فصل 25

مجموعه: کتاب های متوسط / کتاب: 2001 - اودیسه فضایی / فصل 25

کتاب های متوسط

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فصل 25

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  • زمان مطالعه 3 دقیقه
  • سطح خیلی سخت

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متن انگلیسی فصل

CHAPTER TWENTY FIVE

First Man to Saturn

As he had done on his previous trip outside, Frank Poole parked Betty about six meters away from the antenna and switched control over to Hal before opening up.

‘Going outside now,’ he reported to Bowman.

There was silence for some time, as Poole moved slowly towards the antenna. Then he called out, ‘Hal, there’s too much shadow here - swing the vehicle lights twenty degrees to the left - thanks - that’s OK.’

Somewhere in Bowman’s mind, a warning bell started to ring. There was something strange, and it took him a few seconds to realize what it was.

Hal had obeyed the order, but had not said a word. That was unusual. When Poole had finished, they should discuss this…

Outside, Poole removed the cover, then pulled the little unit out of its place and held it up to the sunlight.

‘Here it is,’ he said. ‘It still looks perfectly OK to me.’

Then he stopped. A sudden movement had caught his eye - out here, where no movement was possible.

He looked up in alarm. The pattern of light from the vehicle’s two main lights had started to move around him. His first thought was that Betty had moved away from the ship. But no - she was coming straight towards him, under full power.

The sight was so unbelievable that he said nothing; he did not even try to move away. Then he recovered enough to shout, ‘Hall! Full braking…’

Inside Discovery, that shout over the radio made Bowman jump violently.

‘What’s wrong, Frank?’ he called.

Then, outside the wide observation windows, something moved. He saw Betty, travelling almost at full speed, heading out towards the stars.

‘Hal!’ he cried.’ What’s wrong? Full braking power on Betty! Full braking power!’

Nothing happened, and then, pulled behind her on the end of the safety line, appeared a spacesuit. One look was enough to tell Bowman the worst. It was the soft shape of a suit that had lost its pressure and was open to vacuum.

Within five minutes the vehicle and its satellite had disappeared among the stars. For a long time, David Bowman stared after it into the emptiness that stretched so many millions of kilometers ahead. Only one thought kept hammering in his brain.

Frank Poole would be the first of all men to reach Saturn.

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