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公開·92 Our Tribe

Fool On The Planet The Pillows Rar



The bed, a massive bed on four legs, with a mattress far softer than that of the bunk on the Mindful, and complex bedclothes, some silky and some warm and thick, and a lot of pillows like cumulus clouds, had a room all to itself. The floor was covered with springy carpeting: there was a chest of drawers of beautifully carved and polished wood, and a closet big enough to hold the clothing of a ten-man dormitory. Then there was the great common room with the fireplace, which he had seen last night; and a third room, which contained a bathtub, a washstand, and an elaborate shitstool. This room was evidently for his sole use, as it opened off the bedroom, and contained only one of each kind of fixture, though each was of a sensuous luxury that far surpassed mere eroticism and partook, in Shevek's view, of a kind of ultimate apotheosis of the excremental. He spent nearly an hour in this third room, employing all the fixtures in turn, and getting very clean in the process. The deployment of water was wonderful. Faucets stayed on till turned off; the bathtub must hold sixty liters, and the stool used at least five liters in flushing. This was really not surprising. The surface of Urras was five-sixths water. Even its deserts were deserts of ice, at the poles. No need to economize; no drought...But what became of the shit? He brooded over this, kneeling by the stool after investigating its mechanism. They must filter it out of the water at a manure plant There were seaside communities on Anarres that used such a system for reclamation. He intended to ask about this, but never got around to it. There were many questions he never did ask on Urras.




Fool On The Planet The Pillows Rar



Therefore the work-posting called Defense never had to call for volunteers. Most Defense work was so boring that it was not called work in Pravic, which used the same word for work and play, but kleggich, drudgery. Defense workers manned the twelve old interplanetary ships, keeping them repaired and in orbit as a guard network; maintained radar and radio-telescopic scans in lonesome places; did dull duty at the Port. And yet they always had a waiting-list. However pragmatic the morality a young Anarresti absorbed, yet life overflowed in him, demanding altruism, self-sacrifice, scope for the absolute gesture. Loneliness, watchfulness, danger, spaceships: they offered the lure of romance. It was pure romance that kept Shevek flattening his nose against the window until the vacant Port had dropped away behind the dirigible, and that left him disappointed because he had not seen a grubby ore freighter on the pad.


But the Eden of Anarres proved to be dry, cold, and windy, and the rest of the planet was worse. Life there had not evolved higher than fish and flowerless plants. The air was thin, like the air of Urras at a very high altitude. The sun burned, the wind froze, the dust choked.


On land, the plants got on well enough, in their sparse, and spiny fashion, but those animals that had tried airbreathing had mostly given up the project as the planet's climate entered a millennial era of dust and dryness. Bacteria survived, many of them lithophagous, and a few hundred species of worm and crustacean.


They were out on the athletic fields of Abbenay's North Park, six of them, in the long gold and heat and dust of the evening. They were all pleasantly replete, for dinner had gone on most of the afternoon, a street festival and feast with cooking over open fires. It was the midsummer holiday. Insurrection Day, commemorating the first great uprising in Nio Bsseia in the Urrasti year 740, nearly two hundred years ago. Cooks and refectory workers were honored as the guests of the rest of the community on that day, because a syndicate of cooks and waiters had begun the strike that led to the insurrection. There were many such traditions and festivals on Anarres, some instituted by the Settlers and others, like the harvest homes and the Feast of the Solstice, that had risen spontaneously out of the rhythms of life on the planet and the need of those who work; together to celebrate together.


He had been embarrassed often enough, and had felt himself a fool. As a young man he had suffered from the sense that others thought him strange, unlike them; in later years he had felt, having deliberately invited, the anger and contempt of many of his fellows on Anarres. But he had never really accepted their Judgment. He had never been ashamed.


Food, and adrenalin, had dispelled Shevek'a paralysis. He walked up and down the room, irritable and restless. He wanted to act He had spent nearly a year now doing nothing, except being a fool. It was time he did something.


They went back to Domicile Eight, Room 3, and there their long desire was fulfilled. They did not even light the lamp; they both liked making love in darkness. The first time they both came as Shevek came into her, the second time they struggled and cried out in a rage of joy, prolonging their climax as if delaying the moment of death, the third time they were both half asleep, and circled about the center of infinite pleasure, about each other's being, like planets circling blindly, quietly, in the flood of sunlight, about the common center of gravity, swinging, circling endlessly.


They showed Shevek all over the ship, the interstellar Davenant. It was as different as it could be from the freighter Mindful. From the outside it was as bizarre and fragile-looking as a sculpture in glass and wire; it did not have the look of a ship, a vehicle, about it at all, not even a front and back end, for it never traveled through any atmosphere thicker than that of interplanetary space. Inside, it was as spacious and solid as a house. The rooms were large and private, the walls wood-paneled or covered with textured weavings, the ceilings high. Only it was like a house with the blinds drawn, for few rooms had view ports, and it was very quiet. Even the bridge and the engine rooms had this quietness about them, and the machines and instruments had the simple definitiveness of design of the fittings of a sailing ship. For recreation, there was a garden, where the lighting had the quality of sunlight, and the air was sweet with the smell of earth and leaves; during ship night the garden was darkened, and its ports cleared to the stars.


Though its interstellar journeys lasted only a few hours or days shiptime, a near-lightspeed ship such as this might spend months exploring a solar system, or years in orbit around a planet where its crew was living or exploring. Therefore it was made spacious, humane, livable, for those who must live aboard it. Its style had neither the opulence of Urras nor the austerity of Anarres, but struck a balance, with the effortless grace of long practice. One could imagine leading that restricted life without fretting at its restrictions, contentedly, meditatively. They were a meditative people, the Hainish among the crew, civil, considerate, rather somber. There was little spontaneity in them. The youngest of them seemed older than any of the Terrans aboard.


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