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    “Hey, dare devils; do you know what is zone? You don't know? No wonder! The zone is everything for us! Watch “Trillian”, the game of the new generation on the “B.V.H.” channel! Game, which goes on in the zone territory! Hell and high waters are for real! Place your bets!”

Paul Gross


"Hey, dare devils; do you know what is zone? You
don't know? No wonder! The zone is everything
for us! Watch "Trillian", the game of the new
generation on the "B.V.H." channel! Game, which
goes on  in the zone territory! Hell and high
waters are for real! Place your bets!"

Nicolas was looking through the sights of his
gun. His collar was too tough around his neck.
It was five hours of waiting. Dim light.
Metallic floor. The severe sockets of the video
cams. Monotonous rustling of rats. The ass got
stiff from sitting, hands freezing, eyesight
ruined. Exhausted from waiting Jack had fallen
asleep on the floor. Five hours and one minute
of waiting. It was dangerous to change posture.
The slightest sound meant death. Under the red
cross gleamers the distance measurer. The
scanner all of a sudden activated- it showed 10
meters to target, 81 centimeter, nine
This damn precision drives me mad...- Nicolas
relaxed fingers. - How much more? The mosquito
has flown and nerves are all tense. I should
ease the head set, that's for sure.
The exit to the terrace (armored door) was in
sight. All was in view, metal rivets along the
perimeter of the door, door knob in a form of a
question mark and key hole in the shape of a
pawn. The key was the missing item, otherwise-
shuffle-shuffle towards the wall, clunk-click
with key, fidget-fidget the door knob, and it's
all over. But these were only dreams, of course.
It happens only in the fairy tales.
Where is this bastrad?
It was already an hour since the guard had
passed. He passed without stopping, quickly, as
if in a hurry. And whereto he, the steel dummy,
could possibly hurry? Obviously, nowhere. Still,
he was in a hurry.
Should I have shot in the back? It was pretty
senseless, just giving oneself away. Then what?
Nicolas budged  his cramped leg and clutched his
"I did not shoot, - his thoughts became
confused. Well, it did not work out. No big deal"
Actually, he would have shot, but there was no
guarantee he would hit him... To shoot at such a
huge guy was pretty much like trying to make a
hole in armored tank. Nothing good would come of
it. The bullets would just make holes in bullet-
proof vest. This colander on two legs would just
turn around and  start shooting from the machine
gun all over the place, wooden boxes included.
And these rotten wooden boards put together by a
poor carpenter were no good hideaway, were they?
If you were going to shoot then to shoot for
certain between the eyes. Jack snorted and
turned to the side.
Damn. - Nicolas put his hand into his pocket and
felt tooth-pick. -Idiot! He'll fail the task,
son of a bitch!
Nicolas aimed and threw the toothpick into
Jack's face. Jack only grumbled. He opened one
Get up, you, dirty motherfucker! Have you gone
mad? Jack opened his other eye. He looked around
and took the rifle, which was laying nearby the
wall. Not raising his head he zipped his suit up
to the chin and crept towards the boxes.
Why are you so loud?
Who? Me?
Jack nodded.
Idiot, you almost had fallen dead asleep.
Nicolas twisted his finger around his temple and
  S-O-R-R-Y, damn. Fool! If this goes on, we are
sure to fail the task. What then?
Jack turned away.
Well, - Nicolas looked at the scanner. - Do not
grumble.We have half an hour, that gonna be
As a matter of fact, they really had enough
time. Zone! The drop from the helicopter along
the ropes had been quite successful. They did
not meet a single soul in the forest except for
two carzy wild hogs. A couple of shots and the
hogs were dead. It might have been great to put
them on  the fire but picnic was for those  who
were really having fun. To have fun, was not
part of their program. They crossed the river,
swimming. The water was still, the birds were
singing, the water lilies and cane, everything
was so beautiful! And the water was so warm, so
tender. The only sang came from piranhas, but
they were not a problem. The organizers issued
them with special water gear. They were relieved
of the necessity of wasting bullets on those
predators with tails. The passage took not more
than half an hour. The main condition was
satisfied: "Vivat advertising industry!" Nicolas
recalled how Jack while trying to shoot gigantic
spiders, held the rifle in one hand, and the
printed ad in the other one. The shimmering ad
ran as follows -"Hey, dare devils, do you know
what is zone? You don't know? No wonder! The
zone is everything for us! Watch "Trillian", the
game of the new generation  on the "B.V.H."
channel! The game, which goes on  in the zone
territory! Hell and high waters are for real!
Place your bets!" Nicolas started. In a half a
meter a rat shuffled on a steel floor. It
dragged in its teeth a piece of isolation cord.
Jack felt an acute pain in stomach, produced an
adrenaline pill out of his pocket. He took two
deep breathes and swallowed it. In a minute the
pain was relieved.
Check on e-mail. Nicolas kept on watching the
terrace- they promised to send photos of the
 Wait a sec,
Jack put the rifle on the floor and rolled  up
his sleeves.  The sign "Time is money. Trillian
corporation." was engraved on the bracelet of
the watch. He pressed the button. The glass
flipped back- it was a small crystal display.

Hold on, Hold On, Jack was pointing at the
display with a tip of a plastic pencil. - I am
swaying. Why does not he come back?
The guard is not alone, Nicolas frowned- that's
why he does not hurry. The main thing is to hit
him with the first attempt. Bustard, he is such
a bastard!It was only several steps to the aim,
and he... Asshole, slipped away!
The protection helmet fitted the head so well
that  the trillian guy did not even feel it.
Tiny mics which were attached in it caught all
Bi-natural reproducing was purely maddening.  It
seemed to Nicolas that all the space around him
was breathing, living with its own life. The
rats were sneaking to and fro, the cockroaches
shuffling up and down along the walls, soft
buzzing and ringing of mosquitoes wings were
heard from under the floor. For an untrained one
all the sounds were purely maddening. All these
shuffling, scratching, buzzing might madden
anyone, who did not have enough training. "I
should ease the head set, just do it, damn
it. "Nicolas felt a sharp pain in the temples.
Gottcha! Jack smiled, now we'll see the clients.
Now we'll get a sight of the clients.
He crawled towards Nicolas and pointed with his
pencil into the display. The shining sign showed
up on the screen;"Transmition of the mail is
over. Please check attachment for the viruses
and open the files using any accessible program.
Thank you for your attention, truly yours postal
system "Trillian Super mail".
Don't take your time! Nicolas was eager to get a
glimpse of the kidnapped. What zip-program you
 A Russian one, "Cracker Zoom".
 A Hacker's one?
Jack smiled. His cheeks blushed.

You are a nerd, aren't you? I've told you, man,
a Russian one, and you know honest Russians? I
don not.
O.K. Clear. Unzip?
Jack touched  the display with the tip of the
pencil. A picture of  a crookedly smiling merry
Roger, showed up immediately, right over the
digits showing the time. The first photo slowly
Damn all, To hell  with them all!
Waht's that? A nightmare? A picture....
horrifying picture, it's place, damn it, is in a
gallery of absurd paintings.
Nicolas, Jack stared at the partner, without
blinking- this is Angelika, isn't it?
A kind of scratching was heard from the side of
terrace. Trillians stood still, frozen. The door
knob was half turned, then back into the usual
position. Silence. Nicolas watched through the
sights of his gun. He took the gun off the
Bloody bustards. Jack looked at the terrace. -
Calm down. I don't get it. We have to figure out
What do you mean? What"s to figure out? Only
motherfuckers, durty bustards can do that!
I understand. Angelika. But Trillian is only a
game, is not it? Not more than a game. Anyone
can be the kidnapped. Probably it's a new trick
of the organizers.  Jack lowered his head,
touched the floor with his hands and sighed.
And this, what"s this? He unclasped the bracelet
and gave the watch to Nicolas. Please do not
fall down, The second kidnapped is Ninel.
Photograph.... Nicolas took the photo of his
wife five years ago, when they were on a trip to
the Mediterranean sea. She was sitting under a
palm tree, on a  sun bed, polished by the wind.
Ninel. Beautiful  Ninel. Purple skin, appealing
lips, sexual hair cut and rear. Such a tempting
rear. Sea blue strip of bikini and mirror sun
glasses. Nicolas sat down, put the rifle on the
floor and smelt the scent/fragrance... Yes,
Yes, "Trillian Light". It was the scent of this
very perfume, in a small, heart-shaped potion,
bought on  the beach from the mulatto
boy. "Trillian Light", its fragrance was a
combination of infatuating smell of the violets
and  the northern wind./This stunning fragrance
of violets blended with northern wind. Pure
pleasure! Just out of this world! Nicolas moved
close to the box, opened his eyes and glanced at
the clouds, they were the same, the very clouds
in that hot morning of love and serenity under
the Mediterranean sky. "Trillian Light"!
Someone is coming!
The sound of the footsteps followed. Jack
grabbed the rifle, rolled to the right and hid
himself behind the iron barrel. From the steel
door the scraggy shadow of the guard slipped
onto the floor. Nicolas turned, put his hand on
the trigger and froze.
"One, two, three, - he was counting, not being
able to comprehend why the organizes picked
up/chose their wives as the kidnapped ones? -
five. Motherfucker! Once again... Bastrads! Are
they trying to raise the rating?"
The guard  flickered  his red eyes and started
to move towards the trillians. The way from the
terrace to their hideaway was not  far long. But
the guard was not in a hurry. He was moving
slowly, as if testing their patience. All of a
sudden the sound of footsteps died away. The
Huge one gibbered something unintelligable.
Motherfucker, Nicolas blinked to the eye of the
video cam, which was broadcasting the release of
the hostages on the channel in real time.
He leads. Bastrad! Now, his mates, assholes,
will show up. We'll do with them away!
A hollow strike was heard.  The guard raised his
arms, electricity running  all over his armor.
Armored shield flipped back and the rifles
showed up."BigGun Trillian", well this type of
gun can really smash the hideaway in seconds.
Jack produced  a vacuum shocker from his pocket.
One hit and the huge bastrad would get
paralyzed/motionless for 30 minutes. They were
sure to be able to rescue the women in this
time./ The time would be enough for them to
rescue the women. They'll get into helicopter
and  then it would be victory/ they would be
winners they would have its all- money, fame. -
-DONOT HURRY.... whispered Nicolas, trying to
read the indications of the scanner .The red
panel activated. Distance till the target - 3
meters, 10 centimeters, 3 millimeters.
Excellent! But, stop...Nicolas cast a glance
towards the terrace. He pointed at the target.
The gigantic figure of the guard barred the
whole passage.
Go, you, brat. Just a couple of steps. Go!
Red diode eyes were clearly visible through the
glass. They were searching for the target among
the boxes. On looking around, the giant  took
several confident steps forward. Then he
stopped. Two more steps. Then he stopped again
and  slowly turned towards Jack. " Shit, -
Nicoals noticed a rat, which was shuffling at
his partner's feet, - he spotted it!'"
The guard was ready to kill anything within the
range. Now this anything was a grey wretched
creature, which gave Jack away. The cross? in
the sight was exactly between the eyes of the
guard. He had just to take off the release and
pull the trigger.
- God help me...
The sound of a shot. Something cracked and
clattered. The bullet went straight and out the
other side. Accurately made hole appeared in the
guard"s head. The red diode eyes blinked
spasmodically and soon came to a stand still.
The guard dropped his hands, he leaned forward
and fell on the ground. Silence. Nicolas looked
at his partner. He was sitting, examining photos
of the hostages.
Let's go- Nicolas stood up. We  only have to get
to the last level. And there are the girls,
Ninel and Angelika. Let's go.

Damn lock, Jack searched in his tool kit- here
it is.
He gave a laser cutter to Nicolas. The
sign "Property of Trillian corporation.  Be
extremely careful"
was printed on plastic tag attached to the half-
moon shaped handle of the laser cutter
- "I have to ease the head set, damn it.
The sting of the laser cutter sparked. 5
centimeters of flame got into the door like a
knife into the butter. The upper safety catch
was cut. Nicolas pushed the cutter through the
rivets. Bzh, bzh, bzh.
Jack leaned against the wall and looked at
Angelika's photo once again.
I can not really figure out it why on earth they
took our wives as hostages, this time?
Humm, Nicolas kept on slicing the door. How many
games have we passed?
Three, I guess.
Well, that's it.  A cut head of the nail dropped
to Nicolas's feet. They have not subtracted any
points have they? They've decided to put the
higher stakes. Devils/Bustards. As soon as we
got out of here, I'll ease the head set.
Jack turned towards the terrace precisely at the
moment, when small black dots emerged on the
Dots, dots, dots - thousands of small black
dots. Dots with tiny legs, tiny heads, tiny eyes
and tiny ?
ANTS!, Nicolas's partner reached for the rifle,
artificial ants.
All of a sudden, a small needle stang his leg.
Then one more and one more. Then again and
again. Soon  Jack's body was burning from stings.
He switched the machine gun to an automatic
Do not forget about the main condition- the
Exactly! The partner produced from the military
bag folded into a tube poster and unfolded it.
Video cams several times caught the slogan-"Hey,
dare devils, do you know what is zone? You don't
know? No wonder! The zone is everything for us!
Watch "Trillian", the game of the new
generation  on the "B.V.H." channel! Game, which
goes on  in the zone territory! Hell and high
waters are for real! Place your bets!"
Meanwhile the ants were approaching Jack,
pointed the gun at remote controlled tiny things
and pulled the trigger. The fiery whirl swept
everything away. The wooden boxes were ablaze.
The first one, the second one, the third one.
The isolation wires started to buzz. The walls
were covered with a bluish glittering net. The
ants  on fire, exploded one by one as bubbles.
Crackling was heard.
Get on with it, -Nicolas put away the laser
cutter and pushed the door with his leg. They
seemed to retret.
The steel construction crashed onto the floor
with  a clatter. The silver panel landed by
Jack's feet.
The Trillian guy put aside the gun and crouched.
The Trillain Corporation Property whispered
Jack,- this admn "Trillian" is getting on my
nerves! It's all over the place! Just all over
the place!

Keep cool, Nicolas switched on the lantern and
stepped into the room- now all of us are just
trillain and company... Fuck the zone! It's
almost over. Wait a bit, we'll get out of all
this somehow, with God's help.
The ear phones came on.  Some sounds crackled in
the headphones.  In a sec, the Trillain guy
heard a familiar voice- "Dear colleagues, youa
re at the last level. You got 500 points for the
previous one. The stakes have soared up to the
maximum. Good luck!"
Got it? Jack stopped in front of the door- the
stakes are at the highest level. Why, I wonder?
Just because they put our wives here?
Probably...come on, hurry.
Nicolas was kneeling down near Ninel, who was
tied to the chair. He pulled away the scotch,
almost hurting her lips. The tears appeared on
woman's eyes. She silently sobbed and whispered-
Angelika, she's dead....

Jack looked towards his partner, who was sitting
in front of the woman. Somewhere over here
should be his beauty/honey, long-legged sweet-
heart Angelika.
Where is she? The trillian guy pointed his gun
at Ninel,- tell me, you bitch!
Hold on...
" Fuck them, Nicolas, started to search the
floor for the gun. The organizers raised up the
stakes, counting on a big snatch. They are sure
that one of us will not be able to stand it and
go mad wives, wives, wives... What a fool am I!
I should have guessed! They want us to kill each
other. In this the event of our
death, "Trillian" will con everybody who placed
the bets"
Hold on...
He tried to switch off the lantern, but Jack not
wanting to listen to anyone, shot. Sounds of
bullets. The bullet ricocheted and hit the wall.
One more and one more and one more. Jack was
shooting not understanding what what had come
over him. Now he was seeing  the dead Angelika
in front of his eyes. A sweetheart with big big
eye-lashes, silk skin, little fingers and
beautiful breasts, which he would never touch
again. He would, but they would be colder than
"Dead, dead"- it was buzzing in his
ears.Angelika is dead.
Bustards!!! Jack kneeled.- It's all because of
you, bustards!
Video cams, installed in the ceiling were
filming the Trillian guy in agony. The whole
world was watching how a partner was killing a
partner. Hundreds, thousands, millions of idlers
were eating their hamburgers and placing bets.
Bookmakers offices were crammed with people, who
were standing on the streets in front of huge
TV screens shouting  "Come on,? Go ahead? Kill
this dirty bustard!" The advert guys were
transmitting the great catch line  -"Hey, dare
devils, do you know what is zone? You don't
know? No wonder! The zone is everything for us!
Watch "Trillian", the game of the new
generation  on the "B.V.H." channel! Game, which
goes on  in the zone territory! Hell and high
waters are for real! Place your bets!"
Nicolas found the gun, when his wife, shot
between the eyes  fell on the floor. Trillian
guy stretched his hand and felt himself touch a
puddle of warm liquid. It was blood... For a
moment it seemed to him that it all was just a
dream, just a dream. Ninel, cheerful, brisk,
sweet. Where are you? She was here. She was
lying on the floor in a pool of blood with her
mouth gaping open. She did not breathe. It's
her,  just stretch a hand-it's her! Ninel!
Nicolas pointed the gun at Jack and shot into
him. Jack was torn into small
fragments...Trillian guy crawled to his wife and
looked into her face.Fuck them!
He realized that he was about  to suffocate.
Ninel's one eye was covered with  a bloody film.
The pupil of the second eye was flickering in
the dim light. A sign saying" A hostage is out
of order! The degree of damage is 98 per cent.
Nicolas stood up and swaying came up to
Angelika, who was lying in the corner. He sat
down and opened her eyes.
Fuck you!
The pupiles' eyes flickered with the sign "
Trillian-hostage is out of order! The degree of
the damage is 78 per cent! He dropped the gun "
the degree of damage... the degree of damage...
the degree of damage..."
Nicolas slowly turned towards the exit. The
armed men were moving along the terrace. The
helicopter landed behind them. The sign with
Trillian logo on its board was shining in  the
sun beams. The men halted, looked at what
remained of Jack and waved to the Trillain guy,
who had managed to survive.
No, you won't get it!
He took a grenade out of his military bag. He
wanted to pull out the pin, but stopped. The
light fell on his hand. A small corner of a
metal label  stuck out of the torn skin. Nicolas
was stunned, after reading the sign "Trillian
Corporation Property"
- I should ease the head set..., damn it!
-Fuck them!
In a couple of seconds the terrace was shattered
with  the powerful explosion.

Saint-Petersburg 2003 year.

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