羊毛战记 Part 4 The Unraveling 38
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
  Sharp misery1 had worn him to the bones;
  And about his shelves, a beggarly account of empty boxes.
  Lukas arrived at thirty-four breathless and clutching the small box, more exhausted2 from the laws hehad broken than this habitual3 climb to work. He could still taste the metallic4 tang of adrenaline in hismouth from hiding behind the servers and rummaging5 through Juliette’s things. He patted his chest,feeling the items there, and also his racing6 heart.
  Once he was better composed, he reached for the doors to IT and nearly cracked a knuckle7 as theyflew outward toward him. Sammi, a tech he knew, burst out in a hurry and stormed past. Lukas calledhis name, but the older tech was already gone, storming up the stairs and out of sight.
  There was more commotion8 in the entrance hall: voices yelling over one another. Lukas enteredwarily, wondering what the fuss was about. He held open the door with his elbow and slid into theroom, the box tight against his chest.
  Most of the yelling, it seemed, was coming from Bernard. The head of IT stood outside thesecurity gates and was barking at one tech after the other. Nearby, Sims, the head of IT security,similarly laid into three men in gray overalls9. Lukas remained frozen by the door, intimidated10 by theangry duo.
  When Bernard spotted11 him there, he snapped his mouth shut and waded12 through the tremblingtechs to greet him. Lukas opened his mouth to say something, but his boss was fixated less on himand more on what was in his hands.
  “This is it?” Bernard asked, snatching the box from him.
  “Everything that greaser owned fits in this little damn box?” Bernard tugged13 the flaps open. “Isthis everything?”
  “Uh … that’s what I was given,” Lukas stammered14. “Marsh said—”
  “Yeah, the deputy wired about his cramps15. I swear, the Pact16 should stipulate17 an age limit for theirkind. Sims!” Bernard turned to his security chief. “Conference room. Now.”
  Lukas pointed18 toward the security gate and the server room beyond. “I suppose I should get to—”
  “Come with me,” Bernard said, wrapping his arm around Lukas’s back and squeezing hisshoulder. “I want you in on this. There seem to be fewer and fewer ratshit techs I can trust aroundhere.”
  “Unless y-you want me on the servers. We had that thing with tower thirteen—”
  “That can wait. This is more important.” Bernard ushered19 him toward the conference room, thehulking mass of Sims preceding them.
  The security guard grabbed the door and held it open, frowning at Lukas as he went by. Lukasshivered as he crossed the threshold. He could feel the sweat running down his chest, could feelguilty heat in his armpits and around his neck. He had a sudden image of being thrown against thetable, pinned down, contraband21 yanked from his pockets and waved in his face—“Sit,” Bernard said. He put the box down on the table, and he and Sims began emptying itscontents while Lukas lowered himself into a chair.
  “Vacation chits,” Sims said, pulling out the stack of paper coupons22. Lukas watched the way theman’s arms rippled23 with muscle with even the slightest movement. Sims had been a tech once, untilhis body kept growing and made him too obviously suited for other, less cerebral24, endeavors. Helifted the chits to his nose, took a sniff25, and recoiled26. “Smells like sweaty greaser,” he said.
  “Counterfeit?” Bernard asked.
  Sims shook his head. Bernard was inspecting the small wooden box. He shook it and rapped itwith his knuckles27, listening to the rattle28 of chits inside. He searched the exterior29 for a hinge or clasp.
  Lukas almost blurted30 out that the top slid, that it was so finely crafted you could barely see thejoints and that it took a bit of effort. Bernard muttered something and set the box aside.
  “What exactly are we looking for?” Lukas asked. He leaned forward and grabbed the box,pretended to be inspecting it for the first time.
  “Anything. A fucking clue,” Bernard barked. He glared at Lukas. “How did this greaser make itover the hill? Was it something she did? One of my techs? What?”
  Lukas still couldn’t figure out the anger. So what if she hadn’t cleaned—it would’ve been adouble anyway. Was Bernard furious because he didn’t know why she’d survived so long? This madesense to Lukas. Whenever he fixed31 something by accident, it drove him nearly as nuts as havingsomething break. He’d seen Bernard angry before, but this was something different. The man waslivid. He was manic. It was just how Lukas would feel if he’d had such an unprecedented32 piece ofsuccess with no cause to pin it on.
  Sims, meanwhile, found the notebook and began flipping33 through it. “Hey, boss—”
  Bernard snatched it from him and tore through the pages, reading. “Someone’ll have to go throughall this,” he said. He pushed his glasses up his nose. “There might be some sign of collusion in here—”
  “Hey, look,” Lukas said, holding out the box. “It opens.” He showed them the sliding lid.
  “Lemme see that.” Bernard dropped the notebook to the table and snatched the wooden box away.
  He wrinkled his nose. “Just chits,” he said disgustedly.
  He dumped them on the table and was about to toss the box aside, but Sims grabbed it from him.
  “That’s an antique,” the large man said. “You think it’s a clue, or can I … ?”
  “Yes, keep it, by all means.” Bernard waved his arms out toward the window with its view of theentrance hall. “Because nothing of greater fucking importance is going on around here, is it, shit-for-brains?”
  Sims shrugged34 noncommittally and slid the wooden box into his pocket. Lukas desperatelywanted to be somewhere else, anywhere in the silo but there.
  “Maybe she just got lucky,” Sims offered.
  Bernard began dumping the rest of the box onto the table, shaking it to loosen the manual thatLukas knew was tightly wedged in the bottom. He paused in his efforts and squinted35 at Sims over therims of his glasses.
  “Lucky,” Bernard repeated.
  Sims tilted36 his head.
  “Get the fuck out of here,” Bernard told him.
  Sims nodded. “Yeah, you’re right.”
  “No, I mean get out!” Bernard pointed at the door. “Getthefuckout!”
  The head of security smiled like this was funny but lumbered37 for the door. He slid out of the roomand gently clicked the door shut behind him.
  “I’m surrounded by morons,” Bernard said once they were alone.
  Lukas tried to imagine this was not meant as an insult directed at him.
  “Present company excluded,” Bernard added, as if reading his mind.
  “Hey, you at least can fix a goddamn server. What the hell do I pay these other ratshit techs todo?”
  He pressed his glasses up the bridge of his nose again, and Lukas tried to remember if the IT headhad always cursed this much. He didn’t think so. Was it the strain of being interim38 mayor that wasgetting to him? Something had changed. It felt strange to even consider Bernard his friend anymore.
  The man was so much more important now, so much busier. Perhaps he was cracking under the stressthat came with the extra responsibility, the pain of being the one to send good people to cleaning—“You know why I’ve never taken a shadow?” Bernard asked. He flipped39 through the manual, sawthe play on the reverse side, and turned the bound sheets of paper around. He glanced up at Lukas,who lifted his palms and shrugged.
  “It’s because I shudder40 to think of anyone else ever running this place.”
  Lukas assumed he meant IT, not the silo. Bernard hadn’t been mayor very long.
  Bernard set the play down and gazed out the window, where muffled41 voices argued once more.
  “But I’ll have to, one of these days. I’m at that age where your friends, the people you grew upwith, are dropping like flies, but you’re still young enough to pretend it won’t happen to you.”
  His eyes fell to Lukas. The young tech felt uncomfortable being alone with Bernard. He’d neverfelt that before.
  “Silos have burned to the ground before because of one man’s hubris,” Bernard told him. “All ittakes is improper42 planning, thinking you’ll be around forever, but because one man disappears”—hesnapped his fingers—“and leaves a sucking void behind, that can be enough to bring it all down.”
  Lukas was dying to ask his boss what the hell he was talking about.
  “Today is that day, I think.” Bernard walked around the long conference table, leaving behind himthe scattered43 remnants of Juliette’s life. Lukas’s gaze drifted over the items. The guilt20 of goingthrough them himself vanished when he saw how they’d been treated by Bernard. He wished insteadthat he’d stashed44 away more of them.
  “What I need is someone who already has access to the servers,” Bernard said. Lukas turned to theside and realized the short, full-bellied head of IT was standing45 right beside him. He moved his handup to his chest pocket, making sure it didn’t bulge46 open where Bernard could see.
  “Sammi is a good tech. I trust him, but he’s nearly as old as I am.”
  “You aren’t that old,” Lukas said, trying to be polite, to gather his wits. He wasn’t sure what wasgoing on.
  “There aren’t many I consider friends,” Bernard said.
  “I appreciate that …”
  “You’re probably the closest thing—”
  “I feel the same—”
  “I knew your father. He was a good man.”
  Lukas swallowed and nodded. He looked up at Bernard and realized the man was holding out hishand. Had been for a while. He extended his own to accept, still not sure what was being offered.
  “I need a shadow, Lukas.” Bernard’s hand felt small in Lukas’s own. He watched as his arm waspumped up and down. “I want you to be that man.”


1 misery G10yi     
  • Business depression usually causes misery among the working class.商业不景气常使工薪阶层受苦。
  • He has rescued me from the mire of misery.他把我从苦海里救了出来。
2 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。
3 habitual x5Pyp     
  • He is a habitual criminal.他是一个惯犯。
  • They are habitual visitors to our house.他们是我家的常客。
4 metallic LCuxO     
  • A sharp metallic note coming from the outside frightened me.外面传来尖锐铿锵的声音吓了我一跳。
  • He picked up a metallic ring last night.昨夜他捡了一个金属戒指。
5 rummaging e9756cfbffcc07d7dc85f4b9eea73897     
翻找,搜寻( rummage的现在分词 ); 海关检查
  • She was rummaging around in her bag for her keys. 她在自己的包里翻来翻去找钥匙。
  • Who's been rummaging through my papers? 谁乱翻我的文件来着?
6 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。
7 knuckle r9Qzw     
  • They refused to knuckle under to any pressure.他们拒不屈从任何压力。
  • You'll really have to knuckle down if you want to pass the examination.如果想通过考试,你确实应专心学习。
8 commotion 3X3yo     
  • They made a commotion by yelling at each other in the theatre.他们在剧院里相互争吵,引起了一阵骚乱。
  • Suddenly the whole street was in commotion.突然间,整条街道变得一片混乱。
9 overalls 2mCz6w     
  • He is in overalls today.他今天穿的是工作裤。
  • He changed his overalls for a suit.他脱下工装裤,换上了一套西服。
10 intimidated 69a1f9d1d2d295a87a7e68b3f3fbd7d5     
  • We try to make sure children don't feel intimidated on their first day at school. 我们努力确保孩子们在上学的第一天不胆怯。
  • The thief intimidated the boy into not telling the police. 这个贼恫吓那男孩使他不敢向警察报告。 来自《简明英汉词典》
11 spotted 7FEyj     
  • The milkman selected the spotted cows,from among a herd of two hundred.牛奶商从一群200头牛中选出有斑点的牛。
  • Sam's shop stocks short spotted socks.山姆的商店屯积了有斑点的短袜。
12 waded e8d8bc55cdc9612ad0bc65820a4ceac6     
(从水、泥等)蹚,走过,跋( wade的过去式和过去分词 )
  • She tucked up her skirt and waded into the river. 她撩起裙子蹚水走进河里。
  • He waded into the water to push the boat out. 他蹚进水里把船推出来。
13 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》
14 stammered 76088bc9384c91d5745fd550a9d81721     
v.结巴地说出( stammer的过去式和过去分词 )
  • He stammered most when he was nervous. 他一紧张往往口吃。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • Barsad leaned back in his chair, and stammered, \"What do you mean?\" 巴萨往椅背上一靠,结结巴巴地说,“你是什么意思?” 来自英汉文学 - 双城记
15 cramps cramps     
n. 抽筋, 腹部绞痛, 铁箍 adj. 狭窄的, 难解的 v. 使...抽筋, 以铁箍扣紧, 束缚
  • If he cramps again let the line cut him off. 要是它再抽筋,就让这钓索把它勒断吧。
  • "I have no cramps." he said. “我没抽筋,"他说。
16 pact ZKUxa     
  • The two opposition parties made an electoral pact.那两个反对党订了一个有关选举的协定。
  • The trade pact between those two countries came to an end.那两国的通商协定宣告结束。
17 stipulate shhyP     
  • International rules stipulate the number of foreign entrants.国际规则规定了外国参赛者的人数。
  • Some manufacturers stipulate the price at which their goods are to be sold.有些制造商规定出售他们生产的商品的价格。
18 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。
19 ushered d337b3442ea0cc4312a5950ae8911282     
v.引,领,陪同( usher的过去式和过去分词 )
  • The secretary ushered me into his office. 秘书把我领进他的办公室。
  • A round of parties ushered in the New Year. 一系列的晚会迎来了新年。 来自《简明英汉词典》
20 guilt 9e6xr     
  • She tried to cover up her guilt by lying.她企图用谎言掩饰自己的罪行。
  • Don't lay a guilt trip on your child about schoolwork.别因为功课责备孩子而使他觉得很内疚。
21 contraband FZxy9     
  • Most of the city markets were flooded with contraband goods.大多数的城市市场上都充斥着走私货。
  • The customs officers rummaged the ship suspected to have contraband goods.海关人员仔细搜查了一艘有走私嫌疑的海轮。
22 coupons 28882724d375042a7b19db1e976cb622     
n.礼券( coupon的名词复数 );优惠券;订货单;参赛表
  • The company gives away free coupons for drinks or other items. 公司为饮料或其它项目发放免费赠券。 来自辞典例句
  • Do you have any coupons? 你们有优惠卡吗? 来自英汉 - 翻译样例 - 口语
23 rippled 70d8043cc816594c4563aec11217f70d     
  • The lake rippled gently. 湖面轻轻地泛起涟漪。
  • The wind rippled the surface of the cornfield. 微风吹过麦田,泛起一片麦浪。
24 cerebral oUdyb     
  • Your left cerebral hemisphere controls the right-hand side of your body.你的左半脑控制身体的右半身。
  • He is a precise,methodical,cerebral man who carefully chooses his words.他是一个一丝不苟、有条理和理智的人,措辞谨慎。
25 sniff PF7zs     
  • The police used dogs to sniff out the criminals in their hiding - place.警察使用警犬查出了罪犯的藏身地点。
  • When Munchie meets a dog on the beach, they sniff each other for a while.当麦奇在海滩上碰到另一条狗的时候,他们会彼此嗅一会儿。
26 recoiled 8282f6b353b1fa6f91b917c46152c025     
v.畏缩( recoil的过去式和过去分词 );退缩;报应;返回
  • She recoiled from his touch. 她躲开他的触摸。
  • Howard recoiled a little at the sharpness in my voice. 听到我的尖声,霍华德往后缩了一下。 来自《简明英汉词典》
27 knuckles c726698620762d88f738be4a294fae79     
n.(指人)指关节( knuckle的名词复数 );(指动物)膝关节,踝v.(指人)指关节( knuckle的第三人称单数 );(指动物)膝关节,踝
  • He gripped the wheel until his knuckles whitened. 他紧紧握住方向盘,握得指关节都变白了。
  • Her thin hands were twisted by swollen knuckles. 她那双纤手因肿大的指关节而变了形。 来自《简明英汉词典》
28 rattle 5Alzb     
  • The baby only shook the rattle and laughed and crowed.孩子只是摇着拨浪鼓,笑着叫着。
  • She could hear the rattle of the teacups.她听见茶具叮当响。
29 exterior LlYyr     
  • The seed has a hard exterior covering.这种子外壳很硬。
  • We are painting the exterior wall of the house.我们正在给房子的外墙涂漆。
30 blurted fa8352b3313c0b88e537aab1fcd30988     
v.突然说出,脱口而出( blurt的过去式和过去分词 )
  • She blurted it out before I could stop her. 我还没来得及制止,她已脱口而出。
  • He blurted out the truth, that he committed the crime. 他不慎说出了真相,说是他犯了那个罪。 来自《简明英汉词典》
31 fixed JsKzzj     
  • Have you two fixed on a date for the wedding yet?你们俩选定婚期了吗?
  • Once the aim is fixed,we should not change it arbitrarily.目标一旦确定,我们就不应该随意改变。
32 unprecedented 7gSyJ     
  • The air crash caused an unprecedented number of deaths.这次空难的死亡人数是空前的。
  • A flood of this sort is really unprecedented.这样大的洪水真是十年九不遇。
33 flipping b69cb8e0c44ab7550c47eaf7c01557e4     
  • I hate this flipping hotel! 我讨厌这个该死的旅馆!
  • Don't go flipping your lid. 别发火。
34 shrugged 497904474a48f991a3d1961b0476ebce     
  • Sam shrugged and said nothing. 萨姆耸耸肩膀,什么也没说。
  • She shrugged, feigning nonchalance. 她耸耸肩,装出一副无所谓的样子。 来自《简明英汉词典》
35 squinted aaf7c56a51bf19a5f429b7a9ddca2e9b     
斜视( squint的过去式和过去分词 ); 眯着眼睛; 瞟; 从小孔或缝隙里看
  • Pulling his rifle to his shoulder he squinted along the barrel. 他把枪顶肩,眯起眼睛瞄准。
  • I squinted through the keyhole. 我从锁眼窥看。
36 tilted 3gtzE5     
v. 倾斜的
  • Suddenly the boat tilted to one side. 小船突然倾向一侧。
  • She tilted her chin at him defiantly. 她向他翘起下巴表示挑衅。
37 lumbered 2580a96db1b1c043397df2b46a4d3891     
  • A rhinoceros lumbered towards them. 一头犀牛笨重地向他们走来。
  • A heavy truck lumbered by. 一辆重型卡车隆隆驶过。
38 interim z5wxB     
  • The government is taking interim measures to help those in immediate need.政府正在采取临时措施帮助那些有立即需要的人。
  • It may turn out to be an interim technology.这可能只是个过渡技术。
39 flipped 5bef9da31993fe26a832c7d4b9630147     
轻弹( flip的过去式和过去分词 ); 按(开关); 快速翻转; 急挥
  • The plane flipped and crashed. 飞机猛地翻转,撞毁了。
  • The carter flipped at the horse with his whip. 赶大车的人扬鞭朝着马轻轻地抽打。
40 shudder JEqy8     
  • The sight of the coffin sent a shudder through him.看到那副棺材,他浑身一阵战栗。
  • We all shudder at the thought of the dreadful dirty place.我们一想到那可怕的肮脏地方就浑身战惊。
41 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》
42 improper b9txi     
  • Short trousers are improper at a dance.舞会上穿短裤不成体统。
  • Laughing and joking are improper at a funeral.葬礼时大笑和开玩笑是不合适的。
43 scattered 7jgzKF     
  • Gathering up his scattered papers,he pushed them into his case.他把散乱的文件收拾起来,塞进文件夹里。
44 stashed 07562c5864f6b713d22604f8e1e43dae     
v.贮藏( stash的过去式和过去分词 );隐藏;藏匿;藏起
  • She has a fortune stashed away in various bank accounts. 她有一大笔钱存在几个不同的银行账户下。
  • She has a fortune stashed away in various bank accounts. 她在不同的银行账户上秘密储存了一大笔钱。 来自《简明英汉词典》
45 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。
46 bulge Ns3ze     
  • The apple made a bulge in his pocket.苹果把他口袋塞得鼓了起来。
  • What's that awkward bulge in your pocket?你口袋里那块鼓鼓囊囊的东西是什么?