Part one. Robinson
Exploring the space, the Earthman Maxim Kammerer crashes and lands on an unknown planet. Maxim remains unharmed, but his ship explodes, and he finds himself in the forest. The atmosphere is suitable for breathing, the surrounding situation is similar to the terrestrial.
After a while, Maxim meets several Aborigines who bring him to the camp for prisoners and interrogated. Without receiving answers from him and not understanding his language, Maxim, accompanied by Guy Gaia Gaal, is sent to an institution.
Maxim spends there a few days, hoping for a full contact with the inhabitants of the planet, but it does not happen. (Later it turns out that it was a television studio copying its unusual mentograms (memories) to include them in an entertaining TV
Glad brings him home. There lives her brother – already familiar Maxim Gai Gaal – and Uncle Kaan.
At this time he is looking for Funk on behalf of his head Wanderer, a very influential man.
Part two. Legionary
Thanks to Gaius Gaal, Maxim finds himself in the Guard (Battle Legion) as a candidate to the actual rank and file.
Residents of this planet are sure that they live on the inner surface of the sphere, in the only existing world, and the rest of the universe is filled with a solid mass. The reason for this is in the peculiarities of the atmosphere, because of which the surface of the planet seems concave, and the starry sky is not visible. Maxim’s attempts to present the present state of affairs could lead to the fact that he would be declared insane. He says that he has lost his memory.
There are several countries on the planet: Honti, Pandey, Island Empire, Country of Fathers, which Maxim got into, and several others. Previously, there were more countries, and civilization was developed, then a nuclear war began, which led to the devastation and contamination of huge territories, the savage and degradation of a large number of people. The remaining countries are constantly at war with each other.
When the economy is in a lousy state, it is best to start a war so that everyone can stop their throats at once.
According to the official doctrine, the majority of the population supporting the rulers of the country – the wise and just “Unknown Fathers” who managed to end the civil war are confronted by “geeks” – cruel marginals who are trying to destroy the anti-ballistic defense towers, bribed by the neighboring states of Khonti and Pandey. Geeks can be recognized by attacks of headache.
Maxima is impressed by the sincere enthusiasm with which the population supports the Unknown Fathers and the Guard, while Guy Gaal, his sister and uncle evoke sympathy.
Probably, this world was quite complex and governed by many laws, but one – and the main thing – the law Maxim already discovered: do the same as everyone does, and just like everyone does.
Maxim participates in a military operation to arrest geeks, then is present during interrogation and sentencing. Geeks turn out to be ordinary convinced, often smart and brave people, their trials are swift, and sentences are brutal. Maxim suspects that the official version may be untrue. He tries to share his doubts with Guy, but he does not understand him.
Guards captain Chachu appoints Maxim “a blood test”: orders to shoot the condemned geeks. But Maxim dismisses them and refuses to obey the captain. Chachu shoots Maxim, but he survives due to the phenomenal ability to regenerate.
At this time, the Unknown Fathers, concerned about the economic situation in the country and the spread of their influence beyond the borders, are deciding the war with Honti. For the war stands Umnik – the State Prosecutor.
Part Three. Terrorist
Maxim finds the underground, and they tell him that there are no ballistic missiles in Honti and Pandey, and on the southern border there is only a desert inhabited by dying mutants. The towers are needed in order to cause their headache in geeks and to set the rest of the population on them. The underground fighters have been trying to destroy the towers for twenty years.
Maxim considers this activity senseless, but agrees to participate in the bombing of the tower. The tower manages to blow up, but at the same time four underground fighters perish. The operation is a trap of security forces. Maxim escapes and returns to the apartment of Gaius and Rada Gaal, tells them what he has learned, but they do not allow the thought that the Unknown Fathers are mistaken or lie.
Maxim, Gaya and Radu are arrested.
Freedom, it is like air or health, as long as it is, you do not notice it and do not understand what it is like without it or outside it.
Together with the captured geeks, they are sent to clear the southern borders of old military equipment and mines, destroy mutants and build a network of PBZs farther to the south.
Having learned about this, the Wanderer asks the State Prosecutor to hand over Maxim to him. The prosecutor agrees, but after studying the case of Mac Sim and marveling at his physical characteristics, orders him to immediately deliver the exiled to himself, and the Wanderer to report the death of Maxim.
Part Four. Convict
In the camp, Maxim finds himself in the detachment of Zef, a geek who was once a well-known psychiatrist, Allom Zef. Accidentally, he discovers Fortress (no longer a command post for controlling military equipment) and meets the heads – creatures with large heads, similar to dogs. After that, on vacation, the underground workers Vepr and Zef tell him all the terrible truth about the towers. Radiation of the Towers constantly has a hypnotic effect on people, forcing them to blindly believe in government propaganda and obey orders from the rulers. Twice a day it intensifies, causing people euphoria and enthusiastic admiration for the authorities. A small part of the population, called geeks, is not exposed to radiation, and when it is amplified, it experiences terrible pains. The ruling elite consists of geeks. The goal of some of the leaders of the underground is to destroy the system of towers and get rid of the people from being duped, while other leaders of the underground want to seize control of the towers for their own purposes. That is why the purpose of the towers is hidden not only by the authorities, but also by the underground leadership.
Maxim decides to flee the camp. The territory is not protected, but around – radiation, so prisoners can not escape. Maxim radiation is not terrible, and he runs away on an old tank. After escaping and picking up by accident the one who was sent to the border of Guy, Maxim appears to be in the south in the desert scorched by atomic war, where people live mutants suffering from radiation and oppressed by the guards and savage people from the south.
In front of him was a planet-burial ground, a planet on which intelligent life was fading, and this life was ready to repay itself at any moment.
After leaving the area of the towers, Maxim tells Guy the true state of things and convinces him of his rightness.
Maxim comes to mutants and invites them to come up with weapons against the Legion on the border or to draw savages from the south for this struggle. But this idea fails, because the mutants are weak and prefer to live the extra years, instead of trying to radically change something. Maxim has a dispute with the Sorcerer (an amazingly intelligent mutant) about the influence of one person on the masses of people and the opportunities for society to achieve freedom. The sorcerer tells him that for a successful struggle one must be able to suppress the voice of conscience with his mind and think coldly, without superfluous idealism.
Your conscience is spoiled… it is accepted to groan at the slightest inconvenience, and your mind respectfully leans in front of her, instead of yelling at her and putting her in place.
Maxim decides to make an alliance with the Island Empire – a distant country with a strong fleet, whose white submarines sometimes attack the Land of the Fathers. Warchief of mutants Prince Duke gives Maxim one of the last planes of the planet – a huge bomb. Together with Guy Maxim flies to the Island Empire. The aircraft knocks down the remaining automatic warfare system since the war. Maxim manages to land a downed plane on the water and save himself and Guy. Near the shore, Maxim and Gai find an abandoned white submarine, and in it – a collection of cut human heads and albums with photographs of the massacres of residents of the Country of the Fathers and mutants, reflecting the ideology of the Island Empire. It becomes clear that there can be no question of an alliance with the Island Empire.
Learning that the Land of the Fathers began a war with the neighboring country of Khonti (formerly part of a single empire), Maxim and Guy return. Like most prisoners, they are sent to the front to clear the minefields before the troops. There he finds Funk, but Maxim does not agree to leave friends. During the battle, Guy dies. Maxim manages to survive, and he gets to the Institute under the leadership of the most influential member of the Strannik Government. Wanderer himself is away.
Part Five. Earthman
War leads to defeat of the Land of the Fathers. The state prosecutor, who was a supporter of the war, understands that for this the Fathers must execute him in a few days. He finds Maxima and informs the coordinates of the Center, which manages the whole system of towers. According to his plan, Maxim must penetrate into the Center and switch the radiation system to a depression field, from which the entire population of the country will become temporarily powerless, then put in the radio studio a film with a call to raise a riot against the Unknown Fathers and switch radiation from depressive to ordinary, rebel and throw off their power, and Maximus recognize the ruler. The prosecutor proposes to be with him an adviser.
Politics is the art of washing clean with very dirty water.
Maxim agrees, but acts in his own way and completely blows up the Center, after which he enters into a fight with the unexpectedly appeared Wanderer, whom he considers the main villain.
It turns out that Wanderer – Earthling Rudolf Sikorski, a worker of Galactic Security, and Rada is alive and is in his residence. The traveler accuses Maxim of having ruined the carefully prepared plan for saving the planet Saraksh by his actions, and points to his mistakes. Thus, radiation fasting sometimes ends in schizophrenia; for the restoration of the economy and economy, decontamination of virtually all of the planet’s soil is required; hunger and inflation are on the way to the state. In addition, the Island Empire is preparing a major invasion of the Land of the Fathers, which is difficult to stop without “black radiation” (radiation causing severe depression).
Maxim states that he will remain on the planet, and his main goal is not to allow anyone to rebuild the zombifying towers. Otherwise, he is ready to obey Rudolph. Sikorski does not mind.