Synopsis: A starship crashed on an uninhabitate planet and its crew had to abandon it. Years later the survivors and their children try to return to the ship and send a distress signal. But for that they must go through a very dangerous mountain passage.
31 min

At night, Oleg kept watch on the perimeter.

He was tired.

His body felt empty and ordinary.

Thrice the men had gone

to the mountain pass, all for nothing.

They couldn't get through.

Some came back, others didn't.

Fifty-fifty, like the old man says.



Once on a cold winter day,

I wandered through the woods.

It was mighty cold.

Suddenly I saw a horse,

climbing up the hill...

Hitched... wagon...

What's a horse?

A horse is a four-legged animal.

Used for riding and transporting cargo...

Oleg had seen the photo a thousand times:

Father and Mother, young and radiant.

Father is wearing his uniform,

and Mother is wearing a sleeveless dress.

They call it... a "sarafan."

Oleg didn't exist then.

Twenty years ago, Oleg didn't exist.

But fifteen years ago, he did.

Too bad you came so quickly.

I could have handled it myself.

Are you alright?

You're crying! Are you hurt?

No, I dropped the mushrooms.

This is where the avalanche trapped us.

But no, Nikita died higher up the canyon.

It was Autumn.

The temperature

dropped down to 40 at night.

Radiation was one of the

reasons we had to leave so quickly.

Many were sick or wounded, but now...

I am relying on you in particular.

On your knowledge.

Ha, look at our Atlas.

They're still children.

They're all we have.

They're our last hope.

They can save us.

Save us?

You're still talking about that!

The men went to the pass three times,

and how many came back?

We were inexperienced then.

We didn't understand

the laws of this place.

Now we have a

fortunate set of circumstances.

The summer is unseasonably warm.

And the children have grown.

They have ten times the endurance we have.

It's now or never.

If the others hadn't died,

we would have more able-bodied men now.

That's true.

But we would still be

subject to the laws of degradation.

Either we are part of mankind,

preserving its knowledge, striving for it,

or we are savages with no prospects.

You're an idealist, Boris.

A slice of bread today is

more important than abstract pineapples.

But you remember the taste of a pineapple.

What a funny word.

A pineapple is a

tropical fruit with a peculiar taste...


What is that?


It's a radiation counter.

It may be radioactive there.

Thomas, if you find some tobacco,

don't forget to bring it!

And the ray gun!

I won't forget!

The main thing is to find the ray gun!

I won't forget...

Why go?

You won't make it.

You won't come back alive.

You won't make it.

You won't come back alive.

Moments of beauty are rare in life

But there's plenty of unbelief and toil

Thoughts of the past

line our pale faces with creases

Thoughts of the future

are full of leaden worry

The present doesn't exist

So between the two shores,

We battle without light,

without happiness, hopes or gods

So sometimes,

to remember that we are still alive,

We divert our hearts

with another man's game

There's a sea of ugly grey faces

at the boundary

But the wings of blue birds

sparkle in their eyes

The blue canvas of the skies

unfurls once more

Oh, how we missed that blue light

And we missed the words of triumph

Gestures brave and free, impossible dreams

All we have, all we have are walls

A home frightful and dark

Ceaselessly we must recite...

The same old words

But it's not easy to extinguish

the spark in our hearts

How can we live with open eyes

but no faith or hope?

And continue this absurd play,

like mindless sheep,

With no fire, no inspiration,

no beginning, no end?

So sometimes,

to remember that we are still alive,

We divert our hearts

with another man's game

- Is the cave near?

- Very near.

It'll be dark soon.

Night creatures will come.

The cave!


Can't you see? It's my goat!

Three years ago,

Mariana found a goat in the woods.

It was still very small.

The goat had a whiny bleat.

It stomped its hooves and shrieked.

It lived in the village until Spring.

It got used to humans

and rarely bit anyone.

It hung around Sergeev's shop,

where it was warm.

Then the night creatures came

and took him away.

I fell asleep.

Me too. I don't know how it happened.

The goat woke me.

Good boy. Good boy.


This way.

What is that?


It's a flask!

This was our last rest stop.

It's Vaitkus's flask.

Flask? What's it for?

It's incredible!

I think I'll live.

What pretty pots. Let's take them!

No, there's plenty of them there.

Let me try.

Savage children can't have cognac.

Okay, fine.

But just a small sip.

You poisoned him!

Don't worry, it'll pass.

I'm almost certain now that we'll make it.

Onward, friends, onward!

Who stole it?

I'll kill him!

He was hungry! Dick, don't kill him!

Take this.

When you get to the ship,

the first thing is to check for radiation.

- You know how?

- Yes.

You'll get better soon.

I'll make it.

I've been on this path for sixteen years.

And I'll make it.

Mushrooms! I'm going down!

Oleg, hold on!

Oleg, hold on!

Hold on!

Too bad the goat got away.

I'll find him anyway, and I'll kill him.

I'm glad he got away.

- Where are they?

- Look, footprints.

Steady, Oleg!

Give me your hand!

We're going back.

No, we're going forward.

- We have no chance of crossing the pass.

- We have a map!

The map is old. Things may have changed.

Thomas said we only had one more day!

We can't trust the map.

It was a long time ago.

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Kir Bulychyov

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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