A tiny foreword
(and don't miss the afterword at the end of the page)
A prelude. Emptiness of my heart
Current status: fully translated, can be downloaded. Translation size: 28 kb.
And that's how it started millions of years ago: a dreaded rebellion of machines...
Book 1: Strays
Current status: fully translated, can be downloaded. Text size: 980 kb.
This world is cruel and cold. Those who stand above the crowd are always hunted down. It's easier for adults: they know the rules of the game, they can hide, disguise themselves, avoid giving themselves away. Children, who don't even know that those rules exist, have nowhere to hide. In particular, those children whose special abilities cannot be explained by the modern science. They can break through sheet steel and crush reinforced concrete blocks but they are helpless in face of the indifferent bureaucratic machine that grinds their lives up into dust. Technology is needed to produce weapons, first and foremost - and if such technology doesn't exist, it must be created. Even if the price is as high as torturing ten-year-old children.
Those trapped in secret laboratories cannot escape. They are kept in dark cells, administered poisonous drugs and forced to wear blockirator collars. They are brought to 'test benches' that are indistinguishable from torture devices. Children turn into deviants between the ages of eight and ten, and if they are unable to consciously help the military in creating new weapons, so much the worse for them. There is no hope for anyone: even the parents cannot protect their child from the Special Guardianship Act. And orphans...who ever cares about orphans!
And even those, who miraculously escaped from terrible laboratories of the Institute of Man and did not die of poison, hunger and illnesses, could not possibly survive anyway. Detectives have tracked them down, and a special unit is already on its way to a long-deserted hotel in an old maron grove on the outskirts of a southern seaside city. The hotel that is about to witness the final act of a protracted tragedy.
She is thirteen. Her name is Karina. She is a deviant. She has already forgotten the faces of her long- dead parents. And she has no future - unless a young couple she has just happened upon, somehow succeeds to protect her from the cold cruel world...
Book 2: Fledglings of Nightingale’s nest
Current status: a draft translation has been finished, collecting money for paying a professional translator to create the final version. Draft translation size: 1220 kb.
Even the happiest and most serene childhood comes to an end sooner or later – and when it happens fledglings have no choice but to flutter out of the nest an join the real world. Your family is still where it has always been, and whenever you return home you'll find sympathy and support – yet the world outside is cold and indifferent. And only you can carve your way through life.
Sindoo, a heavenly child, she is used to the solitude of her room and to the quiet anonymity of back rows in university lecture rooms. A monstrous daemon – a divine gift and a divine curse - is chained inside her. Only her nearest and dearest know about the old guilt still gnawing at her - and only her nearest and dearest realize what this small twenty-year-old girl with a boyish figure, who looks much younger than her age, is truly capable of.
It’s impossible to hide her gift forever because it was not given to her only to be wasted till the end of time. And yet she is not likely to perform any miracles on a brightly lit stage amid a blasting fanfare. She is only about to learn how to use her knowledge neatly shelved inside her head - and a surgery department will become a whetstone for her gift. Invisible powers behind the scenes might help her along but not before she has done her best to help herself. So when she finds herself in grave peril, and when her beleaguered friend needs help, she can rely on nobody but herself.
But she will prevail because failure is not an option. After all, she is only about to start making amends for the lives she had once taken...
Book 3: Equal to stars
Current status: a draft translation has been finished, waiting for the second book to be processed. Draft translation size: 1540 kb.
Time goes by, and ugly ducklings mature into beautiful swans. They do not need to hide anymore – and if they do choose to stay away from strangers, it's for no other reason than by old habit. The world is vast, and there is many a path in it. What's crucial is to play to one's strength – as well as choose a path after one's own heart. And if you do, then no life adversities will be able to break you because someone will always lend you a shoulder in your hour of need – be it out of gratitude or even for selfish reasons. If you have a job you love, if you save lives and share knowledge, if hundreds and hundreds, including strangers you have never met, appreciate and respect you – what more can you possibly ask for?!
And yet there are as many hunters as there are swans. Not every criminal is familiar with the “Kamigami' dossier, and for some of them a prominent surgeon and a Guide of the Path Karina Muratsiy is but a bargaining chip in their unedifying game. A hostage that can be used to achieve their goals. A bait on a barely hidden steel hook dating back to an old and almost forgotten event. The Dragon of Suragrash cares about nothing but strength and honour – or rather his own interpretation of the concept. And not every deviant in this world is lily-white. Might and power imply responsibility but not everybody can understand it before it's too late.
There are paths in life that choose us as they seize us by the heels and drag us forward kicking and screaming. There are also paths that we choose – or even trails that we blaze when we leave paths beaten by others and pave our own way through the wilderness. Not everyone can survive halfway across the world in the wild jungles of Suragrash, where women are deemed inferior creatures, and sinomes are complete outcasts; not everybody can win strangers over and turn enemies into friends. But if you don’t know what to do, then do what you must - and hope that sooner or later your destiny will be fulfilled. And when it happens, a day will come when stars acknowledge you their equal.
Book 4: A river between green hills
Current status: not translated. Source size: 1465 kb.
Power is never good or evil in its own right. It all depends on what its wielder chooses to do with it. Becoming a demigod is a well-deserved reward for one's fortitude …but what’s next? Only fairy tales end when Cinderellas turn into princesses. In reality, a new princess still has to wake up the very next morning and go to the bathroom to brush her teeth. And then cook her breakfast. And maybe see her children off to school and go to work – to sell things or to fight monsters, to build houses or to solve political problems. Sometimes all she has to do is simply save the world. An overwhelmingly huge world that the recent scared Cinderella and her friends are now solely responsible for.
Tekira. A planet whose about a billion residents are far from seeing themselves as mere pawns in a Big Game. They love and hate, kill and give birth, build and destroy – in short, they simply live their normal lives. But while a former playground, hastily built of cardboard many centuries ago, is good enough for mere mortals, it can’t support Demiurges' crushing weight - and is therefore likely to break under their feet. And hiding your new nature from everyone is the only chance to avoid incidentally destroying everything you love. So you have to hide it at any cost – even it means losing a part of yourself.
There is plenty of injustice, evil and grief in the world. You’re a Demiurge, and lifting a finger is all you have to do, to punish a villain and restore the balance - or cure even a most terrible disease. But let goodness triumph where you are, and monstrous disasters will inevitably happen elsewhere. The more powerful you are the less you can achieve – and you have no other choice but to forget about your omnipotence and just put the entire weight of the world on your human, and therefore fragile, shoulders. And once you put it there, you'll have to carry it, clenching your teeth and forcing yourself to do whatever has to be done - however much you might hate it – time after time after time...
Book 5: The horizons of our dream
Current status: not translated. Source size: 1475 kb.
The Universe if indifferent, and man's life is only a short-living spark that goes out unnoticed by the stars. It dies away as suddenly as it was born, and all one's knowledge, memories and experience disappear forever in the eternal darkness. That's how it's always been – and that's how it... won't be ever again.
Natural laws cannot be violated – but they can be bypassed. Death doesn't exist anymore. It has turned into but a stage of a journey – a stage one has to negotiate in order to reach a new road leading to eternity. The Raquen rehabilitation centre helps new nemusins to cope with their post mortal shock and come into their own once again. Sooner or later their false self will succumb to the pressure of the true one. And when it happens, they will wake up to start their life anew while drawing on their previous experience without either being restricted by it or having to work just to sustain their transitory bodies.
…Or will they? And what about those who had no time to accumulate any memories or experience? What will they exist for?
Can even omnipotent Demiurges come up with the answers?
Strays: An Afterword for Foreign Readers
(please read at least 'Strays' first)