Shtokol nevertheless kept Danik and Sergei at the reception on the top floor of an office building located in the center of the City of London on the territory of the so-called Square Mile, for fifteen minutes. This building was chosen by several other investment companies, but the location of Global-Invest on the last, top floor indicated that Shtokolov positioned his as the largest of them.
“Cool, of course, but, admittedly, even though it is expensive, but so ... modestly expensive,” Danik said these words, looking around the surrounding space. The reception room looked huge, so the secretary, a middle-aged lady, was at a distance from them at which they could talk quietly, being sure that she would not hear them.
- Modest high cost! This is an oxymoron, it will be right - expensive, but with taste.
“If a producer has no taste, what kind of producer is that?”
- It was he who once was a producer, and now just a financial shark!
- Well, come on then - just a shark!
- Shark, so you know, the oldest fish on earth, well, of the large and predatory.
- What do you mean?
- Smart is very and cruel.
- Danik, I'm already afraid to come to this Zhore.
George, however, turned out to be quite a friendly, imposing man. A fresh tan on a middle-aged, but taut, very well-groomed face, a navy blue suit in a chalk strip, a white shirt and a navy tie in small yellow peas. He spoke:
- Guys, glad to see you at home! It is a pity, not at full strength ...
His words and actions gave Danik a fine feeling to two things: the first is that the influential and very rich gentleman sat down, as they say, on his haunches, trying to bring himself closer to their position to unknown start-ups: here both the guys and the corresponding tone , and the democratic gesture of unbuttoning the blazer button. And only after that - exit from the table and handshake. And second: a clear disappointment with the absence of the main person from a startup, Cohen.
The secretary brought in a tray with a coffee pot and kettle. But having received a sign from the owner, “ourselves,” she did not offer: “To whom is coffee, and to whom is tea?” And hastily withdrew, silently closing the door behind her.
At first Georgy showed his eyes to the tray, and then narrowed his eyes in a boyish way and suggested in his own way:
- Or maybe a glass? - and so that the “cup” does not frighten by its size, showed its small size, bringing the thumb and index finger closer to a distance of five centimeters.
- Hardy Perfection Fire! Do you guys around forty? And this brandy - a hundred more.
Sergey exchanged glances with Danik.
Significance in their peeking meant: the guy on the hook, and to refuse a stack of such cognac is incorrect, and even when you try this! And they nodded in agreement.
Among the coffee cups on a pair of saucers, the thinly sliced lemon turned yellow, which indicated Shtokolov’s thoughtful preparatory work and his “Russianness”. Biting such a cognac with lemon is like drinking from a bath dipper for watering hot stones, as in the scene of the Shukshin film “Kalina Krasnaya”, Rémy Martin. Considering that the relationship is established, Shtokolov began.
“Twenty-five lemons,” he was at that time, sitting comfortably in his chair, sucking on a lemon slice, and this pun was considered to be a good one — big money!
Doubtfully looking at the yellow, bumpy lemon peel, he sent it into his mouth. Wincing, he suddenly switched:
- Elena is such a beauty!
- Yes, such a beauty, - continued George and, running his finger along the edge of a plate with lemon, sadly complained: - The beauty and the monster are in one bottle. A terrible story. So, twenty-five million - a lot of money, very big ...
Danik could not resist:
- We understand a lot of money!
Shtokolov brightened up:
- Well, do you understand? It's good. Today we have a confidential meeting, such an estimate, a preliminary conversation, but your idea is interesting to me, very interesting, but ...
This time Sergey, smiling, continued:
- But a lot of money.
- Maybe even a glass? - George with doubt looked at the interlocutors, confidently rejecting the wonderful cognac.
“So,” his tone finally acquired a business intonation. - I am a person with experience in this kind of affairs, with very great experience, and this experience tells me that your game can be a success, a great success, and in this case, these twenty-five million can turn into - he poured himself a brandy, raised a glass and finished: - in huge money!
A pause, while George was sucking the sourness of another lemon slice, filled with Danik:
- We ourselves are counting on it!
- Here you go! Huge money, because they require management, it’s not a bank account to open. They must be able to dispose of ... So maybe, after all, still a drop? Well there is no way. In general, even though you guys are very smart, you are programmers, not financiers, and I had such an idea ... I finance you, you create content, and I manage the money and general promotion of this topic in the market. What do you think, how do you like this?
“We would prefer a standard contract with your participation in the form of a fixed percentage,” Danik said the prepared phrase without emotion, having cooled the excitement of the heated investor.
- You're so vain! This is clearly an extraordinary project, and the financial side of the case will require highly qualified management.
- Dear Mr. Shtokolov, - Sergey got up, - you are right, we are programmers, we really do not have special education in the financial sphere. But we learn fast.
The friends took with them three variants of the contract prepared by Shtokolov.
Already after the departing visitors, George rounded out the topic:
- I repeat, this is a preliminary conversation that does not require any of the parties to take immediate decisions. Next time I hope to see yours - I don’t know yet how his position sounds: director or president - Ilya Cohen. And from our side, this office will be filled with a dozen of my specialists. I really hope that our positions will come closer - and he again showed how small a glass for brandy should be.
Sergey recounted the conversation that took place between him, Danik and Shtokolov in the evening of the same day in the room of the Hilton hotel. Ilya suggested printing the proposed contract options in five copies so that everyone would express their opinion on this matter in the next few days.
- We need to recover after the difficult events of these two weeks. It is necessary to finish the affairs connected with the former place of work. I think it will take another two or three weeks. And after that we will have a little more than a month to prepare material for the London police.
- Month is not enough! I suggest starting immediately. Work remotely. Thank God, each house has enough technical capabilities to cope with its part of the work. We need a coordinator, and this, apparently, you, - said Igor to Ilya.
- Let's create content for cops, and they will dump us so much dough that we can send Shtokolov far away.
Nobody seriously took this Sashkin's joke. But the vague premonition of a possible turn in their fates hung in the air-conditioned air of the hotel room.
Ilya quickly finished his business in Tel Aviv and flew to Toronto to Smolkin. Canada, in their general opinion, was thus the most convenient and peaceful place in which friends decided to arrange a base for further work on the project. Smolkiny Ilya took a guest room on the second floor of his cottage. He spent a month and a half in this cozy house, staying away and after the prepared materials went to two addresses: Chief Inspector Olsopp Oliver and Superintendent Audley Connor. One document was designated as “Identification of a person by his movement”, the second - as “Red Cloud”.
Cohen and Smolkin spent some time looking for premises for an office adjacent to some free territory, which later could be needed for a broader infrastructure corresponding to their development plans. In the end, Ilya felt that his trip was too long - he had never left his loved ones for so long.
And when in the middle of the night the telephone rang, on the display of which his wife’s number was highlighted, Ilya was seriously alarmed. But Alla quickly reassured him:
- Ilyushechka, everything is fine with us, I just could not resist. We have already nine in the morning, and I turned on the computer. You are invited to London, to the Ministry of the Interior, to this, the most important thing ... to the commissioner.
Cohen arrived at the Astoria Hotel’s restaurant directly from New York Airport. He did not call his friends after leaving the office of the Commissioner of the London Police in Scotland Yard. This was, of course, childishness, but he suddenly passionately wanted to increase the intrigue to the consistency of the molten metal.
All those gathered, feeling his condition, did not utter a word. They pretended that they were very concerned about whether brandy, which Ilya poured into glasses from that treasured bottle, on the bottom of which shone with gold five nominal signets, glittered with gold, would not drip onto the tablecloth. When these gold products settled on the bottom of the glasses, everyone agreed that it would be allowed to get them only after the brandy was drunk. But before you begin this, you had to hear a toast. Ilya got up, straightened his jacket and tie, prolonging the pause, exacerbating the drama of the moment.
- Crazy Bobby otslyunili our "Crossroads" eighty-five million English, their mother, pounds! - and, soothing vzmetnuvshuysya moisture glass, finished: - After paying taxes. Lehaim!
Instantly empty glasses, thrown on the floor by enthusiastic millionaires, did not crash, landing on a thick pile of carpet, but this embarrassment could not extinguish the delight that had engulfed everyone. They said they were shouting all at the same time. Cohen choked in his arms. And only Danik articulately said:
- Can I call Shtokolov?
Smolkin, in tune with him, offered to find that centenary brandy, from which everyone was so dragged, and present him a gift by sweetening the pill.
Ilya was indignant:
- What kind of cheap Ponte shtetl avengers? We forgive everyone and begin to work hard and hard. We won the first round, there is still ... ahead.
- Ilya, let the people have fun! - Danik prayerfully folded his arms in front of him. “Now all bad, petty and evil will come out of them, and they will become so good, clean and noble that they will work with heavenly pleasure in heaven.
Ilya, along with several other men and women, sat in a small room, one wall of which was the mirror of Gesell 1
. They watched what was happening in the next room, big and bright. The walls and floor in this two-hundred-meter hall were lined with soft multi-colored mats: white, blue, red, yellow and green.
In the hall there were twelve children: boys and girls, very young, from three to five years old, and six clowns in thick, inflated outfits, three of whom presented themselves as daisies: they were dressed in white overalls and yellow hats. Three others, in green jackets covered with nettle leaves and in caps of pointed green leaves, topped with thin white mustaches, immediately received the nickname "wren". Greens were very bad: harmful, cunning, treacherous deceivers, and “daisies” were their direct opposite: kind, trustful, sweet and naive. And these kind of "daisies" did not notice that the "wren" deceive and offend them all the time. But the children saw it perfectly, and every time the “daisies” did not get a single candy when sharing sweets, they strongly showed their indignation and shouted to them with all their might: “Look, they deceived you, they all stole!” - but “ Chamomile "did not believe in such dishonesty of their partners.
They brought other gifts, toys - and again they all found themselves in the hands of nasty “wrens”, and only after the third time the “daisies” suddenly began to guess that the children were right, and then they tried to resist the cunning green tricks. , good "daisies" attacked. “Daisies” were very scared, ran away, clumsily reflecting the attacks of green hooligans and asked the kids to protect them. And then the children turned out to be warriors: once they touched the green fat men, they flew away from the kids with loud cries, like footballs. They rolled on the mats in their hollow overalls, waving their hands, as if trying to stop, in fact, spinning themselves even stronger. On their faces, fear gave way to deep remorse, and then a sincere desire to apologize and make friends with the “daisies” and children.
The delight of the kids knew no bounds. All these actions were accompanied by uncontrollable children's fun. Reddened, tears smearing in laughter, they rushed, falling and jumping around, clowns figuring out the relationship, continuously telling them what was really going on, and in the final massacre of repentant deceivers everything ended with fraternal arms and kisses.
And in this bustle, bacchanalia of movements, laughter, experiences and joy from the triumph of good over evil, children forgot about their hands or legs immersed in a collagen capsule, inside which was placed a matrix pierced with the finest nano-threads - guides, along which vessels were gradually formed , nerve fibers, bone and muscle tissue. The capsules were so tightly and securely attached to the bodies of children that they did not feel the danger of violating this integrity and behaved freely.
Ilya came into the room with Gesell glass once or twice a week. He felt great pleasure in watching the children and their parents present next to him. Sometimes, when he noticed that someone of his acquaintances fell into hypochondria, he would invite him to visit a rehabilitation center, and ten minutes of observing the performance in the hall behind the glass would be enough for the person to forget about his depression.
For several years, Cohen has not been involved in the "game." She lived her own life. His new habitat consisted of the noise of working mechanisms, the air permeated with building dust, the many voices of mixed tribal men in orange helmets and the uniform of the best construction company in the country. He created a new reality, turning part of the peninsula in southeastern Canada into the island of Hope. Initially, dusty, broken country roads transformed into highways, along which large trucks with building materials, concrete mixers, cranes and buses with people rolled. Builders landed from these buses, and their hands gradually transformed the picture of the desert, overgrown with shrubs on the eastern edge of the peninsula. Cohen observed how the walls were erected, the spans of the floors, how the buildings of the new buildings began to shine with the sun glares, how the roads of the airfield lined up with asphalt and lined up. He flew into the place of his future habitat and flew away to appointments in different countries with manufacturers of medical equipment, professors, medical scientists, psychologists, and lawyers. He gathered a team of the world's best researchers in microsurgery, plastics, medical nanotechnology developers, chemists and physicists. Sixteen floors of the clinic were adjacent to the sixteen-storey building of the Institute of Transplantology and limb regeneration. The architecture of this complex closed the hotel with a park and a swimming pool and an airport building designed to service six specially equipped boards capable of providing maximum assistance for injuries of limbs of various degrees of complexity.
The game lived its own life. And it was controlled by his friends. Smolkin's prediction came true: it took a lot of cleaners to maintain office floors filled with Perekrestok employees.
Wanda’s dreams came true: Perekrestok’s subsidiary opened a factory for the production of branded clothing: from assassins to gangsters of North America, from Japanese ninjas to Russian gendarmes of the beginning of the last century, from Pinkerton and Sherlock Holmes to Eugene François Widdoc and the ancient Chinese judge Dee. Many communities emerged with their heroes, their uniforms, regulations and statutes. The clothes that were made in the Perekrestok factories with its logo were considered especially prestigious, and its realization became a serious source of income.
The game presented many surprises, surprises, which were a constant stimulus to the development of Perekrestok commanders. Voluntary police assistants changed the underworld behavioral palette. These changes have reached such an extent that the boundaries of crimes and their investigations have become something like the Mobius strip.
In order to figure out how invulnerable their plans were, the criminals laid out in the network prototypes of projects similar to their ideas, and the game showed them where there are miscalculations that can lead to exposure.
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1* – .(. )