Chapter 11

Veana headed to her auto and Victor went to the establishment he was going before meeting with his aunt –in the café Fiord. It was exactly in front of his job, over the street, or more precisely over the Stenersgata Boulevard. When the man crossed the street and entered into the bar, he turned from a simple passer-by into a visitor. At first sight, this change didn’t look like it had any importance in this life, but in advance who knows what is a trifle and what separates life and death?
“Hi, Sara,” he greeted a barwoman, the plump lady with white painted hair, about her forties. “I hope the cold beer isn’t a problem here?”
“Not only cold but even the coldest isn’t trouble,” the Fiord’s employee warmly welcomed him.
Then from the deep-freezer, she got half liter glass mug, which immediately became foggy. The woman poured in it not lesser cold beer and then slowly glided the vessel across the glossy surface of the counter.
“How is the cosmos doing?” She accompanied the mug with the question.
“As before,” the man replied with a grin after he sat and sipped the beer.
“Vic, honestly to say, long time I want to ask you something,” the woman stopped in front of him and leaned her uncertain gaze to him.
“Go on, then,” Victor encouraged her, “are we introduced each other today or why are you, shy lady?”
“Though maybe it’s indelicacy…” the woman hesitated again, “but ok, as I started I’ll finish it.”
In response, the man just nodded in the sign “go ahead.” Except for Victor, there was only one visitor in the bar who sat near the counter too. That was a stout man, about fifty years and almost bald. He was clothed in a t-shirt painted as a barcode. He also wore almost totally weather-stained jeans and in front of him, the whiskey glass with practically melted ice pieces was stood.
Other customers have dispersed after their lunch breaks and the time for haunters wouldn’t come until the working hours will end. The café was quite large, with enough room for twenty tables; its transparent glass walls were covered with tight curtains and that should have been the help to the air conditioner in the battle against the hot midday sun, though, the stuffiness was felt the same.
“Victor,” The tavern’s hostess set about essence at last: “Do you know what I want to ask since long ago? Your perished uncle who… whose sample will depart with this rocket, from which side he was your kinsman? From the mother or father?’
“Iase Bilikadze,” Victor began to speak after he nearly emptied the mug with several gulps. “Wasn’t the man blood of mine, he was the husband of my aunt Veana, but as aunt Veana is saying herself, toward to Iase I have a kinship in the noblest way: from the said of the love.” He finished his explanation with a smile.
“Oh!” Sara exhaled. “Your aunt is saying absolute truth! This is the most principal relationship in this world! The excellent! I believe you understood this and you’re assembling rocket gears with bigger concentration.”
Victor laughed and said: “For bigger concentration, there is the boss, the salary, chance for promotion. The only relationship, whatever direction it came from, isn’t crucial.”
The barwoman snorted and told with nodding:
“It seems you, engineers, because of longtime interaction with the machines, are slightly turning into machines too.”
Victor didn’t get rid of the smile from his face and asked:
“That’s all you had to ask me? Just it was confusing you?”
“What do you mean saying “just it?” the woman didn’t become perplexed. ”It’s private, family affair and how could I so freely interfere into it?” she stared at the interlocutor with rose eyebrows.
“Ok, it is private but still isn’t it better to ask me than to tittle-tattle somewhere?” He cackled sardonically.
“What are you saying, what tittle-tattle?” Sara loudly became indignant. “Whom did I interrogate? When was I−“
“Ok. Ok, Sara, I’m joking,” Victor interrupted her and rose his hand in the effort of reconciling. “Just in that manner, I want to say, if you want to know anything else you can ask me freely. I can tell you anything, of course, if it didn’t belong to classified information,” in such manner the man tried to alter the direction of hostess’ thoughts.
And he did it. Sometimes the woman was staring motionlessly, obviously confused. She was weighing what she heard. After that short silence during which it seems she was arranging the speech in her mind, Sara continued conversation indeed about another topic. Maybe Victor’s effort really worked, or she decided that it isn’t worth to evince the bad attitude to the consumer.
“If you’re offering me that,” she told with a smile, “I’ll use your generosity and ask you indeed.”
Until she continued, Victor pointed his finger to already empty mug and twirled it, indicating that he wants another one. Sara did fill the second mug, put it in front of the guest and brought up the next question:
“Victor, the rocket is assembling among them at my expense too and you know what I want to learn? That money is totally lost for me or I have some benefit? That project is completely useless at present or how it is? I’m apologizing once again; all in all, you are working for them and−”
“No problem, no problem,” Victor vividly interrupted her, being sufficiently chilled to this moment. Till barwoman was talking, he drunk a good amount of beer from the new utensil. “The Project lasts half a century already and it’s natural that people are asking similar questions from time to time. Not everyone likes to invest in the business, the result of which wouldn’t saw even one’s descendants.”
“When I told I don’t like it? I’m just asking whether from this Project is any profit personally to me,” Sara vindicate herself.
Victor didn’t start the trial and investigation about why Sara asked this, because she is amazed at the project or what? He just answered the question:
“The Project’s expenses can be counted in different ways. It can be distracted from them the effect of the technical novelties that had been invented for this enterprise and then applied in everyday life. If you want, this is your benefit.”
“Frankly to say, now I can’t recall if I or any of my acquaintance used anything from there in a household or at the job,” the hostess expressed her doubts after weighing Victor’s words.
“Yes, I understood, it’s difficult to mark it,” Victor agreed with her. “How can you see the increase of efficiency and safety of nuclear power station, achieved during working on the rocket engine?”
“Of course,” the other visitor, a man in a striped T-shirt, broke into the conversation. He looked at Victor with a smile.
The later lightly nodded to him, sipped a beer and proceeded his explaining for Sara:
“Also you can’t use the auto-guided apparatus, simply to say the robot at home; they’re indescribable expensive. But the programs made for them incomparably improved our domestic machines.”
“Do really the robots are enough smart to make a colony and raise the children?” The visitor doubted without introducing himself and making any other prelude.
“Yes, they have enough abilities. Like a bee is able to design a perfect hexagonal cell for honey storing or the beaver which constructs a dam over the river,” Victor answered without paying attention to his familiarity.
Saying this, he concurrently drew woman’s attention to the fact that the second mug is also empty already. The barwoman took out a new cold tankard out from the deep-freezer. Meanwhile, an engineer was continuing to justify the Galactic travels:
“Or let’s take microwave guns. Owing to them the mounts of metal and plastic, left by the hunters in the forests and fields as used cartridges, were preserved. They appeared much effective in comparison to laser because are able to penetrate into opaque tissue and act there like a microwave oven.”
“O!” Sara, hearing this, became concerned within the limits of moderateness. “What it turns out? They’re going to boil local animals alive?”
Victor responded her with a multipurpose gesture – he spread aside his hands.
“It would be interesting to know one more thing,” the bar-coded man said with a wry smile. “Why are they so assured that there is no one except the animals?”
“It was calculated,” Victor, the conqueror almost of the third mug, answered with slightly superfluous firmness.
“Calculated?” His new interlocutor echoed him.
“Very easily,” Victor spoke rollickingly. “The number of the sapient creatures on Earth, that is, only one, ha-ha! Was divided on the number of biological species ever existed at that planet, say, several hundred million.”
Said this, he took from the bar the paper napkin and after he wiped his lips, the man proceeded to talk:
“Then two hundred thousand years: age of modern human, was divided on three and half billion – the time during which there is the life here. Finally, these two fractions were multiplied together.”
“What was the result, then?” the man asked.
“It may be mathematically inaccurate, but you’ll understand me: the appearing of sentient beings is much less probable than the number of suitable planets in the Galaxy. That is, according to this calculation, the rational life can’t appear even in every Galaxy.” Victor smiled industriously.
“It comes out that we meet there no one,” Sara concluded.
In response Victor once and forever drained the vessel with one gulp and only after that uttered:
“At that point of view, we’re similar to those first people who, after been originated in Africa, wandered off on the whole Earth at that time had not been populated with sapient creatures. We’re doing the same now.”
“What the “same”?” the other consumer asked suspiciously.
“We’re going to travel into the Galaxy yet don’t colonized by the reason!” Victor announced solemnly. The beer was more and more affecting him.
At this moment the new customer entered the café and the interlocutors turned their attention to him. That was a tall man with a shaved head.