Lev Abalkin

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Lev Abalkin (2138 - 2178) is a fictional character in Boris and Arkady Strugatsky's series of science fiction novels set in the Noon Universe.


Lev Abalkin was born on 6. October 2138 on Earth. Officially, his parents were Vyacheslav Tsyurupa and Stella Abalkina, who both participated in the "Yormala Project" (submersion into the black hole EN-200056) in 2135, which means that Lev was a post mortem child, a child who, at the prior request of his parents, was grown "in vitro" from his mother's fertilized ovum. Such practice was common on Earth in the 22nd century among the scientist couples who weren't sure of their chances of survival in certain experiments.

The truth is, however, that Abalkin's official parents never requested a post mortem child and that Lev Abalkin was, in fact, one of the "Stepchildren". This knowledge was kept away from the public and only a few people on Earth knew of his true origin. In 2139 he was the first "Stepchild" to obtain the s.c. "Wanderer's mark".

According to the Sikorski's Requirements, Abalkin was trained as a progressor and since 2160 worked on Saraksh. He was especially interested in the contact with Golovans, so until 2162 he led the diplomatic negotiations between them and Earth. In 2162-63 he was in charge of the Saraksh sub-project "Golovans in Space".

In 2163 Abalkin was the first (and only) human to work in pair with a Headie, Schyokn-Itrch, during the unsuccessful rescue operation "Dead World" on Hope. Between 2164 and 2166 he worked on Giganda, but after an accidental encounter with another "Stepchild", Korney Yashmaa, who already knew of his true origin (but not of Abalkin's one), COMCON-2 moved Abalkin back to Saraksh in 2170.

In 2178 Abalkin disappeared under suspicious circumstances and, without providing any reasons, returned to Earth. Being closely chased by Maxim Kammerer and Rudolf Sikorski, he tried to obtain his corresponding "detonator" from the Museum of Extraterrestrial Cultures (MEC). In the end, Abalkin managed to convince his childhood friend Maya Glumova to let him enter the forbidden sections of MEC, where the "detonators" were stored, but Sikorski has foreseen such outcome and set a trap for him. Lev Abalkin was killed by Sikorski moments before he could reach his "detonator".

Aftermath of Abalkin's death[edit]

An immediate aftermath of the assassination of Abalkin was the retirement of Rudolf Sikorski, who, the public believed, was getting senile, paranoid and as a consequence - dangerous. Abalkin's death has also somehow cleared the Wanderers of all suspicion the public generally regarded them with.

See also[edit]

Abalkin is virtually the main character of Beetle in the Anthill, although the story of his life and death is told by Maxim Kammerer.