Direktlänk till inlägg 5 maj 2011

powerful one day

Av lucyshanxu lucyshanxu - 5 maj 2011 07:58

The witch Serafina Pekkala, who had rescued Lyra and the other children from the experimental station at Bolvangar and flown with her to the island of Svalbard, was deeply troubled. In the atmospheric disturbances that followed Lord Asriel's escape from his exile on Svalbard, she and her companions were blown far from the island and many miles out over the frozen sea. Some of them managed to stay with the damaged balloon of Lee Scoresby, the Texan aeronaut, but Serafina herself was tossed high into the banks of fog that soon came rolling in from the gap that Lord Asriel's experiment had torn in the sky. When she found herself able to control her flight once more, her first thought was of Lyra; for she knew nothing of the fight between the false bear-king and the true one, Iorek Byrnison, nor of what had happened to Lyra after that. So she began to search for her, flying through the cloudy gold-tinged air on her branch of cloud-pine, accompanied by her daemon, Kaisa the snow goose. They moved back toward Svalbard and south a little, soaring for several hours under a sky turbulent with strange lights and shadows. Serafina Pekkala knew from the unsettling tingle of the light on her skin that it came from another world. After some time had passed, Kaisa said, "Look! A witch's daemon, lost…" Serafina Pekkala looked through the fog banks and saw a tern, circling and crying in the chasms of misty light. They wheeled and flew toward him. Seeing them come near, the tern darted up in alarm, but Serafina Pekkala signaled friendship, and he dropped down beside them. Serafina Pekkala said, "What clan are you from?" "Taymyr," he told her. "My witch is captured. Our companions have been driven away! I am lost!" "Who has captured your witch?" "The woman with the monkey daemon, from Bolvangar… Help me! Help us! I am so afraid!" "Was your clan allied with the child cutters?" "Yes, until we found out what they were doing. After the fight at Bolvangar they drove us off, but my witch was taken prisoner. They have her on a ship… What can I do? She is calling to me and I can't find her! Oh, help, help me!" "Quiet," said Kaisa, the goose daemon. "Listen down below." They glided lower, listening with keen ears, and Serafina Pekkala soon made out the beat of a gas engine, muffled by the fog. "They can't navigate a ship in fog like this," Kaisa said. "What are they doing?" "It's a smaller engine than that," said Serafina Pekkala, and as she spoke there came a new sound from a different direction: a low, brutal, shuddering blast, like some immense sea creature calling from the depths. It roared for several seconds and then stopped abruptly. "The ship's foghorn," said Serafina Pekkala. They wheeled low over the water and cast about again for the sound of the engine. Suddenly they found it, for the fog seemed to have patches of different density, and the witch darted up out of sight just in time as a launch came chugging slowly through the swathes of damp air. The swell was slow and oily, as if the water was reluctant to rise. They swung around and above, the tern daemon keeping close like a child to its mother, and watched the steersman adjust the course slightly as the foghorn boomed again. There was a light mounted on the bow, but all it lit up was the fog a few yards in front. Serafina Pekkala said to the lost daemon: "Did you say there are still some witches helping these people?" "I think so—a few renegade witches from Volgorsk, unless they've fled too," he told her. "What are you going to do? Will you look for my witch?" "Yes. But stay with Kaisa for now." Serafina Pekkala flew down toward the launch, leaving the daemons out of sight above, and alighted on the counter just behind the steersman. His seagull daemon squawked, and the man turned to look. "You taken your time, en't you?" he said. "Get up ahead and guide us in on the port side." She took off again at once. It had worked: they still had some witches helping them, and he thought she was one. Port was left, she remembered, and the port light was red. She cast about in the fog until she caught its hazy glow no more than a hundred yards away. She darted back and hovered above the launch calling directions to the steersman, who slowed the craft down to a crawling pace and brought it in to the ship's gangway ladder that hung just above the water line. The steersman called, and a sailor threw a line from above, and another hurried down the ladder to make it fast to the launch. Serafina Pekkala flew up to the ship's rail, and retreated to the shadows by the lifeboats. She could see no other witches, but they were probably patrolling the skies; Kaisa would know what to do. Below, a passenger was leaving the launch and climbing the ladder. The figure was fur-swathed, hooded, anonymous; but as it reached the deck, a golden monkey daemon swung himself lightly up on the rail and glared around, his black eyes radiating malevolence. Serafina caught her breath: the figure was Mrs. Coulter. A dark-clothed man hurried out on deck to greet her, and looked around as if he were expecting someone else as well. "Lord Boreal—" he began. But Mrs. Coulter interrupted: "He has gone on elsewhere. Have they started the torture?" "Yes, Mrs. Coulter," was the reply, "but—" "I ordered them to wait," she snapped. "Have they taken to disobeying me? Perhaps there should be more discipline on this ship." She pushed her hood back. Serafina Pekkala saw her face clearly in the yellow light: proud, passionate, and, to the witch, so young. "Where are the other witches?" she demanded. The man from the ship said, "All gone, ma'am. Red to their homeland." "But a witch guided the launch in," said Mrs. Coulter. "Where has she gone?" Serafina shrank back; obviously the sailor in the launch hadn't heard the latest state of things. The cleric looked around, bewildered, but Mrs. Coulter was too impatient, and after a cursory glance above and along the deck, she shook her head and hurried in with her daemon through the open door that cast a yellow nimbus on the air. The man followed. Serafina Pekkala looked around to check her position. She was concealed behind a ventilator on the narrow area of decking between the rail and the central superstructure of the ship; and on this level, facing forward below the bridge and the funnel, was a saloon from which windows, not portholes, looked out on three sides. That was where the people had gone in. Light spilled thickly from the windows onto the fog-pearled railing, and dimly showed up the foremast and the canvas-covered hatch. Everything was wringing-wet and beginning to freeze into stiffness. No one could see Serafina where she was; but if she wanted to see any more, she would have to leave her hiding place. That was too bad. With her pine branch she could escape, and with her knife and her bow she could fight. She hid the branch behind the ventilator and slipped along the deck until she reached the first window. It was fogged with condensation and impossible to see through, and Serafina could hear no voices, either. She withdrew to the shadows again.

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She sniffed the beans, and again an expression of pleasure and suspicion entered her eyes. She tipped the can into the saucepan and licked a finger, watching as Will shook salt and pepper into the eggs and cut a knob of butter from a package in the fridge into a cast-iron pan. He went into the bar to find some matches, and when he came back she was dipping her dirty finger in the bowl of beaten eggs and licking it greedily. Her daemon, a cat again, was dipping his paw in it, too, but he backed away when Will came near. "It's not cooked yet," Will said, taking it away. "When did you last have a meal?" "At my father's house on Svalbard," she said. "Days and days ago. I don't know. I found bread and stuff here and ate that." He lit the gas, melted the butter, poured in the eggs, and let them run all over the base of it. Her eyes followed everything greedily, watching him pull the eggs up into soft ridges in the center as they cooked and tilt the pan to let raw egg flow into the space. She watched him, too, looking at his face and his working hands and his bare shoulders and his feet. When the omelette was cooked he folded it over and cut it in half with the spatula. "Find a couple of plates," he said, and Lyra obediently did so. She seemed quite willing to take orders if she saw the sense of them, so he told her to go and clear a table in front of the café. He brought out the food and some knives and forks from a drawer, and they sat down together, a little awkwardly. She ate hers in less than a minute, and then fidgeted, swinging back and forth on her chair and plucking at the plastic strips of the woven seat while he finished his. Her daemon changed yet again, and became a goldfinch, pecking at invisible crumbs on the tabletop. Will ate slowly. He'd given her most of the beans, but even so he took much longer than she did. The harbor in front of them, the lights along the empty boulevard, the stars in the dark sky above, all hung in the huge silence as if nothing else existed at all. And all the time he was intensely aware of the girl. She was small and slight, but wiry, and she'd fought like a tiger; his fist had raised a bruise on her cheek, and she was ignoring it. Her expression was a mixture of the very young—when she first tasted the cola—and a kind of deep, sad wariness. Her eyes were pale blue, and her hair would be a darkish blond once it was washed; because she was filthy, and she smelled as if she hadn't bathed for days. "Laura? Lara?" Will said. "Lyra." "Lyra… Silvertongue?" "Yes." "Where is your world? How did you get here?" She shrugged. "I walked," she said. "It was all foggy. I didn't know where I was going. At least, I knew I was going out of my world. But I couldn't see this one till the fog cleared. Then I found myself here." "What did you say about dust?" "Dust, yeah. I'm going to find out about it. But this world seems to be empty. There's no one here to ask. I've been here for… I dunno, three days, maybe four. And there's no one here." "But why do you want to find out about dust?" "Special Dust," she said shortly. "Not ordinary dust, obviously." The daemon changed again. He did so in the flick of an eye, and from a goldfinch he became a rat, a powerful pitch-black rat with red eyes. Will looked at him with wide wary eyes, and the girl saw his glance. "You have got a daemon," she said decisively. "Inside you." He didn't know what to say. "You have," she went on. "You wouldn't be human else. You'd be… half dead. We seen a kid with his daemon cut away. You en't like that. Even if you don't know you've got a daemon, you have. We was scared at first when we saw you. Like you was a night-ghast or something. But then we saw you weren't like that at all." "We?" "Me and Pantalaimon. Us. But you, your daemon en't separate from you. It's you. A part of you. You're part of each other. En't there anyone in your world like us? Are they all like you, with their daemons all hidden away?" Will looked at the two of them, the skinny pale-eyed girl with her black-rat daemon now sitting in her arms, and felt profoundly alone. "I'm tired. I'm going to bed," he said. "Are you going to stay in this city?" "Dunno. I've got to find out more about what I'm looking for. There must be some Scholars in this world. There must be someone who knows about it." "Maybe not in this world. But I came here out of a place called Oxford. There's plenty of scholars there, if that's what you want." "Oxford?" she cried. "That's where I come from!" "Is there an Oxford in your world, then? You never came from my world." "No," she said decisively. "Different worlds. But in my world there's an Oxford too. We're both speaking English, en't we? Stands to reason there's other things the same. How did you get through? Is there a bridge, or what?" "Just a kind of window in the air." "Show me," she said. It was a command, not a request. He shook his head. "Not now," he said. "I want to sleep. Anyway, it's the middle of the night." "Then show me in the morning!" "All right, I'll show you. But I've got my own things to do. You'll have to find your scholars by yourself." "Easy," she said. "I know all about Scholars." He put the plates together and stood up. "I cooked," he said, "so you can wash the dishes." She looked incredulous. "Wash the dishes?" she scoffed. "There's millions of clean ones lying about! Anyway, I'm not a servant. I'm not going to wash them." "So I won't show you the way through." "I'll find it by myself." "You won't; it's hidden. You'd never find it. Listen, I don't know how long we can stay in this place. We've got to eat, so we'll eat what's here, but we'll tidy up afterward and keep the place clean, because we ought to. You wash these dishes. We've got to treat this place right. Now I'm going to bed. I'll have the other room. I'll see you in the morning." He went inside, cleaned his teeth with a finger and some toothpaste from his tattered bag, fell on the double bed, and was asleep in a moment. Lyra waited till she was sure he was asleep, and then took the dishes into the kitchen and ran them under the tap, rubbing hard with a cloth until they looked clean. She did the same with the knives and forks, but the procedure didn't work with the omelette pan, so she tried a bar of yellow soap on it, and picked at it stubbornly until it looked as clean as she thought it was going to. Then she dried everything on another cloth and stacked it neatly on the drainboard. Because she was still thirsty and because she wanted to try opening a can, she snapped open another cola and took it upstairs. She listened outside Will's door and, hearing nothing, tiptoed into the other room and took out the alethiometer from under her pillow. She didn't need to be close to Will to ask about him, but she wanted to look anyway, and she turned his door handle as quietly as she could before going in. There was a light on the sea front outside shining straight up into the room, and in the glow reflected from the ceiling she looked down at the sleeping boy. He was frowning, and his face glistened with sweat. He was strong and stocky, not as formed as a grown man, of course, because he wasn't much older than she was, but he'd be powerful one day. How much easier if his daemon had been visible! She wondered what its form might be, and whether it was fixed yet. Whatever its form was, it would express a nature that was savage, and courteous, and unhappy. She tiptoed to the window. In the glow from the streetlight she carefully set the hands of the alethiometer, and relaxed her mind into the shape of a question. The needle began to sweep around the dial in a series of pauses and swings almost too fast to watch. She had asked: What is he? A friend or an enemy? The alethiometer answered: He is a murderer. When she saw the answer, she relaxed at once. He could find food, and show her how to reach Oxford, and those were powers that were useful, but he might still have been untrustworthy or cowardly. A murderer was a worthy companion. She felt as safe with him as she'd felt with Iorek Byrnison, the armored bear. She swung the shutter across the open window so the morning sunlight wouldn't strike in on his face, and tiptoed out.

 
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Av lucyshanxu lucyshanxu - 11 maj 2011 08:16

Bless my very existence!" cried the eccentric man. "I was beginningto fear something had happened to you. I am glad that you are allright. I heard voices, and I imagined--" "It's all right," Mr. Swift reassured him. "There was a strangerabout my shop...

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