The Solaris mission has established a base on a planet that appears to host some kind of intelligence, but the details are hazy and very secret. After the mysterious demise of one of the three scientists on the base, the main character is sent out to replace him. He finds the station run-down and the two remaining scientists cold and secretive. When he also encounters his wife who has been dead for ten years, he begins to appreciate the baffling nature of the alien intelligence.
A kindergarten director Troshkin is a dead ringer for a criminal nicknamed "Docent" who stole the priceless headpiece of Alexander the Great during an archaeological expedition. But after militia "inputs" Troshkin into the criminal environment he has nothing left to do but to carefully play out the part of his "evil twin".
During World War II, 12-year old Ivan works as a spy on the eastern front. The small Ivan can cross the German lines unnoticed to collect information. Three Soviet officers try to take care of this boy-child.