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He graduated from high school in in Belgrade and shortly afterwards was arrested  with the accusation of belonging to the secret association "Yugoslav Democratic Youth" and sentenced to fifteen years of prison. During the time in prison he conceived many of the ideas later developed in his major novels. He was released after five years and in began studying experimental psychology at the University of Belgrade Faculty of Philosophy , although he never earned a degree. It was also translated into French in , Polish in , Romanian in , Italian in , and Greek in Despite his ideological distance from the mainstream opposition movements, the new political climate further complicated his relationship with the authorities, who refused him a passport for some time. The novel, nevertheless, won the NIN award for the best Yugoslav novel of the year.
During the time in prison he conceived many of the ideas later developed in his major novels. He was released after five years and in began studying experimental psychology at the University of Belgrade Faculty of Philosophy , although he never earned a degree. It was also translated into French in , Polish in , Romanian in , Italian in , and Greek in Despite his ideological distance from the mainstream opposition movements, the new political climate further complicated his relationship with the authorities, who refused him a passport for some time.
The novel, nevertheless, won the NIN award for the best Yugoslav novel of the year. It was later translated into Polish in , Hungarian in , Czech in and French in In he sent the manuscript of Kako upokojiti Vampira "How to Quiet a Vampire" to an anonymous literary competition.
The Association of Yugoslav Publishers recognized it as the best novel of the year and promptly published it.
Kako upokojiti Vampira was subsequently translated into Czech in , Polish in , and Italian in , with an English translation finally appearing in These three novels essentially dealt with contrasting types of collaboration in Yugoslavia at different levels during World War II.
The Golden Fleece describes the wanderings of generations of the Njegovans, and through them explores the history of the Balkans. The first, second and third volumes were published in French in , and The fourth volume was published in The result was three novels: Besnilo "Rabies", , Atlantida "Atlantis", and All of them were reprinted numerous times in Serbia. Rabies was published in Spanish in , and Hungarian in , and Atlantis in Czech in Godine koje su pojeli skakavci "The Years the Locusts Have Devoured", in three volumes was published between and At one time he had smoked expensive, aromatic St.
But since he had been with this present Castor, for he wasn't the first, nor would he be the last, he had been smoking 'Caporal' out of solidarity. He hadn't gone as far as rolling his own. There were, after all, limits to solidarity, However much a man loves his dog, he doesn't chew the same bone out of solidarity with him. His nicotine-stained fingers were trembling as if charged with miniature electric shocks.
His nerves had always played him up. They were evidently not strong enough for the imagination they had to sustain. Fortunately, they only bothered him when he was collecting information, putting together his plan. When he had defined the 'plot' and chosen the means of carrying it out, his anxiety disappeared. The morbid hesitation gave way to cold, clean-headed determination. Apparently it was like that with any talent, any skill. In the initial phase of 'Operation Dioscuri', the interconnecting links between the Terminals would be an undoubted help to Castor.
Afterwards, all the passages would be blocked. For ease of control the police would probably cordon off the Central Terminal Area into separate sections. To get through from one to another a special pass would be needed. But in the good old British way, preventive measures would only be taken after it was all over. While it was all happening panic would make any sensible organization impossible.
Radio controlled explosives in the Entrance Hall of Terminal 2 would drive passengers out onto the plateau above ground or down into the Underground, where other bombs would await them. In the ensuing chaos in which no one would be able to establish any order, Castor would get through to the Russians. The rest would be part of a myth. The yellow BAA brochure with its flight of doves on the cover had helpfully informed him that the walking distances along the three corridors were all different.
A passenger leaving from Terminal 1 had to walk yards along the subway from the upper level of the Underground; on arrival, however, he had only yards to cover. For Terminal 2 on arrival and departure there were yards; to the Departure Lounge of terminal 3 the passenger had to walk yards, but back from the Arrival Hall the route was yards long. Fortunately the figures could not be verified. If there was some room for criticism of the veracity of the Authorities in more serious matters, their statistical accuracy concerning such trivialities was beyond reproach.
But he had been obliged to work out the time to walk the distances for himself. In any case, the time in the brochure was the time of flights, of business trips, of tourist excursions and of honeymoons, the time of life. His and Castor's time was the time of dying. So he had needed to calculate how long it would take someone running. By then a frantic run would be the normal pace of movement at Heathrow Airport.
The quiet walk, at the worst, civilized, carefully circumspect haste which had been normal up to just a little earlier, with the first second of 'Dioscuri' would become an unnatural risk which few would be prepared to have. Indeed, if everything went off as he had planned, quite a lot of things would not be exactly as they were shown in the picture which the Information Bulletin of the Public Relations Office of the BAA painted of everyday life at the 'world's greatest aerial crossroads'.
It's good, he thought, that the redecoration of the VIP Lounge has made it necessary for the Authorities to transfer the official leave-taking ceremony for the Russians to the Transit Lounge of Terminal 2. The time needed to get from the Terminal 2 Lobby to the Underground or to the plateau in front of the Terminal building was the shortest possible.
There was the least likelihood of the police realizing what was going on before Castor had finished with the Russians. Most of all, Terminal 2 was international.
A majority of foreigners always counted in learning English, if they needed to at all, once in London. The language problems would make it still more difficult to re-impose any kind of order, which would not have been the case if the Russians had been leaving from the Terminal for domestic flights.
He walked across the marble entrance of the Station from where, like some aerodynamic intestine, the passage to Terminal 2 led off. It's quite true, he thought. Only it would be he who would take that care, at least for today, instead of BA. He stood on the walkway while the constantly changing silhouettes of a ceramic dove in flight slid noiselessly past his face.
When he had stepped onto the walkway the dove had been 'taking off': it had 'flown' with wings spread wide while he moved along, to 'land' when he got off at the other end. Whenever he came to Terminal 2 he always looked at the bird's flight with indignation: whatever it meant in its free state, here, imprisoned in stone, it represented only dead and vanquished nature. But this time it didn't happen.
He saw the dove 'take off' but then the bird suddenly disappeared in an evil phantasm which filled the tunnel with the images of a ghostly cataclysm.
Then the same echo was lost in an eruption of phantom silhouettes which in a massive rush peopled the corridor with a mute stampede. In the distance where the sharp line of the subway was broken by the bend leading to the escalator, there was a dull rumbling and the flickering red glow of fire.
Everything was wreathed in a sulphorous mist, in same dreamlike water in which movements were slow and soundless. In a sleep-walker's nightmare from which there was no escape, the shadows rushed towards him, yet remained rooted to the spot, struggling against the moving pathway which carried them implacably back towards the Terminal and death.
He couldn't make out their faces; they still looked human but with something animal in the immeasurable, primordial fear in their expressions.
His vision had made him draw back, almost knocking over the passenger behind him. He swore loudly, as he moved aside, dropping his breviary as he caught the handrail. The moving band crawled monotonously on towards the exit. He had the smothered-down blond hair of a model, his clean-shaven, rather horse-like face was lightly tanned and his eyes were a watery blue beneath glasses in fine gilt frame.
He had a square, black, overnight case in his hand. He was just about to continue his outburst but a glance at the clerical collar stopped him short. In a heavy German accent he asked: "Are you all right? The fair-haired stranger was quicker. He picked up the breviary and without closing it handed it to him. He had ugly finger nails bitten down. He wondered if the bastard had seen its contents, and if so, what he would conclude from them.
He looked like a commercial traveler whose livelihood depended upon his appearance. He probably even cleaned the underside of his shoes, but he wouldn't get far unless he stopped disfiguring his nails like that. He looked with revulsion towards the exit which was slowly coming closer. Ordinary-looking passengers were gliding towards him now. Between the moving bands several Indians in turbans were pushing trolleys loaded with luggage. Everything was back in place routinely and recognizable.
It was At exactly the same moment, Enrico Marcone, the captain of Alitalia Boeing AZ on the route Rome London New York requested permission to make a high-priority landing 15 minutes before his scheduled arrival time because one of his passengers had suddenly taken ill.
But of course Pollux had no inkling of this. The information belonged to the secret life of large international airports of which only a little becomes known occasionally from the newspapers while the dead are being counted and the cause of yet another airplane crash is being sought from the black box with its preserved voices of the dead crew.
And even if he had known of it, it would not have concerned him. He, Pollux, alias Daniel Leverquin, alias Patrick Cornell, had more important things on his mind today.
He had to keep an appointment with a myth. He stopped as if he had little faith in the automatic doors; then disappeared in the bustle and throng before the BA's counter on the ground floor of Terminal 2. Where, according to the Airport advertisements, for everyone the future was just beginning, but where, according to his scenario, for many it would in fact end.
He too knew nothing of the before-schedule arrival of the plane on the Rome London New York flight. The man disguised as a clergyman with the false breviary at least knew why he was at the Airport, whatever judgments might be made about his reasons for being there. But the down-at-heel figure of indeterminate years with thinning gray hair, an unshaven, grayish face and a similarly gray, jumble-sale, tweed suit, who was leaning on the rail of the Roof Gardens above the Queen's Building, from where, for the price of 35 p.
Although he himself found it strange, he simply had no idea why he was there or what it was he was looking for at Heathrow. From a bird's eye view, the Central Terminal Area, bounded by its multiple bands of radial take- off and landing runways, was both impressive and frightening. Its dirty gray surface, criss- crossed by the arrow-like reinforced concrete tracks formed, at its outward perimeter where it merged with the metal caterpillars of hangars, warehouses and workshops, a hexagonal crystal, diamond-shaped, like a star of David with its sixth, northernmost point broken off.
Along the edges and axes of the aerodrome, as along the boulevards of some enchanted mega polis, there were shining steel insects that stood or crawled forwards, groaning, and then either fell silent or rose howling into the sky towards the sun and towards other hymenoptera which were buzzing down towards the ground from all sides.
From on high it looked like a giant mechanical wasp's nest whose organization, like that of a beehive, the uninitiated observer had no means of understanding, even though he knew it must exist. In response to its unseen commands and in predetermined patterns there moved through that noisy chaos the tiny ants of the service vehicles, and yet others, still smaller, inside the armor of those working overalls it was possible to discern men only by using binoculars.
The man with gray hair didn't have them. But he had no need of them to make out the objects which had attracted his attention. Of all the aircraft taking off and landing, he had eyes only for the giant outline of the Concorde. Scheduled to take off for Washington at To some people it looked like a great bird with a predatory beak.
To some it looked like a silver shark. Its silhouette didn't remind him particularly of a fish, or a bird, but it did leave him with the unpleasant sensation of having seen it somewhere, or in some way, before, where or how he didn't know. Something in those nightmares of his, a dream image without a definite shape, whose amorphous and changing shadow gave promise of a future body only in a few vague features it was that mysterious, menacing, dangerous something which reminded him of the Concorde.
But what could it be, what for Christ's sake was it? Last night as usual, he had gone to bed without the slightest idea of how he was going to spend the day.
His life had no need for any plans. The everyday, routine things were waiting for him in the morning. He simply had to observe them. For most of the time he didn't find it difficult, even though he could frequently see no sense in them, as in much of the behavior of the people around him.
But whenever he had his own ideas about how to spend time, they conflicted with the fixed order by which one lived in the Home. When he carried them out it got him into difficulties. And that brought him back to the agonizing question of whether there was really something wrong with him, as they told him from time to time.
Fortunately, he couldn't remember the last time that had happen, or even whether it had really happened at all. There was something not right with his memory. He could remember things, which people said he couldn't possibly have experienced, and he completely forgot others which again they told him had really happened to him. His memory was really lousy. He had to admit that much. All the rest was hidden in darkness about which, evidently others knew more than he did. Lying in bed the night before while all around him the light bulbs were going out like distant stars growing cold, he didn't know what he was going to do today.
Least of all that he would be watching the Concorde take off at the Airport. The disturbing need to go somewhere, to do something, it wasn't clear where or what, had come to him months ago, but in the last few days he had suffered from severe headaches and the need had become an unconquerable longing which drove him to satisfy this wandering instinct as soon as possible.
From that first very vague vision, when one stormy April night he had woken covered in cold sweat with a hesitant memory of his dream, he had had the knowledge that he was summoned on a journey whose meaning he would find out only later.
Last night had been just like that night in April.
The south-westerly gale had lifted off roofs along the Thames valley, overturned cars on the motorway to Cornwall and uprooted trees in London parks. He had been wakened by the thunder. The extinguished sky in the frames of Victorian windows, like repeated copies of the Ascension, was flooded with a bright, purple glow. The reflections of the ghostly lightning flashes crushed against the empty walls of his room.
The air was full of electricity, the skin prickled, the hair crackled. He sat up in bed with his knees beneath his chin and his palms on his cheeks which were dripping with clammy moisture. Suddenly he knew where he had to go. Not yet why, but he was certain he would find out as soon as he got to the right place. Otherwise, the knowledge of where he had to go would make no sense. Single details scattered through all his earlier dreams came back to him.
Once again he was passing through a dark tunnel whose walls, rising in an arch, had the sharpness and cold of artic crystals.
He was wading through a swamp, shallow at first, but later deeper, of a yellowish, oily color in which floated human faeces covered with a film of white hoar frost. It was getting colder. The source of the cold seemed to be at the bottom of the labyrinth, where a dark mass had formed, like a shadow which had lost all shape, but which was recovering it again with every step he took.
The shadow was waiting in an icy whirlwind to be given back its body. In every one of his dreams he was standing in the same spot, at the bottom of a mysterious lagoon, but never managing to guess at the shape or the name.
Even in the dream which had been shattered by last night's storm, it had been waiting for him. But now he knew where he could find it.
The crossed outline of illuminated pathways in the form of a six-sided, pointed precious stone with the sixth point broken the X-ray photograph of his nighttime wanderings which in the daytime gave him no peace did not represent, as he had thought, some seascape or a picture of the star of David, but the ground plan of Heathrow, which, like a heraldic coat of arms, was to be found on the cover of the book 'Air Traffic Control, a man-machine system'.
It was a text book which was used in the technological studies of the Open University's Second Level course, and it had attracted his attention quite by chance. It had been lying open in front of young Charlie Rees, who was mad about aero planes. There was no possibility, of course, that Charlie would ever be a pilot, or even travel in one, not to mention to rule over the network of flights above some aerodrome from the Control Tower, but that fact, clear to everyone except him, in no way weakened his desire to find out everything he could about aeronautics from books.
Nor did it stop him, quite impervious to his surroundings where everyone else was equally passionately absorbed with his own world, from imagining himself seated at the controls of a Jumbo-Jet on a fatal collision-course, or before a crowded Air Traffic Control radar screen, setting in order, in the impersonal voice of an experienced controller, the aerial chaos above the Airport.
Charlie's preoccupation with some such aeronautical crisis had given him the chance to look at the book rather more closely. While the conscientious Charlie, sweating profusely, had been peering into his invisible screen, filled with the bright dots of aircraft positions, and sending out laconic instructions on their behalf, he had examined the picture on the cover of the book. There was no doubt about it. In the ground plan of Heathrow, a hexagonal diamond, pointed, in a shape of a broken Star of David, was the mysterious route he had taken so many times in his dreams, to end up in each one in a windswept tunnel where, frozen in ice, a shapeless, faceless, nameless shadow awaited him.
He lived in South Ealing. Heathrow belonged to the Borough of Hillingdon. He knew more or less where it must be from the aero planes which flew over his head during the day. And so, a little before the mist-soaked dawn, with the storm rolling away towards the north-east, he found himself, wet and cold, at the entrance to the brightly-lit approach tunnel above which in clumsy neon letters was written: Immediately, he heard the sound of the first aircraft gathering speed on the unseen runway.
He had reached his target, the enigmatic territory of his dream. Somewhere in the Terminals, only just rousing from the lethargy of the night, or in the open space between them, was the answer for which he had come.
Before climbing up to the Roof Garden, he wandered between the Airport buildings which were like beehives whose gleaming, glazed honeycombs were darkened by the swift shadows of the passengers. Found no answer. He still didn't know why he had been brought there. He felt hungry. He hadn't eaten much the night before. His nerves had sensed the arrival of the storm.
He had some small change in his pocket and could download something to eat.
Perhaps he had even a few pounds. He didn't usually worry about money. He never knew how much he had. Or even if he had any at all. Many of the cares which were important for the majority hardly bothered him. There were many things he simply didn't understand. You couldn't, for example, do the most natural thing in the world, to say you were hungry. Actually, you could say it, but no one would feed you. No one considered themselves responsible for you being hungry.
You had to download your food or go hungry. Of course, he didn't pay for his food. He was given it. But always at a certain time. He wasn't allowed to be hungry at any other time. Or rather, he could be, but he wasn't given any food. On the reinforced concrete runway the Concorde was still insatiably swallowing its load. There was hardly anyone on the Roof Garden. People were only just arriving.
Most of them had probably come to see the Concorde take off. He would watch it too. He had nothing else to do, apart from waiting for something to show him why he had come to the Airport, why he had obeyed a dream with no apparent meaning. For what meaning would there be to an icy tunnel with frozen human excrement and a shadow in its depth, a shadow which, like primeval cosmic chaos, searched in torment for its true form?
Something in all that didn't fit somehow. Something was wrong. Either it was wrong or he was in no condition to discover the link between the shadow and the Airport, if it really existed, if the broken Star of David, along the axis along which he moved in his dreams was really a bird's eye view of Heathrow and not something quite different. The gray-haired man in the grey suit looked so exhausted that it seemed that he might collapse at any moment.
Sue Jenkins looked at him out of the cornet of her eye, her hands clenched tight on the railing and her heels pushing against the concrete as if she were exercising on the bars in her school gym. He looked like one of those lonely people in the park. They were never taking children or dogs for a walk. They never talked.
Not even to each other or to others walking there. They behaved as if they had all the time in the world but didn't know what to do with it. They sat without moving on distant benches, quite alone, without company, without newspapers, without any sense of the time of day.
The park-keepers had to shepherd them out before they closed the park gates. And when they went, meekly and quietly, each one wrapped up in himself, like a procession of ghosts, it didn't look as if they had any idea of where they were going. Her mother had told her not to go near them.
But her mother wasn't here now. She'd gone off to find out how much longer they had to wait for their delayed flight for Nice. Sue Jenkins was left on the Roof Gardens of the Queen's Building, to observe the Concord's take off and 'all the rest which was happening on an international airport. Jenkins wouldn't know for certain that her daughter would be asked to write about aerial transport in Britain at school, but she did know for certain that in this sordid world one had to be prepared for all kinds of stupidities.
Even for her husband to have abandoned her after ten years of model, if not exciting marriage, leaving nothing behind save his Asiatic features on their wedding photograph, a few pairs of dirty underpants, two or three 'not very nice' intimate souvenirs, and not a penny to their joint account.
And that after everything she had done for that yellow swine from Singapoor to be given British citizenship and a chance to become a real man. She didn't want something like that to happen to her daughter. Sue would have her own, separate bank account, which would be guaranteed by a good education and by the capacity to know all important things about the Concorde at any time.
In her quest for a husband, Sue wouldn't have to change some ape's passport for him. Unfortunately, at ten years old, Sue already had that independence of spirit which is supposed to lie at the roots of any successful civilization before it ceases to be successful and disappears.
If she had been told to watch people, she would probably have watched aero planes. But since it was aero planes, she naturally turned her attention to the people around her. And of those, particularly to the elderly man with gray hair and eyes filled with emptiness. He felt that he has being watched. At first he thought that his untidy appearance had attracted some policeman's suspicious gaze. He didn't think he was known here. Back in Ealing, in the House, they'd probably only just noticed his absence.
He glanced round. No one was taking any special notice of him. Everyone's eyes were fixed on the Concorde which was now moving slowly towards take off. Then his eyes looked down and he saw the little girl's smiling face. She was standing beside him and watching him with curious blue eyes. She had high, oriental cheekbones and her skirt was the color of light amber. He felt an urge to stroke her black hair, caught up behind in a poly tale.
But he stopped himself in time.
Perhaps that would frighten her. He certainly didn't want to scare her away. He felt quite alone at the Airport, where apart from him, everyone was with someone, or knew someone. He almost regretted having given way to his instinct.
He ought to have been more patient. He should have waited for his dream to have become clearer.
Then he wouldn't have been so helpless. He would have known exactly why he was here, if he would be here at all. If in its clearer form his dream hadn't led him off somewhere else. He liked children and knew how to get on with them. Only he rarely had the opportunity. People were funny. It was as if they didn't want anyone but themselves to like their children. It was something he couldn't understand.
Like a great many other things besides. But there are two more. We never know which is which. On her lips the words didn't sound ugly. Just a precise description of a fact for which there was no remedy. But so is Susan Lee Alvin. Her name comes before mine in the register, so I had to be Sue, and she's Sue Lee.
After all the grey-haired man wasn't any different from all the others. He just looked different. And it was funny, he talked so strangely.
Why Ariadne? It's about a man who had to go into a labyrinth and kill a bull which ate people. But the labyrinth was so long and mixed up that no one had ever found their way out of it before. So Ariadne gave him a ball of thread and he unwound it while he went to look for the bull. When he had found it and killed it and saved the town, he found his way back to the entrance by winding up the thread and following it. He leaned over, took her hand and said confidently: 'For those who don't know thy real name.
But I know it and for me thou shall be Ariadne. If thou would'st like, of course. She was beginning to like the game, it was like a fairy-tale. The man with the grey hair really was different from the others. He was the one who killed the bull and found his way out of the labyrinth with Ariadne' thread.
You don't look like a Greek. But it's a long story. I could be called to board the plane at any minute. I'm not mad about planes. I'm going on one, that's all. The wind lifted her kilt round her smooth, thin thighs. She thought it was funny the careful way he watched her every movement. From the runway came an ever deepening roar. A Swissair Boeing taking off, shattered the air through which the sun was just beginning to break.
From the opposite side, the Concorde was dignifiedly taxing along the perimeter track towards the runway. The Swissair Boeing became rapidly smaller and smaller in the shining air which blurred its outline. Peace returned to the Roof Garden, disturbed only by the rumble of the Concorde as it moved towards take off. The man with the gray hair looked towards the entrance to the Roof Garden from where Sue's mother would come.