硫化氢的翻译沙盒页-Sidelines' Sarabande

他们得搭个顺风车了……

一开始,正如在Area-08-B工程部门的同僚们一样,理查德·巴纳德博士始终密切注意着那些震耳欲聋的扬声器的动静。它们通常会坚定而平静地广播着来自任务管理中心的命令,听从它们可不仅仅是"重要"二字就能涵盖的,甚至可以说,这是他们的工作中最为重要的一件事。 但他注意到,今天的情况似乎有所变化,比如说,广播里不再是托马斯·格雷厄姆向所有人下达命令,却开始放送起了一段弦乐。

只是过了一会,困意就开始在他的脑海中浮现,理查德习惯性的开始只用他的耳朵静静听着这一切,而大脑却飞速运转,仔细地对那段信息进行分析。 这竟是一则如此大胆的消息,他在脑海中不断感受、理解着那令人精神放松的杰作的笔触,亲切地评价道,脸上不由自主地挂上了一丝微笑。

狂暴、危险与残忍正于它如魔法般的、粗俗不堪的深处潜藏,如此复杂,如此精致。当他逐渐能够开始看出那些裂痕、音调与时间相互交融、不断渗透着的模式时;当他的表意识逐渐陷入混乱,被那位艺术家设计而把抛弃自身诸多职责、即将陷入异常舞蹈的,那深藏于底、被唤起反骨的潜意识唤醒的时候,理查德看到了一把钥匙。

"亨德尔的萨拉班德1?天哪。 "

理查德站了起来,循着乐曲的律动,仔细搜寻着异常的引物。那引物不同于现在常被人们滥用的粗鲁而愚蠢的伎俩,却是如此纯净、和谐。

"我的,我、我的——"

"我的最爱",他小声自言自语道,却几乎无法察觉、无法分辨出他周围的人都早已倒在了一尘不染的瓷砖地板上。

"没事,无需担心,我能搞定这个。"他心不在焉地向同事们说着,却没意识到他们未曾回应。

大多数人都对模因恐惧不已,因为它们通常会阴险潜伏于暗中,令人难以察觉。该如何辨别什么是异常模因,而什么不是?它会出现在一篇小说上?还是画作?抑或歌曲?这是一个需要被作为整体来看待的复合模因吗?它会在观察者的脑海中留下引物吗?

"不仅如此,甚至,这东西还可能留有多重引物!" 然而,对于一个充满警惕的心智来说,模因又怎能称得上阴险?它们也只不过是些固定的组合形式罢了。注意规律,留心征兆,你就能发现它们。

"话虽如此,还是需要对那些固定模式时刻留神。为什么你开心时就会想唱歌?这种自发的、自省式的问题才能让你成为一个优秀的模因学家,"理查德微笑着说道,"既然我现在已经找到那曲调了,现在就只需要,呵,弃之不顾就行了2。"

不过当然了,绝大部分人都不是模因学家,理查德身边的大部分工程师和技术员都已躺倒在了4号清洁隔舱的地板上。他早已接种过疫苗,因此能够通过潜意识来解析这段音乐。但比起模因危害给人那狂躁而生厌的零星感觉,这音乐更像是一整片灰暗,像一把小刀刺入现代人的脑海中,产生着细小的震动与裂缝。

理查德叹了口气,感到有些失望,因为他并没能从中发现什么让他眼前一亮的东西。 他蹲下来,仔细观察着其中一个倒下的同事,恍如隔世。这大概就是他们所说的“理解的力量”吧,好似刹那间一切都已经改变,而旧世界看起来——不,那本就是全新的世界。而他在密封清洁服的透明面板后轻笑。

他朝着林德伯格博士那涂满呕吐物的面板上扫过一眼,就已经明白了他所需的所有信息。

"血管迷走神经性症状3,而非昏厥。大部分反馈与副交感神经均已衰竭,眼睛睁开,瞳孔跟随物体转动,也就是说,‘灯火通明,家中无人,嗡声渐起’”,他漫不经心地唱道,这是他对模因攻击的具体目的尚存疑问时就会自然道出的、早已熟记于心的句子,能为他起到助记作用。在这种状态下,他们的大脑虽然还能工作,却丝毫没有醒来的迹象,并且——理查德抬手扇了博士两耳光,却在她脸上看不到丝毫退缩——还缺乏对疼痛的应激反应。

"好吧,我就暂且称之为无应答状态吧,毕竟那个捏乳头测试对双方来说都算不上是什么趣事。"他向林德伯格坦白道。

她依旧一脸茫然。

而他也仍旧笑着4

"对威胁没反应吗?" 她依旧一脸茫然。一股垃圾堆般的臭味飘了出来,大概当膀胱与肠道在一套清洁服内排空自己的时候,就会出现这种情况吧。

他笑的更开心了,还鼓起了掌,看起来十分满意。

"Not a drone, and there's still a tongue!, then C-some, handsome," or, as he liked to say it, C-class amnestic by the fistful, "and a good night sleeeeep."

Richard placed the woman in the recovery position as the last tone died in his lips.

"Shame I don't have any C on me right now," the man pondered, suddenly serious. "They are good, those."

And then, the beautiful hazard that sung over their heads was replaced by a thunderous alert as the automated autocensor programs kicked in.

The memeticist stood for a second, paying attention to the PA system as it announced a preliminary diagnostic. All the screens in every networked device within the room busied themselves with automatic warnings; they were utterly useless and ironically precise.

Richard snorted and thought how disgraceful the whole business was. He hated losing in the memetics game, to anyone. The Foundation needed an automated memetic vaccine program, not merely an autocensor; secondary prevention was no good, primary prevention was necessary and (he smiled at the thought) this was the perfect example of why.

"You will increase our budget now, won't you, Big Os?", he gleefully chortled as he studied the autocensor program. His Memetics Sector had devised it some months ago, but it was frightfully primitive; it could recognize most potentially hurtful patterns, but whoever had strung these subtle ones so seamlessly into a melody…

Oh, they were good.

Line after line of data flew straight through his eyes as he absorbed information. A few minutes later, or perhaps a few hours later, he recalled protocol. "Ah, shouldn't we be warning the Area, guys?"

He looked upon his inert workmates. One of them was sobbing, trapped in some dark corner of his mind. Or perhaps simply enjoying the shade, now that the searing fire of the sun-song had been replaced by the thundering but soothing storm that was the alarm.

"Hmm. Yes, yes. Right, right."

The memeticist fought the first impulse he had (maybe if I tried some cognitohazards on them?) by reminding himself of the futility of such ambition (I'll probably end up filling the gaps with something worse anyways) and his duty to report (if they weren't hit first, anyways).

"In case you can hear me, no time for recovery positions, everyone," he said, opening the airtight door of the Clean Room. "Try not to swallow and breathe at the same time."

Richard did not care for the decontamination processes as he left the Clean Room (what was there to clean when you left it, anyways?) and traversed the large industrial unit of the Engineering Section. The inviting safe room and its many security measures were empty; the researcher walked past them, unfazed. No particularly dangerous activities had been planned for that day, after all. Nor warnings on any unplanned activities. No attackers that may have known how to overtake the PA system, or how to flood the place with mind-blowing memes, or where Area-08 was, or that it existed in the first place.

He cocked his head to a side, bemused. How easily they forgot "secret" did not mean "safe." Richard hurried, wide perspex windows and solid concrete walls to both sides.

To his right, seven D Classes had been left to the devices of three confused security drones in their testing area. The machines were unprepared for any play-possum war games, and so they kept beeping at the unresponsive D Classes. Richard didn't notice the wriggling as the drones pierced the men and women with their electrified spikes, yet he could not help but notice one of them had scampered to the furthest corner and stood still behind the unmoving body of another inmate; he made the mental note that he had to screen her for memetic resistance afterwards.

To his left, the largest Clean Room of the Sector, where the Foundation was building the modules that would eventually form the first Venerian aerostat. The room was no longer "clean", geniuses and qualified workers writhing on the floor, stewing in their own shit and puke. Richard didn't notice the expression in some technicians's face, who had struggled outside of his clean suit to try and get rid of some imaginary pest while screaming; he did wonder what the man screamed about (that response was incoherent with those of the other cases after all), but there was no time to go back and there would be security footing anyways.

Other people, better people, would have been bewildered or enraged by all this. Weaponized cognitive hazards, memetics in particular, were a horrible thing, after all. They would be scared, evidently. Even curious; curious as to how it was possible that they where still standing where so many others had fallen to the ground.

Richard kept strolling, serene, always smiling, to the elevator at the end of the concrete corridor. He even stepped up his pace, breaking into a run, to get to the elevator; as he called it down, Richard pondered the many fascinating secrets of the human psyche those new memes would unlock over the next days, as he would figure out how to treat them, erase them with amnestics, replicate them on brain simulators, then on people, and then erase them again… and do it all over again.

And over.

He entered the elevator; a uniformed guard was inside, counting the number of buttons in the floor selector. Richard gently pushed him aside and pressed the floor ground one.

The man went back to his counting, Richard noted, face frozen in an anguished smirk and pointing at them, from one to minus fifteen, over and over.

And over.

Richard took note, smiled from behind the face plate and did not stop him.

The elevator hit ground level, the door opening with a mellow, friendly chime…

The entire complex shook; there was first a roaring explosion. Then, a vibration and a constant, distant rumble, part a howl and part what the world would sound like if it was snapping in half.

And there was a familiarity in all of it, he thought, that wiped his smile and all other concerns and made him run.

The guard kept counting, Richard would remember later, but he was shrieking the numbers now.

The researcher ran, turned right where he should have turned left, kept running for a few more seconds and pushed the half-opened door to the left side of the Mission Control Hub of Area-08-B. He got blinded by the sunlight, but the bother only lasted for a second, as a completely equipped shuttle took off from Launch Bay 3.

He stared at the undeniably awe-inspiring column of boiling smoke that went on and on and on, and took it all in; the sight of the tiny needle-like shine on top of the cloud-like pillar, the thinning yet still deafening sound, the feeling it had grafted into his conscious self.

For the first time, he felt the suit was in the way. He slowly took the hood off and kept staring up. As the roar of the Foundation torchship shuttle Inquisitive died away for good, he managed to say:

"We got lift-off. Yes, we do, don't we?"

The two guards by the door, mercifully unconscious, did not see the smile their superior flaunted over them.5

"And that's you up there, isn't it, my lovable melomaniac?"

The sky held no answers for him, or preferred to be less than forthcoming.


原作:Dr ReachDr Reach|Sidelines' Sarabande

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