Chapter 22

The victory over robbers and retaking of the NPP would have been a very joyful event if it would haven’t been poisoned by Antony’s death. In addition, Agnetha was constantly self-reproaching. She believed that if she couldn’t hasten that time Tony could be alive today. The others all together were convincing her that it wasn’t her fail, the gun of that evildoer accidentally turned in that fatal direction; anyway, the woman wasn’t able to get rid the sense of guilt. Though, gradually the famous healer – the time, as its habit is, gradually cured Agnetha’s heart scar and others also submitted to this loss.
Naturally, cosmic equipment wasn’t affected with the disaster happened on Earth surface. Therefore between the farm inhabitants and the station guards the satellite connection established. Besides, they were frequently visiting one another. The only problem was that their society wasn’t growing with time. Their attempts to connect with somebody else by guess remained ineffective. To learn just what number you have to call, if there are billions of them, is the same to cross the right numbers in the lottery; though, the latter is also possible.
The small community already was afraid that remained alone indeed, though, didn’t become ultimately hopeless. In addition, they gained a fine source of diversity – Miriam’s visits on the power station. On the leaving her home she was accompanied by her father. At NPP she was welcomed by engineers and was staying at them several days. Then, usually, Hans was delivering her back to the farm. Sometimes she was escorted by Agnetha, who wished to meet Dorothy – ladies weren’t satisfied just by phone talking. Girl’s arriving at the station wasn’t a simple case itself. Even her first coming to the plant reminded to the engineers that life isn’t only farm work or servicing of complicated equipment.
It seemed to Hans and Agnetha that their heads became swollen at least to the size of a giant pumpkin! The orderlies had almost no doubts that they couldn’t listen to so many questions not only in one day but in all their previous life. They ostensibly complained to each other about this, though actually, they liked the forgotten feeling of the renewing life.
Miriam liked to go deep in all things. She spent all her short life among cattle and depositories of harvest, so now she was enthusiastically and industriously recompensing that omission. Especially she got interested in astronomy and space communication.
“This is the merit of her great-grandfather Victor’s genes,” Nicolas was explaining his daughter’s inclination.
Whatever she was doing, in addition to it Miriam always was switching on the program of phone calling of casual satellite numbers, though constantly without result. That fact did not disappoint the teenager at all. With optimism peculiar to the youth she believed that she certainly would fulfill her wish.
The engineers went to the antenna rarely of late: there was no need in it, all information from its control devices was delivered through the satellite to the station. Miriam also learned how to determine the state of the «dish» position and recognize the contents of the signals coming from the space. All of them without exception were natural electromagnetic background.
That night, as usual, she stayed up till late time, although the engineers have gone to bed earlier. They didn’t were tired or striving to sleep so badly, they just didn’t want to annoy the child, let her alone and entertain herself as she wishes. Miriam stayed on the third floor, in the most important chamber of the building. Two walls of that large hall almost completely were covered with screens, dials, and buttons.
Miriam was adjusting a small telescope recently been brought from the Antenna by her request. Being at the third level she opened a window fearlessly and dragged there the tripod. While she was busy with her task, the computer tried continuously to get somebody on the line. This time, for the sake of variety the girl ordered it to dial up the numbers that have been already checked earlier.
The teenager pulled apart the tripod supports and adjusted their length so that the pad where the telescope would be mounted appeared at the right height. Next, the girl made her way to the opposite wall, where the optic device lay in its box. Miriam took the telescope, carefully hoisted it and turned to the window. By that time even the sound of girl’s steps wasn’t able to dissolve thickened hush. Miriam was precisely in the middle of her way, she passed the computer at the wall shelf when she was attacked by the jingle which thundered like a shot. Next moment the machine produced the word “hello”.
The girl, having flinched, almost let fall the telescope from her hand. Several seconds she was staying confused and petrified. Meanwhile, she heard once again that “hello” pronounced by the voice of yang man. At last, the teenager regained her consciousness and responded with heavily beating heart:
“Hello, who is there?”
“I’m Jimmy, and whom do I talk with?” She heard an excitedly articulated question.
“I’m Miriam but they call me Mira,” the girl blurted out. “Why didn’t you answer before? I rang this number already!” she was talking without catching her breath as if afraid that Jimmy would ring off.
“We were for a long time studying the manual for starting and exploitation of our NPP. It’s dangerous you know… finally, we took the control chart just this morning and dared to switch the energy on. It happened half an hour ago,” Jimmy answered.
“Does it mean that it is morning at your place?” Miriam grasped. “What time is it?”
“Eight o’clock in the morning, and do you have another time?” Her interlocutor was interested.
Instead of answering at once, Miriam first put the telescope on the table near the monitor, then sat in front of the computer and looked for the time zones.
“Hello!” the anxiety mixed to Jimmy’s voice.
“Wait a minute, just a minute,” the girl calmed him down. “Aha, it seems I have ascertained it,” she murmured with satisfaction, “It turns out that you’re somewhere near the Pacific Ocean, in one of the Americas… quite far. We’re in northern Europe, it is eleven o’clock in the evening here”.
“That’s right. I’m talking with you from northern California. Mira, let’s activate the video, do you mind?” The distant companion offered.
“No, why should I mind?” Slightly retired to the background but at the same time bravely said the girl. Without hesitation, she drew the cursor to video shortcut and clicked on it.
At her computer display, the young man about twenty had appeared. He has a thin face, oblong nose, and somewhat protruding eyes. His light, parting in the middle long hair was touching his shoulders.
“O! Hi Mira, I was thinking you’re my coeval but you’re much younger,” he declared joyfully.
“There is no other way out, in some years I’ll catch your age,” the girl laughed.
“How that could be?” Jimmy wondered but quickly grasped that was a joke and also laughed.
Miriam immediately passed to business:
“Jimmy, tell me please how is the life at your place.”
“Here we have four more farms. From this point on they will get energy too and also would join the seeking of other people.”
“It’s nice you have so many neighbors. We’re lesser, just two farms, no one else we saw in our surroundings,” light disenchantment added to girls voice. “In the near future, we’ll look for more. We plan to scout one place in fifty kilometers from us to the East.”
“Mira, you know, here we have a man who said that he can do with internet when he gets the energy,” Jimmy proclaimed proudly. “So, now he got energy and not only in our place but I believe he explains to you where are the servers around you and how to activate them.”
“It’s cool,” the girl become happy, “if he really can do that, then people find each other sooner… by the way, I didn’t say you anything, if you want I could tell you our story,” She looked at Jimmy with waiting.
“Of course I need it!” the young man exclaimed promptly, “What could be better than if I would hear something fresh? Naturally, I would pay back.”
“OK then,” Miriam said smiling and thoroughly told to a new friend the story of her family, the NPP adventure and about cosmic station too.
Jimmy was intently listened and sometimes interrupting her with surprised shouts, the ones with sympathy, or horror or admiration.