<------ Part 3
And Nika woke up in the water. She had to push herself out of the bathtub. Nika hit the floor, but it didn't hurt. No pain could compare to the agony in her lungs. She felt like dying. Not a movie pathetic version of "it felt like dying" but real real dying. With one hand pressed to her cut vein she hit herself hard against the wall of a bathtub and spit water. It felt like a moment of "now or never", fighting right now or just giving up. The choice and struggle was between "now" or "no-fucking-way-in-the-whole-fucking-life-say-goodbye-to-your-mom-go-ahead-make-my-day".
But then something happened that was as painful as death but as joyful as life:
A triangle universe of lovely spirit that uplifted her body and her mind.
This moment was awful and painful and yet it was better then a birthday cake or a first kiss. Nika even though that this is something that women perhaps feel when they give birth to children, it fucking hurts but it's fucking awesome.
She was sitting on the floor against the wall, wet and tired, fairly capable to breath, inhaling and exhaling AIR - that was her mission.
"Nika", - said someone softly nearby.
"Nika!" - she turned around and saw James and X-Ray sitting beside her on the wet floor.
"Wha," - she was trying to speak, but her throat failed her.
"Don't talk, please relax."
"You need to save your energy and rest as much as you can."
"We know you wonder why you can still see us here. Don't worry, you are awaken, but the gas had a strong affect on your body and you still have hallucinations. You will feel much better, but you need to get out of this room, and basically from the building. Something is going on here, something weird, we feel that. Apparently you never opened gas in the kitchenette, we checked your memory several times and I'm sure if we go there we'll find nothing, but there is certainly kind of a gas or something in here and you need to get out, very very soon."
She couldn't talk or breathe, and she definitely had no energy to fight with her own hallucinations right now. She carefully stand up and they helped her. By using the same fire escape they climbed to the roof, but this time - for real."
On the roof there were several people wandering around, just like last time, it was totally a deja vu. And Nika started doubting if this isn't another nightmare that her dying brain gives her before switching off forever and ever.
But the way people were walking was different. They behave like alive. Some of them even saw her presence and were walking towards them. Her brother Max was among them.
"Nika, what happened? Have you also heard the alarm? It said that anyone in the rooms on the upper floors have to use fire escape and proceed to the roof due to some dangerous conditions and potential gas leek. Have you smelled anything?"
Nika nodded quietly.
"I didn't even smell anything weird" - said a 50-year-old geek in huge glasses. - "And I am normally very good at identifying different types of scents. Once I spent a week in death valley where I managed to find my way to the main road just by using the"
"I am very sorry to interrupt you, err, I am sure you're great, but there was a signal on all levels regarding the evacuation from the building. Whatever the reason, I am sure it was more then necessary. Let's allow officials and hotel employees do their job" - said a Russian big lady that was taller then any of the guys on the roof.
"Ok, we should just wait" - said Nika and she didn't recognize her voice.
"For the love of black holes, what on Uranus happened with you?" - her brother, Max, liked to use astronomical terms in every day life a lot. He just noticed that she was covering a wound on her arm and she was completely wet.
"I fell into the bathtub and cut myself with the sharp edge" - Nika surely find a very quick and believable explanation. Normalli she wouldn't, but James told her what to say.
"Well, girl, you should be more careful next time. Floors in the bathroom can be very wet and slippery," - said American geek.
"I will, sir."
She sat down and was happy that this weird conversation was over, she needed time to think. She looked at James and X-Ray who were sitting beside her and asked very very quietly moving just the corner of her mouth: " Why are you still here? Aren't you supposed to vanish because there is no gas?"
X-Ray just shrugged his shoulders and continued looking into the sky with a dreamy smile. James answered, that he doesn't know, but it should be some sort of side affect and she needs to relax.
Max came over to her, he picked up a little stone from the floor and angrily threw it over the edge of a roof. Nika's eyes followed the stone and she remembered how just 5 minutes ago she was flying down. It was awful. And yet, it was unforgettable.
"Damn it". It was obvious that Max was really upset with something. "I hate it".
Nika knew that he probably wouldn't tell her what exactly he hated, but habit taken from her mother taught her to be polite to her step-bro.
"What is it?"
"Well, - Max started explaining Nika with an angry look as if it was all her fault. - "you know that today is the 4th of October. the 4th!!! Not just 3rd or anything! Well, obviously you don't know what it means, you was never interested in this, but.."
"I know, Max, I am not as stupid as you think. The 4th of October is the day when "the radios of the USA and Europe were dead and there was a great silence. the war had spent itself."
"What on Uranus planet are you talking about?"
"I believe this lady is quoting Ray Bradbury's short story "And the rock cried out".
"Yes I was, sir, sorry, I don't know your name"
"You can call me Shane, I'm from Indiana."
"Nice to meet you, my name is Nika, it's Russian."
"What a lovely name, darling, do you know that this name is derived from a Greek name of an ancient goddess Nike"
"Of course, sir, er, I mean, Shane, I know. it's the one with the wings."
"Oh, she was much more than just a goddess with wings, she..."
"I'm sorry professor, but why don't we try to use our time and brain towards figuring out how to get back. It is pretty clear that no one really cares about us."
"Boy is right," -said a huge woman. "We've been here for 44 minutes and 30 seconds and nothing happenned. As far as I am aware with the procedures of fire danger situations, the stuff of the building is responsible to evacute people within 15 minutes."
"This is in your country, but here in Japan according to a special act of 2002..."
"It's enough!" - Nika said loudly. She didn't really want to be so harsh, but all the buzz from these two scientists, Max and James kept on commenting them - it was too much."
"We shall brainstorm the situation. In a calm and orderly manner with a review of all posibilities and voting for a best option."
"Here's astraunaut's daughter! I knew you have your father's leadership skills" - it was James, as happy as a 13-year-old boy on the day of Star Treck relise.
X-Ray kept quiet during all this time, he just kept looking into the sky.
"I want to get out of here very very soon because today is the 4th of October, the day when the first ever artificial satellite was successfully launched on to the Earth Orbit. This is a remarkable day, we should celebrate, this is like the birthday of whole cosmology." -Max burst out.
"I would like to contradict because the birth modern science of the planets and space in general was the first trip to the moon."
"This is funny, you are saying that because you are jealous that Russia was first to enter the space."
"I am not, because..."
The buzz continued but Nika didn't listen to them, all she could do was breathing and looking into beautiful promising sky. James was holding her hand and she thought how calm and relax she is about that. Well, she knew he is not real, just a side affect of her crazy state. Hopefully her brain was damaged forever and she'd continue having these hallucinations. James was murmuring some melody and also looking into sky.
"I am afraid Mars is coming." - said X-Ray. I can feel the change in the air.
"Hm?" - that was everything Nika could say."You see those clouds over there," - and he pointed out to dark silver clouds over them - "They have a pretty weird shape for clouds, don't you think?"
"I guess so. But it's Japan, everything is different."
James said: "The only place I saw clouds like this..." but he didn't finish.
"What are you saying? That it is something weird."
"This is happening, - said X-Ray, - and it is happening now. We have to get ready, maybe less then 5 minutes."
"Less then 5 minutes to what? To going down?"
"Nika, we are afraid this is not the end of your adventurous for today. That weird-shaped clouds in the sky - it must be a spaceship."
Nika looked at James. He had a magnificent voice and really really beautiful blue eyes. But she was not comprehending his words.
"Yes, we think.." - Nika didn't give X-Ray a chance to finish his phrase.
"But wait a minute, you're my hallucinations, you can't know that. Everything you know is information from my brain and I can't know if a spaceship is coming."
"Yes, your hallucinations are also your direct access to your intuition."
"Very very nice. And my intuition is telling me that these clouds are from Mars."
"Well, we can't be sure if it's from Mars, it's just it's most likely." - said James.
"Look here," - X-Ray took Nika's hand and pulled her around the corner of a square tv antennae box so others wouldn't get suspicious when seeing Nika talking to herself.
"Look. 3 weeks ago Russia and USA declared that they are going to work together on a project of sending an expedition to Mars. Two weeks and a half Indian spaceship found water on the moon. Two weeks ago there was a major sand hurricane nearby Sydney. Several days ago there was an Earthquake in Indian ocean. This is happening. They are coming."
"If they haven't already come." - said James
"what? Boys, you are insane! Or should I say - I am insane. No one is coming. It was a gas leek and I am going mad but very very soon someone will come and rescue us." - she said that and went to the group of others - two scientists and her brother were talking actively and looking into the sky.
"Nika, look, look there, isn't cool? It totally looks like UFO."
She looked into skies and saw a machine that looked like a metal cruise ship, except it was in the air and it didn't have wings and it wasn't moving, just floating, moving closer and closer. towards them."
"We have talked trhough all the logical explanations and we have two options to consider on th nature of this phenomenon: it could be an early way of Aurora Borealis, also known as northern lights - it's too close to equator and modern science has not any statistics on seeing Aurora Borealis in this region, however it's possible. The effect it has multiplied with all the glass structures of Tokyo skyscrapers gives an illusion of a floating ship."
"Yeah, right, sounds like almost impossible." - said Max.
"What was were second option?" - Nika questioned Shane.
"That it is a spaceship from Mars."
"Hahah, professor, I didn't know you have a sense of humour."
But Shane and Russian lady looked at her very very seriously. "My darling. We scientists always expect and actually look forward to the possibility of existence of other creatures."
"Really? I thought that everything you do is to deny their existence."
"We deny because there is no other evidence. But now we could have when."
And it seemed like they would have an evidence very very soon - the spaceship was floating towards the roof of the hotel. It looked like it was determined to land on this very building.
"And why are you so sure that it's a spaceship from Mars, not like, er, Uranus or Jupiter."
"My dear, how can we talk to you when you don't even know the basics." - said Russian woman.
"Ah, I know why mars is coming." - said Max. - It's because they are afraid of our future expedition. This conference gathered best scientists from Russia, USA and other countries to discuss the possibilities and ways of a Mars project. They are afraid that we are going to go to Mars and invade them! They are not here with peace! They are going to fight us! And this gas leek wasn't a coincidence! The was is coming!"