Chapter 10

Iase Bilikadze was honored in the way he would have liked most of all, but what a consolation this could give to Meliton and Taso who lost their only child? Nevertheless, for them there was one dot of light, shimmering into the undiluted darkness, which had turned their existence. The miserable parents were encouraging their harts leaning their ghostly hopes against the technologies, devices and the scientist’s acumen. They and Veana were backing themselves with that idea. Though, concurrently with that, they understood: yet nobody knows had finally erased Iase from this Universe or not?
The six expeditions were dispatched exactly for the reason that if only one would achieve its target. Not be damaged during the flight, precisely will have landed on the distant heavenly body; the machines would correctly assemble the molecules of life, the natural conditions of the planet would be suitable, local organisms do not cease the Earth’s ones, the robot programs do not glitch and rightly develop the newly founded colony, would raise the kids… and more countless smaller obstacles were hindering their hope. The realization even one of them was able to bury the centuries-long waiting and zeal.
When they have gone from this world, Veana had got the feeling that she can’t live as before. For example, she should quit. All the more, she was attending her job just to alleviate her heart, because, with the money which left Iase, she didn’t need to work at all. In one’s time, she hardly insisted that Taso and Meliton should take part of that money too, but they strictly refused it. They said Veana is young and money would be useful for her, for they have enough for living and age.
That office bustle, actually self-deception, turned out was working till she had the real sorrow-sharers. In that point, even her parents not completely understood her, because they had no time to know Iase well. Mostly they meet in a few parties among the crowd. On another hand as if there was no reason for hurry. Who knew about the forthcoming disaster?
It wasn’t that Veana completely went into a convent, she had rendezvous and relationships but the matter was that the feelings accompanying those liaisons didn’t gain that comprehensiveness which could conquer all her entity. In her heart always be left emptiness unreachable for those relations. Even more, it was happening every time: the longer liaison lasted the bigger become emptiness. Her body, psychic and mind permanently were comparing any man to Iase and result was invariably pernicious for new engendered feelings.
Just be married and then share her life with the man she has no feelings and maybe no respect to – who is forcing you to do that? With that question, Veana forbid herself such of step. Gradually the time or rather the age get rid her from these concerns.
Quite insensibly she arrived at period she was waiting most part of her life: the start of the fifth expedition was nearing. In the outcome of draw carried out forty years ago, very that ship would take at its board Iase Bilikadze’s genotype in effort to begin his life again. Till it would happen, there were three centuries but what then? Three hundred years before the birth we also existed in the same way: in a form of separate elements. Though, there was substantial difference too: in our case, no one knew who will be created from this sulfur, coal or air…
Veana was deep in these thoughts when the phone ringed. The woman took off her hand from the steering wheel and turned on the loud-speaker.
“Hi, aunt Veana,” the man’s voice sounded in the car.
“Hello, nephew, how are you? Have you remembered your aunt? It’s nice,” the woman replied.
“I’m fine and I’m never forgetting you. Just now I saw your car passing by me and I guess maybe you have time for chatting.”
“Where are you, Vic? A-ha, I see you, h-m, am I in front of your establishment? How could I forget it? Ok, I have nothing against twitting but I can’t stop right here, do you see the no stop sign? On the crossroad, I’ll turn right and wait for you near the park. Go there.”
“Ok,” was the response.
Veana turned right indeed, stopped the car at the roadside and killed the engine. Got outside, she from afar waved her hand to her sister’s younger son – Victor Utvac. He was working as a leading designer just here, in the branch of international radio-technical Union Wave Corporation situated in Oslo.
Victor was walking on the sidewalk, alight with a dazzling sun of noon. He was a slender man of average height. The face he had also customary, nothing remarkable: pale, slightly oval, with almost unnoticeable cheek-bones and usual seize light eyes.
For Veana it was exactly visa verse. The time when she was a girl with a svelte, lissom body, has surrendered to the past. Chestnut colored, thick hair now became black and even without gave a casual stroke it was clear that it lost its silky. Also, no beauty treatment was able to hide creases. Like incorrigible gossip, they were instantly presenting the biological passport of their owner to the first comer. Only to Veana’s green eyes, the time hadn’t proved up that it’s omnipotent. They were still radiating a flame of hope.
“So, tell me Victor, are you don’t detain the fifth expedition, is it’s the radio communication all right?” With jocular severity asked a lady when they sat on the bench in the shadow of a weeping willow.
“No, aunt Veana, I can right now produce the evidence of my innocence,” her nephew started also with ostentatious earnestness. “Today, in accord to schedule, we did assemble the device and now we have almost nothing ahead, I shall list it.”
He smiled cunningly.
“First –test the gadget here in the lab. Second –deliver it in space and ascertain how it works there. Third – when this appliance will return, install it in the lander and test again. Fourth -when the lander will be delivered in the cosmos and connected to the starship, to switch our apparatus on and try it during check-procedure. That’s it, merely a few trifles,” he cackled.
His aunt smiled too but said nothing. Victor seized this opportunity and took the harness of conversation in his hands:
“What about you, aunt Veana?”
In response, Veana had sighed and became silent for little time. Then looked at nephew with the gaze of blind and said: “How unbelievably looks your work, Vic. You’re making the device with help of which reiterated Iase will communicate to our scions…”
Victor furtively observed her sorrowful face and then said with a lowered voice:
“I don’t know, aunt Veana, maybe it’s bad manners from my side to talk that way… but mom said… when uncle Iase’s genotype will depart to stars, you’ll finally be free at last.”
“You know, my sister told very correctly,” Veana said with a deep sigh after prolonged hush. “There is nothing wrong, you aren’t a little boy. And what to touch on… isn’t your mother notify me what should I do with my freedom in age about seventy?” she asked with a sad but nevertheless really hopeful smile.
In response, Victor nodded several times and they both fall in silence. From the backside, the blow of light breeze was felt. Leaves and branches started to rustle, though it didn’t dilute the sultriness even slightly. It was more similar to wind out from a heated oven. Veana speak again but Victor wasn’t sure that she is addressing to him:
“Bad luck fell to my and Iase’s lot … I want to believe not in vain… It must have been so: he should meet me for his dream to live at distant planet would have come true… I have faith that he, who will be born there, will be evidence that dream could be fulfilled even if it is hindered by death and cosmic distance.”
After another sigh she added:
“But in exchange that fulfilling requests your own life and part of your beloveds.”
In a sign of grasping Victor again nodded several times. They became speechless one more time, but then Veana remembered:
“Vic, are you finished your work, isn’t it too early?”
“Yes. It’s enough for today. In Monday, rested, we’ll check the device assembled for my uncle’s expedition,” This time the man answered without any playfulness.
“You’re going home“? Veana specified.
“No, I decided to get some beer over there,” he pointed with his thumb back in a vague direction.
“I see,” his aunt stared at him attentively.”It’s hot, you’re right, I would like to come with you, but as you know, I’m a driver now,” she waved her hands.
“Maybe you’ll drink some juice?” Victor offered.
“How can the lady like me waste time for some juice?” Veana said with a smile and stood up. “It’s a really hot day, you know, it’s better I’ll keep on my way in the coolness of air-conditioner. All the more, I got the report about ship preparation,“ she smiled. “Convey greetings at home.”
Victor smiled too.
“Thanks, I’ll,” the man said and also rose to his feet. After these words, all that remained for the relatives was to kiss each other on parting.