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Flashcards in 003 Deck (24)
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1

義大利外海五哩處,二百三十七呎長的豪華遊艇「謊言號」駛過從亞得里亞海的溫和波浪升起的黎明前霧氣

Five miles off the coast of Italy, the 237-foot luxury yacht The Mendacium motored through the predawn mist that rose from the gently rolling swells of the Adriatic.

2

船的匿蹤外殼漆成槍管鐵灰色,散發出軍艦似的明顯不友善氣息

The ship's stealth-profile hull was painted gunmetal gray, giving it the distinctly unwelcoming aura of a military vessel.

3

這艘船造價超過三億美元,具備所有慣例的設施——按摩室、游泳池、電影院、私人潛艇,還有直升機停機坪。

With a price tag of over 300 million U.S. dollars, the craft boasted all the usual amenities—spa, pool, cinema, personal submarine, and helicopter pad.

4

然而,船主對船上的各種享受沒什麼興趣,他五年前接收這艘遊艇後就立刻改裝大部分空間, 用來安裝以鉛板隔絕、軍用等級的電子指揮中心

The ship's creature comforts, however, were of little interest to its owner, who had taken delivery of the yacht five years ago and immediately gutted most of these spaces to install a lead-lined, military-grade, electronic command center.

5

謊言號的管制室接收三顆專用人造衛星與大批地面轉接站的訊號,有廿幾個工作人員——技師、分析師、任務管制員——他們住在船上,隨時與組織設在陸地上的各個任務中心保持聯絡。

Fed by three dedicated satellite links and a redundant array of terrestrial relay stations, the control room on The Mendacium had a staff of nearly two dozen—technicians, analysts, operation coordinators—who lived on board and remained in constant contact with the organization's various land-based operation centers.

6

船上的安全措施包括一小隊受過軍訓的士兵,兩套飛彈偵測系統,現有的最新武器軍火庫。其餘支援人員——廚師、清潔工與僕役——把船上總人數推升到四十幾人。實質上,謊言號就是船主管理他帝國用的行動辦公大樓。

The ship's onboard security included a small unit of military-trained soldiers, two missile-detection systems, and an arsenal of the latest weapons available. Other support staff—cooks, cleaning, and service—pushed the total number on board to more than forty. The Mendacium was, in effect, the portable office building from which the owner ran his empire.

7

他的員工都稱呼他「會長」,他是個皮膚黝黑、眼窩凹陷的矮個子。他不起眼的體型和直率的態度,似乎很適合一個在社會的陰暗邊緣提供各種祕密服務、賺取龐大財富的人。

Known to his employees only as "the provost," he was a tiny, stunted man with tanned skin and deep-set eyes. His unimposing physique and direct manner seemed well suited to one who had made a vast fortune providing a private menu of covert services along the shadowy fringes of society.

8

人們對他有很多稱呼——冷血的傭兵,罪孽的幫兇,魔鬼的助手——但這些都不對。會長只是提供客戶們追求自己野心與慾望又不需擔心後果的機會;人類天性充滿罪惡不是他的問題。

He had been called many things—a soulless mercenary, a facilitator of sin, the devil's enabler—but he was none of these. The provost simply provided his clients with the opportunity to pursue their ambitions and desires without consequence; that mankind was sinful in nature was not his problem.

9

雖有許多人毀謗、批評他道德淪喪,會長的道德指標恆久不變。他用兩條金科玉律建立了他―—還有聯合會本身——的聲譽。

Despite his detractors and their ethical objections, the provost's moral compass was a fixed star. He had built his reputation—and the Consortium itself—on two golden rules.

10

絕不承諾做不到的事情。絕不對客戶說謊。永遠不行。

Never make a promise you cannot keep. And never lie to a client. Ever.

11

在職業生涯中,會長從未違背承諾或食言毀約。他說過的話就會兌現―— 絕對的擔保——雖然他後侮簽過某些合約,卻從不考慮退縮。

In his professional career, the provost had never broken a promise or reneged on a deal. His word was bankable—an absolute guarantee—and while there were certainly contracts he regretted having made, backing out of them was never an option.

12

今天早上,當會長踏上遊艇艙房的私人陽臺,他眺望著翻騰的海面,努力壓抑心中揮之不去的憂慮

This morning, as he stepped onto the private balcony of his yacht's stateroom, the provost looked across the churning sea and tried to fend off the disquiet that had settled in his gut.

13

我們過去的決定造就了我們的現狀。

The decisions of our past are the architects of our present.

14

會長過去的決定讓他的立場幾乎能夠在任何地雷區談判而且最終占上風。但是今天,當他凝視窗外義大利陸地上的遙遠燈光,他一反常態感到緊張

The decisions of the provost's past had put him in a position to negotiate almost any minefield and always come out on top. Today, however, as he gazed out the window at the distant lights of the Italian mainland, he felt uncharacteristically on edge.

15

一年前,就在這艘船上,他作了個決定,如今其後果可能摧毀他所建立的一切。我同意提供服務給錯誤對象了。

One year ago, on this very yacht, he had made a decision whose ramifications now threatened to unravel everything he had built. I agreed to provide services to the wrong man.

16

當時會長不可能未卜先知,可是一時失策帶來了無法預見的強大挑戰,迫使他派出一些最佳幹員到現場去,下令「不擇手段」以免他已經傾斜的大船翻覆

There had been no way the provost could have known at the time, and yet now the miscalculation had brought a tempest of unforeseen challenges, forcing him to send some of his best agents into the field with orders to do "whatever it took" to keep his listing ship from capsizing.

17

此刻會長正等著聽某位特定幹員的消息。

At the moment the provost was waiting to hear from one field agent in particular.

18

瓦顏莎,他心想,想到這個刺蝟頭的強壯專家。瓦顏莎,直到這個任務之前的績效完美,但昨晚犯了個錯造成險峻的後果

Vayentha, he thought, picturing the sinewy, spike-haired specialist. Vayentha, who had served him perfectly until this mission, had made a mistake last night that had dire consequences.

19

這六個小時簡直一團混亂,急迫地努力重新掌控狀況。

The last six hours had been a scramble, a desperate attempt to regain control of the situation.

20

瓦顏莎聲稱她的錯誤只是單純運氣不好——有隻鴿子不巧叫了一聲。

Vayentha claimed her error was the result of simple bad luck—the untimely coo of a dove.

21

但是,會長從來不相信運氣。他所做的一切都是用來消滅隨機、排除機率。

The provost, however, did not believe in luck. Everything he did was orchestrated to eradicate randomness and remove chance.

22

控制是會長的專長 ―預見每種可能性,預料每種反應,塑造現實往想要的結果發展。

Control was the provost's expertise—foreseeing every possibility, anticipating every response, and molding reality toward the desired outcome.

23

他一路上成功與保密的紀錄完美無瑕,所以吸引了驚人的客戶群 ——億萬富豪、政客、酋長,甚至某些國家的政府。

He had an immaculate track record of success and secrecy, and with it came a staggering clientele—billionaires, politicians, sheikhs, and even entire governments.

24

東方,第一道微弱的曙光已經開始吞沒海平線上低處的星星。會長佇立在甲板上,耐心地等待瓦顏莎告知她的任務按照計畫完成了。

To the east, the first faint light of morning had begun to consume the lowest stars on the horizon. On the deck the provost stood and patiently awaited word from Vayentha that her mission had gone exactly as planned.