Project "Eye" part 13
Photo: AV Photography
Links to previous parts and an appeal to those who see the publication of the Eye for the first time:
In part number 10:
- Why did you drive her away? For the sake of her sister, she was ready to stay. But these pseudo-reprisals against the guard, the fiery speeches of a man who dreams of genocide ... Why?
Deimos rinsed his face, splashed onto the lotion’s palm and rubbed it with force into his perfectly shaved chin, after which he replied:
“I’m sure that she will play her part, on the surface.” Astrea is an idealist, - Deimos once again looked in the mirror and nodded to himself with satisfaction, - states were built on such people, Henry. Moreover, I can’t be in several places at the same time, and in my desire to save Astraeus’s sister will only help us, even though she doesn’t know that.
“I would say that in this case, she will help everyone,” the corpse corrected.
“Yes, in something you are right,” Deimos agreed, “trying to kill me, she will help all of us.”
Deimos entered the empty dining room. The service staff scurried about behind the distribution desk, somewhere they rattled dishes, smelled of food - lunch time was approaching. The gaze of one employee, just at that time, wiping the tables, which, according to the schedule, should shine with cleanliness, glided over the man in the doorway. For a second, recognition flickered in him, but then it went out.
- Hey! He called to Deimos. “At least another half an hour, come back later!”
Deimos just smiled and in a hurried step, expressing embarrassment with all his appearance, he went to the canteen worker:
“Come on,” he began, “no training, and even agreed to meet with a friend.” I'll sit quietly there. ”He nodded to the corner table, which had already been tidied up.
The man looked at the operator with suspicion, but after that he estimated that he would do no harm, as, in fact, any benefit.
“Okay, since I’m having lunch with my friend,” he answered Deimos softer, “then sit down.”
For a moment he wondered whether it was worth being completely friendly and, making a positive decision, added:
“We have tea left, will you?” I didn’t see you in the hall in the morning, I suppose they missed breakfast, right?
Deimos smiled at the man again.
“Yes,” he answered, “I skipped breakfast.” You will be very kind to me if you bring tea. It would be nice to have a stomach before eating, or you know, ”he grimaced and put his hand to his stomach,“ then, it happens, you suffer that your eyes will pop out. ”
Having finally made sure that he was not facing another regular bookworm, but a “normal man,” the cleaner nodded and promised to arrange everything in the best possible way.
“Maybe I’ll get something sweet for your friend, since this is the case,” he added, turning around to go to the kitchen. “In this crypt, human relations are rare, and the conversation will be more pleasant, will it?”
“That's why they came early,” Deimos answered.
- Sit down, I'll bring it now.
The man casually threw a rag, which he had been holding in his hands all this time, onto the table and headed into the bowels of the catering department. Deimos watched him with a thoughtful look, until he disappeared into one of the doors and moved to the table, which he agreed to take.
A few minutes later, the cleaner returned with a metal tray on which stood two glasses, a two-liter kettle, and in the corner lay half a dozen cubes of refined sugar.
“Here,” he nodded at what was brought, “tea, as promised.” And this, - pointing to sugar, - to your friend.
“Thanks,” said Deimos.
“You are only quieter,” the janitor asked, “otherwise I’ll fly in from the older one, not supposed to be before dinner.”
- No problem.
The man returned to work: he took a rag left on the table, a jar of detergent, directed it to the surface in front of him and, pressing the spray gun lever a couple of times, waited until a cloud of liquid settled on the surface of the breech furniture, continued to wipe the tables.
Deimos watched the janitor's work a little, thinking about something of his own, after which he picked up a glass, put it in front of him and poured half the tea. He had thought to take a couple of cubes for himself, but decided to first try the tea so clean. The tea was lousy and without any doubt, Deimos sent one of the cubes of sugar into a glass and poured hot drink to the brim - too sweet for nothing, although, it seemed, after all that had happened the day before, his brain should have unfolded a whole banner demanding glucose. Nothing, there were times and harder.
Tea was pleasantly warmed, descending into the stomach with a warm wave, which, in turn, from such a meager serving decided once again to remind itself through a threat, a simple, physiological threat - rumbling. I had to eat.
Five minutes later and half a glass of tea, Adikia appeared at the door of the dining room. She was dressed as usual - in a T-shirt and camouflage pants. The girl was not without a certain grace. Something in her was so good, so attractive, that Deimos did not catch himself thinking for the first time. She noticed him immediately: the angle in which the man was located was on the left diagonally relative to her. With a sweeping male step, Adikia walked up, a little more noisy than was necessary, pushed back the metal chair and sat down opposite.
The cleaner looked around, but said nothing. Deimos, in turn, raised his hand, indicating that everything is in order and they will not make noise, for convincingness, reinforcing his gesture with a smile.
“Thank you for coming, Adikia,” he turned to the girl sitting opposite and smiled at her now. Today he smiled a lot - you are fast.
“It's hard to linger when someone's voice sounds in your head,” the girl snapped. She glanced around the table, giving the second glass a little more time than anything else. The girl did not pay attention to sugar at all or pretended not to pay — do you abuse power over minds? She asked.
“No, what are you,” Deimos grinned, “to get a glass of tea is enough to politely ask.”
“It would be more logical to order with your skills.”
“Would you order?”
“But I think,” said Deimos, “that sometimes it’s easier to ask than to order.”
He took the glass and gently took a few small sips. The liquid had already begun to cool, but was still potable. Putting the glass back in place, Deimos looked up at Adikia, trying to make out something in it. The girl understood that her interlocutor at any moment could burst into her mind, crush her, destroy her. Perhaps even unconsciously.
The final awareness of the situation depressed Adikia, she was seriously nervous with the smooth transition of this state into the phase of panic. Every bit of her being shouted that she must run away from this monster with the appearance of a middle-aged man, military dressing and lazy, but precise movements. She had to run, run and pray that she would manage to get out of the range of his module before he turned his mental gaze to her - Adikia.
The cleaner behind her back noisily pushed back a chair and began to wipe the next table.
“Sometimes you just need to politely ask,” continued Deimos, “you can’t imagine how many doors a man can open with just showing a little respect for his interlocutor,” he leaned back on the hard back of the chair and picked up his glass, “pour some tea for yourself, yes and there’s sugar for you, specially brought.
The girl looked in disbelief at the kettle standing on the tray and at the sugar that was lying there, nearby.
“Drink tea, Adikia, do not be an idiot,” her interlocutor faked, “they say sugar is needed for the brain to work, and there will be a lot of work,” he sipped from his glass, “so what am I talking about?” Oh, respect. Many doors open with respect for a person, Adikia, very many. And the less often this very respect for a person turns out to be, the greater return you will receive for each of your words. A banal example, - he threw a gesture over the table, - this tea. And sugar, especially for you, and, mind you, not at my request. The man who brought it is now wiping the tables behind you. If we consider our research center as a model of modern society, then this cleaner is at the bottom of the “social food chain,” figuratively speaking. In any case, in relation to the operators. But you and I, Adikia, we also get out of this cohort of the local class of aristocratic operators. You do not notice this social inequality. But for that person whose work, whose sense of presence in these walls is to sit at a clean table during breakfast, lunch and dinner, whose job is to ensure that you do not scratch the stain of yesterday’s pottage with your fingernail, but ate clean, for him, these social differences between us are visible to the naked eye.
The girl was silent.
- A distinctive feature of social inequality is hatred or contempt between social groups of different statuses. And the larger the gap, the brighter the fire of this very hatred. But there is a flip side of the coin, look, - the man again pointed to the tea in front of him, - everything in me gives out the operator. Of course, even if he knew me in person as Deimos, the miraculous creation of Ivor, rumors circulated, I’m sure, now he won’t remember me. He will not remember as a person, but the cleaner is aware of the operators. So, it was enough for me to behave with him as an equal, even more, to recognize his power in his territory and voila - tea at the wrong time. Let his power in this room be conditional, and given the circumstances and my abilities, it is conditional even when I accept and abide by this very convention. I repent there was a desire to push his thoughts in the direction of bringing lunch to me, but I accepted the rules of the game and did not cheat. And after the adoption of these rules, this conditional power of this little man, who imperceptibly wipes the tables before dinner and possibly washes dishes, he disposed of his power for my good. Do you understand what I mean?
Adikia was disoriented and could answer affirmatively with a very big stretch of answer to the last question of Deimos, who openly took her by surprise.
“Well, then I will continue,” Deimos answered, “so.” What I want to convey to you, if you simplify: do not be an asshole, and people will help you of their own free will, without any coercion.
He leaned forward, sat exactly on the chair, laid his hands on the table, palms down, and looked at the girl in front of him.
- I have one simple question for you, and it depends on the answer to whether our acquaintance with you will continue or not.
The heart of Adikia missed a beat, and then pounded with a vengeance and speed. The girl felt her hands suddenly freeze, and her legs trembled with a surge of energy and a surge of adrenaline. The whole organism of Adikia reacted to the words of her interlocutor in the only accessible and correct, in his opinion, way - he prepared for flight.
- What question? - the girl's voice faltered.
Deimos looked at the interlocutor, took the kettle by the handle, poured not too hot tea into the second glass and moved it to her.
“Drink and calm down,” said Deimos as amiably as possible, “and finally take this damned sugar,” he added with a smile.
The girl obeyed, took a cube, lowered its edge into the liquid to soften it, bit off about a third and washed it down. Deimos watched her hands tremble in the process, but he was in no hurry to relieve tension.
- Good girl, because my conscience did not allow me to deceive the person who brought it for you, and to eat it myself. Okay, back to the question, are you ready?
“Yes,” Adikia answered.
Deimos looked around the dining room, looked at the ceiling, as if recalling something, and continued:
“Adikia, I want to ask you for help.” Will you help me?
The janitor pulled out another chair noisily.
- About help? - asked the girl.
“Yes, for help,” Deimos repeated, “I need your help, because I alone cannot handle it.”
“You can always order,” said Adikia, “so why are you asking?”
“Because I believe that you should participate in such a thing of your own free will, girl,” Deimos answered, “you are the strongest telepath in radius,” he froze for a second, listening to his module, “within a radius of five kilometers, so then I feel bad. Perhaps the thickness of the earth above the head is interfering.
The cleaner finished wiping the tables, slid the last chair back in its place, and moved into the back room for a mop, reaching out a stain on the floor that he spotted ten minutes ago, but decided to wipe it later.
Adikia did not know what to answer to Deimos. Trying to calm her heartbeat, she several times deeply sucked her nose in her nose, looked around as if seeking advice from someone, and then again looked at her interlocutor.
- I have a choice?
“There is always a choice,” said Deimos, “unfortunately, I cannot let you out of the center, because then Astrea’s entire motivation for action will come to naught.” But I can offer you help me, and not sit locked up in a punishment cell. To be honest, you will do me a very serious service if you agree.
- And what is the point? The girl asked.
“You have to give your consent.”
- Do I have time to think?
“Yes,” Deimos answered with a smile, “two minutes, maybe three.”
He leaned forward slightly and touched the girl’s hand, from which she started.
“Understand, Adikia, courage is needed here, I would even say courage is needed.” The ability to rush forward toward the intended goal, but at the same time understand what you are doing. That is why now you are sitting in front of me, not your sister. You are both brave girls, no doubt about it. But Astrea is deprived of some of the qualities inherent in you. For example, she is more susceptible to stress, less stable, although more reckless. With all your bravado, straightforwardness and power, you can help me. Your sister has a notion of morality, honor, duty. You can give them up. Is that so, Adikia?
With every word of Deimos, the girl understood more and more that the man opposite saw her through. Of the two of them, it was she, and not Astrea, who possessed innate resourcefulness, bordering on cruelty and implicated in cold calculation.
“You're not interested in what I want to ask you about?”
Then Adikia did not lie. She expected anything: torture, brutal massacre, massacre, instant and silent death, loss of herself as a person. She was afraid to leave her room after she no longer felt her sister. Her module was now inactive and the only thing that she now had against Deimos was her own intellect, although a treacherous worm of doubts about the question of whether she still had freedom of choice or everything that happened was a delicate game of a man with her mind.
“Do you agree to help me?”
The janitor walked past their desk with a bucket and a mop in his hands and headed for the kitchen. He needed to wipe a couple more spots near the stoves.
- Yes, I agree.
“Good,” Deimos sighed in relief and leaned back in his chair, “Adikia, I want you to help me steal something.” Perhaps in the process, someone will die. For example, members of the Council or army command.
Deimos broke off. While he spoke, his gaze was directed to the entrance to the dining room, past Adikia, where the center’s employees had already begun to appear, as if nothing had happened for lunch.
“And then,” he looked at the girl, “you will have to kill me.”
- The first, as you hear, reception.
- The second, this is the first. I hear you well, welcome.
- First, I demand confirmation of the start of loading work.
- Second, I start the work, as they understood me, a reception.
- I understand you, First. Getting started.
- End of communication.
“That's right, the end of the connection.”
Mike Ivor wearily climbed the stairs to his apartment. He lived in this house for more than ten years, but he never became his family. Now, approaching a very old age, he was very sorry that the apartment was not given to him on the second or third, but on the tenth floor.
He tried not to stumble and looked at his feet, carefully and heavily stepping on each next step.
Step. Step. Step.
The next platform is very close, a couple of steps. There he will stop and rest. It was a long trip to the center, but he could not get to the conversation in a different way.
- Doctor? Asked someone standing higher on the stairs.
“What the hell, they didn't seem to know who I was.”
Mike looked up to see who was talking to him.
- Yes? He replied to a stranger of short stature in a shabby leather jacket.
At this moment, he did not even hear, but rather felt the movement of air behind him, and after a slight injection in the neck. Already losing consciousness, he thought:
They were revealed.
food seemed incredibly tasty, although Deimos believed that the blame for this was hunger, and not the skill of the cooks. It was unlikely that something really tasty could be portrayed from army rations and freeze-dried foods. But now his stomach was glad for that.
Adikia was also sitting opposite, idly picking a spoon in her porridge. They were silent. Deimos understood that the girl needed to realize and accept what she signed up for, giving her consent to help him.
Having dealt with the porridge, which in some places came across pieces of soaked and after stewed jerky, Deimos washed down with a glass of tea. He ate too fast, and the feeling of fullness had not yet arrived, but soon it would come along with a surge of strength.
- Yes? - answered the girl.
“I understand that what I told you was a little confusing, but there is no catch.” I really need your help. ”Deimos got up from the table and picked up his tray with dirty dishes to bring it to the sink. It was not necessary, you could leave it on the table, but he believed that five seconds of weather would not. They still had time, although not so much.
- What, old man, thought about the future? - the corpse materialized behind the back of Adikia.
“Yes, I thought it over,” Deimos thought to him mentally.
“Come into Ivor’s office in an hour,” he turned to the girl, “I read some documentation on the project yesterday, you should see this in order to understand what we are in.” There I will explain everything to you in more detail. Good?
- In an hour?
- Fine, I will.
Deimos brought the dishes to the sink, where they were sorted by a cleaner already familiar to him. He dumped the rest of the food into the tank under his feet, laid out the dishes in one dishwasher, and the plates and trays in the other two.
“Thanks again for the tea,” Deimos told him.
“Not at all,” the man answered, “come in before dinner, in the evening they will bake fresh bread.”
“Mandatory,” said Deimos.
- Good luck.
Without saying anything else, Deimos turned and left the dining room. Having taken the elevator down to the residential floor, he went to wash himself, because after eating he began to fall into a dream. After standing a little at the door to the bathroom, he decided to quickly go to the shower.
“Five minutes, five seconds — they won’t do the weather,” he thought.
“And it seems to me that they will,” the corpse stood at the door, resting its shoulder against the wall, “we don’t have much time to bask in the shower.”
“Then it's cold,” Deimos answered him already in a rumor.
“Then it's cold,” agreed the projection of consciousness.
Tight jets hit on the back. The cold water was pleasantly refreshing, although in the first second Deimos regretted his decision. As soon as he felt that there was no trace of his former drowsiness, which took about two minutes, he immediately went out and wiped himself with a thin, stiff towel.
“What do you tell her?”
“I don’t know,” Deimos answered the corpse, “probably the truth.”
“Do you understand that you signed her to disentangle your own mistakes?”
- If you do not deal with this, then little will matter.
“She’s in the system, it won’t touch her,” the corpse pressed. His logic was iron, like the logic of Deimos himself, a part of whose consciousness he was.
“But her sister is in danger, you yourself know.”
“And which of them did you want to motivate more by her departure?”
- I don’t know yet.
The corpse stepped aside, letting Deimos enter the room. Of course, you could go through it, but they both avoided such moments. Deimos believed that it would be easier for him to keep his split consciousness relatively whole only if the laws of physics act on his interlocutor. He well remembered their first meeting in reality, when he received an imaginary bullet in the forehead.
- Yes, I'm sorry, but it was necessary, - one head for two made it possible not to speak, but simply to think.
“Nothing,” said Deimos, “I understand.” You tried to get me out of balance so that I remembered who I was.
He pulled on fresh clothes. Left dirty on the bed, deciding that he would bring her to the laundry room later. Or the cleaning lady will pick it up, it doesn't matter.
“The fact that you found her was not your fault.” You were a soldier, you had an order, ”said the corpse already in the corridor on the way to the elevators.
“But now I'm not just a soldier.” Rather, not a soldier at all, ”said Deimos,“ and I never liked the order. ”
- Yes, the idea was not the best.
two years earlier ...
Headphones connected to the metal detector have been stubbornly issuing a shocking, deafening squeak for two minutes now.
- Captain! There is something here!
Captain Henry Johnson cheerfully jumped over a piece of crumbling concrete fence and headed for the call.
- It’s free. What do you have, corporal?
The soldier, who was stretched along the line, became in a more free position.
- Metal, sir! He replied loudly.
“I don’t know exactly, sir, but the object is large, about ten meters in diameter.”
“Good,” Henry thought for a moment, “start digging with shovels and livelier.” If this is her, then I will need to darkly call the equipment and specialists from the Center. Proceed.
- Sir is sir!
He turned, moved to his car, in which the walkie-talkie was standing.
Adikia had arrived five minutes earlier.
“Take a chair and sit next to it,” said Deimos. He himself is seated in a chair that is now absent in the center of Ivor - I want to show you something.
The girl silently took a chair and set it next to the office chair in which the man was sitting. The girl smelled of soap.
“Like me, I went to the shower. Good girl, thought Deimos.
“Look,” he began, “this is the documentation for the Eye project that Ivor and his team maintained while working here in the center. And here, - he touched the tablet screen and selected one of the directories, - translated copies of documents from Russia. The diaries of a man who invented a drug that was injected with us, although, as I understand it, Ivor was able to improve it and if not get rid, then level a number of side effects, Adikia carefully listened to everything that Deimos told her.
“In one of the documents I found a service manual,” continued Deimos, “in the first weeks we were injected with this drug, EP-22 , to stimulate the nervous system and start the processes in the brain that made us telepaths. But it says here that pure EP-22not very effective, so it was used along with narcotic drugs, such as painkillers. In this I am not very strong, but I caught the essence. Do you understand?
- Yes. We were given paired injections, ”the girl said,“ well, before the operation. ” First, apparently, this EP-22 , and then something from which we fell asleep. We thought it was sleeping pills.
“To some extent, yes,” Deimos agreed, “but here, further, in the dosage note there is the most interesting. The injection course lasted five days, a total of twenty-five injections. The closer to the end, the less drug should be used. The last day they do not inject. Then, a few days later, when the tests for assimilation of the drug are positive, a repeater is installed, - Deimos touched the girl’s neck, - they connect it to the nervous system and suture it in the neck together with a medical module that injects a drug on the clock that prevents the body from rejecting Oka.
“Good, so what's wrong with all this?”
-Do you remember, at one of the briefings, we were all forbidden to use pain medication on assignments, even if we get injured? - a question to the question answered Deimos.
- Yes I remember. Dr. Price said it would kill us, ”Adikia answered.
“That is only half the truth.” Look, here, ”Deimos pointed a finger at the screen,“ it says that if the dosage is violated or if the subject receives an extra injection, the drug will go into an uncontrolled reaction, since it is not excreted from the body.
“And what's wrong with that?” - the girl did not understand where Deimos was driving.
“I have not finished,” he answered, “here, the line“ ... a chain reaction will cause irreversible changes in the brain and the psyche of the subject. ” That is, the subject will sooner or later go crazy, plus all this will be accompanied by a constant strengthening of his mental abilities. This is confirmed by the notes of that scientist from Russia, Nikitinsky. At one time, this ended for him sadly.
The puzzle in Adikia’s head began to put together.
“You mean ...” the girl began.
- Yes. I received an extra injection after the operation, ”Deimos confirmed her guesses.“ Perhaps by mistake. ” I then learned to walk again, the muscles were atrophied, and fell very unsuccessfully - he grinned, recalling how helpless he was then - the nurse put an injection, as she thought, of sleeping pills, which for some reason remained in the cabinet after the injection cycle before the operation.
The girl silently looked at him, Deimos also did not say anything.
“I'm the walking dead, Adikia.” Ivor's drug is good, fewer side effects, judging by the documents. Therefore, I will not go crazy as fast as that guy from Russia. But I have little time before I start killing everything that I can reach by the power of thought. One of the side effects is increased aggression, hence our daily hand-to-hand combat training. We are indirectly stabilized in this way. Wedge by wedge.
“So you want me to kill you?” Because you become dangerous? I mean, more dangerous than now?
They were silent for a moment.
- How many? - quietly asked Adikia.
“Six weeks,” Deimos understood perfectly her question, “maybe nine, if I rarely use the module.”
- And then what?
- Then, given that the Oka module always works passively, and my synchronization level is close to a hundred, they are unlikely to be able to cope with me. Only if artillery, which the army does not have.
Adikia looked seriously at Deimos, trying to figure out if he was manipulating her now.
“So maybe,” she began, “will we decide everything right now?” You yourself can, the arsenal is open for you ...
“I'm too cowardly to commit suicide, Adikia.” I want to live too much. I used to be a captain, before being wounded, because of which I got here. And I only sit here because I always really wanted to live, ”he got up from the table and went to one of the cupboards,“ I’m sure that the old man is hiding normal tea or coffee somewhere here. ”
He rummaged on the shelves, but did not find anything. Adikia was silent.
“Well, to hell with him,” he stopped his attempts to find something, “I must not die yet, Adikia.” There is something that I have to fix, and you will help me with this. You will be my eyes, ears, my guide and assistant, so that I can minimize the use of the module in the future. This will allow me to gain time and stay in my right mind for as long as possible in order to be in time.
- To catch up with what? Asked Adikia.
Deimos returned to Ivor’s chair, spinning on it from side to side, remembering something.
“Two years ago I had one order ...”
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