“Detecting control room being booted in advance. Please provide the reason for startup.”
More than 10 possible reasons were provided for early awakening, with the first reason being “Hibernation pods malfunction.”
Dong Zheng pressed the first button. The interface jumped and showed him the solutions that were written over 3000 years ago.
“1. This document contains the repair method for hibernation pod malfunction, along with the activation password to the maintenance robot. The interested party can go to 6D to obtain the maintenance robot and repair the hibernation pods.”
“2. If there are other difficulties, the base has supplies in storage that can support 2000 people for four years and seven months. Please do not panic. You can use the base communication equipment to send a distress signal to compatriots who have re-settled in Proxima Centauri. Before emigration, all human beings must sign an unconditional rescue agreement. As such, if either party is in danger, the other must do everything possible to attempt a rescue.”
“The method to send a distress signal is as follows…”
Everyone looked at each other, and Dong Linhai whispered, “Huh? This can’t be right. It’s this simple to send a signal?”
Lin Hangzhi wanted to speak but ultimately decided to keep his mouth shut. Judging from the mission task and the nature of the box liking to pit people, this message would absolutely not be sent successfully. But, he didn’t want to talk nonsense.
Dong Zheng followed the system’s instructions step by step. He explained the reason for the distress call, reported the number of people, and confirmed his identity again. After checking to make sure everything was in order, he sent out the wireless signal.
Although the wireless signal would be sent out at a speed similar to the speed of light, it would take more than four years for the signal to reach Proxima Centauri. What’s more, the time it would take the people in Proxima Centauri to attempt a rescue was unknown.
What’s more, four years worth of supplies for 2,000 people in the base was enough for many people to grow old and die.
After the signal was sent out, the task interface on their field of vision hadn’t changed at all, aside from the countdown getting smaller and smaller.
They waited for a while without any hope. Sure enough, the green aperture on the display that represented the radio wave transmission suddenly turned red, and a dazzling white exclamation mark appeared in the middle.
This sentence popped up on the screen as the computer’s self-diagnosis was initiated. Three minutes later, the results appeared in front of them.
“The radio transmission device is damaged?”
Cui Zuojing speculated based on his limited knowledge of space physics. “A large-scale radio device should be required to launch ultra-long-distance radio waves into space. Based on the size of the military base, the radio may have been built outside and it probably incurred some accidental damages.”
At this point, there was no use in investigating the damage to the radio device.
After determining that the damage would be difficult to repair in a short amount of time, the main control room’s computer provided an alternative solution.
“The Institute of Biochemistry lay 23km southwest of this place. When the ice age arrived, the institute was completely sealed up. It had a fairly complete set of equipment and is the nearest building in the vicinity that can send radio signals into outer space.”
“Ah, here comes the task.” Everyone perked up and carefully studied the map displayed on the screen.
As a native of Shandong province, the Jinan that Lin Hangzhi knew was very different from the urban Jinan of 2472 inside the box. However, the geographical terrain hadn’t changed much and the south was still a mountainous area.
“So next, we need to leave the base and go to the Institute of Biochemistry, where the situation is unknown, and launch a distress signal?” Allen folded his arms across his chest and added, “If this is some kind of trap, I would rather stay in the base. Anyway, I don’t have to worry about food and drink, and I’ll be safe.”
Cui Zuojing smiled. “It’s easy to say now. After a few days, you definitely won’t be able to stand it. Under these circumstances, what ends up defeating humans is not striving for the conditions necessary to survival, but unbearable loneliness.”
Victor couldn’t help but said with emotion, “Yes, it is human nature to socialize. When there is only one active human life left in any space, even loneliness can kill the strongest fighter. Even Robinson, at least, had animals and plants on the island, as well as his friend, Friday, to accompany him.”
As someone who was brought back into the real world as a cat, Victor experienced the loneliest years of his life.
He could no longer speak in a human voice and could only meow like a real cat. The only way he could communicate with Cui Zuojing was through his eyes and by typing on keyboards.
And, in front of other people, he couldn’t reveal the fact that he wasn’t truly a cat at all.
It was only tolerable because the youth was as lonely as him.
With his time frozen, Cui Zuojing had a difficult time with face-to-face social activities. He also wasn’t too keen on chatting with friends online. Whenever his sister went to school and his parents went to work, he and Victor would be left alone in the house. They laid on the sofa and watched Cui Zuojing’s old favorite animation from when he was young, such as “The Adventures of Jackie Chan,” “Phineas and Ferb,” and the summer reruns of “My Fair Princess.”
Sometimes Cui Zuojing would take Victor out for a walk along the roadside. Whenever he got tired, he would sit on the side of the road or on a bench. In this way, two lonely people comforted each other, but they were still alone.
And now, in mere four to five months, those instances that had repeated so many times in the past eight year gradually faded from Victor’s memory. Although his life hung by a thread and the situation was oftentimes dangerous, at least he had the company of these friends, making him unwilling to return to that monotonous life.
As the rest of the group chatted, Dong Zheng and Lin Hangzhi were not idle. Since they were the two most highly educated people in the team, they ended up being left to browse through the useful information provided by the terminal.
The image of the earth on the screen was almost completely covered in white ice. The terminal had constructed the image using data from satellites signals.
It had to be said that the technology of the year 2472 was really developed. Three thousand years had passed, but the old satellites were still operating as normal.
Lin Hangzhi said, “Except for a small area around the equator, the rest are already covered by glaciers. Now that it is summer, some of the ice will melt. In winter, maybe the whole earth will become a frozen egg.”
Dong Zheng said, “During this time period, it shouldn’t be too risky to enter the outside world. Compared to the characteristics of the first four ice ages, this ice age isn’t as serious. At this time, it’s only minus seven to eight degrees outside, which isn’t too bad.”
As the two of them continued to study the materials, Dong Linhai, Allen, Wang Que, and Cui Zuojing sat on the ground and began to chat leisurely.
Dong Linhai said, “Do you guys think that, after launching the signal, aliens will come to rescue us? Three thousand years have passed. Who knew what they have become already? Even if they signed a pact, if they don’t want to save us, no amount of agreement will make them pull together an expedition to save us. It’s also still unknown whether they even actually reached their destination. If something happened along the way, then we won’t be successful at all, and we’ll be the only human beings left.”
Wang Que’s thoughts suddenly strayed, and she couldn’t help but whisper, “After entering the intergalactic era, due to long-term cosmic radiation, humans may have undergone small but significant genetic mutations. A second gender of ABO might have evolved…”
Allen said, “ABO? What ABO? Blood type?”
Victor, who was a doctor, was also confused. Of course, he understood blood type, but he couldn’t ignore the rest of Wang Que’s words about the “second gender.”
ABO could still refer to gender?
Allen said, “Intuition tells me that you are talking about some very wonderful things. Since everyone is so familiar with each other and there are good things to be said, can’t you share it with us?”
Dong Linhai echoed curiously, “That’s right, talk and we’ll listen.”
Wang Que’s face flushed red. She held back for a long time and only managed to say, “This is too shameful. No, I’m ashamed to say it.”
“Shameful?” Cui Zuojing suddenly became energetic. “It’s okay. Say it. Everyone is an adult, and it’s normal to talk about shameful things.”
According to the normal rules of time, Wang Que and Dong Linhai had already reached adulthood in the months that they were in the Pure White Realm. Meanwhile, Cui Zuojing was already 25 to 26 years old, and now that his first seal was unlocked, his appearance was starting to catch up.
Under the constant encouragement of three people and a cat, Wang Que finally failed to hold her ground, and she roughly introduced them to the ABO system of the western world.
Pheromone, estrus, bonding, marking, severely dysfunctional gender ratio, and the social status of Omega were hallmarks of the ABO system. All of these dumbfounded the straight steel men listening to her.
When he heard that the male Omega could also get pregnant, give birth, and even produce milk, Dong Linhai’s whole body felt unwell.
He said, “Giving birth? How can men give birth? Where does it come out of? Is the men’s body structure in that world similar to ours or is it different?”
Wang Que said, “Don’t care about these details. Paper characters don’t need feeding and care. As long as the author says it’s possible, then it’s possible.”
Allen was still tripped up on the concept of the female Alpha as a big, dominant girl. He asked, “What if the female A and the male O get together? What would they do?”
Wang Que said, “Just…just do that.”
It turned out that there was a kind of fourth love…Allen covered his face with his hands. “I need to digest it slowly.”
Cui Zuojing, who was shocked speechless for a long time, slowly said, “Sure enough, don’t underestimate women. With only one setting, they can make boy love, lilly love, and a fourth gender love an expected occurrence. This is simply too strong.”
Dong Zheng and Lin Hangzhi were discussing what the outside world would look like. After hearing the exclamations, lewdness, and laughter behind them, they couldn’t help but look over.
Dong Zheng said, “What’s going on?”
Cui Zuojing hurriedly waved his hand. “It’s nothing. You’re both busy.”
Then, the young man hugged Victor and continued to listen to Wang Que with rapt attention.
Having failed to join in, he could only continue to focus on the business at hand.
Twenty minutes later, Dong Zheng and Lin Hangzhi were almost ready to set off. After he made a copy of the map with the portable terminal on his wrist, Dong Zheng said, “Let’s go. Once we find the right equipment, we can set off.”
Everyone stood up one after another. After Wang Que threw caution to the wind and went all out, she was no longer so shy and was immersed in the excitement of sharing her most favorite setting.
Victor, as the only “middle-aged and elderly man” in the team, had suffered a devastating blow. He laid on his stomach in Dong Linhai’s arms, completely dumbfounded and utterly speechless.
Meanwhile, Cui Zuojing followed Dong Zheng for two steps. He suddenly took off at a run and threw himself on Dong Zheng’s back. He opened his mouth and took a bite on the back of Dong Zheng’s neck.
Dong Zheng was completely caught off guard by him and almost fell. When he turned his head to look back, he saw the young man gazing at the teeth marks on his neck with an extremely satisfied smirk. Even his eyes had a sly look of joy.
Dong Zheng: ?
He glanced at Lin Hangzhi, who was also equally confused and baffled.
Cui Zuojing was too caught up in his satisfaction at having marked Dong Zheng as an Alpha and at the joy of imagining Dong Zheng listening to him and obeying him alone. He didn’t notice how ambiguous his action was.
The sensation of Cui Zuojing’s bite still lingered. Dong Zheng stretched out his hand and touched the teeth marks. Then, he took a deep breath and forced his pounding heart to calm down. Fortunately, he’d already closed the part of the prisoner link that allowed emotional transmissions.