Всичко за книгите на Юлиян Кушев
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NO RECOVERY

 

Turatam, Kazachstan

 

 

            ‘Aircraft ready!’

‘No. It’s not ready! We have not yet tested the impact of the ionizing irradiation on human…’

‘And have you tested the impact of Siberian chill on human bodies?! Doctor!’

‘Товарищ[1] Адмирал. Прошу. Не делайте этого!’

‘It is better to try once than to think ten times!’

‘Товарищ Адмирал. Самолёт не готов[2].’

‘Doctor,’ Lieutenant  Orlov said, ‘I’ve read all the specifications and  I think that everything’s gonna be all right. Товарищ Адмирал. Разрешите выйти на выполнение тестового полёта[3]?!’

Admiral Gorbunov stopped and looked into the eyes of the young test pilot:

‘This baby is all yours, Captain!’

‘I am a Lieutenant, Sir.’

‘No. You are a Captain now. Thanks for being so brave, son! Move it!’

‘Yes, Sir!’

Captain Yuri Orlov made a statutory turn and marched to the runway happily.

 

‘Адмирал. Не надо терят ребёнкa[4]!’

‘He has stopped being a kid for a while now. And as of today he is a real man. Let’s go! Launch is in fifteen minutes.’

Twenty minutes later the officer on duty at the Kazulkhum air base announced on the Intracom:

‘Взлёт произошол нормально. Все характеристики в норме[5].’

Admiral Gorbunov bent down and did something that did not suit either his grey hair or his long service in the USSR Armed Forces. He exclaimed in English:

‘Yesss!!!’

And Doctor Stolitsin, head of the “Stratoplane Zemlya” Project, looked down in both admiration and gratitude said:

‘Yura, Yura. What did you do, man! You pulled science ten years ahead of its time.’

 

 

* * *

 

            Sofia, Bulgaria

 

It was dark in the street. I stepped onto the pavestones and started meandering among the cars parked on the pavement.

 

All of a sudden, two kids came out from a nook in the building.  I had seen them previously, looking at the cars parked around. It was none of my business, but I impulsively decided to take a picture of them. I turned the micro-camera on and snapped them one by one as they walked past. 

 

Cameras are no good for such close-ups because, despite advanced technology, the engineers had not yet managed to get rid of that nasty whirr-whirr sound as the film moved forward for the next shot. In a more important operation that sound would have cost me a great deal but I was not in action that day and I could take that slight risk. One could download the digital recording of what I had seen over that period, of course, but last time it turned out that I happened to be close to a high voltage power line and the digital recording was a bit blurred, due to the magnetic field. So I have my doubts about all that high-tech. The microfilm in the camera is 3 mm wide but it has remarkable resolution. I have a lens in each eye that communicates the image to my digital memory and onto a film, if one can call the tiny strip of diffusion material film at all. Subsequently, the strip is subject to processing by seven people, five of whom are professors. I was positive that this time round the pictures would come out all right, without those nasty diagonal lines as a result of the ‘external factors on the electronics’. This is always the excuse of the engineers for the loads of imperfections of electronic brains.

 

So, I snapped those two, but I think that the second one might have heard that give-away whirr-whirr sound. He swiftly turned around and gave me a frightened look. I produced my friendliest smile at him as he turned around and followed his friend. But I don’t think I managed to fool him.

 

 

* * *

 

‘I’m telling you, motherfucker! That son of a bitch took a picture of us somehow.’

‘Cool it, shit for brains! You are getting really jumpy. You are trying to make a big deal out of a simple dickhead. What do you think? It’s an easy job, eh? You go to the car and that’s that – it’s yours. You’ve got to be patient. I mean ve-e-ery patient. You’ve got to wait for such passers-by to clear the stage and then you’ve got to have a good look around. And if it’s OK, you go. Such jumpy green necks like you have nothing to do here. You always blow it. And if you do that again you are going straight back to your fucking “38th” to study your fucking books.  And if you ever start whinging for dosh again, do you see this?’ and Dickpecker started waving his grotty fist in front of his nose: ‘I’ll smash your fuckin’ face in.’

Tommy went on working on the car’s back lights diligently and quietly. It wasn’t that Dickpecker wasn’t right about the job, but he hadn’t heard the whirring sound coming from that guy’s head that clearly. The passer-by. And Tommy heard it. … Loud and clear. And all of a sudden, he decided that he must have taken a picture of them. Hmm… … Where had he heard this sound before? Come on! This light has got stuck!… He remembered.

‘Dickpecker! Bro. Forget about tonight but please, take a picture of me a couple of times with the digital camera that loser gave your sister for her birthday!’

‘You fuckin’ asshole! Are you going fucking crazy?!’ – Dickpecker looked back at him suspiciously and went on taking the headlights out.

Taking parts off a car with its alarm on can be quite a thrill. And those gangsters in the garage pay good money for them. True! Parts come very cheap that way but what do you care? You are happy and they are happy too… But it is not easy, anyway. Well, it has happened that someone gets it wrong and the alarm goes off sooner but, no one has been born skilled. You have to teach the new-comers the tricks of the trade. Just that Tommy guy …. He seemed like a kickapoo[6], but all of a sudden started blabbering some weird things … “But, what if it was really true…Hmm?!” Dickpecker thought. He had heard some noise too, but there are so many different noises in the street, aren’t there?!

Oh, what the heck! There is nothing wrong with checking it out with his sister’s camera. She only uses it for decoration, anyway.

 

* * *

 

‘F-f-fuck!’ Dickpecker cursed after having taken a picture of Tommy with the camera. ‘I heard that too!’

Tommy was cheering inside! It is so-o-o-o cool when others realise that you were right!

‘The bad thing is only that I can’t really figure out why the sound came out right from the inside of his head? Maybe it was stuffed with some gadgets like this,’ and he pointed at the brand new DATACON Dickpecker was holding like a big stone.

‘Motherfucker. Damn! What the hell is going on here?’ Dickpecker threw the appliance angrily on the sofa. ‘I hate being in the dark![7] What if that camera-head son of a bitch belongs to the cops? We are all fucked up! We will be locked away for a thousand years.’

Things seemed to be getting serious. And it was for the first time that the two guys were looking at things seriously.

‘We quit!’ Tommy whispered.

‘Fuck!’, Dickpecker said. ‘It was a hell of a job! Now we have to come up with something else. The last thing I need is a criminal record. I am far too young for it. The cops are going to fuck up a lot of people with that whirring monster. Clever fucking sods! Fuck ‘em!’

He stopped pacing up and down the room, looked at Tommy and said:

‘Get out of here! And keep your trap shut or I’ll rip your balls off!’

He was not afraid. Dickpeecker saw also the bright side. They were going to rid him of his competition with that whirring monster. He would become a monopoly in the business - with all the benefits that went with it.

 Tommy got up from the armchair and headed for the door. Why did Dickpecker’s fear disappear all of a sudden?

 

* * *

 

Ye-e-ah. These little pricks will surely get scared stiff if I send them a picture with the police seal on the back and a message like ‘If you dare do that again…’ or something like that.

We have the best equipment at the “Centre” and it wasn’t hard at all to take a look at the police files. Yesterday I ventured around the block and saw the two “Midnight Gringos” hanging around school number 38, obviously worried by something. The rest – names and addresses – was piece of cake.

 

* * *

 

 

‘Motherfucker!’, Tommy yelled as soon as someone picked up the phone. ‘Do you know what I got in the mail this morning?!’

‘Keep it down, dickhead! My folks haven’t left for work yet. If they hear you yelling we are fucked!’ Dickpecker looked around guiltily and waved his Mom good bye in such a friendly way that, for a moment, she thought, poor soul, that he was a good lad after all. But very soon she dismissed that thought.

‘Tell me now! What is it?’

‘A card from the cops. With a message on the back. I knew it that guy had taken a picture of us!’

‘…You must be fucking kidding me! Stop panicking! When did you find it?’

‘This morning,’ Tommy mumbled. ‘As I was going to school…’

‘You got up early this morning?!’

‘Hmm. Yeah! Would you believe it? Something was bothering me all night and I woke up at 5. I kept tossing and turning and got up. Then I took my stuff and left for school. My Dad nearly had a heart attack when he saw me up that early. I went downstairs and I saw the edge of an envelope sticking out from the letter box. I had a look around – there was no one there, I pulled it out and when I opened it I almost shat my pants. There was me on that picture as I was the other night, you know. I don’t want to talk about it on the phone… And it was me!’

‘Wow… Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!’

‘Have you been downstairs yet?’

‘Why?!’

‘Well…?! You may have one too!? Possibly…’

Dickpecker didn’t wait for Tommy to finish his sentence and dashed out of the flat like a rocket. He ran down the nine floors in no time – there was no time to wait for the elevator, just in time to see his mother turning around the corner. For a moment he thought that she might have checked the mail box before him.

Hufff! She hadn’t. Dickpecker sighed in relief when he saw the square envelope with the police logo on it in the mail box. He opened it fast. Wow! Super. I look like Mel Gibson, he thought. He felt nice in spite of this being quite frightening. And soon he felt that overwhelming fear. He went up with the elevator and bumped into his father just at the door:

‘Hey-hey-hey! Where do you think you’re going, young man? Why is this door wide open? And put that phone down, will you?’

Huff! Good job his father didn’t give a damn. If it was his mother she would probably question him the whole day. She was very ‘vigilant’ about any “deviation from the normal behaviour” of her son. Not that it had any effect, but it made her happy to believe that it made a difference.

Dickpecker picked up the receiver again:

‘Come on, man! What happened?!’ as if Tommy had been counting the seconds.

‘What was supposed to happen? I’ve got the same card too …’

Dickpecker said nothing more. Tommy was also silent at the other end of the line.

 

* * *

 

I tapped both their lines.  This silence meant that I’d got them both worried. I knew that they were frightened enough to not try stealing other people’s things any more. I didn’t care what they said after that and pressed two buttons on the keyboard to abort the tapping.

I smiled.

It seems I have discouraged these two kids from becoming criminals. At least for the time being. And it wasn’t all that difficult with all the equipment.

 

* * *

 

Dickpecker was the first to return to his senses.

‘Motherfucker! No sweat! We quit for a while and I want to see you in a week. I have a job for you.’

‘You got  it.’ Said Tommy in a sad tone of voice and put the phone down ve-e-e-ry slowly.

 

* * *

 

Things got tough. The smart guys were having some serious problems with the so called MIND – the Master Intelligence Navigating Device. I enjoyed some time doing nothing. I was like the only chicken that had hatched among so many other eggs.

I was the most successful model after the numerous tests with artificial intelligence. But! There we are! Things seem to have started stalling. I see the smart guys being very preoccupied – they pace up and down the corridors like blundering[8] turkey chicks. I don’t want any arguments. And rumours started that the government would cut the funding for this project.

They are trying to make a completely new self-teaching brain which, in addition to being stuffed with all kinds of information will be able to think and feel and have a sense of humour.

I say “completely new” because my brain was assembled somewhat in the dark, no offence, anyone. They used the body and copied the memory of a person who was almost dead – a victim of the gangs on the block. He was a “NO RECOVERY” case. They assembled all this, thanks to the wonder of contemporary electronics – a cryo-active polymer grid – information carrier. CAPGIC. In human language this would mean, if you can imagine it, a bicycle chain, folded many times and with holes stuffed with plasticine and then another layer of chain, stuffed with plasticine, and as a result a multilayer complex structure is created which is absolutely unique and unpredictable – just like the human brain.

So, as they were in a hurry and there was no time to think about the motor structures, my, how shall I put it, my “creators” just copied the memory of  that other guy onto the CAPGIC and then put it back into his body, then stuffed in all kinds of modules, devices and information. I am the result of all this – speaking just 24 languages, knowing the history, science and culture of almost all contemporary and ancient nations in such detail that if you stay with me until the end of the story I will tell you all about them.

But what I’m most happy about is my sense of humour, which is not due to any technology but rather to my inheritance from the innocent man who got killed in the street. In my entirely human mind I can detect a superiority feeling that is not a result of the wide scope of knowledge and skills implanted in me. A large amount of the knowledge recorded in my head must have been there already. That guy must have known something that the smart guys couldn’t get at. And although I sometimes feel that I have two souls, I have that superiority feeling too. We are yet to see whether there is a reason for it or not.

I often think that if scientists would tell me about their problems, I would immediately be able to tell them where they are wrong and help them out to go forward. But… Is it really worth the effort?

If they are hiding it from me – let them bust their brains. I am not dragging them out of the swamp against their will, am I?

Still, it is stupid to have the latest model of Mercedes in the garage and use it only to show off in the park in front of your home. I personally would drive it out on the highway and force it to the limit, I would.

But, as I said, they are not me.

 

 

            * * *

 

            The painkiller OUTIN was initially invented by the MilitaryMedicalAcademyfor agents who have been captured. If one takes more than 200mg[9] the medication makes the soul “part” from the body and, even when tortured, agents do not give away any information at all. Once it was introduced onto the black market it quickly became the most popular drug, the basis for the so called “strip parties”. An outsider at a party like that may flip out with horror at the sight of bodies lying around flat on the floor as numb as logs. The only person half awake is the “driver”. This is the DJ of the party, who stays half sober not because of the traffic police but to be able to welcome new guests and change the tracks as the ones who are heading into the “outness”[10] wish. A dosage of precisely 150 mg opens up the senses of the driver so he can hear the voices of the ones who have crossed the line and play the music they order. Unlike usual parties, these are very quiet. Due to the sharp sensitivity, for instance, the volume of the music does not need to be on max. Here no one is trying to shout louder than the others …. Well… How should I put it – it is as quiet as in a temple.

OUTIN does not cut the “thin silver thread” that connects the body to the mind. The only downside is the duration of the trip into the outness. A smaller dosage does not “get you out” You can become supersensitive but that’s it. An overdose can send you to the world beyond, but it depends on your body, of course. The most shocking case was when one person remained comatose after 900mg of OUTIN. “Drivers” know he is close out there but they haven’t been able to bring him back to his body for two years now. His functions are kept on drips at the MMA’s Research Centre.

200mg can send you out for six hours. Recovery takes no less than eight hours. You can get addicted to it just like to alcohol. OUTIN is the third product from grape processing. It is made from alcohol. It can only be made in small quantities. It is excessively expensive on the black market. It will replace cocaine altogether. Traditional drug making countries will go under. The largest manufacturers of OUTIN areSpain,France,ItalyandBulgaria. Annual turnover of 900 billion Euro.

This is what I know thanks to the mathematical model I developed, based on facts and presumptions I made according to the geography and the climate of the countries[11].

 

***



[1]              In the formerUSSR military they have kept the address ‘товарищ’, meaning ‘comrade’. The idea being that everybody there is a comrade in battle. The Doctor says: ‘Comrade Admiral, please don’t do this!’

[2]              ‘Comrade Admiral, the aircraft is not ready.’

[3]              ‘Comrade Admiral, permission to go out for a test run!’

[4]              ‘Admiral. We shouldn’t lose the kid!’

[5]              ‘Launch normal. All readings within the norms. ‘

[6]              KICKAPOO – a native American tribe, whose name means ‘wanderers’. Here it is used as a cool person who can kick some ass.

[7]              7 Being in the dark – in this case it is used to mean not being aware of things.

[8]             Turkey chicks can be seen to be blundering, due to a disease called hemeralopia, which makes them unable to see in bright light and causes them to move clumsily, without any apparent direction and with slow reactions.

[9]              The same effect is achieved when dripping two drops in the eyes. The eyes get very white. It starts working in three minutes. It is recommended to people of less patience.

[10]             “Outness” – meaning “out of body”.

[11]             Well… Some of the data I had “pinched” from the mainframe. Don’t forget I have a direct uplink. In addition, my brain is a computer too, only a more powerful one.

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