فصل 39

مجموعه: کتاب های متوسط / کتاب: 2001 - اودیسه فضایی / فصل 39

کتاب های متوسط

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فصل 39

توضیح مختصر

  • زمان مطالعه 3 دقیقه
  • سطح ساده

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متن انگلیسی فصل

CHAPTER THIRTY NINE

Into the Eye

Discovery looked just as he had last seen her from space, floating in lunar orbit with the Moon taking up half the sky. Now he was leaving, perhaps for the last time, the metal world that had been his home for so many months. Even if he never returned, the ship would continue to send signals back to Earth, until finally its electrical systems failed.

And if he did return? Well, he could stay alive for a few more months. But that was all, because the hibernation systems were useless with no computer to operate them. He could not possibly continue to live until Discovery II arrived in four or five year’s time.

He put these thoughts behind him as the black block of TMA-2 climbed above the horizon. He turned the vehicle right round and used the engines to slow his speed. He was still about eight kilometers high now, and heading straight for the enormous black object. It was as featureless as the flat surface below him, and until now he had not realized how enormous it really was. And as far as could be seen, its sizes had exactly the same 1 to 4 to 9 relationship as those of TMA-1.

‘I’m only five kilometers away now. Still no sign of activity - nothing on any of the instruments. The sides and top seem absolutely smooth and polished. Now I’m directly over it. about a hundred and fifty meters up. I’m going to land. It’s certainly solid enough.

‘Just a minute - that’s odd…’

Bowman’s voice died away. He was not frightened; he simply could not describe what he was seeing. He had been hanging above a black block, but now the top of it seemed to be moving away from him, down to the surface of Japetus and then lower. It was exactly like looking at a drawing of a square box where suddenly the near side can become the far side. Now it seemed he was looking straight down a black hole in the ground. And, even more strange, although its sides went down for a long way, they never seemed to get closer together.

David Bowman had time for just one broken sentence, which the scientists waiting in Mission Control, fourteen million kilometers away, never forgot:

‘The thing’s hollow - it goes on forever - and - oh my God - it’s full of stars!’

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