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I've got sandwiches, a thermos...
You won't last even an hour here
without me.
Besides, one doesn't return here
the way one comes.
Anyway, I would prefer...
Then we're going back right away.
I'll return your money
minus a certain sum
for the trouble, so to speak...
Have you come to your senses,
All right. Go on, throw your nut.
Part Two
Where are you?
Come here!
Are you tired?
Oh, God!
Judging by his tone, he's going to
start sermonizing again.
Let everything that's been planned
come true.
Let them believe.
And let them have a laugh
at their passions.
Because what they call passion
actually is not some emotional energy,
but just the friction between
their souls and the outside world.
And most important,
let them believe in themselves
let them be helpless like children,
because weakness is a great thing,
and strength is nothing.
When a man is just born,
he is weak and flexible,
when he dies,
he is hard and insensitive.
When a tree is growing,
it's tender and pliant,
but when it's dry and hard,
it dies.
Hardness and strength
are death's companions.
Pliancy and weakness are
expressions of the freshness of being.
Because what has hardened
will never win.
Come here!
We're progressing well.
Soon we'll come to a dry tunnel,
after that it will get easier.
Knock on wood.
- Are we on our way already?
- Of course. Why?
I thought you just wanted
to show us something.
- What about my knapsack?
- What about it?
I left it there.
I didn't know we were going.
- There's nothing we can do about it.
- No, we have to go back.
- It's impossible!
- I can't do without my knapsack!
Can't you understand that no one here
has ever come back the same way?
Forget about your knapsack.
What have you got there, diamonds?
The room will give you
anything you want.
Really. It will drown you
in knapsacks.
How far is it, this room?
If you go straight, about 200 meters,
but there's no going straight here.
Let's go.
Give up your empiricism, Professor.
Miracles are outside empiricism.
Remember how St. Peter
was nearly drowned?
Go, Writer.
Go where?
Up these stairs.
Professor, where are you?
Here is the dry tunnel!
You call it dry?
This is a local joke.
Normally one has to swim here.
Wait, where's Professor?
- What?
- Professor has disappeared!
How could it happen?
He was following you all the way.
He probably lagged behind and
lost his way.
No, he didn't lose his way!
He must've gone for the knapsack!
He won't be able to make it now.
Shall we wait for him?
We can't. Things change here
every minute. We'll have to go.
Look! What is it? How could it be?
- I already explained.
- What did you explain?
It's the Zone, don't you understand?
Let's go, quick. It's...
There he is!
I'm certainly grateful to you
that you... but...
How did you get here?
Mostly I had to crawl up here
on my fours.
How did you manage to overtake us?
What do you mean, "overtake"?
I came back here for the knapsack.
And how has our nut gotten here?
Oh, my God, that's...
the trap!
Porcupine put this nut here
on purpose.
How could the Zone let us through?
Oh God, I'm not going
to take one more step until...
I don't like it.
That's it! We rest!
But keep off this nut,
just in case.
Sorry, but I thought that
Professor won't be able to make it.
You see, I...
I never know beforehand what kind
of people I'm taking with me.
Everything gets clear only here,
when it's too late.
What's important is that Professor's
bag with his underwear is safe.
Don't stick your nose in someone's
underwear if you don't understand it.
What is there to understand?
Binomial theorem?
Some psychological abysses!
You have a bad reputation
at your institute.
They don't give you money
for an expedition.
So you decide to pack a knapsack
full of manometers and other shit...
penetrate the Zone illegally...
and put all these miracles
to an algebra test.

- 12
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