Only Letev would have believed that a piece of blackenede steel, picked up from a junk merchant, could be a piece of Challenger, the space shuttle that blew up at launch. But then he himself is an extra-terrestrial, after a fashion. Letev spent his first 25 years in an psychiatric asylum deposited ther by is mother because his father was a schizophrenic. Now she has taken him back and brought him with her to Odessa. Only someone like Letev could set his gaze on the shabby word around him, a shy, bewildered gaze, and view it with a boundless love for his fellow being. Only Letev could love the slovenly Lena, the young sister of his motherUs gigolo who, like all the rest, finds it amusing to mock the GblockheadH. And yet LetevUs grace finally touches Lena, and she decides to keep the child, LetevUs child, that she is carrying. An abortion is forced on her. Letev takes to sea a small boat. Only Letev could have found Challenger on the waters, in the mist of down...