柯推荐神秘信息|第六宫

2019年9月28日11:29:39柯推荐神秘信息|第六宫已关闭评论 91426805字阅读89分21秒

The Sixth Palace by Robert Silverberg

柯推荐神秘信息|第六宫

第六宫by罗伯特·西尔柏格

Ben Azai was deemed worthy and stood at the gate of the sixth palace and saw the ethereal splendor of the pure marble plates.He opened his mouth and said twice,"Water!Water!"In the twinkling of an eye they decapitated him and threw eleven thousand iron bars at him.This shall be a sign for all generations that no one should err at the gate of the sixth palace.

·阿赛被认为是配得上的,他站在第六宫的门口,看见纯净的大理石盘空灵的光辉,张开嘴说了两遍:"水!水!"转眼之间,他们就砍下了他的头,向他扔了一万一千根铁棍!这将是一个标志,为所有世代,没有人会错误在第六宫的大门。

—Lesser Hekhaloth

lesser Hekhaloth

There was the treasure,and there was the guardian of the treasure.And there were the whitening bones of those who had tried in vain to make the treasure their own.Even the bones had taken on a kind of beauty,lying out there by the gate of the treasure vault,under the blazing arch of heavens.The treasure itself lent beauty to everything near it—even the scattered bones,even the grim guardian.

宝藏在那里,宝藏的守护者也在那里。还有那些白白的骨头,他们曾试图把这些财富变成属于他们自己的财富,但却徒劳无功。甚至那些骨头也呈现出一种美,躺在外面宝库的大门旁,在炽热的天穹下。宝藏本身赋予了它周围的一切美丽ーー即使是分散的骨头,甚至是冷酷的守护者。

The home of the treasure was a small world that belonged to red Valzar.Hardly more than moonsized,really,with no atmosphere to speak of,a silent,dead little world that spun through darkness a billion miles from its cooling primary.A wayfarer had stopped there once.Where from,where bound?No one knew.He had established a cache there,and there it lay,changeless and eternal,treasure beyond belief,presided over by the faceless metal man who waited with metal patience for his master's return.

宝藏的故乡是属于红色瓦尔扎尔的一个小小的世界。几乎没有月球大小,真的,没有空气可言,一个沉默,死亡的小世界,旋转穿过黑暗离它的冷却主要的十亿英里。没有人知道他在那里建立了一个宝库,那里永远不变,是难以置信的宝藏,由一个不知名的金属人主持,他耐心地等待着他的主人回来。

There were those who would have the treasure.They came,and were challenged by the guardian,and died.

有些人想得到宝藏。他们来了,受到了监护人的挑战,最后死了。

On another world of the Valzar system,men undiscouraged by the fate of their predecessors dreamed of the hoard,and schemed to possess it.Lipescu was one:a tower of a man,golden beard,fists like hammers,gullet of brass,back as broad as a tree of a thousand years.Bolzano was another:awl-shaped,bright of eye,fast of finger,twig thick,razor sharp.They had no wish to die.

在瓦尔扎星系的另一个世界,人们并不因为前人的命运而灰心丧气,他们梦想着拥有这个宝藏,并计划着要占有它。利佩斯库就是其中之一:一个高大的男人,金色的胡须,拳头像铁锤,铜制的沟渠,背部宽得像一千年的树。博尔扎诺是另一个:锥形,明亮的眼睛,快速的手指,细枝粗,剃刀锋利。他们不想死。

Lipescu's voice was like the rumble of island galaxies in collision.He wrapped himself around a tankard of good black ale and said,"I go tomorrow,Bolzano."

利佩斯库的声音就像碰撞中的岛屿星系发出的隆隆声,他把自己裹在一大杯上好的黑啤酒中,说道:"我明天就走,博尔扎诺。"

"Is the computer ready?"

"电脑准备好了吗?"

"Programmed with everything the beast could ask me,"the big man boomed."There won't be a slip."

"这头野兽可以问我一切问题,"大个子低声说。"不会出差错的。"

"And if there is?"Bolzano asked,peering idly into the blue,oddly pale,strangely meek eyes of the giant."And if the robot kills you?"

"如果有呢?"博尔扎诺问道,懒洋洋地盯着巨人那双蓝色的、奇怪的苍白的、奇怪的温顺的眼睛。"如果机器人杀了你呢?"

"I've dealt with robots before."

"我以前和机器人打过交道。"

Bolzano laughed."That plain is littered with bones,friend.Yours will join the rest.Great bulky bones,Lipescu.I can see them now."

博尔扎诺笑了。"平原上到处都是骨头,朋友。你的会和其他的一样。大块的骨头,lipescu.我现在能看见它们了。"

"You're a cheerful one,friend."

"你是个快乐的人,朋友。"

"I'm realistic."

"我很现实。"

Lipescu shook his head heavily."If you were realistic,you wouldn't be in this with me,"he said slowly."Only a dreamer would do such a thing as this."One meaty paw hovered in the air,pounced,caught Bolzano's forearm.The little man winced as bones ground together.Lipescu said,"You won't back out?If I die,you'll make the attempt?"

利佩斯库沉重地摇了摇头。"如果你现实一点,你就不会和我在一起了,"他慢吞吞地说。"只有梦想家才会做这种事。"一只有肉的爪子悬在空中,抓住了博尔扎诺的前臂。那个小个子男人因为骨头磨在一起而畏缩。利佩斯库说:"你不会退出吗?如果我死了,你会去尝试吗?"

"Of course I will,you idiot."

"我当然会的,你这个白痴。"

"Will you?You're a coward,like all little men.You'll watch me die,and then you'll turn tail and head for another part of the universe as fast as you know how.Won't you?"

"你愿意吗?你是个懦夫,像所有的小人物一样?你会看着我死去,然后你会以你所知道的最快速度掉头逃向宇宙的另一个角落?不是吗?"

"I intend to profit by your mistakes,"Bolzano said in a clear,testy voice."Let go of my arm."

"我打算从你的错误中获益,"博尔扎诺用一种清晰易怒的声音说。"放开我的手臂。"

Lipescu released his grip.The little man sank back in his chair,rubbing his arm.He gulped ale.He grinned at his partner and raised his glass.

利佩斯库松开了手。小个子男人向后靠在椅子上,揉着胳膊。他也咽了一口。他对着同伴咧嘴笑,举起酒杯。

"To success,"Bolzano said.

"为了成功,"博尔扎诺说。

"Yes.To the treasure."

"是的,为了宝藏。"

"And to long life afterward."

"为了长生不老。"

"For both of us,"the big man boomed.

"为了我们两个,"大个子低声说。

"Perhaps,"said Bolzano."Perhaps."

"也许吧,"博尔扎诺说,"也许吧。"

***

***

He had his doubts.The big man was sly,Ferd Bolzano knew,and that was a good combination,not often found:slyness and size.Yet the risks were great.Bolzano wondered which he preferred—that Lipescu should gain the treasure on his attempt,thus assuring Bolzano of a share without risk,or that Lipescu should die,forcing Bolzano to venture his own life.Which was better,a third of the treasure without hazard,or the whole thing for the highest stake?

他有他的疑虑。费尔德·博尔扎诺知道,这个大个子很狡猾,这是一个很好的组合,人们很少发现:狡猾和高大。然而风险是巨大的。博尔扎诺不知道他更喜欢哪一个ーー利佩斯库应该从他的尝试中获得财富,从而保证博尔扎诺可以毫无风险地分享股份,还是利佩斯库应该死去,迫使博尔扎诺冒自己的生命危险。哪一个更好,三分之一的财富没有危险,还是整个事情为最高的赌注?

Bolzano was a good enough gambler to know the answer to that.Yet there was more than yellowness to the man;in his own way,he longed for the chance to risk his life on the airless treasure world.

博尔扎诺是个很好的赌徒,知道答案。然而,这个人不仅仅是黄色,他渴望有机会在这个没有空气的宝藏世界里冒生命危险,以他自己的方式。

Lipescu would go first.That was the agreement.Bolzano had stolen the computer,had turned it over to the big man,and Lipescu would make the initial attempt.If he gained the prize,his was the greater share.If he perished,it was Bolzano's moment next.An odd partnership,odd terms,but Lipescu would have it no other way,and Ferd Bolzano did not argue the point with his beefy compatriot.Lipescu would return with the treasure,or he would not return at all.There would be no middle way,they both were certain.

利佩斯库先走。这是我们的协议。博尔扎诺偷了电脑,把它交给了那个大个子,利佩斯库会进行初步调整。如果他赢得了奖金,他的份额就更大。如果他死了,接下来就是博尔扎诺的时刻。利佩斯库要么带着宝藏回来,要么就再也不回来了。没有折中的办法,他们都很确定。

Bolzano spent an uneasy night.His apartment,in an airy shaft of a building overlooking glittering Lake His,was a comfortable place,and he had little longing to leave it.Lipescu,by preference,lived in the stinking slums beyond the southern shore of the lake,and when the two men parted for the night they went in opposite ways.Bolzano considered bringing a woman home for the night but did not.Instead,he sat moody and wakeful before the televector screen,watching the procession of worlds,peering at the green and gold and ochre planets as they sailed through the emptiness.

博尔扎诺度过了一个不安的夜晚。他的公寓位于一座建筑物的通风井中,俯瞰着闪闪发光的希斯湖,是一个舒适的地方,他几乎不想离开它。利佩斯库喜欢住在湖南岸那边臭气熏天的贫民窟里,两个人晚上分开的时候,走的是相反的路。博尔扎诺曾考虑带一名女子回家过夜,但没有这么做。相反,他在电视屏幕前忧郁而清醒地坐着,看着世界的游行队伍,凝视着那些绿色、金色和赭色的行星,因为它们航行在空虚之中。

Toward dawn,he ran the tape of the treasure.Octave Merlin had made that tape,a hundred years before,as he orbited sixty miles above the surface of the airless little world.Now Merlin's bones bleached on the plain,but the tape had come home and boot-legged copies commanded a high price in hidden markets.His camera's sharp eye had seen much.

天快亮的时候,他播放了宝藏的录像带。一百年前,当奥克塔夫·梅林在这个没有空气的小世界表面上绕轨道飞行六十英里时,他制作了这个带子。现在梅林的骨头在平原上漂白了,但是胶带已经带回家了,在隐蔽的市场上,靴腿复制品的价格很高。他的照相机锐利的眼睛看到了许多东西。

There was the gate;there was the guardian.Gleaming,ageless,splendid.The robot stood ten feet high,a square,blocky,black shape topped by the tiny anthropomorphic head dome,featureless and sleek.Behind him the gate,wide open but impassable all the same.And behind him,the treasure,culled from the craftsmanship of a thousand worlds,left here who knew why,untold years ago.

大门在那儿,守卫在那儿。闪闪发光,永不老去,灿烂辉煌。这个机器人站在10英尺高的地方,四四方方,块状,黑色的形状,顶部是微小的拟人化的头部圆顶,毫无特征,光滑流畅。他身后的大门敞开着,但仍然无法通行。在他身后,是从上千个世界精心挑选出来的宝藏,留在这里,谁知道这是为什么,在数不清的年前。

No mere jewels.No dreary slabs of so-called precious metal.The wealth here was not intrinsic;no vandal would think of melting the treasure into dead ingots.Here were statuettes of spun iron that seemed to move and breathe.Plaques of purest lead,engraved with lathework that dazzled the mind and made the heart hesitate.Cunning intaglios in granite,from the workshops of a frosty world half a parsec from nowhere.A scatter of opals,burning with an inner light,fashioned into artful loops of brightness.

没有纯粹的珠宝,没有沉闷的所谓贵重金属板。这里的财富不是固有的,任何破坏者都不会想到把财宝熔化成死的金块。这里有一些旋转的铁制小雕像,它们看起来在动,在呼吸。最纯净的铅块,刻着让人眼花缭乱,让人心生犹豫的劳动成果。花岗岩上的巧妙组合,来自一个寒冷世界的作坊,距离不知何处只有半秒的距离。一束散开的蛋白石,在内部的灯光下燃烧,形成了巧妙的亮圈。

A helix of rainbow-colored wood.A series of interlocking strips of some beast's bone,bent and splayed so that the pattern blurred and perhaps abutted some other dimensional continuum.Cleverly carved shells,one within the other,descending to infinity.Burnished leaves of nameless trees.Polished pebbles from unknown beaches.A dizzying spew of wonders,covering some fifty square yards,sprawled out behind the gate in stunning profusion.

一条彩虹色的木螺旋线。某种动物骨骼上的一系列互相连接的条状物,弯曲并张开,使图案变得模糊,也许与其他的空间连续体相连接。巧妙地雕刻的贝壳,一个在另一个里面,下降到无限。无名树上光亮的叶子。不知名的海滩上抛光的鹅卵石,令人眼花缭乱的奇迹喷涌而出,覆盖了大约五十平方码,在大门后面蔓延开来,惊人地丰富。

Rough men unschooled in the tenets of esthetics had given their lives to possess the treasure.It took no fancy knowledge to realize the wealth of it,to know that collectors strung from galaxy to galaxy would fight with bared fangs to claim their share.Cold bars did not a treasure make.But these things?Beyond duplication,almost beyond price?

没有接受过美学教育的粗鲁的人们为了拥有这些宝藏而献出了自己的生命。毫不费吹灰之力就认识到了这些宝藏的价值,也知道那些从一个星系到另一个星系的收藏家们会用他们光秃秃的獠牙来争夺他们的那一份。冰棍不是财宝。但是这些事情。除了复制,几乎是无价之宝?

Bolzano was wet with a fever of yearning before the tape had run its course.When it was over,he slumped in his chair,drained,depleted.

在磁带播放完毕之前,博尔扎诺已经被渴望的狂热浸湿了。演讲结束后,他瘫坐在椅子上,筋疲力尽,精疲力竭。

Dawn came.The silvery moons fell from the sky.The red sun splashed across the heavens.Bolzano allowed himself the luxury of an hour's sleep.

黎明来了。银色的月亮从天而降。红色的太阳洒落在天空上。博尔扎诺让自己享受了一个小时的睡眠。

And then it was time to begin....

然后是时候开始了..

As a precautionary measure,they left the ship in a parking orbit three miles above the airless world.Past reports were unreliable,and there was no telling how far the robot guardian's power extended.If Lipescu were successful,Bolzano could descend and get him—and the treasure.If Lipescu failed,Bolzano would land and make his own attempt.

作为预防措施,他们将飞船停放在离无空气世界三英里的停泊轨道上。如果利佩斯库成功了,博尔扎诺就可以降落并得到他和国库,如果利佩斯库失败了,博尔扎诺就会着陆并进行自己的尝试。

The big man looked even bigger,encased in his suit and in the outer casement of a dropshaft.Against his massive chest he wore the computer,an extra brain as lovingly crafted as any object in the treasure hoard.The guardian would ask him questions;the computer would help him answer.And Bolzano would listen.If Lipescu erred,possibly his partner could benefit by knowledge of the error and succeed.

那个大个子看上去更大了,他被裹在自己的衣服里,放在一个下沉式升降机的外壳里。他把电脑靠在巨大的胸膛上,这个额外的大脑就像宝藏中的任何东西一样精心制作。监护人会问他问题,电脑会帮助他回答。如果利佩斯库犯了错误,博尔扎诺方面可能会从中受益,并取得成功。

"Can you hear me?"Lipescu asked.

"你能听见我说话吗?"利佩斯库问。

"Perfectly.Go on,get going!"

"太好了,继续,继续!"

"What's the hurry?Eager to see me die?"

"急什么?急着看我死吗?"

"Are you that lacking in confidence?"Bolzano asked.Do you want me to go first?"

"你就那么缺乏自信吗?"博尔扎诺问道,要我先来吗?"

"Fool,"Lipescu muttered."Listen carefully.If I die,I don't want it to be in vain."

"傻瓜,"利佩斯库咕哝着。"仔细听着,如果我死了,我不希望它是徒劳的。"

"What would it matter to you?"

"这跟你有什么关系?"

The bulky figure wheeled around.Bolzano could not see his partner's face,but he knew Lipescu must be scowling.The giant rumbled,"Is life that valuable?Can't I take a risk?"

那个庞然大物转过身来。博尔扎诺看不到他搭档的脸,但他知道利佩斯库一定在皱眉头。巨人咕哝着:"生命真的那么宝贵吗。我不能冒个险吗?"

"For my benefit?"

"为了我好?"

"For mine,"Lipescu said."I'll be coming back."

"为了我自己,"利佩斯库说,"我会回来的。"

"Go,then.The robot is waiting."

"那就去吧,机器人在等着呢。"

Lipescu walked to the lock.A moment later he was through and gliding downward,a one-man spaceship,jets flaring beneath his feet.Bolzano settled by the scanner to watch.A televector pickup homed in on Lipescu just as he made his landing,coming down in a blaze of fire.The treasure and its guardian lay about a mile away.Lipescu rid himself of the dropshaft,stepping with giant bounds toward the waiting guardian.

过了一会儿,他穿过去,向下滑翔,脚下是一艘单人飞船,喷气式飞机在他脚下轰鸣。博尔扎诺在扫描仪旁边安顿下来观看。一名电视播音员在列佩斯库着陆时接到了他的家,他在火焰中着陆。宝藏和它的守护者在一英里之外。利佩斯库摆脱了吊轴,迈着巨大的步伐走向等待着的守护者。

Bolzano watched.

博尔扎诺观看了。

Bolzano listened.

博尔扎诺听进去了。

The televector pickup provided full fidelity.It was useful for Bolzano's purposes,and useful,too,for Lipescu's vanity,for the big man wanted his every moment taped for posterity.It was interesting to see Lipescu dwarfed by the guardian.The black faceless robot,squat and motionless,topped the big man by better than three feet.

这对博尔扎诺的目的是有用的,对利佩斯库的虚荣心也是有用的,因为这个大个子希望自己的每一刻都被录下来给后人看。这个黑色的无脸机器人蹲着,一动不动,比那个大个子高出三英尺多。

Lipescu said,"Step aside."

利佩斯库说,"让开。"

The robot's reply came in surprisingly human tones,though void of any distinguishing accent."What I guard is not to be plundered."

机器人的回答出人意料地带有人类的腔调,虽然没有任何明显的口音。"我守护的东西不可被掠夺。"

"I claim them by right,"Lipescu said.

"我有权要求他们,"利佩斯库说。

"So have many others.But their right did not exist.Nor does yours.I cannot step aside for you."

"许多其他人也是如此。但是他们的权利并不存在。你的也不行,我不能为你让路。"

"Test me,"Lipescu said."See if I have the right or not!"

"考验我,"利佩斯库说。"看看我有没有这个权利!"

"Only my master may pass."

"只有我的主人可以通过。"

"Who is your master?I am your master!"

"谁是你的主人?我是你的主人!"

"My master is he who can command me.And no one can command me who shows ignorance before me."

"我的主人就是能命令我的人。在我面前无知的人,谁也不能命令我。"

"Test me,then,"Lipescu demanded.

"那就试试我吧,"利佩斯库要求道。

"Death is the penalty for failure."

"死亡是对失败的惩罚。"

"Test me."

"考验我。"

"The treasure does not belong to you."

"宝藏不是你的。"

"Test me and step aside."

"考验我,然后让开。"

"Your bones will join the rest here."

"你的骨头会和这里的其他骨头连在一起。"

"Test me,"Lipescu said.

"考验我,"利佩斯库说。

Watching from aloft,Bolzano went tense.His thin body drew together like that of a chilled spider.Anything might happen now.The robot might propound riddles,like the Sphinx confronting Oedipus.

从高空看去,博尔扎诺变得紧张起来。他瘦弱的身体紧缩在一起,就像一只冰冷的蜘蛛。现在什么事都有可能发生。机器人可能会提出一些谜题,就像狮身人面像面对俄狄浦斯一样。

It might demand the proofs of mathematical theorems.It might ask the translation of strange words.So they gathered,from their knowledge of what had befallen other men here.And,so it seemed,to give a wrong answer was to earn instant death.

它可能需要数学理论的证明,也可能需要翻译一些奇怪的词语。于是,他们从对这里其他人遭遇的了解中收集了这些词语。而且,似乎给出一个错误的答案就会立即导致死亡。

He and Lipescu had ransacked the libraries of the world.They had packed all knowledge,so they hoped,into their computer.It had taken months,even with multi-stage programming.The tiny shining globe of metal on Lipescu's chest contained an infinity of answers to an infinity of questions.

他和利佩斯库洗劫了世界各地的图书馆。他们希望把所有的知识都装进计算机里,这花了他们几个月的时间,即使是多阶段编程。利佩斯库胸前那个闪闪发光的金属小球,里面装着无穷无尽的问题的答案。

Below,there was long silence as man and robot studied one another.Then the guardian said,"Define latitude."

下面,人和机器人互相打量着,长时间的沉默。然后,监护人说,"定义纬度。"

"Do you mean geographical latitude?"Lipescu asked.

"你是说地理纬度吗?"利佩斯库问道。

Bolzano congealed with fear.The idiot,asking for a clarification!He would die before he began!

博尔扎诺因恐惧而凝固。白痴,要求澄清!他会死在他开始之前!

The robot said,"Define latitude."

机器人说,"定义纬度。"

Lipescu's voice was calm."The angular distance of a point on a planet's surface north or south of the equator,as measured from the center of the planet."

利佩斯库的声音很平静。赤道以北或赤道以南行星表面某一点的角距离,从行星中心测量

"Which is more consonant,"the robot asked,"the minor third or the major sixth?"

"小三度音和大六度音哪个更协和,"机器人问道

There was a pause.Lipescu was no musician.But the computer would feed him the answer.

停顿了一下。利佩斯库不是音乐家。但是电脑会告诉他答案。

"The minor third,"Lipescu said.

"小三度,"利佩斯库说。

Without a pause,the robot fired another question."Name the prime numbers between 5,237 and 7,641."

没有停顿,机器人又提出了另一个问题。说出5,2377,641之间的质数

Bolzano smiled as Lipescu handled the question with ease.So far,so good.The robot had stuck to strictly factual questions,schoolbook stuff,posing no real problems to Lipescu.And after the initial hesitation and quibble over latitude,Lipescu had seemed to grow in confidence from moment to moment.Bolzano squinted at the scanner,looking beyond the robot,through the open gate,to the helter-skelter pile of treasures.He wondered which would fall to his lot when he and Lipescu divided them,two-thirds for Lipescu,the rest for him.

当利佩斯库轻松处理这个问题时,博尔扎诺笑了。到目前为止,一切顺利。这个机器人只回答了一些严格的事实问题,教科书上的东西,没有给Lipescu带来任何真正的问题。在最初对纬度问题犹豫不决、吹毛求疵之后,利佩斯库似乎时时刻刻都充满了信心。博尔扎诺眯起眼睛看着扫描仪,越过机器人,穿过敞开的大门,看到一堆堆乱七八糟的国库。他不知道,当他和利佩斯库把它们分成三分之二给利佩斯库,其余的分给他时,哪些归他。

"Name the seven tragic poets of Elifora,"the robot said.

"说出Elifora七位悲剧诗人的名字,"机器人说。

"Domiphar,Halionis,Slegg,Hork-Sekan—"

多米哈、哈利尼斯、斯莱格、霍克-塞坎ー

"The fourteen signs of the zodiac as seen from Morneez,"the robot demanded.

"Morneez看到的黄道十四宫,"机器人问道。

"The Teeth,the Serpents,the Leaves,the Waterfall,the Blot—"

牙齿、毒蛇、树叶、瀑布、污点

"What is a pedicel?"

"什么是花梗?"

"The stalk of an individual flower of an inflorescence."

花序中单个花的茎

"How many years did the Siege of Lanina last?"

"围攻Lanina持续了多少年?"

"Eight."

"八个。"

"What did the flower cry in the third canto of Somner's Vehicles?"

"索姆纳的《车辆》第三章中的花叫什么?"

"'I ache,I sob,I whimper,I die,'"Lipescu boomed.

"'我疼,我哭,我呜咽,我死了,"'利佩斯库低声说。

"Distinguish between the stamen and the pistil."

雄蕊和雌蕊的区别

"The stamen is the pollen-producing organ of the flower;the pistil—"

雄蕊是花的产粉器官,雌蕊ーー

And so it went.Question after question.The robot was not content with the legendary three questions of mythology;it asked a dozen,and then asked more.Lipescu answered perfectly,prompted by the murmuring of the peerless compendium of knowledge strapped to his chest.Bolzano kept careful count:the big man had dealt magnificently with seventeen questions.When would the robot concede defeat?When would it end its grim quiz and step aside?

然后就这样发生了。一个接一个的问题。这个机器人并不满足于神话中传说中的三个问题;它问了十几个问题,然后又问了更多。利佩斯库的回答非常完美,他胸前挂着无与伦比的知识宝库,喃喃自语着。博尔扎诺仔细地计算着:这个大个子出色地处理了十七个问题。机器人什么时候会认输。它什么时候才能结束这个残酷的测试并退到一边?

It asked an eighteenth question,pathetically easy.All it wanted was an exposition of the Pythagorean Theorem.Lipescu did not even need the computer for that.He answered,briefly,concisely,correctly.Bolzano was proud of his burly partner.

它问了第十八个问题,非常简单。它所需要的只是一个勾股定理的展览。利佩斯库甚至不需要电脑就能做到这一点。他简明扼要地回答了问题,答对了。博尔扎诺为他魁梧的搭档感到骄傲。

Then the robot struck Lipescu dead.

然后机器人撞死了利佩斯库。

It happened in the flickering of an eyelid.Lipescu's voice had ceased,and he stood there,ready for the next question,but the next question did not come.Rather,a panel in the robot's vaulted belly slid open,and something bright and sinuous lashed out,uncoiling over the ten feet or so that separated guardian from challenger,and sliced Lipescu in half.The bright something slid back out of sight.Lipescu's trunk toppled to one side.His massive legs remained absurdly planted for a moment;then they crumpled,and a space suited leg kicked once,and all was still.

这发生在眼皮的闪烁中。利佩斯库的声音停止了,他站在那里,准备着下一个问题,但是下一个问题还没有来。相反,机器人拱形的肚皮上的一块面板滑开了,一个明亮蜿蜒的东西猛烈地冲出来,盘绕在十英尺左右的地方,把守护者和挑战者分开,把利佩斯库切成了两半。那个明亮的东西滑回了视线之外。利佩斯库的树干倒在一边。他那双硕大的腿荒谬地停留了一会儿,然后就缩成一团,一条适合太空的腿踢了一脚,一切都静止了。

Stunned,Bolzano trembled in the loneliness of the cabin,and his lymph turned to water.What had gone wrong?Lipescu had given the proper answer to every question,and yet the robot had slain him.Why?Could the big man possibly have misphrased Pythagoras?No:Bolzano had listened.The answer had been flawless,as had the seventeen that preceded it.Seemingly the robot had lost patience with the game,then.The robot had cheated.Arbitrarily,maliciously,it had lashed out at Lipescu,punishing him for the correct answer.

惊呆了,博尔扎诺在小屋的寂寞中颤抖着,他的淋巴变成了水。到底出了什么问题。利佩斯库对每个问题都给出了正确的答案,然而机器人却杀了他。为什么。这个大个子有可能曲解了毕达哥拉斯的意思吗?不,博尔扎诺已经听进去了。答案是完美无瑕的,就像之前的十七次一样。看起来机器人已经对这个游戏失去了耐心。这个机器人作弊了。它武断地、恶意地抨击Lipescu,惩罚他的正确回答。

Did robots cheat,Bolzano wondered?Could they act in malicious spite?No robot he knew was capable of such actions;but this robot was unlike all others.

博尔扎诺想知道,机器人会作弊吗?他知道没有一个机器人能够做出这样的行为,但是这个机器人与其他机器人不同。

For a long while,Bolzano remained huddled in the cabin.The temptation was strong to blast free of orbit and head home,treasureless but alive.Yet the treasure called to him.Some suicidal impulse drove him on.Sirenlike,the robot drew him downward.

有很长一段时间,博尔扎诺一直蜷缩在小屋里。冲出轨道回家的诱惑是强烈的,虽然没有叛国,但却是活生生的。然而,宝藏在召唤着他。一种自杀的冲动驱使他前进。机器人像西伦一样把他往下拉。

There had to be a way to make the robot yield,Bolzano thought,as he guided his small ship down the broad barren plain.Using the computer had been a good idea,whose only defect was that it hadn't worked.The records were uncertain,but it appeared that in the past men had died when they finally gave a wrong answer after a series of right ones.Lipescu had given no wrong answers.Yet he too had died.It was inconceivable that the robot understood some relationship of the squares on the hypotenuse and on the other two sides that was different from the relationship Lipescu had expressed.

一定有办法让机器人屈服,博尔扎诺一边带领着他的小船驶过广阔贫瘠的平原,一边想。使用计算机一直是个好主意,唯一的缺点是它不能工作。这些记录是不确定的,但是在过去,当人们在一系列正确的答案之后最终给出一个错误的答案时,他们似乎已经死了。利佩斯库没有给出错误的答案。不可思议的是,这个机器人理解了直角三角形斜边和另外两边的正方形之间的某种关系,这种关系与利佩斯库所表达的关系不同。

Bolzano wondered what method would work.

博尔扎诺想知道什么方法可行。

He plodded leadenly across the plain toward the gate and its guardian.The germ of an idea formed in him as he walked doggedly on.

他沉重地步履蹒跚地穿过平原,朝着大门和它的守护者走去。当他顽强地走着时,一个想法的萌芽在他心里形成了。

He was,he knew,condemned to death by his own greed.Only extreme agility of mind would save him from sharing Lipescu's fate.Ordinary intelligence would not work.Odyssean cleverness was the only salvation.

他知道,他被自己的贪婪判处了死刑。只有极端敏捷的思维才能使他免于与利佩斯库一样的命运。普通的智慧是行不通的。奥德修斯的聪明是唯一的救赎。

Bolzano approached the robot.Bones lay everywhere.Lipescu weltered in his own blood.Against that vast dead chest lay the computer,Bolzano knew.But he shrank from reaching for it.He would do without it.He looked away,unwilling to let the sight of Lipescu's severed body interfere with the coolness of his thoughts.

博尔扎诺接近了机器人。到处都是骨头。利佩斯库在自己的血泊中挣扎。电脑就躺在那个巨大的死箱子旁边,博尔扎诺知道。他把目光移开,不愿让利佩斯库被切断的身体影响他冷静的思想。

He collected his courage.The robot showed no interest in him.

他鼓起勇气,机器人对他毫无兴趣。

"Give ground,"Bolzano said."I am here.I come for the treasure."

"让步,"博尔扎诺表示。"我在这儿,我是来找宝藏的。"

"Win your right to it."

"赢得你的权利。"

"What must I do?"

"我该怎么办?"

"Demonstrate truth,"the robot said."Reveal inwardness.Display understanding."

"证明真相,"机器人说。"揭示内在。表现出理解。"

"I am ready,"said Bolzano.

"我准备好了,"博尔扎诺表示。

The robot offered a question."What is the excretory unit of the vertebrate kidney called?"

机器人提出了一个问题。脊椎动物肾脏的排泄单位叫什么

Bolzano contemplated.He had no idea.The computer could tell him,but the computer lay strapped to fallen Lipescu.No matter.The robot wanted truth,inwardness,understanding.Lipescu had offered information.Lipescu had perished.

博尔扎诺的沉思。他不知道。电脑可以告诉他,但是电脑被绑在倒下的利皮斯库身上,没关系。机器人想要的是真理、内在和理解。利佩斯库提供了情报。利佩斯库已经死了。

"The frog in the pond,"Bolzano said,"utters an azure cry."

"池塘里的青蛙,"博尔扎诺说,"发出一声蔚蓝的哭声。"

There was silence.Bolzano watched the robot's front,waiting for the panel to slide open,the sinuous something to chop him in half.

一片寂静。博尔扎诺看着机器人的前面,等着嵌板滑开,这个弯弯曲曲的东西把他切成两半。

The robot said,"During the War of Dogs on Vanderveer LX,the embattled colonists drew up thirty-eight dogmas of defiance.Quote the third,the ninth,the twenty-second,and the thirty-fifth."

机器人说:"在凡德维尔路x星上的狗之战中,四面楚歌的殖民者制定了38条反抗的教条。引用第三,第九,第二十二,第三十五。"

Bolzano pondered.This was an alien robot,product of unknown hand.How did its maker's mind work?Did it respect knowledge?—Did it treasure facts for their own sake?Or did it recognize that information is meaningless,insight a nonlogical process?

博尔扎诺沉思着。这是一个外星机器人,未知手的产品。它的创造者是如何思考的。它是否尊重知识?ーー它是否为了知识本身而珍视事实?还是它认识到信息是无意义的,洞察力是一个非逻辑过程?

Lipescu had been logical.He lay in pieces.

利佩斯库是有逻辑的,他躺成了碎片。

"The mereness of pain,"Bolzano responded,"is ineffable and refreshing."

"痛苦的融合,"博尔扎诺回应道,"是无法形容和令人耳目一新的。"

The robot said,"The monastery of Kwaisen was besieged by the soldiers of Oda Nobunaga on the third of April,1582.What words of wisdom did the abbot utter?"

机器人说:"158243日,夸伊森修道院被织田信长的士兵包围。修道院长说了什么至理名言?"

Bolzano spoke quickly and buoyantly."Eleven,forty-one,elephant,voluminous."

博尔扎诺讲话迅速而热情。"十一,四十一,大象,大量。"

The last word slipped from his lips despite an effort to retrieve it.Elephants were voluminous,he thought.A fatal slip?The robot did not appear to notice.

最后一个词从他嘴里溜了出来,尽管他费了好大劲才把它收回来。他认为,大象体型庞大,这是致命的失误。机器人似乎没有注意到。

Sonorously,ponderously,the great machine clevered the next question.

这台大机器响亮而沉重地提出了下一个问题。

"What is the percentage of oxygen in the atmosphere of Muldonar VII?"

"马尔多纳七号的大气中氧的百分比是多少?"

"False witness bears a swift sword,"Bolzano replied.

"伪证带着一把利剑,"博尔扎诺回答道。

The robot made an odd humming sound.Abruptly it rolled on massive tracks,moving some six feet to its left.The gate of the treasure trove stood wide,beckoning.

机器人发出奇怪的嗡嗡声。突然,它在巨大的轨道上滚动,向左移动了大约六英尺。无主宝藏的大门敞开着,向人们招手。

"You may enter,"the robot said.

"你可以进去了,"机器人说。

Bolzano's heart leaped.He had won!He had gained the high prize!

博尔扎诺的心跳他赢了!他赢得了最高的奖励!

Others had failed,most recently less than an hour before,and their bones glistened on the plain.They had tried to answer the robot,sometimes giving right answers,sometimes giving wrong ones,and they had died.Bolzano lived.

还有一些失败了,最近的一次发生在不到一个小时之前,它们的骨头在平原上闪闪发光。他们试图回答机器人,有时给出正确的答案,有时给出错误的答案,然后他们就死了。博尔扎诺活了下来。

It was a miracle,he thought.Luck?Shrewdness?Some of each,he told himself.He had watched a man give eighteen right answers and die.So the accuracy of the responses did not matter to the robot.What did?Inwardness.Understanding.Truth.

这是一个奇迹,他想。运气。精明。他亲眼目睹了一个人给出十八个正确答案后死去,所以答案的准确性对机器人来说并不重要。那是什么。内在。理解。真相。

There could be inwardness and understanding and truth in random answers,Bolzano realized.Where earnest striving had failed,mockery had succeeded.He had staked his life on nonsense,and the prize was his.

博尔扎诺意识到,随机的答案可能蕴含着内在的、理解的和真实的。他把自己的生命赌在胡说八道上,奖品就是他的。

He staggered forward,into the treasure trove.Even in the light gravity,his feet were like leaden weights.Tension ebbed in him.He knelt among the treasures.

他摇摇晃晃地向前走,走进了宝藏。即使在轻微的重力作用下,他的脚也像沉重的铅块。他的紧张情绪渐渐消失了。他跪在那些珍宝中间。

The tapes,the sharp-eyed televector scanners,had not begun to indicate the splendor of what lay here.Bolzano stared in awe and rapture at a tiny disk,no greater in diameter than a man's eye,on which myriad coiling lines writhed and twisted in patterns of rare beauty.He caught his breath,sobbing with the pain of perception as a gleaming marble spire,angled in mysterious swerves,came into view.Here,a bright beetle of some fragile waxy substance rested on a pedestal of yellow jade.There,a tangle of metallic cloth spurted dizzying patterns of luminescence.And over there—and beyond—and there.

那些磁带,那些锐利的电视扫描仪,还没有开始显示出这里的壮观景象。博尔扎诺满怀敬畏和兴奋地盯着一个小圆盘,它的直径不比一个人的眼睛大,上面有无数盘绕的线条扭曲着,形成罕见的美丽图案。他屏住呼吸,痛苦地抽泣着,仿佛看到一个闪闪发光的大理石尖顶,神秘地转向。这里,一只由一些脆弱的蜡质物质组成的光亮甲虫停留在黄玉的基座上。在那里,一团金属布喷射出令人眩晕的发光图案。在那里ーー在那里ーー在那里。

The ransom of a universe,Bolzano thought.

一个宇宙的赎金,博尔扎诺想。

It would take many trips to carry all this to his ship.Perhaps it would be better to bring the ship to the hoard,eh?He wondered,though,if he would lose his advantage if he stepped back through the gate.Was it possible that he would have to win entrance all over again?And would the robot accept his answers as willingly the second time?

把这些东西搬到他的船上需要多次旅行。也许把船带到窖藏那里会更好,嗯?他想,如果他退回到大门那里,他会不会失去他的优势。有没有可能他不得不再次赢得入场机会。机器人会像第二次一样欣然接受他的答案吗?

It was something he would have to chance,Bolzano decided.If is nimble mind worked out a plan.He would select a dozen,two dozen of the finest treasures,as much as he could comfortably carry,and take them back to the ship.Then he would lift the ship and set it down next to the gate.If the robot raised objections about his entering,Bolzano would simply depart,taking what he had already secured.There was no point in running undue risks.When he had sold this cargo,and felt pinched for money,he could always return and try to win admission once again.Certainly,no one else would steal the horde if he abandoned it.

这是他必须碰碰运气的事情,博尔扎诺决定。如果是敏捷的头脑制定出一个计划,他会挑选一打、两打最好的珍宝,尽可能多地轻松携带,然后把它们带回船上。如果机器人对他的进入提出异议,博尔扎诺就会带着他已经得到的东西离开。冒不必要的风险是没有意义的。当他卖掉这批货物,并感到手头拮据时,他总是可以回来,并设法再次赢得入场券。当然,如果他放弃了这个部落,没有人会去偷它。

Selection,that was the key now.

选择,这是现在的关键。

Crouching,Bolzano picked through the treasure,choosing for portability and easy marketability.The marble spire?Too big.But the coiling disk,yes,certainly,and the beetle,of course,and this small statuette of dull hue,and the cameos showing scenes no human eye had ever beheld,and this,and this,and this—

蜷缩着,博尔扎诺挑选宝藏,选择便于携带和易于销售。大理石尖顶。太大了。但是盘旋的圆盘,是的,当然,还有甲虫,当然,还有这个暗淡色调的小雕像,还有展示人类从未见过的场景的客串片断,还有这个,这个,这个,还有这个ー

His pulse raced.His heart thundered.He saw himself traveling from world to world,vending his wares.Collectors,museums,governments would vie with one another to have these prizes.He would let them bid each object up into the millions before he sold.And,of course,he would keep one or two for himself—or perhaps three or four—souvenirs of this great adventure.

他的脉搏加快了。他的心怦怦直跳,他看见自己周游世界,兜售他的货物。收藏家、博物馆和政府会竞相拥有这些藏品,他会让他们在他出售之前竞标每件藏品达到数百万美元。当然,他也会为自己留一两件——或者三四件——这次伟大冒险的纪念品。

And someday when wealth bored him he would return and face the challenge again.And he would dare the robot to question him,and he would reply with random absurdities,demonstrating his grasp on the fundamental insight that in knowledge there is only hollow merit,and the robot would admit him once more to the treasure trove.

有一天,当财富使他厌烦时,他会回来再次面对挑战。他会挑战机器人向他提问,然后他会随机地回答一些荒谬的问题,展示他对知识只有空洞价值这一基本洞察力的理解,而机器人会再次让他进入宝藏。

Bolzano rose.He cradled his lovelies in his arms.Carefully,carefully,he thought.Turning,he made his way through the gate.

博尔扎诺玫瑰他抱着他的小可爱。小心,小心,他想。他转过身,穿过大门。

The robot had not moved.It had shown no interest as Bolzano plundered the hoard.The small man walked calmly past it.

机器人一动不动,在博尔扎诺掠夺宝藏时,它也没有表现出任何兴趣。小个子男人平静地从它旁边走过。

The robot said,"Why have you taken those?What do you want with them?"

机器人说:"你为什么吃那些药?你想从他们身上得到什么?"

Bolzano smiled.Nonchalantly he replied,"I've taken them because they're beautiful.Because I want them.Is there a better reason?"

博尔扎诺笑了。他若无其事地回答说:"我拍这些照片是因为它们很漂亮。因为我想要它们,还有更好的理由吗?"

"No,"the robot said,and the panel slid open in its ponderous black chest.

"不,"机器人说,控制板在它笨重的黑色胸部滑开。

Too late,Bolzano realized that the test had not yet ended,that the robot's question had arisen out of no idle curiosity.And this time he had replied in earnest,speaking in rational terms.

太晚了,博尔扎诺意识到测试还没有结束,机器人的问题并非出于无聊的好奇心。这一次他回答得很认真,讲话也很理智。

Bolzano shrieked.He saw the brightness coming toward him.

博尔扎诺尖叫起来。他看见光明正朝他走来。

Death followed instantly.

死亡随之而来。

来源:http://www.maxima-library.org/mob/b/423978?format=read

zhunbeizhuanbian
  • 本文由 发表于 2019年9月28日11:29:39
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