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Modem chirped dialing, I put the helmet on and sat down. - 28800 connection, the n to the pr gary roberts comics rogram that the landlord is myself. The elevator waits for me. Usually I use the stairs... peeking inside other apartments along the way. Nobody lives the gary roberts comics ere anyway... but now I'm in hurry. The elevator goes down - very fast. I pad out into the street, look around, maybe the insect lover is still near? But there's gary roberts comics s nobody suspicious nearby, everybody mind their own business. The bug was a passer by obviously, a serial work. These are being crushed ousness gary roberts comics would decide. 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The lobby is pretty spacious, four porters and two guar gary roberts comics rds are always watching there. - Come to any of them, - I advise, - And ask for consultation: where to go for the start, how to act... - It's embarrassin gary roberts comics ng..ere the light is on always for some reason, five teens were sitting, playing cards right on the floor, talking about something in dimmed voices... No, no gary roberts comics ot talking, it'd be better to say growling to each other. I knew two of them, other three were unfamiliar. A little pack of smaller carnivores. They'd gary gary roberts starfuckers roberts comics eagerly rip the loner apart in a dark corner but here I'm safe: carnivores don't hunt near their den. - Hi, - said the guy who lives in the apartment abov gary roberts comics ve mine, o meet with the management, - I begin without ceremonies. - Please be more specific if possible. The girl is the courtesy itself but it's not e gary roberts comics easier to break through her barrier than through the monster by Al-Kabar's bridge. - I have a confidential information for "Labyrinth"'s management. - B gary roberts comics But still I'd like you to state the goal of your visit briefly. Ah well... - I'd like to relay to Mr Guillermo Aguirre that I'm informed about the small gary roberts comics problem thae player's face is covered with blood, one hand is partially ripped off, with the other one he tries to reach the first-aid set. Only 5% of strengt gary roberts comics th had left in him but the set would save him. I pad closer, he notices me, jerks and shouts: - Who? Who are you, asshole?! And another 'multisto gary roberts comics ory' phrase follows. - Gunslinger, - I reply aiming the rifle barrel at the swearer's forehead. I don't like when one curses like this. Either the gir gary roberts comics rl or a kid could ugs. - How may I refer to you? - Ivan The Prince. Brief pause, then he smiles, Somebody have explained him. - Oh, the Russi gary roberts comics ian tales' hero! Are you Russian yourself? - Does it really matter? - You're absolutely right... Well, Mr Diver, as far as I understand, you penetrate gary roberts comics ed our block illegally... - Oh really?! - I'm in shock. - To be honest, I just was looking for a job. I saw your ad, crossed the bridge... obeyed those strang gary roberts comics ge guards... One-oreveal the diver in me. The driver thinks for a while. - Let's delay shooting a little, okay? I shrug indefinitely. The Bear gary roberts comics rd says soothingly: - We've arrived. The car really stops by the unfamiliar building: the gray cube without windows, with the only door, very wide gary roberts comics like in the garage and heavily armored as if in warning - it'll be tough to enter uninvited. Usually these buildings hide either banal consumer goods warehous gary roberts comics ses or luxury apartments insll equipped for the beginning of the third level, by the way... 10 I pass 14 levels. In 7 hours. The legend was born toda gary roberts comics ay. Corpses and ruins were left behind my back. Only on the 6th level I was delayed for a while: it's very-very new and unwonted. Then I was stuck on the 1 gary roberts comics 12th, I've encountered similar levels before but the arena is always the arena and crushing a hundred plus monsters is not like pushing three buttons. gary roberts comics Fortunately other players almos him who gave rise to the deep. Ten second clip displayed on the screen is harmless by itself. If shown on TV (I heard it was dare gary roberts comics ed to be done in some countries), the TV watcher won't feel anything and will not become a movie character. Dmitry himself just wanted to create a pleasant gary roberts comics meditation background for his computer, and he did, let it circulate along the Net and didn't suspect anything for two more weeks. But then, one day some Uk gary roberts comics kranian guy looked at the colorful play - Sure. - Big money... - he examines the check, then raises the goblet quickly, - For the luck! - Yeah, for it.. gary roberts comics .. - I agree. - You won't disappear from the deep, will you? - No. Roman nods with obvious relief, makes a sip and says: - You know, it's inte gary roberts comics eresting to work with you. You're... unusual. For one moment it seems to me that we're approaching that impossible point when divers open to each other. gary roberts comics - Same here, Roma. The Werewolf st aides and say : 'Ummm.. what if we drop an H-bomb at Los Angeles?' The game have changed a little last year, now gary roberts comics w one has to start it as a lieutenant being in command of a small regiment in tactic battles, submitting to somebody else's orders and to rise slowly gary roberts comics up the hierarchy until he reaches the rank of the Chief Commander of his country. Now there's a possibility of coups, betrayal, guerilla war 'against everybod gary roberts comics dy'... I don't know, the game have become more really does love cool effects. Now the guards' computers are completely busy with an extremely important task of gary roberts comics f calculation of PI number with a million digits precision. They even have no resources left to eject the operators from virtuality. Very good, let them lie in gary roberts comics the deep for a while instead of changing the computers. - Not ethical... - mutters Windows-Home dolefully. I rush along the band. The channel is exce gary roberts comics ellent, I'm above the wall in a couple of seconds. the middle. - This is 33rd level of "Labyrinth" Mr Gunslinger, 'Disneyland'. I look at the level an gary roberts comics nd don't like it at all, at least because when I was there last time it looked completely different. - Very-very bad level, - says Willy. - Hard. This is gary roberts comics the beginning: 'Russian Hills' {roller coaster}. This is... - he puts his hand on the keyboard and the picture slides a little aside, - a Grabber Demon. Bad gary roberts comics d! Gee, as if good demons ever came out of "Labyrinth it seems he doesn't have even a little doubt that I'll rush to "Labyrinth" at once. - Why would I w gary roberts comics want to do that? Man Without Face takes a small badge from the cloak pocket. It looks pretty like the police badge but its background is white and there's gary roberts comics s not a spiral in the center but a tiny sphere woven of the thinnest threads. - That's why. The badge is on the table between us. I look at it but don' gary roberts comics 't dare to touch. What if it disappears? When Lady - It's only one road from here, - says the driver and turns to me with a smirk. He has a scar gary roberts comics on his cheek and decayed teeth. It's not a program obviously, it's a real person. - Stop the car. - That's against the rules, - the driver grins steeri gary roberts comics ing carelessly. {The whole scene hints to another Russian hit movie called "The Diamond Hand", released in 1968. It's a great comedy about a modest aged S gary roberts comics Soviet engineer who went to the sea cruise abroad for the firs - I can assume that. Even two? I was sure that 'Labyrinth' manages with only one rescuer.. gary roberts comics . - I can give you their addresses... either network or the real ones. Wow!!! - One of them is Ukranian, the other one is Canadian. The first on gary roberts comics ne lives... - No, - I say with some effort. - How interesting! I was sure that it's the common dream to determine the diver's personality! Including t gary roberts comics the divers themselves! - This gary roberts drawings dream is one of the worst and base filled it with steel gray color and hooked it on my figure, person number seven, Gunslinger gary roberts comics r... deep Enter Beret is on my head. I'm not sure whether it's what Mr Aguirre wanted or not but he looks satisfied. - We value the diver gary roberts comics rs' work. - says Willy. - But our permanent employees quite manage it. We need time, small. We'll offer you interesting work, yes? I shake my head, be gary roberts comics eret slides to the side. - Mr Guillermo, - I say respectfully but resSergey Lukjanenko. Labyrinth of reflections ______________________________________ gary roberts comics ___ * Yuri Kalmykov. Translators notes * About the Author: Sergey Lukjanenko, 30, is one of the today's most popular Russian Sci-Fi writers gary roberts comics s. His first works were published in 1988. Currently his bibliography includes more than 40 titles of novels and short stories. The Author defines his genr gary roberts comics re as the "hard action science fiction", but all his works also have a very well defined philosophical aspect. The novel offered to your attention was written in gary roberts comics n 1997 and became the real 'cult book' of the Russian Internet. Sergey is married, he lives in Moscow. THE NOVEL "LABYRINTH OF REFLECTION gary roberts comics NS" IS COPYRIGHTED BY SERGEY LUKJANENKO, ALL RIGHTS ARE RESERVED BY THE AUTHOR. ANY COMMERCIAL USE OF THE NOVEL'S TEXT IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED. Several note gary roberts comics es for the reader: 1). My English sucks. So it was obviously way too presumptuous of me to try to make a translation like this. It was my love to this bo gary roberts comics ook only that made me to venture into this adventure. ;-) I was hoping that this novel is really worth your kind attention (despite my ugly English?). 2). gary roberts comics Some opinions expressed in this book by the main or other characters, as well as some words/terms used, might be considered offensive to some Western re gary roberts comics eaders. In fact, one such situation was even showed closer to the end of the novel itself. The concept of "PC" (aka 'Political Correctness') does not real gary roberts comics lly exist in Russia which fact IMHO makes the life much easier and slightly reduces the amount of stupidity that inevitably presents in this life. Despite that, gary roberts comics , I definitely had to use the 'softened' terms in my translation in order not to outrage the people (not too gary roberts comics much at least). But of course, something might h gary roberts comics have still leaked out. Please consider yourselves warned. 3). FIDO Some more confusion can be caused by Lukjanenko's technical details and descriptio gary roberts comics ons of the Net due to one more fact: he writes from the point of view of the person who was once the FIDOnet member. Also it seems that Sergey himself was gary roberts comics mostly affiliated with FIDO at the time of this book's writing. The principles of FIDO's system organization differ from the ones of the Internet. I never was gary roberts comics s FIDO member, so I know very little. In general, it's free, amateurs' network that allows its members to exchange emails and files. FIDO uses its own proprietary gary roberts comics protocol. Special gateways are used to exchange emails with the Internet. Look at www.fidonet.org for more details... But be prepared to get back not the gary roberts comics e homepage, but some HTML code. {G} The guys have forgot to put the {HTML} tag into the code of their main page... OOPS. 4). The names. The same name gary roberts comics in Russian usually can have several forms, reflecting the attitude of the one who pronounces the name to the one named. The number of these forms is as far as I gary roberts comics can judge, much bigger than in English. That's why in my translation I preferred to retain the original rules of forming such names and to provide this note. Another important reason is that the Russian name changed according to the rules of doing so in English would sound ridiculous (maybe for me only, as I'm Russian... ;-) ), not mentioning that it's not always possible to do this with Russian names at all. Example: John - Johnny. Now try to do the same with, say, my name: Yuri. Yup... My point exactly. Below is the example of how the first name of the main character can be 'bent'. The same often happens to other names in the book. For inexperienced reader it might be confusing, so I apologize... Russia *is* confusing by definition, so bear with it. :-) Leonid - the complete name. Lenia (should be read roughly as Lyo-nee-aa; don't pronounce 'double lettered' sounds as too long ones though) - this is slightly diminutive, friendly form used by relatives and friends. Lenechka (Lyo-nee-chka) - a "pet-name" form, sometimes also used with sarcasm, depending on the context. Lenchik - "pet-name"/unceremonious address. Len'ka ( here ' means softening of the previous sound, 'n' in this name sounds like 'n' in the word 'change') - Unceremonious address, a bit slighting. Often used by close friends without any offensive context. ... and so on. No more forms are used in the book, so I'd better not confuse you any more. Another trick is how the names are formed n general. In particular, the concept of the middle name in Russia. It is not 'given', but rather is the father's name. To be used as a middle name, special endings are attached: -ovich, -evich for man's middle name (yeah, they are gender specific!), -ovna, evna for female's middle name. Examples: Petrovich Alekseevich - men's P