бы жучок сказал тебе: „Пожалуйста, мисс Холси, постарайтесь не ступать сюда, а то Вы меня раздавите“, - неужели бы ты его раздавила?»
Пояснение к цитате:
When Kingsley and Ann Halsey were alone later that night, Ann remarked:
- How on earth did you come on such an idea, Chris?
- Well, it's pretty obvious really. The trouble is that we're all inhibited against such thinking. The idea that the Earth is the only possible abode of life runs pretty deep in spite of all the science fiction and kid's comics. If we had been able to look at the business with an impartial eye we should have spotted it long ago. Right from the first, things have gone wrong and they've gone wrong according to a systematic sort of pattern. Once I overcame the psychological block, I saw all the difficulties could be removed by one simple and entirely plausible step. One by one the bits of the puzzle fitted into place. I think Alexandrov probably had the same idea, only his English is a bit on the terse side.
- On the bloody terse side, you mean. But seriously, do you think this communication business will work?
- I very much hope so. It's quite crucial that it should.
- Why do you say that?
- Think of the disasters the Earth has suffered so far, without the Cloud taking any purposive steps against us. A bit of reflection from its surface nearly roasted us. A short obscuration of the Sun nearly froze us. If the merest tiny fraction of the energy controlled by the Cloud should be directed against us we should be wiped out, every plant and animal.
- But why should that happen?
- How can one tell? Do you think of the tiny beetle or the ant that you crush under your foot on an afternoon's walk? One of those gas bullets that hit the Moon three months ago would finish us. Sooner or later the Cloud will probably let fly with some more of 'em. Or we might be electrocuted in some monstrous discharge.
- Could the Cloud really do that?
- Easily. The energy that it controls is simply monstrous. If we can get some sort of a message across, then perhaps the Cloud will take the trouble to avoid crushing us under its foot.
- But why should it bother?
- Well, if a beetle were to say to you...