Original title: The Waves Extinguish the Wind
Through the memoirs of Maxim Kammerer, head of the ConCom-2 (Control Commission 2) department that investigating UEs (Unexplained Events), and official documents we learn the events that lead to The Great Revelation. One of the directions that his department was focusing at that point was the possibility that during the expansion onto other planets humans might have stumbled upon Wanderers, assumed members of civilization of the higher level than ours. But there are no really any proofs that Wanderers actually exists, they are the subject of the scientific considerations or simply urban legends, not any particular beings defined in any way. Kammerer assigns his most promising employee, Toivo Glumov, to investigate separate UEs that might be connected to another theory. For them the case is known under codename "visit of the old lady", and it aims to check if there is possibility that Wanderers not only exist, but what is more they are already operating on Earth. Glumov starts with the case of village called Small Pesha, where sudden appearance of unknown beings caused panic among two dozens of local inhabitants, out of which most were vacationers. Glumov notices strange elements of that story - most of the people escaped from Small Pesha, but two, old ballerina and young boy, thought the creatures were not only harmless, but they even were sure they sensed some sort of communication from them. It strangely fits one of the scientific theories about Wanderers...
One of the last Strugatsky Brothers novels draws a continuation to one of their first books, Noon: 22nd Century. We see the struggle of Kammerer and Glumov with almost impossible mission - to spot among many events that take place those that can be linked to the imaginary enemy of the humans, the Wanderers, that were blamed for any shady dealings in recent years. With each document and each script from conversation we see the tiny bits of informations that lead to Great Revelation. As usual with Strugatsky novels this one is also a mixture of scientific mystery and unexplained phenomena and the story is weaved like a tangled web until the surprising ending.
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