羊毛战记 Part 5 The Stranded 80
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  • •
  Juliette made her way through the airlock doors and up the ramp1, ignoring the dead around her, justfocusing on each step, and the hardest part was over. The rest was open space and the scatteredremains she wished she could pretend were boulders2. Finding her way was easy. She simply turnedher back on that crumbling3 metropolis4 in the distance, the one she had set off for so very long ago,and began to walk away from it.
  As she picked her way across the landscape, the sight of the occasional dead seemed sadder nowthan during that previous hike, more tragic5 for having shared their home for a while. Juliette wascareful not to disturb them, passed them with the solemnity they deserved, wishing she could do morethan feel sorry for them.
  Eventually, they thinned, and she and the landscape were left alone. Trudging6 up that windswepthill, the sound of fine soil peppering her helmet became oddly familiar and strangely comforting. Thiswas the world in which she lived, in which they all lived. Through the clear dome7 of her helmet, shesaw it all as clearly as it could be seen. The speeding clouds hung angry and gray; sheets of dustwhipped sideways and low to the ground; jagged rocks looked like they’d been sheared8 from somelarger piece, perhaps by the machines that had crafted these hills.
  When she reached the crest9, she paused to take in the vista10 around her. The wind was fierce upthere, her body exposed. She planted her boots wide so she wouldn’t topple over and peered downinto the inverted11 dome before her, at the flattened12 roof of her home. There was a mix of excitementand dread13. The low sun had only barely cleared the distant hills, and the sensor14 tower below was stillin shadow, still in nighttime. She would make it. But before she started down the hill, she foundherself gazing, amazed, at the scattering15 of depressions marching toward the horizon. They were justlike the silo schematic, evenly spaced depressions, fifty of them.
  And it occurred to her, suddenly and with a violent force, that countless16 others were going abouttheir days nearby. People alive. More silos than just hers and Solo’s. Silos unaware17, packed withpeople waking up for work, going to school, maybe even to cleaning.
  She turned in place and took it all in, wondering if maybe there was someone else out on thatlandscape at the exact same time as her wearing a similar suit, a completely different set of fearsracing through their mind. If she could have called out to them, she would have. If she could havewaved to all the hidden sensors19, she would have.
  The world took on a different scope, a new scale, from this height. Her life had been cast awayweeks ago, likely should have ended—if not on the slope of that hill in front of her home, then surelyin the flooded deeps of silo seventeen. But it hadn’t ended like that. It would probably end here,instead, this morning with Lukas. They might burn in that airlock together if her hunch20 was wrong.
  Or they could lie in the crook21 of that hill and waste away as a couple, a couple whose kinship hadbeen formed by desperate talks lingering into the night, an intense bond between two stranded22 soulsthat was never spoken or admitted to.
  Juliette had promised herself never to love in secret again, never to love at all. And somehow thistime was worse: she had kept it a secret even from him. Even from herself.
  Maybe it was the proximity23 of death talking, the reaper24 buffeting25 her clear helmet with sand andtoxins. What did any of it matter, seeing how wide and full the world was? Her silo would probablygo on. Other silos surely would.
  A mighty26 gust27 of wind struck her, nearly ripping the folded blanket out of her hands. Juliettesteadied herself, gathered her wits, and began the much easier descent toward her home. She duckeddown below the crest with its sobering views and saddening heights, out of the harsh and causticwinds. She followed that crook where two hills met, winding28 her way toward the sad sight of acouple buried in plain view, who marked her fateful, desperate, and weary way home.
  She arrived at the ramp early. There was no one on the landscape, the sun still hidden behind thehills. As she hurried down the slope, she wondered what anyone would think if they saw her on thesensors, stumbling toward the silo.
  At the bottom of the ramp, she stood close to the heavy steel doors and waited. She checked theheat-tape blanket, ran through the procedure in her mind. Every scenario29 had been thought of duringher climb, in her mad dreams, or during the walk through the wild outside. This would work, she toldherself. The mechanics were sound. The only reason no one survived a cleaning was because theynever had help; they couldn’t bring tools or resources. But she had.
  Time seemed to pass not at all. It was like her delicate and precious watch when she forgot towind it. The trapped soil along the edge of the ramp shifted about impatiently with her, and Juliettewondered if maybe the cleaning had been called off, if she would die alone. That would be better, shetold herself. She took a deep breath, wishing she had brought more air, enough for a return trip, justin case. But she had been too worried about the cleaning actually happening to consider that it mightnot.
  After a long wait, her nerves swelling30 and heart racing18, she heard a noise inside, a metallicscraping of gears.
  Juliette tensed, her arms rippling31 with chills, her throat constricting32. This was it. She shifted inplace, listening to the great grind of those heavy doors as they prepared to disgorge poor Lukas. Sheunfolded part of the heat blanket and waited. It would all go so quickly. She knew. But she would bein control. No one could come in and stop her.
  With a terrible screech33, the doors to silo eighteen parted, and a hiss34 of argon blasted out at her.
  Juliette leaned into it. The fog consumed her. She pushed blindly forward, groping ahead of herself,the blanket flapping noisily against her chest. She expected to run into him, to find herself wrestling astartled and frightened man, had prepared herself to hold him down, get him wrapped up tightly inthe blanket—
  But there was no one in the doorway35, no body struggling to get out, to get away from the comingpurge of flames.
  Juliette practically fell into the airlock; her body expected resistance like a boot at the top of adarkened stairway and found empty space instead.
  As the argon cleared and the door began to grind shut, she had a brief hope, a tiny fantasy, thatthere was no cleaning. That the doors had simply been opened for her, welcoming her back. Maybesomeone had seen her on the hillside and had taken a chance, had forgiven her, and all would be okay…
  But as soon as she could see through the billowing gas, she saw that this was not the case. A manin a cleaning suit was kneeling in the center of the airlock, hands on his thighs36, facing the inner door.
  Juliette raced to him as a halo of light bloomed in the room, the fire nozzles spitting on andreflecting off the shimmering37 plastic. The door thunked shut behind her, locking them both inside.
  Juliette shook the blanket loose and shuffled38 around so he could see her, so he would know hewasn’t alone.
  The suit couldn’t hide the shock. Lukas startled, his arms leaping up in alarm, even as the flamesbegan to lance out.
  She nodded, knowing he could see her through her clear dome, even if she couldn’t see him. Witha sweeping39 twirl she had practiced in her mind a thousand times, she spread the blanket over his headand knelt down swiftly, covering herself as well.
  It was dark under the heat tape. The temperature outside was rising. She tried to shout to Lukasthat it was going to be okay, but her voice sounded muffled40 even inside her own helmet. Tucking theedges of the blanket down beneath her knees and feet, she wiggled until it was tightly pinned. Shereached forward and tried to tuck the material under him as well, making sure his back was fullyprotected.
  Lukas seemed to know what she was doing. His gloved hands fell to her arms and rested there.
  She could feel how still he was, how calm. She couldn’t believe he was going to wait, had chosen toburn rather than clean. She couldn’t remember anyone ever making that choice. This worried her asthey huddled41 together in the darkness, everything growing warm.
  The flames licked against the heat tape, striking the blanket with enough force to be felt, like abuffeting wind. The temperature shot up, sweat leaping out on her lip and forehead, even with all thesuperior lining42 of her suit. The blanket wouldn’t be enough. It wouldn’t keep Lukas alive in his suit.
  The fear in her heart was only for him, even as her skin began to heat up.
  Her panic seemed to leach43 into him, or maybe he was feeling the burns even worse. His handstrembled against her. And then she literally44 felt him go mad, felt him change his mind, begin to burn,something.
  Lukas pushed her away from himself. Bright light entered their protective dome as he began tocrawl out from under it, kicking away.
  Juliette screamed for him to stop. She scrambled45 after him, clutching his arm, his leg, his boot, buthe kicked out at her, beat her with his fists, frantically46 tried to get away.
  The blanket fell off her head, and the light nearly blinded her. She felt the intense heat, could hearher dome pop and make noises, saw the clear bubble dip in above her and warp47. She couldn’t seeLukas, couldn’t feel him, just saw blinding light and felt searing heat, scorching48 her wherever her suitcrinkled against her body. She screamed in pain and yanked the blanket back over her head, coveringthe clear plastic.
  And the flames raged on.
  She couldn’t feel him. Couldn’t see him. There would be no way to find him. A thousand burnserupted across her body like so many knives gouging49 her flesh. Juliette sat alone under that thin filmof protection, burning up, enduring the raging flames, and wept hot tears. Her body convulsed withsobs and anger, cursing the fire, the pain, the silo, the entire world.
  Until eventually—she had no more tears and the fuel ran its course. The boiling temperaturedropped to a mere50 scalding, and Juliette could safely shrug51 off the steaming blanket. Her skin felt asif it were on fire. It burned wherever it touched the interior of her suit. She looked for Lukas andfound she didn’t have to look far.
  He was lying against the door, his suit charred52 and flaking53 in the few places it remained intact. Hishelmet was still in place, saving her the horror of seeing his young face, but it had melted and warpedfar worse than hers. She crawled closer, aware that the door behind her was opening, that they werecoming for her, that it was all over. She had failed.
  Juliette whimpered when she saw the places his body had been exposed, the suit and charcoalliners burned away. There was his arm, charred black. His stomach, oddly distended54. His tiny hands,so small and thin and burned to a—
  She didn’t understand. She wept anew. She threw her gloved and steaming hands against herbubbled dome and cried out in shock, in a mix of anger and blessed relief.
  This was not Lukas dead before her.
  This was a man who deserved none of her tears.


1 ramp QTgxf     
  • That driver drove the car up the ramp.那司机将车开上了斜坡。
  • The factory don't have that capacity to ramp up.这家工厂没有能力加速生产。
2 boulders 317f40e6f6d3dc0457562ca415269465     
n.卵石( boulder的名词复数 );巨砾;(受水或天气侵蚀而成的)巨石;漂砾
  • Seals basked on boulders in a flat calm. 海面风平浪静,海豹在巨石上晒太阳。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The river takes a headlong plunge into a maelstrom of rocks and boulders. 河水急流而下,入一个漂砾的漩涡中。 来自《简明英汉词典》
3 crumbling Pyaxy     
  • an old house with crumbling plaster and a leaking roof 一所灰泥剥落、屋顶漏水的老房子
  • The boat was tied up alongside a crumbling limestone jetty. 这条船停泊在一个摇摇欲坠的石灰岩码头边。
4 metropolis BCOxY     
  • Shanghai is a metropolis in China.上海是中国的大都市。
  • He was dazzled by the gaiety and splendour of the metropolis.大都市的花花世界使他感到眼花缭乱。
5 tragic inaw2     
  • The effect of the pollution on the beaches is absolutely tragic.污染海滩后果可悲。
  • Charles was a man doomed to tragic issues.查理是个注定不得善终的人。
6 trudging f66543befe0044651f745d00cf696010     
vt.& vi.跋涉,吃力地走(trudge的现在分词形式)
  • There was a stream of refugees trudging up the valley towards the border. 一队难民步履艰难地爬上山谷向着边境走去。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Two mules well laden with packs were trudging along. 两头骡子驮着沉重的背包,吃力地往前走。 来自辞典例句
7 dome 7s2xC     
  • The dome was supported by white marble columns.圆顶由白色大理石柱支撑着。
  • They formed the dome with the tree's branches.他们用树枝搭成圆屋顶。
8 sheared 1e4e6eeb7c63849e8f2f40081eedb45c     
v.剪羊毛( shear的过去式和过去分词 );切断;剪切
  • A jet plane sheared the blue sky. 一架喷气式飞机划破蓝空。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • The pedal had sheared off at the pivot. 踏板在枢轴处断裂了。 来自辞典例句
9 crest raqyA     
  • The rooster bristled his crest.公鸡竖起了鸡冠。
  • He reached the crest of the hill before dawn.他于黎明前到达山顶。
10 vista jLVzN     
  • From my bedroom window I looked out on a crowded vista of hills and rooftops.我从卧室窗口望去,远处尽是连绵的山峦和屋顶。
  • These uprisings come from desperation and a vista of a future without hope.发生这些暴动是因为人们被逼上了绝路,未来看不到一点儿希望。
11 inverted 184401f335d6b8661e04dfea47b9dcd5     
adj.反向的,倒转的v.使倒置,使反转( invert的过去式和过去分词 )
  • Only direct speech should go inside inverted commas. 只有直接引语应放在引号内。
  • Inverted flight is an acrobatic manoeuvre of the plane. 倒飞是飞机的一种特技动作。 来自《简明英汉词典》
12 flattened 1d5d9fedd9ab44a19d9f30a0b81f79a8     
  • She flattened her nose and lips against the window. 她把鼻子和嘴唇紧贴着窗户。
  • I flattened myself against the wall to let them pass. 我身体紧靠着墙让他们通过。
13 dread Ekpz8     
  • We all dread to think what will happen if the company closes.我们都不敢去想一旦公司关门我们该怎么办。
  • Her heart was relieved of its blankest dread.她极度恐惧的心理消除了。
14 sensor sz7we     
  • The temperature sensor is enclosed in a protective well.温度传感器密封在保护套管中。
  • He plugged the sensor into a outlet.他把传感器插进电源插座。
15 scattering 91b52389e84f945a976e96cd577a4e0c     
  • The child felle into a rage and began scattering its toys about. 这孩子突发狂怒,把玩具扔得满地都是。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The farmers are scattering seed. 农夫们在播种。 来自《简明英汉词典》
16 countless 7vqz9L     
  • In the war countless innocent people lost their lives.在这场战争中无数无辜的人丧失了性命。
  • I've told you countless times.我已经告诉你无数遍了。
17 unaware Pl6w0     
  • They were unaware that war was near. 他们不知道战争即将爆发。
  • I was unaware of the man's presence. 我没有察觉到那人在场。
18 racing 1ksz3w     
  • I was watching the racing on television last night.昨晚我在电视上看赛马。
  • The two racing drivers fenced for a chance to gain the lead.两个赛车手伺机竞相领先。
19 sensors 029aee483db9ae244d7a5cb353e74602     
n.传感器,灵敏元件( sensor的名词复数 )
  • There were more than 2000 sensors here. 这里装有两千多个灵敏元件。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Significant changes have been noted where sensors were exposed to trichloride. 当传感器暴露在三氯化物中时,有很大变化。 来自辞典例句
20 hunch CdVzZ     
  • I have a hunch that he didn't really want to go.我有这么一种感觉,他并不真正想去。
  • I had a hunch that Susan and I would work well together.我有预感和苏珊共事会很融洽。
21 crook NnuyV     
  • He demanded an apology from me for calling him a crook.我骂他骗子,他要我向他认错。
  • She was cradling a small parcel in the crook of her elbow.她用手臂挎着一个小包裹。
22 stranded thfz18     
  • He was stranded in a strange city without money. 他流落在一个陌生的城市里, 身无分文,一筹莫展。
  • I was stranded in the strange town without money or friends. 我困在那陌生的城市,既没有钱,又没有朋友。
23 proximity 5RsxM     
  • Marriages in proximity of blood are forbidden by the law.法律规定禁止近亲结婚。
  • Their house is in close proximity to ours.他们的房子很接近我们的。
24 reaper UA0z4     
  • The painting is organized about a young reaper enjoying his noonday rest.这幅画的画面设计成一个年轻的割禾人在午间休息。
  • A rabbit got caught in the blades of the reaper.一只兔子被卷到收割机的刀刃中去了。
25 buffeting c681ae460087cfe7df93f4e3feaed986     
  • The flowers took quite a buffeting in the storm. 花朵在暴风雨中备受摧残。
  • He's been buffeting with misfortunes for 15 years. 15年来,他与各种不幸相博斗。
26 mighty YDWxl     
  • A mighty force was about to break loose.一股巨大的力量即将迸发而出。
  • The mighty iceberg came into view.巨大的冰山出现在眼前。
27 gust q5Zyu     
  • A gust of wind blew the front door shut.一阵大风吹来,把前门关上了。
  • A gust of happiness swept through her.一股幸福的暖流流遍她的全身。
28 winding Ue7z09     
  • A winding lane led down towards the river.一条弯弯曲曲的小路通向河边。
  • The winding trail caused us to lose our orientation.迂回曲折的小道使我们迷失了方向。
29 scenario lZoxm     
  • But the birth scenario is not completely accurate.然而分娩脚本并非完全准确的。
  • This is a totally different scenario.这是完全不同的剧本。
30 swelling OUzzd     
  • Use ice to reduce the swelling. 用冰敷消肿。
  • There is a marked swelling of the lymph nodes. 淋巴结处有明显的肿块。
31 rippling b84b2d05914b2749622963c1ef058ed5     
  • I could see the dawn breeze rippling the shining water. 我能看见黎明的微风在波光粼粼的水面上吹出道道涟漪。
  • The pool rippling was caused by the waving of the reeds. 池塘里的潺潺声是芦苇摇动时引起的。
32 constricting e39c4b9a75f5ad2209b346998437e7b6     
压缩,压紧,使收缩( constrict的现在分词 )
  • Objective To discuss the clinical characteristics and treatment of congenital constricting band syndrome(CCBS) and amputations. 目的探讨先天性束带症与先天性截肢的临床特点及治疗方法。
33 screech uDkzc     
  • He heard a screech of brakes and then fell down. 他听到汽车刹车发出的尖锐的声音,然后就摔倒了。
  • The screech of jet planes violated the peace of the afternoon. 喷射机的尖啸声侵犯了下午的平静。
34 hiss 2yJy9     
  • We can hear the hiss of air escaping from a tire.我们能听到一只轮胎的嘶嘶漏气声。
  • Don't hiss at the speaker.不要嘘演讲人。
35 doorway 2s0xK     
  • They huddled in the shop doorway to shelter from the rain.他们挤在商店门口躲雨。
  • Mary suddenly appeared in the doorway.玛丽突然出现在门口。
36 thighs e4741ffc827755fcb63c8b296150ab4e     
n.股,大腿( thigh的名词复数 );食用的鸡(等的)腿
  • He's gone to London for skin grafts on his thighs. 他去伦敦做大腿植皮手术了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The water came up to the fisherman's thighs. 水没到了渔夫的大腿。 来自《简明英汉词典》
37 shimmering 0a3bf9e89a4f6639d4583ea76519339e     
v.闪闪发光,发微光( shimmer的现在分词 )
  • The sea was shimmering in the sunlight. 阳光下海水波光闪烁。
  • The colours are delicate and shimmering. 这些颜色柔和且闪烁微光。 来自辞典例句
38 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》
39 sweeping ihCzZ4     
  • The citizens voted for sweeping reforms.公民投票支持全面的改革。
  • Can you hear the wind sweeping through the branches?你能听到风掠过树枝的声音吗?
40 muffled fnmzel     
adj.(声音)被隔的;听不太清的;(衣服)裹严的;蒙住的v.压抑,捂住( muffle的过去式和过去分词 );用厚厚的衣帽包着(自己)
  • muffled voices from the next room 从隔壁房间里传来的沉闷声音
  • There was a muffled explosion somewhere on their right. 在他们的右面什么地方有一声沉闷的爆炸声。 来自《简明英汉词典》
41 huddled 39b87f9ca342d61fe478b5034beb4139     
  • We huddled together for warmth. 我们挤在一块取暖。
  • We huddled together to keep warm. 我们挤在一起来保暖。
42 lining kpgzTO     
  • The lining of my coat is torn.我的外套衬里破了。
  • Moss makes an attractive lining to wire baskets.用苔藓垫在铁丝篮里很漂亮。
43 leach uxCyN     
  • Liquid water can leach soluble materials from the interface.液态水能够从界面溶解出可溶性物质。
  • They believe that the humic materials are leached from decaying plant materials.他们认为腐植物料是从腐烂的植物体浸沥而来。
44 literally 28Wzv     
  • He translated the passage literally.他逐字逐句地翻译这段文字。
  • Sometimes she would not sit down till she was literally faint.有时候,她不走到真正要昏厥了,决不肯坐下来。
45 scrambled 2e4a1c533c25a82f8e80e696225a73f2     
v.快速爬行( scramble的过去式和过去分词 );攀登;争夺;(军事飞机)紧急起飞
  • Each scrambled for the football at the football ground. 足球场上你争我夺。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • He scrambled awkwardly to his feet. 他笨拙地爬起身来。 来自《简明英汉词典》
46 frantically ui9xL     
ad.发狂地, 发疯地
  • He dashed frantically across the road. 他疯狂地跑过马路。
  • She bid frantically for the old chair. 她发狂地喊出高价要买那把古老的椅子。
47 warp KgBwx     
  • The damp wood began to warp.这块潮湿的木材有些翘曲了。
  • A steel girder may warp in a fire.钢梁遇火会变弯。
48 scorching xjqzPr     
adj. 灼热的
  • a scorching, pitiless sun 灼热的骄阳
  • a scorching critique of the government's economic policy 对政府经济政策的严厉批评
49 gouging 040ded02b3a58081f7b774c4c20b755f     
n.刨削[槽]v.凿( gouge的现在分词 );乱要价;(在…中)抠出…;挖出…
  • Banks and credit-card companies have been accused of gouging their customers. 银行和信用卡公司被指控欺诈顾客。 来自辞典例句
  • If back-gouging is applied, grinding to bright metal is required. 如果采用火焰气刨,则应将其打磨至可见光亮的金属表面。 来自互联网
50 mere rC1xE     
  • That is a mere repetition of what you said before.那不过是重复了你以前讲的话。
  • It's a mere waste of time waiting any longer.再等下去纯粹是浪费时间。
51 shrug Ry3w5     
  • With a shrug,he went out of the room.他耸一下肩,走出了房间。
  • I admire the way she is able to shrug off unfair criticism.我很佩服她能对错误的批评意见不予理会。
52 charred 2d03ad55412d225c25ff6ea41516c90b     
v.把…烧成炭( char的过去式);烧焦
  • the charred remains of a burnt-out car 被烧焦的轿车残骸
  • The intensity of the explosion is recorded on the charred tree trunks. 那些烧焦的树干表明爆炸的强烈。 来自《简明英汉词典》
53 flaking a682d1b1030727ea5bda416e41040cba     
刨成片,压成片; 盘网
  • He received ointment for his flaking skin. 医生给他开了治疗脱皮的软膏。
  • The paint was flaking off the walls. 油漆从墙上剥落下来。
54 distended 86751ec15efd4512b97d34ce479b1fa7     
v.(使)膨胀,肿胀( distend的过去式和过去分词 )
  • starving children with huge distended bellies 鼓着浮肿肚子的挨饿儿童
  • The balloon was distended. 气球已膨胀。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》