Bonus ko-fi chapter
The moment the operator’s voice was heard, Lu Feng’s expression changed. He turned and walked quickly, the lighthouse researcher trotting to keep up. Just then, a car parked outside the city’s defense station and a young judge ran over. “Colonel!”
Lu Feng told him, “Assist the city’s defense station.”
“Colonel, do we need to call a Trial Court?”
Lu Feng’s eyes swept over the sparse flow of people. “Close the city gates and meet in District 5.”
“Yes,” the judge replied. “Colonel, please pay attention to safety.”
Lu Feng didn’t speak. He slammed the door shut and started the engine. Then he spun the steering wheel and the black car turned around quickly. It drove like an arrow in the direction of the dispersal centre in District 1. He was closely followed by Howard’s car and the heavy armoured vehicles of the city’s defense station.
In the back seat, the researcher armed with a communicator was also talking to people and was being questioned.
“They are going after the dispersal centres.” The researcher said. “We have to prepare for the worst.”
“It is now suspected that the special frequency bands used by the ultrasonic dispersers drives out arthropods and pods while attracting underground worm organisms. There is no doubt that this is a premeditated attack.”
“Yes, the rest of the dispersal sites are being contacted.”
At the same time, the alarm tower in the middle of the city suddenly rang. The constant sharp and long sounds were deafening. The sparse number of people on the streets in the morning changed their expressions when they heard it. They glanced at each other before starting to run to the nearest building. The meaning of the continuous long sounds was ‘emergency shelter.’
At the same time, the street broadcast started. A soft mechanical voice said, “Alarm, due to the failure of the ultrasonic dispersal devices, insects, birds and worms might appear in the city in the near future. Before confirming the problem, please close the doors and windows immediately and stop travelling. If there are suspicious circumstances, please immediately call the emergency communications and contact the city’s defense station. The military base will do its utmost to protect your security.”
“Alarm, due to the failure of the ultrasonic dispersal devices, insects, birds and worms might appear in the city in the near future…”
There were repeated bangs of windows closing from all sides of the residential buildings. The staff and prisoners of the city’s defense station were quickly transferred to a nearby residential area. A steady stream of armoured vehicles drove out from various garrisons where the city’s defenses were located, scattering in all directions.
An Zhe, Boss Shaw and Poet were in the same room. The city’s defense station was too busy right now. One of them was guilty of incitement, one of illegally stealing a judge’s information and the remaining one was accused of strange crimes. In a word, there were no lethal charges so there were no soldiers to supervise them. Only the door was locked.
“The dispersion centre remotely manages all the dispersers in the outer city.” Poet looked out the window. “In the wild, even a small flying insect might infect humans. The base uses a special frequency ultrasonic band to disperse them and ensure the absolute safety of the residents. Nothing can fly into the base. If there is something wrong with the dispersal centre then we will be exposed to the possibility of infection. For insects in the breeding season, human flesh is the best breeding ground for eggs.”
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
An Zhe sat on the bare bed with folded knees and asked, “What will happen?”
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Boss Shaw muttered, “Don’t scare the kid.”
Poet spoke slowly. “I’m serious.”
An Zhe thought back to the day when Lu Feng cut open the stomach of the heterogenous species at the supply station. His abdominal cavity and respiratory tract had been full of translucent bugs. He inquired, “Then what?”
Poet shook his head. “We can only pray that there is no major incident at the dispersal centre or the dispersal machines are soon repaired. Otherwise…” He sighed softly. “Otherwise, either the entire base will be infected or Judgment Day will reappear.”
An Zhe frowned and looked out the window at the empty streets. Then he listened to Boss Shaw ask, “Do you know Judgment Day?”
“I’ve heard a bit about it,” Poet replied.
Boss Shaw sighed. “I thought I could live as long as I stayed honestly at the base.”
“The base has been safe for too long.” Poet was still looking into the distance. “I always forget that safety is temporary and danger is eternal. Living is not what we deserve. To live is a gift.”
An Zhe didn’t understand and didn’t know how to ask questions.
He only had one question. “What is Judgment Day?”
Boss Shaw’s eyes moved to him “I forgot to ask you. What’s wrong with your clothes?”
An Zhe, “……”
He was wearing Lu Feng’s coat and his coat pocket had Lu Feng’s work manual and pen. Boss Shaw’s eyes narrowed. “Where were you when I was in the tent with Poet last night?” He asked. “Did you sleep with him?”
“No.” An Zhe always felt that Boss Shaw was questioning him and whispered, “He didn’t sleep.”
Boss Xiao chuckled. “How do you know he didn’t sleep? You slept with him. Say it.”
An Zhe knew he couldn’t say it and pretended to be deaf and dumb. “What is Judgment Day?”
Poet asked him, “Do you know how the Judge’s Act came about?”
An Zhe replied, “I don’t know.”
Poet looked at Boss Xiao. “This old gentleman must know.”
Boss Shaw raised his head proudly. “I know.”
Poet wondered, “Your age?”
Boss Shaw didn’t answer and just said, “When I was young, everyone supported this bill.”
Poet sat down at the corner of the bed with An Zhe. His gray prison uniform was worn in some places and his long black hair was simply tied up behind him. His face was very calm but when he spoke, there was a type of frustration in his tone. Perhaps this was the tone commonly used in Poet’s profession. “The Judges’ Act has lasted nearly 70 years. I think the Northern Base is very grateful for it but I don’t know much about it. There are too few old people in the base.”
Boss Shaw’s interest seemed to finally shift away from the issue of where An Zhe slept and he played with the small doll parts he took out of his pocket. “I also listened to people talk about it when I was a child.”
Poet stated, “You speak.”
“Everyone was scared after the Southeast Base was finished. At that time, the degree of heterogenous mutation wasn’t as great as it is now. If people returned from outside the base, they just had to go through a whole body examination and it would be fine as long as there were no wounds and other abnormal places. There were soldiers in every part of the base and once a mutation was found, kill it immediately.” Boss Shaw explained “The ultrasonic dispersers hadn’t been invented yet and flying insects would cause disorder at the base. The big ones with obvious mutations were killed by soldiers. The small ones couldn’t be caught and the base was full of insect catching traps. Minors weren’t allowed to leave the base so they formed insect killing teams and killed insects everywhere.”
Poet said, “The era of military chaos.”
“Almost.” Boss Shaw continued. “I was an insect catcher when I was a kid. More than 10 years later, there was an ultrasonic dispersal instrument and not a single insect could fly into the entire base.”
“By then, the Judge’s Act was in place.”
“Yes,” Boss Shaw replied. “However, the bill wasn’t introduced because of the insects. It was because of a surveillance video. A water tower supervisor routinely inspected the surveillance and saw something happen in the corner. The place was too dark and it was unclear, so no one found it at the time. The moment the video was watched, the monitor was frightened. He never could’ve imagined that scene.
An Zhe was interested in Boss Shaw’s story and he saw Poet listening with all his attention.
He heard Boss Shaw continue, “He saw a man with a strange posture walking toward the circulating purification pond. Then that person sat down like he had no bones. I heard that the man in the video looked like a humanoid leech. After sitting down, he stretched his legs into the pool.”
Poet asked, “It was a heterogenous species, polluting the water with secretions?”
Boss Shaw smiled. “Heh, I won’t scare you that way.”
Poet raised his eyebrows.
“That person’s leg became a translucent white thing and it exploded. A large piece of it spread into the water. It was impossible to describe.” Boss Shaw shook his head. “Then that person’s entire body also flowed into the pool and the water level rose by a dozen points. I heard people say that it was like white flowers stuffed with meat. This water pool was part of the base’s water circulation system.”
“The water that drains out from the outlet is the base’s drinking water. The worse news was that the video was more than 20 hours old.”
Poet frowned slightly. His stomach seemed to be churning and after his Adam’s apple moved several times, he finally managed to speak. “The entire city was exposed.”
“Yes,” Boss Shaw nodded. “The Lighthouse gave the results of the study and found it was a mollusc aquatic heterogenous. Spreading in the water might be its breeding method. In short, there was a risk of infection throughout the entire base and no one was safe. Immediately after that, the bill was passed.”
Poet opened his mouth. “There is a saying that the first-generation judges and Trial Court didn’t belong to the military but were subordinates of the Lighthouse.”
“It is true that after the aquatic heterogenous’ invasion, the Lighthouse scientists studied humanoid forms and had more of an understanding of their characteristics. They formed the Trial Court and organize to check everyone in the base for 10 days. No one had a wound but anyone could be infected. There was no inspection method and they could only rely on visual observation and intuitive judgment. Although you did nothing, only drank water, if the Trial Court wanted you to die then you would be dead.” Boss Shaw sighed. “In those 10 days, blood really flowed. It was said that half the entire base died.”
“This is around the same as the information I collected previously.” Poet said, “These ten days are the legendary Judgment Day.”
“As for you who play around with pens and writing things, you talk about those ten days being ‘Judgment Day’ and say it is what God—” Boss SHaw frowned.
Poet smiled. “On the last day, all the world will be judged before God and you will go to Heaven or to Hell. This is Judgment Day.”
“Who knows?” Boss Xiao frowned as he dusted the dirt off his sleeves. “The Virginia Base heard about it and yelled at the decision of our base. They sent scientific research teams with machines to identify the heterogenous species. They also used drones to place opposition leaflets everywhere, rebuking the Northern Base for losing humanity and violating human rights. Then what happened?”
Poet whispered, “Three years later, a humanoid marine heterogenous invaded the Virginia Base and its fall was declared.”
“Thanks to Virginia’s silliness, the Judges’ Act officially continued. Any judge can shoot and kill. If the judge can’t decide, it will be handed over to the judge’s discretion and they won’t be held responsible for any wrong killings. The judge is God.” Boss Shaw grinned. “It is a pity that God is crazy. There were so many people killed that couldn’t be stopped. The Lighthouse scientist in charge of the trial changed one after another. Three went mad in 10 years and two committed suicide. No one wanted to take this position so the military took over.”
“The military people have been stationed in the wilderness for many years and have seen many monsters. Their ability to distinguish the heterogenous species aren’t bad and their psychological quality is also strange. The judge’s replacement rate stopped from one going crazy every three years to one growing crazy once every five years. Lu Feng was less than 20 years old when he became a judge. I thought he was too old and bet he wouldn’t even last three years.” Boss Shaw shrugged. “I lost a lot of money. He is now in his seventh year. Hubbard said that he has killed as many people as the previous judges together and that it has multiplied every year. Everyone knows he isn’t far from madness.”
“The person being tried or the person trying them, it is hard to say who has the bigger psychological pressure.” Poet leaned against the wall. “However, since Colonel Lu is in the mood to sleep with the child, it seems he is far from losing control.”
“No, that isn’t right.’ The moment he finished speaking, he frowned and changed his words. “For a callous man like Colonel Lu, this is one of the harbingers of madness.”
He came close to An Zhe, a similar look to Boss Shaw in his eyes. “How was he? Did he hurt you?”
An Zhe folded his clothes tightly around him and huddled in a corner, not wanting to talk to them.
There was a bang. The atmosphere in the room froze and all three people looked at the source of the sound. A colourful beetle crashed into the window.