The car slowly rolled by Frank Park Road West. Slowly, because the rush to Frank was definitely nowhere. He has not decided exactly how convincingly justify the need for a visit to Professor Stanley. He himself was a need for this is clear, but how to bring it to Professor Stanley? Penetrate whether he thinks Frank's problem or at least a dreamer? The car is still rolling, and decisions are still not there.
The fact that Frank was on Park Road West, he realized, seeing the window Birkenhead Park. Judging by the color of the foliage, the park was preparing for the fall. After consulting with his calendar, Frank established himself in his hypothesis - October began to come into its own. A few tourists watched graceful swans in behavior near the lake. Suddenly a crazy idea came to Frank's head. Before she fade away and not thinking about the consequences, he left the car and walked quickly to the lake. Slightly squeezed between the crowd, Frank positioned himself on the edge of the reservoir so that, looking at the swans, tourists first saw him. At the same time, to finally get the attention of the audience, he emphatically raised his hand. There was a silence. Realizing that he had committed an unnatural act for himself, Frank more effaced, but the idea that the time has come finally to sweep away the stereotypes, pushed him further. As a further Frank offered his audience the concept of world, which has not yet been known to anyone else, including, and himself.
- I am pleased to submit to me the opportunity to convey to you the idea, Vita Vita ... ... it is the vital, because the value of any theory is not in itself and in its projection on the public consciousness. It is time for a different look at the world around us and to understand each he gave us, or vice versa. And now, in the era of revelation, we begin to sincerely, without any concealment, talk about what used to be made silent. We finally have to raise their voice in defense of that part of the noosphere, which we would like to single out from your life, leaving her to fend for themselves. Meanwhile, a metabiologichesky approach to all that threatens to extremely negative consequences for the individual. Yes, yes, for me, for each of you. We must understand, and this understanding should penetrate into our every pore, so it is impossible to live on. We can not forget about the upcoming two thousand four hundred and fifty-ninth year. It is impossible to draw endlessly without resulting in harmony gaping emptiness of our, dare I say it, the destructive activities. It is the absence of consent, no coherence between man and external forces, to which I can relate fairly and other animals that live in our latitude, quite frankly, is not sweet, but are full of healing potential, which is destined to become a bridge across the abyss, razverzshuyusya on our way. I believe in the human mind. We must start with ourselves. We must be alert, allowing no hesitation in our quest for excellence. What has happened today will not happen ever.
Here Frank paused to catch his breath. From it he did not escape his loud voice, and maybe slim presentation thoughts increased the number of listeners almost doubled. He was about to continue, as noted in the first row of guards.
- Sir, unfortunately this is not the Speakers Corner. I am afraid that you should stop campaigning.
After weighing all the "pros" and "cons", Frank concluded by providing an opportunity to discuss the appreciative audience heard. He himself walked slowly toward the abandoned car. Suddenly he heard a voice from behind, apparently addressed to him.
- Excuse me, I passed involuntarily witnessed your performance. Frankly, I was very interested in it. I believe that it is the fruit of a long reflection.
- This is so, - remarked Frank exhausted, staring blankly at the man to talk to him about forty-five, nothing more undistinguished.
- I think you definitely said that "what has happened today will not happen ever." This is the quintessence of a new philosophical view of the world. Sorry, I did not introduce. My name is Timothy Picton. And you?
Frank has been able to realize that his whole speech was nonsense uttered minute frenzy. In this regard, it alarmed the man flirting flattering. In any case, he replied:
- Call me Hippopotamus amphibius.
- Amphibian? Nom! I see. I have the honor to present Philosophical Society "Transit in the future." I acted as his chairman. At its meetings, we are working on all possible scenarios of development of mankind.
- What are the successes?
- Uh ... We are moving steadily naturally. From simple to complex ...
- And at what stage you are now? - Frank kept the conversation just because he did not have the strength to interrupt him.
- According to our estimates, we are close to a solution. For the latest breakthrough is needed, final effort. I found a great success meeting with you and would like to offer you cooperation. Right now to begin a meeting of our society - I actually go there and goes. I am invited to join. I am sure we can mutually enrich ... creatively. In terms of understanding human destinies. You will not believe, but we have already conducted a number of successful experiments in time travel.
The content of this self-styled speech counterparts in many ways resembled the continuation of his speech in front of tourists and it deserves to be out of my head. However, a word about time travel made Frank wonder. He's only something you need it - to go back in time, that is, in the future, if you count the last moment. If you can not permanently return to his former life, then at least have time to withdraw money from the account ...
- I agree.
Meeting society according to its acting chairman is held somewhere nearby. As they walked, and it took about five minutes, Frank, first of all, remembered the way to get back to his car, and secondly, continued to ponder whether it was true he does. Finally, they stopped at the door with a massive oversupply of occult symbolism. Acting chairman with a certain force opened the door. The incident sunlight picked out the ladder, despite the possible assumptions that led down. Darkness, of course, was a relative - descent lit candle placed at regular intervals along both walls, making the air smell was felt appropriate. Before the door closed, Frank spoke hesitantly:
- Tell me, Mr ...
- Tell me, Mr. Picton, how long are meeting your company?
- You see, the question of time, and you will understand, it sounds correctly when we are starting to see time not from the outside, but from within. And do not even monitor and control its flow. Let me go ahead of you, to show you the way.
The phrase "point the way" sounded ambiguous and forced Frank shivered. The descent is over, and they have entered into a horizontal, but with lots of forks twisting corridor, promotion in which more and more resembles an attempt to get out of the maze fatal. Even if Frank changed his mind and took to their heels, there is a suspicion that he never would have found out. "And what I mean, after all, are the risks? Yes, nothing, "- he thought, and continued to follow Pickton, who brought them up in the direct tunnel. This tunnel as well as traversed the labyrinth illuminated by candles, which allowed Frank to see at the very end, at a distance of eighty feet of the door. Apparently, he had to enter into it. This prophecy was the easiest - it came to pass, and Frank got into some room. Looking around, Frank discovered that the room was absolutely round. Along the perimeter of the wall and its only burning candles - a constant attribute of this institution. Ventilation was set up here at the appropriate level, as the smell of burning products has not been the number one problem for the present. And there were in the room, Frank estimated eight people, not counting it, and Picton, and they sat around a round, match room table. Men and women alternated. There were an equal number, of which Frank concluded that he sees the four pairs. The men wore tuxedos indispensable for women - evening dresses, as well as an abundance of jewelry in different parts of the body. The youngest of those sitting at the table, apparently, for a long time pointed out seventy years from the date of his birth. In other words, the audience was respectable in every sense of the word.
Respectable audience did not react at the newcomers, and Frank was able to observe as members of society, and other destinations of these people, he just could not think of intently watching each in his plate, which was on the table of eight, respectively. The plates were empty, and this concentration is of concern. But Frank is still more interested in the other element of tableware - a strange object, vaguely reminded him of Russian Samovar restaurant and stood exactly in the center.
- Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to a new member of our society - broke the silence Picton. - Mr. Amphibian. Please love and favor.
"Itself a" - Frank thought. Yet he wanted to argue that he did no member, waved. "Just not required to hand over dues." Waved Frank was interpreted as a greeting. In response, ladies and gentlemen kept welcomed the "new member" nod. "Either they do not really me excited or are so accepted."
Picton Frank offered to take the empty chair and sat down beside him. After completing some movements fingers of his hands in the air, he pulled out a plate of identical existing on the table and put it in front of Frank. "Prestidizhitator" - Frank guessed. He already knew that members of the public are not going to dinner. Obviously, the purpose of the plates was something else. In the same way Picton plate and got myself.
- Ladies and gentlemen, according to the plan of our research today, we will implement a new experience to overcome the shackles of time. Today, some of us will go into the future. Honorary choice will fall in line with the algorithm of our system. We still can not manage this option, but we are close to a solution. Let's get started. I remind you that my signal you are scanning their eye on the bottom plate, which is a locator of your internal energy trying to remove layer after layer of the veil from the future. You can help yourself with the help of sounds tuned to resonance with the band gap. Who was the first to reach the target, he is on a journey. The degree of distinctiveness shape the future, and we already know, affects both the length of time in the future, and the depth of penetration into it. We know who lucky for his absence at the table for some time. At the end of the meeting the traveler to share their experiences, and the others will be able to ask their questions. These are our rules.
Frank tilted his head towards Picton and asked him in a low voice:
- Will not fatal journey into the future for the members of society, taking into account their age?
- You mean, they do not deepen so far in the future that will have time to meet its natural end?
- Yes, I have such fears.
- Do not worry, until then it will not come.
- Why are you so sure?
- Let's talk about it some other time. - Picton clearly faltered. - Let's begin.
Members of the public are not paying attention to the dialogue with Frank Pickton, without waiting for the signal of the latter, in full scan and tuned to resonance. Frank guessed it, seeing how ladies and gentlemen heavily rotated his eyes, hunched over plates and softly howled.
- Cook. Go!
After the official launch, proclaimed Pickton, howling began to grow, while remaining tolerant. Frank instinctively looked at his plate, but try as he might, nothing but the "veil" is not found. Glancing at Picton, he discovered that he is sitting with his eyes closed, indicating his reluctance to fly anywhere. "Probably, it is good and no future" - Frank decided. Meanwhile, members of the community began to nod his head in time to make sounds. Frank distracted by reflections on the theme, choose an algorithm Picton Systems as a traveler it is as trying to figure out how long it will be able to tolerate this indecent loud howl. He was about my ears as suddenly peripheral vision registered a bright flash in the center of the table. Instantly it was quiet. Because of the subject, similar to the samovar smoke poured pink. Members of the public were not frightened, only more focused, being in a state of near trance. Meanwhile, pink smoke was present to conceal one another. Frank still had time to see Picton calm expression, as if saying that everything is going according to plan, then the pink cloud completely isolate him from the rest. It was not smoke, it seemed initially, otherwise all long been suffocated. Something like a spray with a pleasant smell filled the room.
- Mr. Picton, which should follow next? - Frank could not resist.
- Shh ... We can not say. One of the members of our society is now in the future. We must wait calmly for his return. Do not worry.
"Oh ... Someone has departed, but I was not lucky as usual" - Frank thought in frustration. He had something Picton asked, but no response. Then Frank decided to draw the attention of Picton, trying to touch his shoulder, but neither shoulder nor the rest on the chair was not. "Too fall!" - Frank dawned. But in the fall with a certain delay, for inhalation of aerosol longer disposed to go to sleep than to analyze what is happening. In order not to fall asleep with unpredictable consequences, Frank, using the plate as a fan, rushed to where he believed there is a way out. However, zero visibility played a trick on him - the first step, he knocked a chair with a member of the society, which, however, made no sound as opposed to the crashed saucer. Finally, Frank decided to satisfy their curiosity and find out which one of those present was able to still go ahead. He feels, but as quickly as possible, moved from chair to chair, showing well-preserved bodies of all members of society in their places, but without evidence that they care about their current state. Simply put, they were in a state of unconsciousness. The last effort Frank out of the room and slammed the door behind him.
There is no longer smell the pink fog that Frank seemed nice at first, and later sickening. This gave him the opportunity to take a deep breath and try to summarize. He counted seven seated members of society. If they are lying to add a member, it does not take a genius to realize that if anyone left in the future, he was not one of them. So Picton was not until the end of the sincere. "Where did he go?" - Wondered Frank. - "No matter, now we need to get out of here." The tunnel, where he was now, in his memoirs had two doors - the room from which he had just escaped, and a maze that he has had to overcome, and that, frankly, it frightens. Imagine his surprise when, in the immediate vicinity of the perfectly smooth walls moved to the side and out of the opening formed rapidly came a man in an unusual headdress, if so can be called a gas mask. Frank flinched. The man seems to be too scared, so stopped. They stood facing each other, wondering what to do next.
The man was as tall as Picton, he wore a suit Picton. Even a glass eye mask impressively signaled that they, too, belong to Picton. Speaking in a gas mask was unnatural, so it took Picton.
- Mr. Amphibian what are you doing here?
- Excuse me, Mr. Picton, but I would like to ask you the same question. All members of your community have lost consciousness. You have to do something ...
- Do not worry so much. Those gaseous compounds, which we use in our experiments, absolutely harmless.
- Then explain why you needed a thing that just had you on the head, and that you are now trying to hide behind him.
- Well ... It's not like you think ... It's very simple. Should I retain control of the situation when one of the members of the society goes into the future.
- What control?
- You see, Mr. Amphibian you invade the purview of only the members of the society ...
- Are not those you have presented me here?
- Yes, but ... you sort of associate member ...
- How to become a full?
- Do you really want to join in our society? - Glad Picton.
- I still think about it. So what are the conditions?
- Participation in one sitting member of the public costs five hundred pounds. For couples a discount of one percent.According to our statutes meetings are held twice a week. In recent years, it experiences a journey into the future we attract more and more obsessed people.
Frank made ??an effort to hold his jaw. All became clear, and the continuation of pointless conversation.
- I'll go. Last question.Have you had setbacks during your experience?
- I'm proud that I can say about the absolute success. At least one of the members of society necessarily happen in the future, and when he returned, colorfully tells about his impressions.
"breathe this dirty trick, and not as tell. But others believe breathe. "
- I probably jinxed. Today, members of the community have decided not to go anywhere.
- How? What do you mean?
- I mean that I have to go - finished and Frank walked down the tunnel.
- Hold the red line on the ceiling when you go through the maze. Mr. Amphibian, I wait for you?
Frank pretended not to hear the last question, quickly crossed the red line maze went up the stairs and out into the street. Drizzling rain, but after the cave Picton, he called Frank only positive emotions. Stepping back a few steps, he looked back. "Salon magical services" - such a sign above the door wore, he had just slammed. Frank spat in the hearts and recovered to search your car.
We had to rush to the office. Sitting behind the wheel and slammed the door, Frank clearly presented by David Campbell who is interested in what happened to the clock, which it considers to be the cause of systematic delays of Frank. "How long will this continue? Why should I ever be justified? Is it my fault that he was in such a situation? I put up with it just because of the money in the hope of gaining time. " At this point, thought Frank suffered another disappointment. He somehow did not immediately guess that, coming in only the ninth edition of the month, he will never get his salary. Frank had become accustomed to failure, permanent haunting him lately, but the latest discovery was like a blow below the belt.
"I expect that the question of daily bread will soon become an edge. I need to find a piece-work. Or it is necessary to sell the house! Yes, you can sell the house, but it is a recognition of my end, and I do not want to admit it. "
Frank has already started the car, but has not decided where he should go. Definitely, not the editors, as it was meaningless. "Run, run, aimlessly. Somewhere, just run. But where? No matter, no matter where, even though ... ... in Stratton. And here Stratton? Oh yes! Kaban said that this has happened in Stratton. And a box of genius David says the same thing. " It is unclear why, but Frank felt that Stratton creates some associations. They were vague and somehow could not be detailed, resulting in discomfort Frank.
Suddenly the phone rang - it was Jessica. Frank was pleased and disappointed at the same time. Distressed because he would have to lie to Jessica, coming up next stories. Frank remember how poorly over his attempt to introduce Jessica to date. To this does not happen, he should not have invited her to his house, did not say anything about the novel, which once made ??him famous. Lack of movement, Frank pressed the button.
- Frank, where are you now? I need to talk to you.
- Honey, I'm in the car and head ... heading to the office.
- Sorry, I thought you were free. I need to talk. What are you, fix the car?
- No, I mean yes. Do not worry, I'll be there for you right now. And what did you want to talk?
- About you and me.
Frank tensed. He saw in all, if not another failure, the next trick.
- I'll be right - he said choked.
All the way Frank was trying to concentrate and guess what Jessica wants to talk. An ominous presentiment never left him.
The working day at the agency came to an end, and Jessica Frank was waiting on the porch. Frank stopped a few ahead of time and did the rest of the way on foot. At the sight of Frank, Jessica was delighted why Frank at heart much easier. As it should in such cases, the lovers kissed, and Frank for a moment forget about their problems, and it came to mind all the good that he had experienced in his life. Needless to say, this is a good has been associated exclusively with Jessica.
- Honey, you're so cold, - taking care, Frank said, - let's go to the car.
Embraced, they went to the car. Jessica remained silent, apparently in preparation for a serious conversation. Frank, too, was silent, trying to focus, not to say too much.
- What if we go to a restaurant? - Jessica broke the silence.
Frank started. He remembered that cash lying in the pocket, was running out. The situation was stupid, and Frank tried to start from afar.
- Jessica, I was here the day before yesterday at the zoo ...
- Oh, Frank, did you remember your childhood?
- No, Jessica, I just realized that we are all part, only a small part one whole. I mean nature.
Jessica looked at Frank with curiosity - she has not heard from him anything like that, and continued to look at Frank, waiting for what was coming. She believed that it was prepared to understand the rationale for the transition from the zoo to the restaurant, if any, will follow. Frank, meanwhile, continued to thoughtfully reflect on the universal unity, and Jessica, to hear the answer to your question, Frank repeatedly tugged his sleeve. When he awoke, Frank "confessed" that he had lost money in the zoo, and that the restaurant is better to wait. At the time they reached the car, and Frank gallantly invited into Jessica. The car was not similar to the one she had seen Frank before the accident.
- I was told that I jubilee client and a free replacement car body - without batting an eye, said Frank.
- Frank, I do not know you - almost sobbed Jessica - These are your strange speech and explanations ... what's behind them? You somehow changed. Maybe it has changed your attitude to me? And this is when I wanted to talk to you seriously about you and me. Tell me the truth.
Frank said once took a stab in the heart. He loved Jessica, and the need to talk nonsense, what he did the last half hour, brought him unbearable suffering.
- I love you, Jessica. But I had some problems. But I promise you by all means to solve them.
- What are the problems? - Jessica stiffened.
- We have a chief editor of disagreement emerged on the subject of the publication, - Frank blurted hurriedly and turned away not to look into the eyes of Jessica.
- Do not worry, it's usually a creative search. I think you will come to a mutual understanding, - he said Jessica Frank calmed down after the words of love. - And now for us. I'm going for the weekend to parents and ask you to come with me. I want you to meet.
- Of course, dear.
Frank agreed with ease, knowing that due to reasons known to him the trip will not take place, and Jessica did not remember it. Frank was not against the parents of Jessica. He loved them, even in absentia, as he loved everything that somehow was connected with Jessica. Frank was just too depressed, to consider the possibility of a trip like this.
- Well, what do you repair the car - then to Stratton at hand.
Apparently, Frank changed color, and it struck Jessica.
- Oh, Frank, you changed color! - She exclaimed, feeling evil. - What happened?
- You said we were going to Stratton?
- Of course! Or you change your mind? - Jessica wanted to know, ready to have offended.
- No, not at all! I am very happy about it.You have no idea how long I wanted to go to Stratton.
Frank hastened to reassure the favorite, but it turned out it's not very sincere, but Jessica did not pay attention to it, being grateful to Frank for his consent. She was seriously planning the future of their family, and meet Frank with her ??parents, during which Frank must ask for her hand, should be a priority step towards sharing their happiness. Frank also look forward to the development of their relationship with Jessica, but at the moment he is engaged in Stratton. He marveled how he could forget that Jessica comes from Stratton. Jessica certainly not guessed it a discourtesy, but Frank found it impossible not to apologize to her mind. He urgently needed to find out about Stratton as much as possible, you only need to figure out how to smoothly steer the conversation in the right direction to him.
- Honey, we'll go to your parents. Just get in the car and go.
- Thank you, dear, - Jessica exclaimed, her eyes lit up with joy.
- By the way, you said Stratton small.
- Yes, there are not so many people. Everybody knows each other.
- Everybody knows each other? It's great!
Jessica was surprised looked at Frank. She did not understand what could have caused such delight.
- There is such a thing ... - I tried to explain, Frank. - The Stratton at the time there was a strange case ...
- What a strange case? - Alarmed Jessica.
- Do not worry, it was probably for a long time. I'll explain everything in order ... Yesterday, the editors received a letter from a reader who said about the strange things happening to him. Imagine, every day for a month, he looks younger.
- It's great! - Jessica could not resist.
- What's so beautiful ... - grimly remarked Frank. - He is not only younger, but removed in the past ...
- Nonsense some! Frank, do not you think that this ... this reader played a trick on you.
- Unfortunately I have reason to believe him - quite sadly, Frank said. - This ... the reader is in need of assistance. He asks him to answer.
- I do not understand. How to help him? And here Stratton?
- He writes that he knew from reliable sources that this kind of incident has occurred in Stratton. So I thought, just Stratton is not so great, you're living there, could have been a witness to this incident ... Well, someone told me about something like ...
Frank looked hopefully at Jessica.
- Frank, I feel sorry for this poor man, but I can not help anything. I never from anyone not heard of a similar case in Stratton.
- I hoped ...
It's obvious it was that Frank suffered greatly for the unfortunate reader. After Jessica's words he once quite wilted and Jessica decided to instill in him at least some hope.
- And he wrote about what Stratton question?
- What do you mean?
- There Stratton in Derbyshire, is in Cheshire, and is in the Rutland and Staffordshire. This is not a complete list.
Sorrow, Frank had no limit. Realizing the state favorite, Jessica left the idea of the restaurant and asked Frank just take her home. They parted, agreeing in detail about the upcoming trip to Stratton. Jessica, in particular, gave some advice regarding the garment Frank in which he should appear before her parents. Frank was with all agree.