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Chapter 9 Ghosts In The Machine




JON Spiro had not hired Pex and Chips for their debating skills. In the job interview they had only been set one task. A hundred applicants1 were handed a walnut2 and asked to smash it however they could. Only two succeeded. Pex had shouted at the walnut for a few minutes, then flattened3 it between his giant palms. Chips opted4 for a more controversial method. He placed the walnut on the table, grabbed his interviewer by the ponytail and used the man’s forehead to smash the nut. Both men were hired on the spot. They quickly established themselves as Arno Blunt’s most reliable lieutenants7 for in-house work. They were not allowed outside Chicago as this could involve map reading - something Pex and Chips were not very good at.

At the moment, Pex and Chips were bonding under a full moon while Mulch dug a dwarf8-sized pit in the dry clay behind an abandoned cement factory.

‘You wanna guess why they call me Pex?’ asked Pex, flexing9 his chest muscles as a hint.

Chips opened a packet of the potato chips he was forever crunching10.

‘I dunno. Is it, like, short for something?’

‘Like what?’

‘I dunno,’ said Chips. He used the phrase a lot. ‘Francis?’

This sounded dumb, even to Pex. ‘Francis? How could Pex be short for Francis?’

Chips shrugged11. ‘Hey. I had an Uncle Robert and everyone called him Bobby. That don’t make no sense neither.’

Pex rolled his eyes. ‘It’s pec-tor-als, moron12. Pex is short for pectorals, on account of me having big chest muscles.’

In the pit, Mulch groaned13. Listening to this mindless banter14 was almost as bad as having to dig a hole with a shovel15. Mulch was tempted16 to deviate17 from the plan and launch himself into the flaky soil. But Artemis did not want any display of fairy powers at this stage of the proceedings18. If he took off, and these goons escaped without being mesmerized19, then Spiro’s paranoia20 would be driven up another notch21.

On the surface, Chips was eager to continue the game.

‘Guess why they call me Chips,’ he said, hiding the bag of chips behind his back.

Pex kneaded his forehead. He knew this one.

‘Don’t tell me,’ he said. ‘I can work it out.’

Mulch poked22 his head from the hole. ‘It’s because he eats chips, you idiot. Chips eats chips. You two are the thickest Mud Men I have ever met. Why don’t you just kill me? At least I won’t have to listen to your drivel.’

Pex and Chips were stunned23. With all the mental exercise, they had almost forgotten about the little man in the hole. Plus, they were unaccustomed to prospective25 victims saying anything besides, ‘Oh no, please, God, no.’

Pex leaned over the grave’s lip. ‘What do you mean drivel?’

‘I mean that whole Chips Pex thing.’

Pex shook his head. ‘No, I mean what does the word “drivel” mean? I’ve never heard that one.’

Mulch was delighted to explain. ‘It means rubbish, garbage, claptrap, twaddle, baloney. Is that clear enough for you?’

Chips recognized the last one. ‘Baloney? Hey, that’s an insult! Are you insulting us, little man?’

Mulch clasped his hands in mock prayer. ‘Finally, a breakthrough.’

The musclemen were uncertain how to react to actual abuse. There were only two people alive who insulted them regularly: Arno Blunt and Jon Spiro. But that was part of the job -- you just ignored that by turning up the music in your head.

‘Do we have to listen to his smart mouth?’ Pex asked his partner.

‘I don’t think so. Maybe I should phone Mister Blunt.’

Mulch groaned. If stupidity were a crime, these two would be public enemies one and two.

‘What you should do is kill me. That was the idea, wasn’t it? Just kill me and get it over with.’

‘What do you think, Chips? Should we just kill him?’

Chips chewed on a handful of barbecue Ruffles27. ‘Yeah. Course. Orders is orders.’

‘But I wouldn’t just kill me,’ interjected Mulch.

‘You wouldn’t?’

‘Oh no. After the way I just insulted your intelligence? No, I deserve something special.’

You could almost see the steam coming out of Pex’s ears as his brain overheated.

‘That’s right, little man. We’re gonna do something special to you. We don’t take no insults from anybody!’

Mulch did not bother pointing out the double negative.

‘You’re right. I’ve got a smart mouth, and I deserve everything I’ve got coming to me.’

There followed a short silence as Pex and Chips tried to come up with something worse than the usual straight shooting.

Mulch  gave  them  a  minute,  then  made  a  polite suggestion.

‘If it were me, I’d bury me alive.’

Chips was horrified28.

‘Bury you alive? That’s terrible! You’d be screaming and clawing the dirt. I could get nightmares.’

‘I promise to lie still. Anyway, I deserve it. I did call you a pair of overdeveloped, single-celled Cro-Magnons.’

‘Did you?’

‘Well, I have now.’

Pex was the more impulsive29 of the duo. ‘OK, Mister Digence. You know what we’re gonna do? We’re going to bury you alive.’

Mulch clapped two hands to his cheeks. ‘Oh, the horror!’

‘You asked for it, buddy30.’

‘I did, didn’t I?’

Pex grabbed a spare shovel from the boot. ‘Nobody calls me an overdeveloped, signal bell crow magnet.’

Mulch lay down obligingly in his grave. ‘No. I bet nobody does.’

Pex shovelled31 furiously, gymnasium-sculpted muscles stretching his suit jacket. In minutes, Mulch’s form was completely covered.

Chips was feeling a bit squeamish. ‘That was horrible. Horrible. That poor little guy.’

Pex was unrepentant. ‘Yeah, well, he asked for it. Calling us . . . all those things.’

‘But buried alive?! That’s like in that horror movie. Y’know, the one with all the horror.’

‘I think I saw that one. With all the words going up the screen at the end?’

‘Yeah, that was it. Tell you the truth, those words kinda ruined it for me.’

Pex stamped on the loose earth. ‘Don’t worry, buddy. There are no words in this movie.’

They climbed back into their Chevrolet automobile32. Chips was still a bit upset.

‘You know, it’s much more real than a movie when it’s real.’

Pex ignored a no-access sign and pulled on to the motorway33. ‘It’s the smell. You can’t smell stuff in a movie.’

Chips sniffed34 emotionally. ‘Digence musta been upset right there at the end.’

‘I’m not surprised.’

“Cause I could see him cryin’. His shoulders were shaking, like he was laughing. But he must have been crying. I mean, what sort of crazy whacko would laugh when he’s getting buried alive?’

‘He musta been crying.’

Chips opened a bag of smoky bacon curls. ‘Yeah. He musta been crying.’


Mulch was laughing so much that he nearly choked on the first mouthful of soil. What a pair of clowns! Then again, it was lucky for them that they had been clowns, otherwise they might have chosen their own method of execution.

Jaw35 unhinged, Mulch tunnelled straight down for five metres and then veered36 north to the cover of some abandoned warehouses37. His beard hair sent out sonar signals in all directions. You couldn’t be too careful in built-up areas. There was always some wildlife, and Mud People had a habit of burying things in places you wouldn’t expect them. Pipes, septic tanks and barrels of industrial waste were all things he had taking an unwitting bite of in his day. And there is nothing worse than finding something in your mouth that you weren’t expecting to be there, especially if it’s wriggling38.

It felt good to be tunnelling again. This was what dwarfs39 were born to do. The earth felt right between his fingers, and he soon settled into his distance rhythm. Scooping40 muck between his grinding teeth, breathing through slitted nostrils41, and pumping waste material out the other end.

Mulch’s hair antennae42 informed him that there were no vibrations44 on the surface, so he kicked upwards45 using the last vestiges46 of dwarf gas to propel him from his hole.

Holly47 caught him a metre from the ground.

‘Charming,’ she said.

‘What can I tell you?’ said Mulch unapologetically. ‘I’m a force of nature. You were up there all that time?’

‘Yes, just in case things got out of hand. You put on quite a show.’

Mulch slapped the clay from his clothes. ‘A couple of Neutrino blasts could have saved me a lot of digging.’

Holly smiled in spooky imitation of Artemis. ‘That’s not in the plan. And we must stick to the plan now, mustn’t we?’

She draped a sheet of cam foil around the dwarf’s shoulders, and hooked him on to her Moonbelt.

‘Take it easy now, won’t you?’ said Mulch anxiously. ‘Dwarfs are creatures of the soil. We don’t like flying; we don’t even like jumping too high.’

Holly opened the throttle48 on her wings, heading downtown.

‘I’ll be just as considerate of your feelings as you are of the LEP’s.’

Mulch paled. Funny how this diminutive49 elf was much scarier than two six-foot hit men.

‘Holly, if I ever did anything to offend you, I unreservedly –’

He never finished that particular sentence, because their sudden acceleration51 forced the words back down his throat.




Arno Blunt walked Artemis to his cell. It was comfortable enough, with its own bathroom and entertainment system. There were a couple of things missing: windows and a handle on the door.

Blunt patted Artemis on the head.

‘I don’t know what happened in that London restaurant, but you try anything like that here, and I will turn you inside out and eat your organs.’ He gnashed his pointy teeth to make the point and leaned close, whispering into Artemis’s ear. Artemis could hear the teeth click with every syllable52.

‘I don’t care what the boss says, you’re not going to be useful forever, so if I were you, I’d be very nice to me.’

‘If you were me,’ responded Artemis, ‘then I’d be you, and if I were you, then I’d hide somewhere far away.’

‘Oh, really? And why would you do that?’

Artemis paused to give him the full effect of his words.

‘Because Butler is coming for you. And he’s extremely annoyed.’

Blunt backed off a few steps. ‘No way, kid. I saw him go down. I saw the blood.’

Artemis grinned. ‘I didn’t say he was alive. I just said he was coming.’

‘You’re just messing with my mind. Mister Spiro warned me about this.’

Blunt edged out of the door, never taking his eyes off Artemis.

‘Don’t worry, Blunt. I don’t have him here in my pocket. You have hours, maybe days, before the time comes.’

Arno Blunt slammed the door so hard that the frame shook. Artemis’s grin widened. Every cloud had a silver lining53.


Artemis stepped into the shower, allowing the jet of hot water to pound him on the forehead. In truth, he felt a little anxious. It was one thing to formulate54 a plan in the safety of one’s own home. It was quite another to execute that plan while trapped in the lion’s den50. And even though he would never admit it, his confidence had taken quite a pounding in the last few days. Spiro had outwitted him back in London, and without apparent effort. He had strolled into the entrepreneur’s trap as naively55 as a tourist down a back alley56.

Artemis was well aware of his talents. He was a plotter, a schemer, a planner of dastardly deeds. There was no thrill greater than the execution of a perfect plan. But lately his victories had been tainted57 by guilt58, especially over what had happened to Butler. Artemis had been so close to losing his old friend that it made him queasy59 just thinking about it.

Things had to change. His father would be watching soon, hoping that Artemis would make the right choices. And if he didn’t, Artemis Senior would quite possibly take those choices away from him. He remembered his father’s words. ‘And what about you, Arty? Will you make the journey with me? When the moment comes will you take your chance to he a hero?’

Artemis still did not have the answer to that question.


Artemis wrapped himself in a robe monogrammed with his captor’s initials. Not only was Spiro reminding him of his presence with the gold letters, but a motion-sensitive closed-circuit camera was following Artemis around the room.

Artemis focused on the challenging task of breaking into Spiro’s vault60 and stealing back the C Cube. He had anticipated many of Spiro’s security measures and packed accordingly. Although some were unforeseen and quite ingenious, Artemis had fairy technology on his side, and hopefully Foaly too. The centaur61 had been ordered not to help, but if Holly presented the break-in as a test, Artemis felt sure that the centaur would be unable to resist.

He sat on the bed, casually62 scratching his neck. The mike’s latex covering had survived the shower, as Holly had assured him it would. It was comforting to know that he was not alone in his prison.

Because  the  microphone  operated  on  vibrations, Artemis did not have to speak aloud for his instructions to be transmitted.

‘Good evening, friends,’ he whispered, his back to the camera. ‘Everything proceeds according to plan, taking it as read that Mulch made it back alive. I must warn you to expect a visit from Spiro’s goons. I am certain his personnel have been monitoring the streets, and it should lull63 him into a false sense of security if he believes my people to be wiped out. Mister Spiro has kindly64 given me a tour of the facility, and hopefully you have recorded everything we need to complete our mission. I believe the local term for this kind of operation is heist. This is what I want you to do.’

Artemis whispered slowly, enunciating each point clearly. It was vital that his team members followed his instructions to the letter. If they did not, the entire plot could explode like an active volcano. And at the moment, he was sitting in the volcano’s crater65.


Pex and Chips were in a good mood. On their return to the Needle, not only had Mister Blunt handed over their five-grand bonus for the Mo Digence job, but he had also given them another assignment. The Needle’s external surveillance cameras had picked up a black van parked opposite the main door. It had been there for over three hours and a review of the tapes showed the vehicle circling the building for over an hour looking for a space.

Mister Spiro had warned them to look out for suspicious vehicles, and this was certainly suspicious.

‘Go down there,’ Blunt had ordered from his chair in the security office. ‘And if there’s anything breathing inside, ask them why they’re breathing outside my building.’

This was the kind of instruction that Pex and Chips understood. No asking questions, no operating complex machinery66. Just open the door, scare everything, close the door. Easy. They kidded around in the lift, punching each other in the shoulder until their upper arms went numb67.

‘We could make big bucks68 tonight, partner,’ said Pex, massaging69 his biceps to get the circulation going.

‘We sure could,’ enthused Chips, thinking about all the Barney DVDs he could buy. ‘This must be worth another bonus. Five grand at least. Altogether that’s . . .’

There followed several moments’ silence while both men counted on their fingers.

‘That’s a lot of cash,’ said Pex finally.

‘A lot of cash,’ agreed Chips.


Juliet had her binoculars70 trained on the Needle’s revolving71 door. It would have been easier to use the Optix on a fairy helmet, but unfortunately her head had grown too large in the past couple of years. That wasn’t the only thing to have changed. Juliet had transformed from gangly kid to toned athlete. She wasn’t perfect bodyguard72 material though; there were still a few wrinkles to be ironed out. Personality wrinkles.

Juliet Butler was a fun-loving creature; she couldn’t help it. She found the idea of standing73 po-faced at the shoulder of some opinionated politician appalling74. She’d go crazy from boredom75 — unless Artemis asked her to stay on professionally. A person could never be bored at Artemis Fowl76’s side. But that was not likely to happen. Artemis had assured everyone that this was his last job. After Chicago he was going straight. If there was an after Chicago.

This stakeout business was boring too. Sitting quietly was not in Juliet’s nature. Her hyperactive disposition77 had caused her to fail more than one class at Madame Ko’s Academy.

‘Be at peace with yourself, girl,’ the Japanese instructor79 had said. ‘Find that quiet place at your core and inhabit it.’

Juliet generally had to stifle80 a yawn when Madame Ko started on the kung fu wisdom stuff. Butler, on the other hand, ate it up. He was forever finding his quiet place and inhabiting it. In fact, he only came out of his quiet place to pulverize81 whoever was threatening Artemis at the time. Maybe that was why he had his blue diamond tattoo82 and Juliet didn’t.

Two burly figures emerged from the Needle. They were grinning and punching each other on the shoulder.

‘Captain Short, we’re on,’ said Juliet into a walkie-talkie tuned83 to Holly’s frequency.

‘Understood,’ responded Holly from her position above the Spiro Needle. ‘How many hostiles?’

‘Two. Big and dumb.’

‘You need back-up?’

‘Negative. I’ll wrap these two. You can have a word on your return.’

‘OK. I’ll be down in five, as soon as I’ve had a talk with Foaly. And, Juliet, don’t mark them.’


Juliet switched off the radio, climbing into the rear of the van. She swept a pile of surveillance equipment under a fold-up seat, just in case the two heavies actually managed to incapacitate her. It wasn’t likely, but her brother would hide the incriminating equipment just in case. Juliet pulled off her suit jacket and placed a baseball cap backwards84 on her head. She then popped the rear door and clambered out on to the road.


Pex and Chips crossed State Street to the suspect van. It certainly looked suspicious, with its blacked-out windows, but the pair were not unduly85 concerned. Every testosterone-fuelled college freshman86 had blacked-out windows these days.

‘Whatcha think?’ Pex asked his partner.

Chips curled his fingers into fists. ‘I think we don’t bother knocking.’

Pex nodded. This was the plan that they generally went with. Chips would have proceeded to wrench87 the door from its hinges had a young lady not appeared from around the bonnet88.

‘You guys looking for my dad?’ said the girl in perfect MTV tones. ‘People are always, like, looking for him, and he’s never around. Daddy is so not here. And I mean that spiritually.’

Pex and Chips blinked in unison89. The blink being universal body language for ‘Huh?’ This girl was a stunning90 blend of Asian and Caucasian, but she might as well have been talking Greek for all the comprehension that registered on the security men’s faces. ‘Spiritually’ had five syllables91, for heaven’s sake.

‘You own this van?’ asked Chips, taking the offensive.

The girl twisted her ponytail. ‘As much as any of us can, like, own anything. One world, one people, right, man? Ownership is, like, you know, an illusion. Maybe we don’t even own our own bodies. We could be, like, the daydreams92 of some greater spirit.’

Pex cracked.

‘Do you own the van?’ he shouted, wrapping thumb and forefinger93 round the girl’s neck.

The girl nodded. There wasn’t enough air in her windpipe for speech.

‘That’s better. Anyone inside?’

A shake of the head this time.

Pex relaxed his grip slightly.

‘How many more in the family?’

The girl answered in a whisper, using as little air as possible.

‘Seven. Dad, Mom, two grandparents and the triplets: Beau, Mo and Joe. They’re gone for sushi.’

Pex cheered up considerably94. Triplets and grandparents, that didn’t sound like any problem.

‘OK. We wait. Open her up, kid.’

‘Sushi?’ said Chips. ‘That’s raw fish. You ever have that, buddy?’

Pex held the girl by the neck while she fiddled95 with the key.

‘Yeah. I bought some in the supermarket once.’

‘Was it good?’

‘Yeah. I threw it in the deep-fat fryer for ten minutes. Not bad.’

The girl slid back the van door and climbed into the interior. Pex and Chips followed, ducking under the rim26. Pex released the girl’s neck momentarily to take the step. That was his mistake. A properly trained private soldier would never allow an untethered prisoner to lead the way into an unsecured vehicle.

The girl stumbled accidentally, dropping to both knees on the interior’s carpet.

‘Sushi,’ said Pex. ‘It’s good with French fries.’

Then the girl’s foot snapped back, catching96 him in the chest. The hired muscle collapsed97, gasping98, on to the floor.

‘Oops,’ said the girl, straightening. ‘Accident.’

Chips thought he must be having some kind of waking dream, because there was no way a little pop princess clone could have decked ninety kilograms of muscle and attitude.

‘You . . . you just . . .,’ he stuttered. ‘That’s impossible. No way.’

‘Way,’ said Juliet, pirouetting like a ballerina. The jade99 ring in her ponytail swung round, loaded with centrifugal force. It struck Chips between the eyeballs, like a stone from a sling100. He staggered backwards, landing in a heap on a leatherette sofa.

Behind her, Pex’s breath was returning. His eyeballs stopped rolling wildly and focused on his assailant.

‘Hi,’ said Juliet, bending over him. ‘Guess what.’

‘What?’ said Pex.

‘You’re not supposed to deep-fry sushi,’ said the girl, clapping the assassin on both temples with the palms of her hands. Unconsciousness was immediate101.

Mulch emerged from the bathroom, buttoning the bum-flap on his tunnelling trousers.

‘What did I miss?’ he asked.




Holly hovered102 one hundred and fifty feet above Chicago’s downtown district — known locally as the Loop after the curve of elevated track that enclosed the area. She was up there for two reasons. Firstly, they needed an X-ray scan of the Spiro Needle in order to construct 3D blueprints104. And secondly105, she wanted to talk to Foaly alone.

She spotted106 a stone eagle perched on the roof of an early twentieth-century apartment block, and alighted on its head. She would have to move perch107 after a few minutes, or her shield vibration43 would begin to pulverize the rock.

Juliet’s voice sounded in her earpiece.

‘Captain Short, we’re on.’

‘Understood,’ responded Holly. ‘How many hostiles?’

‘Two. Big and dumb.’

‘You need back-up?’

‘Negative. I’ll wrap these two. You can have a word on your return.’

‘OK. I’ll be down in five, as soon as I’ve had a talk with Foaly. And, Juliet, don’t mark them.’


Holly smiled. Juliet was a piece of work. A chip off the Butler block. But she was a wild card. Even on stakeout she couldn’t stop chattering108 for more than ten seconds. None of her brother’s discipline. She was a happy teenager. A kid. She should not be in this line of business. Artemis had no business dragging her into his crazy

 Schemes. But there was something about the Irish boy that made you forget your reservations. In the past sixteen months she had fought a troll for him, healed his entire family, dived into the Arctic Ocean and now she was preparing to disobey a direct order from Commander Root.

She opened a channel to LEP Operations.

‘Foaly. Are you listening?

Nothing for several seconds, then the centaur’s voice burst through the helmet’s micro-speaker.

‘Holly. Hold on. You’re a bit fuzzy; I’m just going to fine-tune the wavelength109. Talk to me. Say something.’

‘Testing. One two. One two. Trolls cause terrible trouble in a tantrum.’

‘OK. Gotcha. Crystal clear. How goes it in the Land of Mud?’

Holly gazed down at the city below her.

‘No mud here. Just glass, steel and computers. You’d like it.’

‘Oh no. Not me. Mud People are Mud People, no matter if they’re wearing suits or loincloths. The only good thing about humans is the television. All we get on PPTV is reruns. I’m almost sorry the goblin generals’ trial is over. Guilty on all counts, thanks to you. Sentencing is next month.’

Anxiety loosened its grip on Holly’s stomach. ‘Guilty. Thank heavens. Things can finally go back to normal.’

Foaly snickered. ‘Normal? You’re in the wrong job for normal. You can kiss normal goodbye if we don’t get Artemis’s gizmo back from Spiro.’

The centaur was right. Her life had not been normal since she’d been promoted to Recon from the vice110 squad111. But did she really want a normal life? Wasn’t that the reason she transferred from vice in the first place?

‘So why the call?’ asked Foaly. ‘Feeling a bit homesick, are you?’

‘No,’ replied Holly. And it was true. She wasn’t. The elf captain had barely thought of Haven112 since Artemis embroiled113 her in his latest intrigue114. ‘I need your advice.’

‘Advice? Oh, really? That wouldn’t be another way of asking for help now, would it? I Jaelieve Commander Root’s words were “You got what you got.” Rules are rules, Holly.’

Holly sighed. ‘Yes, Foaly. Rules are rules. Julius knows best.’

‘That’s right. Julius knows best,’ said Foaly, but he didn’t sound convinced.

‘You probably couldn’t help anyway. Spiro’s security is pretty advanced.’ Foaly snorted, and a centaur snorting is something to hear.

‘Yeah, sure. What has he got? A couple of tin cans and a dog? Ooh scary.’

 ‘I wish. There’s stuff in this building that I’ve never seen before. Smart stuff.’

A small liquid-crystal screen flickered115 into life in the corner of Holly’s visor. Foaly was broadcasting a visual from Police Plaza116. Technically117, not something he should be doing for an unofficial operation. The centaur was curious.

‘I know what you’re doing by the way,’ said Foaly, wagging a finger.

‘I have no idea what you mean,’ said Holly innocently.

‘You probably couldn’t help anyway. Spiro’s security is pretty advanced,’ mimicked118 the centaur. ‘You’re trying to light a fire under my ego119. I’m not stupid, Holly.’

‘OK. Maybe I am. Do you want the straight truth?’

‘Oh, you’re going to tell me the truth now? Interesting tactic120 for the LEP.’

‘The Spiro Needle is a fortress121. There’s no way in without you, even Artemis admits it. We’re not looking for equipment, or extra fairy-power. Just advice over the airwaves, maybe a bit of camera work. Keep the lines open, that’s all I’m asking.’

Foaly scratched his chin. ‘No way in, eh? Even Artemis admits it.’

‘ “We can’t do it without Foaly.” His exact words.’

The centaur struggled to keep the smugness from his features.

‘Have you got any video?’

Holly took a hand-held computer from her belt.

‘Artemis shot some film inside the Needle. I’m mailing it to you now.’

‘I need a blueprint103 of the building.’

Holly panned her visor left and right, so Foaly could see where she was.

‘That’s why I’m up here. To do an X-ray scan. It’ll be in your mainframe in ten minutes.

Holly heard a bell chime in her speakers. It was a computer alert. Her mail had arrived in Police Plaza. Foaly opened the file.

‘Key codes. OK. Cameras. No problem. Wait until I show you what I’ve developed for CCTV cameras. I’m fast-forwarding through the corridors. Dum de dum de dum. Ah, the vault. On the eighty-fifth. Pressure pads, antibiotic122 mats. Motion sensors124. Temperature sensitive lasers. Thermal125 cameras. Voice-recognition, retina and gel-thumbprint scanners.’ He paused. ‘Impressive, for a Mud Man.’

‘You’re telling me,’ agreed Holly. ‘A bit more than two tin cans and a dog.’

‘Fowl is right. Without me you’re sunk.’

‘So, will you help?’

Foaly had to milk the moment. ‘I’m not promising126 anything, mind . . .’


‘I’ll keep a screen open for you. But if something comes up . . .’

 ‘I understand.’

‘No guarantees.’

‘No guarantees. I owe you a carton of carrots.’

‘Two cartons. And a case of beetle127 juice.’


The centaur’s face was flushed with the promise of a challenge.

‘Will you miss him, Holly?’ he asked suddenly.

Holly was caught off-guard by the question.

‘Miss who?’ she said, though she already knew.

‘The Fowl boy, of course. If everything goes according to plan, we’ll be wiped from his memory. No more wild plots or seat-of-the-pants adventures. It will be a quiet life.’

Holly made to avoid Foaly’s gaze, although the helmet cam was point-of-view and the centaur could not see her.

‘No,’ she said. ‘I will not miss him.’

But her eyes told the real story.


Holly circled the Needle several times at various altitudes, until the X-ray scanner had accumulated enough data for a 3D model. She mailed a copy of the file to Foaly in Police Plaza and returned to the van.

‘I thought I told you not to mark them,’ she said, bending over the fallen hit men.

Juliet shrugged. ‘Hey. No big deal, fairy girl. I got carried away in the heat of battle. Just give him a shot of blue sparks and send him on his way.’

Holly traced a finger round the perfectly128 circular bruise129 on Chips’s forehead.

‘You should have seen me,’ said Juliet. ‘Bang, bang, and they were down. Never had a chance.’

Holly sent a solitary130 spark down her finger; it wiped away the bruise like a damp cloth cleaning a coffee ring.

‘You could have used the Neutrino to stun24 them, you know.’

‘The Neutrino? Where’s the fun in that?’

Captain Short removed her helmet, glaring up at the teenage human.

‘This is not supposed to be fun, Juliet. It’s not a game. I thought you realized that, considering what happened to Butler.’

Juliet’s grin disappeared. ‘I know it’s not a game, Captain. Maybe this is the way I deal with things.’

Holly held her gaze. ‘Well then, maybe you’re in the wrong line of work.’

‘Or maybe you’ve been in this line of work too long,’ argued Juliet. ‘According to Butler, you used to be a bit of a wild card yourself.’

Mulch emerged from the bathroom. This time he had been applying a layer of sunblock. It was now the middle of the night, but the dwarf wasn’t taking any chances. If this insertion went pear-shaped, as it probably would, then he could very well be on the run by morning.

‘What’s the problem, ladies? If you’re fighting over me, don’t bother. I make it a point never to date outside my species.’

The tension deflated131 like a punctured132 balloon.

‘Dream on, hairball,’ said Holly.

‘Nightmare, more like,’ added Juliet. ‘I make it a point never to date anyone who lives in a dung heap.’

Mulch was unperturbed. ‘You’re both in denial. I have that effect on females.’

‘I don’t doubt it,’ said Holly, grinning.

The LEP captain folded out a stowaway133 table and placed her helmet on top. She switched her helmet cam to Project, and opened the 3D plan of the Spiro Needle. It revolved134 in the air, a lattice of neon-green lines.

‘OK, everyone. Here’s the plan. Team One burns their way in through the wall of the eighty-fifth floor. Team Two goes in through the helipad door. Here.’

Holly marked the entrances by tapping the corresponding spot on the screen of her hand-held computer. An orange pulse appeared on the floating plan.

‘Foaly has agreed to help, so he’ll be with us over the airwaves. Juliet, you take this hand-held computer. You can use it to conference with us on the move. Just ignore the Gnommish symbols; we’ll send you any files you need to view. Wear an earpiece though, to cut out the speakers. The last thing we need is computers beeping at the wrong moment. That little indent135 below the screen is a mike. Whisper-sensitive, so no need to shout.’

Juliet strapped136 the credit-card-sized computer on to her wrist.

‘What are the teams, and what are their objectives?’

Holly stepped into the 3D image. Her body was surrounded by strobes of light.

‘Team One goes after the security and switches the vault guards’ oxygen canisters. Team Two goes after the box. Simple. We go in pairs. You and Mulch. Artemis and me.’

‘Oh no,’ said Juliet, shaking her head. ‘I have to go with Artemis. He’s my principal. My brother would stick to Artemis like glue, and so will I.’

Holly stepped out of the hologram. ‘Won’t work. You can’t fly and you can’t climb walls. There has to be one fairy per team. If you don’t like it, take it up with Artemis next time you see him.’

Juliet scowled137. It made sense. Of course it did. Artemis’s plans always made sense. It was only too clear now why Artemis had not revealed the entire thing in Ireland. He knew she would object. It was bad enough being separated for the past six hours. But the most difficult phase of the mission lay ahead, and Artemis would not have a Butler at his shoulder.

Holly stepped back into the hologram. ‘Team One, you and Mulch, climb the Needle and burn through on the eighty-fifth floor. From there, you place this video clip on a CCTV cable.’

Holly held up what looked like a twist of wire. ‘Loaded fibre optic,’ she explained. ‘Allows for remote hijacking138 of any video system. With this in place, Foaly can send the signal from every camera in the building to our helmets. He can also send the humans any signal he wants them to see. You will also replace two oxygen cylinders139 with our own special mix.’

Juliet placed the video clip in her jacket pocket.

‘I will enter from the roof,’ continued Holly. ‘From there, I proceed to Artemis’s room. As soon as Team One gives us the all clear, we’ll go after the C Cube.’

‘You make it sound so easy,’ said Juliet.

Mulch laughed. ‘She always does that,’ he said. ‘And it never is.’




Juliet Butler had been trained in seven martial140 arts disciplines. She had learned to ignore pain and sleep deprivation141. She could resist torture both physical and psychological. But nothing had prepared her for what she would have to endure to get into this building.

The Needle had no blind sides, with twenty-four-hour activity on each face, so they were forced to begin their ascent142 from the pavement. Juliet pulled the van round, double-parking it as close to the wall as she could.

They went out through the sunroof, draped in Holly’s single sheet of camouflage143 foil. Juliet was clipped on to the Moonbelt on Mulch’s waist.

She rapped on Mulch’s helmet. ‘You stink144.’

Mulch’s reply came through the cylindrical145 transmitter in Juliet’s ear.

‘To you, maybe, but to a dwarf female I am the essence of a healthy male. You’re the one that stinks146, Mud Girl. To me, you smell worse than a skunk147 in two-month-old socks.’

Holly stuck her head through the sunroof.

‘Quiet!’ she hissed148. ‘Both of you! We’re on a tight schedule in case you’d forgotten. Juliet, your precious principal is stuck in a room up there waiting for me to show up. It’s five minutes past four already. The guards are due to change in less than an hour, and I still have to finish mesmerizing149 these goons. We have a fifty-five-minute window here. Let’s not waste it arguing.’

‘Why can’t you just fly us up to the ledge150?’

‘Basic military tactics. If we split up, then one team might make it. If we’re together, then one goes down we all go down. Divide and conquer.’

Her words sobered Juliet. The fairy girl was right; she should have known that. It was happening again — she was losing concentration at a vital moment. ‘OK. Let’s go. I’ll hold my breath.’ Mulch stuck both palms in his mouth, sucking any last vestiges of moisture from the pores.

‘Hold on,’ he said, having removed his hands from his palate. ‘Here we go.’

The dwarf flexed151 his powerful legs, leaping one and a half metres to the wall of the Spiro Needle. Juliet bobbed along behind, feeling for all the world as though she were underwater. The problem with riding a Moonbelt was that, as well as the weightlessness, you got the loss of coordination152 and sometimes the space nausea153 too. Moonbelts were designed for carrying inanimate objects, not live fairies, and certainly not human beings.

Mulch had not had a drink for several hours, causing his dwarf pores to open to the size of pinholes. They sucked noisily, latching154 on to the smooth external surface of the Spiro Needle. The dwarf avoided the tinted155 windows, sticking to the metal girders, because, even though the pair were draped in a sheet of camouflage foil, there were still enough limbs sticking out to be spotted. Cam foil did not render the wearer completely invisible. Thousands of micro-sensors, threaded through the material, analysed and reflected the surroundings, but one shower of rain could short out the whole thing.

Mulch climbed quickly, settling into a smooth rhythm. His double-jointed fingers and toes curled to grip the smallest groove157. And where there were no grooves158, the dwarf’s pores adhered to the flat surface. His beard hair fanned out under the helmet’s visor, probing the building’s face.

Juliet had to ask. ‘Your beard? That’s a bit freaky. What’s it doing? Searching for cracks?’

‘Vibrations,’ grunted159 Mulch. ‘Sensors, currents, maintenance men.’ Obviously, he wasn’t going to devote any energy to full sentences. ‘Motion sensor123 picks us up. We’re finished. Foil or not.’

Juliet didn’t blame her partner for saving his breath. They had a long way to go. Straight up.

As they cleared the buffer160 provided by the adjacent buildings the wind picked up. Juliet’s feet were plucked from beneath her, and she fluttered from the dwarf’s neck like a scarf. Rarely had she felt so helpless. Events were utterly161 beyond her control. Training counted for absolutely nothing in this situation. Her life was in Mulch’s hands completely.

The floors slid by in a blur162 of glass and steel. The wind pulled at them with grabby fingers, threatening to spin the pair into the night.

‘There’s a lot of moisture up here from the wind,’ gasped163 the dwarf. ‘I can’t hold on much longer.’

Juliet reached in, running a finger along the outer wall. It was slick with tiny beads165 of dew. Sparks were popping along the sheet of cam foil as the moisture-laden wind shorted out its micro-sensors. Patches of the foil failed altogether. The effect was of blocks of circuits apparently166 suspended in the night. The entire building was swaying too — maybe just enough to shake off a tired dwarf and his passenger.

Finally, the dwarf’s fingers locked on to the ledge of the eighty-fifth floor. Mulch climbed on to the narrow outcrop, directing his visor into the building.

‘This room is no good,’ he said. ‘My visor is picking up two motion detectors167 and a laser sensor. We need to move along.’

He scampered168 down the ledge, sure-footed as a mountain goat. This was his business, after all. Dwarfs did not fall off things. Not unless they were pushed. Juliet followed cautiously. Not even Madame Ko’s Academy could have prepared her for this.

Finally Mulch arrived at a window that satisfied him.

‘OK,’ he said, his voice sounding strained in Juliet’s earpiece. ‘We got a sensor with a dead battery.’

His beard hair latched169 on to the windowpane. ‘I don’t feel any vibration, so nothing electrical running and no conversation. It seems safe.’

Mulch trickled170 a few drops of dwarf rock polish on to the toughened pane78. It liquefied the glass immediately, leaving a puddle171 of turgid fluid on the carpet. With any luck the hole would remain undiscovered over the weekend.

‘Ooh,’ said Juliet. ‘That stinks nearly as much as you do.’

Mulch did not bother returning the insult, preferring instead to tumble indoors to safety.

He checked the moonometer in his visor.

‘Four twenty. Human time. We’re behind schedule. Let’s go.’

Juliet hopped172 through the hole in the window.

‘Typical Mud Man,’ said Mulch. ‘Spiro spends millions on a security system, and it all falls apart because of one battery.’

Juliet drew an LEP Neutrino 2000. She flicked173 aside the safety cap and pressed the power button. The light changed from green to red.

‘We’re not in yet,’ she said, making for the door.

‘Wait!’ hissed Mulch, grabbing her arm. ‘The camera!’

Juliet froze. She’d forgotten the camera. They were barely a minute inside the building and she was already making mistakes. Concentrate, girl, concentrate.

Mulch aimed his visor at the recessed174 CCTV camera. The helmet’s ion filter highlighted the camera’s arc as a shimmering175 gold stream. There was no way past to the camera itself.

‘There’s no blind spot,’ he said. ‘And the camera cable is behind the box.’

‘We’ll just have to huddle176 close together behind the cam foil,’ said Juliet, her lip curling at the idea.

Foaly’s image popped up on the computer screen on her wrist. ‘You could do that. But unfortunately cam foil doesn’t work on-screen.’

‘Why not?’

‘Cameras have better eyes than humans. Did you ever see a TV picture on television? The camera breaks down the pixels. If you go down that corridor behind cam foil, you’re going to look like two people behind a projector177 screen.’

Juliet glared at the monitor. ‘Anything else, Foaly? Maybe the floor is going to dissolve into a pool of acid?’

‘Doubt it. Spiro is good, but he’s not me.’

‘Can’t you loop the video feed, pony6 boy?’ said Juliet into the computer’s mike. ‘Just send them a false signal for a minute?’

Foaly gnashed his horsey teeth. ‘I am so unappreciated. No, I cannot set up a loop unless I am on-site, as I was during the Fowl siege. That is what the video clip is for. I’m afraid you’re on your own up there.’

‘I’ll blast it then.’

‘Negatori. A Neutrino blast would certainly knock out one camera, and possibly chain-react along the entire network. You may as well dance a jig178 for Arno Blunt.’

Juliet kicked the skirting board in frustration179. She was falling at the first hurdle180. Her brother would know what to do, but he was on the other side of the Atlantic. A mere181 six metres of corridor separated them from the camera, but it might as well have been a thousand metres of broken glass.

She noticed that Mulch was unbuttoning his bum-flap.

‘Oh, great. Now the little man needs a potty break. This is hardly the time.’

‘I’m going to ignore your sarcasm,’ said Mulch, lying flat on the floor, ‘because I know what Spiro can do to people he doesn’t like.’

Juliet knelt beside him. Not too close.

‘I hope your next sentence is going to begin with “I have a plan.” ’

The dwarf appeared to be aiming his rear end.

‘Actually . . .’

‘You’re not serious.’

‘Deadly. I have quite a considerable force at my disposal here.’

Juliet couldn’t help smiling. The little guy was a dwarf after her own heart. Metaphorically182. He was adapting to the situation, just as she would.

‘All we have to do is swing the camera about twenty degrees on its stand and we have a clear run to the cable.’

‘And you’re going to do that with . . . wind power?’


‘What about the noise?’

Mulch winked183. ‘Silent, but deadly. I’m a professional. All you have to do is squeeze my little toe when I give you the word.’

In spite of arduous184 training in some of the world’s toughest terrain185, Juliet was not quite prepared to be involved in a wind offensive.

‘Do I have to participate? It seems like a one-man operation to me.’

Mulch squinted186 at the target, adjusting his posterior accordingly.

‘This is a precision burst. I need a gunner to pull the trigger so I can concentrate on aiming. Reflexology is a proven science with dwarfs. Every part of the foot is connected to a part of the body. And it just so happens that the left little toe is connected to my . . .”

‘OK,’ said Juliet hurriedly. ‘I get the picture.’

‘Let’s get on with it then.’

Juliet pulled Mulch’s boot off. The socks were open-toed, and five hairy digits187 wiggled with a dexterity188 no human toes possessed189.

‘This is the only way?’

‘Unless you have a better idea.’

Juliet gingerly grasped the toe, its black curly hairs obligingly parting to allow her access to the joint156.


‘Wait.’ The dwarf licked his forefinger, testing the air.

‘No wind.’

‘Not yet,’ muttered Juliet.

Mulch fine-tuned his aim. ‘OK. Squeeze.’

Juliet held her breath, and squeezed. And in order to do the moment justice, it has to be described in slow motion.

Juliet felt her fingers close round the joint. The pressure sped up Mulch’s leg in a series of jolts190. The dwarf fought to keep his aim true, in spite of the spasms191.

Pressure built in his abdomen192 and exploded through his bum-flap with a dull thump193. The only thing Juliet could relate the experience to was crouching194 beside a mortar195. A missile of compressed air shot across the room, heat blur surrounding it like -waves of water.

‘Too much top-spin,’ groaned Mulch. ‘I loaded it.’

The air ball spiralled towards the ceiling, shedding layers like an onion.

‘Right,’ urged Mulch. ‘Right a bit.’

The next unlikely missile impacted against the wall a metre ahead of its target. Luckily, the ricochet clipped the camera box, sending it spinning like a plate on a stick. The intruders waited for it to settle with bated breath. The camera finally creaked to a halt after a dozen revolutions.

‘Well?’ asked Juliet.

Mulch sat up, checking the camera’s ion stream through his visor.

‘Lucky,’ he breathed. ‘Very lucky. We have a path straight through.’ He slapped shut his smoking bum-flap. ‘It’s been a while since I launched a torpedo196.’

Juliet took the video clip from her pocket, waving it in front of her wrist computer so Foaly could see it.

‘So, I just wind this round any old cable? Is that it?’

‘No, Mud Maid,’ sighed Foaly, comfortable in his familiar role as unappreciated genius. ‘That is a complex piece of nanotechnology, complete with microfilaments that act as receivers, broadcasters and clamps. Naturally it leeches198 its power from the Mud People’s own system.’

‘Naturally,’ said Mulch, trying to keep his eyes open.

‘You need to ensure that it is firmly clamped to one of the video cables. Luckily, its multi-sensor does not have to be in contact with all the wires, just one.’

‘And which ones are the video wires?’

‘Well. . . all of them.’

Juliet groaned. ‘So I just wind it round any old cable?’

‘I suppose so,’ admitted the centaur. ‘But wind it tightly. All the filaments197 have to penetrate199.’

Juliet reached up, selected a wire at random200 and wound the clip round it.


There was a moment’s pause while Foaly waited for reception. Below the surface, picture-in-picture screens began popping up on the centaur’s plasma201 screen.

‘Perfect. We have eyes and ears.’

‘Let’s go then,’ said Juliet impatiently. ‘Start the loop.’

Foaly wasted a minute delivering another lecture. ‘This is much more than a loop, young lady. I am about to completely wipe moving patterns from the surveillance footage. In other words, the pictures they see in the surveillance booth will be exactly as they should be, except you won’t be in them. Just be careful never to stand still or you’ll become visible. Keep something moving, even if it’s only your little finger.’

Juliet checked the digital clock on the computer face. ‘Four thirty. We need to hurry.’

‘OK. The security centre is one corridor over. We take the shortest route.’

Juliet projected the schematic into the air. ‘Down this corridor here, two rights and there we are.’

Mulch strode past her to the wall.

‘I said the shortest route, Mud Girl. Think laterally202.’

The office was an executive suite203, with a skyline view and floor-to-ceiling pine shelving. Mulch hauled back a section of the pine and knocked on the wall behind it.

‘Plasterboard,’ he said. ‘No problem.’

Juliet closed the panel behind them. ‘No debris204, dwarf. Artemis said we weren’t to leave any trace.’

‘Don’t worry. I’m not a messy eater.’

Mulch unhinged his jaw, expanding his oral cavity to basketball proportions. He opened his mouth to an incredible one hundred and seventy degrees, and took a whopping bite out of the wall. A ring of tombstone teeth soon reduced the wall to dust.

‘A bi’ dry,’ he commented. ‘Har’ oo shwallow.’

Three bites later they were through. Mulch climbed into the next office without a crumb205 dropping from his lips. Juliet followed, pulling the pine shelving across to cover the hole.

The next office was not quite so salubrious, the dark cubby of a vice president. No city view, and plain metal shelving. Juliet rearranged the shelving to cover the newly excavated206 entrance. Mulch knelt at the door, his beard hair latching on to the wood.

‘Some vibration outside. That’s probably the compressor. Nothing irregular, so no conversation. I’d say we were safe.’

‘You could just ask me,’ said Foaly, in his helmet earpiece. ‘I do have footage from every camera in the building. That’s over two thousand, in case you’re interested.’

‘Thanks for the update. Well, are we clear?’

‘Yes. Remarkably207 so. No one in the immediate vicinity, except a guard at the lobby desk.’

Juliet took two grey canisters from her backpack. ‘OK. This is where I earn my keep. You stay here. This shouldn’t take more than a minute.’

Juliet cracked open the door, creeping along the corridor on rubber-soled boots. Aeroplane-style lighting208 strips were inlaid in the carpet; otherwise, the only lighting came from exit boxes over the fire-escape doors.

The schematic on her wrist computer told her that she had twenty metres to go before reaching the security office. After that, she could only hope that the oxygen rack was unlocked. And why shouldn’t it be? Oxygen canisters were hardly high-risk objects. At least she would have ample warning if any personnel happened to be doing their rounds.

Juliet crept, panther-like, down the corridor, her footfalls muffled209 by the carpet. On reaching the final corner she lay flat and inched her nose round the bend. She could see the floor’s security station. Just as Pex had revealed under the mesmer, the vault guard’s oxygen canisters were slotted in a rack in front of the desk.

There was only one guard on duty, and he was busy watching basketball on a portable television. Juliet moved forward on her stomach until she was directly below the rack. The guard had his back to her, concentrating on the game.

‘What the hell?’ exclaimed the security man, who was roughly the size of a refrigerator. He had noticed something in a security monitor.

‘Move!’ hissed Foaly in Juliet’s earpiece. ‘What?’

‘Move! You’re showing up on the monitors.’ Juliet wiggled her toe. She had forgotten to keep moving. Butler would never have forgotten that.

Over her head, the guard employed the age-old method of rapid repair, slapping the monitor’s plastic casing. The fuzzy figure disappeared.

‘Interference,’ he muttered. ‘Stupid satellite TV.’ Juliet felt a bead164 of sweat run along the bridge of her nose. The younger Butler reached up slowly and slipped two substitute oxygen canisters into the rack. Although ‘oxygen canisters’ was a bit of a misnomer210, because it wasn’t oxygen in these canisters.

She checked her watch. It might already be too late.




Holly hovered six metres above the Needle, waiting for the green light. She was not comfortable with this operation. There were too many variables. If this mission weren’t so vital to the future of the fairy civilization, she would have refused to participate in it altogether.

Her mood did not improve as the night progressed. Team One was proving extremely unprofessional, bickering211 like a pair of adolescents. Although, to be fair to Juliet, she was barely beyond adolescence212. Mulch, on the other hand, couldn’t find his childhood with an encyclopaedia213.

Captain Short followed their progress on her helmet visor, wincing214 at each new development. Finally, and against all the odds215, Juliet managed to switch the canisters.

‘Go,’ said Mulch, doing his best to sound military. ‘I say again, we have a go situation on the black op. code red thing.’

Holly shut off Mulch’s communication in the middle of the dwarf’s giggling216 fit. Foaly could open a screen in her visor if there was a crisis.

Below her the Spiro Needle pointed217 spacewards like the world’s biggest rocket. Low fog gathered around its base, adding to the illusion. Holly set her wings to descend218, dropping gently towards the helipad. She called up the video file of Artemis’s entry to the Needle on her visor and slowed it down at the point where Spiro keyed in the access code for the rooftop door.

‘Thank you, Spiro,’ she said, grinning, as she punched in the code.

The door slid open pneumatically. Automatic lights flickered into life along the stairwell. There was a camera every six metres. No blind spots. This didn’t matter to Holly, as human cameras could not detect a shielded fairy - unless they were of the type with an extremely high frame-per-second rate. And even then, the frames had to be viewed as stills to catch a glimpse of the fairy folk. Only one human had ever managed to do this. An Irish one, who was twelve years old at the time.

Holly floated down the stairwell, activating219 an Argon laser filter on her visor. This entire building could be crisscrossed with laser beams and she wouldn’t know it until she set off an alarm. Even a shielded fairy had mass enough to stop a beam reaching its sensor, if only for a. millisecond. The view before her turned a cloudy purple, but there were no beams. She was certain that wouldn’t be the case when they came to the vault.

Holly continued her flight to the brushed-steel lift doors.

‘Artemis is on eighty-four,’ said Foaly. ‘The vault is on eighty-five; Spiro’s penthouse is on eighty-six, where we are now.’

‘How are the walls?’

‘According to the spectrometer, mostly plaster and wood in the partition walls. Except round key rooms, which are reinforced steel.’

‘Let me guess: Artemis’s room, the vault and Spiro’s penthouse.’

‘Dead on, Captain. But do not despair. I have plotted the shortest course. I am sending it to your helmet now.’

Holly waited a moment until a quill220 icon221 flashed in the corner of her visor, informing her that she had mail.

‘Open mail,’ she said into the helmet mike, enunciating clearly. A matrix of green lines superimposed themselves in front of her regular vision. Her trail was marked by a thick red line.

‘Follow the laser, Holly. Foolproof. No offence.’

‘None taken, for now. But if this doesn’t work, I’ll be so offended you won’t believe it.’

The red laser led straight into the belly222 of the lift. Holly floated into the metal box and descended223 to the eighty-fifth floor. The guiding laser led her out of the lift and down the corridor.

She tried the door to an office on her left. Locked. Hardly surprising.

‘I’m going to have to unshield to pick this lock. Are you sure my pattern is wiped from the video?’

‘Of course,’ said Foaly.

Holly could imagine the childish pout224 on his lips. She unshielded and took an Omnitool from her belt. The Omnitool’s sensor would send an X-ray of the lock’s workings to the chip and select the right bit. It even did the turning. Of course, the Omnitool only worked on keyhole locks, which, in spite of their unreliability, the Mud People still used.

In less than five seconds the door lay open before her.

‘Five seconds,’ said Holly. ‘This thing needs a new battery.’

The red line in her visor ran to the office’s centre, and then took a right-angle turn downwards225, through the floor.

‘Let me guess. Artemis is down there?’

‘Yes. Asleep, judging by the pictures coming in from his iris-cam.’

‘You said the cell was lined with reinforced steel.’

‘True. But no motion sensors in the walls or roof. So all you have to do is burn through.’

Holly drew her Neutrino 2000. ‘Oh, is that all?’

She chose a spot adjacent to a wall air conditioner and peeled back the carpet. Underneath226, the floor was dull and metallic227.

‘No trace, remember?’ said Foaly in her earpiece. ‘That’s vital.’

‘I’ll worry about that later,’ said Holly, adjusting the air con5 to extract. ‘For now, I need to get him out of there. We’re on a schedule.’

Holly adjusted the Neutrino’s output, concentrating the beam so it cut through the metal floor. Acrid228 smoke billowed from the molten gash229, and was immediately siphoned off into the Chicago night by the air con.

‘Artemis isn’t the only one with brains around here,’ grunted Holly, sweat streaming down her face in spite of the helmet’s climate control.

‘The air con stops the fire alarm going off. Very good.’

‘Is he awake?’ asked Holly, leaving the last centimetre of a half-metre square uncut.

‘Wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, to use Centaurian imagery. A laser carving230 through the ceiling will do that to a person.’

‘Good,’ said Captain Short, cutting through the final section. The metal square twisted on a final strand231 of steel.

‘Won’t that make a lot of noise?’ asked Foaly.

Holly watched the section fall.

‘I doubt it,’ she said.


1 applicants aaea8e805a118b90e86f7044ecfb6d59     
申请人,求职人( applicant的名词复数 )
  • There were over 500 applicants for the job. 有500多人申请这份工作。
  • He was impressed by the high calibre of applicants for the job. 求职人员出色的能力给他留下了深刻印象。
2 walnut wpTyQ     
  • Walnut is a local specialty here.核桃是此地的土特产。
  • The stool comes in several sizes in walnut or mahogany.凳子有几种尺寸,材质分胡桃木和红木两种。
3 flattened 1d5d9fedd9ab44a19d9f30a0b81f79a8     
  • She flattened her nose and lips against the window. 她把鼻子和嘴唇紧贴着窗户。
  • I flattened myself against the wall to let them pass. 我身体紧靠着墙让他们通过。
4 opted 9ec34da056d6601471a0808ebc89b126     
v.选择,挑选( opt的过去式和过去分词 )
  • She was co-opted onto the board. 她获增选为董事会成员。
  • After graduating she opted for a career in music. 毕业后她选择了从事音乐工作。
5 con WXpyR     
  • We must be fair and consider the reason pro and con.我们必须公平考虑赞成和反对的理由。
  • The motion is adopted non con.因无人投反对票,协议被通过。
6 pony Au5yJ     
  • His father gave him a pony as a Christmas present.他父亲给了他一匹小马驹作为圣诞礼物。
  • They made him pony up the money he owed.他们逼他还债。
7 lieutenants dc8c445866371477a093185d360992d9     
n.陆军中尉( lieutenant的名词复数 );副职官员;空军;仅低于…官阶的官员
  • In the army, lieutenants are subordinate to captains. 在陆军中,中尉是上尉的下级。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • Lieutenants now cap at 1.5 from 1. Recon at 1. 中尉现在由1人口增加的1.5人口。侦查小组成员为1人口。 来自互联网
8 dwarf EkjzH     
  • The dwarf's long arms were not proportional to his height.那侏儒的长臂与他的身高不成比例。
  • The dwarf shrugged his shoulders and shook his head. 矮子耸耸肩膀,摇摇头。
9 flexing ea85fac2422c3e15400d532b3bfb4d3c     
n.挠曲,可挠性v.屈曲( flex的现在分词 );弯曲;(为准备大干而)显示实力;摩拳擦掌
  • Flexing particular muscles allows snakes to move in several ways. 可弯曲的特殊的肌肉使蛇可以用几种方式移动。 来自电影对白
  • China has become an economic superpower and is flexing its muscles. 中国已经成为了一个经济巨人而且在展示他的肌肉。 来自互联网
10 crunching crunching     
v.嘎吱嘎吱地咬嚼( crunch的现在分词 );嘎吱作响;(快速大量地)处理信息;数字捣弄
  • The horses were crunching their straw at their manger. 这些马在嘎吱嘎吱地吃槽里的草。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The dog was crunching a bone. 狗正嘎吱嘎吱地嚼骨头。 来自《简明英汉词典》
11 shrugged 497904474a48f991a3d1961b0476ebce     
  • Sam shrugged and said nothing. 萨姆耸耸肩膀,什么也没说。
  • She shrugged, feigning nonchalance. 她耸耸肩,装出一副无所谓的样子。 来自《简明英汉词典》
12 moron IEyxN     
  • I used to think that Gordon was a moron.我曾以为戈登是个白痴。
  • He's an absolute moron!他纯粹是个傻子!
13 groaned 1a076da0ddbd778a674301b2b29dff71     
v.呻吟( groan的过去式和过去分词 );发牢骚;抱怨;受苦
  • He groaned in anguish. 他痛苦地呻吟。
  • The cart groaned under the weight of the piano. 大车在钢琴的重压下嘎吱作响。 来自《简明英汉词典》
14 banter muwzE     
  • The actress exchanged banter with reporters.女演员与记者相互开玩笑。
  • She engages in friendly banter with her customers.她常和顾客逗乐。
15 shovel cELzg     
  • He was working with a pick and shovel.他在用镐和铲干活。
  • He seized a shovel and set to.他拿起一把铲就干上了。
16 tempted b0182e969d369add1b9ce2353d3c6ad6     
  • I was sorely tempted to complain, but I didn't. 我极想发牢骚,但还是没开口。
  • I was tempted by the dessert menu. 甜食菜单馋得我垂涎欲滴。
17 deviate kl9zv     
  • Don't deviate from major issues.不要偏离主要问题。
  • I will never deviate from what I believe to be right.我绝不背离我自信正确的道路。
18 proceedings Wk2zvX     
  • He was released on bail pending committal proceedings. 他交保获释正在候审。
  • to initiate legal proceedings against sb 对某人提起诉讼
19 mesmerized 3587e0bcaf3ae9f3190b1834c935883c     
v.使入迷( mesmerize的过去式和过去分词 )
  • The country girl stood by the road, mesmerized at the speed of cars racing past. 村姑站在路旁被疾驶而过的一辆辆车迷住了。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • My 14-year-old daughter was mesmerized by the movie Titanic. 我14岁的女儿完全被电影《泰坦尼克号》迷住了。 来自互联网
20 paranoia C4rzL     
  • Her passion for cleanliness borders on paranoia.她的洁癖近乎偏执。
  • The push for reform is also motivated by political paranoia.竞选的改革运动也受到政治偏执狂症的推动。
21 notch P58zb     
  • The peanuts they grow are top-notch.他们种的花生是拔尖的。
  • He cut a notch in the stick with a sharp knife.他用利刃在棒上刻了一个凹痕。
22 poked 87f534f05a838d18eb50660766da4122     
v.伸出( poke的过去式和过去分词 );戳出;拨弄;与(某人)性交
  • She poked him in the ribs with her elbow. 她用胳膊肘顶他的肋部。
  • His elbow poked out through his torn shirt sleeve. 他的胳膊从衬衫的破袖子中露了出来。 来自《简明英汉词典》
23 stunned 735ec6d53723be15b1737edd89183ec2     
adj. 震惊的,惊讶的 动词stun的过去式和过去分词
  • The fall stunned me for a moment. 那一下摔得我昏迷了片刻。
  • The leaders of the Kopper Company were then stunned speechless. 科伯公司的领导们当时被惊得目瞪口呆。
24 stun FhMyT     
  • When they told me she had gone missing I was totally stunned.他们告诉我她不见了时,我当时完全惊呆了。
  • Sam stood his ground and got a blow that stunned him.萨姆站在原地,被一下打昏了。
25 prospective oR7xB     
  • The story should act as a warning to other prospective buyers.这篇报道应该对其他潜在的购买者起到警示作用。
  • They have all these great activities for prospective freshmen.这会举办各种各样的活动来招待未来的新人。
26 rim RXSxl     
  • The water was even with the rim of the basin.盆里的水与盆边平齐了。
  • She looked at him over the rim of her glass.她的目光越过玻璃杯的边沿看着他。
27 ruffles 1b1aebf8d10c4fbd1fd40ac2983c3a32     
褶裥花边( ruffle的名词复数 )
  • You will need 12 yards of ribbon facing for the ruffles. 你将需要12码丝带为衣服镶边之用。
  • It is impossible to live without some daily ruffles to our composure. 我们日常的平静生活免不了会遇到一些波折。
28 horrified 8rUzZU     
  • The whole country was horrified by the killings. 全国都对这些凶杀案感到大为震惊。
  • We were horrified at the conditions prevailing in local prisons. 地方监狱的普遍状况让我们震惊。
29 impulsive M9zxc     
  • She is impulsive in her actions.她的行为常出于冲动。
  • He was neither an impulsive nor an emotional man,but a very honest and sincere one.他不是个一冲动就鲁莽行事的人,也不多愁善感.他为人十分正直、诚恳。
30 buddy 3xGz0E     
  • Calm down,buddy.What's the trouble?压压气,老兄。有什么麻烦吗?
  • Get out of my way,buddy!别挡道了,你这家伙!
31 shovelled c80a960e1cd1fc9dd624b12ab4d38f62     
v.铲子( shovel的过去式和过去分词 );锹;推土机、挖土机等的)铲;铲形部份
  • They shovelled a path through the snow. 他们用铲子在积雪中铲出一条路。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The hungry man greedily shovelled the food into his mouth. 那个饿汉贪婪地把食物投入口中。 来自辞典例句
32 automobile rP1yv     
  • He is repairing the brake lever of an automobile.他正在修理汽车的刹车杆。
  • The automobile slowed down to go around the curves in the road.汽车在路上转弯时放慢了速度。
33 motorway kFvxw     
  • Our car had a breakdown on the motorway.我们的汽车在高速公路上抛锚了。
  • A maniac driver sped 35 miles along the wrong side of a motorway at 110 mph.一个疯狂的司机以每小时110英里的速度在高速公路上逆行飙车35英里。
34 sniffed ccb6bd83c4e9592715e6230a90f76b72     
v.以鼻吸气,嗅,闻( sniff的过去式和过去分词 );抽鼻子(尤指哭泣、患感冒等时出声地用鼻子吸气);抱怨,不以为然地说
  • When Jenney had stopped crying she sniffed and dried her eyes. 珍妮停止了哭泣,吸了吸鼻子,擦干了眼泪。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The dog sniffed suspiciously at the stranger. 狗疑惑地嗅着那个陌生人。 来自《简明英汉词典》
35 jaw 5xgy9     
  • He delivered a right hook to his opponent's jaw.他给了对方下巴一记右钩拳。
  • A strong square jaw is a sign of firm character.强健的方下巴是刚毅性格的标志。
36 veered 941849b60caa30f716cec7da35f9176d     
v.(尤指交通工具)改变方向或路线( veer的过去式和过去分词 );(指谈话内容、人的行为或观点)突然改变;(指风) (在北半球按顺时针方向、在南半球按逆时针方向)逐渐转向;风向顺时针转
  • The bus veered onto the wrong side of the road. 公共汽车突然驶入了逆行道。
  • The truck veered off the road and crashed into a tree. 卡车突然驶离公路撞上了一棵树。 来自《简明英汉词典》
37 warehouses 544959798565126142ca2820b4f56271     
仓库,货栈( warehouse的名词复数 )
  • The whisky was taken to bonded warehouses at Port Dundee. 威士忌酒已送到邓迪港的保稅仓库。
  • Row upon row of newly built warehouses line the waterfront. 江岸新建的仓库鳞次栉比。
38 wriggling d9a36b6d679a4708e0599fd231eb9e20     
v.扭动,蠕动,蜿蜒行进( wriggle的现在分词 );(使身体某一部位)扭动;耍滑不做,逃避(应做的事等);蠕蠕
  • The baby was wriggling around on my lap. 婴儿在我大腿上扭来扭去。
  • Something that looks like a gray snake is wriggling out. 有一种看来象是灰蛇的东西蠕动着出来了。 来自辞典例句
39 dwarfs a9ddd2c1a88a74fc7bd6a9a0d16c2817     
  • Shakespeare dwarfs other dramatists. 莎士比亚使其他剧作家相形见绌。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The new building dwarfs all the other buildings in the town. 新大楼使城里所有其他建筑物都显得矮小了。 来自辞典例句
40 scooping 5efbad5bbb4dce343848e992b81eb83d     
n.捞球v.抢先报道( scoop的现在分词 );(敏捷地)抱起;抢先获得;用铲[勺]等挖(洞等)
  • Heated ice cream scoop is used for scooping really cold ice cream. 加热的冰淇淋勺是用来舀非常凉的冰淇淋的。 来自互联网
  • The scoop-up was the key phase during a scooping cycle. 3个区间中,铲取区间是整个作业循环的关键。 来自互联网
41 nostrils 23a65b62ec4d8a35d85125cdb1b4410e     
鼻孔( nostril的名词复数 )
  • Her nostrils flared with anger. 她气得两个鼻孔都鼓了起来。
  • The horse dilated its nostrils. 马张大鼻孔。
42 antennae lMdyk     
  • Sometimes a creature uses a pair of antennae to swim.有时某些动物使用其一对触须来游泳。
  • Cuba's government said that Cubans found watching American television on clandestine antennae would face three years in jail.古巴政府说那些用秘密天线收看美国电视的古巴人将面临三年监禁。
43 vibration nLDza     
  • There is so much vibration on a ship that one cannot write.船上的震动大得使人无法书写。
  • The vibration of the window woke me up.窗子的震动把我惊醒了。
44 vibrations d94a4ca3e6fa6302ae79121ffdf03b40     
n.摆动( vibration的名词复数 );震动;感受;(偏离平衡位置的)一次性往复振动
  • We could feel the vibrations from the trucks passing outside. 我们可以感到外面卡车经过时的颤动。
  • I am drawn to that girl; I get good vibrations from her. 我被那女孩吸引住了,她使我产生良好的感觉。 来自《简明英汉词典》
45 upwards lj5wR     
  • The trend of prices is still upwards.物价的趋向是仍在上涨。
  • The smoke rose straight upwards.烟一直向上升。
46 vestiges abe7c965ff1797742478ada5aece0ed3     
残余部分( vestige的名词复数 ); 遗迹; 痕迹; 毫不
  • the last vestiges of the old colonial regime 旧殖民制度最后的残余
  • These upright stones are the vestiges of some ancient religion. 这些竖立的石头是某种古代宗教的遗迹。
47 holly hrdzTt     
  • I recently acquired some wood from a holly tree.最近我从一棵冬青树上弄了些木料。
  • People often decorate their houses with holly at Christmas.人们总是在圣诞节时用冬青来装饰房屋。
48 throttle aIKzW     
  • These government restrictions are going to throttle our trade.这些政府的限制将要扼杀我们的贸易。
  • High tariffs throttle trade between countries.高的关税抑制了国与国之间的贸易。
49 diminutive tlWzb     
  • Despite its diminutive size,the car is quite comfortable.尽管这辆车很小,但相当舒服。
  • She has diminutive hands for an adult.作为一个成年人,她的手显得非常小。
50 den 5w9xk     
  • There is a big fox den on the back hill.后山有一个很大的狐狸窝。
  • The only way to catch tiger cubs is to go into tiger's den.不入虎穴焉得虎子。
51 acceleration ff8ya     
  • All spacemen must be able to bear acceleration.所有太空人都应能承受加速度。
  • He has also called for an acceleration of political reforms.他同时呼吁加快政治改革的步伐。
52 syllable QHezJ     
  • You put too much emphasis on the last syllable.你把最后一个音节读得太重。
  • The stress on the last syllable is light.最后一个音节是轻音节。
53 lining kpgzTO     
  • The lining of my coat is torn.我的外套衬里破了。
  • Moss makes an attractive lining to wire baskets.用苔藓垫在铁丝篮里很漂亮。
54 formulate L66yt     
  • He took care to formulate his reply very clearly.他字斟句酌,清楚地做了回答。
  • I was impressed by the way he could formulate his ideas.他陈述观点的方式让我印象深刻。
55 naively c42c6bc174e20d494298dbdd419a3b18     
adv. 天真地
  • They naively assume things can only get better. 他们天真地以为情况只会变好。
  • In short, Knox's proposal was ill conceived and naively made. 总而言之,诺克斯的建议考虑不周,显示幼稚。
56 alley Cx2zK     
  • We live in the same alley.我们住在同一条小巷里。
  • The blind alley ended in a brick wall.这条死胡同的尽头是砖墙。
57 tainted qgDzqS     
adj.腐坏的;污染的;沾污的;感染的v.使变质( taint的过去式和过去分词 );使污染;败坏;被污染,腐坏,败坏
  • The administration was tainted with scandal. 丑闻使得政府声名狼藉。
  • He was considered tainted by association with the corrupt regime. 他因与腐败政府有牵连而名誉受损。 来自《简明英汉词典》
58 guilt 9e6xr     
  • She tried to cover up her guilt by lying.她企图用谎言掩饰自己的罪行。
  • Don't lay a guilt trip on your child about schoolwork.别因为功课责备孩子而使他觉得很内疚。
59 queasy sSJxH     
  • I felt a little queasy on the ship.我在船上觉得有点晕眩想呕吐。
  • He was very prone to seasickness and already felt queasy.他快晕船了,已经感到恶心了。
60 vault 3K3zW     
  • The vault of this cathedral is very high.这座天主教堂的拱顶非常高。
  • The old patrician was buried in the family vault.这位老贵族埋在家族的墓地里。
61 centaur zraz4     
  • His face reminded me somehow of a centaur.他的脸使我想起半人半马的怪物。
  • No wonder he had soon been hustled away to centaur school.也难怪父母匆匆忙忙就把他送到了半人马学校。
62 casually UwBzvw     
  • She remarked casually that she was changing her job.她当时漫不经心地说要换工作。
  • I casually mentioned that I might be interested in working abroad.我不经意地提到我可能会对出国工作感兴趣。
63 lull E8hz7     
  • The drug put Simpson in a lull for thirty minutes.药物使辛普森安静了30分钟。
  • Ground fighting flared up again after a two-week lull.经过两个星期的平静之后,地面战又突然爆发了。
64 kindly tpUzhQ     
  • Her neighbours spoke of her as kindly and hospitable.她的邻居都说她和蔼可亲、热情好客。
  • A shadow passed over the kindly face of the old woman.一道阴影掠过老太太慈祥的面孔。
65 crater WofzH     
  • With a telescope you can see the huge crater of Ve-suvius.用望远镜你能看到巨大的维苏威火山口。
  • They came to the lip of a dead crater.他们来到了一个死火山口。
66 machinery CAdxb     
  • Has the machinery been put up ready for the broadcast?广播器材安装完毕了吗?
  • Machinery ought to be well maintained all the time.机器应该随时注意维护。
67 numb 0RIzK     
  • His fingers were numb with cold.他的手冻得发麻。
  • Numb with cold,we urged the weary horses forward.我们冻得发僵,催着疲惫的马继续往前走。
68 bucks a391832ce78ebbcfc3ed483cc6d17634     
n.雄鹿( buck的名词复数 );钱;(英国十九世纪初的)花花公子;(用于某些表达方式)责任v.(马等)猛然弓背跃起( buck的第三人称单数 );抵制;猛然震荡;马等尥起后蹄跳跃
  • They cost ten bucks. 这些值十元钱。
  • They are hunting for bucks. 他们正在猎雄兔。 来自《简明英汉词典》
69 massaging 900a624ac429d397d32b1f3bb9f962f1     
按摩,推拿( massage的现在分词 )
  • He watched the prisoner massaging his freed wrists. 他看着那个犯人不断揉搓着刚松开的两只手腕。
  • Massaging your leg will ease the cramp. 推拿大腿可解除抽筋。
70 binoculars IybzWh     
  • He watched the play through his binoculars.他用双筒望远镜看戏。
  • If I had binoculars,I could see that comet clearly.如果我有望远镜,我就可以清楚地看见那颗彗星。
71 revolving 3jbzvd     
adj.旋转的,轮转式的;循环的v.(使)旋转( revolve的现在分词 );细想
  • The theatre has a revolving stage. 剧院有一个旋转舞台。
  • The company became a revolving-door workplace. 这家公司成了工作的中转站。
72 bodyguard 0Rfy2     
  • She has to have an armed bodyguard wherever she goes.她不管到哪儿都得有带武器的保镖跟从。
  • The big guy standing at his side may be his bodyguard.站在他身旁的那个大个子可能是他的保镖。
73 standing 2hCzgo     
  • After the earthquake only a few houses were left standing.地震过后只有几幢房屋还立着。
  • They're standing out against any change in the law.他们坚决反对对法律做任何修改。
74 appalling iNwz9     
  • The search was hampered by appalling weather conditions.恶劣的天气妨碍了搜寻工作。
  • Nothing can extenuate such appalling behaviour.这种骇人听闻的行径罪无可恕。
75 boredom ynByy     
  • Unemployment can drive you mad with boredom.失业会让你无聊得发疯。
  • A walkman can relieve the boredom of running.跑步时带着随身听就不那么乏味了。
76 fowl fljy6     
  • Fowl is not part of a traditional brunch.禽肉不是传统的早午餐的一部分。
  • Since my heart attack,I've eaten more fish and fowl and less red meat.自从我患了心脏病后,我就多吃鱼肉和禽肉,少吃红色肉类。
77 disposition GljzO     
  • He has made a good disposition of his property.他已对财产作了妥善处理。
  • He has a cheerful disposition.他性情开朗。
78 pane OKKxJ     
  • He broke this pane of glass.他打破了这块窗玻璃。
  • Their breath bloomed the frosty pane.他们呼出的水气,在冰冷的窗玻璃上形成一层雾。
79 instructor D6GxY     
  • The college jumped him from instructor to full professor.大学突然把他从讲师提升为正教授。
  • The skiing instructor was a tall,sunburnt man.滑雪教练是一个高高个子晒得黑黑的男子。
80 stifle cF4y5     
  • She tried hard to stifle her laughter.她强忍住笑。
  • It was an uninteresting conversation and I had to stifle a yawn.那是一次枯燥无味的交谈,我不得不强忍住自己的呵欠。
81 pulverize gCayx     
  • A factory making armaments had been bombed the night before and a residential area not far away had been pulverized.前天晚上,一家兵工厂被炸,不远处的居民区也被夷为平地。
  • He is set to pulverise his two opponents in the race for the presidency.他决心在总统竞选中彻底击垮他的两个对手。
82 tattoo LIDzk     
  • I've decided to get my tattoo removed.我已经决定去掉我身上的纹身。
  • He had a tattoo on the back of his hand.他手背上刺有花纹。
83 tuned b40b43fd5af2db4fbfeb4e83856e4876     
adj.调谐的,已调谐的v.调音( tune的过去式和过去分词 );调整;(给收音机、电视等)调谐;使协调
  • The resort is tuned in to the tastes of young and old alike. 这个度假胜地适合各种口味,老少皆宜。
  • The instruments should be tuned up before each performance. 每次演出开始前都应将乐器调好音。 来自《简明英汉词典》
84 backwards BP9ya     
  • He turned on the light and began to pace backwards and forwards.他打开电灯并开始走来走去。
  • All the girls fell over backwards to get the party ready.姑娘们迫不及待地为聚会做准备。
85 unduly Mp4ya     
  • He did not sound unduly worried at the prospect.他的口气听上去对前景并不十分担忧。
  • He argued that the law was unduly restrictive.他辩称法律的约束性有些过分了。
86 freshman 1siz9r     
  • Jack decided to live in during his freshman year at college.杰克决定大一时住校。
  • He is a freshman in the show business.他在演艺界是一名新手。
87 wrench FMvzF     
  • He gave a wrench to his ankle when he jumped down.他跳下去的时候扭伤了足踝。
  • It was a wrench to leave the old home.离开这个老家非常痛苦。
88 bonnet AtSzQ     
  • The baby's bonnet keeps the sun out of her eyes.婴孩的帽子遮住阳光,使之不刺眼。
  • She wore a faded black bonnet garnished with faded artificial flowers.她戴着一顶褪了色的黑色无边帽,帽上缀着褪了色的假花。
89 unison gKCzB     
  • The governments acted in unison to combat terrorism.这些国家的政府一致行动对付恐怖主义。
  • My feelings are in unison with yours.我的感情与你的感情是一致的。
90 stunning NhGzDh     
  • His plays are distinguished only by their stunning mediocrity.他的戏剧与众不同之处就是平凡得出奇。
  • The finished effect was absolutely stunning.完工后的效果非常美。
91 syllables d36567f1b826504dbd698bd28ac3e747     
n.音节( syllable的名词复数 )
  • a word with two syllables 双音节单词
  • 'No. But I'll swear it was a name of two syllables.' “想不起。不过我可以发誓,它有两个音节。” 来自英汉文学 - 双城记
92 daydreams 6b57d1c03c8b2893e2fe456dbdf42f5b     
n.白日梦( daydream的名词复数 )v.想入非非,空想( daydream的第三人称单数 )
  • Often they gave themselves up to daydreams of escape. 他们常沉溺进这种逃避现实的白日梦。 来自英汉文学
  • I would become disgusted with my futile daydreams. 我就讨厌自己那种虚无的梦想。 来自辞典例句
93 forefinger pihxt     
  • He pinched the leaf between his thumb and forefinger.他将叶子捏在拇指和食指之间。
  • He held it between the tips of his thumb and forefinger.他用他大拇指和食指尖拿着它。
94 considerably 0YWyQ     
  • The economic situation has changed considerably.经济形势已发生了相当大的变化。
  • The gap has narrowed considerably.分歧大大缩小了。
95 fiddled 3b8aadb28aaea237f1028f5d7f64c9ea     
v.伪造( fiddle的过去式和过去分词 );篡改;骗取;修理或稍作改动
  • He fiddled the company's accounts. 他篡改了公司的账目。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He began with Palestrina, and fiddled all the way through Bartok. 他从帕勒斯春纳的作品一直演奏到巴塔克的作品。 来自辞典例句
96 catching cwVztY     
  • There are those who think eczema is catching.有人就是认为湿疹会传染。
  • Enthusiasm is very catching.热情非常富有感染力。
97 collapsed cwWzSG     
  • Jack collapsed in agony on the floor. 杰克十分痛苦地瘫倒在地板上。
  • The roof collapsed under the weight of snow. 房顶在雪的重压下突然坍塌下来。
98 gasping gasping     
adj. 气喘的, 痉挛的 动词gasp的现在分词
  • He was gasping for breath. 他在喘气。
  • "Did you need a drink?""Yes, I'm gasping!” “你要喝点什么吗?”“我巴不得能喝点!”
99 jade i3Pxo     
  • The statue was carved out of jade.这座塑像是玉雕的。
  • He presented us with a couple of jade lions.他送给我们一对玉狮子。
100 sling fEMzL     
  • The boy discharged a stone from a sling.这个男孩用弹弓射石头。
  • By using a hoist the movers were able to sling the piano to the third floor.搬运工人用吊车才把钢琴吊到3楼。
101 immediate aapxh     
  • His immediate neighbours felt it their duty to call.他的近邻认为他们有责任去拜访。
  • We declared ourselves for the immediate convocation of the meeting.我们主张立即召开这个会议。
102 hovered d194b7e43467f867f4b4380809ba6b19     
鸟( hover的过去式和过去分词 ); 靠近(某事物); (人)徘徊; 犹豫
  • A hawk hovered over the hill. 一只鹰在小山的上空翱翔。
  • A hawk hovered in the blue sky. 一只老鹰在蓝色的天空中翱翔。
103 blueprint 6Rky6     
  • All the machine parts on a blueprint must answer each other.设计图上所有的机器部件都应互相配合。
  • The documents contain a blueprint for a nuclear device.文件内附有一张核装置的设计蓝图。
104 blueprints 79424f10e1e5af9aef7f20cca92465bc     
n.蓝图,设计图( blueprint的名词复数 )
  • Have the blueprints been worked out? 蓝图搞好了吗? 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • BluePrints description of a distributed component of the system design and best practice guidelines. BluePrints描述了一个分布式组件体系的最佳练习和设计指导方针。 来自互联网
105 secondly cjazXx     
  • Secondly,use your own head and present your point of view.第二,动脑筋提出自己的见解。
  • Secondly it is necessary to define the applied load.其次,需要确定所作用的载荷。
106 spotted 7FEyj     
  • The milkman selected the spotted cows,from among a herd of two hundred.牛奶商从一群200头牛中选出有斑点的牛。
  • Sam's shop stocks short spotted socks.山姆的商店屯积了有斑点的短袜。
107 perch 5u1yp     
  • The bird took its perch.鸟停歇在栖木上。
  • Little birds perch themselves on the branches.小鸟儿栖歇在树枝上。
108 chattering chattering     
n. (机器振动发出的)咔嗒声,(鸟等)鸣,啁啾 adj. 喋喋不休的,啾啾声的 动词chatter的现在分词形式
  • The teacher told the children to stop chattering in class. 老师叫孩子们在课堂上不要叽叽喳喳讲话。
  • I was so cold that my teeth were chattering. 我冷得牙齿直打战。
109 wavelength 8gHwn     
  • The authorities were unable to jam this wavelength.当局无法干扰这一波长。
  • Radio One has broadcast on this wavelength for years.广播1台已经用这个波长广播多年了。
110 vice NU0zQ     
  • He guarded himself against vice.他避免染上坏习惯。
  • They are sunk in the depth of vice.他们堕入了罪恶的深渊。
111 squad 4G1zq     
  • The squad leader ordered the men to mark time.班长命令战士们原地踏步。
  • A squad is the smallest unit in an army.班是军队的最小构成单位。
112 haven 8dhzp     
  • It's a real haven at the end of a busy working day.忙碌了一整天后,这真是一个安乐窝。
  • The school library is a little haven of peace and quiet.学校的图书馆是一个和平且安静的小避风港。
113 embroiled 77258f75da8d0746f3018b2caba91b5f     
  • He became embroiled in a dispute with his neighbours. 他与邻居们发生了争执。
  • John and Peter were quarrelling, but Mary refused to get embroiled. 约翰和彼得在争吵,但玛丽不愿卷入。 来自《简明英汉词典》
114 intrigue Gaqzy     
  • Court officials will intrigue against the royal family.法院官员将密谋反对皇室。
  • The royal palace was filled with intrigue.皇宫中充满了勾心斗角。
115 flickered 93ec527d68268e88777d6ca26683cc82     
(通常指灯光)闪烁,摇曳( flicker的过去式和过去分词 )
  • The lights flickered and went out. 灯光闪了闪就熄了。
  • These lights flickered continuously like traffic lights which have gone mad. 这些灯象发狂的交通灯一样不停地闪动着。
116 plaza v2yzD     
  • They designated the new shopping centre York Plaza.他们给这个新购物中心定名为约克购物中心。
  • The plaza is teeming with undercover policemen.这个广场上布满了便衣警察。
117 technically wqYwV     
  • Technically it is the most advanced equipment ever.从技术上说,这是最先进的设备。
  • The tomato is technically a fruit,although it is eaten as a vegetable.严格地说,西红柿是一种水果,尽管它是当作蔬菜吃的。
118 mimicked mimicked     
v.(尤指为了逗乐而)模仿( mimic的过去式和过去分词 );酷似
  • He mimicked her upper-class accent. 他模仿她那上流社会的腔调。 来自辞典例句
  • The boy mimicked his father's voice and set everyone off laughing. 男孩模仿他父亲的嗓音,使大家都大笑起来。 来自辞典例句
119 ego 7jtzw     
  • He is absolute ego in all thing.在所有的事情上他都绝对自我。
  • She has been on an ego trip since she sang on television.她上电视台唱过歌之后就一直自吹自擂。
120 tactic Yqowc     
  • Reducing prices is a common sales tactic.降价是常用的销售策略。
  • She had often used the tactic of threatening to resign.她惯用以辞职相威胁的手法。
121 fortress Mf2zz     
  • They made an attempt on a fortress.他们试图夺取这一要塞。
  • The soldier scaled the wall of the fortress by turret.士兵通过塔车攀登上了要塞的城墙。
122 antibiotic KNJzd     
  • The doctor said that I should take some antibiotic.医生说我应该服些用抗生素。
  • Antibiotic can be used against infection.抗菌素可以用来防止感染。
123 sensor sz7we     
  • The temperature sensor is enclosed in a protective well.温度传感器密封在保护套管中。
  • He plugged the sensor into a outlet.他把传感器插进电源插座。
124 sensors 029aee483db9ae244d7a5cb353e74602     
n.传感器,灵敏元件( sensor的名词复数 )
  • There were more than 2000 sensors here. 这里装有两千多个灵敏元件。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Significant changes have been noted where sensors were exposed to trichloride. 当传感器暴露在三氯化物中时,有很大变化。 来自辞典例句
125 thermal 8Guyc     
  • They will build another thermal power station.他们要另外建一座热能发电站。
  • Volcanic activity has created thermal springs and boiling mud pools.火山活动产生了温泉和沸腾的泥浆池。
126 promising BkQzsk     
  • The results of the experiments are very promising.实验的结果充满了希望。
  • We're trying to bring along one or two promising young swimmers.我们正设法培养出一两名有前途的年轻游泳选手。
127 beetle QudzV     
  • A firefly is a type of beetle.萤火虫是一种甲虫。
  • He saw a shiny green beetle on a leaf.我看见树叶上有一只闪闪发光的绿色甲虫。
128 perfectly 8Mzxb     
  • The witnesses were each perfectly certain of what they said.证人们个个对自己所说的话十分肯定。
  • Everything that we're doing is all perfectly above board.我们做的每件事情都是光明正大的。
129 bruise kcCyw     
  • The bruise was caused by a kick.这伤痕是脚踢的。
  • Jack fell down yesterday and got a big bruise on his face.杰克昨天摔了一跤,脸上摔出老大一块淤斑。
130 solitary 7FUyx     
  • I am rather fond of a solitary stroll in the country.我颇喜欢在乡间独自徜徉。
  • The castle rises in solitary splendour on the fringe of the desert.这座城堡巍然耸立在沙漠的边际,显得十分壮美。
131 deflated deflated     
adj. 灰心丧气的
  • I was quite deflated by her lack of interest in my suggestions.他对我的建议兴趣不大,令我感到十分气馁。
  • He was deflated by the news.这消息令他泄气。
132 punctured 921f9ed30229127d0004d394b2c18311     
v.在(某物)上穿孔( puncture的过去式和过去分词 );刺穿(某物);削弱(某人的傲气、信心等);泄某人的气
  • Some glass on the road punctured my new tyre. 路上的玻璃刺破了我的新轮胎。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • A nail on the road punctured the tyre. 路上的钉子把车胎戳穿了。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
133 stowaway 5tQwv     
  • The stowaway masqueraded as a crew member.偷渡者假扮成乘务员。
  • The crew discovered the stowaway about two days into their voyage.船员在开船约两天后发现了那名偷乘者。
134 revolved b63ebb9b9e407e169395c5fc58399fe6     
v.(使)旋转( revolve的过去式和过去分词 );细想
  • The fan revolved slowly. 电扇缓慢地转动着。
  • The wheel revolved on its centre. 轮子绕中心转动。 来自《简明英汉词典》
135 indent indent     
  • A firm order is often called an indent.确定的订单常称作订货单。
  • Bid will be evaluated strictly in accordance with the indent specifications.投标将按照订货单的技术条件严格评估。
136 strapped ec484d13545e19c0939d46e2d1eb24bc     
  • Make sure that the child is strapped tightly into the buggy. 一定要把孩子牢牢地拴在婴儿车上。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The soldiers' great coats were strapped on their packs. 战士们的厚大衣扎捆在背包上。 来自《简明英汉词典》
137 scowled b83aa6db95e414d3ef876bc7fd16d80d     
怒视,生气地皱眉( scowl的过去式和过去分词 )
  • He scowled his displeasure. 他满脸嗔色。
  • The teacher scowled at his noisy class. 老师对他那喧闹的课堂板着脸。
138 hijacking 8bc03d345d8eb45010ef3f77dba7a41c     
n. 劫持, 抢劫 动词hijack的现在分词形式
  • I have been told about the hijacking . 我已听说了那次劫机事件。 来自英汉 - 翻译样例 - 口语
  • They are taking measures to guarantee against the occurrence of hijacking. 他们正采取措施防止劫机事件的发生。
139 cylinders fd0c4aab3548ce77958c1502f0bc9692     
n.圆筒( cylinder的名词复数 );圆柱;汽缸;(尤指用作容器的)圆筒状物
  • They are working on all cylinders to get the job finished. 他们正在竭尽全力争取把这工作干完。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • That jeep has four cylinders. 那辆吉普车有4个汽缸。 来自《简明英汉词典》
140 martial bBbx7     
  • The sound of martial music is always inspiring.军乐声总是鼓舞人心的。
  • The officer was convicted of desertion at a court martial.这名军官在军事法庭上被判犯了擅离职守罪。
141 deprivation e9Uy7     
  • Many studies make it clear that sleep deprivation is dangerous.多实验都证实了睡眠被剥夺是危险的。
  • Missing the holiday was a great deprivation.错过假日是极大的损失。
142 ascent TvFzD     
  • His rapid ascent in the social scale was surprising.他的社会地位提高之迅速令人吃惊。
  • Burke pushed the button and the elevator began its slow ascent.伯克按动电钮,电梯开始缓慢上升。
143 camouflage NsnzR     
  • The white fur of the polar bear is a natural camouflage.北极熊身上的白色的浓密软毛是一种天然的伪装。
  • The animal's markings provide effective camouflage.这种动物身上的斑纹是很有效的伪装。
144 stink ZG5zA     
  • The stink of the rotten fish turned my stomach.腐烂的鱼臭味使我恶心。
  • The room has awful stink.那个房间散发着难闻的臭气。
145 cylindrical CnMza     
  • huge cylindrical gas tanks 巨大的圆柱形贮气罐
  • Beer cans are cylindrical. 啤酒罐子是圆筒形的。
146 stinks 6254e99acfa1f76e5581ffe6c369f803     
v.散发出恶臭( stink的第三人称单数 );发臭味;名声臭;糟透
  • The whole scheme stinks to high heaven—don't get involved in it. 整件事十分卑鄙龌龊——可别陷了进去。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The soup stinks of garlic. 这汤有大蒜气味。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
147 skunk xERzE     
  • That was a rotten thing to do, you skunk!那种事做得太缺德了,你这卑鄙的家伙!
  • The skunk gives off an unpleasant smell when attacked.受到攻击时臭鼬会发出一种难闻的气味。
148 hissed 2299e1729bbc7f56fc2559e409d6e8a7     
发嘶嘶声( hiss的过去式和过去分词 ); 发嘘声表示反对
  • Have you ever been hissed at in the middle of a speech? 你在演讲中有没有被嘘过?
  • The iron hissed as it pressed the wet cloth. 熨斗压在湿布上时发出了嘶嘶声。
149 mesmerizing 7b8d59e68de653b4d25887c4d54c07d2     
adj.有吸引力的,有魅力的v.使入迷( mesmerize的现在分词 )
  • I think you must be mesmerizing me, Charles. 查尔斯,我想你一定在对我施催眠术啦。 来自辞典例句
  • The attendant one-dimensional wave equation has mesmerizing harmonic properties. 伴生的一元波平衡具有迷人的和谐特性。 来自电影对白
150 ledge o1Mxk     
  • They paid out the line to lower him to the ledge.他们放出绳子使他降到那块岩石的突出部分。
  • Suddenly he struck his toe on a rocky ledge and fell.突然他的脚趾绊在一块突出的岩石上,摔倒了。
151 flexed 703e75e8210e20f0cb60ad926085640e     
adj.[医]曲折的,屈曲v.屈曲( flex的过去式和过去分词 );弯曲;(为准备大干而)显示实力;摩拳擦掌
  • He stretched and flexed his knees to relax himself. 他伸屈膝关节使自己放松一下。 来自辞典例句
  • He flexed his long stringy muscles manfully. 他孔武有力地弯起膀子,显露出细长条的肌肉。 来自辞典例句
152 coordination Ho8zt     
  • Gymnastics is a sport that requires a considerable level of coordination.体操是一项需要高协调性的运动。
  • The perfect coordination of the dancers and singers added a rhythmic charm to the performance.舞蹈演员和歌手们配合得很好,使演出更具魅力。
153 nausea C5Dzz     
  • Early pregnancy is often accompanied by nausea.怀孕期常有恶心的现象。
  • He experienced nausea after eating octopus.吃了章鱼后他感到恶心。
154 latching 2b71831177828e5f2b28e5aca264d966     
n.闭塞;闭锁;关闭;闭塞装置v.理解( latch的现在分词 );纠缠;用碰锁锁上(门等);附着(在某物上)
  • They have a reputation for latching onto all the latest crazes. 大家都知道他们对所有的最新时尚都有兴趣。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Sometimes we should tolerate people's mistakes instead of latching on to them. 有的时候我们要能够容错,不要揪着对方的失误不放。 来自互联网
155 tinted tinted     
adj. 带色彩的 动词tint的过去式和过去分词
  • a pair of glasses with tinted lenses 一副有色镜片眼镜
  • a rose-tinted vision of the world 对世界的理想化看法
156 joint m3lx4     
  • I had a bad fall,which put my shoulder out of joint.我重重地摔了一跤,肩膀脫臼了。
  • We wrote a letter in joint names.我们联名写了封信。
157 groove JeqzD     
  • They're happy to stay in the same old groove.他们乐于墨守成规。
  • The cupboard door slides open along the groove.食橱门沿槽移开。
158 grooves e2ee808c594bc87414652e71d74585a3     
n.沟( groove的名词复数 );槽;老一套;(某种)音乐节奏v.沟( groove的第三人称单数 );槽;老一套;(某种)音乐节奏
  • Wheels leave grooves in a dirt road. 车轮在泥路上留下了凹痕。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Sliding doors move in grooves. 滑动门在槽沟中移动。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
159 grunted f18a3a8ced1d857427f2252db2abbeaf     
(猪等)作呼噜声( grunt的过去式和过去分词 ); (指人)发出类似的哼声; 咕哝着说
  • She just grunted, not deigning to look up from the page. 她只咕哝了一声,继续看书,不屑抬起头来看一眼。
  • She grunted some incomprehensible reply. 她咕噜着回答了些令人费解的话。
160 buffer IxYz0B     
  • A little money can be a useful buffer in time of need.在急需时,很少一点钱就能解燃眉之急。
  • Romantic love will buffer you against life's hardships.浪漫的爱会减轻生活的艰辛。
161 utterly ZfpzM1     
  • Utterly devoted to the people,he gave his life in saving his patients.他忠于人民,把毕生精力用于挽救患者的生命。
  • I was utterly ravished by the way she smiled.她的微笑使我完全陶醉了。
162 blur JtgzC     
  • The houses appeared as a blur in the mist.房子在薄雾中隐隐约约看不清。
  • If you move your eyes and your head,the picture will blur.如果你的眼睛或头动了,图像就会变得模糊不清。
163 gasped e6af294d8a7477229d6749fa9e8f5b80     
v.喘气( gasp的过去式和过去分词 );喘息;倒抽气;很想要
  • She gasped at the wonderful view. 如此美景使她惊讶得屏住了呼吸。
  • People gasped with admiration at the superb skill of the gymnasts. 体操运动员的高超技艺令人赞叹。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
164 bead hdbyl     
  • She accidentally swallowed a glass bead.她不小心吞下了一颗玻璃珠。
  • She has a beautiful glass bead and a bracelet in the box.盒子里有一颗美丽的玻璃珠和手镯。
165 beads 894701f6859a9d5c3c045fd6f355dbf5     
n.(空心)小珠子( bead的名词复数 );水珠;珠子项链
  • a necklace of wooden beads 一条木珠项链
  • Beads of perspiration stood out on his forehead. 他的前额上挂着汗珠。
166 apparently tMmyQ     
  • An apparently blind alley leads suddenly into an open space.山穷水尽,豁然开朗。
  • He was apparently much surprised at the news.他对那个消息显然感到十分惊异。
167 detectors bff80b364ed19e1821aa038fae38df83     
探测器( detector的名词复数 )
  • The report advocated that all buildings be fitted with smoke detectors. 报告主张所有的建筑物都应安装烟火探测器。
  • This is heady wine for experimenters using these neutrino detectors. 对于使用中微子探测器的实验工作者,这是令人兴奋的美酒。 来自英汉非文学 - 科技
168 scampered fe23b65cda78638ec721dec982b982df     
v.蹦蹦跳跳地跑,惊惶奔跑( scamper的过去式和过去分词 )
  • The cat scampered away. 猫刺棱一下跑了。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • The rabbIt'scampered off. 兔子迅速跑掉了。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
169 latched f08cf783d4edd3b2cede706f293a3d7f     
v.理解( latch的过去式和过去分词 );纠缠;用碰锁锁上(门等);附着(在某物上)
  • The government have latched onto environmental issues to win votes. 政府已开始大谈环境问题以争取选票。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He latched onto us and we couldn't get rid of him. 他缠着我们,甩也甩不掉。 来自《简明英汉词典》
170 trickled 636e70f14e72db3fe208736cb0b4e651     
v.滴( trickle的过去式和过去分词 );淌;使)慢慢走;缓慢移动
  • Blood trickled down his face. 血从他脸上一滴滴流下来。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The tears trickled down her cheeks. 热泪一滴滴从她脸颊上滚下来。 来自《简明英汉词典》
171 puddle otNy9     
  • The boy hopped the mud puddle and ran down the walk.这个男孩跳过泥坑,沿着人行道跑了。
  • She tripped over and landed in a puddle.她绊了一下,跌在水坑里。
172 hopped 91b136feb9c3ae690a1c2672986faa1c     
跳上[下]( hop的过去式和过去分词 ); 单足蹦跳; 齐足(或双足)跳行; 摘葎草花
  • He hopped onto a car and wanted to drive to town. 他跳上汽车想开向市区。
  • He hopped into a car and drove to town. 他跳进汽车,向市区开去。
173 flicked 7c535fef6da8b8c191b1d1548e9e790a     
(尤指用手指或手快速地)轻击( flick的过去式和过去分词 ); (用…)轻挥; (快速地)按开关; 向…笑了一下(或瞥了一眼等)
  • She flicked the dust off her collar. 她轻轻弹掉了衣领上的灰尘。
  • I idly picked up a magazine and flicked through it. 我漫不经心地拿起一本杂志翻看着。
174 recessed 51848727da48077a91e3c74f189cf1fc     
v.把某物放在墙壁的凹处( recess的过去式和过去分词 );将(墙)做成凹形,在(墙)上做壁龛;休息,休会,休庭
  • My rooms were large, with deeply recessed windows and painted, eighteenth-century panellin. 我住的房间很宽敞,有向里凹陷很深的窗户,油漆过的十八世纪的镶花地板。 来自辞典例句
  • The Geneva meeting recessed while Kennety and Khrushchev met in Vienna. 肯尼迪同赫鲁晓夫在维也纳会晤时,日内瓦会议已经休会。 来自辞典例句
175 shimmering 0a3bf9e89a4f6639d4583ea76519339e     
v.闪闪发光,发微光( shimmer的现在分词 )
  • The sea was shimmering in the sunlight. 阳光下海水波光闪烁。
  • The colours are delicate and shimmering. 这些颜色柔和且闪烁微光。 来自辞典例句
176 huddle s5UyT     
  • They like living in a huddle.他们喜欢杂居在一起。
  • The cold wind made the boy huddle inside his coat.寒风使这个男孩卷缩在他的外衣里。
177 projector 9RCxt     
  • There is a new projector in my office.我的办公室里有一架新的幻灯机。
  • How long will it take to set up the projector?把这个放映机安放好需要多长时间?
178 jig aRnzk     
  • I went mad with joy and danced a little jig.我欣喜若狂,跳了几步吉格舞。
  • He piped a jig so that we could dance.他用笛子吹奏格舞曲好让我们跳舞。
179 frustration 4hTxj     
  • He had to fight back tears of frustration.他不得不强忍住失意的泪水。
  • He beat his hands on the steering wheel in frustration.他沮丧地用手打了几下方向盘。
180 hurdle T5YyU     
  • The weather will be the biggest hurdle so I have to be ready.天气将会是最大的障碍,所以我必须要作好准备。
  • She clocked 11.6 seconds for the 80 metre hurdle.八十米跳栏赛跑她跑了十一秒六。
181 mere rC1xE     
  • That is a mere repetition of what you said before.那不过是重复了你以前讲的话。
  • It's a mere waste of time waiting any longer.再等下去纯粹是浪费时间。
182 metaphorically metaphorically     
adv. 用比喻地
  • It is context and convention that determine whether a term will be interpreted literally or metaphorically. 对一个词的理解是按字面意思还是隐喻的意思要视乎上下文和习惯。
  • Metaphorically it implied a sort of admirable energy. 从比喻来讲,它含有一种令人赞许的能量的意思。
183 winked af6ada503978fa80fce7e5d109333278     
v.使眼色( wink的过去式和过去分词 );递眼色(表示友好或高兴等);(指光)闪烁;闪亮
  • He winked at her and she knew he was thinking the same thing that she was. 他冲她眨了眨眼,她便知道他的想法和她一样。
  • He winked his eyes at her and left the classroom. 他向她眨巴一下眼睛走出了教室。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
184 arduous 5vxzd     
  • We must have patience in doing arduous work.我们做艰苦的工作要有耐性。
  • The task was more arduous than he had calculated.这项任务比他所估计的要艰巨得多。
185 terrain sgeyk     
  • He had made a detailed study of the terrain.他对地形作了缜密的研究。
  • He knows the terrain of this locality like the back of his hand.他对这一带的地形了如指掌。
186 squinted aaf7c56a51bf19a5f429b7a9ddca2e9b     
斜视( squint的过去式和过去分词 ); 眯着眼睛; 瞟; 从小孔或缝隙里看
  • Pulling his rifle to his shoulder he squinted along the barrel. 他把枪顶肩,眯起眼睛瞄准。
  • I squinted through the keyhole. 我从锁眼窥看。
187 digits a2aacbd15b619a9b9e5581a6c33bd2b1     
n.数字( digit的名词复数 );手指,足趾
  • The number 1000 contains four digits. 1000是四位数。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The number 410 contains three digits. 数字 410 中包括三个数目字。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
188 dexterity hlXzs     
  • You need manual dexterity to be good at video games.玩好电子游戏手要灵巧。
  • I'm your inferior in manual dexterity.论手巧,我不如你。
189 possessed xuyyQ     
  • He flew out of the room like a man possessed.他像着了魔似地猛然冲出房门。
  • He behaved like someone possessed.他行为举止像是魔怔了。
190 jolts 6b399bc85f7ace4b27412ec2740f286e     
(使)摇动, (使)震惊( jolt的名词复数 )
  • He found that out when he got a few terrific jolts, but he wouldn't give up. 被狠狠地撞回来几次后,他发觉了这一点,但他决不因此罢休。
  • Some power bars are loaded with carbohydrates or caffeine for quick jolts. 有些能量条中包含大量的碳水化合物和咖啡因,以达到快速提神的效果。
191 spasms 5efd55f177f67cd5244e9e2b74500241     
n.痉挛( spasm的名词复数 );抽搐;(能量、行为等的)突发;发作
  • After the patient received acupuncture treatment,his spasms eased off somewhat. 病人接受针刺治疗后,痉挛稍微减轻了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The smile died, squeezed out by spasms of anticipation and anxiety. 一阵阵预测和焦虑把她脸上的微笑挤掉了。 来自辞典例句
192 abdomen MfXym     
  • How to know to there is ascarid inside abdomen?怎样知道肚子里面有蛔虫?
  • He was anxious about an off-and-on pain the abdomen.他因时隐时现的腹痛而焦虑。
193 thump sq2yM     
  • The thief hit him a thump on the head.贼在他的头上重击一下。
  • The excitement made her heart thump.她兴奋得心怦怦地跳。
194 crouching crouching     
v.屈膝,蹲伏( crouch的现在分词 )
  • a hulking figure crouching in the darkness 黑暗中蹲伏着的一个庞大身影
  • A young man was crouching by the table, busily searching for something. 一个年轻人正蹲在桌边翻看什么。 来自汉英文学 - 散文英译
195 mortar 9EsxR     
  • The mason flushed the joint with mortar.泥工用灰浆把接缝处嵌平。
  • The sound of mortar fire seemed to be closing in.迫击炮的吼声似乎正在逼近。
196 torpedo RJNzd     
  • His ship was blown up by a torpedo.他的船被一枚鱼雷炸毁了。
  • Torpedo boats played an important role during World War Two.鱼雷艇在第二次世界大战中发挥了重要作用。
197 filaments 82be78199276cbe86e0e8b6c084015b6     
n.(电灯泡的)灯丝( filament的名词复数 );丝极;细丝;丝状物
  • Instead, sarcomere shortening occurs when the thin filaments'slide\" by the thick filaments. 此外,肌节的缩短发生于细肌丝沿粗肌丝“滑行”之际。 来自辞典例句
  • Wetting-force data on filaments of any diameter and shape can easily obtained. 各种直径和形状的长丝的润湿力数据是易于测量的。 来自辞典例句
198 leeches 1719980de08011881ae8f13c90baaa92     
n.水蛭( leech的名词复数 );蚂蟥;榨取他人脂膏者;医生
  • The usurers are leeches;they have drained us dry. 高利贷者是吸血鬼,他们吸干了我们的血汗。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Does it run in the genes to live as leeches? 你们家是不是遗传的,都以欺压别人为生? 来自电影对白
199 penetrate juSyv     
  • Western ideas penetrate slowly through the East.西方观念逐渐传入东方。
  • The sunshine could not penetrate where the trees were thickest.阳光不能透入树木最浓密的地方。
200 random HT9xd     
  • The list is arranged in a random order.名单排列不分先后。
  • On random inspection the meat was found to be bad.经抽查,发现肉变质了。
201 plasma z2xzC     
  • Keep some blood plasma back for the serious cases.留一些血浆给重病号。
  • The plasma is the liquid portion of blood that is free of cells .血浆是血液的液体部分,不包含各种细胞。
202 laterally opIzAf     
  • Shafts were sunk, with tunnels dug laterally. 竖井已经打下,并且挖有横向矿道。
  • When the plate becomes unstable, it buckles laterally. 当板失去稳定时,就发生横向屈曲。
203 suite MsMwB     
  • She has a suite of rooms in the hotel.她在那家旅馆有一套房间。
  • That is a nice suite of furniture.那套家具很不错。
204 debris debris     
  • After the bombing there was a lot of debris everywhere.轰炸之后到处瓦砾成堆。
  • Bacteria sticks to food debris in the teeth,causing decay.细菌附着在牙缝中的食物残渣上,导致蛀牙。
205 crumb ynLzv     
  • It was the only crumb of comfort he could salvage from the ordeal.这是他从这场磨难里能找到的唯一的少许安慰。
  • Ruth nearly choked on the last crumb of her pastry.鲁斯几乎被糕点的最后一块碎屑所噎住。
206 excavated 3cafdb6f7c26ffe41daf7aa353505858     
v.挖掘( excavate的过去式和过去分词 );开凿;挖出;发掘
  • The site has been excavated by archaeologists. 这个遗址已被考古学家发掘出来。
  • The archaeologists excavated an ancient fortress. 考古学家们发掘出一个古堡。 来自《简明英汉词典》
207 remarkably EkPzTW     
  • I thought she was remarkably restrained in the circumstances. 我认为她在那种情况下非常克制。
  • He made a remarkably swift recovery. 他康复得相当快。
208 lighting CpszPL     
  • The gas lamp gradually lost ground to electric lighting.煤气灯逐渐为电灯所代替。
  • The lighting in that restaurant is soft and romantic.那个餐馆照明柔和而且浪漫。
209 muffled fnmzel     
adj.(声音)被隔的;听不太清的;(衣服)裹严的;蒙住的v.压抑,捂住( muffle的过去式和过去分词 );用厚厚的衣帽包着(自己)
  • muffled voices from the next room 从隔壁房间里传来的沉闷声音
  • There was a muffled explosion somewhere on their right. 在他们的右面什么地方有一声沉闷的爆炸声。 来自《简明英汉词典》
210 misnomer nDtxR     
  • Herbal"tea"is something of a misnomer because these drinks contain no tea at all.花草“茶”是一个误称,因为这类饮料里面根本不含茶。
  • Actually," Underground "is a misnomer,because more than half the shops are above ground.实际上,“ 地下 ” 这个名称用之不当,因为半数以上的店铺是在地面上的。
211 bickering TyizSV     
v.争吵( bicker的现在分词 );口角;(水等)作潺潺声;闪烁
  • The children are always bickering about something or other. 孩子们有事没事总是在争吵。
  • The two children were always bickering with each other over small matters. 这两个孩子总是为些小事斗嘴。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
212 adolescence CyXzY     
  • Adolescence is the process of going from childhood to maturity.青春期是从少年到成年的过渡期。
  • The film is about the trials and tribulations of adolescence.这部电影讲述了青春期的麻烦和苦恼。
213 encyclopaedia Jp3xC     
  • An encyclopaedia contains a lot of knowledge.百科全书包含很多知识。
  • This is an encyclopaedia of philosophy.这是本哲学百科全书。
214 wincing 377203086ce3e7442c3f6574a3b9c0c7     
赶紧避开,畏缩( wince的现在分词 )
  • She switched on the light, wincing at the sudden brightness. 她打开了灯,突如其来的强烈光线刺得她不敢睜眼。
  • "I will take anything," he said, relieved, and wincing under reproof. “我什么事都愿意做,"他说,松了一口气,缩着头等着挨骂。 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹
215 odds n5czT     
  • The odds are 5 to 1 that she will win.她获胜的机会是五比一。
  • Do you know the odds of winning the lottery once?你知道赢得一次彩票的几率多大吗?
216 giggling 2712674ae81ec7e853724ef7e8c53df1     
v.咯咯地笑( giggle的现在分词 )
  • We just sat there giggling like naughty schoolchildren. 我们只是坐在那儿像调皮的小学生一样的咯咯地傻笑。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • I can't stand her giggling, she's so silly. 她吃吃地笑,叫我真受不了,那样子傻透了。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
217 pointed Il8zB4     
  • He gave me a very sharp pointed pencil.他给我一支削得非常尖的铅笔。
  • She wished to show Mrs.John Dashwood by this pointed invitation to her brother.她想通过对达茨伍德夫人提出直截了当的邀请向她的哥哥表示出来。
218 descend descend     
  • I hope the grace of God would descend on me.我期望上帝的恩惠。
  • We're not going to descend to such methods.我们不会沦落到使用这种手段。
219 activating 948eea612456562bf255d3a9c59c40a3     
  • "I didn't say we'd got to stop activating the masses! “我并没说就此不发动! 来自子夜部分
  • Presumably both the very small size and activating influence of fluorine atoms contribute to this exception. 这大概是由于氟原子半径小和活性高这两个原因的影响,氟原子对这种例外做出了贡献。
220 quill 7SGxQ     
  • He wrote with a quill.他用羽毛笔写字。
  • She dipped a quill in ink,and then began to write.她将羽毛笔在墨水里蘸了一下,随后开始书写。
221 icon JbxxB     
  • They found an icon in the monastery.他们在修道院中发现了一个圣像。
  • Click on this icon to align or justify text.点击这个图标使文本排齐。
222 belly QyKzLi     
  • The boss has a large belly.老板大腹便便。
  • His eyes are bigger than his belly.他眼馋肚饱。
223 descended guQzoy     
  • A mood of melancholy descended on us. 一种悲伤的情绪袭上我们的心头。
  • The path descended the hill in a series of zigzags. 小路呈连续的之字形顺着山坡蜿蜒而下。
224 pout YP8xg     
  • She looked at her lover with a pretentious pout.她看着恋人,故作不悦地撅着嘴。
  • He whined and pouted when he did not get what he wanted.他要是没得到想要的东西就会发牢骚、撅嘴。
225 downwards MsDxU     
  • He lay face downwards on his bed.他脸向下伏在床上。
  • As the river flows downwards,it widens.这条河愈到下游愈宽。
226 underneath VKRz2     
  • Working underneath the car is always a messy job.在汽车底下工作是件脏活。
  • She wore a coat with a dress underneath.她穿着一件大衣,里面套着一条连衣裙。
227 metallic LCuxO     
  • A sharp metallic note coming from the outside frightened me.外面传来尖锐铿锵的声音吓了我一跳。
  • He picked up a metallic ring last night.昨夜他捡了一个金属戒指。
228 acrid TJEy4     
  • There is an acrid tone to your remarks.你说这些话的口气带有讥刺意味。
  • The room was filled with acrid smoke.房里充满刺鼻的烟。
229 gash HhCxU     
  • The deep gash in his arm would take weeks to heal over.他胳膊上的割伤很深,需要几个星期的时间才能痊愈。
  • After the collision,the body of the ship had a big gash.船被撞后,船身裂开了一个大口子。
230 carving 5wezxw     
  • All the furniture in the room had much carving.房间里所有的家具上都有许多雕刻。
  • He acquired the craft of wood carving in his native town.他在老家学会了木雕手艺。
231 strand 7GAzH     
  • She tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ears.她把一缕散发夹到了耳后。
  • The climbers had been stranded by a storm.登山者被暴风雨困住了。


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