Friday. Nonsense programmer 4.3

    Hi, Habr! I continue to publish crazy stories. Thank you all for your support. Today it’s the turn of a story about immortality, poison in a bottle and a love triangle without corners. The story is called "Cluster" .


    Our laboratory deals with issues of fault tolerance and parallel computing. We are called to make computers solve as many tasks as possible without breaking, and if they break, without significant impact on the final result.

    There were only three people in the laboratory, and all three were programmers. First, me. Secondly, my friend from the institute Alyoshka. And, thirdly, the charming girl Ira.

    As for Ira, Alexey and I could not understand whether she likes any of us individually, whether she likes us both, or she doesn’t add us to the list of possible close friends. All our attempts to figure it out broke into an ambiguous smile. The answer remained hidden on the other side of the beautiful and mocking brown eyes. Despite this, and perhaps precisely because of this, our small team was very friendly, efficient and productive.


    A year ago, we were assigned a new leader, Andrei Sergeyevich.

    It was a strange man. Not only was he poorly versed in computing, he was also proud of it. How he could get to this position is completely incomprehensible. However, after some time of working together, we realized that not everything is so simple. Sometimes he told us absolutely incredible technical and software solutions. No matter how hard we tried to penetrate the logic of our leader, it was absolutely impossible. It seemed that he knew a certain principle hidden from us that constantly allows us to be one step ahead of everyone else.

    The efficiency of Andrei Sergeyevich was no limit. We have never seen him eat, drink, sleep, or deal with other things that, from his point of view, are meaningless. When we could observe him, he either read, or wrote, or experimented.

    Either locked in a special room, which he organized immediately after his appointment to the post. No one except Andrei Sergeyevich, did not look there. Everything that happened in this room was secret.


    One day, we showed two guests from the ministry our main system of parallel computing and redundancy. Between ourselves, we called it a cluster.

    “This is a cluster of seven computing subsystems,” Andrei Sergeevich showed two young people in suits to a rack with servers, “currently three servers are working, they solve a common problem. Now, you can turn off any of these three.
    - Anyone? - asked one of the guests, - I want this one.
    “Please,” said Andrei Sergeevich, and without any caution he jerked the power cord of the indicated server, one of the lights went out, “see, the task continues to be carried out.
    “Mm, yes,” said one of the guests.
    - And now one more server, - Andrei Sergeevich pulled another power cord, - the task is still performed.
    “Mm, yes,” said another of the guests.
    “And now the most interesting,” Andrei Sergeevich turned on and turned off several servers. “Look, the servers are working now, none of which worked at the beginning of the experiment, but the task is still being carried out ...

    ” “Mm, yes,” both visitors said and looked at each other. One of them went to a special room ...
    “What about you here?” The guest asked and pushed the door with his hand. The door opened and a frightened cat jumped out from behind her.

    Andrei Sergeevich with agility, which could not have been expected from an elderly man, ran up to the door, grabbed the cat in his arms and threw it back into the room. Then he took hold of the door handle and slammed the door with force, right in front of the guests.
    “Sorry,” said Andrei Sergeevich, restraining his intermittent breathing — for the time being it is impossible. An experiment is underway. I'll show you later. Then…


    The demonstration came to an end, and two young men in suits headed for the exit.
    - Everything that you have told and shown, Andrei Sergeevich, is very interesting, but we would like your research to become more practical. You understand?
    “Not really,” answered our manager, “Everything that we do, so it has great practical significance.”

    “I will clarify my point,” said one of the two. - For example, there is a robot. Its movement and behavior are controlled by a central processor located in the body, and low-level limb movement is controlled by lower-performing processors located in the limbs ... Suppose the central processor is out of order ...

    - Out of order? - Andrei Sergeevich raised eyebrows and looked at the interlocutor. - For what reason?
    - Well, for example, a shell hit him ...
    - A shell ??? - Andrei Sergeevich for some time, his eyes blinked in bewilderment. Then he clenched his hands into fists, his chin shook and the corners of his eyes reddened from the strain.
    - Get out! Get out of the temple of science! Military! Take back your money from which you do not even bother to wash the blood!

    Visitors who did not expect such a reaction hurriedly left the laboratory. Andrei Sergeevich, holding his heart, the donkey and leaned his back on the joint. I, Ira and Alex rushed to the head. Ira called an ambulance, and Alexey and I carefully moved Andrei Sergeyevich to the sofa.


    Andrei Sergeyevich doctors diagnosed a heart attack, and he was hospitalized. We visited him, sometimes one by one, sometimes all together. He and the hospital did not calm down. I read scientific journals, wrote articles, and when we came, I gave orders, advice, and ideas. In a word, he continued to work as far as the hospital conditions allowed.

    Once I brought him fresh magazines. I came alone, as Alyosha and Ira carried out the acceptance of the recently ordered equipment.
    “Thank you,” said Andrei Sergeevich, putting the magazines on the nightstand. Then, suddenly, he said, “But after all, on my Wednesday jubilee - sixty knocked. Come to me here all three. Still, the date. And yet ...

    Andrei Sergeevich with a gesture asked me to bend down and said conspiratorially:
    - I have a bottle of good wine especially for this occasion. Bring her. She is in a special room. In the closet opposite the door. On the second shelf ... Just do not confuse anything ... Here's the key for you ..., Andrei Sergeevich removed the key from the chain around his neck, where all normal people should have a cross.

    I took the key and went home. My soul was restless.


    The day before the anniversary, I decided to go into the room for wine. Time was later, there was nobody in the laboratory. I opened the door of the special room with the key and stepped over the threshold.

    Burning light on duty. Scribbled papers, rolls of graphs were piled up all around. A group of recorders stood along one of the walls, along the second wall were two computers with a specialized sensor system.

    Then I noticed that besides me in the room there are still living creatures. In the middle of the room I saw a large aviary table. On the table in a circle lay five cats. Four cats dozed. But in the fifth eye were open and the ears moved in the direction of the sound. It felt like she was on duty. While I was standing in indecision at the door, an amazing event happened. The awake cat settled down on its front paws and closed its eyes, while the neighboring cat opened its eyes at the same time, rose, and assumed the pose in which its neighbor had just been. During the time I was in the lab, the “duty cat”, as I myself called this phenomenon, changed three more times.

    Then my attention was caught by an aquarium in the corner. About fifty small fishes swam in it. Having watched a little, I noticed that at first they swam in a common flock, perfectly synchronized, as is usually the case with fish, then by some common signal the common flock was divided into two. Then three flocks swam in the aquarium, and then four. This continued until each of the fish began to swim on its own. Then a whole flock gathered again, and everything was repeated anew.

    Probably, if I had watched yet, I would have seen even more amazing things, but from me that was enough. I went to the closet, took out a bottle with a red liquid from the second shelf and left the room in a hurry.

    Locking the door with a key, I leaned against the wall and for a long time could not recover from what I saw.


    On Wednesday, as agreed, the three of us came to Andrei Sergeevich to the hospital to celebrate his sixtieth birthday. He was lying on the bed, and it was felt that he was feeling worse. But he tried not to show it. He asked us about current work, gave us some valuable instructions as usual.

    Finally, taking a deep breath a couple of times, he turned to me:
    I silently handed him a bottle. Andrei Sergeevich took the bottle in his hands and poured the liquid into small cups. I, Ira and Alyosha took wine in their hands.
    - Friends, drink my health. For us! To the lab! For science!
    We drank. I know little about wine, but the taste of the liquid in the glass was terrible. Something in between kerosene and diesel fuel. In addition, I felt that something was wrong with the body.

    Hands and feet became cotton. Everything around has changed color and lost sharpness. I felt the breath of Andrei Sergeyevich, Ira and Alexei, as my own. When I spoke, I did not recognize my voice, I heard it as if from the side. My gaze stopped in front of Andrei Sergeyevich, and I could not tear him away, even if I wanted to. I felt that Ira and Alexey are going through the same thing.

    Andrei Sergeevich finished the wine and looked at all three of us at the same time.
    - Friends, remember! The worst thing in the world is death. Death makes a man a servant of time and a hostage of circumstances- Andrei Sergeevich licked his lips.
    We are all slaves to death, but Life is stronger ,” he continued, “ Death is blind and deaf, and Life sees and hears.” Death is meaningless, but Life is capable of knowing.

    I watched the reddened eyes of Andrei Sergeyevich unable to tear myself away. His every word was ringing in his head. Around, everything was blurred and lost its shape.
    - Death, I see you. You've already spread your nets. But I will pass through them, like a flock of fry passes through a seine, like water passes through sand.

    Then Aleksey Sergeevich made an incredible effort and rose from the pillows and looked into each of his eyes:
    - Friends - be together. Now this is your strength.

    Then he fell on the pillows and no longer rose. When the doctors arrived, Andrei Sergeevich was already dead.


    Shocked by the incident, the next few weeks we barely spoke. We have not yet been assigned a new leader. The work did not move, and it seemed that no one needed it anymore. But we were wrong.

    Somewhere in a month, at the end of the working week, a representative of the scientific committee came to us and offered to write a work plan for the next year, and also reminded that the conference was soon, and it would be nice to write an article. The article, as usual, should be filled with fresh ideas and stand out with originality and scientific novelty. Alexey and I promised the representative of the committee to do everything in our power. Having assured the visitor of our undying desire to move science into a bright future, we conducted it until the exit. Then they drank in the back of tea and went home. For myself, I thought that writing an article would be the last thing I’m going to do at the weekend.

    On Saturday, closer to the night, my head ached. Tablets, massage and compresses did not help. I got up and began to wander around the apartment in different directions. Feet led me to the desktop. I do not understand why, I picked up a pencil, a sheet of paper and wrote the name: "Self-organization in complex systems . " Then he began to write below unusual gnarled handwriting.

    An hour later in front of me on the table lay a few sheets of text, which I did not understand. In addition, the text was clearly not finished. But then the head passed, and I fell asleep with relief.


    When I came to work on Monday, Alexey approached me and silently stretched the sheets with the same clumsy handwriting. It was a continuation of what was written on my sheets. When Ira appeared at the laboratory door, we silently handed the sheets, and she, in turn, took her sheets from the bag.

    Sheets lay on the table. We stood around the table and were afraid to look at each other.
    - What should we do now? How to live? - Alexey asked quietly.

    Ira collected the sheets in a pile, and then, at the end of the text, without any difficulty, put Andrei Sergeyevich's sweeping signature, which we all knew so well.
    - Let's say that they found in his desk when they cleaned up, - said Ira and looked at the two of us, - And how about living? We will now have fun living ...

    For the first time in her eyes there was no mockery.

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