a small trunk, exhaust pipes and many other devices. Many were from the suitcase Ella, but the base-skeleton, was just from the rubbish that the Mexican Guillermo forgot to drag into the trash. Jack already, the spirit took over, when Al stopped assembling and before him appeared a golden handsome motorcycle.
In addition to Jack, there were already a lot of spectators. A lot of curious people who watched with devotion as lifeless trash turns into a work of art.

"Well, what have you done, Al?" - Jack asked, denoting all his appearance, that around the people are full.
El did not notice this, or pretended not to notice. I wanted to show off before the public.
Zaprygnul in the saddle of his newborn golden child and cheerfully shouted:
- Meet, this is my bike! I′ll call him Elcon, in my honor!
Al pressed his foot on the start-up pedal, twirled the gas knob, and the motor whistled in response. His sound was characteristic: high metal, a bit rough and very quick.
- You can make it completely silent! Shouted the crowd cheerfully to Al. "This bike is perfect for a scout!"
The motor did not completely drown it, on the contrary, it served as a background for Ella′s words. And then a light movement to the dashboard and he disappeared. The crowd gasped in surprise.
And Al smiled happily:
- This motorcycle has many excellent qualities.
He twisted the pen gaily and said:
- Develops speeds up to 5000 kilometers per hour.
And rushing from the spot, he raised the motorcycle with the wheel up. Spinning on the spot, jumped over the ranks of motorcycles and landed on the other side of the cabin, began to drive like a madman. The aisles in that direction were rather narrow, and it seemed that the Elcon would necessarily crash into something. But it turned out metal, steel body did not interfere with the motorcycle miracles maneuverability. Al so deftly turned on it, got up on one wheel, spun on the spot (as if sitting on a live ballerina, not on a motorcycle) that simply could not be believed.

The spectators behind Jack′s back sighed with admiration and clapped their hands. Jack himself was disappointed in a friend. "Alien! A secret from everyone! He does not need fame! What does he think of himself ?! Crying! I wanted to show off! You′ll get down from your Elkon seriously, "he thought to himself. He folded his hands in a lock on his chest. He frowned.

But no matter how skeptical, he was not tuned in the performance of Ell′s next trick, began to clap and shout along with the rest.
"Elkon" stood on one wheel, rushed up and with unbelievable speed began to be worn, under the dome of the pavilion, as under the dome of the circus. And Al? He leaned his chest on the steering wheel and rejoiced like a child.
"Look, look at all!" he shouted from above. "What can my bike do?"
Probably, already many viewers have an opinion that Al is a moto stuntman of the greatest class, but what he did in the next moment, did not dream of any stuntman in the world. The man on the motorcycle reached the very center of the dome, fell off and fell down with a stone. Several times he turned over on his "Elkon" and somehow hung a few centimeters from the floor. Only with a detailed examination revealed the secret of the trick. The bike itself has changed. The wheels retracted into a steel golden case and were replaced by an air cushion
"Maybe you′ll think about it, Jack!" Al shouted cheerfully. "Before I go to my Ford!"

No one heard him. He was applauded. He was smiling and shouting "Bravo! Bees! "And Jack, too, smiled and shouted. And no one remembered the "Ford" and that it was a salon for motorcycles, and not a circus.

"I want Elcon!" Jack shouted as the applause died down. - I WANT THIS MOTORCYCLE !!!
Mad with delight, he had already forgotten about the dark green "Ford" and about any machines in general. Now he only needed this bike. ONLY THIS MOTORCYCLE.
And, like an echo, Jack heard a few voices from the people behind him:
- And I!
- And I!
- I!
- I also!
- I want this bike too!
"Give me the Elkon, without delay!"
- And I just have two "Elkona"!
Al listened to these cries with a smile as his motorcycle sank.
In ten centimeters from the floor with "Elkonom" happened another wonderful metamorphosis. The wheels pulled out, gently touched the floor and the motorcycle stood still.
Al, smiling, said the following:
- Sorry, people are expensive, the circulation of "Elkons" is limited. There will be only two copies.
A sigh of disappointment rolled through the crowd. And only one person was still happy. And it was he who soon left her.
"Jack, come to me!" - Al called.
Jack broke away from the onlookers (they already had a decent amount) and went to his friend Ella and his "Elcone". Near his motorcycle a couple of seconds later appeared exactly the same motorcycle - it was intended for him.
"It′s Elcon 2," Al announced, after Jack had settled comfortably in the saddle. "Jack, do not mind that you′re number two."
"No, not at all," Jack admitted joyfully, twisting the handle of the gaspily. "I′m even glad of that."
It was even strange - confidence and knowledge came to him with every second of a second. Only got into the saddle of this motorcycle, and already understood it as a real master. No, Ella′s magic tricks again. But Jack honestly did not care about it - he was happy for his "Elkon", as a child to a new toy.
No one could forbid him. Nobody could take him off this motorcycle. No one could show him anything. ALL just stood side by side and WERE. Jack understood that. And he liked it. Oh, as you liked.
"Jack, did you notice, by the way, is your motorcycle brighter than mine?"
- Right! Jack exclaimed, only now paying attention to it.
Motorcycles were similar, like two drops of water, but the difference was. Now everyone had their own color. Ella had a dark golden bike. Jack has light gold.
"If you want, let′s change," Al suggested. - You will have a dark ...
"No, no," Jack interrupted him immediately. - I like this color. Leave it as it is.
- Well, if you like. I propose that from now on all these colors should be followed. At you - light shades, at me - dark. So we will be easy to distinguish.
- I support.
And Al immediately forgot about this topic. Started another. Rather, he continued:
"Ladies and gentlemen," he shouted, looking around at everyone. "Do not look for such motorcycles, I beg of you." And do not even try. I assure you, there are no such Elkons anywhere else. I built this bike myself. By own project. But the idea ...
El interrupted and looked at the seller. He smiled and winked.
... Mrs. Steve Anderson, who is the seller of this motto-pavilion, served me. Thanks to him and his cousin Guilhermo, I found what I wanted to find. I found the basis that I needed. I rebuilt and improved the motorcycle, which was unusable and had to go to the trash. Today he became "Elkonom" and cost me only 10 dollars. That′s how much Mr. Anderson got for ... as he put it ... "trash" !!!

Saying this, Al, did not notice himself what pride had seized him. He so exalted himself and humiliated the seller, that he seemed just a monster from the side. Fortunately, and maybe, unfortunately, there was no one who could pull it off. Jack was very busy with his Elkon, and the crowd of onlookers only gasped, gasped, clapped eyes and opened their mouths in surprise.

The seller was green with anger. He simply hated himself at this moment. TEN DOLLARS! TEN DOLLARS !!! TEN DOLLARS !!!!!!!!!!! HELL!!! HOW DID IT HAPPEN!!!! HE SOLD THE BEST IN ALL STORE MOTORCYCLE TOTAL FOR TEN PARTS DOLLARS !!!!

"Well, all right," Al said, coming to himself. - What is done is done.
About something, for a second, thinking, he announced in a loud voice:
"My dear people. Of course, I will not leave this bright episode in your memory. In five minutes you will forget everything. Both the Stendery brothers and their Elkons, but we′ll give you a beautiful show in parting. We will fly for you on your motorcycles under the pavilion of the pavilion. And you will remember this. You will consider that you were in a circus and saw stuntmen.

And everything happened as predicted. Al and Jack took to the air on their Elkons and started circling under the dome, like the real stuntmen. Flew on air cushions, but so quickly and so exciting that the present "spectators" before this was not the case. The first number was a simple torsion on the spot. Al and Jack played blades, and spun along the axis, clinging to their hands. Then they flew in different directions and seemed to dance with each other in the air. Then spiraled, dived down and did not touch the floor again soared under the glass dome. In conclusion, they made several acrobatic jumps. El in the saddle "Elkona - 2", Jack - in "Elkon - 1". Then back. Twice repeated. And the decline began.
And people. They were fascinated as they looked up. And did not even think to be distracted by something else. And the smiles did not leave their faces. And there was no end to the admiring sighs. And then suddenly the faces faded, in the eyes there was restlessness and absent-mindedness, and they began to diverge. Everyone was again hurrying about his business and no one else was looking at Ell and Jack. And no one remembered that a few minutes ago he witnessed a miracle.
Al and Jack. They stood between the rows of motorcycles, like the most ordinary people and no one paid any attention to them.

"Did you convince them all that nothing happened?" Jack asked.
- Yes. In memory there was only that number under the ceiling. But everyone remembered it differently. Someone thinks he was in a circus; someone decided that he saw it on TV, some even dreamed it.
- Well, you′re Al, you give my friend! By the way, where are our motorcycles? Where are the Elkons?
Next to Ell and Jack was an empty space. Golden bikes, as if they never existed in nature at all. However, Jack was not worried - he knew Ella had an explanation for everything.
"Here they are," said the alien with a smile and opened his palm.
Two miniature "Elkon" stood on his palm. Wheels, hulls, rudders, exhaust pipes - everything was in order, only very small.
- Here it is! Jack slapped his knees. - Decreased! But for what?!
"Look," Al said.
He took out his suitcase from behind his bosom and put the Elkons, which were very similar to children′s toys, into him.
- In the suitcase! Well, you give! Well, head! And they do not ... ?!
"No, Jack, they will not." The procedure is completely reversible. Reduced, they attract less attention. Here it is useful.
- And they can, in their normal size, fit in a suitcase?
- They can. Still as can. The whole store can still be a place.
- Wow! The whole store! Yes, we do not need a car, Al! All purchases can be put in a suitcase!
- Well, then, forward, for shopping!
- Forward!

Jack was busy trying on a new suit. I wanted to update my wardrobe.
At the moment he was sitting on a gray summer suit, light. Gray trousers, white shirt and satin waistcoat. Jack turned and examined himself from all sides. And he was very pleased with his appearance. Then he put on a gray jacket and jacket and cheerfully winked at his reflection in the mirror. Another hat-bowler and would have turned out to be a strict and reasonable Englishman.
Jack left the fitting room, paced back and forth before Ell and the saleswoman, listened to their praise and remarked to himself: "Perhaps I′ll take it"
The next suit was pure white. In it, Jack also felt very comfortable. And he decided to take it, too. He tried on another suit, rejected it and tackled his jackets, trousers and shirts separately.

After a short search Jack spotted his black cashmere pants are very soft and durable; dark red shirt made of natural silk and a light jacket-windbreaker for the color of trousers black. The light lining inside was also made of satin and made the jacket so comfortable that it hardly felt on the body. Jack whirled in front of the mirror. And I was very pleased. He zipped his throat almost to the throat, and then unfastened again. "Black and red! he thought with admiration. - Cashmere, silk and satin. You′re cool, Jack Stendery, you can not say anything. "
"Try this again," the saleswoman said and handed her a brown leather jacket through the blind. - This is the latest and most popular of our model. You are lucky that one such jacket has remained.
Jack took off his black jacket, put on a brown one and just gasped in admiration.
The jacket was not just comfortable, it was SUPER SUITE. Inspired by the freshness of natural and quality material, an abundance of pockets and black comfortable zippers, a soft golden lining. Especially lining. Jack just fell in love with her. With pleasure I took off and put on my jacket again.
And most importantly, he was very good at it. It was somewhat heavier than a black jacket, but it was clearly the size, its color and perfectly combined with trousers and with a shirt.

- Excellent! Said Jack and threw the curtain back. "I′m taking this jacket."
Less than five minutes have done all the work. All Jack′s items were packed, checked, and Jack paid in cash. Total came out at 15 and a half thousand dollars. Several suits, trousers, shirts (Jack took them five), jackets, and hats (could not resist the temptation and bought a couple). The only thing that Jack did not want to change was boots. He really liked Ell′s gift, and he could not find any more comfortable shoes.

Ella, strangely enough, he did not find it when he left the booth. The saleswoman said that he went to see musical instruments. Jack, hung with packages, like a Christmas tree hurried to the music department. Although not very much in a hurry. Chose myself a secluded spot and dived into it.
First he clicked the amulet and changed his old clothes to a new one (which was in one of the packages). Then he reduced all his purchases, shoved them into one of his pockets, and jabbed it with a new lightning. Everything, now he was again light.
I jumped out of my hiding place and hurried to the music department. To Ella.

What he saw, he did not expect to see. Al was making music. He sat behind a magnificent white grand piano and with a blissful smile he pressed the keys. In the middle of the music department. Surrounded by a large crowd of people. Played, something simple and simple, but very beautiful.
Jack had no choice but to join the crowd and become a listener for a while, like many others.

That calm and smooth melody died down, and Jack heard the voice of his friend:
- This is a fantasy-improvisation of my own composition. It is dedicated to all of you, the lovely music department and of course this white piano!
There was applause. And absolutely everyone applauded. Every person in the crowd. As if this was the most important thing in the world.
Another strange thing was noticed by Jack. The faces of people in the crowd were shining with happiness. All faces were smiling. Some even had tears. And it was so amazing to Jack that he forgot about everything for a while.
And Al continued. Apparently he had a big program there:
- Thank you, thank you! He said to his listeners. - And now let′s have something dynamic. What about rock′n′roll.
And he struck the first chords on the keys.
- You can dance a little! He shouted to the crowd. - Come on!
And he sang. Loud and beautiful. And although he did not have a microphone, everyone heard it. And Jack as well. It was the song "Manny" of the popular band "Beatles".

What began! The crowd immediately moved. People began to dance, in pairs, or singly.
Ell′s clean and even voice was so contagious that Jack could not resist the temptation, a couple of times to swing from side to side. And people? They just went crazy with happiness. They jumped, twisted and turned in all directions. There was not much free space in the department, but it was enough for people to get drunk with joy. Yes, and newcomers have always been included.
It seemed that the whole store was already dancing to Ell′s music. Buyers and sellers, managers and cleaners. In pairs, or alone. However, the number of single people was getting smaller every minute. They were found by unoccupied people and united together.
Jack was picked up by a girl and led him into a slow dance under the charming "Michelle" of all the same "Beatles". And Jack was so relaxed and fascinated by the music that she did not resist at all

Al gently sang into the microphone, which someone caring put on the piano. Amplifying speakers were broadcasting to the entire store of his - Ellov′s voice, which was not much different from the voice of Sir Paul McCartney. The couple danced.
For a while Jack looked at Ella, who sang the song of a famous band and even closed his eyes with pleasure, and then glanced at his partner. He looked and was stunned. It can not be that they meet so quickly.
Blond girl with blue eyes, about the same years as he. And features of the face, and the figure is very similar. Jack asked her name and then calmed down.
The girl was called Clara Milton. She was a tourist in Los Angeles. Together with my father and mother I bought a violin. Clara was a professional violinist. From the age of 6 she studied at the music school.
"Say, that guy." She turned her gaze to Ella. - Also a professional musician.
Her interest in the musical boy was very clear.
"No, I do not think so," Jack admitted. - Most likely he is self-taught.
- What do you mean? - did not believe Clara. - In order to play this way, you need to learn a lot and practice often.
"No," Jack laughed gaily. "I think that he sat down at the piano for the first time in his life."
Clara frowned at his words, but when he saw Jack′s frivolous expression, she laughed. I laughed heartily.
Later they talked and learned a lot about each other.
"Listen, this guy is at the piano, is not it your relative?" Clara asked suddenly.
"Why did you think that?" Jack was surprised.
"You look at him that way all the time, like a brother of your own." And then you are very similar to him, just like twins.
"You′re very observant of Clara," Jack complimented. - You′re right. We are really twin brothers. My name is Jack, and his El Stenderi.
"You have a terrific brother, Jack," Clara praised. "Very talented."
And then she complimented, personally to Jack:
"You will not miss, either, Jack." It′s very interesting with you. You, at once it is felt, the person reliable. A person you can rely on. Do you have a girlfriend.
Jack immediately remembered Alex and nodded to Clara in return. He told me a little about Alex. He noted that Clara is like her. He said that he was very pleased with this. Graduated in Ella′s manner that she, too, will be happy when she finds her mate.
"I′m not worried about that," Clara admitted. - I know that he will meet. Come on, Jack. Better about us.
- About us?
- Yes, about you and me. Let′s be friends. Would you like to be my friend. I really want to.
And she willingly gave her his hand to Jack.
With a hunt, he shook it:
"As much as I want to," Jack admitted with a smile. - Of course. Let′s be friends, Klara Milton.

The dance-entertainment program Ella lasted for about two hours. What he did not play. Beatles, Rolling Stounes, Abba, Doors, etc., etc. And the people always started up a new dance and no one felt tired.
Jack changed six partners. Finally I was sure that he would only be with Alex, and I got some new girl-friends. In fact, whenever he was going to go to the piano and Ella, someone intercepted him and carried him into the dance. In the end, he so conveniently arranged the partner, that they themselves brought him to the piano. And when he was close to the coveted goal, he did not begin to dance with anyone. Just flopped down on the seat next to Ellom and slapped him friendly on the shoulder.

"Hello, Al," he greeted.
"Hello, Jack," Al greeted him.
They were silent for some time. At the same time, Al stopped playing. But soon fingers again jumped on keys and the white grand piano began to deduce something easy and inspiring.
"Do you like this piano?" Jack asked bluntly.
"Oh, yes," Al smiled. "It′s a wonderful tool." Just a king of sounds.
Producing elegant pirouettes: one by one, El said:
- I will definitely buy it. He will stand in my room.
"I did not know you were such a gifted musician," Jack said.
"I had good teachers," Al said, smiling. He paused and replayed the keys. - I decided to try it myself. Here I tried.
"You did well, Al." The full hall to the people, - stated Jack ..
"I like that," Al said. - They appreciated me. I′m satisfied. In fact, these are all my friends now.
"What about old friends, Al?" Jack asked, slightly offended.
"Old friends?" Al asked, puzzled, but still smiling.
- Yes. I, for example. Al, you generally remember me. Do you remember about the Beverly Hills and the fact that we came here to choose furniture?
El still played something, and then stopped. He turned to Jack and looked at him.
"Jack, I remember about you," he said seriously. "I remember why we came here."
- So that′s great! Smiled Jack. "Let′s go to the furniture department." Enough to play music.
"Jack, I like to play music." And I′ve never been as good as now, "said Al, just as seriously.
The moment was very difficult and could easily lead to a quarrel, but this did not happen. Jack was the reason. Perhaps, because he did not understand the seriousness of the moment, he easily avoided him.
Friendlyly slapped his friend on the shoulder and sincerely said:
"Al, my friend, I like your music very much, but time is precious." Remember, we still have our rooms to furnish today.
His smile and sincerity melted that tiny ice cream that was ready to grow between friends. Al smiled back, then stood up and addressed the people present:
- Ladies and gentlemen, the concert is over! I have to go!

El stood up and wanted to buy a tool he liked so much, but that was not it. He was surrounded on all sides. He was thanked. They shook hands with him. And everyone wanted to become his friend. "What′s your name?" "Who are you?" "Where?" "Are you very talented?" "We can, be friends?" "I liked it so much, I did not pass it!" - was heard from all sides. Boys and girls, men and women, grandmothers and grandfathers - who were not alone in this crowd. And it was so noisy as you can imagine.
At first, Al was glad of new acquaintances, he smiled and shook hands stretching towards him. And of course everyone was in a hurry to say that he was Al Stenderi. But then he was very cold to that. And then completely stopped responding.
From the crowd, a plump little man in a black frock coat was making his way through and melodiously sang: "A young man, a young man! Al Stenderery, I′m Martin Goobs. I am the conductor of the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra. We need a pianist! You are welcome! Any of your conditions! I have better music than yours have not heard! ", But he did not even hear it. Before his eyes was only Jack Stenderi. And all his thoughts were only occupied by them.

- Quiet! Al shouted into the crowd. "Silence!"
And the crowd, obeying his order, like a hypnotic trance, fell silent at once. The voices disappeared altogether. Smiles and shine in his eyes markedly faded. No one else was eager for Ella, did not pull his hand. People stood silently and just looked at him. As his army looks at the commander. The army waiting for the order.
And none of them, did not remember what happened a few minutes ago. Concert, and then the excitement around this young man. And even Martin Goebs, who a second ago considered Ella his great find, now did not show any interest in him. Standing in a crowd of people, along with the rest and patiently waiting for the outcome.
Al, sat down on a bench near Jack, looked seriously into his eyes and asked:
"Jack, have I offended you?"
- No, what are you! Jack laughed sadly. - Not at all! All just great!
"You′re lying, Jack!" Said Al. "And do not say that I′m wrong!"
"No, how can you be wrong!" You′re always right! And this time, too! Yes, I′m lying!
Jack with dignity folded his arms on his chest with a lock.
- And what do you really feel?
- What are you talking about?
- Do you know what you′re talking about?
- About this play?
"But about him?"
- The production is good, the director is well done, the main character is the height, the spectators are sold out! And I seem to be superfluous!
Jack got up from his seat, and he was about to leave, but stopped for a second.
"Listen, but they do not hear us?" He suddenly asked. - What are we talking about now?
"No, Jack, are they hypnotized?"
"Very good," Jack smiled. - And no one in the store, either.
"No one, Jack." Feel free to speak out.
But Jack clearly his words were not enough. He slammed loudly in front of one tall man, waved his hand, in front of the nose of an elderly woman, a couple of times snapped his fingers near the ear of a little girl. Having received no reaction, he laughed gaily and cried:
- Bravo! Super! Shine!
I plopped on the bench beside Ellom, and having cheerfully looked into his eyes, said:
- Stopped time again, yes! Or something else! Ah, it does not matter! You can do it! But here in the rest you ...
Jack puffed out his cheeks, exhaled loudly and laughed gaily. Then the evil said:
- Crying! The clown is alien! Mr. perfection! So that you do not think of yourself as the supreme guardian Elixicon, and for the planet Earth - you are a complete zero! And all your alien things-zamorochki, one visibility. They are not worth anything, nothing!
Jack turned away from Ella, remained silent for a few seconds, and then turned and asked:
- Listen, what do you want? Become a rock star? To make the whole world at your feet? So that everyone will know what planet you are from and why did you fly to Earth? I thought you had an assignment here! I thought you wanted to disguise yourself and not stick your nose out! What about you? Or maybe you′ll meet Ortreks with open arms and a cube of Harridika on a tray you carry ?!
Al was silent. He looked at his friend without blinking. Then he said:
"You′re right, Jack." You′re right. I did not let go of it. It was in danger.
He paused and looked at Jack with gratitude:
- I almost made the most stupid and unforgivable mistake in my life. If it was not for you, I would have jeopardized my task and would have become like Ortrex. Thank you, Jack, you helped me out.
He held out his hand and asked for forgiveness:
- Accept my apologies. From now on, I will not allow such stupidity.
Jack shook hands with the alien willingly.
- You see, and I′m useful to you! He said, happily. - How wonderful everything is!
"We′ll talk about this again, okay?"
- Good.
El rose from his seat and said: "Now I must correct my miscalculation"

Clapping his hands clappingly Al, he revived the people standing before them. And again the air was filled, by someone′s breathing, homo, noise:
- Dear people! - Al announced to everyone. - You came to this department to buy musical instruments of interest to you! Therefore, go, search, buy everything that your heart desires! Enjoy life, have fun, all the best to you! Your presence at the concert of an unknown virtuoso musician is nothing more than a pleasant memory. Where you saw it, and how long ago it happened - decide for yourself! Divide, disperse!
And the crowd of people who surrounded the piano, blocking all the entrances and exits from a small platform, magically began to resolve. Some were in a hurry for the tools, others were going out at all - fewer and fewer people.
"A salesman in the music department," Al said into the microphone. "Please hold on to the white piano." I want to buy it.

After the white piano was bought for $ 7,500, reduced and sent to a suitcase, Al and Jack Stenderery settled comfortably on one of the Los Angeles Golden Plaza benches and talked:
"You know, I understand you perfectly," Jack said. - You really want to be in the spotlight, now. Our Earth, after Saltrex for you, like sour cream for a cat. Tell me, am I right?
"Even sweeter than sour cream," Al admitted.
- And this is good. You communicate, you grow, just do not go so fast.
"Not so fast, what do you want to say?"
- And the fact that there is nothing to try to fall in love with the whole world in a few days.
Ella really liked Jack′s phrase, and he immediately remembered it. And Jack, without even paying attention, continued:
"It′s great for you to make new friends, Al." But think about what′s already there.
- Think about what′s there? Al asked in surprise.
- Yes, think. You have friends already. Maybe it′s worth developing communication with them, and not looking for new ones?
El tensed and waited, as if afraid to miss, something very important, and Jack developed his thought:
"You′ll have more friends." And very much. In this I do not even doubt. But, look: I already have, waitress Janet, Madeleine Milen, Alex, finally. Think about Alex, Al. Is it worth it now is spent on strangers, when in the future Alex might need your help. And to me, by the way, too.
And he fell silent. Now it was Ella′s turn.
"You′re right," he said after a short pause. - This is much better. To appreciate what you already have - you are a thousand times right! At some point, I rushed to new opportunities and just forgot about it!
"Pride, my God!" Al laughed. And this was the first time in a long time that passed without a smile. "I did not think I was subject to it!" And he was conceited! Thank God, Thank God! Next to you, Jack!
El hugged his friend by the shoulders and thanked him:
"Thank you, Jack!" You saved me! You pulled me out! You helped me to realize my weakness! You just made me stronger!
"Yes, please," Jack smiled. "We′re family, after all!"
- What?!
Smile from the face, as the wind blew. The hand rolled off Jack′s shoulders. He looked at him in amazement and asked quietly:
- I did not misheard ?! You said: "We are family!"
"Yes," Jack repeated. "That′s what I said." We are family with you. And what′s the matter then?
"Jack, is this a joke?"
- No, no it′s not a joke. What′s the matter?
Al, obviously nervous, although he hid it well. Jack was already worried about him.
- And the fact that I′m an alien. And in general, not a person, even. Formless mud. You forgot? And no I′m not your brother - it′s a legend for the uninitiated. You yourself invented this legend.
"Yes, I remember," Jack agreed. And he did not smile either. "But I want a brother like you."
- But I′m ...
"What difference does it make to me what planet you are from?" What difference does it make that you have neither blood and bones inside, but orange mud. Personally, these matters are up to the bulb.
Jack got ready for the next explanation. Then I decided to get up (probably for certainty). Looked at his Double in the eye and laid it all out like a spirit:
"Al, I have no one else in this world." You are my only, native person. You and Alex. Perhaps you two are my only family in this world. When you came all my living relatives were already dead. I, too, had to die, but you saved me. You took me out of the street and settled in a posh rich house. You gave me money, an amulet, a flying board ... although no ... it′s not that ... it′s another matter ... I′m interested in you, I′m having fun with you, so easy and simple, as never dreamed. Again this is not it! The most important thing is care, El. I feel your care, your attention. I feel how much you can learn from you; I feel how free I am with your help; I feel recognition and relevance. Al, this is great! This is the best thing that happened to me!
Al also rose in front of him. And asked:
"You call this family?"
"Yes," Jack said brightly. - I call. And I call you my brother. Although we were not born together and you are of a different kind, but all are my brother. The family is not the ones who only feed, sing and dress. All this, in fact, very little. The family is the ones that love, appreciate, understand.
Jack laughed.
"It′s a strange situation, El." I spent several months with my blood relatives and felt only disgust for them. And even for people they did not count. As if they were some terrible, huge spiders. I spent a few days with you and I know for sure that you are a terrible, shapeless mass of orange mud, but I treat you just like a man. Even as a brother. Paradox of paradoxes, right?
"But people can love, but I can not!" In any case, I′m not a man! "Al objected.
"You know," Jack said thoughtfully. "We have so many scum, scoundrels and filthy things on the Earth that you look very human even against them."
Without another word, they embraced each other. Mentally and firmly, like twin brothers who have not seen each other for years.
"Thank you, Jack," Al whispered. "It′s a great honor for me." I did not even hope for that!
"You know," Jack said one more thought. "I think you can love, but you do not know about it!"











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Рубрика произведения: Проза ~ Фантастика
Ключевые слова: фантастика, Стендери, магия, приключения, на Английском,
Количество рецензий: 0
Количество просмотров: 44
Опубликовано: 05.08.2018 в 10:03






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