羊毛战记 Part 4 The Unraveling 39
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  Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fastJuliette forced her way through the inner airlock door and scrambled1 to get it closed. Darknessoverwhelmed her as the heavy door squealed2 on its hinges and settled against its dry seals. Shegroped for the large locking wheel and leaned on the spokes3, spinning it and sealing the door tight.
  The air in her suit was growing stale; she could feel the dizziness overtaking her. Turning around,keeping one hand on the wall, she stumbled forward through the darkness. The puff4 of outside air thatshe’d allowed inside seemed to claw at her back like a horde5 of mad insects. Juliette staggeredblindly down the hallway, trying to put distance between herself and the dead she’d left behind.
  There were no lights on, no glow from the wallscreens with their view of the outside world. Sheprayed the layout was the same, that she could find her way. She prayed the air in her suit would holdout a moment longer, prayed the air in the silo wouldn’t be as foul6 and toxic7 as the wind outside. Or—and just as bad—that the air in the silo wouldn’t be as devoid8 of oxygen as what little remained inher suit.
  Her hand brushed the bars of a cell just where they should have been, giving her hope that shecould navigate9 the darkness. She wasn’t sure what she hoped to find in the pitch black—she had noplan for salvation—she was simply stumbling away from the horrors outside. It hardly registered forher that she had been there, had gone outside, and was now in someplace new.
  As she fumbled10 through the office, sucking on the last breaths of air in her helmet, her feetknocked into something and Juliette went sprawling11 forward. She landed roughly on a soft mound,groped with her hand, and felt an arm. A body. Several bodies. Juliette crawled over them, thespongy flesh feeling more human and solid than the husks and bones outside—and more difficult tomove across. She felt someone’s chin. The weight of her body caused their neck to turn, and shenearly lost her balance. Her body recoiled12 at the sensation of what she was doing, the reflex toapologize, to pull her limbs away, but she forced herself forward over a pile of them, through thedarkness, until her helmet slammed into the office door.
  Without warning, the blow was hard enough that Juliette saw stars and feared blacking out. Shereached up and fumbled for the handle. Her eyes might as well have been sealed shut, the utterdarkness was so complete. Even the bowels13 of Mechanical had never seen such deep and perfectshadow.
  She found the latch14 and pushed. The door was unlocked but wouldn’t budge15. Juliette scrambled toher feet, her boots digging into lifeless bodies, and threw her shoulder against the door. She wantedout.
  The door moved. A little. She could feel something slide on the other side and imagined morebodies piled up. She threw herself again and again into the door, grunts16 of effort and frustrated17 tinyscreams echoing in her helmet. Her hair was loose, sweaty, and matting to her face. She couldn’t see.
  Couldn’t breathe. Was growing more faint as she poisoned her own internal atmosphere.
  When the door slid open a crack, she tried to force her way through, one shoulder first, squeezingher helmet past, then pulling her other arm and leg after. She fell to the floor, scrambled around, andshoved herself against the door, sealing it tight.
  There was a dim light, almost impossible to notice at first. A barricade18 of tables and chairs waspressed in against her, scattered19 from her efforts to get through. Their hard edges and spindly legsseemed intent on ensnaring her.
  Juliette heard herself wheezing20 for air and knew her time had run out. She imagined the poison allover her like grease. The toxic air that she’d let in was a cloud of vermin just waiting for her to crawlout of her shell so they could eat away at her.
  She considered lying down and letting her air supply run out instead. She would be preserved inthis chrysalis of a suit, a well-built suit, a gift from Walker and the people of Supply. Her body wouldlie forever in this dim silo that shouldn’t have existed—but so much better than to rot on a lifeless hilland fly away, piece by piece, on a fickle21 breeze. It would be a good death. She panted, proud ofherself for making it somewhere of her own choosing, for conquering these last few obstacles.
  Slumping22 against the door, she very nearly lay down and closed her eyes—but for the nagging23 of hercuriosity.
  Juliette held up her hands and studied them in the dim glow from the stairwell. The shiny gloves—wrapped in heat tape and melted to form a bright skin—made her look like a machine of sorts. Sheran her hands over the dome24 of her helmet, realizing she was like a walking toaster. When she hadbeen a mere25 shadow in Mechanical, she’d had a bad habit of taking things apart, even those thatalready worked. What had Walker said of her? That she liked nothing more than peering inside oftoasters.
  Juliette sat up and tried to focus. She was losing sensation, and with it the will to live. She shookher head and pulled herself to her feet, sent a pile of chairs crashing to the floor. She was the toaster,she realized. Her curiosity wanted it open. This time, to see what was outside. To take one breath andknow.
  She swam through the tables and chairs, wanting more and more distance between herself and anybad air she had let in. The bodies she had crawled over in the sheriff’s office had felt whole. Naturallydead. Trapped inside and starved or asphyxiated26, perhaps. But not rotten. Still, and despite her light-headedness and need to breathe, she wanted to somehow douse27 herself before cracking the helmet,wanted to dilute28 the toxins29 as she would with any other chemical spill back in Mechanical.
  She escaped the barrier of tables and chairs and made her way across the open cafeteria floor. Theemergency lights in the stairwell leaked a green glow to dimly show the way. She passed through theserving door and into the kitchen, and tried the taps on the large sink. The handles turned, but thespout didn’t leak a drop, didn’t knock with even a futile30 try from distant pumps. She went to thedangling hose over the dish station and pulled that lever—and was similarly rewarded. There was nowater.
  Her next thought was the walk-ins, to maybe freeze the nastiness she could feel crawling all overher suit. She staggered around the cooking stations and pulled the large silver handle on the door, herbreath wheezy in her helmet. The light in the back reaches of the kitchen was already so dim shecould barely see. She couldn’t feel any cold through her suit but wasn’t sure if she’d be able to. It wasbuilt to shield her, and built well. The overhead light didn’t come on, so she assumed the freezer wasdead. With the door open, she peered inside, looking for anything fluid, and saw what looked likevats of soup.
  She was desperate enough to try anything. Juliette moved inside the walk-in, letting the doorswing slowly shut behind her. She seized one of the large plastic containers, a bucket the size of thelargest cooking pots, and tore the top off. The door clicked shut, returning her to solid darkness.
  Juliette knelt beneath the shelf and tipped the massive bucket over. She could feel the liquid soupsplatter over her suit, crinkling it and splashing to the floor. Her knees slipped in the stuff. She felt forthe next one and did the same, ran her fingers into the puddles32 and coated herself in it. There was noway of knowing if she was being crazy, if she was making things worse, or if any of it mattered. Herboot slipped, sending her flat onto her back, her helmet cracking against the floor.
  Juliette lay there in a puddle31 of tepid33 soup, unable to see, her breath raspy and stale. Her time hadrun out. She was dizzy and could think of nothing else to try, didn’t have the breath or energy,anyway. The helmet had to come off.
  She fumbled for the latches34, could barely feel them through her gloves. Her gloves were too thick.
  They were going to kill her.
  She rolled to her belly35 and crawled through the soup, her hands and knees slipping. She reachedthe door, gasping36, and fumbled for the handle, found it, threw the door open. There was a rack ofknives gleaming behind the counter. She lurched to her feet and grabbed one, held the blade in herthick mitts37, and slumped38 to the floor, exhausted39 and dizzy.
  Turning the blade toward her own neck, Juliette groped for the latch. She slid the point along hercollar until it caught in the crack of the button. Steadying herself, her arm shaking, she moved theknife and pressed in, shoving it toward her body against all her most human instincts.
  There was a faint click. Juliette gasped40 and groped along the rim41 with the blade for the otherbutton until she found it. She repeated the maneuver42.
  Another click, and her helmet popped off.
  Juliette’s body took over for her, compelling her to take deep gulps44 of foul air. The stench wasunbearable, but she couldn’t stop gasping for more. Rotted food, biological decay, a tepid filth45 ofstenches invaded her mouth, tongue, nose.
  She turned to the side and retched, but nothing came out. Her hands were still slippery with soup.
  Breathing was painful; she imagined a burning sensation on her skin, but it could’ve been her feveredstate. She crawled away from the walk-in, toward the cafeteria, out of the fog of rotting soup, andtook another gulp43 of air.
  She took a lungful, the odor still overpowering, the soup coating her. But beyond the stench,something else was there. Something faint. Something breathable that began to force away thedizziness and the panic. It was oxygen. Life.
  Juliette was still alive.
  She laughed madly and stumbled toward the stairwell, drawn46 to the green glow of light, breathingdeeply and too exhausted to appreciate this, the impossible life still in her.


1 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》
2 squealed 08be5c82571f6dba9615fa69033e21b0     
v.长声尖叫,用长而尖锐的声音说( squeal的过去式和过去分词 )
  • He squealed the words out. 他吼叫着说出那些话。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The brakes of the car squealed. 汽车的刹车发出吱吱声。 来自《简明英汉词典》
3 spokes 6eff3c46e9c3a82f787a7c99669b9bfb     
n.(车轮的)辐条( spoke的名词复数 );轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动
  • Her baby caught his fingers in the spokes of the pram wheel. 她宝宝的手指被婴儿车轮的辐条卡住了。 来自辞典例句
  • The new edges are called the spokes of the wheel. 新的边称为轮的辐。 来自辞典例句
4 puff y0cz8     
  • He took a puff at his cigarette.他吸了一口香烟。
  • They tried their best to puff the book they published.他们尽力吹捧他们出版的书。
5 horde 9dLzL     
  • A horde of children ran over the office building.一大群孩子在办公大楼里到处奔跑。
  • Two women were quarrelling on the street,surrounded by horde of people.有两个妇人在街上争吵,被一大群人围住了。
6 foul Sfnzy     
  • Take off those foul clothes and let me wash them.脱下那些脏衣服让我洗一洗。
  • What a foul day it is!多么恶劣的天气!
7 toxic inSwc     
  • The factory had accidentally released a quantity of toxic waste into the sea.这家工厂意外泄漏大量有毒废物到海中。
  • There is a risk that toxic chemicals might be blasted into the atmosphere.爆炸后有毒化学物质可能会进入大气层。
8 devoid dZzzx     
  • He is completely devoid of humour.他十分缺乏幽默。
  • The house is totally devoid of furniture.这所房子里什么家具都没有。
9 navigate 4Gyxu     
  • He was the first man to navigate the Atlantic by air.他是第一个飞越大西洋的人。
  • Such boats can navigate on the Nile.这种船可以在尼罗河上航行。
10 fumbled 78441379bedbe3ea49c53fb90c34475f     
(笨拙地)摸索或处理(某事物)( fumble的过去式和过去分词 ); 乱摸,笨拙地弄; 使落下
  • She fumbled in her pocket for a handkerchief. 她在她口袋里胡乱摸找手帕。
  • He fumbled about in his pockets for the ticket. 他(瞎)摸着衣兜找票。
11 sprawling 3ff3e560ffc2f12f222ef624d5807902     
adj.蔓生的,不规则地伸展的v.伸开四肢坐[躺]( sprawl的现在分词 );蔓延;杂乱无序地拓展;四肢伸展坐着(或躺着)
  • He was sprawling in an armchair in front of the TV. 他伸开手脚坐在电视机前的一张扶手椅上。
  • a modern sprawling town 一座杂乱无序拓展的现代城镇
12 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》
13 bowels qxMzez     
n.肠,内脏,内部;肠( bowel的名词复数 );内部,最深处
  • Salts is a medicine that causes movements of the bowels. 泻盐是一种促使肠子运动的药物。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The cabins are in the bowels of the ship. 舱房设在船腹内。 来自《简明英汉词典》
14 latch g2wxS     
  • She laid her hand on the latch of the door.她把手放在门闩上。
  • The repairman installed an iron latch on the door.修理工在门上安了铁门闩。
15 budge eSRy5     
  • We tried to lift the rock but it wouldn't budge.我们试图把大石头抬起来,但它连动都没动一下。
  • She wouldn't budge on the issue.她在这个问题上不肯让步。
16 grunts c00fd9006f1464bcf0f544ccda70d94b     
(猪等)作呼噜声( grunt的第三人称单数 ); (指人)发出类似的哼声; 咕哝着说; 石鲈
  • With grunts of anguish Ogilvie eased his bulk to a sitting position. 奥格尔维苦恼地哼着,伸个懒腰坐了起来。
  • Linda fired twice A trio of Grunts assembling one mortar fell. 琳达击发两次。三个正在组装迫击炮的咕噜人倒下了。
17 frustrated ksWz5t     
adj.挫败的,失意的,泄气的v.使不成功( frustrate的过去式和过去分词 );挫败;使受挫折;令人沮丧
  • It's very easy to get frustrated in this job. 这个工作很容易令人懊恼。
  • The bad weather frustrated all our hopes of going out. 恶劣的天气破坏了我们出行的愿望。 来自《简明英汉词典》
18 barricade NufzI     
  • The soldiers make a barricade across the road.士兵在路上设路障。
  • It is difficult to break through a steel barricade.冲破钢铁障碍很难。
19 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。
20 wheezing 725d713049073d5b2a804fc762d3b774     
v.喘息,发出呼哧呼哧的喘息声( wheeze的现在分词 );哮鸣
  • He was coughing and wheezing all night. 他整夜又咳嗽又喘。
  • A barrel-organ was wheezing out an old tune. 一架手摇风琴正在呼哧呼哧地奏着一首古老的曲子。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
21 fickle Lg9zn     
  • Fluctuating prices usually base on a fickle public's demand.物价的波动往往是由于群众需求的不稳定而引起的。
  • The weather is so fickle in summer.夏日的天气如此多变。
22 slumping 65cf3f92e0e7b986ced17e25a7abe6f9     
大幅度下降,暴跌( slump的现在分词 ); 沉重或突然地落下[倒下]
  • Hong Kong's slumping economy also caused a rise in bankruptcy applications. 香港经济低迷,破产申请个案随之上升。
  • And as with slumping, over-arching can also be a simple postural habit. 就像弯腰驼背,过度挺直也可能只是一种习惯性姿势。
23 nagging be0b69d13a0baed63cc899dc05b36d80     
adj.唠叨的,挑剔的;使人不得安宁的v.不断地挑剔或批评(某人)( nag的现在分词 );不断地烦扰或伤害(某人);无休止地抱怨;不断指责
  • Stop nagging—I'll do it as soon as I can. 别唠叨了—我会尽快做的。
  • I've got a nagging pain in my lower back. 我后背下方老是疼。 来自《简明英汉词典》
24 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。
25 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。
26 asphyxiated df1132b39a5443cbe960dfadf4b37a90     
v.渴望的,有抱负的,追求名誉或地位的( aspirant的过去式和过去分词 );有志向或渴望获得…的人
  • The men trapped in the mine were asphyxiated by gas. 那些困在矿井中的人因瓦斯中毒窒息死亡。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • The men in the coal-mine were asphyxiated by the bad gas. 煤矿坑里的工人们为毒气所窒息。 来自辞典例句
27 douse Dkdzf     
  • Men came with buckets of water and began to douse the flames.人们提来一桶桶水灭火。
  • He doused the flames with a fire extinguisher.他用灭火器把火焰扑灭。
28 dilute FmBya     
  • The water will dilute the wine.水能使酒变淡。
  • Zinc displaces the hydrogen of dilute acids.锌置换了稀酸中的氢。
29 toxins 18c3f40d432ba8dc33bad8fb82873ea8     
n.毒素( toxin的名词复数 )
  • The seas have been used as a receptacle for a range of industrial toxins. 海洋成了各种有毒工业废料的大容器。
  • Most toxins are naturally excreted from the body. 大部分毒素被自然排出体外。 来自《简明英汉词典》
30 futile vfTz2     
  • They were killed,to the last man,in a futile attack.因为进攻失败,他们全部被杀,无一幸免。
  • Their efforts to revive him were futile.他们对他抢救无效。
31 puddle otNy9     
  • The boy hopped the mud puddle and ran down the walk.这个男孩跳过泥坑,沿着人行道跑了。
  • She tripped over and landed in a puddle.她绊了一下,跌在水坑里。
32 puddles 38bcfd2b26c90ae36551f1fa3e14c14c     
n.水坑, (尤指道路上的)雨水坑( puddle的名词复数 )
  • The puddles had coalesced into a small stream. 地面上水洼子里的水汇流成了一条小溪。
  • The road was filled with puddles from the rain. 雨后路面到处是一坑坑的积水。 来自《简明英汉词典》
33 tepid Ggkyl     
  • She bent her mouth to the tap and drank the tepid water.她把嘴伸到水龙头底下去喝那微温的水。
  • Her feet firmly planted on the tepid rough brick of the floor.她一双脚稳固地立在微温而粗糙的砖地上。
34 latches 72e582024c502f75cdd8b1b4d69a127f     
n.(门窗的)门闩( latch的名词复数 );碰锁v.理解( latch的第三人称单数 );纠缠;用碰锁锁上(门等);附着(在某物上)
  • The virus latches onto the red blood cells. 这种病毒附着在红细胞上。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The opposite end latches onto the pathogen. 相对的一端锁在病原体上。 来自英汉非文学 - 生命科学 - 预防生物武器
35 belly QyKzLi     
  • The boss has a large belly.老板大腹便便。
  • His eyes are bigger than his belly.他眼馋肚饱。
36 gasping gasping     
adj. 气喘的, 痉挛的 动词gasp的现在分词
  • He was gasping for breath. 他在喘气。
  • "Did you need a drink?""Yes, I'm gasping!” “你要喝点什么吗?”“我巴不得能喝点!”
37 mitts 88a665bb2c9249e1f9605c84e327d7ea     
n.露指手套,棒球手套,拳击手套( mitt的名词复数 )
  • I'd love to get my mitts on one of those. 我很想得到一个那样的东西。
  • Those are my cigarettes; get your mitts off them. 那是我的香烟,别动它。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
38 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。
39 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。
40 gasped e6af294d8a7477229d6749fa9e8f5b80     
v.喘气( gasp的过去式和过去分词 );喘息;倒抽气;很想要
  • She gasped at the wonderful view. 如此美景使她惊讶得屏住了呼吸。
  • People gasped with admiration at the superb skill of the gymnasts. 体操运动员的高超技艺令人赞叹。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
41 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。
42 maneuver Q7szu     
  • All the fighters landed safely on the airport after the military maneuver.在军事演习后,所有战斗机都安全降落在机场上。
  • I did get her attention with this maneuver.我用这个策略确实引起了她的注意。
43 gulp yQ0z6     
  • She took down the tablets in one gulp.她把那些药片一口吞了下去。
  • Don't gulp your food,chew it before you swallow it.吃东西不要狼吞虎咽,要嚼碎了再咽下去。
44 gulps e43037bffa62a52065f6c7f91e4ef158     
n.一大口(尤指液体)( gulp的名词复数 )v.狼吞虎咽地吃,吞咽( gulp的第三人称单数 );大口地吸(气);哽住
  • He often gulps down a sob. 他经常忍气吞声地生活。 来自辞典例句
  • JERRY: Why don't you make a point with your own doctor? (George gulps) What's wrong? 杰瑞:你为啥不对你自个儿的医生表明立场?有啥问题吗? 来自互联网
45 filth Cguzj     
  • I don't know how you can read such filth.我不明白你怎么会去读这种淫秽下流的东西。
  • The dialogue was all filth and innuendo.这段对话全是下流的言辞和影射。
46 drawn MuXzIi     
  • All the characters in the story are drawn from life.故事中的所有人物都取材于生活。
  • Her gaze was drawn irresistibly to the scene outside.她的目光禁不住被外面的风景所吸引。