羊毛战记 Part 5 The Stranded 75
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  • Silo 18 •
  “What happened? Why aren’t they responding?” Courtnee looked from Walker to Shirly, as if eitherof them could know.
  “Is it broken?” Shirly picked up the small dial with the painted marks and tried to tell if it hadaccidentally moved. “Walk, did we break it?”
  “No, it’s still on,” he said. He held the headphones up by his cheek, his eyes drifting over thevarious components1.
  “Guys, I don’t know how much longer we have.” Courtnee was watching the scene in thegenerator room through the observation window. Shirly stood up and peered out over the controlpanel toward the main entrance. Jenkins and some of his men were inside, rifles pinned against theirshoulders, yelling at the others. The soundproofing made it impossible to hear what was going on.
  A voice crackled from Walker’s hands. The words seemed to tumble through his fingers.
  “Who’s there?” he called, flicking3 the switch. “Who is this?”
  Shirly rushed to Walker’s side. She wrapped her hands around his arm, disbelieving. “Juliette!”
  she screamed.
  Walker held up his hand, tried to quiet her and Courtnee both. His hands were trembling as hefumbled with the detonator and finally clicked the red switch.
  “Jules?” His old voice cracked. Shirly squeezed his arm. “Is that you?”
  There was a pause, and then a cry from the speakers, a sob5. “Walk? Walk, is that you? What’sgoing on? Where are you? I thought …”
  “Where is she?” Shirly whispered.
  Courtnee watched them both, her cheeks in her palms, mouth open.
  Walker hit the switch. “Jules, where are you?”
  A deep sigh hissed6 through the tiny speakers. Her voice was tiny and far away. “Walk, I’m inanother silo. There’s more of them. You wouldn’t believe …”
  Her voice drifted off to static. Shirly leaned against Walker while Courtnee paced in front of them,looking from the radio to the window.
  “We know about the others,” Walker said, holding the mic below his beard. “We can hear them,Jules. All of them.”
  He let go of the switch. Juliette’s voice returned.
  “How are you—Mechanical? I heard about the fighting. Are you in the middle of that?” Beforeshe signed off, Juliette said something to someone else, her voice barely audible.
  Walker raised his eyebrows7 at the mention of the fighting.
  “How would she have heard?” Shirly asked.
  “I wish she were here,” Courtnee said. “Jules would know what to do.”
  “Tell her about the exhaust. About the plan.” Shirly waved for the microphone. “Here, let me.”
  Walker nodded. He handed Shirly the headset and the detonator.
  Shirly worked the switch. It was stiffer than she’d thought it’d be. “Jules? Can you hear me? It’sShirly.”
  “Shirly …” Juliette’s voice wavered. “Hey, you. You hanging in there?”
  The emotion in her friend’s voice brought tears to Shirly’s eyes. “Yeah—” She bobbed her headand swallowed. “Hey, listen, some of the others are routing the exhaust feed to IT’s cooling vents8.
  But remember that time we lost back pressure? I’m worried the motor might …”
  “No.” Juliette said. “You have to stop them. Shirly, can you hear me? You have to stop them. Itwon’t do anything. The cooling is for the servers. The only people up there who—” She cleared herthroat. “Listen to me. Make them stop—”
  Shirly fumbled4 with the red switch. Walker reached over as if to help, but she finally got thedevice under control. “Wait,” she transmitted. “How do you know where the vents lead?”
  “I just do. This place is laid out the same. Goddamn it, let me talk to them. You can’t let them—”
  Shirly hit the switch again. There was a blast of sound from the generator2 room as Courtnee threwopen the door and ran outside. “Courtnee’s going,” she said. “She’s going right now. Jules— Howdid you—? Who are you with? Can they help us? It’s not looking good over here.”
  The tiny speakers crackled again. Shirly could hear Juliette take a deep breath, could hear othervoices in the background, heard her give commands or orders to some other person. Shirly thoughther friend sounded exhausted9. Weary. Sad.
  “There’s nothing I can do,” Juliette said. “There’s no one here. One man. Some kids. Everyone’sgone. The people who lived here, they couldn’t even help themselves.” The line went silent, and thenshe clicked through again. “You have to stop the fighting,” she said. “Whatever it takes. Please—Don’t let it be because of me. Please stop—”
  The door opened again, Courtnee returning. Shirly heard shouts in the generator room. Gunfire.
  “What is that?” Juliette asked. “Where are you guys?”
  “In the control room.” Shirly looked up at Courtnee, whose eyes were wide with fear. “Jules, Idon’t think we have much time. I—” There was so much she wanted to say. She wanted to tell herabout Marck. She needed more time. “They’re coming for us,” was all she could think to relate. “I’mglad you’re okay.”
  The radio crackled. “Oh God, make them stop. No more fighting! Shirly, listen to me!”
  “It doesn’t matter,” Shirly said, holding the button and wiping her cheeks. “They won’t stop.” Thegunfire was getting closer, the pops audible through the thick door. Her people were dying while shecowered in the control room, talking to a ghost. Her people were dying.
  “You take care of yourself,” Shirly said.
  Shirly handed the headset to Walker. She joined Courtnee by the window and watched the crushof people cower10 on the other side of the generator, the flash and shudder11 of barrels leaning against therailing, someone in the blue of Mechanical lying still on the ground. More faded pops. More distantand muted rattles12.
  “Jules!” Walker fumbled with the radio. He shouted her name, was still trying to talk to her.
  “Let me talk to them!” Juliette yelled, her voice impossibly far away. “Walk, why can I hear youand not them? I need to talk to the deputies, to Peter and Hank. Walk, how did you call me? I need totalk to them!”
  Walker blubbered about soldering13 irons, about his magnifiers. The old man was crying, cradlinghis boards and wires and electrics as if they were a broken child, whispering to them and rockingback and forth14, salt water dripping dangerously onto this thing he’d built.
  He babbled15 to Juliette while more men in blue fell, arms draped over railings, inadequate16 riflesdropping noiselessly to the ground. The men they had lived in terror of for a month were inside. Itwas over. Shirly groped for Courtnee, their arms entangling17, while they watched, helpless. Behindthem, the sobs and mad ravings of old Walk mixed with the jitter of deadened gunfire, a poppingnoise like the grumble of a machine losing its balance, sliding out of control …


1 components 4725dcf446a342f1473a8228e42dfa48     
(机器、设备等的)构成要素,零件,成分; 成分( component的名词复数 ); [物理化学]组分; [数学]分量; (混合物的)组成部分
  • the components of a machine 机器部件
  • Our chemistry teacher often reduces a compound to its components in lab. 在实验室中化学老师常把化合物分解为各种成分。
2 generator Kg4xs     
  • All the while the giant generator poured out its power.巨大的发电机一刻不停地发出电力。
  • This is an alternating current generator.这是一台交流发电机。
3 flicking 856751237583a36a24c558b09c2a932a     
(尤指用手指或手快速地)轻击( flick的现在分词 ); (用…)轻挥; (快速地)按开关; 向…笑了一下(或瞥了一眼等)
  • He helped her up before flicking the reins. 他帮她上马,之后挥动了缰绳。
  • There's something flicking around my toes. 有什么东西老在叮我的脚指头。
4 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。
5 sob HwMwx     
  • The child started to sob when he couldn't find his mother.孩子因找不到他妈妈哭了起来。
  • The girl didn't answer,but continued to sob with her head on the table.那个女孩不回答,也不抬起头来。她只顾低声哭着。
6 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。
7 eyebrows a0e6fb1330e9cfecfd1c7a4d00030ed5     
眉毛( eyebrow的名词复数 )
  • Eyebrows stop sweat from coming down into the eyes. 眉毛挡住汗水使其不能流进眼睛。
  • His eyebrows project noticeably. 他的眉毛特别突出。
8 vents 3fd48768f3da3e458d6b73926735d618     
(气体、液体等进出的)孔、口( vent的名词复数 ); (鸟、鱼、爬行动物或小哺乳动物的)肛门; 大衣等的)衩口; 开衩
  • He always vents his anger on the dog. 他总是拿狗出气。
  • The Dandelion Patch is the least developed of the four active vents. “蒲公英区”在这四个活裂口中是发育最差的一个。
9 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。
10 cower tzCx2     
  • I will never cower before any master nor bend to any threat.我决不会在任何一位大师面前发抖,也不会为任何恐吓所屈服。
  • Will the Chinese cower before difficulties when they are not afraid even of death?中国人死都不怕,还怕困难吗?
11 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。
12 rattles 0cd5b6f81d3b50c9ffb3ddb2eaaa027b     
(使)发出格格的响声, (使)作嘎嘎声( rattle的第三人称单数 ); 喋喋不休地说话; 迅速而嘎嘎作响地移动,堕下或走动; 使紧张,使恐惧
  • It rattles the windowpane and sends the dog scratching to get under the bed. 它把窗玻璃震得格格作响,把狗吓得往床底下钻。
  • How thin it is, and how dainty and frail; and how it rattles. 你看它够多么薄,多么精致,多么不结实;还老那么哗楞哗楞地响。
13 soldering 308a46b7e24a05d677a12004923dc03d     
n.软焊;锡焊;低温焊接;热焊接v.(使)焊接,焊合( solder的现在分词 )
  • Care must be exercised in attaching the lead wires to the soldering tabs. 在往接线片上焊导线时必须非常小心。 来自辞典例句
  • I suggest posing me with a soldering wand over my head like a sword. 我想让自己这样像把剑一样把电焊杆举过头顶。 来自电影对白
14 forth Hzdz2     
  • The wind moved the trees gently back and forth.风吹得树轻轻地来回摇晃。
  • He gave forth a series of works in rapid succession.他很快连续发表了一系列的作品。
15 babbled 689778e071477d0cb30cb4055ecdb09c     
v.喋喋不休( babble的过去式和过去分词 );作潺潺声(如流水);含糊不清地说话;泄漏秘密
  • He babbled the secret out to his friends. 他失口把秘密泄漏给朋友了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • She babbled a few words to him. 她对他说了几句不知所云的话。 来自《简明英汉词典》
16 inadequate 2kzyk     
  • The supply is inadequate to meet the demand.供不应求。
  • She was inadequate to the demands that were made on her.她还无力满足对她提出的各项要求。
17 entangling a01d303e1a961be93b3a5be3e395540f     
v.使某人(某物/自己)缠绕,纠缠于(某物中),使某人(自己)陷入(困难或复杂的环境中)( entangle的现在分词 )
  • We increasingly want an end to entangling alliances. 我们越来越想终止那些纠缠不清的盟约。 来自辞典例句
  • What a thing it was to have her love him, even if it be entangling! 得到她的爱是件多么美妙的事,即使为此陷入纠葛中去也值得! 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹