羊毛战记 Part 5 The Stranded 79
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  • Silo 17 •
  Juliette woke up on a floor, someone shaking her. A man with a beard. It was Solo, and she waspassed out in his room, by his desk.
  “We made it,” he said, flashing his yellow teeth. He looked better than she remembered himlooking. More alive. She felt as though she were dead.
  “What time is it?” she asked. “What day?”
  She tried to sit up. Every muscle felt torn in half, disconnected, floating beneath her skin.
  Solo went to the computer and turned on the monitor. “The others are picking out rooms and thengoing to the upper farms.” He turned to look at her. Juliette rubbed her temples. “There are others,”
  he said solemnly, like this was still news.
  Juliette nodded. There was only one other that she could think of right then. Dreams came back toher, dreams of Lukas, of all her friends in holding cells, a room of suits being prepped for each ofthem, no care for whether they cleaned or not. It would be a mass slaughter1, a symbol to those whoremained. She thought of all the bodies outside of this silo, silo seventeen. It was easy to imaginewhat came next.
  “Friday,” Solo said, looking at the computer. “Or Thursday night, depending on how you like it.
  Two in the morning.” He scratched his beard. “Felt like we slept longer than that.”
  “What day was it yesterday?” She shook her head. That didn’t make sense. “What day did I divedown? With the compressor?” Her brain wasn’t working.
  Solo looked at her like he was having similar thoughts. “The dive was Thursday. Today istomorrow.” He rubbed his head. “Let’s start over …”
  “No time.” Juliette groaned2 and tried to stand up. Solo rushed to her and put his hands under herarms, helped lift her. “Suit Lab,” she said. He nodded. She could tell he was exhausted3, maybe half asmuch as she was, but he was still willing to do anything for her. It made her sad, someone being thisloyal to her.
  She led him down the narrow passage, and the climb up the ladder brought back a legion of aches.
  Juliette crawled out to the server-room floor; Solo followed up the ladder and helped her to her feet.
  They made their way to the Suit Lab together.
  “I need all the heat tape we’ve got,” she told him, prepping him while he escorted her. Shestaggered through the servers, bumped into one of them. “It needs to be the kind on the yellow spool,the stuff from Supply. Not the red kind.”
  He nodded. “The good kind. Like we used on the compressor.”
  They left the server room and shuffled4 down the hallway. Juliette could hear the kids shoutingexcitedly around the bend, the patter of their feet. It was a strange sound, like the echoes of ghosts.
  But something normal. Something normal had returned to silo seventeen.
  In the Suit Lab, she got Solo busy with the tape. He stretched out long strips on one of theworkbenches, overlapping5 the edges, using the torch to cauterize6 and seal the joints7.
  “At least an inch of overlap,” she told him when it looked like he was being shy with the stuff. Henodded. Juliette glanced at her cot and considered collapsing8 into it. But there was no time. Shegrabbed the smallest suit in the room, one with a collar she knew might be a tight fit. Sheremembered the difficult squeeze to get into silo seventeen and didn’t want to repeat it.
  “I’m not gonna have time to make another switch for the suit, so I won’t have a radio.” She wentthrough the cleaning outfit10, piece by piece, pulling out the parts engineered to fail and huntingthrough her hauls from Supply for a better version of each. Some she’d have to seal over with thegood tape. The suit wouldn’t look as neat and tidy as the one Walker had helped arrange, but it wouldbe a world away from what Lukas was getting. She grabbed all the parts she’d spent weeks puzzlingover, marveling at the engineering it took to make something weaker than it appeared. She tested agasket from a pile she wasn’t sure about by pinching her fingernails together. The gasket partedeasily. She dug for another.
  “How long?” Solo asked, noisily stretching another piece of tape out. “You’ll be gone a day? Aweek?”
  Juliette looked up from her workbench to the one Solo was working over. She didn’t want to tellhim she might not make it. This was a dark thought she would keep to herself. “We’ll figure out away to come for you,” she said. “First, I have to try to save someone.” It felt like a lie. She wanted totell him she might be gone for good.
  “With this?” Solo rustled11 the blanket of heat tape.
  She nodded. “The doors to my home never open,” she told him. “Not unless they are sendingsomeone to clean.”
  Solo nodded. “It was the same here, back when this place was crazy.”
  Juliette looked up at him, puzzled, and saw that he was smiling. Solo had told a joke. She laughed,even though she didn’t feel like it, and then found that it helped.
  “We’ve got six or seven hours until those doors open,” she told him. “And when they do, I wantto be there.”
  “And then what?” Solo shut down the torch and inspected his work. He looked up at her.
  “Then I want to see how they explain my being alive. I think—” She changed out a seal andflipped the suit around to get to the other sleeve. “I think my friends are fighting on one side of thisfence, and the people who sent me here are fighting on the other. Everyone else is watching, the vastmajority of my people. They are too scared to take sides, which basically means they’ve checkedout.”
  She paused while she used one of the small extractors to remove the seal that linked the wrist tothe glove. Once she had it out, she reached for a good one.
  “You think this will change that? Saving your friend?”
  Juliette looked up and studied Solo, who was almost done with the tape.
  “Saving my friend is all about saving my friend,” she said. “What I think will happen, when allthose people on that fence see that a cleaner has come home, I think it’ll make them come down onthe right side of things, and with that much support, the guns and the fighting are meaningless.”
  Solo nodded. He began to fold up the blanket without even being asked. This bit of initiative, ofknowing what needed to happen next, filled Juliette with hope. Maybe he needed these kids, neededsomeone to take care of. He seemed to have aged12 a dozen years already.
  “I’ll come back for you and the others,” she told him.
  He dipped his head, kept his eyes on her awhile, his brain seeming to whir. He came to herworkbench and set the neatly13 folded blanket down, patted it twice. A quick smile flashed in his beard,and then he had to turn away, had to scratch his cheek as if he had an itch9 there.
  He was still a teenager like that, Juliette saw. Still ashamed to cry.
  Nearly four of Lukas’s final hours were burned hiking the heavy gear up to level three. The kidshad helped, but she made them stop one level down, worried about the air up top. Solo assisted her insuiting up for the second time in as many days. He studied her somberly.
  “You’re sure about this?”
  She nodded and accepted the blanket of heat tape. Rickson could be heard a level below,commanding one of the boys to settle down.
  “Try not to worry,” she told him. “What happens, happens. But I have to try.”
  Solo frowned and scratched his chin. He nodded. “You’re used to being around your people,” hesaid. “Probably happier there anyway.”
  Juliette reached out and squeezed his arm with one of her thick gloves. “It’s not that I would bemiserable here, it’s that I would be miserable14 knowing I let him go out without trying something.”
  “And I was just starting to get used to having you here.” He turned his head to the side, bent15 over,and grabbed her helmet from the decking.
  Juliette checked her gloves, made sure everything was wrapped tightly, and looked up. The climbto the top would be brutal16 with the suit on. She dreaded17 it. And then navigating18 the remains19 of allthose people in the sheriff’s office and getting through the airlock doors. She accepted the helmet,scared of what she was about to do despite her convictions.
  “Thanks for everything,” she said. She felt like she was doing more than saying good-bye. Sheknew there was a very good chance that she was doing willingly what Bernard had attempted somany weeks ago. Her cleaning had been delayed, but now she was going back to it.
  Solo nodded and stepped around her to check her back. He patted the Velcro, tugged20 on her collar.
  “You’re good,” he said, his voice cracking.
  “You take care of yourself, Solo.” She reached out and patted his shoulder. She had decided21 tocarry the helmet one more flight up before putting it on, just to conserve22 her air.
  “Jimmy,” he said. “I think I’m going back to being called Jimmy now.”
  He smiled at Juliette. Shook his head sadly, but smiled.
  “I’m not going to be alone anymore,” he told her.


1 slaughter 8Tpz1     
  • I couldn't stand to watch them slaughter the cattle.我不忍看他们宰牛。
  • Wholesale slaughter was carried out in the name of progress.大规模的屠杀在维护进步的名义下进行。
2 groaned 1a076da0ddbd778a674301b2b29dff71     
v.呻吟( groan的过去式和过去分词 );发牢骚;抱怨;受苦
  • He groaned in anguish. 他痛苦地呻吟。
  • The cart groaned under the weight of the piano. 大车在钢琴的重压下嘎吱作响。 来自《简明英汉词典》
3 exhausted 7taz4r     
  • It was a long haul home and we arrived exhausted.搬运回家的这段路程特别长,到家时我们已筋疲力尽。
  • Jenny was exhausted by the hustle of city life.珍妮被城市生活的忙乱弄得筋疲力尽。
4 shuffled cee46c30b0d1f2d0c136c830230fe75a     
v.洗(纸牌)( shuffle的过去式和过去分词 );拖着脚步走;粗心地做;摆脱尘世的烦恼
  • He shuffled across the room to the window. 他拖着脚走到房间那头的窗户跟前。
  • Simon shuffled awkwardly towards them. 西蒙笨拙地拖着脚朝他们走去。 来自《简明英汉词典》
5 overlapping Gmqz4t     
  • There is no overlapping question between the two courses. 这两门课程之间不存在重叠的问题。
  • A trimetrogon strip is composed of three rows of overlapping. 三镜头摄影航线为三排重迭的象片所组成。
6 cauterize yc4yL     
  • He cauterized the wound with a piece of red-hot iron.他用一块烧红的烙铁烧灼伤口。
  • Doctors decided to cauterize the wound.医生们决定将伤口烧灼消毒。
7 joints d97dcffd67eca7255ca514e4084b746e     
接头( joint的名词复数 ); 关节; 公共场所(尤指价格低廉的饮食和娱乐场所) (非正式); 一块烤肉 (英式英语)
  • Expansion joints of various kinds are fitted on gas mains. 各种各样的伸缩接头被安装在煤气的总管道上了。
  • Expansion joints of various kinds are fitted on steam pipes. 各种各样的伸缩接头被安装在蒸气管道上了。
8 collapsing 6becc10b3eacfd79485e188c6ac90cb2     
  • Rescuers used props to stop the roof of the tunnel collapsing. 救援人员用支柱防止隧道顶塌陷。
  • The rocks were folded by collapsing into the center of the trough. 岩石由于坍陷进入凹槽的中心而发生褶皱。
9 itch 9aczc     
  • Shylock has an itch for money.夏洛克渴望发财。
  • He had an itch on his back.他背部发痒。
10 outfit YJTxC     
  • Jenney bought a new outfit for her daughter's wedding.珍妮为参加女儿的婚礼买了一套新装。
  • His father bought a ski outfit for him on his birthday.他父亲在他生日那天给他买了一套滑雪用具。
11 rustled f68661cf4ba60e94dc1960741a892551     
v.发出沙沙的声音( rustle的过去式和过去分词 )
  • He rustled his papers. 他把试卷弄得沙沙地响。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Leaves rustled gently in the breeze. 树叶迎着微风沙沙作响。 来自《简明英汉词典》
12 aged 6zWzdI     
  • He had put on weight and aged a little.他胖了,也老点了。
  • He is aged,but his memory is still good.他已年老,然而记忆力还好。
13 neatly ynZzBp     
  • Sailors know how to wind up a long rope neatly.水手们知道怎样把一条大绳利落地缠好。
  • The child's dress is neatly gathered at the neck.那孩子的衣服在领口处打着整齐的皱褶。
14 miserable g18yk     
  • It was miserable of you to make fun of him.你取笑他,这是可耻的。
  • Her past life was miserable.她过去的生活很苦。
15 bent QQ8yD     
  • He was fully bent upon the project.他一心扑在这项计划上。
  • We bent over backward to help them.我们尽了最大努力帮助他们。
16 brutal bSFyb     
  • She has to face the brutal reality.她不得不去面对冷酷的现实。
  • They're brutal people behind their civilised veneer.他们表面上温文有礼,骨子里却是野蛮残忍。
17 dreaded XuNzI3     
adj.令人畏惧的;害怕的v.害怕,恐惧,担心( dread的过去式和过去分词)
  • The dreaded moment had finally arrived. 可怕的时刻终于来到了。
  • He dreaded having to spend Christmas in hospital. 他害怕非得在医院过圣诞节不可。 来自《用法词典》
18 navigating 7b03ffaa93948a9ae00f8802b1000da5     
v.给(船舶、飞机等)引航,导航( navigate的现在分词 );(从海上、空中等)横越;横渡;飞跃
  • These can also be very useful when navigating time-based documents, such as video and audio. 它对于和时间有关的文档非常有用,比如视频和音频文档。 来自About Face 3交互设计精髓
  • Vehicles slowed to a crawl on city roads, navigating slushy snow. 汽车在市区路上行驶缓慢,穿越泥泞的雪地。 来自互联网
19 remains 1kMzTy     
  • He ate the remains of food hungrily.他狼吞虎咽地吃剩余的食物。
  • The remains of the meal were fed to the dog.残羹剩饭喂狗了。
20 tugged 8a37eb349f3c6615c56706726966d38e     
v.用力拉,使劲拉,猛扯( tug的过去式和过去分词 )
  • She tugged at his sleeve to get his attention. 她拽了拽他的袖子引起他的注意。
  • A wry smile tugged at the corner of his mouth. 他的嘴角带一丝苦笑。 来自《简明英汉词典》
21 decided lvqzZd     
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
22 conserve vYRyP     
  • He writes on both sides of the sheet to conserve paper.他在纸张的两面都写字以节省用纸。
  • Conserve your energy,you'll need it!保存你的精力,你会用得着的!