Chapter Five (full text English translation)

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September 30, 312 H. E. around 3.00 a. m.

Land of Fools, Cross-Domain Territory


“The information communicable to the agent must be construed in terms of the element of his logistics. As is the case with the logistical support, the guideline set forth hereunder must be stringently enforced: the agent must be equipped with everything indispensable and relieved of everything superfluous. Each isolated irrelevant fact consumes additional storage space in the agent’s cache memory and thereby hinders the rationalized planning of his operations, just like each superfluous item in the knapsack encumbers the portability thereof… The agent must not be briefed on the information which he shall ineluctably glean over the course of pursuance of his mission. Likewise his memory must not be overloaded with hints and recommendations albeit reasonably relevant yet shackling his creativity and diverting from the key target”.

N. Biebenhaf. Introduction to Special Forces’ Operational Planning: A Course of Lectures, translated from the German under the editorship of Colonel Barsukov. “Khemool” LLC, Debet City, “St. Bernard, Sennenhund and Retriever” Publishers, 294.

The uppermost dwarfish loft room of the turret was miniature and somewhat toy-like: seamlessly streamlined walling, the little bench smoothly circumflexing the perimeter thereof, the flat level floor painted over with multi-hued streaks and polyhedrons. The moonlight was oozing through the mural transparent segment. It was sort of enswathing things which luxuriated therein and silhouetted solely slender, brittle and elusive shadiness.

Karabas scarcely fitted one hemisphere of his rump on the narrow strip of the bench, and enviously leered at the cosily ensconced feline. Through the lurid moonlight the muzzle of Basilio seemed ostensibly even maturer than in daytime.

“I dislike this location”, said the cat.

“It is tranquilly in here”, remarked Karabas.

“Tranquilly yet eerily”, the cat yawned, his bristly whiskers jutted out highlighting the opaque back of the throat and jaws. “Have you noticed that the premises are dustless? And the air is not stagnant. It is crispy and ventilated therewith. Don’t you think it is odd?”

“Much remains to be learned”, commented Karabas philosophically. “Incidentally, how did you detect it is dustless? You are normally on alternative bandwidths, aren’t you?

“Dust emits radioactivity in the ultra-violet spectrum”, elucidated the cat. “But it is purely in here. And these walls… Do you know what is there inside them?”

“A steel framework, supposedly”, conjectured Karabas.

“Nothing” sighed the cat. “Nothing whatsoever. Not even a crevise, as if molded from a monolith. And the echo does not reverberate. No re-echo whatsoever, as if dampened by a pillow”.

“Humans possessed technologies erstwhile” consented Karabas. “Okay, let us get down to business: the mission and briefing. Listen here attentively. And thereafter do not pretend that you misheard me”.

“I hear and obey”, said the cat earnestly, and pricked up his ears.

“So”, Karabas comprehended that he could not balance and maintain the sedentary position on such a narrow bench, hence he upped and began to circumambulate the dwarfish cubicle: three steps hither, three steps thither. “Your mission is tripartite: firstly, to infiltrate into the Zone, secondly, to locate the Hirudotherapist, thirdly, to clarify the situation and to convey something from me. Subsequently: to respond to his questions and to withdraw, preferably intact, and, as the situation permits, unscathed”.

“Just even thusly? I see”, stammered the cat. “And what was the original agreement?”

“He vowed to rendezvous us on the disembarkation station, and to furnish the guide. He pledged nothing else”, responded Karabas.

“Hold on. I missed the point” the cat swung around resiliently, and squatted down. “The airship manned by such crewmembers as our Pierrito on board was scheduled to land in the Zone? And who excogitated such an ingenious plan?”

“I did” said Karabas. “That was our onliest chance to infiltrate the Directorate stealthily. Currently, you can safely abandon this idea. They ambush us thereat. Because the first thing Malvina did was that she leaked all the information available to her to the Directorate if she is not an imbecile. And she is not an imbecile. So, now we shall decamp thereto ceremoniously, solemnly, under the orchestral accompaniment”.

“And why do you think she did not leak the info to dwarfish ponies?” enquired the cat, “or to woollies so that they clamp down on us here in their inimitable style?”

“I pondered hereon. No, she scarcely did. See for yourself. Accompanied by Artemonito she is currently dominating the military facility… I am clueless how they climbed therein, but let us admit your version. Let us assume that she ensconced therein. She is strongly entrenched, if we take into consideration that inferior wildlife of the neighborhoods is controllable by her. Her immediate goal is to become the collegially recognized reputable authority, as you formulated that. Did you say that?”

“Well, yes, I did” acknowledged Basilio. “And I still think so. However, to slay us is the matter of survival for her, and her holy crusade. She is unable to perpetrate that herself. However, to report to the locals that we are clandestine intelligence agents recruited by Torah Borah and infiltrated herein on hell knows what reconnaissance mission – properly speaking, why not?”

Karabas averted his gaze from the fenestration, and crossed his arms behind him.

“Hold on, hold on”, he said. “So, she yearns to obtain authoritativeness and rightfulness of the ownership of the military facility. However, everybody is disinterested in her acknowledgement. It is ubiquitously disadvantageous. Nakhnakhs themselves claimed the base, merely they frustrated… Dwarfish ponies are scarcely interested therein yet the power balance…”

“That’s all too old, in the parlance of pedveds”, the cat interrupted him discourteously. “So, why should she preserve reticence?”

“Well, calculate it yourself” frowned Karabas. “If she re-tells everything like it is, then, according to the code, it shall transpire that she eloped from the boss, that is, from me. Consequently, she is not a candidate whatsoever, but rather a runaway lowlife and no one shall recognize her authoritativeness, either never at all or over an extremely long period of time until she browbeats everybody. But she yearns for it now”.

“This is an extremely precarious speculation”, the cat scratched his chin with his claws musingly. “And what if we shall leak the info about her?”

“We shall leak obligatorily”, responded Karabas. “But this will be our allegation oppugnant against her allegations. In the estimation of the dwellers of the Land of Fools, we are all an electorate, and the problems of the electorate do not fuck the bosses, something like that, anyway. That is, she shall certainly be accused…”

“And again you are proceeding to discuss the codes”, the cat began to get vexed. “This is an exercise in futility. If you are not a boss yourself, then, in accordance with the codes, you are invariably wrong”.

“I am not discussing the codes, I am discussing Malvina”, Karabas reverted to the window, and his broad back eclipsed the moonlight.

“Whose mentality, as you said, is inscrutable for you”, the cat did not refrain from saying that.

“No more of that!” roared Karabas. “You didn’t finish listening to the briefing”, he resumed slightly more tranquilly. “What do you know about the Zone?”

“What everybody knows”, the cat meticulously maintained the neutral tone.

“No. Please, cerebrate”, commanded the Rabbi. “Precisely cerebrate hereon, and I shall mind-read what you are cerebrating about”.

Tranquility suspended in midair, and instantaneously it clarified that she never withdrew from thence, that she is the truest dominatrix herein, and all of the echoes whatsoever are merely fortuitous visitors who chanced to come around so as to briefly amuse her.

“Well, generally, all correct”, Karabas disturbed the silence. “Although on several particular issues I discerned some qualms in you. Let us rectify ambiguities…” He re-circumambulated the room neglecting that tranquility was killing the echo of thudding footsteps. “Thus, the Zone… anticipating intensely opaque…” he chanted a fragment from the sacramental anthem atrociously off-key. “…from the bird’s-eye perspective, it epitomizes a sort of an oval ellipsoid topographically elongated alongside meridians. Actually, it is extended between magnetic dip poles. This is for the sake of accuracy. Due to terrain undulations it represents not a lozenge proper but rather some warped inkblot”, Karabas twiddled his thumbs in the air endeavoring to mimic something sophisticated. The silhouette of his hand mirrored on the wall in the shape of some huge arachnoid insect.

“I visualize it approximately”, said the cat urbanely.

“Okay. Let us continue. The Monolith rests in the northern sector of the Zone. This is the segment of the Yoke which had collapsed on the Earth, the Tesla-inductor. It does not resemble the golden sphere”, Karabas leered at Basilio askance and sneered subtly. “It does not self-fulfill desires whatsoever. It is merely a mechanism which pumps energy”.

“From whence?” quizzed the cat abruptly.

“Well, what a question…” Karabas spread his hands. “From whence does the Yoke pump energy altogether?”

“For example, I am clueless”, said Basilio.

“For example, the response is correct”, the Rabbi dismissed the subject summarily. “So, the Monolith collapsed, but it did not unmesh from other segments. That is, it had been the segment of the Yoke, and it persists so. That is why the electrical current is torrentially flowing through it. It jettisons the voltage in the atmosphere. The Zone is precisely the area whereon the Monolith discharges itself. Tesla-effects abound ubiquitously therein, mainly electrical, but also magnetic ones and so forth. When the Monolith swells, the overall short circuit, the soi-disant Ejaculation ensues. To come under the Ejaculation is strongly inadvisable, especially for cybernetic organisms and cyber hybrids all the more so if they incorporate some integrated Tesla-devices. One thing is gladdening. Such pleasantness occurs not oftener than once in half a year or rarer, and the last occurrence was documented two months ago. So, promenade audaciously… yet circumambulate gingerly. One more thing: please, heed that your navigational system shall not function in the Zone. Tip-offs:

The cat was squatting motionlessly with half-shut eyes and pricked up ears.

“You have heard something about mutants”, resumed Karabas. “Allow me to scan your brain… Well, yes, everything is correct, Tesla-dependent entities yoked to the Monolith-generated energy. They will not jeopardize your health particularly, unless you over-eat them. Do not fear vampires: ordinary blood-suckers. Problems might arise from brain-peckers and other mentalists”.

“Do filifyonkas swarm thereat?” interjected Basilio.

“Mutants extirpated them themselves”, grinned the Rabbi. “It is plausible to admit, they decimated them. They are loathed, truly loathed in the Zone”.

“And rightly so”, said the cat satisfyingly.

Karabas giggled.

“Susanins are rather obnoxious… Shun and circumvent mandalaykas, they are so… From amongst the feral: fear slowpokes and white-ribboned nits. Although nits have been exterminated yet nevertheless… You know about creackles: when you see them, hit first. Incidentally, they are palatable. Well, and endeavor to evade rendezvousing with barabakas, namely, with Baskervilles”, Bar Rabbas sulked, evidently he reminisced something and this reminiscence did not gladden him. The cat noticed that.

“I have never heard about barabaka”, he said. “What sort of fowl is that?”

“It is not a fowl. It is a werewolf-vampire based on the substrate of the jellyfish and upgraded with helminths and leeches. It is amorphous, it mimics and camouflages extremely resourcefully, attacks from behind. To a certain extent, I am the discoverer of this loathsomeness. Her lips are frigid”, the Rabbi squirmed. “Thereafter I had not been able to squat down for half a year, it had permanently been sore to”.

“I am wondering who authored that?” said Bas pensively. “But please, don’t tell me that all of these wantonly luxurious lowlifes swarmed from out of nowhere”.

“Several particular issues are beyond our frame of reference”, uttered the Rabbi meaningfully.

“Ah, you mean from this perspective”, the cat wrinkled his muzzle.” Well, I see. How should I itinerate and what precisely should I accomplish?”

“Traverse the neutral zone. Most crucially, do not get ensnared by the woollies. You will supposedly not trespass on dwarfish ponies yourself. How long can you eke out on your batteries?”

“As ever: I can eke out throughout around ten days with water and minerals. Well, I shall devour somebody while en route, this is not the issue. Incidentally, can I piggyback on the Monolith?”

“I am really clueless about that”, confessed Karabas pityingly. “Ostensibly, woollies endeavored to, yet it fizzled, or rather, precisely they fizzled. You are immune to that, yours is the constabulary modification. Not a single one from amongst yours has ever immolated while in prosecution of his duties. If you tap into the Monolith, you will become the strong cat, the menace of the Zone… Anyway, you need to infiltrate therein first”.

Karabas re-endeavored to alight on the bench and failed to fit in again.

“I am somewhat fatigued this day. Well, then, we shall decamp tomorrow morning. You will lurk here. Snooze as much as you like, and altogether indulge yourself. You will be readying in the evening. You will decamp through the nighttime. Indeed, the Moon is inauspicious”, he gazed out of the window, “but it cannot be remedied anyway. Navigate the terrain through six and a half, along the vintage fiber cable. That is, six of them are buried therein in the soil at the depth of around no more than three meters, will you discern them? Excuse me”, the Rabbi intercepted the feline emotion, “that was a foolish question… Follow along the cable, you will reach the “Sauerkraut Soup” inn. This emporium is considered to be the neutral zone. You will finagle stalker’s gadgets therein and altogether. Visit it obligatorily, I reiterate, indispensably”.

“Probably, I should rather keep under the radar?” queried the cat.

“Conversely, expose yourself precisely, to the fullest”, the Rabbi waggled his head.

“And what’s the aid of that? Ah, the eatery is the check-point of the Hirudotherapist?”

“What catchwords you are having… Can you speak plain human?”

“Human? Hm… It has been long since I last spoke it … gav’vavvah zay… ha’n’shem’humgat, allegedly”

Ko’sherh”, lauded the Rabbi. “Although as for what concerns ha’n’shem’humgat, it is rather controversial. It is not that he is the superintendent over swamplands. Rather he is the enforcer, if I interpreted his status adequately. Anyway, this is a moot point. Essentially, if you will not check in with the “Sauerkraut Soup”, you may consider that you itinerated futilely. You will never detect him autonomously, even with your capabilities”.

“I see. Shall I misbehave atrociously?”

“Without particular nastiness. Most significantly, do not foment arsons and do not smash anything. And please, do not massacre wantonly”.

“How else then?” misunderstood Basilio.

“Sparingly and blandly”, Karabas stirred his fingers in midair as if sculpting some figure therefrom. “Well, then, pressurize somebody, extort equipment, ebal ba’an... and most crucially, do not defray any costs whatsoever under any circumstances. Otherwise, you will earn no kudos, and altogether, it is improper”.

“I never intended to”, offended the cat, “although… at the expense of what does the emporium subsist then?”

“At the expense of bravado”, explicated the Rabbi nebulously. “Thereupon, transgress the frontier and infiltrate at several kilometers deep. And merely promenade. You can accumulate some artifacts, but do not be obsessed herewith. I fix no deadlines. This is beyond your control. One day or other the Doctor shall locate you”, the Rabbi hushed.

“And?” the cat did not forbear.

“Hold on. Do not interrupt… Well, then. He is inquisitive, and shall bombard you with questions. You will conscientiously satisfy his inquisitiveness to the best of your capabilities. When it comes to what I want from him, inform him that Karabas wants to obtain the ordered work from the senile anti-Semite, and that he needs aid: to obtain and to convey. It would be preferable if the Doctor should take care of that personally. If he says nay, remind him of that accident in the Alps”.

“Which accident?” specified the cat knowingly that his inquisitiveness shall not be satisfied.

“That is an old story. You see, over the last hundred years the Leech Doctor and I accumulated, so to speak…, reciprocal reckonings. It all began when once he extracted me from out of the quagmire and cured. Subsequently, I rescued his life on one occasion. Thereafter, he rescued me… anyway. Briefly, he has not yet compensated for the Alps. And this is his brilliant opportunity to redeem this debt. Hopefully, he shall pounce on this chance”.

“And what if he does not?” quizzed the cat.

“This is implausible. He is not an altruist but he always discharges his obligations and pays off his debts. This is why he incurred few of them. But if he suddenly balks, utter eight words: no yokes are holier than those of companionship”.

The cat glanced at Karabas somehow bizarrely.

“Yes, yes. Utter precisely these words in the Russian language”, the Rabbi nodded. “The next thing: you will respond to all of the questions posed by the Leech Doctor. Subsequently, he shall inform you on what you should do next. Most probably, he shall want that you withdraw. He may offer you an escort or he may not. Anyway, do not insist on staying. Do not endeavor to eavesdrop on him. Don’t even think of that. The Doctor is extremely petulant as to what concerns any varieties of external control. And he renders decisions himself.”

“And what?” questioned Basilio.

“You will establish rapport with the Directorate. Your target is the Institute for Transgenic Research. You ought to contact with our clandestine agents, to infiltrate therein and… Hold on…” Karabas mused. “The beetle is irrelevant” he said assertively. “Well, no” he re-intercepted the dissatisfied thought of the cat. “What does this carabid with her ovipositor has to do with this? I did not even think of her. Well, even though you boast the proneness to trans-sexual insects”.

“I beseech”, said the cat in such a voice that Karabas instinctively faltered.

“This is not to derogate from you, semi-sibling”, he said conciliatorily, “Verily, the time is not ripe for jocularities. Merely, we are totally unfamiliar with that beetle. And it would be better if I shall be the first to establish rapport with him. This is the matter of private and pious concernment. Furthermore, he is of paramount significance to us. You will contact another agent. And now I am saying this with all earnestness: this time round let us eschew your promiscuous philandering with devious rogue females”.

“Why do you think that I should suddenly? ...” the cat prudently smoothened down his resentfully bristling fur.

“Because she is vulpine”, sighed the Rabbi. “Well, you know what I mean”.

For the first time ever during the conversation, the cat grinned.

“Let us assume”, he purred through his whiskers, “that this is my bonus”.