羊毛战记 Part 4 The Unraveling 37
文章来源:未知 文章作者:enread 发布时间:2024-04-11 09:03 字体: [ ]  进入论坛
  For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring.
  Walker made it to the end of the hallway and found himself leaving the comforting confines of a tightcorridor to enter the wider entrance hall to Mechanical. The room, he saw, was full of youngshadows. They hung out in groups, whispering to themselves. Three boys crouched1 near one wall,throwing stones for chits. Walker could hear a dozen interwoven voices spilling out of the mess hallacross the room. The casters had sent these young ears away while they discussed adult things. Hetook a deep breath and hurried through that damned open space, focusing on each step, moving onefoot ahead of him at a time, each small patch of floor a thing to conquer.
  After a short lifetime, he finally crashed into the wall on the other side and hugged the steel panelsin relief. Behind him, the shadows laughed, but he was too frightened to care. Sliding across theriveted steel, he grabbed the edge of the mess-hall door and pulled himself inside. The relief wasenormous. Even though the mess hall was several times the size of his workshop, it was at least fullof crowding furniture and people he knew. With his back to the wall, his shoulder against the opendoor, he could almost pretend it was smaller. He slumped2 to the ground and rested, the men andwomen of Mechanical arguing among themselves, voices rising, agitated3, competing.
  “She’d be out of air by now, anyway,” Rick was saying.
  “You don’t know that,” Shirly said. She was standing4 on a chair so she could be at least as tall asthe others. She surveyed the room. “We don’t know what advances they’ve made.”
  “That’s because they won’t tell us!”
  “Maybe it’s gotten better out there.”
  The room quieted with this last. Waiting, perhaps, to see if the voice would dare speak again andbreak its anonymity5. Walker studied the eyes of those facing his way. They were wide with a mixtureof fear and excitement. A double cleaning had removed some taboos6. Shadows had been sent away.
  The adults were feeling frisky7 and free to speak forbidden thoughts.
  “What if it has gotten better?” someone else asked.
  “Since two weeks ago? I’m telling you guys, it’s the suits! They figured out the suits!” Marck, anoilman, looked around at the others, anger in his eyes. “I’m sure of it,” he said. “They’ve sorted thesuits and now we have a chance!”
  “A chance to what?” Knox growled8. The grizzled head of Mechanical sat at one of the tables,digging into a breakfast bowl. “A chance to send more of our people out to wander the hills until theyrun out of air?” He shook his head and took another bite, then jabbed at the lot of them with hisspoon. “What we need to be talking about,” he said, chewing, “is this sham9 of an election, this rat-assmayor, and us kept in the dark down here—!”
  “They didn’t figure out the suits,” Walker hissed10, still breathless from his ordeal11.
  “We’re the ones who keep this place humming,” Knox continued, wiping his beard. “And what dowe get? Busted12 fingers and ratshit pay. And now? Now they come and take our people and send themout for a view we don’t care about!” He slammed the table with his mighty13 fist, sending his bowlhopping.
  Walker cleared his throat. He remained crouched on the floor, his back against the wall. No onehad seen him enter or heard him the first time. Now, while the room was scared quiet by Knox, hetried again.
  “They did not figure out the suits,” he said, a little louder this time.
  Shirly saw him from her perch14. Her chin dropped, her mouth hanging open. She pointed15, and adozen other heads turned to follow.
  They gaped16 at him. Walker was still trying to catch his breath and must’ve looked near death.
  Courtnee, one of the young plumbers17 who was always kind to him whenever she stopped by hisworkshop, left her seat and hurried to his side. She whispered his name in surprise and helped him tohis feet, urging him to come to the table and take her chair.
  Knox slid his bowl away from himself and slapped the table. “Well, people are just wandering allover the damned place now, aren’t they?”
  Walker looked up sheepishly to see the old foreman chief smiling through his beard at him. Therewere two dozen other people staring at him, all at once. Walker half waved, then stared down at thetable. It was suddenly too many people.
  “All this shouting rouse you, old man? You setting off over the hills, too?”
  Shirly jumped down from her chair. “Oh, God, I’m so sorry. I forgot to take him his breakfast.”
  She hurried toward the kitchen to fetch him some food even as Walker tried to wave her off. Hewasn’t hungry.
  “It isn’t …” His voice cracked. He tried again. “I came because I heard,” he whispered. “Jules.
  Out of sight.” He made a gesture with his hand, arching it over some imaginary hill running acrossthe table. “But it wasn’t them in IT that figured nothing,” he said. He made eye contact with Marckand tapped his own chest. “I did it.”
  A whispered conversation in the corner fell quiet. No one sipped18 their juice, no one moved. Theywere still half-stunned to see Walker out of his workshop, much less among the crowd of them. Notone of them had been old enough to remember the last time he’d roamed about. They knew him asthe crazy electrical man who lived in a cave and refused to cast shadows anymore.
  “What’re you sayin’?” Knox asked.
  Walker took a deep breath. He was about to speak when Shirly returned and placed a bowl of hotoats in front of him, the spoon standing off the rim19, the concoction20 was so thick. Just how he liked it.
  He pressed his hands against either side of the bowl, feeling the heat in his palms. He was suddenlyvery tired from lack of sleep.
  “Walk?” Shirly asked. “You okay?”
  He nodded and waved her away, lifted his head and met Knox’s gaze.
  “Jules came to me the other day.” He bobbed his head, gaining confidence. He tried to ignore howmany people were watching him speak, and the way the overhead lights twinkled in his wateringeyes. “She had a theory about these suits, about IT.” With one hand, he stirred his oats, steeling hisresolve to say the unthinkable. But then, how old was he? Why did he care for taboos?
  “You remember the heat tape?” He turned to Rachele, who worked first shift and knew Juliettewell. She nodded. “Jules sorted that it weren’t no accident, the way the tape broke down.” He noddedto himself. “She sorted it all, she did.”
  He took a bite of his food, not hungry but enjoying the burn of the hot spoon on his tongue. Theroom was silent, waiting. The whispers and quiet play of the shadows outside could just barely beheard.
  “I’ve built up favors and favors with Supply over the years,” he explained. “Favors and favors. SoI called them all in. Told them we’d be even.” He looked at this group of men and women fromMechanical, could hear more standing in the hallway who’d arrived late but could read from thefrozen demeanors in the room to stay put. “We’ve taken stuff out of IT’s supply chain before. I knowI have. All the best electronics and wire go to them that make the suits—”
  “The ratshit bastards21,” someone muttered, which got more than a few of them bobbing theirheads.
  “So I told Supply to return the favor. Soon as I heard they took her—” Walker paused and swipedat his eyes. “Soon as I heard, I wired in those favors, said to replace anything them bastards asked forwith some of our own. Best of the best. And don’t let ’em be the wiser.”
  “You did what?” Knox asked.
  Walker dipped his head over and over; it felt good to let out the truth. “They’ve been makingthose suits to fail. Not ’cause it ain’t bad out there, that’s not what I figure. But they don’t want yourbody wandering out of sight, no sir.” He stirred his oats. “They want us all right here where they cansee us.”
  “So she’s okay?” Shirly asked.
  Walker frowned and slowly shook his head.
  “I told you guys,” someone said. “She’d have run out of air by now.”
  “She was dead anyway,” someone else countered, and the argument began to build again. “Thisjust proves they’re full of shit!”
  Walker had to agree with that.
  “Everybody, let’s stay calm,” Knox roared. But he appeared the least calm of them all. Moreworkers filed in now that the moment of silence appeared to be over. They gathered around the table,faces full of worry.
  “This is it,” Walker said to himself, seeing what was happening, what he had started. He watchedhis friends and coworkers get all riled up, barking at the empty air for answers, their passions stirred.
  “This is it,” he said again, and he could feel it brewing22, ready to burst out. “Thisisit, thisisit—”
  Courtnee, still hovering23 over him, tending to him like he was an invalid24, held his wrist with thosedelicate hands of hers.
  “What is it?” she asked. She waved down the others so she could hear. She leaned close toWalker. “Walk, tell me, what is it? What is this? What’re you trying to say?”
  “This is how it starts,” he whispered, the room quiet once more. He looked up at all the faces,scanned them, seeing in their fury, in all the exploded taboos, that he was right to worry.
  “This is how the uprising begins …”


1 crouched 62634c7e8c15b8a61068e36aaed563ab     
v.屈膝,蹲伏( crouch的过去式和过去分词 )
  • He crouched down beside her. 他在她的旁边蹲了下来。
  • The lion crouched ready to pounce. 狮子蹲下身,准备猛扑。
2 slumped b010f9799fb8ebd413389b9083180d8d     
大幅度下降,暴跌( slump的过去式和过去分词 ); 沉重或突然地落下[倒下]
  • Sales have slumped this year. 今年销售量锐减。
  • The driver was slumped exhausted over the wheel. 司机伏在方向盘上,疲惫得睡着了。
3 agitated dzgzc2     
  • His answers were all mixed up,so agitated was he.他是那样心神不定,回答全乱了。
  • She was agitated because her train was an hour late.她乘坐的火车晚点一个小时,她十分焦虑。
4 standing 2hCzgo     
  • After the earthquake only a few houses were left standing.地震过后只有几幢房屋还立着。
  • They're standing out against any change in the law.他们坚决反对对法律做任何修改。
5 anonymity IMbyq     
n.the condition of being anonymous
  • Names of people in the book were changed to preserve anonymity. 为了姓名保密,书中的人用的都是化名。
  • Our company promises to preserve the anonymity of all its clients. 我们公司承诺不公开客户的姓名。
6 taboos 6a690451c8c44df41d89927fdad5692d     
禁忌( taboo的名词复数 ); 忌讳; 戒律; 禁忌的事物(或行为)
  • She was unhorsed by fences, laws and alien taboos. 她被藩蓠、法律及外来的戒律赶下了马。
  • His mind was charged with taboos. 他头脑里忌讳很多。
7 frisky LfNzk     
  • I felt frisky,as if I might break into a dance.我感到很欢快,似乎要跳起舞来。
  • His horse was feeling frisky,and he had to hold the reins tightly.马儿欢蹦乱跳,他不得不紧勒缰绳。
8 growled 65a0c9cac661e85023a63631d6dab8a3     
v.(动物)发狺狺声, (雷)作隆隆声( growl的过去式和过去分词 );低声咆哮着说
  • \"They ought to be birched, \" growled the old man. 老人咆哮道:“他们应受到鞭打。” 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He growled out an answer. 他低声威胁着回答。 来自《简明英汉词典》
9 sham RsxyV     
  • They cunningly played the game of sham peace.他们狡滑地玩弄假和平的把戏。
  • His love was a mere sham.他的爱情是虚假的。
10 hissed 2299e1729bbc7f56fc2559e409d6e8a7     
发嘶嘶声( hiss的过去式和过去分词 ); 发嘘声表示反对
  • Have you ever been hissed at in the middle of a speech? 你在演讲中有没有被嘘过?
  • The iron hissed as it pressed the wet cloth. 熨斗压在湿布上时发出了嘶嘶声。
11 ordeal B4Pzs     
  • She managed to keep her sanity throughout the ordeal.在那场磨难中她始终保持神志正常。
  • Being lost in the wilderness for a week was an ordeal for me.在荒野里迷路一星期对我来说真是一场磨难。
12 busted busted     
adj. 破产了的,失败了的,被降级的,被逮捕的,被抓到的 动词bust的过去式和过去分词
  • You are so busted! 你被当场逮住了!
  • It was money troubles that busted up their marriage. 是金钱纠纷使他们的婚姻破裂了。
13 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。
14 perch 5u1yp     
  • The bird took its perch.鸟停歇在栖木上。
  • Little birds perch themselves on the branches.小鸟儿栖歇在树枝上。
15 pointed Il8zB4     
  • He gave me a very sharp pointed pencil.他给我一支削得非常尖的铅笔。
  • She wished to show Mrs.John Dashwood by this pointed invitation to her brother.她想通过对达茨伍德夫人提出直截了当的邀请向她的哥哥表示出来。
16 gaped 11328bb13d82388ec2c0b2bf7af6f272     
v.目瞪口呆地凝视( gape的过去式和过去分词 );张开,张大
  • A huge chasm gaped before them. 他们面前有个巨大的裂痕。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The front door was missing. A hole gaped in the roof. 前门不翼而飞,屋顶豁开了一个洞。 来自辞典例句
17 plumbers 74967bded53f9cdf3d49cad38cfca8ba     
n.管子工,水暖工( plumber的名词复数 );[美][口](防止泄密的)堵漏人员
  • Plumbers charge by the hour for their work. 水管工人的工作是以小时收费的。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Plumbers, carpenters, and other workmen finished the new house quickly. 管道工、木工及其他工匠很快完成了这幢新房子。 来自辞典例句
18 sipped 22d1585d494ccee63c7bff47191289f6     
v.小口喝,呷,抿( sip的过去式和过去分词 )
  • He sipped his coffee pleasurably. 他怡然地品味着咖啡。
  • I sipped the hot chocolate she had made. 我小口喝着她调制的巧克力热饮。 来自辞典例句
19 rim RXSxl     
  • The water was even with the rim of the basin.盆里的水与盆边平齐了。
  • She looked at him over the rim of her glass.她的目光越过玻璃杯的边沿看着他。
20 concoction 8Ytyv     
  • She enjoyed the concoction of foreign dishes.她喜欢调制外国菜。
  • His story was a sheer concoction.他的故事实在是一纯属捏造之事。
21 bastards 19876fc50e51ba427418f884ba64c288     
私生子( bastard的名词复数 ); 坏蛋; 讨厌的事物; 麻烦事 (认为别人走运或不幸时说)家伙
  • Those bastards don't care a damn about the welfare of the factory! 这批狗养的,不顾大局! 来自子夜部分
  • Let the first bastards to find out be the goddam Germans. 就让那些混账的德国佬去做最先发现的倒霉鬼吧。 来自演讲部分
22 brewing eaabd83324a59add9a6769131bdf81b5     
n. 酿造, 一次酿造的量 动词brew的现在分词形式
  • It was obvious that a big storm was brewing up. 很显然,一场暴风雨正在酝酿中。
  • She set about brewing some herb tea. 她动手泡一些药茶。
23 hovering 99fdb695db3c202536060470c79b067f     
鸟( hover的现在分词 ); 靠近(某事物); (人)徘徊; 犹豫
  • The helicopter was hovering about 100 metres above the pad. 直升机在离发射台一百米的上空盘旋。
  • I'm hovering between the concert and the play tonight. 我犹豫不决今晚是听音乐会还是看戏。
24 invalid V4Oxh     
  • He will visit an invalid.他将要去看望一个病人。
  • A passport that is out of date is invalid.护照过期是无效的。