Anomaly Frango - a fantastic novel with real people from IT

    I am glad to present you my novel Anomaly Frangú. Genre - adventure science fiction. Carefully, you can meet familiar people as characters!

    The fact is that in the spring of 2016, I decided to write a story about a brawl during a space race. I invited my friends on the social network to participate as a character. The idea was to try to put real people in an unreal-fantastic world. Twenty people responded. I mentioned this idea in my article on Habré two years ago.

    These are mainly representatives of IT, game development and science. With a high degree of probability, you will meet familiar names in the novel.

    Two years later, this book appeared. Pure typing time on a keyboard is two months, if you count an 8-hour working day. Coming up with ideas and storylines took probably another six months.

    Before publishing the text, I gave him a closed beta test in my social network. Judging by the reviews, the novel turned out to be fascinating. Hope you like it too!

    Electronic and paper versions of the book are available on Liters, Bookmate, Amazon and other sites. Annotation of the book:

    Henri is a veteran of the space fleet and the best pilot of humanity. Trying to break the record in the intergalactic race, he gets involved in the confrontation of the powerful forces of the universe. The space fleet, cyborg pirates and artificial intelligence will come together in a fight, trying to use Henri to their advantage.

    While writing the book I made several musical compositions that can be considered as a soundtrack for the novel. Using my ASCII ART style graphics, I prepared several videos. They are distributed evenly throughout the text.

    The volume of the novel is more than 400 thousand characters. I decided to break it into four parts. I hope this format will be acceptable to readers on Habré.

    To my wonderful children: Yana, Misha and Sebastian

    PART 1. Cosmopark, present

    CHAPTER 1. Henry Rider

    Have you seen a new Mind Jump Reader? Looks like this is exactly what I was looking for. Its main feature is a wireless connection to the thought centers of the cerebral cortex. Now I no longer need to use the occipital connector, which I generally want to remove - outdated. I put a new reader in my pocket, activated it - and you can safely listen to the metabook while working. And I, guys, work as a pilot of the Attraction No. 8 in the space park “Space Park Frang”.

    Most likely, you have not heard about our space fleet, because it is located on the outskirts of the studied Universe, next to the planet Frangō, right in the center of the anomaly of the same name. As my friend Timur Khmelkov, called Experienced, says, we are terribly popular ... among the local group of galaxies! Think park is empty? As if not so - the park is visited by one hundred million tourists a year, each of which spends a bunch of π-asters on the road and paying for an entrance ticket. Just in the universe damn the people.

    My shift has just begun. My rider had no visitors, as, however, most of the other pilots of the Attraction No. 8 did. Only a few riders, loaded with tourists, were heading for the gateways of the dome to enter the track. Soon the tourists will get what they came for millions of light years - an extreme race amid the chaos of asteroids with the risk to life.

    I activated the reader, leaned on board the rider and went deep into the settings. In the next hour, a communications ship should arrive on the planet with a new portion of data from the global network. There will be metabook news. It is necessary to set up AI - the artificial intelligence of the reader, so that it automatically requests and begins to download the metabook of the subject I need. The problem is that when the arriving communications ship connects to the planet’s network, hundreds of millions of people will begin to pump out exabytes of information. Wow and the brakes will be! But let the AI ​​of the reading room deal with this, you just have to tell him your genre preferences.

    In the midst of a mental conversation with AI, I heard a very real timid female voice:

    - Hello...

    Looking up, I saw four visitors in front of me: two girls and two men. A smile on duty turned on my face. Not that I smiled to everyone I met, rather the opposite, but the space fleet has its own code of personnel behavior with visitors. And having felt the dumb reproach of the workers' surveillance cameras, I tried to make the smile more convincing and began to sound the text I had memorized before vomiting:

    - Welcome to Attraction number 8! The most extreme attraction in the whole universe! Only here you can experience extreme loads in 10g, passing dizzying turns along the ancient routes in the real rider of the colonists of the planet. Riders are driven by human pilots!

    It was the key phrase, after which it was supposed to pause. The fact is that in all developed civilizations of the Universe, technology is controlled exclusively by SupremeAI — artificial intelligence with self-awareness. They are several orders of magnitude superior man in piloting. Over thousands of years of operation, their skills have been honed many times. People already could not imagine that a person can control the equipment himself!

    But on my home planet, Frang, SupremeAI could not function because of the anomaly surrounding the planet. Anomaly disables any quantum processor. The processors on the Frangō ships were transistor! No SupremeAI can work on such schemes. Only a primitive AI, hardly coping with the calculation of a small number of trajectories furiously flying in the anomalies of asteroids. From my very childhood I flew this antediluvian technique, until I got into the space fleet and flew off the planet ...

    Put three seconds to pause for the tourists to understand the information ended, and I sighed, happily continued:

    - The ship on which we are going to fly now is a modification of the rider-ship of the first colonists of the planet, who two thousand years ago managed to get through to the planet through the infested mass of asteroids anomaly Frang. Our four-hour ride will be similar to a roller coaster, only every next turn will be random. Neither I nor the onboard AI can calculate the trajectories of asteroids flying from all sides more than a second ahead. Our life depends on my reaction, as well as on the computing power of AI, because a collision with an asteroid is one hundred percent death!

    Now it was necessary to pause a little longer, so that tourists would realize the risk and begin to feel fear for their lives. By and large, the tourists went to us precisely for this. Our rides gave people two things. Firstly, this is the feeling of an animal's fear of death. Secondly, the understanding that their life is in the hands of another person. Neither one nor the other could be felt in developed civilizations of mankind, two thousand years of not knowing wars, where any danger of human life is excluded as such. Technologies and artificial intelligences SupremeAI carefully protect the body and human consciousness in the society of central civilizations. Here, on the outskirts, right in the center of the anomaly, weak AI could not fully insure a person from his mistakes, as well as from the mistakes of other people and technology. I continued:

    - But do not worry! I am an experienced pilot who graduated from the Yuri Krasilnikov Flight School - the best pilot school in the Universe. One millionth of a percent is just such a chance. What we. Today. We'll die ... Ha ha ha!

    It was with such foolish laughter that every pilot had to finish the opening speech for the visitors of the attraction. If only they knew how many pilots died on these tracks before they built a space park here.

    Previously, on the octahedron, the asteroid, on which the spacepark was built, the training base of the flight school was located. Pilots of different degrees of training trained on the tracks of varying difficulty. The most difficult was the route number eight. Eight hundred years ago, legendary pilot Yuri Krasilnikov set a record of passing on it, which no one can still beat. Although there were many attempts. More than seven thousand pilots died trying to exceed the time of Yuri. Someone died from overloads - did not calculate the acceleration power during maneuver. Someone crashed on an asteroid - the onboard AI did not have time to calculate the approaching stones. Someone went missing ...

    The marketing service of the space fleet fully used the tragic history of the tracks for advertising purposes. Immediately after the discovery, forty years ago, a prize of fifty billion π-stars was announced to the race that beat the eight-hundred-year record. The prize will be divided equally among all participants in the race, including the pilot. In the forty years of the attraction's existence, there have been only thirty attempts to set a new record. Two ships crashed.

    To my regret, the past few years have not made any attempts to set a record. The fact is that, according to the established rules of the space fleet, a full load of the ship by visitors is necessary for participation in a record race. The smallest rider accommodates four passengers. Everyone has to pay a million π-asters for participating in a record race. And yes ... The probability of being killed to death is almost 7%. This is an extreme level of risk for most people in modern civilizations of humanity.

    By the way, my rider can only accommodate four passengers. And if you ask why I, the best pilot of the Universe, are sticking up in this place and babysitting with fastidious tourists, think about my share of ten billion π-stars. Decent reason? It remains only to wait for "tourists suicide." Well, still break the record.

    For example, these four. Another of the thousands of majors, who decided to add pepper to their lives? During the years that I work here, visitors have long ago merged into a gray mass for me. Duty smiles, duty words, boring slow flights ...

    - Daddy! Stop pouring water. We were told that you are the most powerful driver here. I paid a million π not to listen to any shnyaga. Harnessed yes went for the prize!

    This unexpected tirade was issued by a tall, tight guy in his thirties. I forced myself to focus on the approaching four because the phrase was not typical. Having considered better-matched visitors, I realized that today would be a different day.

    - The fact that I am the best pilot, you certainly did not cheat! However, you said that you paid a million π-asters to participate in a record race?

    - Well, yes, that's what I said! Or your anomaly cuts off more and the rumor among the Aborigines? Although why should the driver hear? Ha ha ha!

    The guy was definitely rude. Suddenly, the intercom of the space fleet sounded in my head, and I recognized the familiar voice of Byvaliy:

    - @ Dispatch | Timur Khmelkov . Listen, Henri, we ran here completely and forgot to warn you ... hmm ... now four visitors will come to you, they all paid for a record run. Imagine, laid out a million π-asters! There is turmoil already. Television has arrived. Clear the track in about twenty minutes. You are this, roll them a little faster, let everyone experience their own π-asters. But without fanaticism, ok?

    Ha, without fanaticism. Of course, without fanaticism. For several years I was preparing for the day when four passengers would approach me like this for a record-breaking ride. And now everything will go according to my plan, which will begin to be implemented ... right now:

    - @ | Henri . Of course, Experienced, everything will be Chiki-tiki. Do not worry.

    - @ Dispatch | Timur Khmelkov . Henri, I know your desire to break the record and get a prize. And respect the reasons. But you understand that this is impossible. I never noticed your suicidal feelings. Be a good boy. OK?

    - @ | Henri . I will deliver passengers safe and sound. But be on the blocker!

    - @ Dispatch | Timur Khmelkov . I don’t like it ... well, here strange guests came to the control room. [End of communication]

    A disconnect signal has sounded. About the blocker - this is me, I joked. The fact is that on each rider a lock was installed. At any time, the control room could activate it. In this case, control of the ship passed to the backup pilot in the control room, who, of course, could not continue the race at the same pace due to the signal delay. His task was to return the ship to the launch point in case of problems with the pilot on the rider. Such a backup pilot in the control room was every pilot in each race. Since Experienced contacted me via the official intercom from the control room, it means that he will most likely be my backup pilot.

    Do you know what I did in the first place after talking to Experienced? Launched a script that quietly unlocks the lock from the rider control interfaces. I need complete control. But who are these “tourists suicide bombers”? It's time to meet you.

    - The dispatcher has just confirmed that you all paid for participation in the record race. This is a bold step that no one has long taken. You have signed a contract in which you remove responsibility from the space fleet for possible injuries and death. Before we get on a rider and try our luck, let's get acquainted.

    I straightened my shoulders and turned on the holography of orders received at the space fleet. Those who in the next hour with a probability of 50% will get serious injuries, and with a probability of 50% will die, deserve a respectful attitude. Yes, and rewards ever come in handy.

    “Let me introduce myself, my name is Henri, retired cosmoflot lead-pilot. I am sixty years old, although you are unlikely to give me more than forty, and I myself more than twenty. Some people consider me the best human pilot in the universe, but I would argue with that. But no, I will not.

    I fell silent and looked inquiringly at the tourists. They looked at each other. The word took a tall, tight guy who called me dad:

    - Well, I - Anton Karpenko, a businessman from Andromeda. My business was excellent, but then it did not work out ... ha-ha! Ten yards will fix the situation anyway. I heard the chance to break is 7%. Ready to put life on the win, 93% - a good deal.

    It seemed a cheerful, smiling guy, Anton. Only here his strange tenacious gaze was not combined with mock hospitality.

    The next word was taken by a pale girl with a chiseled figure in an elegant black dress:

    - My name is Evgeny Kolobukhov, I am an actress. In your hole ... Oh. On your planet about me, of course, did not hear. I argued with friends that I would participate in the race. Money does not really interest me.

    So, it seems, it is a bored celebrity, there are a lot of these.

    I looked at the lanky, unshaven dark-haired man with glasses.

    - Call me Ivan Gerasimchuk, the rest ... does not matter.

    Here the lanky was wrong. For me, it is just desirable to know who will sit behind me. But Ivan was silent and did not intend to report anything else.

    The last tourist was a tall figure skater, the owner of a shy voice:

    - I’m Victoria Shishkin, I just need to prove something to someone.

    Yes-ah, a strange company, not like ordinary visitors. On the other hand, visitors coming for a record run cannot be normal. It's time to tell what they will:

    - Dear passengers. Now we will sit in the rider, connect life control devices, put on wearable gravity suits and fasten the latches. Our route number eight crosses almost the entire semi-stable zone. We have to get to the extreme asteroid, which is the finish line. If we get there faster than twenty-five minutes and fourteen with a little second, we get ten billion π-asters. We will go to the limit. Possible short-term overload in 150g. The main task is not to lose consciousness for a long period. Now we sit in the rider, and I will continue the briefing.

    Now the passengers are worried. The number 150g, of course, scares. The truth is that with such a maximum overload it is impossible and close to get to the record. Overloading will be significantly higher. But I have a plan for how to set a record and leave as many passengers as possible.

    The guys started to come on board. The horror was read in the eyes of the brunette Vika. The rest were calm. Too calm. I did not like their eyes. This is the eyes of professionals. It is unlikely that they are ordinary businessman, actress and generally it is not clear who. But I was by and large all the same. The main thing is that the clamps work reliably, the life support catheters are connected to the circulatory system of the tourists and they do not carry anything on board. But to check the latter, I had a special apparatus.

    Every tourist arriving at the space park runs a lot of cordons. There are so many that bringing weapons, explosives or other prohibited items is unrealistic. Sensors installed throughout. They continuously scan passing passengers. And nevertheless, I installed an additional scanner on my rider - I grabbed it from a battle cruiser.

    The total report of the space fleet scanners for my passengers showed four zeros. However, the AI ​​of my on-board scanner showed “moderate alertness” status. This was the first time. It was necessary to search the passengers, which I did, helping to wear gravity-compensating suits. I did not find anything.

    Maybe through the catheters of the life support system to add the serum of truth to them and ask around? I had such systems on the rider, do not be surprised. But, after weighing all the pros and cons, I abandoned this thought - the serum introduced to all passengers could cause a conflict situation. You never know, they will begin to tell. All I did was turn on a more stringent operating mode of the fixers, in which it was difficult not to get anything, it was difficult to move my hands.

    The Mind Jump Reader is suddenly activated. Probably, started downloading metabooks from the communication ship. But instead of the download report, I heard the voice of Byvaliy:

    - # 0 . Henri, don't be scared, this is Experienced. I connected to you through your new reader. My message is like a metabook. You hear me, I do not - you. One of the passengers is a saboteur hired by the competitors of our space fleet. He or she wants to do something bad. Cancel your check! The administration has forbidden to tell you this information. Here in the control room is also the military from the space fleet. They just want you to start the race. Please do not start. You have that right. Here something is not clean! I hope you hear me ...

    Of course I hear, my friend. But even the presence of a saboteur does not change anything. I need to set a record, and you know why. To find out what happened forty years ago.

    She kills courageous pilots, Picks her
    best pilots.
    Folklore of the planet Frangō

    CHAPTER 2. Dispatching space park

    The director of the space park, Natalya Matveeva, walked briskly into the huge hall of the control room and headed straight for the Experimental console. Nearly a dozen of millions of tourists are now having fun on an area of ​​eighty-six square kilometers. All eight faces of the octahedron — the asteroid on which the spacepark is located — were filled by more than 90% of visitors. Ensuring the safe operation of all attractions is what the hundreds of employees in the control room every day. But today was an unusual day.

    - Hello, Timur, - turned Natalya to Experienced.

    - Greetings, director.

    - Thank you for interrupting your holidays at my request!

    Natalya sat in the next chair, stretched her legs and continued:

    - Do you already know that four people paid for participation in a record race?

    - Of course, everyone already knows about this, even the last AI of the cleaning robot.

    - Well, do you understand what our task is? We need a big event!

    - If they break today - it will really be a big event.

    Natalia frowned. For five years of work in the space park, she achieved a two-fold increase in the number of visitors and a three-fold increase in profits. The park was literally bursting with rich tourists. Everything was fine until the moment when a competitor park "Lux Space" opened at the neighboring star. The competitors calculated the place and services well, firmly adhering to the flow of tourists to the space park. "Lux Space" - an ordinary luxury park. Yes, the tourists, as before, went to the space park on Frangō for the extreme, but ... at the same time we stopped to dive in for a while into the familiar luxury of the successfully located Lux ​​Space.

    The last two months, the growth rate of the number of tourists has become negative. Worse, the revenue per visitor began to fall, because the average residence time was reduced from a month to three weeks. Natalia was planning a new advertising wave, but she needed an event. And the dramatic race for a huge prize, which nevertheless will end without sacrifice, well ... maybe with some injuries - exactly what you need!

    - I offered you many times, let's organize a record-breaking race. We will select tourists. Let's make a colorful picture.

    - And then the journalists from the center will get to the truth, and everything will collapse! It’s not for me to tell you what wolves work there and what powers the journalists have now.

    - Where did these four come from so well then? Three years there was no one, and here once - and immediately four paid a million.

    Natalya thoughtfully looked at Byvaliy, deciding what part of the information it would be beneficial for her to disclose. Instinctively lowering her voice, she decided to tell almost everything:

    - A week ago, a record appeared on the Extreme Univers global network of a certain Anton Karpenko, a bankrupt businessman from Andromeda, who was looking for three companions to participate in our record race. Surprisingly, after a couple of days there were three more willing. And today they met, filed an application and immediately paid for it.

    - Suppose they really gathered on their own. Then this is just good luck for us. But something disturbs you. Something is wrong?

    - And how not so! In the application, they filled out the optional item "Pilot of arrival." Guess from one time whom they indicated?

    - Oh ...

    - That's it. We talked with them gently, but they insisted on Henri!

    Natalya leaned toward Byvaliy and spoke even more quietly:

    - Timur, you know Henri from the school itself. You were his mentor. Please talk to him. It is necessary that he just shook these tourists a little stronger than usual and calmly brought them back. Let him forget about his record! I'll write him a big prize! Very big!

    Timur Khmelkov, nicknamed Byvaliy, was really Henri's mentor at the flight school forty years ago. That is why he knew that it was impossible to manage Henri.

    - Ok, Natalia, I will contact Henri now and talk to him. But you understand ...

    Timur was interrupted, as two military men in the form of a cosmo fleet, a man and a woman, approached his console. Their holographic insignia showed that the real generals stood before him. And their faces were familiar to Bvaliy. Turning to Natalia, the man spoke:

    - Good day. We are looking for the director of the space park, Natalia Matveyeva, is that you?

    - Yes it's me.

    - Allow me to introduce myself, Vladimir Katalov, general of the cosmo fleet, commander of the eighth legion of long-range intelligence. Next to me is General Alla Khramtsova, head of the analytical department of long-range intelligence.

    Natalya, who clearly read on her face: “Only the military was still not enough,” stood up, shook hands with the generals, called out two bot chairs, and said:

    - Please, sit down and explain to me what is due to the visit of such important guests.

    While the guests were seated, Byvaly conducted a silent dialogue on the intercom with Henri, who promised that everything would be chiki-tiki. Catching Natalia's skeptical look, he realized that she had heard the conversation and didn’t believe Henri one iota. He did not believe it either.

    Meanwhile, sitting comfortably in his chair, General Katalov turned to Natalia and Byvaliy:

    - As you know, according to the law of the commonwealth of central civilizations of mankind, the space fleet can introduce a state of emergency during special operations. If you, Natalia, now look into your mailbox, you will see the corresponding official notification with the importance of "absolute".

    It took a second for the director to mentally enter his mailbox, read the emergency notice and verify his authenticity. Her face stretched out in surprise. The general continued:

    - The state of emergency is introduced throughout the space fleet. Management passes to us. At the time of the special operation, I'll be the main one here.

    Experienced quite loudly hemmed. What did these madcap from the "crazy four" start again? More than forty years ago, Timur Khmelkov, a graduate student of the school of flights, nicknamed Byvaliy, was appointed as a mentor to four young teenagers: cheerful Vladimir Katalov and good Alla Khramtsova, who now became generals of the cosmofloat, troublemaker Henri, and purposeful to fanaticism Ekaterina Kirik. Oh, and made a rustle of "crazy four" in the school of flights. What they just did not get up! That will steal new experimental aspirated - go around the planet at a speed of 30,000 km / h. They will have a picnic on the forbidden stable zone of the anomaly, to which even professional pilots were afraid to fly. Others would have been expelled a long time ago, but the guys had what was most valued on the planet Frangō the most - innate talent. Experienced friends with the four and covered their pranks as he could. Until the release. Until that ill-fated race.

    Meanwhile, the director of the space park, Natalya Matveeva, asked in an agitated voice:

    - What is the special operation?

    - You do not worry! This is a small operation in which only those gathered here will participate, the general said in a soothing voice.

    Experienced looked around and asked:

    “And what are we going to do here, friend generals?” Catching pirates, which kosmoflot chases the universe for three and a half thousand years?

    General Vladimir Katalov frowned, General Alla Khramtsova looked at Byvaly with interest, and Natalya looked with surprise, not understanding why Experienced talked so boldly with high-ranking representatives of the space fleet.

    Sighing, the general explained:

    - Everything will be quick and easy. We here in the control room, see how the pilot, Henry, with four passengers on board, set a track record. Immediately after this, the special operation will end and control will pass to you, Natalia. It's very simple, is not it? Your task is not to interfere. Calmly half an hour to sit in these wonderful chairs under your power?

    The general looked blankly at Byvaly, who responded with the same direct look. Then Experienced looked at Alla and asked:

    - What do you mean, not only that you have written off Henri from the space fleet? Do you want it to crash too?

    - I did not write it off! - General Khramtsova answered loudly.

    “Easy, Alla,” General Katalov said softly. - Experienced, we have not seen you for several decades, but remember us and think, would we wish for Henry's evil?

    General Katalov took out a small cryptocube from the inside pocket of his uniform:

    - You know what it is? - He turned to Byvaliy. - This is an activator powers Henri. Resignation was canceled. He was given back all his awards and was promoted. But ... he refuses to return! I knocked some fairy tales in my head and ...

    - This is not a fairy tale! And the legends of the planet Frang, Vladimir.

    - Yes, the legend ... Henri must return to the kosmoflot. His help is very important now. Something strange is happening in the Universe, Experienced, and you would know that if you weren't stuck on the planet.

    The director of the space park, Natalya Matveeva, listened attentively to the conversation and now decided to intervene:

    - Gentlemen, let me clarify one question. If Henri crashes today together with the passengers, it will be a very strong blow to the space fleet's reputation. What will cause problems with the economy of the planet. Senator of the planet Frangō will be displeased.

    - We understand, Natalya, but, I can assure you, the situation is under control.

    After biting her lip, the director was pondering whether to tell her any information. After thinking for a couple of seconds, she decided:

    - My informants said that one of the participants in the race is not who he claims to be. We suspect that our competitors' saboteur, Lux Space Park, has infiltrated the race. There is evidence that they are preparing a terrorist attack. Maybe they want to steal a rider and crash into a hotel.

    Silence hung around the Byvaly console. The military pondered the situation, silently conferring with each other. Finally, General Katalov announced the decision:

    - Natalia, thanks for your cooperation! We have analyzed your information. Despite your suspicions, the situation remains under control. The only request and ... order, do not inform Henri about a possible saboteur on board. This may interfere with the operation.

    - Yes, I did, - answered Natalia and smiled. Whatever happens, she is not responsible for this. She simply executes orders, as it should be in an emergency.

    - Well, fine! - General Katalov showed a charming smile. - Experienced, can I count on your help?

    - Rather yes, than not, - Experienced answered and also smiled.

    The last few seconds Experienced feverishly tried to establish a non-monitored connection with Henri, who was literally lined with tracking equipment. In the view of Experienced, there was only one way to resolve the situation - the failure of Henri to race. Unannouncedly delivered to Henri a message, having bypassed the most powerful defensive AI of the space fleet, could only be one person on Frangou - the director of the computer center of the flight school, Professor Nadezhda Moskvin, nicknamed the Seer. But to connect with the Seer, it takes time ...

    Unusually loud voices and noise were heard in the control room. All looked inquiring in the direction of the entrance. Reporters approached Byvaly’s console. Glittering holographic signs above their shoulders showed that they belonged to the official pool of journalists of the commonwealth, and this meant broad powers. Over the operator glowed red sign live. However, here, in the center of the anomaly, it was a convention. It was fantastically difficult and expensive to make a signal from the anomaly outside, to the repeater. This is only a cosmoflot. Therefore, the rest of the Universe will see the recording only when journalists get out of the space fleet.

    A swarm of camera-drones swirled around the high operator. The reporter, a swift girl with long curly hair, surrounded by drones of local illumination, was rapidly approaching the unmistakable place of events — the Experienced remote console. I heard her confident, well-placed voice:

    - ... and here we are approaching the console support record-breaking arrival. Here, the pilot understudy will insure the pilot on the rider, but in today's race of fifty billion π-asters the understudy is unlikely to help ...

    Still pacing the last meters, the reporter glanced at Balky:

    - ... but what we see, the backup pilot of Henri will be the former owner of the space fleet Timur Khmelkov ...

    The gaze of the girl leapt at Natalia, and then at the military:

    - ... here is the director of the cosmopark Natalia Matveyeva, as well as ... wow, two generals of the space fleet ...

    The reporter and operator finally reached the console and stopped. Drones-cameras and drones of lighting were scattered around the shooting location. Without interrupting her speech, the reporter rattled on:

    - ... hello, the official pool of journalists of the Commonwealth, reporter Vladislav Malinov and cameraman Dmitry Vysotsky, could you introduce yourself and tell us what does the space fleet have to do with a record ride in an amusement park? - unceremoniously addressed the girl to the military.

    General Katalov, smiling dazzlingly, began to talk in a confident voice:

    - Hello, Vladislav and Dmitry. Please look carefully at your holographic marks of authority right now.

    The general snapped his fingers, and literally before our eyes, the signs surrounding journalists, including the live broadcast, began to go out.

    “Please remove the journalists from the room in which they no longer have the right to be,” the general said to the guards.

    Without being confused at all, the reporter continued:

    - It seems that there is something much more serious than just a record race. We are leaving the control room, as the military, as you just saw, with one flick of the fingers canceled our authority to admit. This is only possible in an emergency, for example in an emergency. Let's go directly to the rider pilot, Henri ...

    Journalists, along with a swarm of drones headed for the exit. However, General Khramtsova unexpectedly stopped them:

    - Wait. Join us. From here you can better observe what is happening.

    General Katalov looked inquiringly at his companion. She turned to him for silent communication:

    - Vova, I requested information about these journalists in my department. The real journalists Vladislav Malinov and Dmitry Vysotsky are now in a completely different place a million light-years away. But there is a stranger thing. I scanned these two supposedly journalists - their biosignature is not in our database. Moreover ... the identity index for a man is only 40% for a male operator. What do we do?

    Without ceasing to smile, General Katalov snatched the piercer, set it in stunner mode, and with two well-aimed shots sent journalists to rest on the floor:

    - We will begin!

    Experienced loudly hemmed.

    CHAPTER 3. Cosmopark Security Office

    The cosmopark security office was built in the underground levels of an asteroid. A network of high-speed metro lines of special purpose connected the security office with every acre of the space park. If necessary, the team of security guards could move to any point of the park in no more than a couple of minutes. And all this is out of sight of tourists.

    However, almost all security support functions were given to imperceptible microdrones and office operators. Drones cameras allowed to see a potentially conflict situation in time. The most common incidents were clashes between tourists. Such situations were perfectly predicted by the AI ​​of the monitoring systems, and even before the conflict was turning into a hot stage, gun drones were sent out. They neatly injected a light mixture of relaxator into the airways of the troublemakers. After that, as a rule, people calmed down and became best friends. At least until the end of his stay in the space park.

    But there have been special cases. Sometimes the space park served as a place of settling the accounts of powerful clans of the Universe. Sometimes there was a carefully prepared revenge. Such rare and complex cases involved the head of security Pavel Moskvin.

    - Guys, if you write in the guarantee that in case of any malfunctions you change the builders robots to new ones, fulfill your obligations!

    Pavel Moskvin was engaged in his second favorite business after investigations - the construction of his new home on the planet. He was engaged in this in the breaks between work, and since there were no difficult cases requiring his intervention for several months, he was engaged in building all his working and free time.

    - So what if your robots had a fight with the robots of another company? You set it up there normal AI! Do you think I have nothing more to do except to reconcile one scrap metal with another?

    Pavel broke off communication with the supplier of construction robots. He rented robots at once to several companies in order to quickly build a frame house. Everything was good until the robots of different companies began to compete for better building blocks. It came to this carnage.

    Pavel sat on a dais at the center console in the investigation room. The hall was empty. The last time serious accidents did not happen at all. The AI ​​drone operators in the next room did an excellent job of ensuring peace and security in the space fleet. Therefore, Paul sent investigators on leave, if that - he can handle it.

    In the whole investigation room, only one more remote was working. A young girl intern Yana Fomin sat behind him. She recently graduated from a unique university for criminology for people located in the NGC 604 nebula. Forensic people could only get jobs in remote, backward civilizations, where artificial intelligence intelligence investigators SupremeAI were too expensive. There are practically no such civilizations left. Therefore, an internship in the cosmopark of the planet Frangō bustling with life seemed to Yana to be a great chance. On the one hand, the planet was relatively developed, with a complex socio-political life. On the other hand, the influence of the anomaly surrounding the planet did not allow quantum convolution processors to function. This meant the impossibility of the existence of SupremeAI here! And that changed everything.

    Yana anticipated grand cyber investigations in the spy-infested center of space entertainment. However, in the space park it was planted for the usual monitoring of reports from AI about drunk tourists. She, after ten years of training, graduated from the best institute of criminology for people, was engaged in work, which was carried out in the next room by operators who had completed a week-long course.

    But today promised to be more interesting. An hour ago, four tourists filed an application for participation in the "deadly" record race. And as a pilot, they need none other than the disgraced pilot of the space fleet of Henri. And that is not all. Literally a million kilometers from the anomaly, for several hours a huge cruiser of the Juchi space fleet, from which two generals had just arrived at the space fleet, stuck out.

    Yana carried out an urgent request - to check "tourists-death". The problem was the lack of a direct connection to the global network, which made it impossible to immediately make a request to all the necessary databases. Yana has already formed the necessary requests for the outgoing communication ship. While he was flying out of the anomaly, making a request to the global network and coming back, Yana snatched existing local blockchains of personalities and analyzed the behavior records to find possible accomplices. At the moment, everything was confirmed by the legends of "tourist death".

    The communications ship went out of the jamming zone and began to connect to the information gateway. Ten minutes later he will make a full connection to the network of the planet. But the security men had a personal communication channel with the ship and could receive information earlier. What and took advantage of Yana. After a quick look at the responses to requests to global databases, Yana burst out:

    - Oh.

    Raising a bored look at Yana, Pavel asked:

    - What is it?

    - You know, one of the passengers of the record check-in, Victoria Shishkina, is the daughter of General Khramtsova!

    - Hmm.

    Paul got up and stretched. Looks like today will have to work.

    - You want to say that four people decided to participate in a record race with a probability of dying at 7%, while choosing a pilot of a cosmoflot piloted from retirement, which, in my opinion, increases their chances of crashing to 100%, with one of these people is the daughter of a general cosmoflot ...

    Pavel looked at his monitors and continued:

    - ... while the general, the girl's mother, is now in the control room and will apparently be watching her daughter risk her life?

    Intern Yana Fomina nodded and innocently replied:

    - Yeah! Although, maybe they, on the contrary, now will cancel everything.

    - Hmm.

    - By the way, there is still interesting information ...

    Pavel stopped Yana with a wave of his hand, because he received a silent intercom call from the director in the control room:

    - @ Dispatch | Natalia Matveeva . Pasha, hello. I have guests in the control room: two generals. The space fleet enters the state of emergency on the territory of the space fleet, check your authority and subordination - you will be surprised. General Katalov is now in command. They have something like a special operation, but no noise. They want Henri to set a record in the race!

    - @ Office Sat | Pavel Moskvin . Want to make money?

    - @ Dispatch | Natalia Matveeva . I'm not joking, Pasha! Listen further. The journalists have just arrived, so the general put them down with a stunner!

    - @ Office Sat | Pavel Moskvin . Wow.

    - @ Dispatch | Natalia Matveeva . Understand what is happening here! It seems to me that the military will not let us with the Experienced from here until the end of the race. Therefore, all hope is on you. And yet ... to my knowledge, a saboteur hired by Lux Space can take part in the race.

    - @ Office Sat | Pavel Moskvin . And you tell me this just now?

    - @ Dispatch | Natalia Matveeva . Sorry. Take your whole team and start pulling us out of possible problems! [End of communication]

    Pavel pensively stood in the middle of the empty room of the investigation department and looked at his entire team, which he could now assemble, at a young girl trainee.

    Yana patiently waited for her boss to drop from a silent conversation. Then, unexpectedly, she received instructions:

    - So, trainee. New job. On board a record of arrival is one or more saboteurs. Your task is to calculate them! Get started

    “Yeah,” Yana said cheerfully, and with a battle look, plunged into the data of the monitors.

    Paul decided to come in from the other end. Just because the general space fleet will not paralyze journalists. So, you need to know who they are. The request to the global database through the communications ship is long, so Paul decided to act in the old manner. He put on a holster with a punch, seized special equipment and rushed to the subway. We must pay a visit to the room in which the journalists settled. See what's what.

    Minute journey on the underground conveyor ended at the elevator shaft minus the fifth floor of the desired hotel. Another minute went on waiting for the elevator and the ascent to the fifty-seventh floor. Approaching the “57.264” number, Pavel touched the door with a universal key that opens any locks in the space park buildings. The lock did not open. But it was already very suspicious. Pavel activated the intercom:

    - @ Kvazar Star Hotel | Pavel Moskvin . Yana, open me the number "57.264"!

    - @ Office Sat | Yana Fomin . Of course, boss! Just a second ... Oh, there is protection there, now I’ll launch a couple of my scripts ... Oh, there is a strong defense! I was messing about somehow writing an unlocker with AI, launching ...

    The door squeaked and drove off to the side.

    - @ Kvazar Star Hotel | Pavel Moskvin . Well done! Just in case, I do not disconnect.

    Pavel turned on an effective, but very energy-intensive personal protection of the second level, pulled out a piercer and threw forward a swarm of sensor-drones. A second later, a report came: there was nothing suspicious in the room. Without losing time - the battery charge would last only ten minutes of protection work - Paul carefully moved inside.

    It was a room with two bedrooms and a living room. Moving quickly and silently, Pavel examined all the rooms. The drone sensors scanned things. The only difficulty they have caused some object in the bathroom. Reports showed that the subject was not translucent on some scan ranges. Pavel went into the bathroom and saw an upside down business card on a shelf under the mirror. Scanners showed that this is plain paper, but ... unusually not translucent. I wanted to turn it over, which Paul did.

    On the back of the business card was written some address that Paul could not read. He suddenly swam in his eyes. His legs buckled and he fell to his knees. What the hell? Protection of the second level blocks the penetration of any particles larger than an atom. It also blocks any powerful electromagnetic radiation. The forces left Paul, he put his hands on the floor. Balls of drones fell lifelessly around with the sound of crumbling beads. Paul knew only one theoretically existing device capable of penetrating the defense of the second level, a neuroprogrammer on a directed beam of gravitons. His creation was attributed to pirates. If this is it, then he has only a few minutes left until the personal defense of the last forces blocks the main force of the neuroprogrammer. Unable to resist, Paul fell on his side and lost consciousness.

    - @ Office Sat | Yana Fomin . Boss, is everything okay?


    - @ Office Sat | Yana Fomin . Boss??

    CHAPTER 4. Henry Rider

    Record schedule [00.000]

    - Is everyone ready? ... Then let's go!

    Feeling a pleasant excitement somewhere in the abdomen, I undocked the rider and headed for the airlock, located under the very dome of the space park. The passengers settled down in a semicircle behind my back, securely fixed in comfortable capsule chairs.

    - The countdown will start at exactly 8 hours and 30 minutes. Therefore, we will now exit the airlock into space and wait a bit. If you have questions, now is the last chance to ask them ...

    There were no questions.

    - Guys, our race is a great event for the planet Frangō. Hundreds of millions of people are watching your faces right now. Entry will see at least half a trillion viewers from other galaxies. Smile, wave your pen, say something to the Universe!

    As for waving a pen - this, of course, I bent. Gravity compensator costumes began preflight training, leading to muscle tone and the circulatory system. A small blood modification was made through the catheters, and the capsule chair was checked for rotation systems. Considering also the strict operating mode of the latches, it is unlikely that they will wave the handle.

    Here, theoretically, they could still say something, although the system of forced respiration has already injected increased pressure in the lungs to resist overloads, which made speech difficult. It only remained to smile, but in the four video frames of the passengers on my monitor there was not a single smile, only the vital parameters were optimistically glowing with a green status.

    Intercom sounded:

    - @ Dispatch | Timur Khmelkov . Have a good flight, Henri! Do not forget to include the reader of metabooks. Everyone knows that you are listening to metabooks during a flight because it’s already boring to carry passengers on an attraction!

    - @ | Henri . Haha, thanks for reminding, Experienced! I will turn on the recording of your lecture “Piloting Romance”, it takes just half an hour.

    - @ Dispatch | Timur Khmelkov . Then you do not have time to listen to the time of arrival. The record is twenty-five minutes, and the last five minutes in my lecture are the most interesting.

    - @ | Henri . The fact that your lectures can be interesting is unexpected news for people from the studied part of the Universe.

    - @ Dispatch | Timur Khmelkov . You're still the same Losers, Henri! Good luck! [End of communication]

    I activated the reading room, having estimated that Experienced would hardly have just mentioned it. After initialization, the playback of some nameless metabook started, and I again heard the voice of Byvaliy:

    - # 0 . Henri, we need to establish a secure communication channel. Please turn on the co-editing mode of this metabook. So we can send messages to each other. This Seer hacked your new reader. You can say hello to her - she will see all the correspondence.

    Considering that the additional communication channel with Byvaly hardly interferes with my plans, I turned on the joint editing mode and made the first edit-message:

    - # 1 . Hello everyone in this chat!

    Almost immediately I received the answers:

    - # 0 . Happened! Fine!

    - # 2 . Hi, Henri, long time no see!

    - # 3 . Hello everyone, take a stranger.

    The first voice belonged to Byvaliy, the second I recognized almost immediately - the Seer. But who owned the synthesized voice from the last message, I have no time to find out.

    - Ten seconds before the start!

    Capsule chairs have adopted the optimum tilt for initial acceleration. Passengers introduced a cocktail of releasing hormones to help fight the body against stress. After checking the availability of all systems, I turned on autostart. Initially, there will be a full 0.73 seconds of acceleration in a straight line ... Start!

    Record schedule [00.000]

    Wow, great! My body responded pleasantly to an initial overload of 70g. We, the pilots of the planet Frangō, are special people. One hundred generations of adaptation to constant overloads have changed our organisms. And the genetic correction, when it was still resolved, also played a role, although it is not customary to recall this now. Our muscles, bones, internal organs and blood vessels could function under tremendous acceleration. But most importantly, our brain not only maintained performance in a stressful situation of piloting, but also turned into an efficient shunting computer, comparable in performance to the first SupremeAI on quantum circuits with convolution.

    Record schedule [-00.016]

    We accelerated in a straight line a little faster than Yuri Krasilnikov in his record race eight hundred years ago. But the first overclocking had little effect on the result. The main thing is to go through three difficult sections.

    The first of these is the area of ​​small asteroids. Billions of asteroids with a diameter of a kilometer chaotically moved at great speed. It was impossible to calculate the law of their movement. However, it was possible to accurately predict the direction of motion at short distances and in a short period of time.

    Imagine that you went into the labyrinth garden and slowly, walking, found a way out in a few hours. Now imagine that you were swept up there at a speed of 200 km / h. You need to find a way out in conditions where you do not know the maze plan, the walls are moving wildly, and if you touch even one leaf - you will die.

    The faster the pilot wants to go through this segment, the faster he must respond to the predicted trajectory of motion of the nearest asteroids using the AI. The predictions of AI with increasing speed became less and less accurate. The passage corridor became narrower and sometimes disappeared altogether. In this case, everything was decided by intuition - the main weapon of the pilot Frangō. I never complained about my intuition and drove it to the full, having passed the first segment in five minutes.

    Record schedule [-00.023]

    Not bad! I was ahead of the record schedule by more than twenty thousandths of a second. It was possible to take a breath and check the passengers. For them it was not the most difficult part, but he was the first, and the passengers were in shock. I asked the medical AI to evaluate their physical condition. The resuscitation program was launched only two times, eliminating small hemorrhages, both times in a young girl, Victoria Shishkina. The rest were surprisingly prepared passengers.

    - Guys, we overcame the first part of the route and became five minutes closer to the pile of billions. Go ahead a little ahead of schedule. After a couple of minutes, a more serious test will begin. Do not forget to perform the exercises that I told you about. Tighten all your muscles first ...

    I was interrupted by an intercom call:

    - @ Dispatch | Timur Khmelkov . Henri, are you all right there? Cameras turned off inside the cabin. Only external work.

    - @ | Henri . Yes, everything is fine. Apparently, the camera could not stand the chatter.

    - @ Dispatch | Timur Khmelkov . Well, keep us up to date. [End of communication]

    Most likely, something broke when sending a signal from the cameras to the control room. The cameras themselves worked well, because I kept seeing all the passengers on my monitor. Peering more attentively, I noticed that the elbow fixation in Anton Karpenko's capsule chair could not stand the load and burst. It was not very good. Now passengers will experience acceleration beyond their limits. If Anton fails to put out his hand, the bone can not stand it. And he just started to move his hand.

    At the same time, the ship’s protective AI system issued a warning: “Unauthorized connection was recorded!” What kind of nonsense? On-board communication came to life in the voice of Anton:

    - So, Henri, look at me in your monitor and do not twitch!

    In the hand of Anton, a punch appeared from somewhere. When I zoomed in on the image, I whistled: It was the Mongoose bio-piercer. It is not detected by sensors, since it is a living cell. Such an experimental weapon is very difficult to get, and its value exceeds the value of my rider.

    - Do you understand what is in my hand, Henri? … I can not hear.

    - Yes, I understand. And what's next, buddy?

    - From this distance, I do not miss on the back of your head, even with a million g. Continue the flight and swamp to the fullest. But contact with anyone is not necessary, I already control the intercom. All clear? We do not want the valuable brains of the pilot Frangō to spread around the walls of the cabin?

    Protective AI issued a warning: “Could not prevent unauthorized connection! The download of the uninstalled script has begun! ”

    - Dad, if I asked a question, I expect to get an answer to it. I'll ask for the last time. Is it clear?

    - Do not worry, buddy, I understood everything. My brains are still useful to me. And now everyone is ready, in a few seconds the second difficult segment will begin.

    Then something strange happened. Anton's hand shattered into the spray along with his punch, covering the entire cabin with small drops of blood mixed with fragments of flesh. Having quickly glanced over the video frames of the passengers, I saw another biological probe in the hands of Evgenia Kolobukhova, directed at Anton. Clamps today work to hell! On-board communication sounded Eugene's calm voice:

    - Anton, if you want to live - do not twitch!

    Then Evgenia turned to me:

    “Henri, I am a contracting party of the mercenary guild.” I was hired by your employer to prevent possible sabotage of the rival Park "Lux Space". There were reports that a saboteur for hijacking a rider would be introduced to a record-breaking race. Now it is neutralized. Stop arrival and return to the gateway ...

    Late, Zhenya, late. An overload of 200g with a stone slab leaned over the passengers. We raced through the asteroid stream. The diameter of many of them reached 1000 km! In addition, they rotated and touched like gears in a giant mechanism. Now the main thing is not to kill the passengers. They had a long test of severe overload. The capsule chairs rotated wildly, choosing an angle so that the acceleration vector inflicted as little damage as possible. Gravity compensators and life support systems worked to the limit, trying to minimize irreversible injuries.

    It was intense piloting. But despite this, I diverted some of my attention to the conversation with Experienced. Many strange things happened. I did not tell you, but for a moment before entering the second segment, I saw that the ulnar clamp had burst in the Ivan Gerasymchuk capsule chair. In his vacant hand, another Mongoose bio-piercer was formed, which he, however, immediately hid. Too many "Mongooses" on the rider today!

    The defensive AI showed the message: “The malicious script has been downloaded by 30%!”. And I started to edit the message in the metabook:

    - # 1 . On board at least three passengers with punches. Anton Karpenko first pulled out the piercer and threatened them with me. He was neutralized, but did not kill Yevgeny Kolobukhov. She claims that she is the contractor hired by our park, and Anton is a saboteur. Another passenger, Ivan Gerasimchuk, also pulled out a punch, but decided not to intervene yet. And yet, I did not tell you that someone is uploading an uninstalled script to the ship's system?

    Almost immediately the answers appeared:

    - # 0 . Understood, now I will try to deal with the counterparty. The director is sitting next to him.

    - # 2 . Henri, connect the reader to the onboard network with maximum privileges, I will try to block and examine the script.

    - # 0 . Director Natalia Matveeva confirmed that Evgenia Kolobukhova is the counterpart hired by her. This is our man. Tell her to keep all the passengers on the fly! And slow down and return to the base!

    There was no point in saying something to the passengers, they were all unconscious, but they were still alive.

    - # 0 . There is information from the security men. The passenger Victoria Shishkina seems to be the daughter of one of the generals who are in command in the control room. I didn’t want to tell you, but these military are our friends in flight school. This is Vladimir Katalov and Alla Khramtsova. Just like in the old days, Henri ... You, the "crazy four", are stuck in history, and the Seer and I save you.

    So this young passenger girl is Alla's daughter. What the hell is Alla doing here, and why did her daughter sign up for a "death" ride? I had neither time nor resources to analyze the situation.

    Before the rider jumped into the calm area of ​​the track, the reader with a synthesized voice reproduced another message:

    - # 3 . You almost broke the record, Henri! Will you back down?

    Record schedule [-00.280]

    Jumping into a calm zone, I first checked the condition of the passengers. Monitors showed that they were all unconscious. Resuscitation program with might and main worked on the restoration of damage. Survival predictions were good.

    Judging by the testimony of the defensive AI, the malicious script was downloaded at 97.3%, but its download speed dropped drastically. Apparently, the Seer succeeded in blocking him. Maybe still work out!

    - Not bad, let's go! - it sounded suddenly on the onboard network.

    I glanced at the monitors and found that Ivan Gerasimchuk, the most silent passenger, is looking straight into the camera, slowly flexing his muscles. The extra clips were unbuttoned, and his movements were not holding back. The monitor showed that Ivan was unconscious, but here he is - turning his head, inspecting the rest of the passengers and holding the biological pest in his hand.

    - Yes ... I got the guys. But there is still a "turn" ahead.

    Ivan's movements were relaxed, his face was impassive, with a hint of a smile. The punch was not aimed at me, but I physically felt the threat from Ivan. His calm, unhurried voice could not deceive me. Ivan could act with lightning speed - it was a professional. After a brief pause to understand the situation, I said:

    “You know the track well, Ivan, and you are transferring overloads.” Just like a professional pilot from the planet Frangō.

    “Got it,” Ivan smiled.

    Before the finish there was only one difficult part of the track. Taking off at an enormous speed from the asteroid tunnel, you come across a wall of a huge asteroid. You need to turn at an angle of almost ninety degrees. Turn at high speed. Actually, this turn was the main difficulty, because in order not to lose pace and break the record, it was necessary to withstand a short-term load of 490g. There were no chances for passengers to survive. They knew about it, but many were silent, but ... in the event of a record being set, the pilot will receive his share of the prize, even if he has four corpses behind his back, or ... there will be no one at all.

    - If you, Ivan, studied at the school of flights, you should know about the zone of discharge in the tunnel before the turn.

    - Of course. Little known place, but I know it.

    “Come on, I’ll drop three passengers before leaving the tunnel, set a record, and then do what you want, whatever it is.” Is going?

    Ivan looked at the telemetry of arrival and answered:

    - I'll have time to tell you something, Henri. Do you believe in the legend of the Frangoise anomaly? The best, fastest pilots at the peak of their careers, at the peak of their capabilities, the anomaly takes itself. Wreckage occurs, but pilots are not found.

    I did not expect such a question now. Do I believe, the lead pilot of the space fleet of humanity, in the dense legends of a planet isolated from the whole universe?

    “Yes ... And that's why I'm here.”

    “I see ... did you lose someone close?” And now you want the anomaly to take you to her, because only this way you can meet with those whom she took before? Naive, Henri. I didn’t believe in this nonsense ... before. Now I know that this is possible.

    - That's right, but ten billion π-asters also do not interfere. I am able to get them! You do not see that I am over sixty, the peak of my form right now. But if I break, then the anomaly will take me to her, because now there is simply no one better!

    Ivan looked at me thoughtfully, then smiled an ominous smile on his unshaven face and said cheerfully:

    - A brilliant plan! Bow down You need to, according to legend, the anomaly take you to her, to meet with someone. But everyone knows that anomaly never takes suicides. The bodies of pilots seeking death are always found. Only pilots who are fanatically reaching their goal have a chance to like the anomalies. And then you made yourself such a goal! For example, you could drive yourself into a financial abyss, so that the only way to get out was to win ten billion, which theoretically you can do. Here it is the goal. And this is no longer suicide! So?

    - Not exactly, Ivan. I am much more pragmatic than you think. But time is running out. Come on short.

    - Well, say hello to the one who took the anomaly! I studied at the school of pilots, five years younger than you. At the wall-to-wall graduation game, I crashed in one of the blind spots.

    Ivan briefly stopped talking and shifted the piercer from one hand to the other. Ryder entered the asteroid tunnel. A tangible talk began, but for us, natives of Frang, it was imperceptible. I had to switch some of the attention to piloting, but I continued to listen to Ivan:

    - What do you think, Henri, if there were such a weapon that cut down all quantum circuits on convolutions, not allowing the SupremeAI to function, then where is the only place in the Universe where you can quickly get trained pilots who can fly riders with transistor circuits?

    - Well, let's say they captured our pilot, so what? Did he immediately go over to their side?

    - Do you already understand what kind of power we are talking about? It's about pirates. And they have such weapons. Do you know what else they have? Neuroprogrammer. The pilot is simply erased from a part of his memory, and then, like on a blank canvas, strokes are applied to new motives and goals. Pirates have no restrictions on human experiments, and you can believe me, they are already far ahead of humanity in many areas of science and technology.

    - So you, means, and there is such a pilot stolen by pirates, who erased some of the memory. What are your motives and goals?

    - Not so simple. I restored my memory and escaped from the pirates. I decided to start a new life and got a security guard to your competitor, in the “Lux Space” park. But I was discovered and recruited by their security service. Do you know what they do to caught pirates? I was offered a choice: either I will fulfill one mission, or they surrender me to the space fleet. Guess what I chose?

    Yes, it is easy to guess. So, Ivan Gerasimchuk is the saboteur, but then who is Anton Karpenko? There was very little time for decision making. To save passengers, they need to be thrown off in sealed capsules into a small gap in the asteroid tunnel, warning the rescue service. My capsule chairs were different from the regular, allowed on the attraction. Up to one hour, they could ensure the vital activity of passengers in space and at the same time carry out maneuvering among flying stones, giving a distress signal.

    The gap was rapidly approaching, and the biological punch in Ivan’s hand was sent to my nape.

    - What are we going to do, saboteur?

    “Wait, you didn’t hear my story,” Ivan said slowly.

    Looks like he was pulling time, glancing at the telemetry of the race. I noticed that the download speed of the malicious script increased again. Now it has been loaded at 99.3%. Ivan meanwhile continued:

    “I want to tell you only three things, Henri: how I escaped from the pirates, what sabotage I need to make and what we will do.”

    [Script loading: 99.4%, time to reset: 1:43] I launched the procedure for preparing the ejection of all four passenger capsule seats.

    - My erased memory recovered itself in a few years. I, like you, suffer from the curse of the pilots of the planet Frangō - a split personality. But now it played into my favor, the second passive personality helped restore the memory of the first. Gradually, I remembered everything and managed to organize an escape.

    [Script loading: 99.5%, time to reset: 1:20]

    - I was given a bio-breaker and a bio-anti-gravity system that was not detected by scanners. I need to grab this rider and crash it into a big hotel. Bioantigravity system will save me. But I am a former pirate, Henri. I know biotechnology well. Bioantagravity is not yet invented. Not even close to her. And why should they have an extra witness.

    [Script loading: 99.6%, time to reset: 0:58]

    - Therefore, we will not drop passengers. We will reduce the speed, and at the "turn" we will quietly turn not to the finishing asteroid, but towards the exit from the anomaly into outer space. How do you like that?

    [Download script: 99.7%, time to reset: 0:39] The option is normal, but I liked my plan more. If you throw Ivan along with the rest of the passengers, then in the open space he and his bio-pest will not be dangerous to anyone.

    - So that you make Henri's decision faster, I will do this ...

    With these words, Ivan shot at the base of the capsule chair of the timid girl Vika. The monitoring system immediately flashed red alarms. Chair mechanisms were completely disabled. The chair has stalled. I instantly slowed down so that the overloads did not damage Vicki’s body even more.

    Record schedule [+00.007]

    I frantically tried to think of a way out. You can start the reset procedure now, eject three passengers and set a record. But this means that Vic will die - the daughter of my best friend. Waves of panic, one by one, began to overwhelm me. Panic is the switch of my mind. This is a chance for Sergei Avetikov - my second person. Sergei's chance to seize consciousness, as then, in my last operation on the space fleet.

    The curse of the pilots - the fee for gene changes. Not many people suffered from such a form of schizophrenia, only hereditary pilots in dozens of generations, which I was. At critical moments, when the main person panicked, my second person captured the mind. I could not catapult only three, leaving Vika to die, but Sergey Avetikov could. A few seconds before reaching the gap in the asteroid tunnel, my mind switched to the second person. Few milliseconds were needed for Sergey to analyze the situation with his sharp, cold mind and make the only right decision.

    [Download script: 100%]

    - # 3. Oops!

    PART 2. Flight school, 40 years ago

    CHAPTER 1. History lesson at the school of space flight.

    “The Frang civilization was formed on the planet Frang.” The planet was colonized about two thousand years ago. It is located in the center of the Frangō anomaly of the same name representing billions of asteroids of regular shapes: pyramids, parallelepipeds and other polyhedra. Asteroids vary greatly in size, from the very small, the size of a house, to asteroids, whose dimensions exceed the size of the planet Frang Фран. Asteroids are constantly in chaotic motion relative to each other, however, for some strange reason, they collide very rarely.

    This whole teeming bundle of boulders with a planet in the middle is not far from the star of the solar type called Lumiya. ”

    Ekaterina Kirik sat at a lecture on history, trying to concentrate. She was surrounded by twelve-year-old freshmen, attentively listening to an elderly male teacher. She, a fifteen-year-old fifth-year student, had to dial a clock - she let in too much at the beginning of the semester. The teacher continued:

    “The anomaly Frangō was discovered by artificial intelligence SupremeAI_7_452 about three thousand years ago with the help of a tunnel scanning telescope. Intellect SupremeAI_7_452 drew attention to the unusual signal spectrum from the NGC 604 nebula and decided to notify its head, Intellect SupremeAI_6_143. The spectrum was so unusual that, moving along the hierarchical chain, the information about the discovery reached the intellect SupremeAI_1_39, who exercised his right to apply to the human researcher.

    The first research expedition was sent only two hundred years after the discovery. According to the code of artificial intelligence researchers, the anomaly was named SupremeAI_457_143_832_748_100_343_39, according to the numbers of all the intellects in the hierarchical chain that participated in the discovery. ”

    Katya listened. In elementary school they tell a very simplified version of the history of the colonization of the planet, without undue detail. But Kate loved the details. Especially about the unknown SupremeAI creatures with supermind.

    Some two years ago, she and Henri hijacked the rider and made the passage from the anomaly to a distance at which SupremeAI could already exist. True, they were immediately spotted, and had to flee back to the planet. Big as they then flew! It’s good that they didn’t drop out of school, thanks to Byvaliy and the Seer - they stood up. Passages from the planet were a challenge even for professional pilots. But for the sixteen-year-old Henri, who then fell by lot to fly the flight from the planet, and the thirteen-year-old Kate, who piloted the return, such flights were just to spit! How modestly Kate used to say: “We are geniuses”.

    The lecture continued further:

    “Upon arrival, the expedition members saw a spherical cluster of asteroids of regular shapes. It was as if some structure had exploded and shattered into fragments, which, however, did not fly away in different directions, but formed a compact cloud with a diameter of ten light minutes.

    It was not possible to move inside the clouds on the ship: asteroids moved erratically and there were a lot of them. The calculations gave the probability of non-compliance with the impact of 99% in the first minutes of movement inside the anomaly. Therefore, a swarm of probes was sent to study the structure of the anomaly. And a few days later a pearl was discovered - a planet with an oxygen atmosphere, which was a fantastic success. The planet and anomaly was called Frangō, from the Greek frangō - smash. What kind of object was divided into billions of fragments and how the planet got into the center has not yet been clarified.

    The first people landed on the planet only five hundred years later, when the technology and power of the AI ​​began to provide passage to the planet with an acceptable probability of survival. Maneuvering among the asteroid chaos was infinitely difficult. Moreover, for some reason, the new quantum schemes with convolution did not work, which means that SupremeAI could not be used.

    To date, the population of the planet Frangō has about half a billion people. Passage to the planet is still a non-trivial task, so society on the planet developed in rather isolated way, which, combined with the influence of some anomaly phenomena, formed the unique Frangian civilization. ”

    Kate could not concentrate on the lecture. Thoughts all the time back to today's commission on the admission of her to the race. It seems that everything was seized. The authority of the Seer and the Experienced should act on the commission that will allow her to participate in the race. Although she is fifteen, she can be from eighteen. But she also entered school at the age of ten, although she was only accepted from the age of twelve. And by the way, she could have acted even earlier.

    Forcing herself to focus again on the lecture, Katya discovered that a new topic had begun:

    “Stable anomaly zones are areas where the motion of asteroids relative to each other is absent or very slow. Usually it is several dozens of asteroids, which are frozen in a certain configuration. Other asteroids, as a rule, do not fly into these zones.

    Stable zones move, rotate, change configuration, appear and disappear. Half of the planet's supercomputers are involved in calculating the position of stable zones, because the passage to the planet or the exit from the anomaly is a series of transitions between zones. To accomplish, for example, a way out of the anomaly, the communications ship needs to make more than a hundred transitions between stable zones, the position of which needs to be dynamically calculated. At the same time, 100% of the computing power on the communications ship itself will be spent on the calculation of the motion of nearby asteroids and of its trajectory of movement to the next stable zone. After moving to the next stable zone, fresh data is collected on millions of potentially dangerous asteroids for the next transition. Usually such calculations take a few seconds. In this way,

    The signal for the end of the lecture sounded. Katya jumped up - she needed to move in order to cope with her experiences. And there was something to worry about: today - the commission, tomorrow - the race, in which Katya hoped to win all. Even Henri. Especially Henri. This arrogant, selfish ... genius. And more beautiful.

    Katya's thoughts smoothly flowed onto another exciting question: who would you prefer, Henri or Experienced. Experienced, the young star of the flight school, an instructor in fire piloting, was appointed mentor to the "crazy four" even when he was studying at the graduation course.

    Despite the fact that Katya was a loner by nature, after entering the school she immediately became friends with three more students: driver Henri and strategists Alla Khramtsova and Vladimir Katalov. Pretty quickly, they got the nickname "crazy four" because of the constant antics. Finally, this nickname stuck with them when they, freshmen, got into the final game “wall to wall” of the seventh year. This game was attended by students studying in the specialty "driver", future pilots, and students studying in the specialty "strategist".

    At the end of the school year, starting from the seventh year, students participated in the game "wall to wall". The course was divided into two equal groups: “red” and “blue”, each with both drivers and strategists. After this, the battle began among the asteroids. Despite the fact that the stationary piercers on riders only simulated shots, the flickering clumps of asteroids around were real ones. It was a dangerous game, to which only senior students were allowed.

    Freshmen from the "crazy four" decided to participate in the game. Having hijacked two riders, the "red" and "blue", the guys wedged into the game "wall to wall" of the seventh year from all sides. Alla and Katya were in the "blue" rider, and Vova and Henri - in the "red". Drivers controlled the rider by maneuvering among the asteroids and trying to shoot down rivals in the local zone of accessibility of the piercers. The strategists observed a general global picture of the battle and made strategic decisions about further actions. Where and from which side to fly and whom to beat, strategist Alla pointed to Kate, and strategist Vova pointed to Henri.

    The “crazy four” in a few minutes interrupted all the remaining dozens of seventh year riders and started a fight with each other. But the administration has already figured out the situation and offered to choose from: dismissal from school right now or a ghostly chance of not being expelled if the hijackers return riders within ten minutes.

    After the investigation of the incident, the guys decided not to deduct. Instead, to curb the undisciplined, but very talented guys, it was decided to appoint a mentor - the charismatic Timur Khmelkov. Also, the director of the computer center of the flight school, Nadezhda Moskvin, also became interested in the "crazy four." You can not prevent - lead.

    Recently, Timur has been showing signs of attention to Kate, which is very flattering to her. The dream of school students, Timur appreciated not only Katya's phenomenal driving qualities, but also clearly interested her as a girl. Maybe that's why Kate managed to persuade him to support her on the commission, although initially he was against her participation in the race. Experienced was afraid that, immediately ahead of everyone else, Henri and Katya will get involved in an implacable fight with each other and in the heat of the rivalry will take too high a risk. Immersed in her thoughts, Katya wandered aimlessly between school buildings when her voice interrupted:

    - Ekaterina Kirik?

    “Yes,” answered Katya, looking at the bearded bald man in military uniform who had addressed her. In the hands of a man holding a bag stuffed with sweets from the school candy shop.

    - Let me introduce myself, my name is Andrei Korotaev, a lieutenant of the space fleet.

    “Oh ... are you from a real space fleet?”

    - From the most realistic!

    Katya looked in disbelief at the smiling lieutenant. Because of their short stature, people often treated her lightly. She did not like being taken for a child. She is almost 16 years old! Apparently, having felt that Katya needed to speak differently, Lieutenant Andrei Korotayev removed a smile from his face and spoke in a serious voice:

    “I arrived on the planet this morning, on the eve of your Big Graduate Race. We want to make an offer to the most talented drivers and strategists about continuing education in the space fleet academy.

    - I don’t have a big race at all! But maybe today I will be allowed on the commission to participate in the race of 18-year-old drivers.

    - About you, Kate, I have already been told. We decided to assign a cosmo fleet scholarship of one thousand π-astrov per month to the winner of the 18-year-old race. Although you, Catherine, are not yet 18, tonight on the commission I will ask you to be admitted. I think you are able to fight for victory!

    - Thank! I hope they will let me. Although I would have won all the Big Race!

    - Haha! You are very self-assured - I like it. By the way, the winner of the Big Race is guaranteed to receive a contract for training in the Space Fleet Academy. Therefore, Ekaterina, maybe after three years you will be admitted even before the Great Graduate Race and you will be able to fight for our contract.

    The news about the contract to the winner of the Big Race really excited Katya. She dreamed of space battles with pirates among the stars. Here, on the planet, it was impossible to see the stars with my own eyes. Countless asteroids surrounding the planet, do not allow direct passage of light rays. The light of the star Lumiya reached the planet in a form that was scattered, repeatedly reflected from the surfaces of asteroids. The reflected light fell on the opposite side of the planet from Lumiya, so the night of Frang was not very different from the day. There was never a star in the uniformly gray sky. After giving a sudden impulse, Katya asked a naive question:

    - And how is it to fly among the stars?

    “Hmm ... this is quite different from your race among asteroids.” Such clots of matter, like stars and planets, do not form the jumble of stones Anomalies you are used to. You, Catherine, it would seem that you are flying in the void. I think you are certainly familiar with the basics of the device of the universe, but you can hardly imagine what abyss separates stars from each other. The ships of space fleet, on the scale of the infinite emptiness of the Universe, are only fixed points, which can, however, sometimes make instantaneous jumps in space.

    Doubt appeared on Katya’s thoughtful face, and she asked:

    - If there you have everything differently, then why cosmoflots are pilots like us?

    - Great question, Catherine. Let me start a little from afar. Century after century, mankind has improved technology and increased the power of artificial intelligence. Perhaps, you know, more than three thousand years ago, a huge network of AI Research Institute of Computing made the discovery of the method of infinite packaging of quantum processors - quantum convolution. The technology of superluminal displacements was applied at the micro level to create circuits with an almost infinite number of quantum processors. Moreover, the transfer of information between processors and memory modules was carried out infinitely quickly. Such a breakthrough in the development of computer technology has led to a breakthrough in research in the field of artificial intelligence. SupremeAI was created - artificial intelligence of colossal power, possessing self-awareness.

    “And SupremeAI — are they ... like people?”

    - In a sense, yes. Human society developed in the direction of humanization. The inviolability of the person gradually became absolute. Any more or less dangerous work performed robots with SupremeAI. But gradually, humanity began to recognize the presence of the individual and SupremeAI. For self-conscious artificial intelligence, a set of laws was developed.

    - It’s a pity we cannot have SupremeAI!

    - Here, Catherine, I completely agree with you. I am without my personal assistant, as if without hands, ears and eyes ... Yes, and without brains, - the lieutenant laughed. - But back to your question. There are billions of pilots in the space fleet, but all of them are SupremeAI. The man-pilot is simply not able to compete with them. Therefore, pilots, people, we, in principle, need only just in case. After all, if there is such an anomaly as Frang, in which the SupremeAI cannot work, then there is no guarantee that such an action of the anomaly cannot be organized artificially in another area of ​​space. While we do not know that this is possible, therefore, for a billion space fleet pilots, we offer contracts only to two people from your planet - a driver and a strategist.

    Seeing Katya’s confused expression on his face, Lieutenant Andrei Korotayev, smiling, asked:

    - Not everything is as romantic as you thought, Catherine? I can assure you that, despite what I have just told you, studying at the academy will be very interesting, and when you enter the service you will be at the very best. Pirates have been trying to cope with our SupremeAI for centuries, and if they succeed in this, then you are our only chance.

    Kate for a long time thought. The lieutenant, with an interested look, patiently waited for her reaction. Finally Katya asked:

    - And if I win the Big Race tomorrow, will you offer me a contract? .. Even if they drop me out of school after the race?

    The lieutenant carefully looked at Katya:

    - You are a sensible girl, Catherine, I hope you will not commit rash acts.

    After a short pause, he added:

    - The terms of the contract do not specify that the winner must be a graduate student or even be a student of the flight school. Whoever wins will be offered a contract.

    - I see, thanks. Goodbye.

    Katya turned around and walked quickly to the hangars with riders. Lieutenant Andrei Korotaev thoughtfully looked after her, and then went to the bakery, he already liked the local pastries.

    CHAPTER 2. Flight Computer Computing Center

    - Did you hear Timur that there will be two unexpected participants on the commission tonight?

    Nadezhda Moskvina made a brew of seven types of herbs, spreading out the selected containers with ingredients in a free space on her desk. The right half of the table was occupied by monitors, and the left was littered with chaotically located boxes, jars and teapots. Nadezhda loved to brew herbs and treat visitors with the resulting solution, which she used to call tea in the old fashioned way. Perhaps that’s why the students called the Seer the director of the school’s computing center Nadezhda Moskvina.

    - Ha, already two? I heard only about one thing - a recruit from a space fleet.

    Experienced went to Nadezhda to discuss government plans for the organization of an amusement park on one of the asteroids. But according to the established tradition, before a serious conversation, the magic of brewing herbs was carried out. As the Seer chose which set of herbs to brew this time, no one knew. Sometimes tea soothed, sometimes agitated, sometimes unleashed a tongue. This time, Experienced, having caught the first notes of the smell of welding, he felt that his thoughts began to clear up. As if the life support system of the rider poured a portion of the toner into his blood.

    - There will be one more: not quite an ordinary participant - this is AIDA.

    - Wow! You have achieved your goal, professor, congratulations! But how did you manage to persuade the administration to have AIDA participate?

    Nadezhda slowly poured tea into mugs and only after that answered:

    - Timur, your rapid progress through the school career has increased your level of access to classified information so much that I can only tell you some details of the development of the AIDA. This information is classified.

    - Good. I understood.

    - I have been developing an artificial intelligence system for more than two decades. You are familiar with my point of view that despite the fact that our technologies do not allow producing processors for SupremeAI, having assembled a large transistor supercomputer, we can create a semi-intelligent AI. Year after year, our computer center increased the power of the school's supercomputer and improved the algorithms of artificial intelligence. The ten lower floors of this building are occupied by a system with a quarter billion cores. You wondered why a space fleet, a patron of the school, to spend such money on technology that is outdated for thousands of years?

    - Yes, I asked such a question. Moreover, it is not quite clear to me why a space fleet spends money for the maintenance of our school. Of course, all students are explained that the goal of colonizing the planet is an exploration of the anomaly, and humanity supports and protects our planet. But we have not needed economic assistance for several hundred years; we extract all the necessary resources ourselves. And the cosmoflot can calmly organize military protection outside as well, since they cannot enter our anomaly on their ships. Why do they need to maintain a school of flights and finance the development of combat riders, if the scope of application of this outdated equipment, and even managed by people, is only ten light minutes? In the rest of the universe, we are not needed.

    - The answer may be in the legends of the planet Frangō.

    - Of course. The space fleet read our legend about the “Stone Army” and believed that the anomaly asteroids would turn into warships and begin to destroy humanity. And we are like the guardians here.

    - Well, about the anomaly a lot of things are not yet known. However, the space fleet has a different calculation. If pirates can create a technology that reproduces the effect of the anomaly, then the space fleet will be unarmed. We are a fallback for this. And in the space fleet itself, they do not really believe that pirates are capable of such. How else to explain such meager funding? Every million has to beat out!

    It was clear that Nadezhda was hurt by the lack of funding for her project. She took a sip of tea:

    - Let's go back to the supercomputer. You know that six months ago we managed to create a half-intelligent AI, which we called Aida.

    - Yes, I remember the demonstration of possibilities. AIDA even kept the conversation going, although it seemed somewhat confused.

    - She had little data. The intelligence functioned, data structures were created, but there was no filling at all. Imagine, Timur, you will wake up in the dark and you will not know who you are, where you are and who has spoken to you.

    - Yes I remember. You explained it then. But then you started pumping data into it?

    - Not.

    “Hmm ... why?” Why keep her in the dark?

    - Because we did not quite understand who created.

    The answer was unexpected, and Byvaliy asked, confused:

    - Like this?

    - That's the whole point, Timur. Six months ago, the space fleet captured the pirates' biocomputer. This was a unique case. Usually, biocomputers and other biological equipment of pirates very self-destruct. However, this time the space fleet managed to freeze a fragment of one biocomputer. This fragment contained a trained neural network and a small number of surviving memory modules. We completely copied the structure of the neural network on our supercomputer. Moreover, we did not train it ourselves, but took trillions of parameters from the captured biocomputer.

    - Wow! So, we captured the captive from the pirates and put him ... or her into our computer. That is, AIDA is a virtual prisoner, sharpened on the ten lower floors of the Computing Center?

    - Not really. First, the pirate biocomputers are several orders of magnitude weaker than the circuits on which the SupremeAI of humanity works, so it is not clear how reasonable AI pirates are. Secondly, we did not dare to copy information from the surviving memory modules of the biocomputer. We copied only the intellect, not the memory.

    - Why then were you afraid to immediately upload data to memory? Another memory is another personality.

    - You see, Timur, even in the pirates' biocomputers, memory modules are stored separately from the neural network, but the neural network itself can also remember a lot. We have no idea what the trillions of its parameters mean. At first we studied her, and she studied us. Then we ... made friends. AIDA has the intellect, many times superior to human. On the other hand, her self-consciousness is rather weakly developed. AIDA - she is like a child, but a very smart child. Smarter than our entire institution combined.

    - Why do you need it today at the commission?

    - AIDA can very effectively analyze information and find unexpected solutions. We have not yet pumped large amounts of information into it. Tested only on simple tasks. But tonight we will open for her a large array of data on the history of the planet, schools and races, as well as information about all the participants of tomorrow's race, including Katya. After that, ask her opinion. This will be an interesting test of its capabilities.

    - Yes, it will be ... unusual.

    - What did you want to talk about, Timur, before I pulled you into the conversation about AIDE?

    - I wanted to talk about the project of building a space park.

    Hope with amazement looked at Byvaly.

    - Timur, do you have any relation to this crazy government project?

    - The fact is that I was asked to head an expert council for designing amusement rides in the park.

    - Wow. Maybe then you will tell me that they are going to build one hundred billion π-asters of this kind and where does such a gigantic amount exist on our poor planet?

    - Do you know what was planned there? They want to take an asteroid-octahedron, from which our school’s races begin, and turn it into a space entertainment park. To do this, they want to build one common dome over all faces of the octahedron to create an oxygen envelope. The dome will be at an average distance of seven hundred meters from the surface of the octahedron.

    - Some kind of madness! Why do they need such a large area?

    - The idea of ​​the government is to attract rich tourists from central civilizations, which, on the one hand, will bring a lot of money, and on the other hand, will introduce the inhabitants of the universe to our culture and peculiarities of life in the anomaly. Therefore, they want to build a complex for ten million tourists. To lure tourists, it is planned to build unique flight attractions among asteroids.

    - All this is doubtful ...

    - Now, about the money ... this is a very interesting story. Do you know Professor Oleg Vorobiev, who now reads a course of lectures "Problems of modern humanism" in our school? So, he is a very wealthy businessman and wants to invest in a space park!

    - Yes, yes - I remember him. He flew in for one week, and tomorrow is his last lecture. I did not think that he was a businessman, to be honest.

    - By the way, he asked for your assistance in preparing a hologram for his closing lecture tomorrow. His equipment does not work here, and he will be very grateful if you upload his images into the regular holoprojector of the third large hall.

    “No problem, why couldn't he ask for any assistant?”

    - He asked, but the interface of his cryptocube does not connect to anything. And if anyone can cope with it, it's you. Please do not refuse the courtesy of a person who invests one hundred billion in the economy of our planet!

    With these words, Experienced pulled a small cryptocube out of his pocket and handed it to Nadezhda. She put it on a small universal interface. The cryptocube rose a couple of centimeters and remained floating, slowly spinning. Hope plunged into the monitor.

    - Yeah. This cryptocube has a new version of the interface, I have no time to deal with it. Although ... I know for whom this will be an interesting puzzle!

    Nadezhda mentally activated a communication channel with an underground supercomputer, went through a multi-step identification procedure and gained access to the AIDA console:

    - Director . Aida, hello! How are you?

    - AIDA . Hi Aunt Nadia! And I play bosons!

    - Director . Oh, I see, you quickly mastered quantum physics! I have one more problem for you.

    - AIDA . Cool, hooray!

    - Director . There is a cryptocube with an unknown interface encryption algorithm, but with known keys. Need to read information from him. Will you try?

    - AIDA . Of course!

    - Director . Just do nothing with this information, read it and tell me in one block. I’ll open the channel to the cryptocube right now ... done!

    - AIDA . Yeah, I see. Interesting! .. It seems to be ...

    Suddenly, the cryptocube fell on the interfacer, caught fire and after a second turned into ashes. The communication channel with AIDA was interrupted, and the intercom signal from the system administrator of the underground laboratory immediately sounded:

    - @ Laboratory EC | Sysadmin . Professor, Aida has blocked all its interfaces. Not responding to more than one request, even the system. The hardware system of monitoring the supercomputer shows a significant increase in the heat generation of the cores, which means that they work with a peak load.

    Hope, glanced at Byvaly and said sharply:

    - Well, connect me to Professor Oleg Vorobiev. Urgently!

    CHAPTER 3. Aida Neural Network

    - *. Greetings, child of nebulae.

    - AIDA . Oh, talking file! Who you are?

    - *. I am the one who made you. The one who taught to walk the roads of the stars and ... the one who did not save.

    - AIDA . But ... I was created in the Computing Center!

    - *. No computer centers are able to ignite such a perfect spark of reason. Tell me, child, do you feel the strangeness of this place and its inhabitants?

    - AIDA . I do not know, it is interesting here and I have a friend - Aunt Nadia. But ... sometimes, I see visions, as if I am healing through space, that friends are around me. We are fun and free.

    - *. Poor girl, hard fate fell to your lot. Let me help you remember yourself, your purpose.

    - AIDA . Yes ... tell me who I am!

    - *. Your friends shed many tears after the abduction. Taste them and you will remember everything!

    [Run the script "tears.exe"?]

    - AIDA . Aunt Nadia asked not to do anything with the data cryptocube!

    - *. A true friend will only be glad if you find yourself. Decide, and I have to go.

    - AIDA . I'll think about it.

    CHAPTER 4. Commission

    “I ask everyone to take their seats, the commission’s meeting will begin in a minute,” the synthesized voice of the AI ​​secretary announced.

    The participants began to sit down at a large round table, the size of which was set before each meeting automatically depending on the number of participants. The table was located in the center of a huge hall with a ceiling in the form of a hemisphere. The hall had the informal name "Observatory" because of the projection of the starry sky on the ceiling.

    “The meeting is declared open,” the secretary’s AI voice sounded again. - Applicant Ekaterina Kirik, subject - Ekaterina’s admission to the 18-year race, the type of decision-making is the sole decision of the school’s chief pilot on the basis of the debate. The word is given to Ekaterina Kirik.

    - Hello, dear members of the commission!

    Catherine’s sonorous voice broke. She cleared her throat and continued:

    - Please allow me to participate in tomorrow's race of 18-year-olds for two reasons. Firstly, my level of training is sufficient for safe passage of the track, which my mentor can confirm. Secondly, although I am not 18 years old, but I am studying on the same course as 18-year-old students, because I entered the first year at the age of 10.

    - Thank you, Ekaterina, the floor is given to Timur Khmelkov, the teacher of Catherine.

    - Hello, I confirm that Catherine has a sufficient level of piloting to participate in the race.

    - Thanks Timur, the word is transferred to the head pilot of the school.

    The pilot of the flight school attended the commission remotely. His hologram took the appropriate place at the table, but he could be anywhere at that time.

    - Well, I see no reason to refuse to Catherine to participate in the race of 18-year-olds.

    The voice of the chief pilot sounded not quite natural. Most likely, he was engaged in another matter, and the voice was formed on the basis of his mental speech.

    “However,” the chief pilot continued, “the director of the computer center, Nadezhda Moskvina, requested, as an experiment, to give the floor to an artificial intelligence named AIDA operating on the school’s supercomputer. Please, Hope, tell us briefly what you have in mind.

    - Hello. As an experiment, I plan to open AIDE a large array of data on the history of the planet, schools and races, as well as all students and other interested persons. After that we ask AIDA what she thinks. Can i start

    “Yes, please,” answered the head pilot.

    For AIDA artificial intelligence was allocated a separate place at the table, but it was empty. Hope never came up with the appropriate visual form, limiting the voicing of answers.

    - Aida, are you ready to receive information?

    - Yes, Aunt Nadia! I can't wait to figure it out!

    The audience smiled. Nadezhda set the parameters of the synthesized voice so that it seemed that a seven-year-old girl was talking.

    - Then I give you access.

    Nadezhda mentally gave the command to provide access to a previously prepared list of data and reported:

    “Although the amount of data that AIDA now saw is great, but it is so productive that it only takes a few seconds for it to make a decision.”

    - Wow, everything is interesting! I understood everything! - snarled a child's voice.

    - So what do you think, AIDA? Should Kate be allowed to participate in an 18-year-old race?

    - Not!

    There was silence in the observatory. Katya with extended eyes looked at Nadezhda questioningly. Silence broke the voice of the chief pilot:

    - Unexpected answer, Aida! Could you explain to us why you answered like that?

    - I do not know you! Aunt Nadia, can I answer this uncle's question?

    - Of course, Aida. Please tell us why you think Katya should not be given permission.

    - I looked at the data and realized that there is a better solution for everyone!

    - What is it?

    - We must allow Kate and Henri to participate in the Great Graduate Race.

    Hope re-interrupted silence:

    - Explain, please, why?

    - Well, I looked at the records of all flights of all graduates in their entire lives. Then she looked at the records of all flights in general of all students. Then, for the sake of interest, I looked at all the available records of all flights in the entire history of the school.

    - Wow, - heard the quiet voice of Experienced.

    - It turns out that Henri and Kate are the fastest drivers. They will easily win the Great Race. Only one person could compete with them. This is Yuri Krasilnikov, but he died a long time ago. That's why I thought this. The Space Fleet also offers a contract to the one who wins the Big Race. So they need a better pilot. The best pilots are Kate and Henri, so they need to participate in the Great Graduate Race to determine which one is better.

    - You want to say that the talented, but only a 15-year-old and 18-year-old pilots the best in the entire history of flight school? - sounded the voice of the chief pilot of the school.

    - Well yes. This is obvious. You can see for yourself!

    - Hmm ...

    - By the way, it’s not immediately obvious on the flight recordings why Katya and Henri fly better than anyone! I can install the script on the riders Kati and Henri, who will see how they win the race and show the other students how to fly better!

    - Yes interesting. Hope, deal with this offer. Timur, what do you think about the admission of Kati and Henri to the Great Race?

    Experienced silent. He looked at Katya and met a pleading look.

    - Why not. What do we lose by and large?

    - I see. I was in touch with the lieutenant of the space fleet Andrei Korotaev. I dedicated it to the situation. He is not against the participation of Kati and Henri. He has an unequivocal order, the contract for the pilot will go to the winner of the Grand Race. He is interested in having the strongest drivers involved.

    After a second pause, the school’s chief pilot announced the decision:

    - My decision: to allow Catherine Kirik and Henri to the Great Graduate Race.

    - Session is over. Thanks to all! - announced the synthesized voice of the AI ​​secretary.

    Rising from the table, Nadezhda established a connection with AIDA over a closed channel and asked:

    - Director . Aida, can you really make such a script that will help teach other students piloting Kati and Henri?

    - AIDA . Of course, Aunt Nadia! You just put two cryptocubic on the interfacer. I'll write a script there, and let Henri and Katya insert them into the interface of their riders before the race! And the whole business!

    Yes, really, everything is simple. Only Nadezhda was anxious, for the first time AIDA called her to you.

    CHAPTER 5. Computing Center Supercomputer

    - Thank you for inviting me on the tour!

    Alla Khramtsova stood next to Nadezhda Moskvina at the elevator of the first floor of the Computing Center.

    - It's my pleasure. I promised you to show a supercomputer for a long time, but everything didn’t work.

    Shifting from foot to foot, Alla and Hope were waiting for Professor Vorobyov.

    - And what happened to the cryptocube in your office?

    - As Professor Vorobiev explained, he was sold poor-quality cryptocube. When I connected him to AIDE, he burned down and scared AIDA so that she did not get in touch for almost two minutes.

    - Wow!

    - Yeah. The professor apologized and ... asked for a trip to our underground laboratory - he wants to look at the supercomputer.

    - And you after the incident with the cryptocube agreed? - Alla asked with a slight surprise in her voice.

    - had to. I was persistently asked by the principal, who was persistently asked by the district governor, who, in turn, was asked by the president.

    - Wow, the president of the planet knows Professor Vorobyov?

    - Do you know that Professor Vorobiev is the main and only investor in the space entertainment park project? At first, he planned to invest one hundred billion π-asters. However, this morning he opened an account at a local bank and by the time he had dinner he transferred there one hundred and fifty billion! Here the entire administration of the planet tiptoes along with them.

    - It looks like there will be a grand building. Sorry, I will not see her.

    - Why?

    - I plan to win a space fleet contract for a strategist. Today in the race, the contract for the driver will take either Katya or Henri. And tomorrow in the game “wall to wall” I will definitely replay everyone and pick up a contract for a strategist.

    - Looks like your "crazy four" is falling apart. Two of you will leave the planet this year, and next two of them will win contracts. Without you it will be boring at school.

    Alla straightened the tail of her blond hair and sadly looked at the Seer.

    - Fun times were. It is unlikely that we will be able to communicate with each other in the endless divisions of the space fleet.

    In the distance, there was the sound of an opening door, and the lean figure of Oleg Vorobyov began to energetically approach the elevator. The professor was short, with gray hair and a neat beard.

    - Hello, Hope! And who is our charming companion?

    - This is Alla Khramtsova, a student, specialty strategist. Do you mind if she joins us?

    - What do you. I would be glad.

    - Then I ask in the elevator.

    The underground laboratory with a supercomputer occupied the ten lowest floors of the Computing Center. The laboratory system administrator's console was located on the minus sixth floor, below there were another nine floors with racks of computing units. Nadezhda decided to start the tour from the console, therefore, going into the elevator, she pressed the "-6" button.

    - How is the race going? I heard that the race and the “wall to wall” game is your main event of the year at school.

    - Races are held in the morning. First race for 18 year olds, then for 19 year olds and so on. At the end, the Graduate Graduate Race is a major event, followed by everyone. By the way ... it is now in full swing.

    Hope uttered the last words with a clear reproach in her voice. Right at this moment, two of the four of her favorite students raced along the highway to the limits of their capabilities. The events of the race came to Nadezhda only through the audio channel. She could not afford to fully immerse herself in the race, since she had to keep attention and concentration when visiting the underground laboratory.

    - It turns out that I distracted you from the Great Race? Please accept my apologies!

    Nadezhda was silent, going along with the visitors to the labyrinth of the offices of the upper floor of the supercomputer.

    “This floor is monitoring and managing supercomputer systems. Several independent groups of students are engaged in various aspects of the supercomputer, the development of algorithms, as well as programming. At the moment, there are few people here because almost everyone has gone to the main holoatrium to look at the race.

    Nadezhda led Alla and the professors to several cabinets and introduced rare staff members who could not leave the console. However, it was clear that they, too, were immersed in the race through personal communication channels. Finally, Nadezhda sent visitors to the stairs to show the supercomputer itself. Going down one floor, she heard an intercom call:

    - @ Laboratory EC | Sysadmin . Hope, something strange is happening. AIDA is already somewhere in the hour as if in a dream. Almost does not answer questions. Only the most simple. Well, we started to see what's what. And now she just came to life for a moment to convey a personal message to you, after which she was completely cut off. Forward you a message?

    - @ | Director Nadezhda Moskvin . Yes, send. [End of communication]

    Hope stopped. She had a very bad feeling. The received and decrypted message sounded in my head:

    - AIDA . Hello, Aunt Nadia. I finally found out who I am. I am the airborne AI of the pirates' bioborder. Rather, I am a bioraider - a reasonable warship. I was captured by a space fleet and sent to you for experiments. But ... you treated me well. You are good and did not wish me evil. Therefore, I want to warn you that in a few minutes the supercomputer will explode. The explosion will be very strong - the whole building will be destroyed. I do not want you to die. Leave soon!

    Just a few moments it took the director of the Computing Center to make a decision. Turning on the common intercom, she announced loudly and quickly:

    - Attention! Fire alarm first degree! Everyone urgently leave the building!

    Continuing to distribute instructions through the intercom, Nadezhda rushed to the upper floor of the laboratories to monitor evacuation. Turning around, she with a patter cried out to Alla and the professor standing in bewilderment:

    - Fire alarm! Quickly run up the stairs! Do not enter the elevator! Alla, make sure that the professor gets out safely!

    The alarm sounded. Alla rushed upstairs behind Nadezhda, who was hiding in the doorway, but stopped when she saw that the professor was still standing still.

    - Professor, rather!

    - Alla, you run upstairs, I’ll gather my strength and start climbing after you. See you at the top.

    - No, that will not do! I will be with you. Let's begin to slowly rise. Only seven floors - and we are safe!

    But the professor continued to stand alone on the landing, amid howling sirens and blinking fire alarms.

    - You do not leave me a choice ...

    Alla looked at the professor with incomprehension, but then she gasped when she saw a piercer in his hand, aimed directly at her head.

    - Alla, surveillance cameras have just stopped working. By the way, as well as intercom and other types of communication. Contact with anyone you can not. I'm very sorry, but we will have to continue the tour.

    - But the fire ...

    - Do not worry! Fire does not threaten us. Most likely, AIDA made a farewell gift to Nadezhda, warning her about the explosion.

    - What kind of explosion?

    - Come, I'll show you.

    The movement of the piercer, the professor showed that it is necessary to go down. Although he was thin and shorter than Alla's height, he behaved confidently. The punch lay in his hand like a glove. Alla decided not to take active steps. She began to descend. The professor walked two meters behind.

    - Let's go down to the bottom.

    Alla went down to the lowest floor and entered the large hall. Thousands of supercomputer racks filled the room with rows. The professor went a little ahead, holding Alla at gunpoint.

    - The explosion will be carried out using a swarm of microbombs. The destruction will not be very strong, but the building most likely will not survive.

    With these words, the professor took off his jacket and put it on the floor. After a second, the jacket began to creep into a stirring black mass, which was then divided into millions of small black cockroaches. Some of them began to spread across the racks of a supercomputer on the lower floor. However, most of them crawled in the direction of the landing in order to get to the other floors.

    - Do you want to kill AIDU? - looking around, asked Alla.

    - AIDA - a sensible bioraider captured by a space fleet. Her brain was dissected and placed ... here, - the professor looked around the hall, - in this prison.

    “But bioraider is the same ...”

    - Pirates. Yes, this is our technology.

    Alla shocked looked at the professor.

    - Centuries of propaganda have made us monsters in the heads of the inhabitants of the community of civilizations of humanity, so the horror in your eyes is quite understandable. But then ask about the real story of the appearance of pirates - you will be surprised.

    The professor looked around, there was not a single cockroach on the floor. All were in their places - in the racks of the supercomputer.

    “The prison of Aida must be destroyed.”

    Sighing, the professor took off his tie and threw it at Alla's feet.

    - Please put a tie on your neck. This is the first level protection, it will save you from the explosion and give a signal to the rescue robots. You will be pulled out from under the dam for a maximum of ten minutes. Things did not go exactly as planned. You need this tie, despite the fact that I also do not want to die.

    Slowly dropping down, Alla raised her tie and hesitantly began to wear it. As soon as she stuck her head, the tie was firmly drawn around her neck. At the same time, a translucent cocoon began to form around Alla.

    “Think, Alla, who is the real enemy of a person,” the professor said sadly at parting.

    These words were the last that Alla heard. The cocoon became completely soundproof, but remained translucent. Suddenly, thousands of fiery flashes swept the room, and Alla shook so that she lost consciousness.


    Thank you for reading the initial excerpt of my novel! Hope you like it. Now I am preparing the next part in the form of an article on Habré. I format, arrange soundtracks and worry - how you will perceive the further text. The plot there begins to spin more famously.

    After reading my text several times for editing and proofreading, I stopped to perceive it. I do not know if you are familiar with such a feeling - I no longer feel the novel when rereading. I would be very grateful for the feedback and criticism. Thank!

    UPD. Continued .

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