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只为认真做自己

阿西莫夫短篇小说:绿斑

He was straining. Why did he have to wait? If he could only welcome those who were aboard now. Now!

他的神经绷到了极限。他还在等什么呢?如果他现在就向船上的朋友们张开怀抱该多好。就现在!

Yet a cooler, more reasoning part of himself told him that he could not. The little multipliers in the darkness would betray their new status in fifteen minutes, and the keen-thinkers had them under continual observation. Even one mile from the surface of their planet would be too soon, since they might still destroy themselves and their ship out in space.

但是另一个冷静、理智的自己告诉他,不能这样。那些黑暗中的小繁殖者会在十五分钟之内泄露它们的状态,而那些有头脑生物随时都在观察它们(佳人微信公众号:jiarenorg)。即使是飞船离地面只有一英里的时候也还太早,因为他们还是可以飞回太空自我毁灭。

Better to wait for the main air locks to open, for the planetary air to swirl in with millions of the little multipliers. Better to greet each one of them into the brotherhood of unified life and let them swirl out again to spread the message.

最好是等到主舱门打开,等他们星球的风裹挟着不计其数的小繁殖者们涌入。他会将他们每一个都迎入融合生命的手足联盟,然后让他们再次随风飘散,将这讯息在大地上传播。

Then it would be done! Another world organized, complete!

然后就成功了!又一个星球融为了一体,完整了!

He waited. There was the dull throbbing of the engines working mightily to control the slow dropping of the ship; the shudder of contact with planetary surface, then-

他继续等待。引擎有力地搏动着,控制着飞船缓慢地降落。然后是与地面接触时的震颤,再然后——

He let the jubilation of the keen-thinkers sweep into reception, and his own jubilant thoughts answered them. Soon they would be able to receive as well as himself. Perhaps not these particular fragments, but the fragments that would grow out of those which were fitted for the continuation of life.

他让有头脑生物们的喜悦涌入自己的感官,呼应着他自己的喜悦。很快他们就能跟他一样有这样的感受了。也许这些碎片们自己还不行,但是他们更适于延续性生命的后代一定可以。

The main air locks were about to be opened-

主舱门马上就要开启——

And all thought ceased.

这时一切思考都中止了。

Jerry Thorn thought, Damn it, something’s wrong now.

杰里·索恩心想,真该死,又出问题了。

He said to Captain Loring, “Sorry. There seems to be a power breakdown. The locks won’t open.”

他对洛林船长说:“对不起。好像电源出现故障了,舱门打不开。”

“Are you sure, Thorn? The lights are on.”

“你确定?灯都亮着。”

“Yes, sir. We’re investigating it now.”

“是的,长官。我们正在检查。”

He tore away and joined Roger Oldenn at the air-lock wiring box. “What’s wrong?”

他快步走到正在查看舱门接线盒的罗杰·奥尔登旁边,“怎么回事?”

“Give me a chance, will you?” Oldenn’s hands were busy. Then he said, “For the love of Pete, there’s a six-inch break in the twenty-amp lead.”

“给我点时间行不?”奥尔登双手忙个不停。然后他说:“老天爷啊,二十安培导线上有个六英寸的缺口。”

“What? That can’t be!”

“什么?怎么可能!”

Oldenn held up the broken wires with their clean, sharp, sawn-through ends.

奥尔登拈起电线被干净利落地锯开的两头。

Dr. Weiss joined them. He looked haggard and there was the smell of brandy on his breath.

韦斯博士也走过来。他看起来十分憔悴,还散发着白兰地的气味。

He said shakily, “What’s the matter?”

他声音发抖,问道:“怎么了?”

They told him. At the bottom of the compartment, in one corner, was the missing section.

他们告诉了他。在接线盒底部的一角里找到了消失的那段电线。

Weiss bent over. There was a black fragment on the floor of the compartment. He touched it with his finger and it smeared, leaving a sooty smudge on his finger tip. He rubbed it off absently.

韦斯弯下腰。接线盒底部有一段黑色的东西(佳人微信公众号:jiarenorg),用手指碰了碰便成了粉末,在他指尖上留下烟灰一样的污迹。他漫不经心地把它擦掉了。

There might have been something taking the place of the missing section of wire. Something that had been alive and only looked like wire, yet something that would heat, die, and carbonize in a tiny fraction of a second once the electrical circuit which controlled the air lock had been closed.

也许有什么东西替代了那段消失的电线。某种活着的东西,某种虽然看上去像电线,但在控制舱门的电路接通的瞬间却发热、死亡并炭化了的东西。

He said, “How are the bacteria?”

他问:“细菌怎么样?”

A crew member went to check, returned and said, “All normal, Doc.”

一个船员跑去检查,回来报告:“一切正常,博士。”

The wires had meanwhile been spliced, the locks opened, and Dr. Weiss stepped out into the anarchic world of life that was Earth.

与此同时电线也被接好了。舱门打开,韦斯博士步入名为地球的这个混乱世界。

“Anarchy,” he said, laughing a little wildly. “And it will stay that way.”

“混乱,”他难以自控地笑起来,“而且将永远地混乱下去。”(来源

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