Chapter IXX.

10 Oct

The poezd slowed, preparing for a complete stop under the translucent silex dome of St. Petersburg’s central rail station.

Georgi Shutsky turned his eyes away from the window, focusing on the face of Boris Milov. Each of the two wanted the other to start. Therefore, an embarrassing silence followed. Finally, though, the client spoke to his hired private detective.

“I should see her as soon as possible,” thoughtfully said the father. “Sara should not be allowed to become more closely involved with these fanatics.”

The investigator drew a lungful of air-conditioned breath. “Only one thing before we reach that particular point, sir. I think that if we see David Klimov first, he will arrange the meeting for you. All I will have to do is locate and talk to him, Mr. Milov.”

The latter, glancing for a second out the window, thought over this proposal.

“Very well,” he decided, giving the detective an affirmative nod. “I will wait until this evening, then try to see my daughter.”

“I am sure that my friend will be able to ease your way,” encouragingly continued Shutsky. “He will do what is right, that I know. David has always been conscientious in every case he has ever worked on. He has a good record of doing what he should.”

“He is still obligated to me, legally and morally,” stated Milov in a grave tone. “My hope is that the man does not prove to be a scoundrel or a traitor.”

“That would have to be for the first time in his life,” grumbled the other. “I do not believe he is going to break his word or the trust that you and I have in him.”

The maglev engine, losing its power field, instantly screeched to a halt on the chromium tracks under its sliders. The forward motion of the poezd ended in a few moments.

Shutsky was the first to rise, moving into the central aisle of the passenger car. “I will find David from our hotel, sir, then go and see him at once.”

Milov nodded as he rose and followed the second detective in his hire.

The giant concourse under the dome was packed with people rushing toward and away from the maglev platforms. Bright, large computerized letters spelled out “Welcome Psychics” a little above the main entrance of the St. Petersburg Central Station. Arriving travelers moved like speedy insects around the rotating luggage wheels on one side of the enormous hall. The two men from Moscow, following the crowd like fish in an ocean stream, drifted toward the far end of the domed depot.

All at once, Shutsky spied a familiar face in the thick sea of strangers.

“Excuse me a moment,” he whispered to his companion. “I see someone who may be able to help us a great deal.”

With that, he darted toward the Mayor of Suzdal, inching his way through the mob surrounding the luggage rotators.

“Mr. Tronich,” he called out a few meters from behind the man. “I am so surprised to find you here in the station!”

Lev Tronich turned around and looked blankly at him. It took about five seconds before he placed the face of the man he had met in Yaroslavl.

“Shutsky,” he grinned affectionately. “How are you, my friend?”

“Fine. I just arrived on the maglev from Moscow.” The detective studied the lines around the Mayor’s eyes as if trying to read them.

“We got here from Suzdal only about five minutes ago. Irina is outside hunting for an electrocab to take us to our hotel.” He smiled broadly and warmly. “We have been extremely busy, Miss Antova and I. We returned to Suzdal after the Tsekh meeting in Yaroslavl. You see, everything has changed for us. I mean, we no longer are in conflict with the House of Razum. Quite to the contrary. Irina and I have become converts and adherents of the new system of telehypnosis. Viktor Razum himself took us under his wing and helped to retrain us in the methods that he developed. We have seen your friend, the novelist, only once in a while. In fact, David Klimov is traveling to St. Petersburg early this afternoon on an express poezd with the leader and founder, Dr. Razum.”

Shutsky felt as if his head was spinning rapidly.

“What convinced you to join the new psychic movement, may I ask?” he said haltingly.

“Irina and I saw with our own eyes the power and efficacy of the Razumite methods. Their new ideas resulted in a spectacular victory over all opposition in Yaroslavl. The House of Razum has become supreme and triumphant. Victor Razum is a genius who will rank in history with Franz Mesmer himself. He has open new doors for all humanity.”

“Yes,” nodded Shutsky with vigor. “I have heard about what happened there.”

“Hundreds of psychic conversions occurred after that great, historic meeting,” beamed Tronich. “The same will take place also in St. Petersburg. Of that I am perfectly certain.”

“You are expecting more psychic feats, then?”

“Indeed,” smiled the Mayor of Suzdal.

Shutsky excused himself and started to walk away very fast.

St. Petersburg, a city of fog and bridges over the Neva River, carried forward its traditions of scientific and technological leadership.

Its biocomputers, magnetic electronics, and amoebic power generation were world leaders. New nanotech silicon alloys continuously poured forth from laboratories and production plants. Subatomic particle radiation, microfile communications, and medical robotics provided ever new frontiers for research. St. Petersburg was the breeding ground for innovation and invention.

Viktor Razum sensed that this city would become a world center for the introduction and development of telehypnosis and all its possible applications. That was the reason he invited a group of progressive industrialists and bankers to the Neon Hotel, where the Psychic Tsekh was to hold its national convention. Meeting in a special conference hall, the two dozen business leaders listened to what he envisioned for the future of parapsychology and telepathy.

He stood up and spoke without notes to the assembled notables seated at special tables.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the Psychic Tsekh is about to take a new, pioneering direction that holds marvelous promise for those willing to take part in our projects. Let me explain.

“Up to now, there have been no practical applications in business or industry for psionic powers and capacities. The entire realm of the parapsychological has remained distant from your concerns and activities. But in the near future, all that will change radically.

“I am offering you the chance to cooperate at the beginning of a new world in which the human mind will, in a sense, become liberated from its past limitations. Think what the possibilities can be!

“The biocomputor connected directly with the brains of users who have been trained in how to harness their psychic potential.

“Transmission of magnetic waves controlled by human thought and intention will in the future solve a myriad of power and communication problems.

“New methods of physical healing will result from telepathic hypnotism.

“Psychiatry will provide therapy at a distance though psychic methods.

“We shall enjoy long-distance control of robotic facilities of all sorts.

“Financial and banking operations will be revolutionized through hypnotized human minds.

“The perspective is limitless for the new parapsychology, my friends.”

Viktor Razum, extremely excited by his own thought and words, stopped to catch his breath.

“I assure you, all that I have mentioned, plus much more, can and will be done. The Psychic Tsekh is about to come under new leadership which intends to emphasis the practical application of the mental powers that already exist and that are planned for the future.

“Russia is about to lead our planet into a new age of exploration and utilization of the minds of our species. We are the pioneers who shall open the door to a frontier of psychic power and communication.

“I hope that you leaders of our country’s economic life will prove far-sighted enough to participate in supporting our research and projects.

Thank you.”

One financier suddenly stood up.

“We must help you, and we will,” he cried out loudly.

“Yes, all of us must support such efforts,” said another man.

“But we must convince the public first,” warned a third. “There are fearful elements among our population. We all have partners and shareholders who fear the new and untried.”

Razum raised his arms high, his palms pointed upward.

“Visit the many exhibits and demonstrations at our convention, and bring your doubting colleagues and friends along with you. Russia must become the homeland of psychic science and technology.” he beamed radiantly at his rich, powerful audience. “You and the Russian public will observe many mental wonders in the days ahead that will approach the miraculous. Be prepared to observe unanticipated innovations that will revolutionize all of human life.”

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